Mets Merized Online » Avery Decker http://metsmerizedonline.com Sat, 18 Apr 2015 04:38:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.5 MMO Game Recap: Mets 6, Phillies 5 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/mmo-game-recap-mets-6-phillies-5-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/mmo-game-recap-mets-6-phillies-5-2.html/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 11:45:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=179033 matt-harvey-3

The Dark Knight returned to flushing. The New York Mets (5-3) defeated the Philadelphia Phillies (3-5) by a score of 6-5 on #HarveyDay. While Matt Harvey wasn’t as dominant as he was a week ago in Washington D.C. However, he still had a quality start, pitching six innings while giving up three earned runs and striking out eight.

It was a bizarre game that had a little bit of everything. A few hit batsmen and the electricity of the crowd gave the game a feel of the old Mets-Phillies rivalry from years past.

Harvey gave up a solo home run to Chase Utley in the first inning, his first home run given up in over 60 innings. Utley would homer again later in the game against LHP Sean Gilmartin. The Mets battled back with a couple hits in the first inning that was capped by an RBI single off the bat of Michael Cuddyer plating Curtis Granderson.

The Mets added on in the second inning. After David Wright popped out with the bases loaded, Lucas Duda smacked a bases-clearing double down the right-field line. Duda would smack another double and draw a walk later in the game. He also played fantastic defense all night.

Michael Cuddyer would get hit with a pitch in the hand in the second inning which would force him to exit the game. The x-ray came back negative. Wilmer Flores was also hit on the hand earlier that inning.

Harvey plunked Utley square in the back later in the game, going after the Phillies unofficial leader and strongest offensive player. While Harvey didn’t have his best stuff tonight, he did display the intangibles. He fought with runners on base, got outs when he really needed them, and was able to find a way to keep his team ahead.

In that same inning, Travis d’Arnaud was called on a catchers interference call which loaded the bases. Terry Collins, who had already argued a few other plays earlier in the game, came out and was fed up. He was eventually tossed from the game.

Later in the game, the Mets finally took advantage of their newly constructed right-center field wall. Daniel Murphy smacked a solo shot over the wall, a home run that Gary Cohen noted wouldn’t of gone out last year.

In the bottom of the 8th, David Wright singled and stole second base. On the play, he seemed to tweak something in his leg and it was announced that he pulled his hamstring. He tried to stay in, but took himself out of the game a few pitches later. Anthony Recker pinch-ran for him and would stay on to play third base for the 9th inning.

Jeurys Familia earned his third save on the night, but not before giving up a solo home run to former-Metroplitan Jeff Francoeur.

Terry Collins noted in the post game interview that it looks like the Mets will have to “make a move” now. The way he spoke about Wright, it did not sound good.

On Deck

The Mets will square off with the Phillies again Wednesday in the final game of the series at 7:10 p.m. Jonathan Niese will matchup with Jerome Williams.

PS: Thank you to my brother @harrisdecker for the awesome Dark Knight graphic used on this post.

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Opening Day From Verizon Suite http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/opening-day-from-the-verizon-suite.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/opening-day-from-the-verizon-suite.html/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 10:00:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=179028 jacob degrom

It was an awesome experience to be able to take in the Mets opening day game on Monday against the Phillies from the Verizon Wireless Suite. We can’t thank the company enough for this awesome experience and opportunity to watch the game from such a unique perspective.

The Verizon suite is located just above the last row of the field level seats. Upon entering, I was greeted by a server who asked me what I would like to drink and insisted I get started on some finger foods that were set out as appetizers. Great food and a couple beers added to a fantastic experience.

One of the most unique parts of the day was being equipped with the brand new Ellipsis 8 tablet. I had little to no experience using any sort of tablet in my life so this truly felt like an innovative piece of technology in my hand. It has a clear, high definition display that is easy to navigate.

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The device was especially useful as a member of the media. It was extremely accessible especially in terms of monitoring and posting on social media, Instagram and Twitter especially. The Ellipsis also has a quality camera on it with a panorama option which made for some unique pictures.

I was speaking with other bloggers in the suite (this event was specifically targeted for bloggers) and we all agreed that our favorite quality about the tablet was that it was a perfect size. It was big enough where pictures seemed to be in a higher quality then on my computer or my iPhone.

The keyboard took some getting used to like any touch screen keyboard would of that size. I remember it took me some time to master the iPhone touch screen and now I would consider myself a very fast typer on it. I would imagine that with some practice, I would become more and more competent with the device. There was a certain level of autonomy I felt with this device. I was able to do other things like easily manage my fantasy baseball lineups, check Facebook posts and look things up on the Google Chrome browser. There is even an option to sync your Verizon cellphone with the tablet so you can receive and answer your text messages on it.

Obviously, the result was the biggest factor into my enjoyment of the game. It was a pitching duel between the reigning Rookie-Of-The-Year Jacob deGrom and the veteran Aaron Harang. DeGrom did not disappoint, pitching 6.1 innings with three strikeouts and no earned runs while earning the win. Both teams struggled offensively during the game.

I had an incredible angle for a couple plays involving Lucas Duda. The suite was lined up with home plate and first base. The first play was the laser that was hit. The batter who hit it escapes me and I want to say it was Chase Utley. Anyway, Duda took one step back and picked the hotshot that was hit at him and took it to the bag for the out. It got me thinking on Duda’s improvement as a player.

Sure, Duda earns his paycheck with his bat, clubbing 30 home runs a year ago. However, he has came a long way since the Mets traded Ike Davis and gave Duda the reigns permanently. I remember watching Davis flip into the stands a bunch and thought of him as a future gold glover. I won’t go as far as saying Duda will win that award, but he sure has improved and mostly looks so comfortable over there.

Second, Duda crushed a ball that tailed foul down the right field line. It went about 15 rows up in the second deck and was about 20 feet foul. This hit was just a monster and it sparked some electricity in the ballpark even though it was foul. It has seemed that the Mets haven’t had a real offensive star emerge ever since David Wright and Jose Reyes in the mid 2000′s. Duda seems to be breaking that trend and it seems that pitchers are taking notice. He is a feared hitter in the National League.

All in all, it was a fantastic day. There is no beer as refreshing as the one you’re drinking at a ballpark. The Mets took the victory behind a fantastic start. And I can’t thank Verizon enough for being incredible hosts and providing me with a fun and unique experience on Opening Day.

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Lucas Duda and Mets Cease Extension Talks http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/lucas-duda-and-mets-cease-extension-talks.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/lucas-duda-and-mets-cease-extension-talks.html/#comments Sun, 05 Apr 2015 20:32:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=177490 Lucas+Duda

As expected Lucas Duda and the Mets have agreed to put off talks about a contract extension, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

Both sides had previously agreed on an Opening Day deadline from the onset.

“No agreement was reached, so talks have concluded and Lucas will focus on the upcoming season,” agent Dan Horwits said Sunday.

April 2

According to general manager Sandy Alderson, negotiations on an extension deal with first baseman Lucas Duda are still ongoing. But one way or the other, the two sides will cease negotiations on Monday, Opening Day. (Adam Rubin)

Duda set Monday as the deadline for negotiations because he does not want any distractions once the season began. He made that very clear from the onset.

March 30

Joel Sherman of the NY Post reported today that the Mets are in conversation with first basemen Lucas Duda on a contract extension. Duda described it as “preliminary talks” and it was also noted that there would be no negotiations after Opening Day.

The 29-year old had a breakout year in 2014, hitting 30 home runs and producing 92 runs-batted-in. He is due to make $4.2 million in 2015 through arbitration and is under team control through 2017.

Sherman points out Duda’s struggles against lefthanded pitching and the question of whether Duda can repeat his performance in 2014.

When he asked general manager Sandy Alderson if he thought what Duda did last season was aberrational or could be duplicated, he replied, “Good question.”

We will continue to monitor this news and update this post with any additional details.

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Yoan Moncada To Sign With The Red Sox http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/yoan-moncada-to-sign-with-the-red-sox.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/yoan-moncada-to-sign-with-the-red-sox.html/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 15:28:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=175073 yoan moncada

Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com was the first to report on Twitter this morning that the Boston Red Sox have landed Cuban phenom Yoan Moncada. The infield prospect signed for a record $31.5 million signing bonus, the most ever given to an international free agent. This obliterated the reigning bonus record of $8.27 million given out to Yoan Lopez by the Arizona Diamondbacks last month.

Sanchez notes that Moncada was considering offers from up to five teams. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that the Yankees offered $25 million to Moncada while showing a willingness to increase that figure to $27 million. However, neither of these offers would suffice.

Since Sandy Alderson and the Mets showed no interest in signing the pricey prospect, Boston is perhaps the best ulterior landing spot. Moncada will be out of the National League, while not on the Yankees. A win win. Plus, this signing takes the Red Sox, a strong competitor on the international free agent market, out of play for the next two seasons under MLB’s new guidelines. Thus, maybe the Mets will have a better shot at signing someone more fitting (financially) down the road.

Because of MLB’s international signing guidelines, the Red Sox will be forced to be a 100% tax on the signing. Therefore, the total cost for the Red Sox will be $63 million. Moncada is the first player to sign under these new guidelines, which also require him to sign a contract that says he will not return to Cuba to play baseball.

More on this as details arise.

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The Forgotten Man: Jonathan Niese http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/the-forgotten-man-jonathan-niese.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/the-forgotten-man-jonathan-niese.html/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 14:30:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=175057 As I scrolled through my daily Mets spring training content, something hit me: Where the heck is Jon Niese?

There are so many storylines in camp this year. You have the returning super-star Matt Harvey, the reigning Rookie of The Year Jacob deGrom, and the fire-baller on the verge of breaking out Zack Wheeler. These three have demanded most of the coverage so far in Port St. Lucie. The rest of the coverage dedicated to the Mets pitching staff is centered around Dillon Gee, the trade rumors surrounding him and his feelings about possibly being pushed into a bullpen role.

But don’t worry everyone; Jon Niese is alive, well and ready for another solid season. Niese provides a consistency that the Mets brass have come to expect even during this recent dark age of Mets baseball.

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It’s hard to believe Niese, now 28 years old, is entering his 8th year in the majors, all wearing orange and blue. Since his debut in 2008, Niese hasn’t dazzled anyone. He never blew batters away with 95 MPH fastballs. He doesn’t have a 12-6 curve in his arsenal that breaks the knees of the leagues most feared hitters. What he does have is a consistency that Mets fans, as well as the front office, appreciate and respect.

Niese has averaged a 12 wins a year and a 3.87 ERA along the way during his seven-year major league journey. He averages 34 starts a year during that time and 204 innings pitched per year, both above league average. Last year, Niese ranked 54th in the majors in innings pitched with 187.2. Additionally, Niese being a southpaw makes him all the more valuable in the Mets rotation.

He has quietly blended into the rest of the Mets pitchers not named Harvey, DeGrom, Wheeler, Syndergaard, Gee or Matz as far as headlines are concerned.

Health problems have been a factor in Niese’s major league career. “He’s gone through MRI’s the way his teammates go through sunflower seeds,” Marc Carig said in an article in Newsday.

“I haven’t been this confident in my arm in probably three years,” Niese told Carig on the first official day for pitchers to report to Port St. Lucie. Niese participated in the Mike Barwis conditioning program during the offseason, joined by many fellow teammates and prospects. He hopes that the work he put in will limit his time on the disabled list in 2015 and maximize his time on the mound.

“I’ve never worked out like that in my whole career,” Niese said to Carig about the conditioning program. It’s hard to put into perspective the importance of Niese’s positivity concerning his body, given where he was this time last year.

Last spring training, Niese suffered an array of setbacks including soreness in his elbow, which delayed his progress and eventually forced him to begin the year on the disabled list. Niese, eager to get back on the mound, returned after a week, which was probably a bit to soon. Niese suffered shoulder pain shortly after, which persisted into July, forcing him to miss more time.

However, Niese was solid when he was on the mound, posting a 3.40 ERA in 30 starts and also cutting his walk rate to a career-low 2.2 per nine innings.

Niese’s name has circled the rumor mills during this offseason. The Mets surplus of young, under-contract fire-ballers and the southpaw’s team-friendly contract ($7 million in 2015 and $9 million in 2016, with team options for 2017 and 2018), it is easy to see why Niese was a prime trade candidate.

However, reports have indicated that Dillon Gee is be pushed on the trade market as the season gets closer. Alderson failed to move Gee during the winter and has indicated possibly moving the starter to the bullpen if he isn’t moved before then.

What does this all mean for Niese? Nothing out of the ordinary. His job is safe for now in orange and blue as he is part of one of the most dynamite young staffs in all of baseball. With less pressure on his shoulders, Niese can be primed for an above-average year in the middle of the Mets rotation.

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David Wright Notes: Health, October Baseball and The Future http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/david-wright-notes-health-october-baseball-and-the-future.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/david-wright-notes-health-october-baseball-and-the-future.html/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 13:00:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=175052 wright

Although the Mets position players are not due to report to Port St. Lucie until February 24th, David Wright is already putting in work on the field and talking to the media. He sat down for about 25 minutes on Sunday with various members of the media to talk about his shoulder, his expectations for the season, playoff baseball and more.

Here are a few key points extracted from his interview with ESPN’s Adam Rubin:

  • Wright commented on his shoulder, saying “It’s not something i’m worried about at all.” Wright missed significant time last season because of stretched out ligaments in his non-throwing shoulder that he suffered sliding head first into a base. He also noted that “I guess you really don’t know until you play games,” in reference to the strength of his shoulder at the present time.
  • Wright admits that at age 32, it is unrealistic for him to play in all 162 games this season. He understands that his body needs rest sometimes and he will not fight Terry Collins on the issue when it comes to giving him some off-days.
  • “Talk is cheap,” Wright said when it comes to speaking about October baseball, especially in February. “It’s about backing it up.”
  • The captain noted that he may not have ever before been a part of a team with such a strong pitching staff. He also drew comparisons of the Mets current bullpen to that of the 2006 playoff team.

Avery’s Thoughts:

I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that there is more weight on David’s shoulders than ever before. Between the young flame throwers in the rotation, the dynamic role players in the pen, and a mix of young guys and veterans in the lineup, this is the best team David has been on in the last handful of years. There is a lot of expectation of this team making a potential playoff push, at least for a Wild Card. The team, the fans and the front office expect this team to be playing meaningful games in September.

In order for this to happen, Wright must be a new man from the one we saw on the field last year. Fans can blame the shoulder injury for the captain’s woeful season, but Wright won’t use that as an excuse. Wright batted .269/.324/.374 last year while batting eight home runs and driving in 63. That is just not the level of production that is going to carry this team to October baseball.

The pitching is there. Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Jacob DeGrom present one of the youngest and most dynamic front-three in all of baseball. The real question is whether the offensive will be able to support it. Bringing in Michael Cuddyer was really the only offensive-minded move Sandy Alderson made this summer and this points to one thing: the front office expects the offensive improvements to come from within. They expect Granderson to not have as slow a start as he did last year. They expect Lucas Duda to continue has power surge while increasing his production against left-handed pitching. While playing stellar defense, the Mets hope Juan Lagares can become a viable top of the lineup hitter that can swipe some bases. And Cuddyer, they hope will be the hitter that one the batting title in 2013.

However, it also starts and ends with Wright. I think it will be smart to give him his days off when he needs them, but he really needs to get into a grove early this season and stay healthy. Especially during the opening stretch of the season when the bulk of New York’s games will be divisional match ups.

All in all, I am excited about the potential of this season. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that this season feels different. There seems to be some magic building and some pieces are finally taking form. That being said, the Mets have a ways to go.

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Jimmy Rollins Traded To Dodgers http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/jimmy-rollins-traded-to-dodgers.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/jimmy-rollins-traded-to-dodgers.html/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 22:18:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=169867 jimmy-rollins-400

Great news!

No more Jimmy Rollins to the Mets posts…

He’s been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers and will replace the departed Hanley Ramirez.

Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly is reporting that an industry source says the trade is a done deal.

Rollins reportedly waived his 10-and-5 rights to accept the trade, something he was unwilling to do for the Mets. (Thankfully!)

Still trying to nail down what the Phillies got in return….

Joel Sherman says the Phils are getting two young pitchers back…

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December 8

Damn, I wish this rumor would die already, but apparently the Mets were still kicking the tires on Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins.

This time however, the Phillies made it perfectly clear that Rollins will not waive his no-trade clause for the Mets.

Jon Heyman reports that the Mets were contacted and told “Rollins isn’t willing to waive his no-trade clause at this time.”

Heyman adds that Rollins seems perfectly fine with potentially joining the Yankees who have been engaged in talks with the Phils. So it’s not a New York thing, it’s a Mets thing.

Rollins, 36, had 17 home runs, 28 stolen bases and a .243 batting average in 2014, and is set to earn $11 million in 2015.

Could you imagine the uproar if the Mets traded Montero or Flores for Rollins? I for one would gone ape-shit… Rollins is among my top five hated players in the game.

Just the thought of him in a Met uniform would have inflicted some serious psychological damage. And you know what? I’m sure Rollins feels the same exact way about us.

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Mets Considering Posting A Bid For Korean Shortstop Jung-Ho Kang http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mets-considering-posting-a-bid-for-korean-shortstop-jung-ho-kang.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mets-considering-posting-a-bid-for-korean-shortstop-jung-ho-kang.html/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 20:17:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171287 jung-ho kang

Sandy Alderson said the Mets are considering posting a bid for Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang according to Adam Rubin. However, Alderson adds that it’s still unresolved whether they will or not.

Sounds like progress – albeit small – on the International Posting front for Sandy and Company. To my knowledge they have never posted a bid on free agent like this before.

December 7

Korean shortstop star Jung-Ho Kang is expected to be posted next week by his team according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Once posted, teams will have the opportunity to bid on exclusive negotiating rights with Kang. This is extremely intriguing and timely as it comes during the heart of the MLB offseason.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is now reporting that the power-hitting shortstop is drawing interest from the New York Mets. He adds that the Mets have been struggling to find a shortstop and that it’s no surprise they would consider Kang as a viable option.

“The Mets had interest in trading for Starlin Castro and Jimmy Rollins, among others, but Castro is unavailable and word is Rollins will only waive his no-trade clause for a few teams, and the Mets to this point aren’t one of those teams. The White Sox’s Alexei Ramirez is out there, but he would probably require the Mets to give up one of their best young pitchers, something they are reluctant to do.”

Kang put up an impressive stat line with the Nexen Heroes last season, producing at a .354/.457/.733 clip with 39 home runs and 115 RBI in 116 games. Although the 27-year old has played shortstop in Korea, MLB scouts have suggested that he might project better as a third or first basemen.

Some scouts are skeptical if his power can translate to the majors. However, Keith Law of ESPN suggested that his power can come to fruition in the majors, most likely at the expense of his batting average.

In a NY Post article from Joel Sherman, Kang’s agent Alan Nero was quoted saying, “If he were Cuban, he’d get $100 million.”

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Latest On Mets and Rangers, Syndergaard, Profar http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/latest-on-mets-and-rangers-syndergaard-profar.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/latest-on-mets-and-rangers-syndergaard-profar.html/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 13:03:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171365 Rob Foldy Getty Images noah syndergaard

Though nothing seems imminent for now, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation has reported that the New York Mets and Texas Rangers are engaged in trade discussions and could possibly come to terms on something before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday.

Cotillo also noted that while no specific players are being discussed at the moment, there is plenty of evidence that suggests the Mets and Rangers can match up on a trade. The Mets have a surplus of young and veteran pitchers and the Rangers have several middle infielders that may catch Sandy Alderson’s eye.

Names that could be included in talks include Rangers infielders Elvis Andrus, Luis Sardinas, Jurickson Profar or Rougned Odor, while possibilities on the Mets’ side include pitchers Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, and even Noah Syndergaard, according to sources.

There is a growing belief around baseball that the Mets would be willing to deal Syndergaard in the right deal.

Last night, Sandy Alderson acknowledged the team is engaged in trade talks with a few teams, and many sources says talks are active between the Mets and Rangers.

However, multiple reports suggest that on the Mets side of things they are interested but have concerns about Profar and are unwilling to take on Andrus and his contract.

Early on Monday, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reported that the Rangers interested in both Jon Niese and Dillon Gee. According to Adam Rubin of ESPN, the Mets are aggressively shopping Gee, however they are not looking to trade their only left-hander, Niese..

We will continue to update this post as more information comes in.

(Updated 12/9)

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Winter Meetings: Top Mets Headlines For Day One http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/winter-meetings-top-mets-headlines-for-day-one.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/winter-meetings-top-mets-headlines-for-day-one.html/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 12:39:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171371 sandy-alderson-mlb-winter-meetings-850x560

With day one of the Winter Meetings already in the books, here is a recap of yesterday’s Mets headlines:

Mets and Rangers are Discussing Possible Trade

Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reported that the Mets and Rangers are in trade discussions and could have something done before the end of the Winter Meetings. While there are no reports of specific players, it can be inferred that the Mets might look to acquire one of the Rangers young infielders in exchange for some package of pitching.

Names that could be included in talks include Rangers infielders Elvis Andrus, Luis Sardinas, Jurickson Profar or Rougned Odor, while possibilities on the Mets’ side include pitchers Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, and even Noah Syndergaard, according to sources. There is a growing belief around baseball that the Mets would be willing to deal Syndergaard in the right deal.

Gee Is Being Shopped Aggressively

Sandy Alderson is actively shopping starting pitcher Dillon Gee according to Adam Rubin of ESPN.

Anthony DiComo of MLB.com noted that the Mets may be looking to trade Gee to dump some salary, rather than use him in a package to acquire an infielder.

Andy Martino of the Daily News says he would not be surprised if Dillon Gee is dealt to  belongs to another team before the end of the winter meetings. According to multiple officials familiar with their thinking, “the team is more likely to trade Dillon Gee than do anything else.”

The Payroll Isn’t Changing Much More This Offseason

Adam Rubin of ESPN reported that Sandy Alderson commented on the Mets current payroll, saying that it probably won’t increase much, if any, from where it is now. He also noted that it is possible it decreases somewhat, suggesting a possible salary dump.

The Mets Are Interested, But Skeptical Of Korean Shortstop Kang

Jung-Ho Kang will be considered by Sandy Alderson to fill the Mets shortstop void according to Matt Ehalt of The Record. Kang is expected to be posted for bidding next week, at which point teams can bid on exclusive negotiation rights with the Korean slugger. However, comments about the payroll by Alderson seem to suggest that the Mets are not ready to acquire such a valuable asset at this time.

Tulowitzki To Mets Not Happening

The Rockies approached the Mets in hopes of dealing All Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to them, but were strongly rebuffed with one team source saying “not happening.” Colorado is unwilling to take on any portion of his remaining $115 million salary and wants a big return for him.

Rockies Inquired About Murphy, Mets Will Keep Him

Barring the addition of a proven offensive minded shortstop, the Mets are inclined to go into next season with Daniel Murphy as their second baseman. The Rockies approached the Mets about acquiring him but were told he is currently unavailable.

Collins Says Tejada Can Be Mets Starting Shortstop

Mike Puma of the NY Post reported that Terry Collins considers Ruben Tejada a candidate for the starting shortstop job. All dialogue up until this point has pointed to Wilmer Flores as the starting shortstop, assuming the Mets don’t acquire someone else, but Collins asserted that Flores hasn’t earned the starting shortstop job and it’s still a tossup.

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Market Beginning To Heat Up For Jonny Gomes http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/market-beginning-to-heat-up-for-jonny-gomes.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/market-beginning-to-heat-up-for-jonny-gomes.html/#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 21:02:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171122 MLB: Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN has reported on Twitter that teams are starting to check in with outfielder Jonny Gomes. He specified that the Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners and Chicago Cubs have all reached out to Gomes.

The 34-year old Gomes is a career .244/.335/.442 hitter. His splits are what stand out a bit more, producing at a .276/.373/.371 clip against southpaws in 2014 vs .165/.248/.262 against RHP.

Sandy Alderson has indicated interest in acquiring a right-handed hitting outfielder in the case that Michael Cuddyer plays first base against left-handed pitching. Eric Campbell  could make for an internal solution as well.

No reports have indicated that the Mets have shown any interest in Gomes yet. With the Winter Meetings just days away, look for a 4th outfielder and a left-handed reliever to be at the top of the Mets wish list.

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Sandoval Agrees To Five-Year Deal With Red Sox http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/sandoval-agrees-to-five-year-deal-with-red-sox.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/sandoval-agrees-to-five-year-deal-with-red-sox.html/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 22:24:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170706 pablo sandoval

John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle has confirmed that Pablo Sandoval has agreed to terms on a free-agent contract with the Boston Red Sox, and it should be officially announced very soon pending a physical.

Additionally, Sandoval’s agent, Gustavo Vasquez, has finally acknowledged that the deal with Red Sox is done.

The Red Sox are planning to hold a press conference to announce both Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez on Tuesday.

9:00 AM

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has reported that the Red Sox have come to terms on a five-year deal with Pablo Sandoval that is worth close to $100 million. This story coming the morning after the news broke that the Red Sox will be finalizing a contract with shortstop Hanley Ramirez today.

However, agent Gustavo Vasquez says no agreement has been reached and that his client is still weighing offers, Alex Speier of WEEI reports.

The 28-year old Sandoval is a career .294 hitter while averaging 20 home runs and 86 RBIs. Even more impressive is his .344/.389/.545 career postseason slash line.

He is a three-time World Series champion, in 2010, 2012 and 2014, all with the San Francisco Giants. He took home the MVP honors in the 2012 World Series against the Detroit Tigers.

On Sunday, the Red Sox inked Hanley Ramirez to a 5-year deal which you can read more about here.

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Hanley Ramirez Finalizing Five-Year Deal With Red Sox http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/hanley-ramirez-finalizing-five-year-deal-with-red-sox.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/hanley-ramirez-finalizing-five-year-deal-with-red-sox.html/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 04:59:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170685 Hanley-Ramirez

As reported by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, free agent Hanley Ramirez will travel to Boston on Monday to finalize a contract with the Boston Red Sox. Rosenthal also noted that the deal is for five years and in the $90 million range.

Over the past week or so, signs have pointed to the Red Sox actively pursuing third basemen Pablo Sandoval. However, this may take them out of that bidding war because Hanley Ramirez could make the move from shortstop to the hot corner, given his age and injury history.

However, some insiders have pointed to the Red Sox trying to sign both free agent stars. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that the Red Sox have an offer out for Sandoval and he is expected to make his decision sometime this week between the Sox, Giants, and Padres.

ESPN’s Buster Olney adds a different twist and hears that if Ramirez and Sandoval both go to Boston, Ramirez will play left field, while Sandoval will play third base. That would mean top prospect Xander Bogaerts will remain at shortstop.

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Braves Trade Jason Heyward To The Cardinals For Shelby Miller http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/braves-trade-jason-heyward-to-the-cardinals-for-shelby-miller.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/braves-trade-jason-heyward-to-the-cardinals-for-shelby-miller.html/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 17:32:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170243 jason heyward

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports is reporting that the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals have agreed on a trade that sends OF Jason Heyward and RHP Jordan Walden to the Cardinals in exchange for RHP Shelby Miller and RHP Tyrell Jenkins. He also noted that there are more pieces involved in the trade.

Jason Heyward (25) will be a free agent after the 2015 season. Acquiring him gives the Cardinals a much needed, temporary bat in right field. Look for the Cardinals to try to lock him up in a long term contract sometime during the season. The perennial gold-glover produced a .271/.351/.384 clip last year with 11 home runs and 58 RBIs.

Jordan Walden (27), known to Mets fans as the reliever who jumps off the mound when he throws, had a 2.88 ERA in 50 innings pitched out of the bullpen in 2014. He also struck out 62 batters during that span. Walden will not become a free agent until 2017 at the earliest.

 Shelby Miller (24) will be a free agent in 2019 at the earliest. He was 10-9 last year with a 3.74 ERA while striking out 127 batters in 183 innings pitched. 

Tyrell Jenkins (22) is the only prospect in the deal. He pitched in High-A ball last season for the Palm Beach Cardinals, going 6-5 with a 3.28 ERA in 72 innings pitched while striking out 41 batters.

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Dodgers Are Aggressively Shopping Kemp, Crawford and Ethier http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/dodgers-willing-to-eat-significant-dollars-to-move-kemp-crawford-or-ethier.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/dodgers-willing-to-eat-significant-dollars-to-move-kemp-crawford-or-ethier.html/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 14:19:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=169701 Matt-Kemp

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported via Twitter on Sunday night, that the Los Angeles Dodgers are aggressively trying to move one of Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, or Matt Kemp. This comes as no surprise since Yasiel Puig has burst onto the scene and with super-prospect Joc Pederson ready to go.

The Dodgers are stuck with three starting caliber outfielders – when healthy – and the big question here is do any of these three fit in with what Sandy Alderson is trying to accomplish with the Mets and can we afford either of them?

Rosenthal pointed out that depending on the return in trade, the Dodgers are very willing to eat a “significant” part of any of their contracts:

  • Kemp: $21 million in 2015; $21.5 million per season in years 2016-2019.
  • Crawford: $20.5 million in 2015; $20.75 million in 2016 and $21 million in 2017.
  • Ethier: $18 million in 2015; $18 million in 2016, $17.5 million in 2017, $17.5 million team option in 2018 with a $2.5 million buyout.

The most attractive player to the Mets out of that bunch would be Matt Kemp. Besides shortstop, a right-handed hitting outfielder with power and the ability to drive in runs is near the top of the Mets wish list this offseason. The biggest knock against Kemp is his lack of time on the field due to injuries. Before 2014, Kemp played 73 and 106 games in 2013 and 2012 respectively. Last season, Kemp batted .287/.346/.506 while hitting 25 home runs and driving in 89 runs in 150 games. That type of production is exactly what the Mets are looking for.

The big question mark is whether or not the Wilpons will be willing to dish out the coin needed to pay Kemp for four more seasons. The Dodgers would be willing to eat part of the contract depending on the value they get in return. The Mets would be smart to make a move for Kemp, giving the Dodgers a decent return centered around one of the Mets top pitching prospects. Obviously, he can probably be had easier if the Mets were willing to pay him most of the money he is due, but we all know that isn’t in the cards.

Some people have argued that Kemp is not the right player to go after, but rather Carl Crawford. The 33-year old Crawford played in 105 games last year for the Dodgers, putting up a .300/.339/.429 slash line while stealing 23 bases. The year before that, he played 116 games while being slightly less productive offensively. In 2012, Crawford only played in 31 games. He is a career .292 hitter. His gold glove caliber defense, as well as his near league leading stolen bases numbers are probably behind him now. But he still projects as a pure leadoff hitter, something the Mets haven’t had since Jose Reyes. While the Mets are more in need of a right-handed hitting outfielder with power, Crawford is an interesting consideration. Alderson will probably look the other way on him though. Why trade for Crawford when one might be able to get similar production from either Kirk Nieuwenhuis or Matt den Dekker?

Outside of Giancarlo Stanton, there is no ‘perfect fit’. Every potential player is going to have their flaws, whether they’re injury prone, not young enough, overpriced, etc. At some point, the Mets need to bite the bullet and make a move.  I think Kemp is a viable option for us in the right circumstances.

Thoughts from Joe D.

Let’s start with Ethier. As I discussed tonight on Twitter, he’s 32, in decline, and bats left-handed. I would argue that given 500 at-bats, Matt den Dekker would likely outperform him across the board offensively and defensively.

As for Crawford, he’s simply not a good fit. He’s even older at 33 and hasn’t played more than 130 games in a season in four years, and as a leadoff hitter is his .339 on-base percentage really worth breaking the bank for?

Kemp is the one that stands apart and makes the most sense for the Mets. But if the Dodgers are eating a big portion of his salary to get a bigger return, then you’re talking about giving up either Jacob deGrom or Zack Wheeler plus Wilmer Flores and Kevin Plawecki. Still interested?

Of course if money were not an object we’d probably be able to swap Jon Niese, Daniel Murphy and Carlos Torres for Kemp… And how huge would that be?

But with Jeff Wilpon running the show and calling the shots, the only option the Mets will consider is the one that has the Dodgers eating $50 million dollars and that means a huge cost in players.

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Alderson Impressed with Nimmo’s Batting Practice http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/alderson-impressed-with-nimmos-batting-practice.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/alderson-impressed-with-nimmos-batting-practice.html/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 12:00:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=165862 brandon nimmoThe Sterling-Award winners in the Mets organization were in attendance Monday night to not only receive their awards, but also participate in batting practice and meet the team and front office. Brandon Nimmo was one of the attendees, who won the Sterling Award as the best player at Single-A St. Lucie Mets.

Nimmo played 62 games for St. Lucie, batting .322 with five triples and four home runs. The most impressive stat was his on-base-percentage, which was an incredible .448. His plate discipline can be credited for the 50 walks he drew. Additionally, Nimmo only made one error in 130 chances while playing mostly center field.

Made famous for being the guy who didn’t play high school baseball (he played American Legion Ball because his high school didn’t have a team), Nimmo impressed the Mets front office during batting practice on Monday.

“Did you see his batting practice today?” Sandy Alderson asked ESPN’s Adam Rubin and a group of reporters at Citi Field. “There was a lot more man there than there was a year and a half ago.”

Nimmo has filled out since being drafted in 2011. When he was drafted, he weighed 180 pounds. After an offseason of training with Andrew McCutchen at the IMG Academy in Florida, he now weighs in at 205 pounds.

In an interview with ESPN’s Adam Rubin,  Nimmo said, “I do think the offseason and the training we put in and the nutrition, I think all of that came into what you saw this year, a little bit more power, a little bit more body control, (and) better swing. I am a lot stronger than I was a year ago. It’s helped me out a ton.”

The Mets are starting to feel good about Brandon Nimmo after facing early criticism for passing on the Marlins former Rookie of the Year Jose Fernandez to take Nimmo 13th overall. Nimmo’s progress this year will be a huge factor into Alderson’s offseason playbook in regards to bringing in an outfielder to play alongside Juan Lagares and Curtis Granderson.

Safe to say that Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto headline a strong crop of prospects waiting in the Mets’ pipeline.

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What’s Wrong With Mejia Showing Some Emotion? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/whats-wrong-with-mejia-showing-some-emotion.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/whats-wrong-with-mejia-showing-some-emotion.html/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 17:20:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=165771 jenry mejia

Recently, fans and people around baseball have been directing criticism towards Mets closer Jenrry Mejia, who has made a name for himself by not only leading the National League in saves since the All-Star Break, but by celebrating each successful save with a unique and explosive celebration.

The #MejiaStomp has become popular among Mets fans, as well as players and fans around the league. While some people admire the energy Mejia brings in the late innings, others tend to look down on it.

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York asked Terry Collins after Friday’s game whether he thinks Mejia’s actions were over the top.

“You’ve got to have some emotion in the game. We see it everywhere. I see other teams doing it.” He continued, saying, “I want these guys to have some fun. But, gosh, it’s a big win for us against a first-place team and there’s no reason not to be excited.”

However on the very next day, Collins did a complete 180:

“Certainly our job here is not to embarrass anybody. They get emotional, they get excited and they become reactionary. He was a little over the top last night. He’s going to tone it down.”

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post goes one step further.

“Terry Collins is trying to convince Jenrry Mejia that his exaggerated, self-absorbed, attention-starved, post-save fool-dancing — even after nearly blowing a save — is unprofessional. Let me give it a shot: Jenrry, you look like a fool.” 

Players show energy all the time in sports, most of them by utilizing some combination of flexing and yelling. Mejia takes it a bit further, bending his knees after the final out of the game and then performing a ‘back-breaking’ maneuver of sorts in full view of his opponent’s final victim of the game.

On Friday night, Mejia took it one step further when the Mets took one game from the Nationals at home, something that has been a rarity this year and since Citi Field’s inception.

Before Mejia performed his Mortal Kombat-like finishing move, he feigned casting a fishing rod in the direction of Ian Desmond, the victim of Mejia’s game-ending strikeout. After ‘reeling him in’, he finished off his celebration in customary fashion.

I personally love the celebration and the emotion and fire it brings to the moment for the players and the fans. Sure, the Mets aren’t really in contention and it could have been seen as Mejia showing up the first-place Nationals. However, rivalries are supposed to be prevalent.

The Nationals have had the Mets’ number in recent years, and the Mets players shouldn’t be happy about it. So when the Mets win a game at home against the first place team, they should be emotional about it.

Mejia seems to be the only player on the roster who shows any fire at all (besides Harvey). I want to see that. I understand the point that it may or may not place other Mets players in jeopardy of retaliation. I suppose that is a fair point. But that type of culture has been decreasing exponentially in baseball.

I love Mejia’s fire on the mound. If I had to guess, this would be a non-issue if Mejia simply screamed out loud or into his glove after the game rather than performing his routine. However, I am never more excited (at least this year) then when Mejia is in to close a game. I am ready for his celebration every time and although I know what to expect, I still get anxious and tense before the show.

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 4, Nationals 3 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mmo-game-recap-mets-4-nationals-3.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mmo-game-recap-mets-4-nationals-3.html/#comments Sat, 13 Sep 2014 02:52:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=165645 travis d'arnaud

The Mets (72-76) won the second game of this 4-game set against the division leading Washington Nationals (83-63) by a score of 4 to 3.

What You Should Know: 

The Mets started off strong, coming right out of the gate with three runs in the 1st inning. An Eric Young Jr. single, Juan Lagares hit-by-pitch and Lucas Duda walk loaded the bases and set the stage for Travis d’Arnaud. D’Arnaud delivered a base-clearing double down the left-field line. Duda scored all the way from first when he slid into Wilson Ramos’ glove as he applied the tag, knocking the ball loose.

The Nationals started their comeback in the top of the 3rd with a double, RBI single and double off the bats of Anthony Rendon, Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond respectively. After Bryce Harper grounded into a double-play, Wilson Ramos hit a two-out, RBI single to tack on the second run of the inning.

The 5th inning featured one-run innings by both teams. The Nationals scored with an Anthony Rendon solo homerun off the top of the wall in left field. However, the Mets retaliated. After another leadoff single off the bat of EY, Lagares drove him in with an RBI double.

Dillon Gee found himself pitching out of the stretch for the majority of the game. He managed to pitch 5.1 innings, giving up a season high nine hits, three earned runs and two walks while striking out four. Of his 108 pitches, 71 were thrown for strikes.

carlos torres dilson herrera

Carlos Torres relieved Gee and induced an inning ending double-play. He stuck around for the 7th, inducing yet another double-play to end the inning once again. Jeurys Familia pitched an electric 8th, striking out both Harper and Ramos while making them look silly.

Jenrry Mejia closed it out for the Mets in the 9th, clinging to a one-run lead. After allowing a single to Denard Span, Mejia retired Cabrera and Rendon. He fell behind Adam LaRoche 3-0 and then intentionally walked him to bring up Ian Desmond, who Mejia struck out. Everyone should know by now that Mejia needs the adrenaline of a couple runners on base to get the save.

On Deck:

The Mets will play the third game of this four-game-series against the Nationals tomorrow at 7:10 p.m. when Zack Wheeler (10-9) squares off against Doug Fister (13-8).

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Alderson Faces Pickle With d’Arnaud and Plawecki http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/alderson-faces-pickle-with-darnaud-and-plawecki.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/alderson-faces-pickle-with-darnaud-and-plawecki.html/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 13:00:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=165292 travis d'arnaud hrMost major league teams will probably not go into Spring Training with potentially two high-upside catchers showcasing their talents like the Mets will have in Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.

It’s safe to say that d’Arnaud will likely head into the 2015 season as the team’s starting catcher. His strong resurgence since returning from Las Vegas has been nothing less than phenomenal, and during that 56 game span, he is hitting at a .286/.332/.507 clip with 10 home runs and 29 RBI. The Mets will be thrilled if d’Arnaud can continue his ‘second half’ production through the end of the season and into 2015.

However, the Mets have another impressive catching prospect not too far away in the pipeline. Kevin Plawecki, the Mets’ 2012 first rounder out of Purdue, has wowed everyone as he wrapped up his third professional season. Plawecki began the season with 58 games in Double-A Binghamton where he batted .326/.378/.487 with 43 RBI in 224 at-bats . His performance earned him a mid-season promotion to Triple-A Las Vegas where he continued to produce at the plate. He batted .283/.345/.421 with five home runs in 152 at-bats.

plaweckiThe 23-year old has risen through the ranks quickly and despite being 3.6 years younger than the average player in the Pacific Coast League, was able to produce consistently after a slow start.

Pitchers and coaches alike have spoken highly of Plawecki’s improved game-calling skills and have always praised his leadership. Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com spoke highly of him saying, “He now looks like he’ll be more than capable of being an everyday player in the big leagues.” He also ranked him as the #4 catching prospect in all of baseball.

“We have two pretty good catchers now,” GM Sandy Alderson told the Press & Sun-Bulletin on Thursday. “Plawecki is at Triple-A now, so he’s knocking at the door. We like Travis. We like Kevin. We like them both. I would expect that we’ll see them both in spring training next year and see where it takes us.”

it would seem as if trading one of them would be in the Mets best interest. There isn’t much room on a roster for two catchers with their projected caliber. Both of them are right-handed and there doesn’t seem to be a logical way to platoon them. Obviously, d’Arnaud has proved (somewhat) that he is capable of playing at the Major League level while Plawecki has yet to prove anything other than he is a solid prospect.

The Mets could give Plawecki some time in the majors alongside d’Arnaud in 2015. However, we saw that this system didn’t work too well with Lucas Duda and Ike Davis. 

For now, the Mets find themselves in an enviable position and while it may appear that they’ll have a catching controversy down the road, they also have the luxury of time. Ultimately however, Sandy will have to decide between d’Arnaud and Plawecki at some point.

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Prospect Spotlight: Marcos Molina’s Breakthrough Season http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/prospect-spotlight-marcos-molinas-breakthrough-season.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/prospect-spotlight-marcos-molinas-breakthrough-season.html/#comments Sun, 31 Aug 2014 14:38:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=164655 marcos molina

Everyone who follows baseball intently knows that it is the most rigorous sport when it comes to making it to the majors after being signed or drafted. Players must perform at several levels of the minors before they are given an opportunity to finally show their skills in the big show.

One prospect has been lighting up the New York Penn League all season and has flown under the radar thus far. Sure, it is tough to project a 19-year old kid. Yes it is only short-season. Still, when a player has such a pronounced skillset, it cannot go ignored and unnoticed.

The prospect in this case is right-hander Marcos Molina, the ace of the Brooklyn Cyclones.  Molina has been perhaps the most dominant pitcher in the league this season, earning the starting nod in the league’s All-Star Game.

Molina is the only starting pitcher in the league with a sub 2.00 ERA, coming in at 1.77. He has proved his ability to put away batters with his arsenal, tallying 91 strikeouts so far this season (to put it into perspective, the next qualifying pitcher has 67 strikeouts). Perhaps even more impressive than the K’s is his league best 0.84 WHIP. Control is often hard to come by for 19-year old pitchers.

A two-seam fastball is the go-to pitch for Molina that sits around 91-93 with lots of natural movement. While scouting reports have indicated that his changeup is a plus pitch, his slider might be the most improved offering he has this season.

“He has thrown it (the slider) to both lefties and righties and gotten called strikes and swings & misses with it,” Stuart Johnson said, the Cyclones radio play-by-play broadcaster.

Keep in mind, that despite leading the NYPL in many of the top pitching metrics, Molina is 2.5 years younger than the average player in the league. It makes his breakthrough season all the more impressive.

“Molina is very athletic and competitive,” Johnson said. “He takes his conditioning very seriously and fields his position well. He is very quick to home plate which makes him tough to run on.”

Johnson also pointed out that Molina tends to be a bit top-heavy, or in other words, he doesn’t use his legs much in his delivery. Throwing like this can sometimes put excess strain on the arm.

The Dominican native did not disappoint on Saturday, striking out 10 batters, his third double-digit strikeout game in his last four outings. Additionally, Molina has allowed three or fewer runs in 11 of his 12 starts this season and is holding the league to a .174 batting average.

This exciting prospect has certainly earned a promotion, but it’s late in the minor league season and he’ll likely stick with the Cyclones for their playoff series.

Molina is definitely someone to watch as the young righty advances through the Mets system. Yet another promising arm in a Mets farm system full of them.

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