Mets Merized Online » Brian Greenzang http://metsmerizedonline.com Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:00:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.18 Mets Morning Report: Mets Enter 2017 With Some Swagger http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/mets-morning-report-mets-enter-2017-with-all-in-attitude.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/mets-morning-report-mets-enter-2017-with-all-in-attitude.html/#comments Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:00:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=231468 new-york-mets collins alderson Wilpon

Good Morning everyone. The boys are back in town as the full squad arrived in Port St. Lucie over the weekend. General Manager, Sandy Alderson spoke with the media on Sunday advising that the organization is “all-in” as they ready for battle in the 2017 season.

“We’re all in here,” Alderson said. “I think it’s a credit to ownership that our payroll is as high as it is now given where we had been as recently as two years ago and where our budget might have been.”

With a payroll at roughly $152 million entering the season, Alderson hints that there is even room for growth if it becomes necessary. Confidence seems to be at an all-time high for this club with much optimism to be had.

Mets manager, Terry Collins believes his team should have a bit of swagger while competing this season. “What these guys did to persevere through all the tough times, all the adversity, all the injuries, all the doubters, all the things that happen, they better walk around with their heads up,” Collins said. “They better have a little swagger, they better talk winning, they better play like they are going to win, they better act like they are going to win.”

LATEST METS NEWS

Mets pitcher, Zack Wheeler aimed to calm some fears on Sunday as he threw his first bullpen session since feeling tenderness in his elbow this past week. As the team looks to handle Wheeler in the most delicate of ways, General Manager, Sandy Alderson does not yet project if he may start the season in the bullpen or the starting rotation. “I see it playing out,” Alderson said. “That’s really what we have to do, is watch and see what transpires over the next several weeks. The first and foremost thing is he’s got to be healthy.” Read more from columnist Mike Puma in the NY Post and John Harper in the NY Daily News.

Shortstop, Asdrubal Cabrera is excited that the Mets kept their team intact this past offseason with the re-signing of Yoenis Cespedes and his partner up the middle, Neil Walker accepting a qualifying offer to stay in Queens. “It’s good,” Cabrera said. “To have Cespedes back, he changes the lineup. To have Neil Walker back and healthy. That we’ve all played together is going to let us just go out and play this year.” Read more from columnist Kristie Ackert in the NY Daily News.

Yoenis Cespedes is known to be somewhat of an eccentric player who may beat to his own drum at times. Ken Davidoff of the NY Post writes on the support system that exists within the Mets clubhouse that keeps the star outfielder in check when needed. Manager, Terry Collins spoke on the subject this weekend. “If there are two guys who keep [Cespedes] focused a little bit, it’s those two guys,” Collins said of Reyes and Cabrera. “Because they are both no-nonsense players and people. They play the game the right way. They get ready to play. They want to play every day. And they’re in Yoenis’ ear all the time.”

NL EAST RUMBLINGS

Washington Nationals left-fielder, Jayson Werth reflects on his time with the team as he enters the seventh and final season of his contract. Werth advises that up to this point he cannot consider his time with the Nats to be a success due to the team’s shortcomings in the postseason. “I want nothing more for these guys in here and the city to experience what it’s like for a team to win the World Series,” Werth said. “And I still have that opportunity.”  Read more from columnist Chelsea Janes in the Washington Post.

As the Philadelphia Phillies have moved on from first baseman, Ryan Howard, the team turns to Tommy Joseph to fill the void that he leaves behind. Although Joseph is being handed the starting job at first base in a full-time role, manager Pete Mackanin does not want him getting complacent. ”Tommy’s got some issues he’s got to take care of,” Mackanin said. “It’s like any other hitter — the better you learn the strike zone, the more at-bats you don’t give away.” Read more over on USA Today.

The Miami Marlins will enter the upcoming season still with heavy hearts due to the tragic loss of teammate, Jose Fernandez in 2016. Don Mattingly advised his troops to play the game like Fernandez did, with great passion. Infielder, Derek Dietrich reiterated the moving speech that his manager provided before the first full squad workout. ““He talked about keeping the passion and energy in the backs of our minds as we go out and play,” Dietrich said. “That’s the one thing we appreciated and loved most about him, was how hard he played and the energy and passion he brought every single day. It was unmatched. Read more from columnist Clark Spencer in the Miami Herald

AROUND THE MAJORS

The seeming rift between Dellin Betances and the New York Yankees continues to grow as the relief pitcher was not done speaking on the current situation between himself and team president, Randy Levine regarding their arbitration-related issue.  I don’t feel I need to speak to him, I don’t know how [the Yankees] feel,’’ Betances said. “I am just going to try and prepare for the season and help the team as much as I can.’’ Read more from columnist George A. King III in the NY Post.

Executive director of the Major League Players Association, Tony Clark does not foresee any rules changes to come at this time other than a tweaking of the intentional walk. “There has been so much dialogue the last few years,’’ Clark said, “that changing or making adjustment is becoming more challenging when taking into account the industry as a whole and how it’s doing.” Read more from columnist Bob Nightengale in USA Today.

RECENTLY ON MMO

Howard Gardos reviews the curse of the Mets’ opening day starter.

Joe D runs his latest inclination of “So You Think You Know The Mets.”

Over at MetsMinors.net, Daniel Muras continues the countdown of the MMN top 100 prospects as they head to numbers 56-60.

TODAY IN METS HISTORY

On this day in 1969, Mets manager, Gil Hodges returns to the team for the first time just five months after he suffered a heart attack.

Mets players born on this day include, Livan Hernandez (42), Shane Spencer (45) and Phil Lombardi (54).

TWEET OF THE DAY

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Mets Morning Report: Yoenis Cespedes Is Focused On Baseball http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/mets-morning-report-yoenis-cespedes-is-focused-on-baseball.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/mets-morning-report-yoenis-cespedes-is-focused-on-baseball.html/#comments Sun, 19 Feb 2017 12:00:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=231408 cespedes

Good Morning everyone. Yoenis Cespedes enters the 2017 season with big expectations and a new found security as he signed a four-year, $110 million contract in the offseason to stay in Queens.

Manager, Terry Collins believes that his star slugger is poised to have a huge season. “Cespedes is determined to have a huge year,” Collins said. “He knows he’s now the guy on this team, and I think he’s going to run with it. He is driven right now.”

Cespedes spoke with the media on Saturday with a renewed focus on winning, also advising that his hobbies are no distraction to his performance.

“I don’t think my focus was ever not on baseball,” Cespedes said. “I think last year with the cars, that was something off the field. I think the second I was on the field, that focus was always on baseball, and that is the way it continues to be.”

For the first time in his career, Cespedes has the knowledge of knowing he will not be dealt as a no-trade clause was included in his contract. He also says the Mets have “a great chance to win the World Series.”

Collins believes this will go a long way to building even more confidence in his player.

“I just think he’s relaxed,” Collins said. “Everybody knows he’s a great player. This is where he wanted to be. We didn’t think [the contract] was going to get done, believe me, but I knew he wanted to play here. I just want him to be himself. I just want him to go out and enjoy playing.”

LATEST METS NEWS

The New York Mets will hold their first full-squad workout on Sunday. Manager Terry Collins spoke with the media on Saturday advising on just what a big day this is for himself in setting a tone for the upcoming season. “You set down your ideas and your policies that day,” Collins said. “So for me, it’s making sure it’s set right with the same passion that I’ve always had, which it will. I think tomorrow is the biggest day of the spring for me.” Read more from columnist Glenn Sattell at MLB.com.

Brandon Nimmo finds himself in an unenviable position with no clear path to a major league role. He though is attempting to find solace within his current status in the organization. “They have a ton of outfielders, and that is a good thing for this team,” Nimmo said. “It’s a good thing for me, too, because I get to learn from a lot of guys who have been doing this for a long time and know the ins and outs of the outfield and every situation, so I get to learn from them. I am just taking it as a positive. It’s a great thing for this team.” Read more from columnist Mike Puma in the NY Post.

In Nationals camp on Saturday, Bryce Harper was confronted to give his thoughts on the unflattering comment Mets pitcher, Noah Syndergaard had left on an instagram post of his from New Year’s Eve. Harper was not amused, “I don’t know, Syndergaard does what he does and the Mets do what they do. So we are going to worry about what we do in our clubhouse and do everything we can do win ballgames and hopefully have a better record than any team in Major League Baseball.” Read more from Kevin Kernan in the NY Post.

NL EAST RUMBLINGS

Manager of the Miami Marlins, Don Mattingly spoke to the media on Ichiro Suzuki‘s desire to continue playing the game he loves, regardless of his age. ”The good thing about Ich is he talks about playing until he’s 50,” Mattingly said. “So it’s not like, ‘This is my last year.’ He talks about wanting to keep playing. Then you know, this isn’t about just trying to do something or reaching a milestone.” Read more from columnist Joe Frisaro over on MLB.com.

Trea Turner of the Washington Nationals is prepared to take over shortstop for the defending National League East champions, a position he played in college and the minor leagues. “I’m excited to go back and prove that I can play there at a high level and try to be consistent and make as many plays as I can for our team,” Turner said. “It’s a very demanding position and a lot of responsibility and I’m excited to take it on and see what I can do.” Read more from Patrick Reddington at FederalBaseball.com.

The Atlanta Braves seemed to have gotten one over on the Arizona Diamondbacks with the acquisition of the 2015 No.1 overall pick, Dansby Swanson as part of a package for starting pitcher Shelby Miller. Ex-General Manager of the D-Backs, Dave Stewart vented his frustration of doing so in an interview on MLB radio. ”I should have stuck to my gut, although I think that Shelby Miller is going to be everything I thought he was going to be when I traded for him. But my gut the whole time said not to trade Dansby Swanson,” Stewart said. Read more from Brandon Wile at TheScore.com.

RECENTLY ON MMO

Mathew Brownstein spoke with Justin Dunn in an exclusive interview with MMO.

John Flanigan takes a look at Travis d’Arnaud‘s new batting stance.

Over at MetsMinors.net, Michael Mayer reviews Baseball America’s top 31 Mets prospects.

TODAY IN METS HISTORY

On this day in 1962, pitchers and catchers reported to camp for the very first workout in New York Mets franchise history, which took place in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Mets players born on this day include, Miguel Batista (46), Alvaro Espinoza (55) and Tim Burke (58).

TWEET OF THE DAY

 

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Mets Morning Report: Jose Reyes Is Ready For A New Challenge http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/mets-morning-report-jose-reyes-is-ready-for-a-new-challenge.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/mets-morning-report-jose-reyes-is-ready-for-a-new-challenge.html/#comments Sat, 18 Feb 2017 11:00:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=231362 jose reyes

Good Morning Everyone. Jose Reyes spoke with the media on Friday regarding his upcoming challenge of learning a new position as the Mets look to get him familiar with center field.

For the second consecutive season, the speedy Reyes will look to conquer a new spot on the field as last year he showed his ability to play third base. “It’s a new position for me,” Reyes said. “Last year was a little different, because I moved to third base. Third base is in the infield. Now, it’s the outfield, so it’s not the same. But I’ve got the right mindset. I’m going to work every day and try to go from there. I try not to put too much stuff in my head. Whatever they ask me to do, I’m going to be open to doing it.”

LATEST METS NEWS

Former Texas Rangers pitching coach, Tom House believes that Noah Syndergaard is at great risk for injury this season as he added 17 pounds of muscle over the winter without continuing to pitch. “Unfortunately, this is an injury waiting to happen by the second week of June,” House said. “Unless you’re picking up a ball while you’re getting stronger, you’re just adding muscle that doesn’t know how to throw. It’s unskilled muscle.” Read more from columnist Bob Klapisch over at the Record.

The Mets’ second-ranked top prospect, Dominic Smith arrived at camp sporting a much slimmer frame as he dropped 24 pounds over the offseason and spoke of his struggles to do so as he prepared himself for the coming season. ”There were a lot of weekends where I wanted to sneak out and get a burger or two,” Smith said. “But I really just told myself: ‘Work hard. Fast food’s not good for you.’ Now if I eat a burger or something, I feel really sluggish. That healthy food does so much for your body, gives you energy — and I just feel great.” Read more from columnist Anthony DiComo on MLB.com and Marc Carig in Newsday.

Curtis Granderson enters camp in the final year of his four-year pact with the Mets as he readies for a season that will likely see the majority of his playing time in center field at the ripe age of 36, as always though, he is ready for the challenge. “I’m going to be the best outfielder I can be whether that is left, center or right, but the fact that our first [exhibition] game is in February will be helpful,” Granderson said. “If I happen to be out there one of the first couple of games, I am going to test it. Fans, if you see we let balls drop, we are just out there testing a lot of things because we are going to see what we can cover. Read more from columnist Mike Puma in the NY Post.

NL EAST RUMBLINGS

Former New York Met and current Atlanta Brave, R.A. Dickey reflected on his time in Queens and how special it will be for him to take on his former team at Citi Field for the first time since being traded in 2012. “I don’t have any ill will towards the Mets. I had a great relationship with Sandy [Alderson], Terry [Collins]. I absolutely loved playing for him,’’ Dickey said. “I wish them the best and I look forward to battling them now in the division. When I was in Toronto, I wanted it to be Mets-Toronto in the World Series.’’ Read more from columnist Kevin Kernan in the NY Post.

Another former Met, Daniel Murphy arrived at Washington Nationals camp on Friday and spoke to the media regarding his success at the plate the previous two seasons. “You never think you’re going to go and hit whatever, .340, in this league,” Murphy said. “It’s really, really difficult to hit a ball at 95 mph, but if you can get it off the barrel at 100, I can speak from personal experience: It’s really hard to catch.” Read more from columnist Chelsea Janes at the Washington Post.

The Philadelphia Phillies have received an early scare with one of their young starters, Zach Eflin, who is coming off a pair of surgeries that addressed chronic tendinitis in his knees. The 22-year-old pitcher did not throw yesterday as he experienced knee soreness. Manager, Pete Mackanin advised the media that this was just a precautionary measure. “It’s very mild,” Mackanin said. “He said it was fine, but it’s so early we decided to back him off a little.” Read more from columnist Jim Salisbury at CSN Philly.

RECENTLY ON MMO

Michael Mayer takes a look at how Curtis Granderson should be utilized in center field.

MMO photographer, Ed Delany helps us experience the sights of spring training through his camera lens.

Over at MetsMinors.net, Michael Mayer spoke with pitching prospect Tyler Bashlor in an exclusive interview.

TODAY IN METS HISTORY

On this date in 1977, the Mets and New York Jets of the NFL reached an agreement that would allow the football team to continue to play at Shea Stadium.

Mets players born on this day include, Shawn Estes (44), John Valentin (50), Kevin Tapani (53), Jerry Morales (68), Bob Miller and Jeff McKnight.

TWEET OF THE DAY

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David Wright Scheduled To Throw Sunday http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/david-wright-scheduled-to-throw-sunday.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/david-wright-scheduled-to-throw-sunday.html/#comments Fri, 17 Feb 2017 17:57:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=230731 david wright

New York Mets third baseman David Wright is scheduled to play catch on Sunday per multiple reports from Port St. Lucie today.

Wright, 34, hasn’t played in a Major League game since last May and hasn’t thrown a ball since last June.

Previous Report – Feb 14

Mets third baseman David Wright spoke to reporters this afternoon at Tradition Field and discussed a few things, chief among them was an update on his spinal stenosis condition and his offseason rehab from neck surgery.

“You’re talking about a back issue that affects the way I have to prepare before a game everyday. Hopefully the neck issue is resolved. There’s not really much that I have to maintain for that. The main focus now is getting my back ready for a long season.”

The biggest hurdle for Wright will be throwing which he has yet to do. For now his biggest challenge is to work toward getting ready for Opening Day.

Wright said that mentally he’s had to temper the expectations for the kind of player he can be offensively for the Mets. But his goal is to help the team as much as he can to win a championship. ”This is a fun time to be a Met and I want to be part of this winning season that I think we are going to have.”

Manager Terry Collins said that Wright will start throwing later this week and that he could not rule out giving Wright some playing time at first base at some point during spring training but not for now.

Original Report – Feb 7

New York Mets Captain, David Wright, again will be working his way back from injury as he readies for the 2017 season. The 34-year-old third-baseman has arrived at camp early to get a jump start on getting his body equipped for the grueling campaign ahead.

Kevin Kernan of the NY Post reports that Wright did some light running as well as took grounders at third base but had yet to make any throws. Wright is taking a step-by-step approach as to not overdo anything and risk injury at this early juncture of the year.

As Kernan points out, the real test for Wright will be when he does begin to throw the baseball. The neck injury that Wright had suffered from in 2016 had caused an inability to throw the ball correctly due to having an issue with raising the right arm above his shoulder, causing him to flip the ball when throwing.

The medical issues have hampered Wright greatly over these past few seasons. He appeared in just 38 games in 2015 and only 37 in 2016. It has become harder and harder for him to manage through his health problems. From spinal stenosis to the most recent herniated disk.

“I think I really have some good baseball left in me,’’ Wright said.

It is hard to think anything different of the face of the franchise for the last decade. He has been an all-time Met. A true great example on the field with how he plays the game and conducts himself off of it.

Many have already written him off, wishing he would retire to save the team the $67 million left on the seven-year deal he signed in 2012. He though has earned the right to play out what could be the final days of a great career.

I would like to believe that Wright has one more good run left in him, just because of the hard worker that he is. You cannot help but root for a player of his character and caliber.

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Mets Morning Report: An Opening Day Starter Is Crowned http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/mets-morning-report-an-opening-day-starter-is-crowned.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/mets-morning-report-an-opening-day-starter-is-crowned.html/#comments Fri, 17 Feb 2017 11:00:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=231297 noah syndergaard

Good Morning everyone. The New York Mets officially named their opening day starter on Thursday as Noah Syndergaard gets the nod.

The 24-year-old flame thrower spoke with the media on what an accomplishment it is to be given such a task. “It’s just a huge honor. It’s something I’ve been working for ever since I’ve been with the Mets, to be the Opening Day starter at one point,” Syndergaard said. “But certainly I’m thrilled that Terry instills that kind of confidence in me, so I’m just going to go out there and get the job done.”

LATEST METS NEWS

Jay Bruce arrived in Port St. Lucie Thursday and spoke with the media regarding the whirlwind of rumors surrounding himself this offseason. “I’m not surprised by anything at this point,” Bruce said. “I keep a pretty level head about whatever happens. Obviously they traded for me and they feel like they probably gave up some quality prospects. I don’t believe they were going to let five or six weeks or whatever completely determine my fate with the organization.” Read more from columnist Marc Carig in Newsday and Ken Davidoff at the NY Post.

Zack Wheeler participated in morning drills on Thursday, taking pitcher fielding practice as well as making approximately 40 throws. Manager, Terry Collins understands that there is worry surrounding the health of his pitcher. “It was the first time in two years he got on the mound (with the rest of the rotation) and (I) thought he had to start exerting himself a little bit and so his elbow is a little flared up,” Collins said. “He took some anti-inflammatories, felt a lot better today and we’re hoping that tomorrow he can throw off the mound.” Read more from columnist Kristie Ackert in the NY Daily News and Marc Carig in Newsday.

The Mets’ new third base coach and catching instructor, Glenn Sherlock spoke with the media on Thursday regarding his mission of getting Travis d’Arnaud back on track. Sherlock sees a lot of upside in the team’s incumbent catcher. “I see a real good athlete. That’s what excites me the most about him. Usually athletes can do some pretty amazing things,” Sherlock said. “He’s an excellent receiver, really can catch the low pitch. I like how he moves behind the plate. We’re working on a lot of things as with all the catchers.” Read more from columnist Matt Ehalt on NorthJersey.com.

Mets top prospect, Amed Rosario kept a promise to finish high school, something many of his ilk from the Dominican Republic fail to do before going for a career in major league baseball. “My parents were always there, supporting me to finish my studies,” Rosario said. “And for me, too, really, you never know. Baseball can be a short career.” Read more from columnist James Wagner in the NY Times.

NL EAST RUMBLINGS

The Washington Nationals star pitcher, Max Scherzer may not start opening day as reported by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Nationals manager, Dusty Baker spoke on the possibility of not having Scherzer to start the 2017 season and being extremely cautious with the veteran pitcher going forward. “We have to prepare in the event that he can’t make Opening Day,” said Baker. “We won’t rush it. You hate to rush it and have it lead to something else.”

The Philadelphia Phillies have a new hitting coach in Matt Stairs. The former major league slugger looks to bring his hitting philosophy to the team he played for from 2008-2009. “The biggest thing I’m teaching them right now is [hitting from] left-center to right-center and how to use the top hand when you hit. I think when they start realizing less body, more hands, that’s when the exit velocity jumps.”

The Atlanta Braves will reportedly go without an official closer to start the 2017 season as their General Manager, John Coppolella prefers it this way. “We aren’t locked into anybody as our ‘closer,’” Coppolella said. “I think that Jim Johnson, the way he finished last year, was really good. He showed that he could close. Viz (Vizcaino) has shown that he can close, too. I think it’s great when you have two or three guys that could close games for you. I feel like we’re in that spot.”

RECENTLY ON MMO

John Flanigan remembers “The Kid,” Gary Carter who passed away on February 16, 2012 after he lost his battle with brain cancer.

Chris Gaine looks back to when the Mets almost traded Jose Reyes for Roberto Alomar.

Over at MetsMinors.net, Mets Daddy continues MMN’s top 100 prospects with numbers 46-50 on their list.

TODAY IN METS HISTORY

On this date in Mets history, original Metropolitan, Roger Craig was born in 1930. Craig started and lost the very first game in Mets history. He would pitch just three innings on the day while allowing five runs on eight hits as the Mets fell to the Cardinals by a score of 11-4.

Also born on this day was Juan Padilla, who turns 40.

TWEET OF THE DAY

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Mets Morning Report: Mets Receive First Scare Of Spring http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/mets-morning-report-mets-receive-first-scare-of-spring.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/mets-morning-report-mets-receive-first-scare-of-spring.html/#comments Thu, 16 Feb 2017 11:00:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=231254 New York Mets Spring Training at their Minor League practice facility located within Tradition Field in Florida

Good Morning everyone. The Mets received their first minor scare of spring training on Tuesday as Zack Wheeler experienced tenderness in his elbow following a throwing session.

Pitching coach, Dan Warthen spoke to the media, advising that the team will be taking baby steps with it’s pitcher. “We’re not going to push it because we want to see this kid healthy and once we get healthy, we want him to stay healthy, so we’ll have kid gloves with him,” Warthen said.

Wheeler is reportedly working with a cap in the low-100 range for innings pitched in the upcoming season, according to Warthen. He though believes that going out as a reliever is not the way to ease Zack back into the game. “I think it would be difficult for him to go out there as a reliever,” Warthen said. “Because if he didn’t have success, I think it would be difficult doing something that he has never done before and having to come back.”

Warthen laid out the perfect scenario through his vision of how Wheeler may be used in 2017. “A number of us would like to see him go out there every fifth day for 25 starts and put that extra starter in there once a month, limit (Wheeler) to five innings, and that puts him for 125 (innings) so we have enough pitches in September if we need him,” Warthen said.

LATEST METS NEWS

Mets manager, Terry Collins stated that from his perspective he currently has two openings in the bullpen up for the taking. Collins has a keen eye on veteran, Tom Gorzellany who was brought into camp on a Minor League deal. “We will see how effective he is against lefties,” Collins said. “Because certainly having that experience down there will be a big factor if he shows us this spring he can get outs.” Read more from columnist Mike Puma in the NY Post.

Neil Walker spoke with the media on Wednesday regarding his free agency this past offseason and the reasoning as to why he stayed with New York. “When we started to look around and see what other potential landing spots there could be over the course of an offseason, I came to realize it wasn’t going to be with a better team than New York, and this was my first choice going into the offseason,” Walker said. “It worked out the way I wanted it to.” Read more from Matt Ehalt at NorthJersey.com and Kristie Ackert in the NY Daily News.

Columnist, Bob Klapisch in the Record speaks of Noah Syndergaard‘s 17 pound weight gain as being the talk of training camp thus far, with the pitcher hoping to be able to throw harder with his new physique. Klapisch voices his concern on the matter as he writes: “Already averaging 97.9-mph, it’s reasonable to ask why Syndergaard needs more. An even more pressing question is how Thor can balance the additional mass against the risk of blowing out an elbow or a shoulder.”

NL EAST RUMBLINGS

Former beloved New York Met and current Atlanta Brave, Bartolo Colon, believed he would be staying in New York when free agency began. ”Yeah, I definitely had the idea that I was probably going to stay with the Mets at the end of the season,” Colon said. “My family is up there, but it’s a business and I had to do what was right for me and my family.”

The Washington Nationals reportedly are interested in free agent catcher, Matt Wieters according to Jayson Stark of ESPN. The team though is not willing to go beyond a one-year deal at this time to acquire the All-Star catcher. Wieters remains the most prominent player left on the free agent market and could help Washington who has a big void to fill with losing Wilson Ramos.

The sale of the Miami Marlins may have hit a snag as the Kushner family has stated they will not buy the team if current owner, Jeffrey Loria becomes ambassador to France as recent reports suggest. “If that is true, we do not want this unrelated transaction to complicate that process and will not pursue it. The Kushners remain interested in purchasing a team and would love to buy the Marlins at another time.”

RECENTLY ON MMO

Ryan Finkelstein wonders if the Mets should plot a course to help David Wright last the entire 2017 season.

Mets Daddy debates if Zack Wheeler’s future is in the bullpen after all?

Over at MetsMinors.net, both Amed Rosario and Gavin Cecchini have been named top 20 prospects at the shortstop position by Baseball America.

TODAY IN METS HISTORY

The New York Mets signed ace, Tom Seaver to a new contract on this day in 1972 that would pay him $120,000 a year. The deal would make him the highest paid player in New York history at the time and youngest player ever to reach the $100,000 a year mark.

Born on this day are former Mets, Barry Foote, who turns 65 and Bill Pecota, who turns 57.

TWEET OF THE DAY

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Mets Morning Report: David Wright’s Murky Path To Opening Day http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/mets-morning-report-david-wrights-murky-path-to-opening-day.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/mets-morning-report-david-wrights-murky-path-to-opening-day.html/#comments Wed, 15 Feb 2017 11:00:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=231185 david wright 2

Good Morning everyone. David Wright of the New York Mets spoke with the media in length on Tuesday regarding the recovery from his most recent significant injury and the course he is taking to get back on the diamond.

The 34-year-old captain of the team advised the media that Opening Day is his ultimate goal but knows he must temper expectations. ““For me, it’s about putting in the work necessary for today and this week, and hopefully everything falls into place,” Wright said. “(Opening Day) is obviously the goal, but there’s a few hurdles I have to clear.”

LATEST METS NEWS

Travis d’Arnaud has entered camp with a new swing for the 2017 season. Gone is the looping wave that he sported in 2016 as he now sports a new swing that is “more compact, more consistent, a lot shorter.” He also stated that he is working on his throwing after a previous season that was not kind to him behind the dish. “Just consistency,” d’Arnaud said. “Doing the same thing every single day to make sure I get the same feeling when I throw, so when a game comes around I know exactly where my feet are and everything.” Read more from columnist Matt Ehalt at NorthJersey.com and Chris Palladino at CBS New York.

Robert Gsellman spoke with the media on Tuesday at Tradition Field of his inability to swing a bat while with the Mets in 2016. The 23-year-old pitcher had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder this offseason and is now able to swing yet again. “It stinks standing in the box and looking at pitches — and bunting gets boring sometimes,” Gsellman said. “But now I’m ready.” Read more from columnist Mike Puma in the NY Post.

Jeurys Familia arrived to camp on Tuesday after being a day late because of a visa issue in his native Dominican Republic. The Mets closer would not speak on the looming suspension that hangs over his head due to being arrested on suspicion of domestic violence on October 31. ““First of all, getting together here today, I’d really like to focus on baseball-related questions,” Familia stated in Spanish. “My lawyers’ advice is to really not talk about my case.” Read more from columnist Kristie Ackert in the NY Daily News and Marc Carig on Newsday.

NL EAST RUMBLINGS

The Washington Nationals enter spring training without a true closer on their roster. Manager, Dusty Baker spoke with the media yesterday on his expectation of having a player step up to take the role. “”Well, without a real, bona fide closer, somebody always emerges,” Baker said. “I don’t like ‘by committee’ because when the phone rings, I want guys to know mentally when they might be in the game.”

The Atlanta Braves will enter 2017 with a new found confidence after finish last season strong. Manager, Brian Snitker advised while speaking to reporters that the optimism the team has is real. “For me, it’s legit,” Snitker said. “I think our club, what we did and what we accomplished and how we ended and going into this year, it’s a legit feeling.” Read more from columnist Cory McCartney at Fox Sports South.

The Philadelphia Phillies have their own optimism heading into 2017 as some of the key members of their pitching staff return from injury. Zach Eflin spoke with reporters on Tuesday of getting back on the mound after a pair of surgeries sidelined him in 2016. “It’s been a very, very long time since I’ve been able to walk on knees that felt good,” Eflin said. “So I’m excited. I feel great and I’m ready to go.” Read more from columnist Jim Salisbury on CSN Philly.

RECENTLY ON MMO

Joe D advised on the Mets intention to have Jay Bruce see some time at first base during Grapefruit League games this spring.

Chris Gaine takes a look at all of the changes the Metropolitans have gone through since Zack Wheeler last pitched in a game.

Over at MetsMinors.net, Matthew Brownstein spoke with Mets third base prospect, Blake Tiberi in an exclusive interview.

TODAY IN METS HISTORY

The New York Mets took another shot on Jason Isringhausen in 2011, signing him to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. He would earn his 300th save this season when the Mets defeated the San Diego Padres by a score of 5-4 on August 15, 2011.

Born on this day are former Mets, Chuck Estrada, who turns 79 and Barry Jones, who turns 54.

TWEET OF THE DAY

https://twitter.com/MrMet/status/831573911942860804

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Mets Morning Report: Terry Collins Pleads The Fifth http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/mets-morning-report-terry-collins-pleads-the-fifth.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/mets-morning-report-terry-collins-pleads-the-fifth.html/#comments Tue, 14 Feb 2017 11:00:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=231100 zack wheeler

Good morning everyone. Spring training was in full force on Monday with pitchers and catchers beginning to get work in as they prepare themselves for the 2017 season. One of the most interesting bits coming out of Terry Collins‘ first presser of the year was that we will be seeing an open competition for the fifth spot in the rotation.

Collins spoke to the media, advising that Zack Wheeler will indeed have a shot at the fifth spot in the rotation, despite previous belief that he would be relegated to the bullpen. “Right now, because he hasn’t pitched in so long, it’s an open competition,” Collins said. “It’s not just that Zack hasn’t pitched in so long, but it’s pretty fresh in my mind what I saw Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo do. So, I think they need to be in that mix.”

LATEST METS NEWS

Terry Collins is striving to come up with the perfect plan to keep David Wright healthy while getting him the work he needs to prepare for the upcoming season. Wright took batting practice in the cages on Monday and is readying to begin throwing sometime this week. “It’s a day to day,” the Mets manager said Monday. “We want to try and set something down on paper for David, to be smart. We realize it has to be adjusted each and every day. There are going to be times he is going to get up in the morning, he’s not going to feel very good and we’re going to have to adjust that day.” Read more from columnist Kristie Ackert in the NY Daily News and Marc Carig on Newsday.

Michael Conforto does have a path to the Opening Day roster according to his manager. Collins stated on Monday that the 23-year-old outfielder can hit his way onto the roster. “There are ways to get him into the lineup, and if he starts swinging the bat [in spring training], it’s going to be hard to keep him off,” manager Terry Collins said Monday. “We are going to take the best 25 guys at the end of spring training.” Read more from columnist Mike Puma in the NY Post.

Columnist Bob Klapisch in the Record speaks of Matt Harvey and his humbled attitude as he spoke with reporters on Monday with a message of focusing on staying healthy as he comes back from the second major surgery of his career. Writes Klapisch: “Harvey, who worked off a mound on Monday with several other pitchers, won’t pick up a ball today except for drills. While there’s no guarantee reduced activity will prevent a torn ligament or, in Harvey’s case, a recurrence of TOS, it’s a significant shift for a team that’s counting on all five starters to stay healthy.”

NL EAST RUMBLINGS

The Washington Nationals added some depth to their squad on Monday, signing first baseman/outfielder, Adam Lind to a one-year deal that includes a mutual option for 2018. Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post added some insight into how he may be used as she writes, “If Lind passes his physical, he will become the fourth outfielder and backup first baseman, likely bumping similar big lefty bat Clint Robinson from the Opening Day bench.”

Philadelphia Phillies president, Andy MacPhail urges his club to stay on track and get better in 2017 as pitchers and catchers reported to their spring training facility on Monday. “I’m looking for improvement — measurable, meaningful improvement,” MacPhail said. “That could just be in the number of players that look like they can be pieces for the future. I think that’s my goal for 2017.” Amidst a rebuilding period, the Phillies feel they are on the right path to getting back to relevancy in the National League East.

Miami Marlins manager, Don Mattingly believes his team is ready to contend while asking them where they would like to see themselves in the upcoming season. “Where do we want to go? Are we going to become about winning? When we came in last year, we wanted to talk about winning and team and how do you get there,” Mattingly said. Read more from columnist Barry Jackson at the Miami Herald.

RECENTLY ON MMO

John Flanigan makes his case as to why the Mets should still re-sign Kelly Johnson when they seemingly have a full bench.

The writers of MMO let you know what they are most looking forward to as spring training camp opens up.

Over at MetsMinors.net, prospects Peter Alonso and Andres Gimenez have been named by Baseball America as breakout candidates to watch in 2017.

TODAY IN METS HISTORY

On this date in Mets history, the team signed free agent Jose Lima to a contract in 2006. Born on this day are former Mets, Kelly Stinnett, who turns 47 and Tyler Clippard, who turns 32.

TWEET OF THE DAY

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Mets Morning Report: Mets Ready To Challenge For NL East Title http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/mets-morning-report-mets-ready-to-challenge-for-nl-east-title.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/mets-morning-report-mets-ready-to-challenge-for-nl-east-title.html/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2017 11:00:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=231050 terry collins spring

Good morning everyone. The New York Mets are back as they officially opened up camp at their Spring Training Complex at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie, Florida. So far it appears the players are showing up all sharing one mindset, and that is to get back to the World Series. Perhaps that attitude starts at the top.

On Sunday, general manager Sandy Alderson told the New York Post’s Steve Serby, “I think we’ve got the potential to be better than we were last year and comparable to what we were in 2015. We’ve got starting pitchers coming back, we’ve got position players coming back, we’ve got some young players with room to grow. … I just think the potential is there to be very good.”

LATEST METS NEWS

Noah Syndergaard has reportedly bulked up this offseason, adding about 17 pounds of muscle. The flame throwing 24-year-old believes he will be able to throw even harder with his new physique. Read more from columnist Mike Puma in the NY Post and new Mets beat writer Abbey Mastracco over on NJ.com.

Jerry Blevins is quite happy with his new deal that will pay him $5.5 million this season. The team also has an option for 2018 at a salary of $7 million with a buyout for $1 million. The lefty reliever spoke of his free agency journey after reporting to PSL on Sunday. Read more from columnist Marc Carig in Newsday and Kristie Ackert in the NY Daily News.

Columnist Bob Klapisch in the Record reminds us of the 25th anniversary of a disastrous 1992 season. A season that saw so much promise go up in smoke in a near instant. A team that ended up being coined the worst team money can buy is always a reminder that championships are not won on paper.

NL EAST RUMBLINGS

The Atlanta Braves continue to make noise this offseason, as they acquired second baseman Brandon Phillips from Cincinnati. The Reds will receive left-handed pitcher Andrew McKirahan and right-hander Carlos Portuondo in return.

The Chicago White Sox were closing in on a deal that would have sent closer David Robertson to the Washington Nationals last week, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. However a Nationals official said “the two sides have hit a stalemate and no trade is imminent.”  The White Sox continue to feel “optimistic” that a trade will be finalized. The big holdup is reportedly the $25 million still owed to Robertson over the next two seasons.

Jeffrey Loria, owner of the Miami Marlins is reported to have a deal to sell the team to Joshua Kushner, brother of Jared Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump. A day earlier, Forbes reported that Loria had a “handshake agreement” to sell the team for $1.6 billion to an unnamed New York City real estate developer.

RECENTLY ON MMO

Tommy Rothman spoke exclusively with baseball analyst for ESPN, Keith Law, regarding the Mets minor league system, a review of the team’s up and coming prospects, and an outlook on the season ahead.

Mets first base prospect, Peter Alonso, talked with Mathew Brownstein in an exclusive interview with MMO as they discussed being drafted and an eye opening first season in Brooklyn.

Although the names are mainly the same, Joe D, advises us as to why these are not the same old Mets. He predicts that this roster is going to surprise a lot of people on their way to a 90+ win season.

Over at MetsMinors.net, relief prospect Paul Sewald is featured as they continue to roll out their Top 100 Mets Prospects. In his minor league career Sewald has a 2.20 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP and he struck out 10.7 per nine over five seasons.

TODAY IN METS HISTORY

Back in 2003, the New York Mets would sign a pitcher by the name of David Cone to a minor league contract. The former Mets star pitcher was 40 years old and coming out of retirement with hopes of earning the fifth spot in the rotation. He would go on to pitch to a 1-3 record that season while compiling an ERA of 6.50, before calling it a career for good.

TWEET OF THE DAY

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Could the Upcoming Season Make or Break Matt Harvey’s Career? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/could-the-upcoming-season-make-or-break-matt-harveys-career.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/could-the-upcoming-season-make-or-break-matt-harveys-career.html/#comments Sun, 12 Feb 2017 15:00:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=230963 matt harvey 2

For the second time in his short career, Matt Harvey will be returning to the mound after being shelved due to a need for serious surgery. First it was Tommy John surgery in 2013 and now most recently for thoracic outlet syndrome. His ability to recover yet again and dominate on the diamond this upcoming season could make or break his career.

The 2016 season was not kind to Harvey as he pitched to a 4-10 record with an ERA of 4.86 and a WHIP of 1.47 in 17 games started. It was a shortened season that would end for Matt on Independence Day. Mike Puma of the NY Post spoke with a team official regarding “The Dark Knight” and his next comeback.

“Two of his last three years he’s been hurt, so I’ve got to believe Matt is highly motivated, which is a good thing to have — a motivated player,” the team official said.

Harvey, 27, is a competitor, ready for any challenge as we saw in the World Series against the Kansas City Royals in Game Five. That pitcher who can retire batters with ease is still in there, it is just a matter of being able to find him again.

All signs so far have pointed to Harvey being healthy as spring training camp opens up. He will be watched over with a microscope with all hoping that there are no longer any lingering issues that may prevent him from being the stud pitcher we have come to love.

“You’re not going to know until you get into that grind,” the team official said. “You pitch a day and take a couple of days off or your side. You get in that routine for a month and you’re going to see how they do, so it’s more along the lines from our perspective we have to see, but going in, all signs are good.”

To say how big this season is for Matt would be an understatement. He will look to rebuild his stock quickly as he gets closer to his first free agency period, which will come after the 2018 season. Showing his ability to bounce back again from a major surgery once more while dominating the opposition will go a long way to building him back to the pitcher many have come to know.

An unsuccessful return to the mound, where he struggles, will be a tough pill to swallow for Harvey and the Mets. There though is no reason to believe that this will happen as he has become known to be a workhorse with a tenacious thirst for success. The Dark Knight won N.L. Comeback Player of the Year in 2015, maybe we will see that again in 2017.

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]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/could-the-upcoming-season-make-or-break-matt-harveys-career.html/feed/ 0 Michael Conforto is Prepared for Whatever 2017 Brings http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/michael-conforto-is-prepared-for-whatever-2017-brings.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/michael-conforto-is-prepared-for-whatever-2017-brings.html/#comments Sat, 11 Feb 2017 16:00:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=230923 michael conforto

After a stellar breakout campaign in 2015, the sky seemed the limit for Michael Conforto‘s talents. This past season though saw a regression in his play, leading to a few stints back at Las Vegas.

“I definitely took a step back and re-evaluated a little bit,” Conforto said. “It was a combination of things. There was a little of some expectations, trying to do too much up there. I think I had a great start to the season and I wanted to keep that pace the entire season.” (Newsday)

Conforto, 23, had a stellar April last season, working to a .365/.442/.676 batting line to go along with four homers and 18 RBI. He unfortunately was not able to replicate those numbers for the rest of the season, mainly staying around a .200 batting average the rest of the way while in the Majors.

It was a trying time for a player who had not sniffed failure yet in his career. A hard pill to swallow for a player who saw so much success the prior year, not just in the regular season, but the postseason as well. He though is ready to put 2016 behind him as he readies for battle this upcoming spring training.

“I’ve been through a lot,” Conforto said. “Last year was a huge growing experience for me. It definitely helped me grow up and mature a little bit. Having the offseason to reflect on everything and let the mind settle a little bit, I feel fresh and ready to go, ready to get after it.”

Unfortunately for Michael and the Mets, the path for him to be an everyday player is not clear right now. There is quite the logjam in the outfield. With the team being unable to trade Jay Bruce, there is no open spot for Conforto.

The team has spoken of exposing Conforto to first base this spring, opening up more playing time for himself, possibly. He likely though will need to open up a lot of eyes yet again in Port St. Lucie to find himself regular playing time to start the upcoming season.

“Obviously, there’s going to be tough decisions,” Conforto said. “Nothing’s handed to you up here in the big leagues, so I’m fully prepared to earn everything that I get.”

The question of what is to become of the young Conforto in 2017 may be the most interesting one to see unfold. If given the opportunity, there is no reason to believe that he won’t find himself under the bright lights of Citi Field once more, dazzling us all.

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]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/michael-conforto-is-prepared-for-whatever-2017-brings.html/feed/ 0 Josh Smoker Had a Long Road to the Majors http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/josh-smoker-had-a-long-road-to-the-majors.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/josh-smoker-had-a-long-road-to-the-majors.html/#comments Fri, 10 Feb 2017 11:00:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=230857 josh smoker

The Mets’ excitable left-handed reliever, Josh Smoker, had traveled quite the path before making his Major League debut on August 19th, 2016 in San Francisco against the Giants.

A first-round pick of the Washington Nationals back in 2007, Smoker struggled with shoulder issues over the years before finally finding his health and making it to New York to pitch on the grandest stage of them all. Kevin Kernan of the NY Post spoke with the southpaw, who is an early arrival at the team’s spring training complex.

“Because it had been such a long road and it had taken almost 10 years to get there, it was definitely a lot more sweet and made it all worth it,’’ Smoker said.

In that near decade it took Smoker to finally reach a Major League mound, he even found himself pitching with the Rockford Aviators of the Frontier League after having trouble finding a team as he recovered from his second shoulder surgery in 2014.

Smoker spoke with our own Michael Mayer in 2015 on the subject of being a former first round pick who found himself pitching in an unlikely place in what should have been the prime of his career.

“Some times you got to do what you have to do. Honestly at that point I was out of options because I wasn’t getting any looks from affiliated teams. I was still coming off shoulder surgery so I wasn’t 100% yet and my velocity wasn’t back either. I am glad I did it, it was good to get my feet wet again.”

josh smoker

The Mets would go on to sign Smoker to a minor league deal in 2015, quickly rising from pitching with the A-level Savannah Sand Gnats to ending his first season with the organization in Double-A Binghamton. He would find himself pitching in New York the very next season, all the hard work finally paying off.

Smoker spoke to Kernan on those tough times he went through on his way to the majors, even feeling like he may want to leave the game altogether. His family would keep him strong, with an eye towards the bigger picture.

““They knew that somewhere inside of me that I still wanted to play,’’ Smoker said. “Even though there were times I was really down on myself, they were not going to let me give up that easy.’’

His first season in the big leagues saw him pitch to a 3-0 record to go along with an ERA of 4.70 while making 20 appearances. Smoker struck out 25 batters in 15.1 innings pitched, showing a great tenacity for the big moment at times.

The 28-year-old reliever will be competing for a bullpen spot for this upcoming 2017 campaign as we get ready for pitchers and catchers to officially report in just two days.

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Zack Wheeler is Skeptical of Bullpen Stint http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/zack-wheeler-is-skeptical-of-bullpen-stint.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/zack-wheeler-is-skeptical-of-bullpen-stint.html/#comments Wed, 08 Feb 2017 11:00:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=230771 zack wheeler

Zack Wheeler aims to return to the New York Mets’ starting rotation in 2017 after being sidelined for the past two seasons due to Tommy John surgery. It has been talked about within the organization that Wheeler will likely start the season in the bullpen, something he is not too keen on as he told Kevin Kernan of the NY Post.

“I know I belong in the starting rotation, there’s no question about that,’’ Wheeler said. “I’m a starter. I want to be a starter.’’

The Mets would like to ease Wheeler back into the starting rotation while limiting his innings by pitching out of the bullpen to start the upcoming season. Prior to yesterday, Wheeler had seemed completely on board with the idea. He now though brings to light some worries he has with coming out of the pen.

“I feel that guys that go to the bullpen get stuck in the bullpen, and I don’t want to do that,’’ Wheeler said. “Because either you are doing bad and you stay in the bullpen because you can’t be a starter or you are doing really good, and they can’t afford to move you out of the bullpen.”

“So you are going to get stuck there, and that’s why I’m trying to let everybody know that I’m not a bullpen guy, I’m a starter.’’

His concerns are true to an extent, it will be hard to truly showcase what he has with just an inning of work, here and there. On the other hand, if he is lights out while a good majority of the bullpen is struggling, they may not be so quick to move him from that role.

It is a quirky situation for the 26-year-old Wheeler to be in. He also questions his ability of being able to physically pitch on the erratic schedule of a reliever.

“I don’t even know if I could do every other day in the bullpen,’’ Wheeler said. “It was a struggle for me to get every fifth day. That’s because I’ve started my whole life. It’s the mindset, it’s physical, it’s what you’ve been doing your whole life.”

Overall in his major league career, Wheeler has pitched to an 18-16 record to go along with a 3.50 ERA and a WHIP of 1.34 in 49 career starts. He has proven to be successful when starting and believes he is ready to get back to where he was before his injury.

“I let it loose this offseason, it’s coming out good, I feel good,” Wheeler said. “But the real test will be when I throw off the mound here and put that last little bit on it, because that’s when it was barking last year.’’

This upcoming year will be a big one for Wheeler as he looks to prove that not only can he stay healthy but also that he can get back to being the pitcher we all expected him to be.

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Josh Edgin is Motivated to Return to Form http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/josh-edgin-is-motivated-to-return-to-form.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/josh-edgin-is-motivated-to-return-to-form.html/#comments Mon, 06 Feb 2017 11:00:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=230680 josh edgin

New York Mets left-handed reliever, Josh Edgin, was once a dominant reliever for this club. He was derailed by injury, needing to undergo Tommy John surgery in 2015 before returning to the team in 2016. Edgin looks to return to form in the upcoming 2017 season.

In 2014, Edgin had a stellar season, pitching to a 1.32 ERA with a WHIP of 0.91 in 47 appearances. This past season though saw him pitch to a 5.23 ERA with a WHIP of 1.55 in just 15 appearances while making his way back from injury. Edgin spoke to SNY on the “Mets Hot Stove Report” about the upcoming season.

“I had a pretty decent year when I was with the team in 2014 and I’d like to pick back up where I left off,” Edgin said. “I can get lefties out and that’s exactly what I plan on doing.”

He has had great success against lefties in his short major league career. Edgin has held left-handed hitters to a .201 average in his four big-league seasons.

Edgin, 30, will have a tough road back to the majors next season with the team’s re-signing of Jerry Blevins. He will have to outperform fellow left-handed reliever Josh Smoker in spring training to be the second lefty out of the pen in 2017.

With the Mets bullpen seemingly taking shape over the last week, Edgin will have his work cut out for him as he looks to find his way back to the big league club. He though has proven his ability to be a successful reliever at the major league level, so he cannot be counted out just yet.

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Yoenis Cespedes Looks to Set an Example in 2017 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/yoenis-cespedes-looks-to-set-an-example-in-2017.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/yoenis-cespedes-looks-to-set-an-example-in-2017.html/#comments Sun, 05 Feb 2017 13:00:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=230648 yoenis cespedes 3

Entering this offseason, the most daunting task for the Mets was re-signing their own star, Yoenis Cespedes. As we now know, Cespedes went on to sign a four-year $110 million deal to stay in New York. Kevin Kernan of the NY Post spoke with Yo this past week to discuss his outlook on the upcoming season.

“Signing early has allowed me to do everything I wanted to do and train to get ready for the season,’’ Cespedes said. “I’m much more comfortable now with having a multi-year contract. When you play year-to-year, sometimes you are concerned about getting hurt, but now all that’s in the past.’’

Cespedes, 31, took New York by storm upon his arrival in 2015 and has not looked back since. While appearing in 132 games in his first full season as a Metropolitan, he hit to a .280/.354/.530 battling line to go with 31 homers and 86 RBI. Cespedes quickly became the star player the Mets had sorely been missing.

Throughout last season he was brought down at times with a balky quadriceps injury that nagged him throughout much of the year. He played through the pain, risking greater injury.

“I am the only one who knew how much pain I was in,’’ Cespedes said. “I was trying to mask it, trying to play through it and do as much as I could to help the team. After the games I was icing to try to be on the field as much as I could.’’

He has put a greater focus on working his legs during this offseason, hoping to make them stronger and free of any further issues as he readies himself for the 2017 season. He has put forth a new focus to work even harder to be the player we all know he can be, reporting to spring training early this year as well.

“I like getting up at 5:30 and being the first one to the ballpark and doing my early work,’’ Cespedes said. “Once spring training starts, I will get up at 4:30 and be ready to go to be the first one here. I like that. During the season I will not get up that early but I like that now.’

The question many have wondered is that when he receives the big contract that gives him security, if it would tamper with his focus and commitment down the road. He is seemingly off to a good start and ready to make good on the deal he signed.

This Mets offense needed Cespedes more than they ever would have known, had they not signed him. It is a great marriage for both parties as he has single handedly at times carried this team when no one else could. He was born to play in Queens and the next four years should be quite fun to see if he can help bring the Mets and their fans the first World Series championship since 1986.

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Who Will Be a Casualty of the Mets’ Recent Signings? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/who-will-be-a-casualty-of-the-mets-recent-signings.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/who-will-be-a-casualty-of-the-mets-recent-signings.html/#comments Sat, 04 Feb 2017 12:30:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=230596 Rafael - Montero

The New York Mets bolstered their bullpen on Friday by re-signing both Jerry Blevins and Fernando Salas. The two signings though also create two spots that will need to be freed up on the 40-man roster. Who will be the casualties of these moves?

Rafael Montero:

Once a prized prospect of the organization, he has had quite the fall from grace over the last few years. Montero has not had much success at all in the majors, pitching to a 1-5 record with an ERA of 5.15 in 24 appearances, 12 of which were starts. Montero seems to be a near lock of being a roster casualty due to the recent signings.

Josh Edgin:

The team’s left-handed reliever returned to the big leagues in 2016 after fully recovering from Tommy John surgery that was performed in March of 2015. Edgin struggled in his time with the Mets this past season, pitching to a 5.23 ERA in 16 appearances. Overall though in his career he has not been too bad, pitching to a 3.42 ERA to go along with a WHIP of 1.17. It may just end up being a numbers game for the 30-year-old in being let loose from the 40-man roster.

Ty Kelly:

It is no secret that Terry Collins loves Ty Kelly, so this may be hard to believe. The Mets though could possibly let him go with two spots needed on the 40-man roster. Kelly had a so-so 2016, his first with the big league club, hitting to a .241/.352/.345 batting line with 1 homer and 7 RBI in 39 games. The team also will have a glut of position players this upcoming season with versatility, possibly making Kelly a casualty.

Sean Gilmartin:

After a stellar 2015 season, the lefty struggled mightily this past year. He pitched to a 7.13 ERA with a WHIP of 1.58 while appearing in 14 games. The prior year though had him appear in 50 games while pitching to a 2.67 ERA and a WHIP of 1.19. He also has the ability to be a good long man for the team, a spot now that we may see Seth Lugo pick up in 2017. Probably the least likely of the four listed to be moved off the roster, but still a player they may look at due to it again being a numbers game.

Of course there is also the possibility of Sandy Alderson swinging a trade to clear some space off the roster. There had been rumblings that Juan Lagares was drawing interest as of late. I am also sure no one has forgotten that the Mets have been attempting to trade Jay Bruce for the last century. A trade could be a possibility, but probably less likely at this point.

Should note that the only one of these four players that is out of options is Edgin.

It will be interesting to see how the team adjusts their roster once the signings are “official.” Who do you believe the Mets will let go due to signings of Blevins and Salas?

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]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/who-will-be-a-casualty-of-the-mets-recent-signings.html/feed/ 0 Asdrubal Cabrera is Feeling “Great” As He Prepares for 2017 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/asdrubal-cabrera-is-feeling-great-as-he-prepares-for-2017.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/asdrubal-cabrera-is-feeling-great-as-he-prepares-for-2017.html/#comments Fri, 03 Feb 2017 13:00:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=230498 asdrubal cabrera

One of the more surprising bright spots of the 2016 season was Mets shortstop, Asdrubal Cabrera. Although injuries plagued him throughout the season, Cabrera delivered in many key spots for the Metropolitans this past season.

Cabrera, 31, was plagued with a balky left knee as he suffered from a strained patellar tendon that cost him some playing time down the stretch of the grueling 162-game season. He spoke with Christian Red of the NY Daily News on Thursday and advised he is healthy and ready to go.

“I did rest for two and half months and started working out in late December,” Cabrera said. “I played winter ball to test the knee. I’m trying to get ready now for the season. My knee feels really good.”

There was some early controversy with him partaking in Winter Ball early on without the team’s consent. The Mets though would eventually give him permission as he looked to prepare for the Winter Baseball Classic and the upcoming Major League season.

Asdrubal is coming off a wonderful 2016 season that saw him hit to a .280/.336/.474 batting line to go along with 23 homers and 62 RBI. He was also a steady fielder at shortstop, providing better defense than expected by many.

If Cabrera can continue to produce the way he had this past season, the Mets offense has the ability to be quite potent. Health though continues to be the key for this Mets team, as Cabrera notes himself.

“I think the key is stay healthy. I’m 100% sure we’re going to have a good year and win the division if we are healthy,” Cabrera said. “This game is so tough, so hard. I don’t think I’ve played on a team that had so many injuries like last year.”

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]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/asdrubal-cabrera-is-feeling-great-as-he-prepares-for-2017.html/feed/ 0 Mets Hope Sherlock Can Solve the Mystery of d’Arnaud’s Struggles http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/mets-hope-sherlock-can-solve-the-mystery-of-darnauds-struggles.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/mets-hope-sherlock-can-solve-the-mystery-of-darnauds-struggles.html/#comments Wed, 01 Feb 2017 17:00:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=230383 Bronx, Baseball, MLB, New York Yankees, Mets, Yankee Stadium, Subway Series

It is no secret that the 2017 season will be a make or break year for Mets catcher, Travis d’Arnaud. With the help of newly hired catching guru and third-base coach, Glenn Sherlock, the team hopes to solve the mysteries that have plagued d’Arnaud in his young career.

According to Kevin Kernan of the NY Post, the 27-year-old catcher spent his offseason working on his craft. Travis is reported to have worked with Sherlock in both Arizona and California these past couple of months in order to cut down his woes with throwing out base runners.

“He was a huge help,’’ d’Arnaud said. “For the team to bring him in shows they have my back and they want me to get better. So it’s cool that he is here.’’

The Mets have been void in a catching instructor since former bench coach, Bob Geren, left the team after the 2015 season for Los Angeles. This past season was d’Arnaud’s roughest yet behind the plate, allowing 61 stolen bases while just catching 17. It is also worth noting that he appeared in just 73 games this past season, making those stats even more alarming.

Travis’ struggles of course did not just sit behind the plate last season as he also had a poor offensive showing. He hit to a .247/.307/.323 battling line to go with just four homers and 15 RBI. To his credit, d’Arnaud, reportedly also spent time with hitting coach, Kevin Long, during the offseason to work on his offensive issues.

“We wanted to eliminate the wrap. We watched a lot of film, too,” d’Arnaud said. “A lot of the balls I hit well, I thought I was wrapping and I actually wasn’t wrapping. I know now where to start my hands to stay consistent.’’

Travis and his coaches are said to be utilizing a lot of video in helping to correct his defensive and offensive problems. He will have every opportunity to prove he is the player this organization believes he can be in 2017 as he has been given a vote of confidence by the front office.

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]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/mets-hope-sherlock-can-solve-the-mystery-of-darnauds-struggles.html/feed/ 0 Darling: Mets to Make Postseason in 2017 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/darling-mets-to-make-postseason-in-2017.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/darling-mets-to-make-postseason-in-2017.html/#comments Fri, 27 Jan 2017 13:00:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=230146 ron darling

As the 2017 season begins to creep closer and closer to becoming a reality, the predictions will begin to roll in as far as to where our favorite team may find itself come October.

Former Major League pitcher and current SNY broadcaster, Ron Darling, gave his thoughts on what may become of the Mets this upcoming season as he spoke with Bob Klapisch of NorthJersey.com.

“I can see them in the post-season, that much I can project. But it’s difficult once you get there; that’s just baseball,” Darling said.

“Think of how much easier it’s been for the Patriots to get to the Super Bowl than for a great major league team to get to the Series. There’s no comparison between football and baseball in that regard. The Patriots won their division and it’s made their lives a lot easier.”

There is no question in just how undpredictable the postseason can be once you get there. It though is encouraging for Darling to project this Metropolitan team to reach the playoffs for the third consecutive year for the first time in franchise history.

Klapisch went on to question Darling on why he may be so optimistic in his outlook for the 2017 club, considering all the injuries they had to deal with this past season to so many of their key players.

“Syndergaard is building on a season that already puts him among the top five pitchers in the National League. DeGrom is at a compensatory place, this is his time to shine and get paid for what he deserves as a pitcher of his talent,” Darling said.

“Harvey is getting the opportunity to get back in the game, not just with the Mets, but to be the kind of pitcher he was in the past. And as for Matz, he has something to prove this year, making people forget his injuries. He wants to show he’s capable of making 30 starts.”

We see a theme building here from all of those who predict how the Mets may fare in 2017. It will all come down to the pitching. This staff has the ability to carry the kings of queens all the way to a World Series championship, if healthy. It is all a matter of being able to put it all together at once, something we have yet to see.

Darling gives his thoughts on many other topics in the interview with Klapisch, including his thoughts on Matt Harvey‘s ability to return to dominance, becoming a member of the media, Lenny Dykstra and more. Check it out at the link above for some interesting insight from the Met great.

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Could Rick Peterson Cure the Mets’ Pitching Injuries? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/could-rick-peterson-cure-the-mets-pitching-injuries.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/could-rick-peterson-cure-the-mets-pitching-injuries.html/#comments Thu, 26 Jan 2017 12:15:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=230109 ny_g_peterson_576

Former New York Mets pitching coach, Rick Peterson spoke with John Harper of the NYDN regarding the injuries of the team’s pitching staff. Peterson believes he may have the cure to help what ails this staff frequently.

Peterson is a firm believer that if the team’s young power pitchers were to throw with a bit less velocity it may help their bodies in staying healthy for the long run.

“I’m sure that Syndergaard, for example, could dominate a game at 95-96 MPH,’’ Peterson said.

“I’d like to see him try that because if he did dominate while throwing with maximum effort only occasionally, the way pitchers did in the past, he’d increase his chances of being on time with his delivery.’’

This all leads into Peterson’s belief in biomechanics, something he has preached to each team he had coached with. In this theory, being “on time” with your delivery helps for a more fluid motion of the body and a lesser risk of injury.

“When the timing is off, that’s when a pitcher is at risk of injury,’’ Peterson said. “Think about it this way: there’s a point in time when the arm is fully externally rotated, and the next moment is when you begin the acceleration phase with your arm.”

“There’s a brief moment when the ball almost comes to a stop. From that moment until the ball comes of your hand, that ball — let’s take Syndergaard — is then traveling to 99-100 mph in a time-frame of .02 seconds,

“So when you talk about maxing out for an entire game, your timing is going to be off on multiple different pitches, and that’s where the injury factor comes in.”

It certainly is an interesting thought. Peterson was once known as a pitching whiz in his time with the Oakland Athletics as well as the Mets. There could be some truth to this theory as well.

Decreasing their velocity though would also take away from the identity of who this pitching staff is and what they represent. It would be hard to imagine a guy like Noah Syndergaard just becoming a mid-90 MPH flame thrower when he holds the possibility of throwing 100 MPH in his back pocket.

It is possible though for the sake of their health and the longevity of their ability to play at a high level, something like this may be taken into consideration. Check out Harper’s full conversation with Peterson at the link above for more insight from the former coach.

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Will a Dark Knight Rise Once More? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/will-a-dark-knight-rise-once-more.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/will-a-dark-knight-rise-once-more.html/#comments Wed, 25 Jan 2017 11:00:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=230065 matt harvey

Much of the New York Mets success in 2017 will rely on the shoulders of their young pitching staff. As their pitching will be under a microscope this coming season, no one pitcher may be analyzed more than the “Dark Knight” himself, Matt Harvey.

Harvey, 27, will be making his second comeback from a major surgery, this time to correct symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome. He has full confidence in himself of getting back to being the pitcher he once was.

“I’d like to think so. Obviously I don’t have a crystal ball,” Harvey said. “The way things are feeling now, the way the body feels, I’m feeling great.” (ESPN)

Matt has showcased his journey back over the last couple of weeks on his social media accounts, showing himself throwing smoothly off a mound as he readies for spring training. There may be no bigger year in Harvey’s career than 2017.

Harvey will look to rebuild his stock as he looks to regain his moniker as one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball. All eyes will be on him this coming year as he tries to prove to the baseball world that no surgery will keep him from being one of the best in the game as he has shown his ability to be.

He will no doubt want his 2016 season to be looked at as nothing but a fluke due to the issues he had due to thoracic outlet syndrome. A year that saw him pitch to a 4-10 record with an ERA of 4.86 and a WHIP of 1.47. These numbers did not represent the pitcher he was.

It is hard to believe that a pitcher of Harvey’s caliber holds a career record of just 29-28 and has made just 82 starts in his young career. He has pitched to an overall ERA of 2.94 with an impressive WHIP of 1.08 while striking out 525 batters in 519.2 innings pitched.

Harvey will have every opportunity to dominate the game he once did so before, with seeming ease. If healthy, 2017 could be the year he reclaims his name as the “Dark Knight of Gotham.”

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