Mets Merized Online » David Hong Tue, 21 Feb 2017 21:43:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Alderson: David Wright Is Our Third Baseman Tue, 06 Dec 2016 01:10:15 +0000 david wright

Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters during the Winter Meetings on Monday that team captain David Wright will be the main third baseman, despite the infield depth and Wright coming off another injury-plagued season.

Wright is on track to start baseball activities later this month.

“I think that we’re very hopeful he’s gonna be able to come back and be productive,” said Alderson. “I think we have to be realistic about how many games we can expect him to perform.”

Wright will turn 34 this month. He only played in 37 games in 2016 and had season-ending neck surgery in June. That is after playing in 38 games in 2015 while dealing with chronic lumbar spinal stenosis.

With the depth and flexibility of the Mets infield, the team can manage Wright’s playing time to make sure he can stay healthy over the course of the 2017 season.

“The nice thing is that we’ve probably got as much flexibility in our projected roster of infielders now than we’ve ever had,” Alderson said. “We want him to come back and there’s definitely an opening for him to do that.  At the same time, if you look around with what we have – especially after Neil Walker accepted the qualifying offer – we have a lot of flexibility.”

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DeGrom Has A 1.79 ERA Over His Last Seven Starts Mon, 08 Aug 2016 15:00:55 +0000 jacob degrom

Despite a sluggish start with questions about a loss in velocity. right-hander Jacob deGrom is having himself another strong season in 2016 and he’s emerged as the team’s most reliable starter and one that ranks among the league’s best.

Against a tough Detroit Tigers lineup, deGrom kept them off the board for six innings before exiting the game with two outs into the seventh. He was charged with one run on seven hits, struck out three and walked two.

DeGrom ended up extending his personal-best scoreless streak to 20 innings before it was snapped after an inherited runner scored against reliever Jerry Blevins.

 “It’s all part of the game, I guess,” said deGrom afterwards, telling reporters he would have liked the opportunity to finish the seventh inning.

Despite the lack of wins to show for it, deGrom is out-producing his first two seasons in the majors with a  2.35 ERA this year. That mark is good enough for fourth best among all qualified starting pitchers in the National League, and his 1.07 WHIP ranks 10th.

In his last seven starts going back to July 1, deGrom has posted a 1.79 ERA while limiting batters to a .217 average, striking out 43 in 45 innings and walking just nine.

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Daniel Murphy Stands Up For Sandy Alderson Wed, 13 Jul 2016 16:21:31 +0000 daniel murphy

Even though he now plays for the Mets’ biggest division rival, for once, Daniel Murphy‘s heart may have still been in Queens.

During the fifth inning of the MLB All Star game, there was a brief moment to Stand Up To Cancer, for everyone to remember those suffering from this disease.

All the players, managers, fans and even the broadcasters had a Stand Up To Cancer sign, writing a name of someone they knew who was suffering from it.

Along with Mets manager Terry Collins and third base coach Tim Teufel, Murphy also wrote Mets GM Sandy Alderson on his sign.


Alderson was diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer late last September.

“My family’s been really blessed that we haven’t been affected by cancer as other people,” said Murphy. “It seemed fitting. Sandy got to New York in 2011. I spent five years with him. I hope he’s doing well.”

Alderson has continued to do his part as GM, running the team on a day-to-day basis, traveling regularly and breaking only for treatment sessions.

Murphy signed with the Nationals last December so he hasn’t been able to interact on a daily basis with Alderson.  However, the two did cross paths back in May, when the GM presented Murphy with his NL Championship Ring. Even though Murphy is no longer a Met, their careers and lives will always be intertwined.

“He’s never far from my family’s thoughts and prayers,” said Murphy.

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Mets Set Franchise Record For Home Runs In First-Half Mon, 11 Jul 2016 22:39:13 +0000 jose reyes homer

Despite losing 3 out of 4 to the division rival Washington Nationals, the New York Mets did achieve a significant milestone as they enter the All Star break. With two home runs on Sunday, the Mets set a new franchise record for most homers in the first-half with 122, besting the previous mark of 120 by the 2006 club.

It was Jose Reyes who accounted for both homers on Sunday, a pair of solo shots but the Mets lost 3-2 to the Nats regardless to lose the series. After the game, manager Terry Collins wasn’t too thrilled about his team’s home run achievement.

“In the second half, if we have another record of home runs, hopefully we are 20 games above .500 because of it,” Collins said. “Team numbers are nice when you’re winning. They’re great. But they don’t amount to much if you’re not winning.”

The Mets have scored 53.1 percent of their runs via the long ball this season to lead the major leagues and by a significant margin. While it has been beneficial at times, it has also led to a very streaky and inconsistent offense that struggles to score runs without the long ball.

While home runs are always big and can dramatically change a game like it did on Thursday when the Mets came back twice to win it 9-7 on four home runs, if they don’t hit home runs, they usually lose.

Part of that is the team’s futility to drive runs home with runners in scoring position. The Mets rank an MLB worst 30th with a .213 average with RISP. And despite ranking fifth with 122 home runs, the Mets rank 28th in the majors in runs scored.

Still, records are records and the Mets did set a new first half record of most homers in franchise history.

Leading the charge is Yoenis Cespedes who has 21 home runs, followed by Curtis Granderson and Neil Walker who are tied with 15 homers each. The three of them have accounted for 42 percent of the team’s home runs.

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Mets Enjoying Highest Average Attendance Since Citi Field Debuted In 2009 Mon, 11 Jul 2016 14:48:23 +0000 Mets fans citi

So far this season, the New York Mets are enjoying their highest average attendance since Citi Field opened in 2009.

Here is how the Mets’ average attendance has looked over the last six years during Sandy Alderson’s tenure:

2011 – 30,108  (-2,293)

2012 – 28,035  (-2,073)

2013 – 26,695   (-1,340) 

2014 – 24,860  (-1,835)

2015 – 31,725  (+6,865)

2016 – 35, 152  (+3,427)

Over the last two seasons, the Mets have enjoyed an average increase of 10.292 fans per game. The boost no doubt comes as a result of consecutive winning seasons buoyed by a young core of solid starting pitching that has fans excited again.

The 35,152 average in 2016, is actually the highest total since the debut of Citi Field in 2009 when the team drew an average of 38,941 fans per game.

Compared to last season, the Mets have averaged 3.427 more fans per game.

Attendance figures courtesy of ESPN’s MLB Attendance Tracker.

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Terry Collins Committed To Wilmer Flores At Third Base Tue, 21 Jun 2016 15:35:31 +0000 wilmer flores

With David Wright possibly shelved for the rest of this season after undergoing neck surgery, there has been talk of the New York Mets perhaps getting a third baseman. But as of now, manager Terry Collins said he will stick with Wilmer Flores, who has been the team’s best hitter over the last two weeks.

Flores has played regularly at third base since Wright went on the DL at the end of May and since June 1, he is batting .333 (16-for-48) with a .400 on-base percentage and .525 slugging. In that span he’s collected three doubles, two home runs and eight RBI while drawing five walks. 

Still only 24, Flores made a fantastic defensive play on Sunday, catching a Jace Peterson foul pop up and holding on even while toppling on the tarp near the stands down the left-field line.

The Mets will continue to monitor the third-base market for a potential replacement for Wright but Collins is determined to bring some stability to the position and keep giving Flores opportunities.

“I know in the beginning, he was probably disappointed he wasn’t playing more,” said the Mets skipper. “But I’m not too sure bouncing around the infield didn’t affect him a little bit, too, so I’m going to leave him where he’s at.”

Kelly Johnson and Matt Reynolds will back up the other infield positions.

“That’s one of the benefits of having Kelly here,” Collins added. “We’ve got Matt who can certainly spell us at shortstop (and) we’ve got Kelly who can spell us at first and second, so I’m going to leave Flores where he’s at.”

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Travis d’Arnaud Started At Catcher On Saturday Sun, 12 Jun 2016 01:53:39 +0000 MLB: Spring Training-Detroit Tigers at New York Mets

Travis d’Arnaud started at catcher for the first time since he began his rehab assignment with Single-A St. Lucie last week.

D’Arnaud, 27, went 2-for-4 with a run and two RBI while catching seven innings on Saturday. He’s expected to rejoin the Mets in 10-12 days barring any setbacks according to Terry Collins. 

Original Report – June 10

New York Mets starting catcher Travis d’Arnaud continues his rehab assignment with Adv-A St. Lucie as he recovers from a right rotator cuff strain that has had him missing in action since April 26.

On Thursday, d’Arnaud went 2-for-4 as the designated hitter with three walks, an RBI and stolen base.

According to Mets assistant GM John RIcco, d’Arnaud is expected to play at catcher sometime next week. If there are no such setbacks, he can potentially return to the Mets within three weeks.

Prior to landing on the DL, d’Arnaud was batting .196 with no home runs in 46 at-bats. Last year, he hit .268 with 12 home runs.

“He’s a big piece,” said Terry Collins of d’Arnaud. “When you talk about what we’ve done against left-handed pitching, Travis d’Arnaud has got pretty good numbers against left-handed starting pitching, so that is a pretty large chunk out of our lineup.”

Despite d’Arnaud’s early season struggles, there’s no doubt when he’s healthy, he provides a big bat for the Mets. With David Wright and Lucas Duda also on the DL and expected to be out much longer, d’Arnaud’s return should provide some much needed offense to the lineup.

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Noah Syndergaard Excels In Relief Again Wed, 01 Jun 2016 15:14:35 +0000 noah syndergaard

We all remember Noah Syndergaard coming out of the bullpen in Game 5 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and pitching a huge scoreless seventh inning with two strikeouts including the red-hot Justin Turner to end that inning.

On Tuesday night, it was deja vu as Syndergaard once again came out of the bullpen in the seventh inning to preserve ia 4-3 Mets lead.

Just as he did in Game 5, Syndergaard pitched a scoreless inning with two Ks. He worked around an error by Asdrubal Cabrera and a stolen base, striking out power hitting Todd Frazier to end the threat.

His fastball consistently sat between 100 and 101 mph while his slider was around 94 mph. He threw a 92 mph changeup to strike out Frazier.

“I was a little nervous, but it was the same job,” Syndergaard said. “I loved it. It was fun pitching out of the bullpen.”

The Mets were planning to use Syndergaard out of the bullpen and wanted to get him some work. He threw just 34 pitches in his last start on Saturday, after being ejected for throwing behind Chase Utley against the Dodgers.

Syndergaard’s next scheduled start is Friday vs the Miami Marlins. He is 5-2 this season with a 1.84 ERA and 0.958 WHIP in 63.2 innings with 81 strikeouts.

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Alejandro De Aza Starts Working Out At First Base Fri, 20 May 2016 16:28:24 +0000 alejandro de aza

New York Mets outfielder Alejandro De Aza has received sparse playing time because of the team’s outfield depth, but that may change. According to a report by Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, De Aza started working out at first base to give the Mets more flexibility and perhaps increase his playing time.

De Aza has received instruction from infield coach Tim Teufel on playing first base before Thursday’s game vs the Washington Nationals. He recently approached manager Terry Collins about playing first base. The reserve outfielder has played 30 minor-league games at the position.

Because of the presence of starting first baseman Lucas Duda, who’s also a lefty hitter, De Aza would unlikely start at first base, but if he’s is willing, he could give Collins a double-switching option late in the game.

“Versatility is huge,” said Collins. “And if you want to play more, if you give us more options, you’re going to get a lot more playing time. It’s tough when you’re a fifth outfielder to get in the lineup.”

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Steven Matz Good To Go Friday Against Brewers Thu, 19 May 2016 17:14:50 +0000 steven matz nlds

Steven Matz cleared his final hurdle and threw a successful bullpen on Wednesday. The left-hander proclaimed himself ready to go and will rejoin the rotation on Friday for his start against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Earlier in the week, the team announced that Matz had no structural damage in his elbow. Initially the plan was to have him pitch today against the Washington Nationals. But the team decided to keep him on his regular turn while getting an extra day of rest.

Matz will get his chance to pitch against the Nationals next Wednesday in D.C.

May 16

According to Marc Carig of Newsday, left-hander Steven Matz was examined by doctors in New York today and the good news is that he does not have any ligament damage.

The Mets are expected to brief reporters about his condition and whether he will pitch against the Nationals sometime tomorrow. 

Matz has been dealing with left elbow and forearm tightness since his last start. He did some light long tossing this weekend in Colorado and said he felt fine.

Odds are he’ll likely pitch on Thursday, bumping either Bartolo Colon or Matt Harvey from their scheduled start. We’ll learn more on Tuesday.

May 15

New York Mets left-hander Steven Matz could return to the rotation this week and even find himself getting a start in the upcoming three-game series against the Washington Nationals.

Matz, who skipped his turn on Saturday because of soreness in his left elbow and forearm, is scheduled to meet with team doctors on Monday who will reexamine him. The Mets will make a determination based on how that exam goes.

A report by Marc Carig of Newsday said Collins left open the possibility of slotting Matz back into the rotation for that critical series with the Nats at Citi Field. “We could bring him back if he’s OK to go,” said manager Terry Collins on Friday.

The probables for now have Noah Syndergaard, Bartolo Colon and Matt Harvey slated to start those three games, But Matz could bump Colon if he’s cleared by doctors and completes a bullpen session on Monday or Tuesday.

The Mets are currently in third place and locked in a three-way battle with the Nationals and Phillies for the NL East lead heading into Sunday’s action.

Original Report – May 13

As was reported on Monday, the New York Mets will skip Steven Matz start on Saturday due to elbow and forearm soreness.

Assistant GM John Ricco called the decision a precaution. Logan Verrett will make the start against the Rockies in Colorado while Matz heals up.

Matt Ehalt of the Bergen Report reported that Matz long tossed and played catch on Thursday. Even if it was just long toss, the fact that he was able to throw so soon after experiencing soreness was an encouraging sign.

Matz will have an MRI and meet with team doctors once the team returns from their current West Coast trip on Monday. There’s still the possibility of a DL stint, depending on the results from that exam, but Matz downplayed that on Wednesday.

The young southpaw allowed two runs on five hits while walking one and striking out five in six innings in his last start and is 5-1 with a 2.86 ERA and 1.18 WHIP this season.

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David Wright Played Entire Game Despite Blowout Sat, 30 Apr 2016 15:51:42 +0000 david wright

The New York Mets were up 12-0 halfway into the game on their way to a 13-1 blowout victory over the Giants.

David Wright, who is battling spinal stenosis, is being carefully used his season, but played all nine innings despite the blowout.

This was manager Terry Collins‘s explanation:

“I wanted him to play the whole night, I wanted him to face the lefty – he has got to face (Madison) Bumgarner on Sunday,” Collins said. “We haven’t faced much left-handed pitching and I wanted to get him in there to face the left-hander.

Wright will get a full day off on Saturday before returning to the lineup on Sunday to face Madison Bumgarner.

Including Friday, the Mets will have played a total of 17 straight games until their next day off on May 16.

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Michael Conforto Has Ignited Mets Offense As No. 3 Hitter Mon, 18 Apr 2016 17:21:57 +0000 michael conforto 3

In an attempt to jump start a sluggish offense, Mets manager Terry Collins made the decision to switch left fielder Michael Conforto from the sixth spot in the lineup to the No. 3 hole for the weekend series vs the Indians and it paid off in a huge way.

Conforto had two hits on Friday, including his first home run of 2016. Then on Sunday, he had two more hits and both hits drove in a run in the Mets 6-0 win.  He finished 5-for-12 with three doubles, one home run and three RBIs during the three-game set, and ignited five different scoring rallies for the Mets.

Overall the Mets offense exploded for a total of 17 runs in the three contests at Cleveland, averaging 5.7 runs per game in that span.

According to Collins, for the time being Conforto will remain the No.3 hitter vs right-handed starting pitchers, but will still likely find himself on the bench against lefty pitching.

“I think that is where he’s going to end up hitting one of these days full time,” said Collins. “We thought he was swinging the bat good and we think he was getting on base so we thought it was time to put him there and see if he can springboard the offense and it paid off in this series.”

Conforto said that batting in front of Yoenis Cespedes could have helped matters. But Conforto has also been more selective as well.

“Most times when I’ve been getting up there lately it seems like it’s 2-0, 2-1, 3-1 (in the count) and that’s a good feeling at the plate,” said Conforto. “It’s been a good few days. I never had any nervousness about it – it just kind of felt natural, where I have been in college and through the minor leagues, so I felt pretty good there.”

Asked if it was intimidating to bat third in the lineup at the young age of 23, Conforto added:

“I wouldn’t say intimidating. I would say exciting. Anytime you’re in the heart of the lineup, in a spot where you can do some damage and drive in some runs, that’s really exciting. For me, it’s been that way. I never had any nervousness about it. It just kind of felt natural — kind of where I’ve been in college and through the minor leagues. I feel pretty good there.”

In 56 games with the Mets last season, Conforto batted .270 with 14 doubles, nine home runs, 30 runs scored and 26 RBI. Blessed with a fluid line drive swing with power to all fields, Conforto put up an impressive .506 slugging percentage with a .360 wOBA  and 134 wRC+ in 194 plate appearances.

His .841 OPS ranked second on the team behind only Yoenis Cespedes, and his 2.1 fWAR ranked 6th despite playing less than half the season.

Our executive editor Joe D. said this in his preview for Conforto while predicting he’d be the team’s three hitter by mid-season:

“It’s possible that the league adjusts to Conforto next season, but he looks like a player that is very mindful of that and will continue to keep getting better. I won’t be surprised to see him build off this season and hit .290 with 20-25 homeruns and 85+ RBI in 2016. He’s an extremely talented player, and he certainly has the ability to shatter expectations once again.”

“Let me go out on a limb here and say that there’s a good chance we can see Conforto post a better OPS, OPS+ and wRC+ than Yoenis Cespedes next season. Crazy talk? You just wait and see and remember you read that here first.”

So far, Conforto is doing just that.


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Travis d’Arnaud To Miss Series Opener In Philly With Bruised Elbow Mon, 18 Apr 2016 15:47:55 +0000 travis darnaud

Travis d’Arnaud will likely miss his Monday night’s series opener against the Philadelphia Phillies with a bruised left elbow, Terry Collins told reporters on Sunday.

“I might give him one more day just to make sure,” Collins said. “He was in here for treatment pretty early Sunday morning. He says he feels a lot better, but he was pretty sore last night.”

D’Arnaud left the Mets’ 7-5 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Saturday after being drilled by a pitch from Zach McAllister in the seventh inning.

He was replaced behind the plate by Kevin Plawecki who picked up a pair of hits on Sunday and called a great game according to Steven Matz, who fired seven scoreless innings as the Mets shutout the Indians to take the series.

Original Report – April 17

Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud left Saturday’s game vs the Indians after getting hit by a pitch on his left elbow. He took X-rays and fortunately they came back negative. The Mets diagnosed him with only a bruise and he is day to day.

“Initially, but I thought I was fine when I got to first base and I was able to move it around a little bit,” d’Arnaud said. “Fortunately the X-rays were negative, so we’re good. It shouldn’t be too long, but we’ll see.” (NY Post)

D’Arnaud missed nearly two months last year after getting hit by a pitch that broke a bone in his right hand. It happened at nearly the same time last season. Fortunately this year, it’s just a minor contusion on his elbow after X-rays turned out negative.

“It’s going to probably be pretty sore the next couple days,” manager Terry Collins said. “He had a little trouble straightening his elbow, bending it. So we’ll keep an eye on it.”

D’Arnaud, 27, has struggled mightily at the plate to start this season, but before leaving the game he did record a hit on Saturday, to improve his batting average to .120.  Collins has been batting him in the eighth spot in the lineup.

Like last season, Kevin Plawecki figures to replace d’Arnaud while he remains sidelined.


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Eric Campbell Making Most Of Opportunity To Win Roster Spot Sat, 26 Mar 2016 11:00:09 +0000 eric campbell

As you know, the New York Mets released infielder Ruben Tejada last week, and with his departure it opened up an important bench spot that will go to either Matt Reynolds or Eric Campbell.

Campbell, who was part of the Mets bench on and off last season, has the best chance of getting that spot according to some reports, but middle infield prospect Matt Reynolds could also mount a significant challenge.

These last few days of spring training will be huge in determining who gets that last roster spot and Campbell knows this is his time to make some noise.

“All I want is an opportunity,” Campbell told NJ Advanced Media. “I come here to compete every day, try to play to win. If they decide that I’m the best guy for that bench spot, then that’s great.”

Campbell, 28, batted only .197 with three home runs and 19 RBI in 71 games with the Mets last season. But many in the organization feel he was the victim of bad luch, pointing to his hard hit ball rate and BABIP.

His versatility provides insurance at both corner infield spots and also in the outfield. Campbell has also proven to be a solid pinch hitter with a career .293 batting average over 41 at-bats in that role.

He’s had a pretty good spring training overall, yielding a .290 average with a .476 on-base percentage that ranks 4th best in the NL. Campbell is tied for first place in walks with 10 and runs scored with nine. While spring training numbers won’t mean much overall, it could be big for someone like Campbell, who’s trying to win a roster spot.

“I’m not really worried so much about the stats in spring,” Campbell said. “It’s more about having good at-bats and really getting locked in for the season.”

“You’ve kind of got to do two things. You’ve got to get yourself ready for the season, but you also have to play well to try to win a spot. It really comes down to how you hit and how you defend. If the next two weeks go well, then I should have a pretty good shot.”

There’s also a chance that both Campbell and Reynolds head north with the team if the Mets decide to go with 11 pitchers rather than 12 being they have three days off in the first week of the season.


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Goeddel and Edgin To Pitch In Minor League Game Sunday Sun, 20 Mar 2016 13:48:28 +0000 erik goeddel

RHP Erik Goeddel and LHP Josh Edgin will both see some action on Sunday and pitch in a minor league game, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

Goeddel has been dealing with a lat strain and last week, manager Terry Collins said he’s unsure if he will be able to start the season on time with the Mets. Goeddel posted a 2.43 ERA in 35 appearances during his 2015 rookie season.

As for Edgin, the hard-throwing lefty reliever is expected to return to the Mets sometime in May after missing the entire 2015 season because of Tommy John surgery. He was beginning to emerge as a valuable lefty reliever before his elbow injury. He posted a 1.67 ERA and 0.915 WHIP in 2014 with a 9.2 strikeout rate.


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Wright Confident He’ll Be Ready For Opening Night Wed, 09 Mar 2016 13:00:19 +0000 david wright 2

New York Mets third baseman David Wright has yet to play in a Grapefruit League game and probably won’t until next week in order to ease him back. Despite that, the Mets captain is confident that he will be ready for Opening Night.

“You’re still talking about a long ways away,” Wright said a day after manager Terry Collins said that Wright is nowhere close to playing games. “I think that this could be beneficial to me because I’m getting really good work in. … There were some things that I felt I need to work on mechanically fielding, and I wouldn’t be able to do that along with getting ready for a game.” (Anthony DiComo,

Despite not getting and game action, Wright says he’s working on a lot of other baseball activities and trying to improve in some areas.

“I think this could be beneficial to me because I’m getting really good work in,” Wright said. “The last couple of days I’ve gotten some really good sessions in with Tim Teufel as far as my fielding goes.”

“There were some things I felt I needed to work on mechanically fielding, I wouldn’t be able to do that along with getting ready for a game,” Wright continued. “I’m looking at it on the positive side where yeah, I’m a little late to games but I’m getting some work in that I wouldn’t normally be able to get in.”

Always the positive one, Wright is. A couple of the beat writers have reported that Wright will make his Grapefruit League debut on March 18 when the Mets play the Washington Nationals at Tradition Field.

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Travis d’Arnaud Looking Forward To Working With Mike Piazza Again Sun, 28 Feb 2016 13:00:55 +0000 travis darnaud

Former Mets catcher and newly inducted Hall of Famer Mike Piazza will arrive to New York Mets Spring Training camp on Sunday to serve as a guest instructor for a few days.

There may be no player more excited to see the former Mets All Star catcher than the current team catcher himself, Travis d’Arnaud.

“It’s a dream,” d’Arnaud said on Saturday. “I worked with him a couple of years ago, and I felt like I was floating on cloud nine.” (Jamal Collier,

D’Arnaud was born and raised in California and was a huge Piazza fan growing up. When the announcement came that Piazza was voted into the Hall of Fame back in January, d’Arnaud said that he was jumping up and down like a 5-year old kid.

Piazza will enter the Hall of Fame wearing a Mets hat and will also have his uniform No. 31 retired by the organization this summer.

This will be the second time d’Arnaud will work with Piazza, as the two spent some time together in 2014. Back then, Piazza gave the Mets rookie some sage advice.

“Go out there and stay loose and have fun,” Piazza told d’Arnaud. “Because you play best when you’re loose, not when you’re tight.”


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Despite Limited Role, De Aza Hopes To Improve On Last Season’s Numbers Sat, 27 Feb 2016 13:31:43 +0000 alejandro de aza

(Photo: New York Mets)

The New York Mets signed outfielder Alejandro De Aza to a one year worth a guaranteed $5.75 million back in December. At the time, it appeared the Mets were no longer pursuing Yoenis Cespedes and that De Aza would give the team a versatile platoon partner for Juan Lagares at center field who would get the bulk of the playing time.

But then as we all know, Cespedes followed his heart and signed a three-year, $75 million dollar contract to remain with the Mets as the team’s primary center fielder. That left De Aza as no more than a backup outfielder without a clear path to playing time.

“There are only certain things you can control in this game, and that’s how you play,” manager Terry Collins told Mike Puma of the NY Post. “If he plays good, we’ve got to find a way to get him in the lineup every once in a while.”

Whether De Aza is still with the club on Opening Day remains to be seen. Sandy Alderson said that it’s not inconceivable that he could be dealt during spring training although he was careful to say De Aza is not being actively shopped. Moving De Aza would allow the Mets to bring add another bat who can play first base and outfield, or give the team more money for a midseason acquisition or two. Any deal before June would require De Aza’s permission.

De Aza batted .261 last season with a .319 on-base percentage, while collecting 13 doubles, seven home runs and 32 RBIs in 290 plate appearances. He split his season between three teams; the Orioles, Red Sox and Giants.

Regardless of his circumstances he remains focused on improving those numbers. “Last year wasn’t my best year, but I’m hoping this one is better.”

“I just have to play baseball,” De Aza said regarding his current situation. “This thing, we can’t control. We all have to play the game and help the team try to win.”

As of now, De Aza figures to get limited playing time due to Cespedes, Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson getting the majority of the starts in the outfield with Lagares being the primary late-inning defensive replacement. Unless one of those four get injured, De Aza is no more than a left-handed bat off the bench with an occasional start if someone needs a day off.

“What he is right now is a veteran left-handed bat on the bench, which is a position we’re certainly going to need,” said Collins when pressed this week for De Aza’s role.


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Collins Explains His Choice For No. 2 Hitter Sun, 21 Feb 2016 22:23:58 +0000 nlds david wright

New York Mets manager Terry Collins is leaning heavily toward David Wright as his No. 2 hitter this season, explaining that players with a high OBP and OPS at the top of the lineup can get the offense going.

“We are going to go back to the importance of what we did last year, and one of the things we did was take the guys with the best OPS, the best on-base and stuck them in the front of the lineup,” Collins said on Saturday. “As you saw throughout baseball, the No. 2 hitter became a big hitter in a lot of lineups.” (New York Post)

Despite missing most of the season, Wright led the team with a .379 OBP in 38 games in 2015, followed by Curtis Granderson who was second with a .364 OBP. The Mets captain has a career .377 on-base.

When Collins was asked if second baseman Neil Walker could be an option to bat second, but the Mets skipper said he preferred him batting lower in the order.

“He’s had some issues a little bit right-handed because he really doesn’t face a lot of lefties,” Collins said. “Still, to have his bat as a switch-hitter in the middle of your lineup, perhaps as opposed to being early, you might benefit from it.”

A couple of weeks ago, Collins previewed his starting lineup as follows:

  1. Curtis Granderson
  2. David Wright
  3. Yoenis Cespedes
  4. Lucas Duda
  5. Neil Walker
  6. Michael Conforto
  7. Travis d’Arnaud
  8. Asdrubal Cabrera

Funny thing about Collins referring to OPS… Last week in an interview with USA Today, he actually mocked that stat specifically, saying he doesn’t need stats like that to know a good player when he sees one.

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Steven Matz Ready For First Full Season In Majors Sun, 14 Feb 2016 16:00:56 +0000 steven matz

New York Mets left handed starter Steven Matz has already arrived at the team’s Spring Training Complex at Port St Lucie, Florida and had a throwing session this past Thursday.

After making his big league debut last season, posting a 2.27 ERA in six regular season starts, the 24-year old lefty is hoping to enjoy his first full season in the majors in 2016 without any further health issues.

“Last year, I got hurt a couple of times,” Matz explained to Marc Carig of Newsday. ” I don’t think it was because of a lack of work. I don’t think I’ll ever get hurt because of that. I just think it was a freak thing so I educated myself a little bit in the areas that I can improve on.”

In another interview with Anthony McCarron of the Daily News, Matz explained how his experience in the World Series will help him pitch in what should be a season full of pressure and high expectations.

“You’re not going to pitch in a bigger game than the World Series,” Matz said. “Just to have that experience and taste that atmosphere, it would definitely help anybody.”

Keith Law of recently ranked Matz, who maintains his rookie eligibility, as the 37th best prospect in baseball in his Top 100.

“Matz will pitch at 92-96 mph and has a plus changeup with outstanding arm speed that makes his fastball more effective even when he works up with it; almost two-thirds of his swings and misses in the majors last year came on fastballs, about as positive a sign for his future as I could throw at you.”

Matz has yet to pitch more than 150 innings in a season since being drafted in 2009. But if the native Long Islander can stay healthy this year, there’s no doubt that he will be a significant component of the team’s exciting young rotation especially as the lone left-hander.

“I don’t want to speak for the rest of the starters, but I’m pretty excited about what the team can do, from the pitching staff to the lineup. I’m just excited for the year.”


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World Series Loss Provides Motivation For Michael Conforto To Improve This Year Wed, 10 Feb 2016 15:06:12 +0000 michael conforto

New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto took nearly a month off after the World Series last year and traveled to Mexico to unwind before he resumed his offseason workout regimen in December.

However, he tells Marc Carig of Newsday that the disappointment of the World Series loss has not gone away so he’s using it as motivation for his offseason workouts.

“It definitely still stings, especially with the way that series was,” Conforto said on Monday. “We had opportunities to shut the door on them and didn’t quite get the job done as a team. I think it definitely still stings.”

“I know everybody on this team feels the pain when they’re getting ready for this season. We’ll just use it to motivate us moving on.”

Despite playing a grand total of 133 minor league games, none of which came in Triple-A, Conforto saw immediate success and ended his rookie season with a .270/.335/.506 batting line in 56 games and a 2.1 fWAR.

During that span, Conforto hit 14 doubles and nine home runs in just 194 plate appearances. To give you some context on how good that was, over a full 600 plate appearances, that extrapolates out to about 42 doubles and 28 home runs.

“I know the scouting report’s out now,” said Conforto. “They’ll be a little more prepared to pitch to me. But I want to come in and be prepared for whatever comes my way this year.”

Conforto is expected to play some right field this season to give the team some flexibility. He told Carig it shouldn’t be an issue and that he welcomes the challenge. Expectations will be high for the former first-rounder in 2016, but so far he’s done nothing but exceed them since making his major league debut.

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