Mets Merized Online » Former Writer Mon, 08 Feb 2016 16:02:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Reflecting on the Mets’ Homestand So Far Tue, 21 Apr 2015 12:00:36 +0000 citi field fans-bats-blog480

The Mets just defeated the Marlins 7-6 on Sunday, sweeping the four game series from the Marlins. This came immediately after a three game sweep of the Phillies, another division rival. The Mets have won eight straight games, seven of which were at home, and have yet to lose at Citi Field.

mmo feature original footerThis past week, I attended two Mets games: their home opening 2-0 win against the Phillies and their victory in Matt Harvey’s first home start since 2013. At those games, I witnessed something I have never witnessed at a Mets game: passion, hope, energy, and life in the crowd.

Let me backtrack — I’ve been following the Mets since 2006. At the time, I was eight years old, and was just starting to appreciate the sport of baseball. I memorized all the players, their stats and would tune in to the SNY broadcasts almost every night to watch my favorite athletes play a game I loved. I started to copy their rituals, ‘stealing’ David Wright’s batting stance in my little league games and I would even put my hand near the dirt when I was on base, a la Jose Reyes.

One of my earliest Mets memories was their Game 7 loss against the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS. I stayed up as late as I could, but as the game reached the final innings, I couldn’t keep my eyes open and went up to bed.  In my defense,  I would never choose sleep over a Game 7 now, whether it was my team or even two teams of which I have no interest. But when I was eight, I didn’t realize how rare it was for the Mets to advance to the NLCS. I made my Mom promise me that if the Mets won, she would put a Mets hat on my nightstand, so I could celebrate right when I woke up in the morning.

I arose the next morning and didn’t see the hat next to my bed. I was confident that my Mom forgot, so at 5:00 AM, I ran into her room. When she told me the Mets lost, and their season was over, I cried myself back to sleep. I was stunned.

Since those days, I have watched many Mets games and have even gone to several memorable ones, including their first game at Citi Field in 2009 and an Ike Davis walk-off. But even though those games were exciting, they don’t compare in the slightest to those of this week.

deGrom and d'Arnaud

For the first time since that ’06 season, the Mets fans have something for which to be hopeful. Matt Harvey made his return to the team after a one-year hiatus due to an elbow injury. Jacob deGrom, the reigning NL rookie of the year, has gotten off to a terrific start. Even their offense, which is clearly not their strength, has been good in the early weeks of the season. So when I walked through the gates at Citi Field this past week at their home opener, I experienced something I had never have before.

The stadium exploded when radio announcer Howie Rose announced Matt Harvey’s name in the traditional opening day ceremony. That roar was loader than any cheer I have ever heard at a Mets game — and that was only the beginning.

The Mets went on to win the game 2-0, but the highlight of the game was the crowd. The fans were electric, going crazy after every Jacob deGrom strikeout. When the final out was recorded, 43,947 Mets fans jumped up out of their seats, high-fiving and clapping in unison. The vibe in the stadium was so positive as that win put the Mets over .500.

However, the next night was the weirdest, yet the most fun baseball game I’ve ever attended.

Matt Harvey was on the hill. It was Harvey Day, and everyone knew it. I went to the game straight from work, so we arrived to Citi Field just as the first pitch was being thrown. As I waited on the line to enter the right field entrance, I heard screams from inside the stadium. I checked my phone and saw that all Matt Harvey did was throw a strike, but the sound was as if there was a David Wright grand slam.

When I finally got to my seat, in the middle of the second inning, there was hardly an empty seat in the house. What the Mets showed in that game was resilience and toughness, not letting a few questionable calls affect them. They went on to win the game, but the best part was when Matt Harvey drilled Chase Utley with a pitch. The Phillies had hit two Mets players earlier, so Harvey stuck up for his players, and instead of intentionally walking Utley with first base open, he hit him. Once again, the crowd was electric. People were booing, yelling, cheering, taunting and going crazy with every pitch. As a baseball fan, it was easy to appreciate the shared enthusiasm of the crowd.

The Mets are a flawed team. They don’t have a great shortstop, despite great play by both Ruben Tejada and Wilmer Flores in the Miami series, they don’t have depth in the bullpen, especially for left-handers, and they have been plagued by injuries thus far (Wright, Travis d’Arnaud and Jerry Blevins). However, watching the Mets win games and seeing Citi Field consistently sold out and energetic is a sight that needs to be appreciated by all baseball fans. Winning baseball is back in Queens!

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A Mets Owner For The Ages Thu, 05 Feb 2015 18:32:44 +0000 joan payson

Mrs. Payson spearheaded the return of National League baseball to New York.

The Mets posted on Twitter this morning, that on this date in 1903, Mets co-founder and the first female owner in Major League Baseball, Joan Whitney Payson, was born.

One SNY feature, the only one I consider to be worth watching, is Mets Yearbook. In one particular episode, the year was 1963, they showed the final game at the old Polo Grounds, with Mrs. Payson and Casey Stengel on the field. As I watched, I thought of how remarkable a woman Mrs. Payson was a woman clearly ahead of her time“ and how the Mets will never have another owner as good and as wonderful as she was. Just watching all the video clips of her it was so apparent that Mrs. Payson truly loved her Mets, and it was just as apparent that Met fans loved her back.

The First Lady of Shea has roses for a tearful Willie Mays during his farewell.

The First Lady of Shea has roses for a tearful Willie Mays during his farewell.

When was the last time we saw a Mets owner sitting in the stands with the fans, rooting for our team? Whether eating a hotdog or enjoying a box of Cracker Jacks, there she was sitting with the rest of us and rooting for the team. She wasnt isolated in an owners box, but instead enjoyed being with her people, Mets fans, and enjoying the game with them.

Before taking ownership of the Mets, Mrs. Payson was a shareholder of the New York Giants. In fact, Mrs. Payson tried all she could to talk Horace Stoneham out of moving the Giants to San Francisco. Mrs. Payson, and M. Donald Grant both voted against the Giant™s move. When the National League finally agreed to expansion and awarded a baseball team to New York, Mrs.Payson becoming the first woman ever to own a baseball team, and they couldn’™t have made a better choice.

Even on Old Timers Day, Mrs. Payson would sit with the fans at Shea.

Even on Old Timers Day, Mrs. Payson preferred to sit with the fans at Shea.

Mrs. Payson then went about the business of hiring the best baseball people available at the time. She also didn’™t meddle and always allowed all of them to do their job. With 50 years of hindsight, the early Mets were a stroke of genius. New York was starving for National League baseball and Mrs. Payson and some other key people brought it back to us.

The Mets also brought back as many former Giants and Dodgers as they could to bring a hometown feel and familiarity to the team. They scooped up the most successful manager in the game in Casey Stengel. They then let the stars of the past play, while beginning the work of assembling a strong farm system.

joan payson art shamsky tom seaver

A night on the town with Tom Seaver and Art Shamsky.

Then came Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Tommie Agee and the rest of the 1969 Miracle Mets, led by manager Gil Hodges. What an amazing time for all of us. In just seven years since inception, and all as cellar-dwellers, the Mets became World Champions in a pre-free agency era. Incredible.

I became a Met fan in 1973. Sadly Mrs. Payson died in October of 1975, so I have very few memories of her. But to me, the thing that was so striking about her was her genuine, heartfelt love for all the Mets players, coaches and fans. I doubt we’™ll ever see anything like it, or anyone like her, ever again. That my friends, is too bad.


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Dodgers’ Outfield Surplus May Pose An Opportunity For Mets Thu, 16 Oct 2014 13:49:19 +0000 royals

Ah, the post-season, or if you’re a Mets fan, another year of watching the new Fall TV Season on your big flat screen, while fans in other cities watch their teams compete in the playoffs.

There is no question that the last five seasons have been painful to watch unfold. We saw a potent offense get dismantled, along with a slashed payroll to help two con artists disguised as real estate entrepreneurs get over their misplaced faith in a criminal known as Madoff. It’s been hard as we watched players like Collin Cowgill, Brad Emaus, and Ruben Tejada get touted as diamonds in the rough, only to be exposed when they faced real pitching from the big boys.

Through it all, I have personally kept the faith with this front office. Ownership and the manager, not so much. I understand the value of trying to build something that can stand the test of time, and using the draft and young talent to provide a foundation for future success. The downside being that we would have to endure some dreadful baseball along the way. We are not alone in this regard, teams such as the Rays, Rangers, and even the Cardinals restocked and replaced over priced veterans using this model, with the St. Louis franchise now the standard bearer for how to build a perennial winner.

As has been well documented on MMO, this time of re-structure, re-tooling, and re-whatchamacallit has seemingly reached its nadir. There is plenty of excitement regarding the young pitching that will take the mound at Citi Field in 2015, and with good reason. Young power arms who can blow away opposing hitters, and with a bullpen that can hold any lead after the 7th inning. Dare I say it, things are looking up. But with such a surplus of talent, speculation is rampant on whether we can address the deficiencies on offense. The time to trade for that power hitting outfielder is now, screams every corner of Metsdom. But who is available in trade? Who do we match up with? Will we get taken to the cleaners?

This is where is gets crazy, these pages have already seen a million trade rumors with a plethora of suggested bats for the lineup, and to be honest, most of these trade efforts try to give the Mets a better shake of the stick. By far the most consistent trade rumors are those involving the Cubs, Diamondbacks, or Red Sox. Primarily as these teams have either great young infielders/outfielders but are lacking good young controllable pitching.

Typically, baseball trades do not work they way we expect them to. For example, for all the chatter about how the Metropolitans match up with the Cubs, nearly every published report has stated that neither team can find common ground on which pizza to eat at the bargaining table, let alone what players to swap. The D’Backs have a plethora of shortstops, but any mention of the Norse god of Thunder (Syndergaard) as return should result in a resounding no! So, are these all our options?

My answer would be no, but the team we match up with (and the player) might surprise you. I give you, a very disgruntled Los Angeles Dodgers team who may want to shake things up. The Dodgers have Hanley Ramirez departing via Free Agency, although the Dodgers have plenty of infield talent to fill that hole. However, the back end of their rotation will need shoring up after the retirement of Josh Beckett and the uncertainty around the return from injury of Chad Billingsley.

So, how do we match up with them Bums? Obviously, the first place to look would be in their crowded outfield. Uber prospect Joc Pederson will need to find room to play, so in my view its not if the Dodgers deal one of the surplus, its when. The real question afterwards is who will they deal? Lets take a look at the options.

The aforementioned Pederson isn’t going anywhere unless there is a team willing to part with at least two young pitching prospects, with a major league reliever possibly to boot. He will be on LA’s opening day roster and starting lineup in 2015, book it.

Andre Ethier was a decent contact hitter who is now on the big down slope of his career. As if that wasn’t bad enough he is owed over $50 million over the next three years, if that doesn’t scream stay away, not sure what will. Even if we offered Josh Edgin and LA pays 50% of his salary, its not worth it.

Scott Van Slyke is the favorite of many a Metsmerized commenter, he is young, put up an OPS of .919 in 246 at-bats, and can play anywhere in the outfield (though his defensive metrics aren’t wonderful). If the price is a Dillon Gee and a lower lever reliever (or possibly even a Jenrry Mejia), this is a deal that should be considered, though I think the Dodgers will ask for more.

Matt Kemp is an intriguing possibility. His late season surge in 2014 proves that he is still capable of being the offensive juggernaut that won him the mega contract in 2011. But he is also very brittle and susceptible to falling on his finger nail and being out for the season. I do not believe the Mets bite unless LA eats a very obese portion of that contract, and even then the return may have to be a Jacob deGrom or Zack Wheeler. Let’s leave this one alone.

There’s also Carl Crawford who is owed $63 million for his declining skills over the next three seasons. That’s more annually than David Wright. Interested? I didn’t think so.

yasiel puig

And that brings us to, Yasiel Puig, the Cuban phenom with the mercurial personality to go with the talent. No way the Dodgers deal him, right? Well, there are several reasons why they might entertain such a deal. One, after yet another post-season failure, the Dodgers may be looking for scapegoats (are you listening Donny Baseball?) and Puig did himself no favors with how he acted in the Division series. Plus with the Kemp, Crawford and Ethier contracts practically unmovable, this might be the roll of the dice they are willing to take. It bears noting that rumors are already making the rounds that Billy Beane might be making a pitch for Puig. Where there’s smoke?

What I believe is more amazing however is that the potential candidates we can send to LA may not be as onerous as one would believe. As I stated previously, the Dodgers need backend rotation help, catcher, and potentially bullpen or third base. What about Juan Uribe you ask? Well, he’s someone who hasn’t been able to stay on the field more than 130 games each of the last four years, and perhaps Daniel Murphy at the hot corner can appeal to the Dodgers. Add either Travis d’Arnaud or Kevin Plawecki to that package, and perhaps you are starting to generate a strong basis for a deal. Of course now some pitching will have to be added to the deal at this point, be it Niese, Mejia, Matz, or Ynoa. And Puig then gets to entertain the Big Apple.

The 23-year old Puig slashed at a .296/.382/.480 clip in pitching friendly Dodger Stadium with 37 doubles, 9 triples and 16 home runs in 640 plate appearances.

Far-fetched? Perhaps, but keep in mind that Puig has turned off many in the Dodgers’ front office and clubhouse alike. His poor display in the Division series (and the Cardinals knew how to get to him) must have had some Dodger execs shaking their head. He was even benched in the NLDS finale by manager Don Mattingly. Also, having the young right fielder come to New York, and its large Cuban population, might do him good.

You gotta at least admit; it’s a possibility.


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The Nationals Are The Mets’ Biggest Nemesis Thu, 02 Oct 2014 13:15:20 +0000 Darth+Vader+Seattle+Mariners+v+Texas+Rangers+J2yZzBGJBFUl

This season, it seemed as though each Nationals series was more frustrating than the one that preceded it. Whenever it felt as though the Mets were gaining momentum, the Nationals rolled in and crushed it.

The frustration started early as the Mets were swept in three games by the Nationals at Citi Field to begin the season 0-3. The Mets went on to a 15-11 record by April 30. But by May 31, they were 26-29 and were now 1-5 against the Nationals on the season to that point.

Around the All-star break, the Mets were making a push to reach an even overall record. By July 31, they were 52-56. As Ron Darling has said on several occasions in the booth during broadcasts, any team that gets to September with at least a .500 record is in a playoff race.

All the Mets had to do was make up those four games and head into the late days of summer with matching wins and losses. Of course, the Nationals decided this was not to be the case, and beat the Mets in both of their August series to send the season record between the two teams to 2-10 in favor of the Nats. By August 31, the Mets were back to nine games under. September was no different and ultimately, the Nationals finished the season with 15 wins and 4 losses versus the Mets.

nationals werth

Some notable performers include Jayson Werth, who hit .352/.444/.407/.852, as well as Adam LaRoche, who hit a ridiculous .321/.478/.755/1.233 against Mets pitching.

The New York side is not nearly as robust. Travis d’Arnaud hit only .205/.279/.410/.689. David Wright came in at .327/.346/.408/.754. Worst of all was Lucas Duda - the Mets’ main slugger – who hit an awful .215/.278/.246/.524 against Nationals pitching.

You could point to the Nationals as the main reason the Mets finished under .500, and more importantly, why New York missed the postseason. Against all other opponents, the Mets were 75-68, which is good for a .525 winning percentage, or a record of 85- 77 over a full season. If the Mets had split the season series (plus one game since there were an odd number of games played) they would also have had finished this season with 85 wins.

While those potential 85 wins would not have won New York a playoff berth this season (the Wild Card winners had 88 wins), it would have brought them within striking distance. However, the most important thing to consider is how the Mets can improve on their poor performances against the Nationals for next season when most fans expect them to make the postseason for the first time since 2006.

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Would Moving the Fences In Help Curtis Granderson? Fri, 26 Sep 2014 18:00:15 +0000 curtis granderson

This morning, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reported that the Mets plan to reconfigure the dimensions of Citi Field. By “reconfigure,” it’s likely that Rubin means that the Mets want to bring in the outfield fences. The idea is, make the distance from home to the right-center field gap shorter and you would thereby increase home run potential. The two hitters that would seem to benefit most would be the two highest paid and worst performing players this season – David Wright and Curtis Granderson. It seems like a simple fix, right?

Well, let’s see if moving the fences in would really help Curtis Granderson. From 2011-2012 Granderson hit 84 home runs. Thanks to the intelligent people at and specifically Greg Rybarczyk, we can see where each one of those home runs landed. These are his 2011 results:

Granderson2011 (Greg Rybarczyk Hittrackeronline)

Granderson’s 2011 average home run distance was 389.1 feet. Only 9 of these 41 home runs were close calls. The other 32 would have gone out in nearly every ballpark in the major leagues. His 2012 home runs looked similar. The 43 Granderson belted that season averaged a distance of 383.2 feet. Only 10 of these were close while the other 33 would have gone out anywhere. So the older, post-injury Curtis Granderson is probably not hitting the ball as far, and moving the fences in will help, right?

Here is the spray chart for Granderson’s 2014 home runs:

Granderson2014 (Greg Rybarczyk Hittrackeronline)

 I found this great graphic from the Katron Batted Ball Tool. It seems that Granderson has not really used the part of the outfield where the fences would most likely be moved in most – right around that “375″. If the entire right side of the outfield were to be brought in, he’d be looking at something closer to 25 home runs.

Granderson Spray Chart Katron(dot)Org

Moving the fences in may not help Granderson’s power numbers all that much. It seems that his lack of pop has come more from lack of consistent quality contact and propensity to strikeout, than the distance of the outfield fences. 

As The Metropolitans correctly pointed out, taking the averages themselves does not show the full picture. The average distance of Granderson’s 19 home runs in 2014 is inflated due to the fact that the shorter home runs he had hit in 2011 and 2012 are no longer included.

According to Baseball Heat MapsGranderson is averaging 201 feet on batted balls in 2014. He is averaging 271 feet on his fly balls in 2014. In 2011, he was averaging 285 feet on fly balls.

In conclusion, it would appear that moving in the fences would, in fact, help Curtis Granderson’s power output. However, the potential improvement may not be as great as some suspect, as reflected in the final graphic of Granderson’s batted ball data at Citi Field.

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Two Clubs: One GM Stays and Another Goes Tue, 23 Sep 2014 13:00:49 +0000 100612 braves CC2

Yesterday, the Atlanta Braves announced the dismissal of their general manager, Frank Wren. Wren had been hired in 2007 after his predecessor and mentor, John Schuerholz, had been promoted to president of the Braves. This marks an end to Wren’s fifteen year career as a member of the Braves’ front office, of which he spent seven as the general manager. Also yesterday, there were reports from multiple sources, such as Mike Puma of the NY Post, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, and Andy Martino of the Daily News, that the Mets have reached a three year extension with Sandy Alderson – which you can read more about in Joe D’s post here.

So, what are we as Mets fans to make of all this? An Atlanta Braves team that had gone 96-66 to win the N.L. East Division Title in 2013, and had a 94-68 record in 2012 to win an N.L. Wild Card, decided that the man that drafted a majority of their top young talent had to go. As part of the Atlanta front office before his position as general manager, Wren was involved in the 2007 draft that brought Jason Heyward in the first round, Freddie Freeman in the second, and would have brought Craig Kimbrel in the thirty-third. Kimbrel did not sign that season, but did so in the third round of the 2008 draft. Wren’s front office clearly had an eye for talent. They also picked Washington’s budding superstar Anthony Rendon in the 2008 draft, but he too failed to sign.

From 2009 to 2012, the Braves drafted Mike Minor, Andrelton Simmons, Evan Gattis and Alex Wood. These players have combined for 18.4 WAR since 2013. That’s an average of 2.3 WAR per season, per player. On the open market, that production would fetch around $10 – $12 million per season, per player. Even though Wren’s 2009 to 2012 drafts do not come close to those from 2007-2008 (3.58 WAR per season, per player between Heyward, Freeman and Kimbrel since 2013), his later drafts still produced cheap, quality talent at key positions.

These last few words should stand out for Mets fans under the Alderson regime. Alderson has made it a point to acquire young, team controlled, up-the-middle talent and right-handed power pitching through his drafts and trades. In 2011, Alderson drafted the then-unknown Brandon Nimmo. While Nimmo has since packed on muscle mass and may not be able to stick at center long-term, he was seen as a possible center field candidate at the time of the draft and has played mostly center field throughout his professional career.

In 2012, Alderson chose shortstop Gavin Cecchini in the first round of the MLB draft. The picks the Mets received for the loss of Jose Reyes netted middle infielder Matt Reynolds and catcher Kevin Plawecki. In the international market, Alderson chose to give out one of the largest international bonuses in Mets history to shortstop Amed Rosario. Regarding trades, Alderson acquired two right-handed power arms in Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard, and of course, the Mets’ starting catcher, Travis D’Arnaud. Let’s not forget about right-handed pitcher Vic Black or Dilson Herrera, also a middle infield prospect.

Wren and Alderson have both emphasized the same kind of talent in their farm systems. Why then is a general manager whose teams have gone 190-134 in a recent two-year period out of work while another, whose teams have gone 148-176, is signing a three year extension? It’s because of bad contracts to underperforming players. Wren had signed B.J. Upton (-0.6 WAR in two seasons as a Brave), Dan Uggla (4.9 WAR in four seasons as a Brave), and Derek Lowe (7.0 WAR in four seasons as a Brave).

B.J. Upton is signed for $72 million over five years, and has produced a value of about -$4 million (yes, negative). Uggla was signed for five years and $62 million and before being released had produced a value of about $24 million. Derek Lowe earned $45 million over three years with Atlanta, but produced at a level of about only $35 million.

If Alderson is paying attention, and if he is held at all accountable by ownership, he should be made extremely wary by this canning in Atlanta. We already have two overpaid and underperforming players this season in David Wright and Curtis Granderson. Wright is due $20 million in 2014, but has produced at a value of only about $8 million. Granderson is due $13 million but has been worth about $6 million. That’s not to say that both of these players won’t bounce back, but the facts are the facts and they haven’t earned their money this season. They may not come close to the values of the rest of their contracts.

The news that Alderson and the Mets are looking at an additional three years of partnership, in light of the Wren firing, highlights the role Alderson plays in the current state of the Mets. Working or not, whether you agree with it or not, Alderson’s plan is here to stay until the Mets win a World Series or until Con-Edison cuts off the lights at Citi Field.

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Black Shut Down, Likely Out For Season Mon, 15 Sep 2014 20:50:56 +0000 Vic - Black, RHP

UPDATE (9/15/14)

Terry Collins speaking before Monday nights game said that Vic Black will be shut down for five to six days as he continues to deal with a herniated disk. Given the amount of games left this season, it’s likely he has seen the end to his 2014 campaign.

Original Story

After seeing a stark decrease in velocity during Saturday night’s game, Vic Black has been scheduled to undergo an MRI on his throwing shoulder Monday.

Even though Black told Ken Davidoff of the New York Post that an unspecified team doctor indicated that his shoulder just seemed fatigued, Terry Collins seemed to be taking no chances with his recently rehabilitated reliever saying,

“We’re concerned about it, there’s no question.”  ”This guy lives and dies with power stuff. Even though there’s nothing wrong with 93 [mph], that’s not Vic Black. So we’ve got to certainly be very careful with it.”

Collins also acknowledged that Bobby Parnell‘s issues began with neck problems and ended up with him undergoing Tommy John surgery on his elbow.

It’s probably for the best. Why push a guy who has been so effective for you all year when the season is basically over? I agree with Collins on this one. It’s a smart move to just play it safe and let Black rest his arm and keep it totally healthy for next year.


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Mets To Present Sterling Award Winners Mon, 15 Sep 2014 12:00:10 +0000 dilson herrera homers

The Mets will honor their Sterling Award winners pregame on Monday.

Lefthander Steven Matz was named the minor-league pitcher of the year and second baseman Dilson Herrera as the minor-league position player of the year.

In addition, they will honor an outstanding player at each level of their minor-league system.

Those selected were:

Matt Reynolds, SS — Las Vegas

Kevin Plawecki, C — Binghamton

Brandon Nimmo, OF — St. Lucie

Dario Alvarez, LHP and Akeel Morris, RHP — Savannah

Marcos Molina, RHP — Brooklyn

Vicente Lupo, OF — Kingsport

John Mora, OF — Gulf Coast League

Ali Sanchez, C — Dominican Summer League 1

Walter Rasquin, C — Dominican Summer League 2

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Mets Struggles Continue at Citi Field Sat, 13 Sep 2014 19:42:02 +0000 Citi Field home run apple

In last nights win against the Nationals some very interesting stats came up during the game.

The first being that in the last 18 games, Travis d’Arnaud has only struck out five times with two of those strikeouts coming last night. It is hard to undersell how impressive a turnaround it has been for the Mets young catcher. He is starting to show the big league promise the Mets saw in him, when they traded away R.A Dickey to Toronto for him.

Beside d’Arnaud’s turn around, a stat I found alarming is that with last nights win, the Mets now have five wins in the last three years against the Nationals at Citi field. If your rubbing your eyes thinking that stat is a joke, I assure you it isn’t. The Mets are now 5-31 against their N.L East rival. That’s a winning percentage of .161, these numbers are huge concerns. They are the small factors that have compounded into the Mets futility over the last few seasons. Over the six seasons the Mets have played at Citi Field, they hold a losing record at home, winning only .477 percent of their games. In comparison over the 45 years they played at Shea they had a winning percentage of 52%.

Even though Citi Field is still in its infancy, the signs are troubling for the Mets and their fans. Any Met fan can tell you that the environment is just not the same, the stadium doesn’t hold the electricity that Shea had. A lot of that is due to the poor play on the field, but Mets fans have weathered worse teams than this and Shea was always the safe haven for the team.

Citi Field is a nice stadium and holds the trappings of many modern stadiums. Shake Shack and other in-stadium attractions serve as continuing distractions from baseball. They are fun for families and children but for the true blue and orange bleeding fans, they take the emotion out of the stadium. With more and more fans standing in line for a burger than cheering on the team, the home field atmosphere gets eliminated. It is hard to stay and root for a team that isn’t producing, but its time to bring a loud, boisterous, overwhelming fans back to Citi Field and retake the stadium.

Give me your opinions about the stadium and the atmosphere by leaving a comment or tweet and follow at me @joe_pic.

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MMO Game Recap: Reds 2, Mets 1 Sun, 07 Sep 2014 00:06:25 +0000 dillon-gee

The Reds squeaked out a win against the Mets today in Cincinnati.  Reds starter Johnny Cueto racked up his 17th win of the season (17-8, 2.23) tossing seven innings and giving up only one run while striking out eight.  Dillon Gee was on the losing side, throwing seven strong innings but giving up two solo homeruns.

The Mets almost were able to stage a miraculous comeback in the ninth inning against shut down closer Aroldis Chapman. Chapman made quick work of Travis d’Arnaud getting him to softly ground out to center. Granderson followed d’Arnaud with a single to RF.  Collins puts in Eric Young jr. to run for Grandy and he went to work quickly. He stole second and was able to get inside Chapman’s head which led to Herrera reaching on a four pitch walk. Collins continued to be aggressive by putting on the double steal and the gamble seemed to pay off as Young was originally called safe.

However, Reds Manager Bryan Price urgently came out to challenge and it seems upon coming up from the slide Young was tagged out. To many it seemed as if Young may have been pushed off the bag and after the game Collins had a quick conversation with the home plate ump. In his post game comments Collins was asked how the overturned called affected the team. “It certainly took a little starch out.”

Collins also said that if Herrera was a little more experienced he probably would have tried to double steal again with two outs. Collins aggressiveness against Chapman was the correct call as it clearly flustered Chapman, but his post game comments were odd – you never make the third out stealing third base.

Gee pitched well enough to win by only allowing two runs but had the misfortune of pitching against one of the N.L’s best in Cueto. Gee had his curve working most of the day, tying hitters up, but his slider was awful. He left too many of them hanging over the plate and Frazier crushed one for the Reds first run. He has given up 11 home runs in nine starts since coming off the DL and the game winning homer was the first Gee has given up on a first-pitch this season.

This game gave us a few interesting points of discussion. Do you think Eric Young Jr. was pushed off third base? If you were Terry Collins would you break one of baseball’s cardinal unwritten rules and try and steal third with two outs? Can Travis d’Arnaud keep this hot streak going into next season? Tweet me your ideas and opinions @joe_pic.

The Mets look to take the series tie tomorrow against the Reds as Zack Wheeler (9-9, 3.45) faces Mat Latos (5-4, 3.46) at 1:10 p.m..

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Dilson Herrera Homers and Triples As Impressive Debut Continues Tue, 02 Sep 2014 13:25:45 +0000 dilson herrera homers

Second baseman Dilson Herrera had a big day at the plate on Monday against the Miami Marlins. Herrera blasted a solo home run, his first, against Henderson Alvarez in the third. Then he lined a two-run triple against Sam Dyson in the sixth.

Herrera, 20, did commit two errors, giving him three in four games.

It would be an understatement for me to sit here and say there were tons of things to look forward to at this point in the Mets season. Although on Thursday night, when I learned that Herrera was being promoted, I was as excited as I’d ever been all season.

Herrera as everyone around in the Mets community knows by now, was having tremendous success in the minor leagues this season.  Playing the first part of the season in St. Lucie, Herrera was hitting .307 before being promoted to Double-A Binghamton.  There was no slowing down at the higher level, in fact he was enjoying more success, and power, which earned him the opportunity to skip Las Vegas and slip into the Mets lineup.

I was elated when the starting lineup was posted on Friday, and I saw Herrera was penciled into the number seven spot.

It is hard for any of us to imagine what it would be like as a 20-year old, to make your major league debut at home.  Herrera’s first career at-bat showed a little bit of how he was feeling as he offered on the first pitch he saw, grounding into an inning-ending double play.  From there you could tell he might be settling in a bit.  Although he ended the night 0-for-3, the best thing about baseball is you get to go out and do it all again tomorrow.

Saturday, Herrera looked a bit more comfortable at the plate.  Making decent contact in his first at-bat, then drawing a walk in his second, we certainly baby steps to what was to come.  Dilson picked up his first major league hit in the bottom of the seventh inning, splitting the left side of the infield making its way to left.  At first I thought that the Mets, who were down 6-0 at the time, would scratch their first run across, then I saw it was Lucas Duda running.  Dilson’s first career RBI would have to wait.  The proverbial monkey was off his back.

In the series finale against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday, Herrera made his final at-bat of the game count.  It wouldn’t be until the top of the ninth that we found out just how important it was.  With one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, Dilson, who already scored his first major league run earlier in the day, took a pitch from Phillies reliever Justin De Fratus and hit it up the middle scoring Kirk Nieuwenhuis from third.  At the time the Mets were up 5-4, so Herrera’s first major league RBI gave them a enormous insurance run that they ending up needing.  Our beloved Mets escaped with a 6-5 win.

Monday’s 2-for-4 performance speaks for itself.  His first career home run off Henderson Alvarez, and his first career triple have left me eager with anticipation about what more there is to come from this exciting young player.

For those of you that missed it, or if you just want to admire it again, here’s a video of Herrera’s home run. Enjoy.


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Mets Minors Recap: Reynolds Swipes Two Bases, Seratelli Slams 51′s Past Express Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:00:40 +0000 Logan Verrett is quite the talented young pitcher.

Logan Verrett won his 11th game of the season Tuesday Night

Last Night’s Quick Scores

Minor League Notes

  • Anthony Seratelli hit his second home run in as many nights.  This time it was a grand slam in the second inning.  Seratelli now has eight RBI in his last two games.
  • Logan Verrett won his 11th game of the season for Las Vegas.  Verrett lasted five innings giving up two runs on four while striking out five.  It was his first win since August 10th.
  • Allan Dykstra scored twice in the 51′s victory over Round Rock on Tuesday night.
  • Matt Reynolds stole two bases for Las Vegas who swiped four as a team.  Reynolds also went 1-for-3 with a double, a RBI, and a run scored.  His season average is now .340
  • Brandon Nimmo continued his hitting streak with a single in each game of the double header.  He was 2-for-7 on Tuesday, and has nine hits total during the streak.
  • Dilson Herrera went 0-for-4 in game one of the double header halting his streak at seven.  He did register a hit in game two hopefully starting up a new one.
  • T.J. Rivera started the first game and collected a hit extending his streak to eight games.  He wasn’t in the lineup for the second game.
  • Maikis De La Cruz picked up two more hits giving him 14 in his last 11 games.  He went 2-for-4 with a double on Tuesday night in St. Lucie’s win.
  • Eudy Pina hit a base-clearing double in the seventh inning on Tuesday for St. Lucie, which proved to be the game-winning runs.  The three RBI give Pina 59 on the season.
  • Matt Koch won his ninth game of the season.  Koch went 7.2 innings striking out eight on Tuesday night.  It was his longest outing of the season, with the eight K’s also a season high.
  • Jon Leroux hit his fourth home run of the season for Savannah in their loss against Augusta.
  • Dominic Smith who has struggled a bit in his last 10 games, hit his first triple of the season.  Smith is hitting just .190 during this stretch.
  • Robert Whalen struck out seven in 6.2 innings in the no-decision on Tuesday night for Savannah.
  • Amed Rosario went 3-for-5 for Brooklyn driving in two runs.  The Cyclones pounded on the Yankees winning 8-2.
  • Michael Conforto went 2-for-5, and now has a multi-hit game in five of his last seven games.  He is hitting .314 on the season.
  • Jhoan Urena added two more RBI to his season total bringing him up to 43 for the Brooklyn Cyclones.
  • Luis Guillorme and Eudor Garcia each had three hits in Kingsport loss to Johnson City on Tuesday night.
  • David Roseboom threw two innings of relief for Kingsport striking out four batters.

Organizational Leaders


1 Dilson Herrera BIN 165
2 Matt Reynolds LV 159
3 T.J. Rivera BIN 152
4 L.J. Mazzilli STL 142
5 Jeff McNeil STL 128

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Collins Unsure of Wright, Murphy Timelines for Return to Action Tue, 26 Aug 2014 22:13:24 +0000 david wright 2

During Terry Collin’s pre-game conference on Tuesday afternoon, the majority of questions addressed the absence of David Wright and Daniel Murphy from the lineup, unsurprisingly.

Originally, Wright intended to get back out in the field for tonight’s tilt against the Braves. However, after the club’s training staff assessed the Captain, the organization decided to override Wright’s desire to play.

Collins acknowledged that an extended break may be in the best interest of the Mets third baseman but didn’t make any promises. When asked about the prospects of such an occurrence Collins responded, “Look, in order to be at 100% he’s going to need a long period of time off. He’s probably not going to get it here, right now. When the neck is better he’ll be ready to get back in there.”

Terry emphasized that the shoulder which has plagued David throughout the season was not a factor in the Mets decision to keep him out of the lineup on Tuesday evening. He elaborated that at this point in the season, its tough to tell if these aches and pains fall under the spectrum of wear and tear or serious injury.

“We’ve had (his shoulder) examined, there’s no damage in there, he’s got a bruise.” Terry candidly elaborated that he is unsure whether the bruise is affecting David’s ability to swing. Only David can know how the lingering pain is affecting his swing.

daniel murphy

Regarding the Mets All-Star second baseman, Collins was hesitant to give a timeline for Murphy’s return.

Given the cautious nature of lower leg injuries, it seems that the Mets will not rush Murphy back before he feels 100%.

From what I can glean, it seems that David’s neck spasms have made it difficult to turn his head and face the pitcher, resulting in him being withheld from the lineup. For the moment, no one should rush to any conclusions beyond that salient point.

In regards to Murphy, one would hope this is a minor, short-term injury but Collin’s did not appear comfortable corroborating that notion. Murphy’s calf is an issue that will have to work itself out over the next couple of days. Don’t be surprised if the infield consists of Duda, Flores, Tejada and Campbell throughout the upcoming series against the Atlanta Braves.

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Mets Minors Recap: Las Vegas Tramples Round Rock, Satterwhite Saves 15th Tue, 26 Aug 2014 13:00:38 +0000 plawecki-milb

Last Night’s Quick Scores

Minor League Notes

  • Kevin Plawecki went 2-for-4 for Las Vegas, and is now hitting over .400 in his last 10 games, and has registered a multi-hit game six times during that time frame, and raised his batting average over 30 points.
  • Anthony Seratelli drove in three runs for the 51′s, as they downed Round Rock 9-3 on Monday night.
  • Matthew Bowman made his 6th start in Triple-A, and picked up the win going five innings and striking out six.  Bowman has six or more punch-outs in five straight starts.
  • Rainy Lara pitched 7.2 strong innings enroute to a no-decision on Monday night.  It was Lara’s third out of his last four outings that he lasted at least seven innings.
  • Cody Satterwhite picked up his 15th save for the Binghamton Mets, throwing one inning giving up a hit and striking out one.
  • Brandon Nimmo extended his hitting streak to six games with a 1-for-2 outing in Binghamton’s win.
  • Dilson Herrera went 1-for-4 on Monday night extending his hit streak to seven.
  • T.J. Rivera is borderline unstoppable.  He, like a couple of other teammates, extended his hitting streak to seven games.  Rivera has seventeen hits in his last ten games and his batting .486.
  • Dustin Lawley drove in two runs for Binghamton, giving him 68 RBI on the season.  Lawley who has seen his share of struggles, has six hits in his last three games.
  • Maikis De La Cruz went 3-for-4 for the St. Lucie Mets in their loss on Monday against Charlotte.  De La Cruz has 12 hits in his last 10 games.
  • L.J. Mazzilli continued his torrid pace over his last 10 games.  His 3-for-5 night gives him 15 hits in his last 10 games where he is hitting .395.
  • John Mora snapped his six-game hitting streak with an 0-for-4 night in Brooklyn’s loss to the Staten Island Yankees.  Mora had 10 hits during that span and has hit .324 in his last 10 games.
  • Michael Conforto added two more hits to his first professional season.  To date he has 41 hits in 35 games for the Cyclones.

Organizational Leaders

Earned Run Average

1  Marcos Molina BRK 1.56
2 Corey Oswalt BRK 2.04
3 Steven Matz BIN 2.19
4 John Gant SAV 2.59
5 Robert Gsellman SAV 2.67

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MMO Game Recap: Dodgers 6, Mets 2 Sat, 23 Aug 2014 06:06:52 +0000 curtis granderson

The Los Angeles Dodgers bested the Mets 6-2, behind seven strong innings from starting pitcher Dan Haren (11-10).  

The Mets got off to a fast start with a lead off solo homerun from right fielder Curtis Granderson (16). However the Dodgers tied the game up in the third inning with a Dee Gordon RBI single in the third.  

The tie was broken in the bottom of the fifth inning. A lead-off double by Justin Turner and a walked to Erisbel Arruebarrena put runners on the corners with one out. Then pitcher Dan Haren failed to execute a squeeze bunt that led to Turner being thrown out at home.

However, with two strikes on Haren, Niese then threw three consecutive balls and was forced to lay in a 90-mph fastball which Haren knocked into center field for an RBI single to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.

The game was in reach for the Mets until the bottom of the seventh, after two quick outs Niese gave up a triple to Dee Gordon and then walked Yasiel Puig to bring up Adrian Gonzalez who was hitting an awful .192 against lefties. Gonzalez grounded to shortstop Wilmer Flores who bounced the ball past first base that allowed Gordon to score.  

Matt Kemp doubled to right field to score Puig and Gonzalez to run the score to 5-1. Niese (7-9) took the loss for the night throwing 6.2 while giving up 8 hits and 5 runs (2 earned).  It wasn’t his best night, but he did put the Mets in a position to win.

Juan Lagares had two hits for the Mets and Lucas Duda hit a ninth-inning sacrifice fly.

Rafael Montero came into the game in relief and gave up another run before he was taken out. After the game he was optioned to Triple-A to make room on the roster for Jacob deGrom.

The team is still struggling in August and only four of tonight’s starters were hitting over .250. Lack of offense has been a theme for the 2014 Mets, but sloppy games like this one makes it nearly impossible for them to come back and win.

The Mets ended the night with three errors, two by Flores that led to three unearned runs, and one by Duda who dropped a routine fly ball in foul territory.

Up Next: Jacob DeGrom (6-5, 2.87 ERA) comes off the disabled list to face All-Star Zack Greinke (12-8, 2.75) in a 9:05 PM matchup on Saturday night.

Follow me on twitter @joe_pic

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Mets Minors Recap: Puello’s Homer And Muno Slam Lead Vegas To Crown Fri, 22 Aug 2014 13:00:25 +0000 Cesar Puello

Last Night’s Quick Scores

Minor League Notes

  • Daniel Muno hit his 13th home run for a Grand Slam and drove in five runs.
  • Matt Reynolds singled in four at bats and scored two runs and extended his hitting streak to five games.
  • Kevin Plawecki was 2 for 4, scoring two runs, and extending his hitting streak to seven straight games. He is batting .481 (13 for 27) with five multi-hit games in that span.
  • Cesar Puello finished 3 for 3, with two runs scored, two doubles, his fifth home run and drove in two runs.
  • Tomas Nido went 1-for-3 for Brooklyn and now has a healthy 10-game hitting streak.
  • John Mora now has a five-game hitting streak for the Cyclones after going 1-for-2 in Brooklyn’s win over the Yankees.
  • Tyler Moore has now recorded at least one RBI in each of his last four games for Brooklyn.
  • In his final rehab start, Daisuke Matsuzaka went five innings striking out seven, with two hits and two walks.
  • With his 14th save of the season, Shane Bay is now tied for the lead in the New York-Penn League.
  • Yeixon Ruiz RBI on Savannah’s loss to Rome, gives him 12 in his last 10 games.
  • Champ Stuart extended his hit streak to six games after going 1-for-3 Thursday night.

Las Vegas Wins PCL Pacific Southern Division Crown


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Mets Minors Recap: Herrera Belts Ninth Double-A Home Run Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:00:31 +0000 dilson herrera

Last Night’s Quick Scores

Minor League Notes

  • Daniel Muno enjoyed his second straight game with three hits finishing 3 for 4.
  • Matt Reynolds singled to extend his hitting streak to five games, batting .444 (8 for 18) in that span.
  • Kevin Plawecki singled to extend his hitting streak to six games.
  • Gabriel Ynoa pitched seven innings allowing one run on five hits, while striking out four, picking up his third win and first in over a month for Binghamton.
  • Dilson Herrera belted his ninth home run and went 3-for-4 in Binghamton’s 8-5 win over Erie. Herrera has six hits in his last three games, and has 71 in his 53 games.
  • Another player having continued success at the Double-A level is T.J. Rivera. He also went 3-for-4 on Monday night raising his average to .344. Rivera has seven hits in his last three to one-up Herrera.
  • With his 3-for-4 night, Darrell Ceciliani extended his current hitting streak to nine games.  He has registered at least one hit in 21 of his last 23 games.
  • Matt Koch picked up his eighth win of the season in the 6-2 St. Lucie win. Koch went seven solid which was his longest outing since May 17th.  It was his third time this season notching six punch-outs during his body of work.
  • L.J. Mazzilli posted a 2-for-4 night extending his current hitting streak to seven games.  He has 12 hits during that stretch.
  • Michael Conforto went 2-for-4 on Monday night and has hit safely in five out of his last six games.  He is now batting .318 in his first professional season.
  • Brooklyn’s pitching staff allowed nine walks as a unit in the 14-4 drubbing against the Yankees.
  • Tomas Nido went 1-for-3 and extended his hitting streak to nine games.  He has 14 hits during that time frame. Photo Of The Week

Brooklyn Cyclones Tucker Tharp‘s diving catch was highlighted as a Photo of the Week for August 13, 2014 by MiLB. (Photo Credit: Rick Nelson)

Brooklyn's Tucker tarp


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MMO Game Recap: Mets 3, Cubs 2 Sat, 16 Aug 2014 03:23:13 +0000 eric campbell

The Mets snapped their three game losing streak and defeated the Chicago Cubs by a score of 3-2 tonight at Citi Field.  All of the Mets offense came from a three run blast by outfielder Eric Campbell, his second home run of the season.

Zack Wheeler started and tossed 6.2 innings, allowing just two runs while striking out 10 ti improve to 8-8 on the season. He scattered four walks and four hits. Wheeler continues to deliver some strong outings and now sports a 3.49 ERA.

Jenrry Mejia was able to shut down the Cubs with a perfect ninth to record his 18th save of the season, as he continues to fight through his sports hernia.

Campbell’s home run was the only bright spot offensively for the Mets who continue to struggle at the plate, collecting only four hits on the night. Only one of the Mets four hits came from the top four spots of their lineup who went 1-for-13.

The Mets continue their series with the Cubs on Saturday with a 7:10 PM matchup pitting Jon Niese (6-8, 3.46) against spot starter Dan Straily (0-0, 0.00) for Chicago.

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Terry Collins Unhappy With Matt Harvey’s Most Recent Session Thu, 14 Aug 2014 12:53:08 +0000 matt-harvey-3

August 14th (Harris Decker)

According to ESPN’s Danny Knobler, Terry Collins and the Mets are trying desperately to slow down Matt Harvey‘s recovery from Tommy John Surgery. Yesterday, the Mets manager tried to get in touch with the recovering ace to discuss a reworked schedule only to find out that he was on the radio talking with ESPN New York.

“I threw a bullpen today and I didn’t miss a spot,” Harvey said during that interview. “I felt like I was easily throwing into the low to mid 90s, with pretty much no effort.”

Obviously this is a double edged sword for Mets fans. The fact that he’s pitching and hitting his spots with “no effort” is great. Jeremy Hefner‘s most recent injury feels like a cautionary tale.

“One of the reasons we have tried to back Matt off is how he is mentally. This guy is a bulldog. There is no such thing as low speed or low gear. It’s all-out forward. There was a phone call made [Tuesday] where it was, ‘Yeah, we’ve got to back this down,’ and [Wednesday] he throws a 27-pitch bullpen.” Clearly Collins is not amused. He concluded that sentiment with “I’m going to put my head through the wall.”

There’s no question that every person recovers in a different way, a point Harvey brought up in the radio interview regarding Hefner. Just because Hefner had a major setback, doesn’t mean the same will happen to Harvey. Collins and the Mets seems to be singing a different tune. It’s not about Hefner, it’s about Harvey and the Mets. As the Mets fall further and further out of relevancy in 2014, it makes less and less sense to put Harvey back out there.

August 12th (Sean Sullivan)

In the wake of Jeremy Hefner’s setback, Sandy Alderson held a press conference prior to tonight’s game in which he all but affirmed the idea that Matt Harvey will not pitch in a game this season, minor leagues or otherwise.

Yesterday it was revealed that Jeremy Hefner, who underwent Tommy John surgery last summer, had re-injured his ulnar collateral ligament. Hefner had made six minor league starts for Port St. Lucie this summer while rehabbing from the original injury that ended his season on August 9th of last year.

jeremy hefner metsClaimed off waivers from Pittsburgh in 2011, Hefner made his major league debut for New York in 2012. That year he appeared in 26 games and made 13 starts. He was a regular member of the Mets’ rotation in 2013, going 4-8 with a 4.34 ERA in 24 games (23 starts) before being shut down. After the diagnosis of a torn UCL, Hefner ultimately underwent surgery three weeks later.

In the eyes of Sandy Alderson, Hefner’s setback provides a cautionary tale for Harvey’s own rehabilitation. Thus far, Harvey has thrown off the mound several times and maintains his desire to pitch in 2014. However, given the reality of the situation and the clubs hesitancy to risk a similar narrative for the team’s burgeoning superstar, it is apparent that they will be overly cautious going forward.

At this point in the season, I can’t argue with the logic here. If the Mets were seriously in contention with a shot for some truly meaningful games in September, maybe I would criticize the Mets front office for being too cautious in this circumstance. However, at this point in time, I believe that the Mets’ and Matt Harvey’s priority should be to arrive in Port St. Lucie next spring healthy and ready to go.

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Defense Matters, Just ask Juan Lagares Wed, 13 Aug 2014 18:33:07 +0000 Largares' 4.2 WAR ranks 7th in the National League this season.

Juan Lagares has been spectacular this year in the outfield, plain and simple. I would just like to take this moment to acknowledge that our center fielder currently ranks 14th in the majors and 7th in the National League in wins above replacement (WAR).

Though Lagares has only two home runs and 32 RBIs in 297 AB this year, his fantastic defensive ability has garnered him a 4.2 WAR this season. In the NL, he trails only Giancarlo Stanton, Troy Tulowitzki, Jason Heyward, Andrew McCutchen, Jonathan Lucroy and Paul Goldschmidt. Meanwhile, he has the same WAR as Toronto slugger Jose Bautista and Brett Gardner, who is having an outstanding season for the Yankees.

Dodgers star Yasiel Puig, the MLB leader in hits Jose Altuve, and White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu all trail Lagares in this category, which seeks to summarize a players total contribution to his team.

What exactly is WAR?

While this statistic may not be without faults and prejudices, I raise this point if for no other reason than to highlight just how incredible Lagares has been defensively this season. His Defensive WAR is 2.8, a full half point higher than any other CF in the game (Jackie Bradley Jr. of the Red Sox stands at 2.3). Were he to qualify, Lagares’ 3.03 range factor would also lead the MLB among all outfielders. Still, despite missing time to two DL stints, Beyond the Boxscore ranks Lagares among the five best defensive players in baseball.

Often times, fans and pundits alike overlook the defensive aspect of the game in favor of offensive potential. We stuck Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda in the outfield for heaven’s sake. The recent call for Wilmer Flores to play every day at shortstop makes this an all too relevant issue. Defense matters and it determines the outcome of ball games.

I often find myself in awe of how effortless Lagares makes his job look. He has been a pleasure to watch this season, and I look forward to having him patrol the vast expanse of Citi Field for years to come.

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