Mets Merized Online » Joe D Sun, 19 Feb 2017 22:33:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Alderson On Payroll: “Mets Are All In” Sun, 19 Feb 2017 19:03:53 +0000 New York Mets Spring Training

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson spoke with the media in Port St. Lucie on Sunday and alleviated any payroll concerns despite still having right fielder Jay Bruce on the roster by convincingly asserting that, “the Mets are all in” financially.

While there are no ongoing trade discussions at the moment to move Bruce, Alderson said the team is prepared to enter the season with its current contingent of players and then make adjustments from there.

Alderson also credited ownership for giving him the flexibility and the resources to bring payroll to where it is now and that he still had room for in-season additions if necessary. Currently, Mets payroll stands at roughly $152 million dollars.

“I feel we have the potential to be better than we were last year,” Sandy said about his team which has him more excited and he can’t wait to see good they will be.

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Update: Wright Made Roughly 30 Throws Today, Felt Good Afterward Sun, 19 Feb 2017 18:54:56 +0000 david wright

According to manager Terry Collins, third baseman David Wright made about 30 throws at about 60-70 feet and took took 25 grounders today as eases his way back into playing condition. Wright also got into the cage and took batting practice, Collins said, but “still has a long way to go.”

Wright met up with reporters and told them that the plan going forward is to throw every other day and to increase the distance a little each time. ”It was fun, but there’s still a ways to go before I start to feel comfortable,” he explained. “Hopefully it will get better and better each day.”

Wright remains hopeful that he’ll be ready for Opening Day but was still non-committal. It was nice to see him go out and take outdoor batting practice with Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce. And then he stuck around for a long time to sign autographs for fans with Matt Harvey and others.

Original Report – 10:20 AM

New York Mets third baseman David Wright threw a baseball on Sunday, indoors at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie. It was the first time he threw a ball since last June before he had season-ending neck surgery.

When I probed to find out a little more regarding how Wright’s throwing went, I was told no cameras or reporters were allowed.

Wright, 34, did not participate in fielding practice with his teammates later in the morning on Sunday a few beat writers reported. Hopefully, we’ll get an update from Wright himself later today or tomorrow.

Last week, Wright admitted that he has tempered expectations for himself but still believes he can help the team which he believes is good enough to win a World Series.

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

“This is a fun time to be a Met and I want to be part of this winning season that I think we are going to have. I think I really have some good baseball left in me.”

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So You Think You Know The Mets: Distinguished Service Honorees Sun, 19 Feb 2017 16:00:04 +0000 joan payson art shamsky tom seaver

It would be an easy task for most Met fans to run off a list of the Top 10 Mets of All-Time if I asked them, and for the most part each top ten list would look remarkably similar – give or take one or two names.

However, what about some of those players who grinded it out season after season for the Mets and essentially flew under the radar because they were simply overshadowed by some of the bigger names for most of their careers? I’m talking about those long-time Mets we grew up rooting for, many of whom became our favorite Mets?

You’ll need to remember some of these distinguished service Mets to complete today’s quiz in which we ask you to name the 11 players who played 10 or more seasons with the Mets. You have Two Minutes and Last Name Only is fine. Ready… Set… Go…

Spoiler Alert: Avoid Comments Until You Play Quiz



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Familia’s Absence Due To Domestic Violence Case, Will Not Return Until Monday Sun, 19 Feb 2017 14:00:02 +0000 jeurys familia

For a second straight day, Mets closer Jeurys Familia was excused from the team’s morning workouts at Tradition Field and left camp early on Saturday due to a personal matter and he is not expected to return until Monday.

A report by Mike Puma of the New York Post says that the absence is related to his case with MLB which continues to investigate his arrest on domestic violence charges last Oct. 31 at his New Jersey home.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said earlier this month that he will have a determination on Familia’s case by the end of spring training.

Familia is expected to be suspended at least 30 games to start the season, despite having all charges against him dropped last month. He has been advised by his lawyer and the team not to discuss his case with anyone.

Manager Terry Collins is preparing to go into the season with the mindset that Addison Reed will be his closer and fully expects to be without Familia.

“I think you’ve got to be smart enough to realize there probably is going to be some type of penalty,” Collins said earlier in the week. “I don’t know what it is. I have no idea yet.”

“So I think you’ve got to go into this right now making sure that Addison Reed is ready to pitch the ninth inning starting the season. Familia, we know he’ll be back sometime. But we’ve got to get our bullpen in shape in case he’s going to be gone for a period of time.”

Familia, 27, is coming off a huge season posting a 2.55 ERA and 1.21 WHIP 77.2 innings last season with 84 strikeouts. He became the first Met reliever to lead the majors in saves with 51, and the 13th pitcher in MLB history to reach the 50-save plateau.

Reed, 28, was actually even more impressive than Familia last season in almost every statistical measure including a 1.97 ERA, 0.940 WHIP, 10.5 K/9 and 7.0 K/BB.

A month ago I was a bit concerned about how Familia’s suspension would impact the team, especially given how rarely our young starters can pitch very deeply into games.

However whatever concerns I had were quickly diminished once the Mets re-signed Fernando Salas and Jerry Blevins. The Mets should be able to ride this coming storm out no matter how long the suspension is. At least that’s the way I see it.

(Photo: USA Today Sports Images)

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Jeurys Familia Leaves Camp For Personal Matter Fri, 17 Feb 2017 15:00:04 +0000 jeurys familia

Jeurys Familia left camp in Port St. Lucie today before workouts because of a personal matter according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.

Familia is expected back in camp on Saturday according to Terry Collins.

The New York Mets closer already arrived to camp late because of visa issues.

Uncertainty still surrounds Familia and the Mets bullpen situation as they await the news on whether or not the valuable reliever will be suspended to start the 2017 season.

Original Report – Feb 14

New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia arrived to camp today at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie.

Familia, 27, had been detained in his native Dominican Republic due to a visa issue that kept him from arriving to Mets Spring Training camp by Sunday’s reporting deadline for pitchers and catchers. The visa delay was unrelated to his domestic violence issue and most likely a clerical issue with one of his forms.

Major League Baseball has not yet ruled on Familia’s domestic violence investigation, but the Mets are expecting some sort of suspension even though the charges were dismissed.

Familia is coming off a huge season for the Mets, becoming the first Mets reliever to lead the majors in saves with 51. He became the 13th pitcher in MLB history to reach the 50-save plateau and his 51 saves are tied for the ninth-most in major league history.

Jeurys will be pitching for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic which he will leave to train for later this month.

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Jay Bruce Will Get Some Time At First Base Tue, 14 Feb 2017 21:56:29 +0000 jay bruce

Mets manager Terry Collins told reporters today that right fielder Jay Bruce will get at least some exposure playing first base during Grapefruit League games this Spring. The move will help give the Mets another option to turn to if things should go awry with regular first baseman Lucas Duda who is coming off a season that limited him to just 47 games due to a fractured back.

Bruce has played only three games at first base in his career, back in 2014. He committed two errors in those games with Cincinnati and the Reds never played him there again. Collins noted that, “We’re not pushing it on him.”

Michael Conforto was also supposed to log some time at first base this Spring according to comments made by Collins over the Winter. But Sandy Alderson nixed that idea on Saturday and then Collins backpedaled on it Sunday saying that “Conforto already had enough on his plate.”

As it stands right now, Jay Bruce is expected be the Mets’ everyday right fielder to begin the 2017 season, according to Sandy Alderson who also hinted that Conforto would likely start the season in Triple-A Las Vegas.

However, Collins left open the possibility that Conforto not only makes the Opening Day roster but the lineup as well. “There are ways to get him into the lineup, and if he starts swinging the bat, it’s going to be hard to keep him off. We are going to take the best 25 guys at the end of spring training.”

The best 25 guys? Where have I heard that one before?

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So You Think You Know The Mets: I Am Iron Man Tue, 14 Feb 2017 15:26:54 +0000 iron man

This week we’re going to ask you to name our All-Time Mets Pitching Iron Men – that is the 12 starting pitchers who have logged 1,000 or more innings while with the New York Mets.

The pitcher at the top of this exclusive club has logged an amazing 3,045.1 innings, a true Iron Man to say the least among the dozen or so of his other notable nicknames.

You have three minutes as always. Good luck, everyone.

Spoilers Alert!

Don’t look at the comments until you play the quiz. 

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Mets Spring Into Action With Hope and Excitement Sun, 12 Feb 2017 13:00:58 +0000 spring training

Only two days ago, Mother Nature dumped about a foot of snow on New York City as temperatures dropped into the teens. But meanwhile in Port St. Lucie, Florida the sun is shining bright, the grass is green and freshly cut, and best of all baseball is officially back at Tradition Field, the Spring Training home of the New York Mets.

For the next six weeks, seasoned veterans, promising young players, and enthusiastic die-hard fans will gather at the Mets Spring Training Complex with big dreams and aspirations as they embark on a new season with the number one goal being a World Series championship.

It’s an exciting time to be a player and a fan as the front office has put together one of the most balanced teams they’ve ever had in their 55 year history. I’m not saying it’s the best Mets team I ever saw, only that this is a very balanced team and if they can stay healthy, this is also a very dangerous team. Here’s the evidence as I see it:

  • A rotation packed with five hard-throwing pitchers, each possessing ace-like upside. Noah Syndergaard in his first full season was remarkably Gooden-like, raking 3rd in ERA (2.60), 4th in K/9 (10.68), 5th in K/BB (5.06) and 1st in WAR (6.5). Syndergaard will enter the season as the young ace of a hugely dominant and extremely talented rotation if they remain healthy.
  • A starting lineup that can mash with the best of them. They hit a franchise record 218 home runs last season, and they could easily come close or surpass that mark with a healthy Lucas Duda back at first base and Jay Bruce in right field to begin the season.
  • A bullpen that was already the fifth best in baseball last season, but now start anew replacing Antonio Bastardo, Logan Verrett and Jim Henderson with Fernando Salas, Seth Lugo and one of Zack Wheeler or Robert Gsellman.

I asked a few of my writers what they were were most excited or anxious about as the Mets get ready to open camp and get ready for a new season. Here’s what they had to say:

t.j. rivera spring psl

Mike Mayer – I would say I’m more anxious than excited for the Mets to began Spring Training. I’m anxious to see if the Mets rotation will be healthy tha spring, anxious to see if Mets infield can stay healthy. Being a prospect nerd I am excited to watch guys like Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith, Champ Stuart, David Roseboom and Corey Taylor in big league camp. Today really is a beautiful day though, baseball is back and Opening Day is itching closer.

Mets Daddy – Do you know what Generation K never pitched in the same rotation? Injuries prevented that from happening similar to how injuries have prevented the Mets purported five young aces from pitching in the same rotation. This could finally be the year it happens. All the Mets need is for the four pitchers returning from surgery to withstand the rigors of this Spring Training. Another thing I’m excited to see this Spring is our top prospects. Sooner or later, Dominic Smith and Amed Rosario will be Mets. Given the serious health issues at all four infield positions, they may be playing in Citi Field sooner rather than later. These two young studs will be able to play alongside players like David Wright and Neil Walker this Spring, and learn just what it means to be a major leaguer. This will help them in their continued growth as players, and it could very well soon help them take over for the very same players who helped them.

Mathew Brownstein – As Spring Training opens, I am once again optimistic, and downright giddy over the fact that we will FINALLY get to see the full complement of our young starting rotation (barring any health setbacks). It’s amazing to consider that Met fans have never seen Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard, Matz, and Wheeler at the same time in the rotation. With talk of Wheeler opening the 2017 season in the pen, we might have to wait on Zack rejoining the rotation until mid-season. Obviously we have seen some semblance of the full rotation last year, however, with Harvey’s early season struggles and eventual TOC surgery, and eventually losing Matz and deGrom to their own elbow surgeries, the Mets’ starting staff gets an incomplete for 2016. Hopefully 2017 is the year fans finally get to see their vaunted rotation at full strength.

lucas duda

Tommy Rothman – Right now I’d call myself anxious, but I’m hoping that turns into excitement. Either way, the guy I can barely wait to see is Matt Harvey. Will he be the disaster he was last season before the injury was disclosed, or the superstar we’re more used to seeing? For all the talk about Thor (and deGrom), Harvey has the chance to be the best pitcher on this staff. There’s plenty of room for things to swing either way here, so Matt Harvey might end up being the X-Factor, for better or worse.

Rob Piersall – As the Mets begin Spring Training and eventually the regular season, I, like many Mets fans, am anxious to see our starting rotation healthy and pitching together for the first time ever. It’s been said ad nauseam, but if our guys are in tip-top shape, we have the best rotation in baseball. That is an exciting thought in itself. Also, I think Jay Bruce is going to prove everyone wrong, so I’m excited to see him in the middle of the lineup along with our big bopper Yoenis Cespedes.

Connor O’Brien – I’m most excited to see a fully-healthy Mets rotation. The last few years, we’ve never seen it in its full form. Only Noah Syndergaard was left standing at the end of last season. I don’t expect a healthy rotation forever — there will almost always be something — but if Terry Collins can get a few healthy months from the starters, we could very well see the best starting rotation in Mets history.

Brian Greenzang – Spring Training is a clean slate of sorts for each team with so many story lines to be ironed out before opening day. I am most excited to see how the outfield situation falls into place. Do we see the Mets finally find a trading partner to unload one of their outfielders, leading to a less murky situation? How they go about handling Michael Conforto could lead to the biggest storyline throughout spring camp as he may also see some time at first base. More than anything though, I am just excited for baseball.

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Braves Acquire Brandon Phillips From Reds Sun, 12 Feb 2017 06:26:41 +0000 brandon-phillips

According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal via Twitter, the Cincinnati Reds have dealt veteran second baseman Brandon Phillips to the Atlanta Braves. The Reds are getting very little in return apparently as they were eager just to open up a roster spot and save some some money. A three-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove award winner, Phillips waived his no-trade clause to make the deal possible.

The Reds are reportedly eating a good portion of the $14 million dollars that is left on Phillips’ final year of his contract. They have been desperate to deal Phillips ever since they acquired second base prospect Dilson Herrera from the New York Mets at the trade deadline last season in exchange for outfielder Jay Bruce. Herrera will now take over at the keystone for Cincinnati and make his Reds debut in 2017.

On the other side of the deal, Phillips, who makes his home in Atlanta, will take over as the Braves starting second baseman after they lost Sean Rodriguez for 3-6 months due to injuries he suffered in a car accident last month.

Rodriguez was hospitalized along with his wife and children but luckily all survived the crash and were not critically injured. Rodriguez is scheduled to have shoulder surgery next week.

A career .274/.320/.421 hitter, Phillips hit .291/.320/.416 with 34 doubles, 11 home runs, 64 RBI, 74 runs scored and 14 stolen bases for the Reds in last season.

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Baseball Prospectus Projects Mets To Win NL East Tue, 07 Feb 2017 20:24:15 +0000 Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Washington Nationals - Game Five

Sorry Washington Nationals, but the New York Mets did what you couldn’t do and they bolstered their bullpen with the midnight hour re-signings of Fernando Salas and Jerry Blevins, while you have yet to replace your closer Mark Melancon or even Matt Belisle (who was huge for you last season) with Spring Training now only five days away.

The Nationals were rebuffed at their attempts to sign premier closers such as Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen and even bottom tier relievers like Greg Holland had no interest in signing with the Nats this offseason.

As such, those astute folks at Baseball Prospectus updated their projections last night, and for the first time in well over a year, the Mets have pulled in front of the Nationals with 88 wins – just enough to take over first place in the National League East by one solitary game.

Of course this actually means nothing in the grand scheme of things, but after all the article that have had the Mets projected for 83 wins or less, the die-hard Mets fan in me was not going to let an opportunity like this pass me by.

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These Are Not The Same Old Mets Tue, 07 Feb 2017 15:18:13 +0000 jerry-blevins-mets-win

After a long offseason of inaction following the re-signing of outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year, $110 million dollar deal in November, the New York Mets sprung back into action last week, re-signing left-hander Jerry Blevins and right-hander Fernando Salas to one-year deals and even adding veteran southpaw Tom Gorzelanny on a minor-league contract.

So in one fell swoop they completed their No. 2 offseason priority which was to secure two veteran arms for the bullpen. And the interesting part is that they didn’t have to trade Jay Bruce to free up the payroll dollars to get each of those deals done. It looks like the former Reds slugger will go into the the 2017 season as the de facto right fielder for the New York Mets. As Jerry Seinfeld would say, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

Blevins, 33, was the biggest prize of the bullpen bounty, signing a one year deal for $6.5 million with a team option for $6 million. It’s important to remember that Blevins began the offseason looking for a three year, $19 million dollar deal, so what a coup this is for Sandy Alderson who played his hand brilliantly.

In Blevins the Mets get a sure-fire commodity who gave them a 2.79 ERA in 73 games last season, while striking out 52, walking 15, and posting a career-best 11.1 strikeout rate. Not only did he hold lefty batters to a .637 OPS for the Mets in 2016, but he was even better against right-handed batters who he held to a .611 OPS in 55 at-bats.

Salas, 31, got a one-year deal worth $3 million dollars which seems like a steal compared to some of the other deals similar pitchers have received in previous offseasons. Salas posted a 2.08 ERA and 19/0 K/BB ratio over 17.1 innings with the Mets in 2016 after coming over in a trade from the Angels at the deadline. For his career he has a 3.64 ERA and K/BB ratio of 385/114 in 388.1 innings over seven seasons.

I read a few articles elsewhere over the weekend that the Mets are “bringing the band back,” or essentially showing up with the “same old team” as last year – the one that barely scraped by and lost the Wild Card. Some people…

antonio bastardo

If you think this is the same team as last year, put down the pipe and think again. Last Opening Day we had Eric Campbell, Logan Verrett, Alejandro De Aza, Antonio Bastardo, Kevin Plawecki, and Jim Henderson in the home team dugout. A motley crew to say the least.

Those names have now been replaced with Jay Bruce, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Fernando Salas, Jose Reyes, and Rene Rivera. That’s quite a big upgrade. In fact, it’s actually a formidable upgrade and anyone who can’t see that really isn’t very good at baseball.

Meanwhile the Nationals… What have they done? Their bullpen is in complete shambles. Sure they got Adam Eaton, but he essentially replaces the offense they lost behind the plate with Wilson Ramos. Daniel Murphy is due for some regression, Ryan Zimmerman batted .218 last season Jayson Werth batted .244.

mets win Cespedes walker Cabrera

Look, all I’m saying is that the Washington Nationals are not exactly the unbeatable force that everyone is making them out to be. And that the New York Mets are not a team with a second place ceiling at best. And when are these so-called experts ever right anyway?

I’ve been following baseball long enough to know that there are only two absolutes in this game. Number one, nobody ever wins anything on paper. And number two, there’s no telling who lady luck will smile upon in any given season.

The way I see it, we have a tremendous team entering the new season and we have much to be excited about here. This is a significantly better group of players than the team we had on last year’s Opening Day roster. This could be the year that for the very first time we’ll finally get to see the Fab Five all taking a turn in the same starting rotation. Potentially, we could have five 25 homer bats in the same starting lineup. Last season we had the third best bullpen in baseball, this year it could be the best. This is the best team on balance that we’ve had in years. I’m really feeling it this season… This is a team every Met fan needs to get behind.

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Noah Syndergaard: Hope Springs Eternal In 2017 Tue, 07 Feb 2017 02:37:30 +0000 noah syndergaard 2

Here’s a cool promo video featuring New York Mets ace right-hander Noah Syndergaard to get your baseball juices flowing as the start of Spring Training draws ever saw closer. It’s a short vignette that builds on that whole “pick yourself up and get back out there” speech your baseball coach used to give you in high school after a particularly tough loss. Check it out…

The folks at MLB Network used the words straight out of Thor’s Twitter feed following last season’s Wild Card loss to the San Francisco Giants to produce the video.

I bet Noah had no idea at the time that his tweet would become the rallying cry for a new baseball season. Syndergaard, by the way, is expected to be our Opening Day starter according to Terry Collins. Sounds about right.

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So You Think You Know The Mets: One For The Money Sun, 05 Feb 2017 14:00:56 +0000 johan santana

I really think you’re all going to enjoy this week’s Mets Trivia Quiz. Can you name all the head coaches in the NFL that have been embroiled in more cheating controversies throughout their careers and have never lost their jobs than New England head coach Bill Belichick? Ha ha ha… Just messing with ya…. Here’s the actual question… Can you name one NFL quarterback with bigger deflated balls than Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady? Okay, Okay, I’ll stop, I’ll stop…

Last week, we remembered the anniversary of the trade that brought Minnesota Twins left-hander Johan Santana to the New York Mets on January 30, 2008. The Mets sent pitching prospects Philip HumberDeolis Guerra, and Kevin Mulvey, as well as center fielder Carlos Gomez to the Twins in exchange for the new ace of their starting rotation.

Even third baseman David Wright couldn’t contain his enthusiasm. “Wow, if it’s true, obviously, we are getting arguably the best pitcher in the game.”

Johan Santana was as good as advertised, coming in third in the Cy Young voting in his first season with the Mets, finishing first in the league with 234.1 innings pitched, 34 starts and a 2.34 ERA to go with a 1.141 WHIP, 206 strikeouts and a  - hold onto your butts – 7.1 WAR.

Unfortunately, that would be as good as it gets as injuries would begin to take a toll on the veteran southpaw and severely cut into his playing time, although when he did make it onto the mound he was still giving the Mets everything he had to offer.

Then on one incredible and magical summer night, Johan thrilled the 27,069 Met fans who were on hand at Citi Field to their wildest dreams and pitched the first no-hitter in franchise history against the St. Louis Cardinals. It happened on June 1, 2012 and everyone who was there or who watched at how will remember that moment and cherish it for the rest of their lives.

The Mets have had their share of near misses before and after, and in fact 19 different pitchers have tossed a complete game one-hitter for the New York Mets over the years. Do you think you can name all of them? You have three minutes to show me if you can.

*** Just last name will suffice!


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Blue Jays Sign Joe Smith To One-Year Deal Sun, 05 Feb 2017 11:18:16 +0000 joe smith

The Toronto Blue Jays have have agreed to a one-year deal with right-handed reliever Joe Smith, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports who reported the news via Twitter late on Saturday night.

Free agent relievers have been literally flying off the board in the last 48 hours at an incredible pace leaving the likes of Joe Blanton and Travis Wood as the current remaining top options. Not a knock on them, but just to illustrate how different the landscape has changed in two days.

The New York Mets had shown interest in the side-arming Smith according to an earlier report by Rosenthal, but they took care of business early in the day by signing Tom Gorzelanny to a minor league deal Saturday morning and then following that up with a 1-2 punch, locking down veteran relievers Fernando Salas and Jerry Blevins to complete their bullpen shopping list with just eight days to spare before pitchers and catchers report to camp.

Smith, 32, has been one of the most reliable relievers in the game since 2009, appearing in 503 games (7th among Major League relievers), with a 2.80 ERA, 146 holds (5th), 1.151 WHIP, and 203 runners stranded (6th). However, he is coming off a down 2016 season plagued by oblique and hamstring injuries.

The former Met started the season with the Angels before being traded to the Cubs in August in exchange for Minor Leaguer Jesus Castillo.

For his career, Smith has fared much better against right-handed hitters, holding them to a .215/.286/.305 slash line, compared to lefties who have slashed .244/.337/.369.

Smith is at his best when he induces ground balls, currently at a 56.2% rate for his career. When batters hit ground balls off of Smith, the results are rarely in their favor, as he has held them to a .210/.210/.220 slash line in 920 at-bats.

I always loved Joe Smith from the moment he first made his debut with the Mets, and I was sad to see him get dealt in that awful J.J. Putz deal that completely blew up in our faces. You may remember Putz was damaged goods and we never had him take a physical.

And the worst part was that we had just signed K-Rod so we didn’t really need to make the deal, it was unnecessary and Joe Smith had shown enough the previous season to give him a shot at that 7th or 8th inning role.

Unfortunately for us, Smith would go on to be everything we hoped Putz would be and he had himself a pretty impressive major league career, with at least three seasons that were arguably All Star caliber in my opinion. Ergh….

Site Note:

Psst… As we begin our 13th season of covering the Mets, I could just post the details of this news in about 5-6 sentences like everyone else and spare you all my incessant blabbering. :) Believe me, it would be a lot easier for us, but we love adding in our Mets point of views when we can, as well as providing some extra detail.

That said, if you prefer the condensed version on news and notes, just let me know in the comments and I will make sure to spread the word to all our writers. I understand that digital media and reporting is always evolving and changing, so each year around this time I like to check in with our readership to see what your likes and dislikes are. Thanks for the feedback. We love you guys and gals….

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Mets Agree To One-Year $6.5 Million Deal With Jerry Blevins (Updated) Sun, 05 Feb 2017 01:14:54 +0000 jerry blevins

The New York Mets have re-signed left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports. The deal is for one year guaranteed at $6.5 million dollars, but includes a a team option that could bring the total value to $12.5 million over two years. He can also earn $100,000 in incentives each each year as per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

This was a huge move by Sandy Alderson, who signed right-hander Fernando Salas earlier this evening. With these two moves, the Mets have solidified their bullpen and should be okay even if Jeurys Familia is suspended. I love it…

I hope that now you can all relax and understand that everything does not have to happen at a fevered pace to make progress and improve your team in the offseason.

Believe it or not, you can actually take a methodical approach to things and still achieve the same and in most cases even more optimal results.

So here’s the bottom line. The Mets started this offseason by handing out MLB’s largest free agent contract to Yoenis Cespedes. Then they brought back Neil Walker at a cost of $17.2 million dollars, picked up the $13 million dollar option on Jay Bruce, and re-signed relievers Fernando Salas and Jerry Blevins. How many f’kin teams did more? That’s a pretty huge offseason…

And by the way, I was the only one for the last four weeks saying Jerry Blevins was coming back to the Mets… (Hey beat reporters… Take that bitches!)

Original Report – Jan 31

Last Thursday, a trusted source told me that the Mets had circled back to lefty reliever Jerry Blevins and reengaged him in contract talks. This as the team’s beat writers were reporting that the Mets were going to keep right fielder Jay Bruce and that they would now look to internal options to fill their bullpen needs due to payroll concerns.

A few days later on Saturday, that same source told me that negotiations between the Mets and Blevins were advancing and that they could be reaching some common ground. This news came about an hour after someone else told me that Blevins was telling friends that he truly wanted to return to the Mets.

I reported all of that this weekend and again this morning, but here’s a similar report coming from some obscure source. :-)

Both Mike Puma and Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports that the Mets and Blevins are trying to find “common ground” on a two-year deal. (Note their usage of the phrase common ground.) They say the deal they are working on could be backloaded. However, I myself had no information regarding that. We’ll see.

Blevins, 33, went 4-2 with a 2.79 ERA and 3.05 FIP in 73 appearances last season for the Mets. I love Blevins because in addition to getting left-handed hitters out he has no problems getting righty sluggers out.

If the Mets do reach a deal with him, and I do believe they will, this will be a significant boost for them. With J.P. Howell signing a deal this evening with the Toronto Blue Jays, Jerry Blevins could be turning a lonely eye toward Flushing.

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2017 Mets ZiPS Projections: Breakdown and Thoughts Wed, 01 Feb 2017 21:49:55 +0000 mets-wild-card

After laboring through weeks of desperate anticipation and enduring the torture of watching 27 other fan bases gleefully click onto their annual geeky and nerdy delights, it was finally our turn to open up the treasure trove that is the 2017 Mets ZiPS Projections. I couldn’t hardly wait to dig through it and sift through the incredible agony and ecstasy it was sure to provide.

For all you novices out there who still use things like calculators, Mr. Coffee and AM/FM radio, let me explain. ZiPS projections are the brain child of Dan Szymborski, self-anointed nerd of the people, who has an insanely genius appetite for statistics and baseball. Formerly of the Baseball Think Factory, his computer-based projections are now among the most popular in baseball and are prominently featured each year on FanGraphs.

You can ruminate over the full projections for Mets hitters and pitchers right here, but let me share their notes as well as my own observations followed by some from my staff.



Only four Mets field players recorded a WAR figure of 2.0 or greater in 2016. According to Dan Szymborski’s computer, six different Mets might be expected to reach that mark in 2017. Yoenis Cespedes (596 PA, 4.1 zWAR) receives the club’s top projection by a full win — and three of the club’s top-four forecasts overall belong to outfielders. One of those additional outfielders is Curtis Granderson (538, 2.3). The other isn’t presumptive right-field starter Jay Bruce (583, 1.2) but rather Michael Conforto (558, 3.0). Conforto, in other words, appears to be a markedly superior option.

Joe’s Thoughts…

The first thing that jumped out at me was not the 30 homers, .500 Slugging and 4.1 WAR that was projected for Yoenis Cespedes, I expected to see great numbers like that from Yo. What blew my mind was that Michael Conforto was projected to be the second best hitter on the Mets with a 3.0 WAR to go with 29 doubles, 24 homers and 80 RBI. I wish I hadn’t seen that because there’s no way in hell that Conforto gets those 558 plate appearances with Jay Bruce on the team, who by the way was the 14th ranked hitter on the Mets in WAR (1.2), just behind T.J. Rivera (1.4) and Jose Reyes (1.4). Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

I thought that Walker, Cabrera and Granderson were treated very fairly considering their ages and some regression. But you know what really bugged me and concerns me heading into this new season? The fact that we didn’t even have one of our regular hitters project to have a batting average higher than .266 (Cespedes). Couple that with all those sky-high strikeout rates and that spells trouble… The same kind of trouble we saw a lot of last season, especially with runners in scoring position.

They are also expecting a big-time regression in the form of a .316 OBP from Jose Reyes, not good if the plan is to put him at the top of the order. But on the bright side Lucas Duda had a very solid projection clubbing 20 homers, driving in 62 and posting a 123 OPS+ and .344 wOBA. I’ll take that from Duda Smash everyday plus Sundays. David Wright (.247-8-33) continues to sail off into the sunset. Fare thee well, oh Capitan.

Logan’s Thoughts…

I have always been an optimistic person, but in this case I strongly believe the Mets will hit for a higher average than these projections. Yoenis Cespedes will hit higher than .266 and have a far better on base percentage than .317. I also think Neil Walker will hit more than the projected 20 home runs and score much more than 65 runs. Asdrubal Cabrera will hit many more than 17 home runs (I’d estimate 20-25) and drive in many more than 63 runs. I like how Michael Conforto is projected to break out big with 24 home runs and 80 RBIs, however I think he will have a higher batting average than .251, probably somewhere in the .260-.280 range, maybe even higher. Lastly, I disagree with the projection for Lucas Duda. He is healthy, and I think he will far surpass the 20 home runs and 62 RBI projections. The Mets offense is deep and will put up many more runs than anyone is expecting.

Mike’s Thoughts…

One thing that immediately jumps out is the 114 OPS+ for Michael Conforto and Jay Bruce with just a 102 OPS+. Combine that with Conforto being a better defender and better baserunner and you have the reason why I want Conforto playing over Bruce. Another projection that jumps out at me is infielder T.J. Rivera and the slash line of .262/.299./364 projected. I believe that slash line is much closer to what he will probably hit than a ton of Mets fans would like to admit. The projection was much kinder to infield prospect Gavin Cecchini (.262/.316./378), whom I think ends up hitting better at the major league level than TJ.

degrom syndergaard


The projections for the club’s most likely group of five starters don’t seem to be the sort one might expect from a team whose rotation produced the highest WAR figure in the majors last season. ZiPS has already called for the five likely members of the Nationals’ rotation to produce about 19 wins collectively; of the Cubs’ rotation, roughly 16 wins. Here: just 13. The principal causes appear to be both (a) general regression (which is probably inevitable for a team that finishes first in anything) and (b) the departure of Bartolo Colon.

With regard to the bullpen, it features something not unlike a relief ace in Jeurys Familia (76.0 IP, 75 ERA-, 1.0 zWAR), who receives not only the top WAR projection among the club’s relievers, but also the best adjusted ERA. Right-hander Addison Reed (69.1, 79, 0.8) also earns strong marks by both measures.

Joe’s Thoughts…

When I first skimmed through the pitching projections I thought that if Mets starting pitchers perform at the level I saw that there’s no way that they do not win 90 or more games. Now is that enough to win the National League East? That’s the $100,000 dollar question. You see the Washington Nationals project a lot better than the Mets do and they have the innings. But hey, that’s why they play the games right?

Noah Syndergaard could have his best season yet and could deliver one of those magical Dwight Gooden type seasons in 2017, that’s who they chose as his comp. While ZiPs has his WAR a little lower than last year’s league leading figure, he still comes in with a team leading 4.7.

Jacob deGrom and Steven Mtz seem to be in line for a couple of solid showings, but I must say I was disappointed to see Matt Harvey with such a pedestrian showing – too much Bruce Wayne and not enough Dark Knight. If the Mets are going to have the kind of year I think they are, they need 15+ wins from Harvey with a sub 3.00 ERA and a return to the dominance and swagger that gave him that edge on the mound.

As far as the bullpen goes, I had to laugh when I saw they had Jerry Blevins (2.97) ranked with the third best FIP on the staff behind Syndergaard and Addison Reed. A subliminal hint no doubt for Sandy Alderson. Naturally, Jeurys Familia ranked right up there as well, but you know who else was up there with an impressive 3.38 FIP? My boy Josh Smoker that I’ve been talking up all offseason, that’s who. Thank you, Dan Szymborski.

Logan’s Thoughts…

The Mets starting rotation produced the highest WAR last season, and they have only gotten better and healthier. Regression, as suggested by these predictions, is not in the cards. I’d say Noah Syndergaard‘s numbers are right on the money, excepting for his ERA which will be closer to or even lower than his projected FIP of 2.75. Jacob deGrom will start more than 26 games and have a sub-three ERA and will strike out 200 batters. Steven Matz‘s projections are fairly accurate, however I expect more than 24 starts out of him. Matt Harvey is interesting in that I think his 23 starts is pessimistically accurate, however he will pitch much better than a 3.80 FIP and 18.8 K%. Overall, I think these projections are in line with everyone else’s projections about the Mets pitching staff: They are vastly underrated and I expect them to out-perform any other staff in the league.

Mike’s Thoughts…

As we’ve covered many times here at MMO, the health of the Mets rotation is going to play a huge role in whether the team is successful or miss the playoffs. Unsurprisingly in the projections they have Noah Syndergaard leading the way with a 4.7 zWAR and interestingly have Dwight Gooden as his number one comp. The pitcher that they are down on that surprises me the most is Robert Gsellman who is coming off a great debut, but they have him with a 4.08 FIP after posting a 2.63 FIP in 44.2 ML innings. The projections do like relievers Hansel Robles (107 ERA+, 27.4 K percentage) and Josh Smoker (104 ERA+, 30.1 K percentage). One of the minor league arms they have being useful that I believe is being overlooked right now is righty Corey Taylor. Flashed a mid 90′s fastball with a sharp slider in the AFL while posting a 1.77 ERA and allowing only two home runs in 71 regular season pro innings.

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Nationals Sign Relievers Joe Nathan, Matt Albers Tue, 31 Jan 2017 20:49:57 +0000 joe nathan

The Washington Nationals have announced minor-league deals with right-handed relief pitchers Joe Nathan and Matt Albers.

Albers, 34, pitched in 58 games for the White Sox last year, and posted a 6.31 ERA and 1.675 WHIP. The sinker-ball pitcher saw his MLB career tank last season and is looking to bounce-back. He was linked to the Mets more than a few times last offseason, but luckily nothing ever transpired.

Nathan, 42, pitched just 6.1 innings between the Giants and the Cubs last season after missing the entire 2015 season to rehab from Tommy John Surgery. In 16 years, Nathan has collected 377 saves while posting a 2.87 ERA and 1.122 WHIP.

The future Hall of Famer will likely compete for a chance to close or setup in the back of the Nationals bullpen. I don’t know what Nathan has left in the tank, but this is a far cry from Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen and doesn’t come close to replacing Mark Melancon.

Okay I was only kidding about the Cooperstown reference…. You see, I told you saves were a stupid stat.

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FanGraphs Projects Mets For 83 Wins… Yeah, Right… Tue, 31 Jan 2017 17:55:34 +0000 projected

Those no-good, downright mean-spirited, fake news spouting folks at FanGraphs currently project the New York Mets to win just 83 games in 2017 and  lose the NL East by seven games while missing the postseason and Wild Card by one game. Just kidding about the intro folks, FanGraphs does a fine job.

Just like any set of projections, they are only as good as the input data which can sometimes be very subjective and we have no idea what those data points are. Also keep in mind that these projections can change as team circumstances change, so if the Mets were to bolster their bullpen maybe that can improve their fortunes by a game or two.

Still, color me a bit disappointed by this initial calculation based on how strong the Mets were last season when the team was relatively healthy. The Mets head into 2017 with essentially the same exact offense they ended the 2016 season with, and yes that was an offense that finished the year ranked 26th in Runs Scored, 17th in Slugging Pct., and 17th in OPS.

However, those rankings were greatly impacted by a slew of injuries to 7 of their 8 players in the team’s starting lineup. Only Curtis Granderson was able to avoid the disabled list in 2016. Yoenis CespedesAsdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes all had a DL stint, while David WrightLucas DudaTravis d’Arnaud and Neil Walker missed huge swaths of time and three of them were shutdown for the season.


If you were to look at the Mets’ MLB ranking in Runs Scored by Month, it tells the story of just how impacted the team was by all these injuries, but it also illustrates just how good they were in April, August and September when they were essentially at 80-100 percent strength.

April – 10th
May – 28th
June – 30th
July – 20th
August – 8th
September – 5th

After Cespedes, Reyes and Cabrera all returned from the DL, there was a five week span that began in mid August and lasted through mid September that the Mets were the number one ranked MLB offense in runs scored.

Let’s talk about the bullpen real quick as that seems to be the biggest source of consternation right now. Even if the Mets were to lose Jeurys Familia for a month – and that’s not written in stone yet – this was one of the top bullpens in baseball last year with the 6th best ERA and 5th best WHIP in MLB so why all the angst?

Yes, we still have some work to do, I’ll give you that. But as I reported last week I had a very good source tell me that the Mets were not out on Jerry Blevins and that the two sides were still very much engaged. Also heard that Blevins has told friends he wants to return to the Mets. I like the sound of both those things.

Then on Friday, I heard that the Mets were one of the most aggressive suitors for Craig Breslow and that they also reached out to Joe Blanton. Something’s definitely cooking and the Mets are not done yet. If you don’t think Sandy Alderson wants to win as badly as we do you really need to go find yourself a good shrink.

As for the rotation, what else can I say that I haven’t said already? They are young. They are exciting and oozing with All Star potential. And they also have a lot of health concerns. I think they’re all going to be fine, but if they’re not, I’m so glad we have Gsellman and Lugo.

The Mets are going to be fine. The bullpen is going to be fine. The rotation is going to be fine. Having an extra 30-homer bat in the lineup is going to be fine. Terry Collins is going to make me pull my hair out. But no matter what, our New York Mets will win 90+ games in 2017…  Put it in the books.

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Three Things To Watch For At Mets Camp Tue, 31 Jan 2017 15:19:43 +0000 spring training

We are living in a turbulent moment in history with a country that is indignantly divided at times and tearing at each other’s throats. Sadly, that’s probably the one thing all of us can unanimously agree on these days. Writing about the the New York Mets has become my retreat from the acrimonious barrage of negativity that engulfs us day by day. It has become my place of solace and assuagement from an unpredictable and raging hot future.

It may be two and half minutes to doomsday out there, but here at Metsmerized the grass is always green, the sun is always shining, the leather is popping, the bats are cracking, and as the great Ernie Banks would say, “Let’s play two.”

In just 12 days, pitchers and catchers will report to Port St. Lucie and what a sight for sore eyes that will be. Some will say that this offseason flew by, but not me. I thought it was agonizingly long and if I had to read or write one more article about Jay Bruce or Michael Conforto I swear I was going to gouge my eyes out.

When Russian composer Igor Stravinsky first wrote about the Rites of Spring, he opined about the crisp mountain air, the blooming of the lilies, and the annual ritual of sacrificing the life of a young virgin girl at the village square. Here at MMO, our Rites of Spring are a bit more subdued. Here are three things to look for at Mets camp this year:

1. The Starting Five – Everyone is holding their breath and hoping that Steven Matz, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler will make it across the finish line with no setbacks as each one is coming back from one type of surgery or another. Sandy Alderson also announced during the Winter Meetings that while Noah Syndergaard had a bone spur in his throwing elbow, team doctors made the decision to allow him to pitch through it in 2017.  What are the odds all five start the season on time? Will the Mets return to innings limits this season? How many of them will make 30 starts this season? What about a six man rotation? Will they be able to pitch in the postseason? Lots of questions.

2. What’s The Catch – The Mets are committed to starting the season with Travis d’Arnaud as their starting catcher with Rene Rivera returning to reprise his role as Syndergaard’s personal catcher. That said, team brass will be monitoring d’Arnaud very closely in camp and new coach Glenn Sherlock will provide daily feedback as TDA’s hold on a job is very tenuous at best. It would behoove him to hit the ground running when Grapefruit League play begins. Also, I get the feeling that Kevin Plawecki has become that obscure relative you never hear about that you see every few years at a funeral. “Oh Kevin, my goodness, it’s been years, how’s the wife and kids…”

3. Outfield, What Outfield – Remember a short time ago when we had no outfielders, prompting Sandy Alderson to make his famous quip? Boy, how times have changed. The Mets arguably now have five starting outfielders to fill three spots in Yoenis Cespedes, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Michael Conforto and Juan Lagares. Under normal circumstances a team would simply let Bruce and Conforto battle it out and may the best man win. But this battle has already been fought in the boardroom and Bruce will be your everyday right fielder – in name only – as he’s the worst defensive right fielder in the Milky Way. Conforto, in the meantime, will likely post a 1.120 OPS in Las Vegas and make our mouths salivate on a day to day basis until somebody gets hurt, gets traded or gets released.

There are a few other things to watch for in camp this Spring but I’m gonna hold off writing about them until we get a little more clarity on them as the offseason technically continues. Namely, who will be the 7th inning reliever, who sets up if Addison Reed is forced into the closer’s role, and who gets that final bench spot.

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Royals Agree To Two-Year Deal With Brandon Moss Sun, 29 Jan 2017 18:47:30 +0000 brandon moss

Jim Bowden of ESPN reports that the Kansas City Royals and have agreed to a two-year, $12 million dollar contract with free agent first baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss. The deal is pending a physical.

Moss, 33, belted 28 home runs with 67 RBIs in 464 plate appearances for the St. Louis Cardinals last season, however after a dreadful second half, he ended the year with a .225/.300/.484 batting line. Still, his .784 OPS was the highest since his 2013 season.

It’s another slugger off the market, but that still leaves Mike Napoli, Chris Carter and Mark Reynolds ready, willing and able.

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Ignore The Noise, The Mets Are Going To Be Just Fine Sun, 29 Jan 2017 14:29:52 +0000 gil hodges

Good Morning to all of you. As I sit here enjoying a fresh brewed cup of coffee I can’t believe that in 14 days and most likely less than that, pitchers and catchers will start reporting to Mets camp at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie and a new season will suddenly be upon us.

It’s pretty exciting to say the least, but there’s still a lingering sense of some unfinished business that we need to take care of before we can head into a new season.

Some of the mainstream outlets have graded the Mets offseason at a C or D even though they they handed out the largest contract of the offseason to outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. And just this morning, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post tabbed the Mets as Losers this offseason:

“You reluctantly could swallow the Jay Bruce resolution, though Michael Conforto’s ceiling stands higher than Bruce’s, if that didn’t also handcuff the Mets’ payroll flexibility to strengthen their bullpen. And don’t forget their 2016 leader in innings pitched, Bartolo Colon, left for Atlanta, and the team is counting on its young (and talented, yes) arms to stay healthy and make up the difference.”

If you think Davidoff is off his rocker, Ben Berkon of Forbes definitely takes the cake with his insanely aggressive ignorance, saying:

“If anything, the Mets’ sudden faith in Bruce as a starter only upholds the organization’s questionable commitment to winning.”

Wow… I really don’t know where to begin…


Look, I totally get the fact that Sandy Alderson may have misread the market for power hitting outfielders. But what general manager, agent or player didn’t misread this market? It was a freak thing that nobody saw coming. But let’s not get all butt hurt just because we’re stuck with a 30+ homer, 100+ RBI bat in the middle of our lineup.

I love Michael Conforto more than just about anyone on this planet and I do realize how keeping Bruce will impact his playing time. So what. That’s life. The fact of the matter is that if Conforto didn’t go all Jekyll and Hyde on us the Mets never would have traded for Bruce in the first place. He’s young and starting the season off in Las Vegas isn’t going to hurt him. Let’s see what happens.

In the meantime, the best thing that could happen is that Bruce busts out with a huge April and May and together with Cespedes propels the Mets to the top of the NL East.

Now as for this prevailing narrative that the Bruce situation has the Mets in a financial stranglehold, none of all this doom and gloom is measuring up to what I’m hearing.

On Thursday, I had a very good source tell me that the Mets were not out on Jerry Blevins and that the two sides were still very much engaged. Then on Friday, I heard that the Mets were one of the most aggressive suitors for Craig Breslow and that they also reached out to Joe Blanton.

Forgive me, but if the Mets were at their financial limit and at a spending freeze why would they be so active in the free agent market for these relievers?

Don’t believe everything Sandy Alderson says about staying internally to fill out the bullpen, this is how he always operates, it’s just GM-speak. The Mets are definitely working the market and trying to find the right fits for the pen. They are one of the most active teams in the relief market right now.

Don’t believe what guys like Ken Davidoff have to say about the state of the Mets. And let me just say that Ben Berkon is an idiot, plain and simple. I can’t believe he said what he did.

The Mets are going to be fine. By the time pitchers and catchers report I’m certain they’ll have at least one if not two solid additions to their bullpen. And however the Jay Bruce situation shakes out, either way it will not impact our ability to win 90+ games in 2017…  And with a little bit of luck we will go on to win the World Series… It’s going to be a fun and exciting season! LGM

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