Mets Merized Online » Joe D http://metsmerizedonline.com Thu, 28 May 2015 23:33:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.8 Syndergaard Does It All, Hammers Phillies But Good http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/syndergaard-does-it-all-hammers-phillies-but-good.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/syndergaard-does-it-all-hammers-phillies-but-good.html/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 02:45:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182818 noah syndergaard homers

Reportedly, Noah Syndergaard promised his dad a win on Wednesday for his birthday, and like a dutiful and appreciative son he gave his father all that and more.

On the mound, Syndergaard was absolutely filthy, blending his 100 mph heat with a jaw-dropping curve and knee-buckling sinker that left the Phillies lineup stunned, helpless, and impotent.

Easily the best start of his young career, Syndergaard delivered 7.2 scoreless innings, allowing just six hits, no walks, and striking out six. He becomes the first pitcher in Mets history to have 5+ strikeouts in each of his first four career starts.

And amazing as all that sounds, it’s only half the story as the young hard-throwing righty was even more impressive at the plate.

Syndergaard may have been lightning on the mound but on Wednesday he was also packing some thunder in his bat, going  3-for-3 including a memorable blast he hammered over the wall in the fourth inning for his first major league home run. He is now batting .444 (4-for-9) so far this season.

According to ESPN Stats and Info, his home run traveled 430 feet, which is the longest home run by a pitcher since Carlos Zambrano hit one 431 feet on June 30, 2012 for the Marlins at Philadelphia.

Still shocked after the game at his offensive showing, Syndergaard told reporters how surreal it was.

“I wasn’t really jazzed up. I just thought to myself as I was running around the bases, ‘What happened?’ I kind of shocked myself in a sense.”

The Mets rookie also tied the franchise record with three hits in a game, and became the first Mets pitcher to hit a homer since Jeremy Hefner on May 29, 2012 off Philadelphia’s Joe Blanton.

Asked if he was stunned by Syndergaard’s home run, Terry Collins laughed and said:

“He’s 6-7, 245… I’m hoping he can hit them that far. You had guys on the bench, some of our hitters saying, ‘I can’t hit the ball that far.’ He’s a big, strong kid. There’s no doubt about it.”

Raise your hand if you believe the Mets are going to have back to back Rookie of the Year winners? :-)

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Mets Will Keep Six-Man Rotation Until Mid-August http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mets-will-keep-six-man-rotation-until-mid-august.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mets-will-keep-six-man-rotation-until-mid-august.html/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 18:59:27 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182560 Mets will look to keep starters in rotation healthy down the stretch by moving to a six-man rotation.

Mets will look to keep starters in rotation healthy down the stretch by moving to a six-man rotation.

Update, May 27

Once Dillon Gee rejoins the Mets after his start in Binghamton today, the Mets will move to a six-man rotation, pitching coach Dan Warthen said today. That will continue until at least early to mid-August.

The goal, Warthen said, is to cut down each pitcher from about 33 starts over the course of the season to about 30. They will now also throw two bullpen session between starts instead of the usual one. The team will add a light bullpen session to the conventional one, and could also have pitchers throw batting practice to stay sharp.

The team felt some resistance from the pitchers, however he also said it was best for their futures. From ESPN New York:

“It is better for the player. It’s better for the organization, at least, until we get to where we feel like we have plenty of innings left in September and still have the possibility of innings left in October,” Warthen said.

“Our No. 1 concern is our pitchers, and our pitchers staying healthy,” Warthen said. “We have some other [young] ones — [prospect Steven] Matz is coming along. We’re going to have Syndergaard here, deGrom here, Harvey here. Those are the guys who are the big concerns. As for the other guys, they have to go along with it. It’s going to only prolong their careers. From the organization’s standpoint, from my standpoint, I think it’s a smart thing to do.”

Between the minors and majors last season, Jacob deGrom tossed 178.2 innings while Syndergaard threw 137. Harvey tried to return from Tommy John Surgery at the end of last year, but never got to pitch in live games. Coming into today, the three of them have combined for 168.2 innings so far this season.

Original Post, May 25

Terry Collins spoke with reporters before the game on Monday and expanded on the upcoming six-man rotation which will kick in once Dillon Gee is activated from the DL for his start against the San Diego Padres on June 2.

  1. The primary reason for the six-man rotation was so that the team could keep Noah Syndergaard in the rotation. “We want this guy pitching here,” Collins said.
  2. It also allows the team to keep all six of their starters fresh with the extra rest afforded in between starts, and ready for September baseball and beyond.
  3. It helps the team to control and manage the innings limitations for Matt Harvey, Jaob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard.
  4. Collins said the six-man rotation means that the team goes back to playing with a four-man bench, something they tried and abandoned earlier in the season.

The team will reevaluate this plan after two turns through the rotation and if they don’t like what they see, adjustments will be made. Thum, Thum, Thuh…

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Brewers Could Trade Braun, Gomez or Segura For Right Price http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/brewers-could-trade-braun-gomez-or-segura-for-right-price.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/brewers-could-trade-braun-gomez-or-segura-for-right-price.html/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 15:10:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182678 MJS MJS brewers15, nws, sears, 6

Milwaukee beat writer Todd Rosiak of the Journal-Sentinel believes the Brewers would trade outfielder Ryan Braun, but only if a team were to take on his entire salary which he calls unlikely.

“I’d think they most certainly would, but because of the money he’s owed – his extension doesn’t even kick in until next season – it’s highly unlikely unless the Brewers would agree to eat some of it.”

“Their trading partners would also most certainly be limited to big-market teams, and there would likely be questions regarding his thumb as well as the past PED issues.”

Through 173 plate appearances, he is batting .272/.349/.543 with 12 home runs and 36 RBI.

Brewers owner Mark Attanasio said the team is still in “win now” mode so you could imagine the return they would want once a team agrees to take on that salary.

Other players likely to be moved are pending free agents Kyle Lohse and Aramis Ramirez, but Rosiak believes the team would also move Carlos Gomez, Jonathan Lucroy and Jean Segura for the right package.

Where do the Mets fit in on Braun? They don’t, with over $45 million annually invested in David Wright, Curtis Granderson and Michael Cuddyer, there’s no wiggle room for taking on a contract like Braun even if they could convince the Brewers to eat 25% of his contract.

Then expect the return to be Noah SyndergaardMichael ConfortoAmed Rosario and Akeel Morris for starters. Still Interested?

Braun, 31, is owed $15 million for this season, and the new $105 million extension kicks in next year, averaging over $20 million per season.

There was an obscure rumor that Sandy Alderson was after Braun two years ago, but it sounded sketchy at best given the $80 million payroll budget the Mets had at the time.

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Let Them Eat Crow… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/let-them-eat-crow.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/let-them-eat-crow.html/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 13:04:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182706 wilmer flores

He did it again… Wilmer Flores, who had been hitting the ball on the screws all night without a base hit to show for it, wouldn’t be denied in the tenth inning as his game-winning walk off single would attest.

“I faced the guy before and I was looking for a breaking ball,” Flores said. “I got it up, he threw it, I was ready for it.”

For Flores, it was his second career walk-off RBI, the other came on September 8, 2014 vs. Colorado when he hit a sacrifice fly.

With a reputation for being an RBI Machine, as Wally Backman once told us during an interview in 2013, Flores rarely squanders a chance to drive in a run. In this latest streak, he has six RBI in his last three games.

Anthony DiComo of MLB.com aptly pointed out that if you throw out the first eight games of this season, in which Flores was 4-for-25, he is batting .270 with eight home runs and 21 RBIs in 123 plate appearances.

“Extrapolate those numbers over a full season, and it becomes clear that Flores has the potential to develop into one of the top offensive shortstops in baseball — if he is not one already.”

Wow… So as the Mets look to complete the sweep against the Phillies, one of the league’s worst teams, remember that the difference in those first two wins was all Wilmer Flores.

Back in March I wrote, “By the time the new season is over, Flores is going to have a lot of his detractors, especially those in the media, eating a ton of crow. I hope they’re hungry.”

The one person who has done a surprisingly complete 180 on Flores, after more than a year of begrudgingly playing him on the GM’s orders, is Terry Collins.

It was obvious to all that for the longest time the Mets manager wanted absolutely nothing to do with Flores, disparaging him every chance he got.

But these days, Collins has been his biggest supporter. And why shouldn’t he be? After all, with his job on the line, Flores has already saved his ass a half-dozen times this season and it’s only May.

Keep on keeping on Wilmer…

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ICYMI: Constructing the Perfect Mets and Cubs Trade http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/icymi-constructing-the-perfect-mets-and-cubs-trade.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/icymi-constructing-the-perfect-mets-and-cubs-trade.html/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 16:31:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182468 Kris bryant

Baseball analyst and former GM Jim Duquette came up with three potential scenarios in trying to construct the perfect Mets and Cubs trade in an article for MLB.com.

He points out that Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer recently acknowledged that the two sides have had ongoing dialogue to see if there is a good fit.

The Cubs of course are loaded with talented middle infielders, while the Mets are stocked with elite young pitchers. Each team possesses what the other team craves.

Here are his three trade proposals, and I included some of Jim’s partial comments. Read his article for full and extensive commentary for each trade.

The Safe Trade: SS Javier Baez for LHP Steven Matz

We have not seen the best of Baez at the Major League level, especially last season, when he struck out at an alarming rate of 41.5 percent. But there is no denying his power potential, athleticism and overall talent in the middle of the diamond. Unlike Wilmer Flores, Baez is a true shortstop and would provide at least as much power and much better defense with more upside.

The Fair Trade: Starlin Castro or Addison Russell for RHPs Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero

This deal would help both teams right now. Although error-prone, Castro would be a defensive upgrade and give the Mets another high-average hitter. He’s due $37 million from 2016-19, which is extremely reasonable for a player of his caliber. Russell is younger and has more upside, but he is a bit more of a wild card.

The Dream Trade: Kris Bryant for Matt Harvey

In reality, this one would not likely be done by either side as both Bryant and Harvey have become, to some degree, the faces of their respective franchises. But there’s no denying that both are stars — marketable players to build around. They also know how to handle the attention and the spotlight.

Duquette’s Disclaimer: I recognize this will never happen, but it’s fun to think about. Fact is, when both sides are equally uncomfortable in making a trade of this nature, it usually means it’s a fair one.

I like Jim Duquette and find him to be an excellent and insightful baseball analyst. Those are definitely three trades, each interesting in their own way, that will make for some fun and interesting dialog.

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MMO Honors Our Veterans On This Memorial Day http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mmo-honors-our-veterans-on-this-memorial-day.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mmo-honors-our-veterans-on-this-memorial-day.html/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 14:13:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=119947 troops-place-flags-in-arlington-national-cemetery

Once again it falls upon all Americans to take a pause from the daily grind in remembrance of all the brave men and women that have made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives for our country. We at Metsmerized Online honor their bravery on this Memorial Day.

We also honor all the men and women of our Armed Forces who continue to serve our country and defend the American way of life.

The Mets, in conjunction with the USO of Metropolitan New York, will host their eighth annual Military Appreciation Day today. The USO Show Troupe will perform today’s National Anthem.

A Flyover by two U.S. Navy fighters from VFA-37 in Virginia Beach will take place after the Anthem and the U.S. Army Black Knights Parachute Team from West Point will jump into Citi Field to deliver the first pitch.

A reenlistment ceremony for 53 military personnel will take place prior to the game and children of military personnel will lead the crowd in the pledge of allegiance.

At 3:00 PM all MLB teams will pause for a moment of silence.

Remember, real heroes don’t wear capes, they wear dog tags. God Bless all our veterans for their unwavering courage, integrity and patriotism. A special shout-out to my brothers and sisters at the Brooklyn VA.

MMO HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY

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Why Do Mets Have Such An Inordinate Amount Of Injuries? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/why-do-mets-have-such-an-inordinate-amount-of-injuries.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/why-do-mets-have-such-an-inordinate-amount-of-injuries.html/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 13:46:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182488 David Wright

The following is a conversation between Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez that I transcribed from Sunday’s Mets vs Pirates broadcast.

The two of them spent about 15 minutes discussing why Mets players suffer so many injuries to their muscles, joints and ligaments.

Gary: For all that this Mets organization has done to minimize injuries, including the offseason strength and conditioning programs they’ve insituted with Mike Barwis the last two years, this organization seems incredibly beset with injuries year after year after year.

Gary: Is it just bad luck? Or is it something that requires some further introspection on the part of this organization?

Keith: I don’t believe in bad luck. Maybe there has to be a reevaluation of their conditioning programs. I personally think that the players work out too much. It’s a long year, there’s much more travel now, much more weariness – especially leg weariness – which is probably why Lucas Duda is out.

Keith: I’d like to see the guys basically not being baseball gym rats. It’s crazy, they come to the ballpark and mostly live in that bunker down there.

Gary: I think it’s important that you differentiate between the traumatic injuries and the freak injuries which are always going to happen during the course of the season.

Gary: It’s the other things like the pulled quads and the pulled hamstrings like Duda yesterday, Wright earlier in the season… The back problems… Are those things that can be avoided? Is there a way to figure out how to minimize those things?  I know the Mets have been very diligent in trying to figure out how to do that but is there something that’s missing?

Keith: I’m no expert… There has been a lot of advancements in conditioning throughout sports. But I do think this sport is particularly different in that it’s a marathon and you play 162 games in 182 days in the dead of summer.

Keith: You’ve got to be stronger in August and September. From my own personal experience, I started lifting during the latter part of my career. I was always reluctant to do anything involving weights with my legs. I was always afraid that my legs would get too strong and that they would tighten up. Instead I would stretch my legs all the time to keep them loose.

Keith: Now I know that these players are also stretching too, but I’m wondering if all this focus on building their leg muscles is creating too much tension? I imagine those muscles and ligaments are as tight as piano wires. I’m talking about your hamstrings, your quads, etc. In my day we ran to make our legs strong, and we played to keep our legs strong.

Gary: And the other piece to that is: are the Mets doing these things and pushing their players too hard? I wonder if that’s what other teams are doing too? I don’t hear about other teams working their players the way the Mets do.

Anyway, the conversation went on and on with each wondering why the Mets have so many more injuries than the average team over the last several seasons.

Both agreed that the Mets need to reevaluate their entire training staff, procedures, and conditioning programs.

Hernandez also advocated for the 154 game scheduled proposed by new commissioner Rob Manfred as it would minimize injuries caused by fatigue.

They question whether Mets players specifically are doing too much lifting, if the offseason workouts are contributing to the stress on their muscles and ligaments, and if their bodies are getting enough time to recuperate after a long season.

The Mets have lost the third most days to the DL so far this season.

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Mets Not In On Casey McGehee http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mets-not-in-on-casey-mcgehee-who-was-dfad-by-giants.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mets-not-in-on-casey-mcgehee-who-was-dfad-by-giants.html/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 03:24:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182481 920x920

11:00 PM Update:

Team source tells Adam Rubin that Mets have no interest in McGehee.

Sorry, Garry, but it’s probably for the best…

3:00 PM Original Post

Third baseman Casey McGehee was designated for assignment by the San Francisco Giants on Sunday.

Acquired in a trade with the Miami Marlins this past offseason to replace Pablo Sandoval as the everyday third baseman, McGehee has been absolutely awful at the plate.

In 110 mostly bad at-bats, McGehee hit .200 with a .248 on-base, .282 slugging, and just nine RBI. He’s struck out 24 times and grounded into a league leading 12 double plays.

He has also struggled defensively at third base, committing five errors and owning a .934 fielding percentage.

McGehee, 32, had a solid year for the Marlins in 2014, posting a .287 average and.355 OBP, with 29 doubles, four home runs and 76 RBIs. He was named comeback player of the year.

He’s played for seven different teams in parts of seven seasons, including one year in Japan.

SNY’s Gary Cohen suggested that the Mets should go after him to replace David Wright whose return from spinal stenosis is now unknown.

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Mets Recall Danny Muno, Option Johnny Monell http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mets-recall-danny-muno-option-johnny-monell.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mets-recall-danny-muno-option-johnny-monell.html/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 21:28:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182507 daniel muno danny

The Mets announced they have called up infielder Daniel Muno from Triple-A Las Vegas.

This will be the second time around for Muno, who had one hit in six plate appearances for the Mets earlier this season.

He was hitting .280 with one home run and 12 RBI in 100 at-bats for Las Vegas on the year.

To make room for Muno, the Mets optioned catcher Johnny Monell back to Triple-A.

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Frustrated Gee Says Mets Have Him “Wasting Bullets” http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/frustrated-gee-says-mets-have-him-wasting-bullets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/frustrated-gee-says-mets-have-him-wasting-bullets.html/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 17:00:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182472 dillon gee

After learning that he will make one more minor-league rehab start with Double-A Binghamton on Wednesday, an exasperated and frustrated Dillon Gee told reporters that the Mets have him “wasting bullets.”

Initially expected to rejoin the rotation this week, and after tossing 6.1 scoreless innings for St. Lucie on Thursday, the Mets unexpectedly squashed that plan and told Gee he will start against the San Diego Padres on June 2 instead.

“This has been the weirdest damn year in baseball I’ve ever had,” Gee said before Sunday’s game. “It’s the weirdest ever.”

It has been a grind for Gee who was the subject of trade rumors all offseason, then was told he was being dispatched to the bullpen in Spring Training, he was then back in the rotation when Zack Wheeler went down, and now learns about this six-man rotation plan while being told to hop on a plane to Binghamton after just arriving from St. Lucie with a layover in Detroit where they lost his luggage.

I guess I’d be pissed off too if that were me. It sounds like the Mets now have two ticked-off veterans in their rotation. Matt Harvey is a veteran, right? We’ve yet to hear from Jon Niese.

Terry Collins admitted that more than one pitcher was unhappy when he unveiled his six-man roation to them on Saturday. “It wasn’t just Matt,” Collins said. “If I can help it, I didn’t want to do it to anybody.”

Harvey was also perturbed that he first learned of the manager’s decision on Twitter and not from Collins.

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Collins Attributes Harvey’s Career-Worst Outing To Pitching On Regular Rest http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/collins-attributes-harveys-career-worst-outing-to-pitching-on-regular-rest.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/collins-attributes-harveys-career-worst-outing-to-pitching-on-regular-rest.html/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 12:37:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182354 matt harvey terry collins

After Matt Harvey endured the worst start of his major league career on Saturday, Terry Collins told reporters that “pitching on regular rest played a role” in what transpired.

Harvey, who made it known before the game he unhappy about the six-man rotation, gave up six hits including two homers, two walks and seven runs in four innings.

“You’ve got to look at everything. He’ll say no, I’m sure. But there’s no reason to think it’s not a factor,” Collins told reporters.

Prior to the game, Collins held a meeting with the team’s other four starting pitchers about how the six-man rotation will work when Dillon Gee returns from the disabled list on Sunday and gets the start next Friday.

Meanwhile, despite plenty of data that shows Harvey is more effective on five days rest rather than four, the Mets ace wasn’t budging and attributed his performance on Saturday to just a terrible outing and a bad day due to his inability to spot any of his pitches.

“Everything was kind of all over the place. I wasn’t locating, obviously. Arm feels fine, body feels fine,” Harvey said after the game. “One of those days…”

Harvey picked a bad day to have his worst outing, and regardless of his feelings on the matter the Mets are proceeding with the six-man rotation beginning on Friday.

Throughout his career Harvey has pitched to a 2.94 ERA on four days of rest. But with an extra day of rest his ERA improves to 2.04, and with two extra days of rest he has a 1.07 ERA in nine starts. It’s tough to dismiss that.

May 23

It was tough not to notice the following item about Matt Harvey while reading Adam Rubin’s Morning Briefing today:

“Matt Harvey has every reason to be perturbed. He has tossed a career-high-matching 16 straight scoreless innings, yet has no-decisions in each of his past two starts. And now the New York Mets are expected to go to a six-man rotation, which will decrease his opportunities to pitch — displeasing him.”

Then this morning, one of our readers (Brian) emailed me the following excerpt from an article about the six-man rotation by Anthony DiComo of MLB.com:

“There are still plenty of kinks to be worked out with that strategy. Collins said that when Harvey saw the news on Twitter, he marched into the manager’s office to demand an explanation. Syndergaard wouldn’t say if he already knew before the game that he was sticking with the Mets; at the time, he was preparing for his start by watching a “Game of Thrones” episode on his tablet.”

It appears that Harvey may not be totally onboard with the recent scuttlebutt about the Mets employing a six-man rotation. But the Mets ace has always put the team first from day one, that much is true.

I’m trying like hell to understand why Terry Collins would volunteer that private incident between him and Harvey, especially knowing how something like that can become overly dramatized by the media.

It puts Harvey in a poor light and there’s no doubt that he will probably be confronted about it this afternoon on a day when he should be 100 percent focused on his start tonight.

It’s stuff like this that really gnaws at me about Collins. He’s always yapping and frequently says things he should just keep to himself. He never knows when to shut up. It drives me nuts.

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Mets Dealt A Serious Blow As Wright Is Diagnosed With Spinal Stenosis http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mets-dealt-a-serious-blow-as-wright-is-diagnosed-with-spinal-stenosis.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mets-dealt-a-serious-blow-as-wright-is-diagnosed-with-spinal-stenosis.html/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 02:47:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182419 wright

Assistant GM John Ricco told reporters on Saturday that David Wright has suffered another setback and has been shutdown for the second time in 15 days due to a serious back issue.

Wright has been diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis – a narrowing of the spinal column.

“He’s still experiencing some lower-back tightness,” Ricco said.

“It’s at the point where we’re going to stop the on-field stuff for a week, continue with a program of core strengthening and basically back-stabilization exercises. They hope that will alleviate what he’s feeling.”

According to Record columnist Bob Klapisch, it’s the same condition that forced Lenny Dykstra to retire at age 35, and also wreaked havoc with the career of Don Mattingly who was never the same afterward.

While the Mets seem to be downplaying the severity of the diagnosis, spinal stenosis can be a very painful and debilitating condition that varies in severity from day to day.

There are two types of spinal stenosis, and while lumbar is the less serious of the two, it can worsen and degenerate with exertion or too much physical activity.

According to the medical website Spine Health, in lumbar spinal stenosis, the spinal nerve roots in the lower back are compressed, or choked, and this can produce symptoms of sciatica — tingling, weakness or numbness that radiates from the lower back and into the buttocks and legs – especially with activity.

Doctors have made it clear that only rest will help, and Wright could make the injury worse if he tries to push and play through it.

For now the Mets captain will be shutdown for at least one week and then he’ll be re-examined and evaluated.

There is absolutely no timetable for his return as the team will play this one very slowly and much will depend on Wright’s threshold for pain.

It’s a significant setback for Wright and the team. The Mets have been using Eric Campbell at third base, but he has been mired in an 0-for-20 slump at the plate, is batting .189 for the season, and has also made a pair of costly throwing errors this week.

The front office may have to reconsider their stance of waiting out Wright’s return before considering trading for a bat, but the timing works against them in my opinion.

It’s still early in the season and not many teams have come out as sellers yet. Plus the situation gives the Mets little in the way of leverage, in fact I’d say they have none.

For the time being the team will have to consider all their internal options, and if that means promoting Matt Reynolds then so be it. Ruben Tejada will man third base on Sunday, but the reality is that the Mets have been dealt a serious blow, and it comes at a very bad time with the team struggling for offense.

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Mets Trying To Trade Nieuwenhuis http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mets-trying-to-trade-nieuwenhuis.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mets-trying-to-trade-nieuwenhuis.html/#comments Sat, 23 May 2015 20:20:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182381 kirk nieuwenhuis

Assistant general manager John Ricco said the New York Mets “are doing their due diligence” to see if a trade option exists before trying to pass outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis through waivers. (Adam Rubin, ESPN New York)

Nieuwenhuis, 27, was batting .079 (3 for 38) with a .257 OPS this season before he was designated for assignment on Tuesday.

In parts of four seasons with the Mets, Nieuwenhuis has a slash line of .230/.302/.374 in 592 plate appearances.

It’s great to hear the Mets are on the phones trying to execute a trade for him, but I’m not sure there’s any value here.

I could see a team trying to claim him on waivers, but I don’t see a team wanting to give up one of their players to get him.

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Noah Syndergaard Will Remain In The Rotation http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/noah-syndergaard-will-remain-in-the-rotation.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/noah-syndergaard-will-remain-in-the-rotation.html/#comments Sat, 23 May 2015 04:15:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182323 USATSI_8576333_154511658_lowres

Speaking to reporters after Friday night’s 4-1 loss to the Pirates, manager Terry Collins emphatically said that Noah Syndergaard will remain in the rotation.

“I like him a lot… Right now, he’s not going anywhere,” Collins said. “He’ll go back out there in five days, and we will see how he does.”

Syndergaard pitched solidly against the Bucs and better than his numbers would indicate. He allowed three earned runs on seven hits and struck out five in six innings.

However, the hard-throwing righty was on the wrong side of some very questionable calls by the official scorer at PNC Park. And of course, the offense did little in the way of run support as well.

“I thought he pitched a nice game. We didn’t help him for sure,” Collins said. “He pitched better than what the game looked like.”

Syndergaard, 22, is now 1-2 after three starts with a 3.63 ERA. In 17.1 innings pitched, he has struck out 16 batters while walking five. He has certainly showed that he belongs in the big-league rotation.

When told that he would remain in the rotation after tonight’s game, Syndergaard was happy with the decision.

“I’m glad to stay here,” Syndergaard said. “I feel I’ve had some pretty good success here and I’m looking forward to making my next start.”

Collins indicated that Thor would make his next start on Wednesday against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field.

As for Dillon Gee, the team is planning to use a six-man rotation for now, and an official decision will be announced on Saturday before the game.

Thor is here to stay.

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DeGrom Dazzles Despite Dealing With Shoulder and Hip Issues http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/degrom-dazzles-despite-dealing-with-shoulder-and-hip-issues.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/degrom-dazzles-despite-dealing-with-shoulder-and-hip-issues.html/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 02:24:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182207 deGrom Jacob

What an incredible start by Jacob deGrom on Thursday, as he tossed eight shutout innings against the St. Louis Cardinals in a 5-0 victory for the Mets.

DeGrom struck out 11 batters and did not allow a base runner after Matt Carpenter singled in the first inning, retiring the next 23 batters in a row.

After the game, we learned that deGrom was removed after 104 pitches and not allowed to complete his one-hit shutout because he had been dealing with recent stiffness in his shoulder and hip according to manager Terry Collins. (Adam Rubin)

The issue seems to be behind the young righty who said he felt fine and had no problem with being removed after the eighth. Neither him or Collins seemed to think this would be an ongoing concern.

I haven’t thrown a complete game in the big leagues,” deGrom said. “That’s something I want to do. But I had a lot of pitches early on. My goal was to try to stay in there for at least seven. Then, whenever they let me go back out for the eighth, I was just happy to do that.”

Here are some interesting notes on deGrom’s best start of the season:

DeGrom tossed 8.0 one-hit shutout innings and recorded 11 strikeouts. He tied his career-high with 8.0 innings of work, performing the feat against Colorado on September 9, 2014.

He is the fourth pitcher in franchise history to allow no runs, strikeout at least 10 and walk none in a game, joining Tom Seaver, R.A. Dickey and Matt Harvey.

The last Mets pitcher to retire 23 consecutive batters was Anthony Young on July 7, 1993 vs. San Diego at Shea Stadium.

His 11 strikeouts were the most by a Met since deGrom struck out a career-high 13 against Miami on September 15, 2014. It was also his fifth career double-digit strikeout game and his fourth career game with at least 11 strikeouts.

DeGrom is 10-4 with a 1.50 ERA in 16 career starts at Citi Field. That is the lowest home ERA in the major leagues over the last two seasons (minimum 140.0 IP). Over his last 12 home starts, dating to July 8, 2014, he is 10-1 with a 1.19 ERA and has allowed one run or fewer in seven of his last nine home starts.

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While Mets Offense Flat-Lines, Front Office Sits On Their Hands http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/while-mets-offense-flat-lines-front-office-sits-on-their-hands.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/while-mets-offense-flat-lines-front-office-sits-on-their-hands.html/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 12:53:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182177 sandy-alderson

“Develop the pitching, buy the bats.” That was a recurring theme during what has been a five year rebuild. It was drilled into our heads. And yet here we are, with a pitching rotation and bullpen packed with some of the most elite arms in the league, and the offense is sputtering.

The team is at the precipice of this enduring run of championship baseball they’ve been telling us about since December, 2010, built on a foundation of young and mostly homegrown elite pitching.

But the offense is firing blanks, ranking at or near the bottom of the Majors in batting (27th), runs scored (26th), home runs (25th), and OPS (29th).

After having a taste of success that included an 11 game winning streak, the Mets have lost seven of their last 10 games, and are 10-15 in their last 25. They have blown an eight game lead over the Nationals and relinquished their hold on first place.

And still we stand, hands firmly under our asses, doing nothing but waiting for David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud to get back. Both of whom, especially Wright, keeps getting his return pushed back.

What if it’s too late when they return in two or more weeks? What if we lose even more ground and fall behind the Atlanta Braves next? What if we lose eight more games in the standings the next two weeks as we just did in the last two weeks?

What if the cost of waiting means we’re in third place on June 10th and ten games back? How would that sit with you?

Where’s the sense of urgency?

The Mets are reeling. If these last 17 days happened in September instead of May, they’d be calling it an epic collapse and a historic choke.

But that doesn’t mean we should ignore this glaring warning sign without any gumption to do something about it…  We talk about having a team with fire, how about a front office with fire?

“I think everybody needs to take a deep breath,” Sandy Alderson said last weekend.

“Nobody’s panicking,” said Terry Collins last night.

Meanwhile, as those two chill out without a worry in the world, that sense of urgency they were being lauded for in spring training is nowhere to be seen.

Where’s that offense Kevin Long was being put on a pedestal for in March?

When does our difference maker Michael Cuddyer start making a difference?

This offense is running on fumes and are on the verge of flat-lining. And nobody seems to give a damn about it.

Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom deserve better. Hell, we deserve better. And by better, I don’t mean more Free Shirt Friday’s and Daniel Murphy Refrigerator Magnet Days.

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Dodgers Looking To Move Infielder For Starting Pitcher http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/dodgers-looking-to-move-infielder-for-starting-pitcher.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/dodgers-looking-to-move-infielder-for-starting-pitcher.html/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 18:23:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182088 USATSI_8563975_154511658_lowres

According to beat reporter Mark Saxon of ESPN LA, the Los Angeles Dodgers are in the market for a starting pitcher now that Hyun-jin Ryu is contemplating shoulder surgery and after already losing Brandon McCarthy for the season.

Saxon believes they’d be willing to move Cuban infielder Alex Guerrero, given their excess of third baseman. The 28 year old Guerrero was initially signed to play second base, but the Dodgers didn’t like what they saw and shifted him to third base and then shortly after that to left field. Sounds like someone we already know.

Still, Guerrero is batting .328 with a .361 OBP, four doubles, six home runs and 16 RBI in 72 plate appearances this season, although he’s starting to slow down as pitchers have the book on him.

Jimmy Rollins could be another candidate, but may be a tough sell as he’s seen his defense and offense drop significantly.

Of course, every infielder who becomes available between now and the trade deadline will somehow be translated into a probable fit for the Mets, even if it’s a square peg in a round hole as is the case with both Guerrero and Rollins.

In the case of Guerrero the scouts all had it right, he’s not a middle infielder at the MLB level, so exactly what purpose would he serve on the Mets?

And as for Rollins, can the Mets really afford a 125 point downgrade in OPS at shortstop for someone who is now just a small upgrade defensively over Wilmer Flores? Is that where we really want to go?

Then there’s the cost. The Dodgers are looking for a solid arm to bolster their rotation. They wouldn’t be looking at Niese or Gee, they’d most likely want Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard. We already know Sandy Alderson will not move any of his top young arms. So how exactly are we going to trade for Rollins or Guerrero, even if they could serve a role on this team – which they don’t.

Common sense people…. You don’t make trades for the sake of making trades, haven’t we had enough of that? You make trades because they improve the team, are a good fit, and the price in players going back is worth it.

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Daniel Murphy: The Agony and the Ecstasy http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/daniel-murphy-the-agony-and-the-ecstasy.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/daniel-murphy-the-agony-and-the-ecstasy.html/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 12:00:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=181998 Daniel murphy

It was a night of give and take for second baseman Daniel Murphy on Tuesday night. The Mets lost to the Cardinals by a score of 10-2 and Murphy played a big part on both sides of the scoring.

Murphy, who is a free agent at the end of this season, accounted for both Mets runs on a two-run homer in the fourth inning that came within inches inside the right-field foul pole.

At the time, the two-run shot off Michael Wacha cut the Cardinals’ lead in half to 4-2. Murphy made an emphatic fist pumping run around the bases and he continued his vocal celebration into the dugout.

Murphy now has an amazing 22 RBI to lead the team and is on pace for roughly 100 this season. No other Met is close.

However, Murphy’s exuberance soon faded when he failed to cover first base on a bunt attempt by Wacha in the sixth inning.

Here is how Mike Vorkunov of NJ.com explains it:

With runners on second and third and one out, Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha laid down a bunt. Mark Reynolds bolted home from third base. Lucas Duda and Jon Niese converged on the ball. And as soon as Murphy saw Reynolds run from third, he charged at the ball too. It left no one covering the base.

After the game, Collins still looked upset at what transpired. Asked about it, he sat there, rapping his fingers on the microphone before giving an answer.

“There are times when players try to do extraordinary things when the ordinary is all that’s needed,” he said.

Yikes…

After the game Murphy said he was watching Reynolds and broke when he broke, expecting a squeeze play. But that mistake opened the floodgates for six Cardinals runs.

Any chance for a comeback win ended after that and the team looked deflated. Murphy has become an enigma of sorts, who is tough to figure out. His value to the offense goes without saying, but mental lapses like this leaves you shaking your head. Collins looked pissed.

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Collins Responds To Calls To Fire Him http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/collins-responds-to-calls-to-fire-him.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/collins-responds-to-calls-to-fire-him.html/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 10:30:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182006 New York Mets v Arizona Diamondbacks

I was a little dumbfounded when I logged on to see what was churning on Mets Twitter Tuesday morning and was smacked in the face by an article by Joel Sherman practically daring the front office to fire Terry Collins and another post by MetsBlog saying the Terry Watch was back on.

I was like “wait a minute, we won in walk-off style last night, our third win in a row, and we were still in first place with a 23-16 record.” Right?

I swear that some writers just have a need to be negative even when things are going good. Much like a few commenters in our threads that quickly come to mind.

Why can’t we ever have one damn day without some concocted bullshit drama? The other day when Johnny Monell caught Noah Syndergaard because of their familiarity and the fact that Monell caught all of Syndergaard’s gems in Las Vegas, I counted six articles wanting to know why Kevin Plawecki lost his catching job.

Are you freaking kidding me? Are some of you really that stupid to jump to such a conclusion? I don’t know what is this season. Not sure if it’s pure laziness, sheer ignorance, or posting for posting’s sake without having anything of value to say to the readers.

Do me a favor, if I ever insult your intelligence like that, please blast me for it. The last thing I’d ever want to do is leave you feeling dumber than you were before reading something I wrote.

Getting back to Terry Collins, far be it from me to become a staunch defender for him. I never wanted him back, and I still have big issues with him. But I’m not going to call for the man’s head while the team is playing baseball at this current level with half his best players on the DL.

I’m not going to be an uncaring prick because ultimately I love the team, I love the players, and so far they have exceeded my expectations. I’m a fan first and foremost and I will not contrive negatively tainted posts day in and day out just to get a few more readers to click and read.

I was glad to see that Steve Serby of the NY Post approached Terry Collins on Tuesday and asked him to respond to the articles calling for Sandy Alderson to fire him.

“I don’t worry about it, not a bit,” Collins told The Post.  “I’ve been in the game for many, many years. I’m well aware that the end is going to come in the near future.”

“I’m fine, I feel great, I have a great time. It’s exciting to be here, it’s fun to do what I do. My job is to try to go out every night and get ’em ready to play.”

I urge you to read the entire interview because it is extensive and packed with plenty of quotes from Collins. But I’ll leave you with one more.

“If you’re going to win,” Collins said, “your good players have to play good. I believe our team — when healthy — can compete with anybody, any team in this league.”

I agree with him. If a time comes this season where I no longer believe in this team, then I’ll be the first one to call for his head.

But for now I want to see what we can do at full strength, because from what I’ve seen of this team at partial strength, I’m pretty impressed and very excited. Lets Go Mets!

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Nats Pull Into First-Place Tie With Mets, Sandy Says No Trades Coming http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/nats-pull-into-first-place-tie-with-mets-sandy-says-no-trades-coming.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/nats-pull-into-first-place-tie-with-mets-sandy-says-no-trades-coming.html/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 10:26:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182036 nationals

In stunning fashion, the Washington Nationals came from behind to beat the New York Yankees 8-6 on a two-run walk-off homer by first baseman Ryan Zimmerman in the 10th inning.

Zimmerman hit his shot off of Yankees closer Andrew Miller, who had not allowed a run all season.

The win lifted the hard-charging Nationals to a first-place tie in the NL East with the New York Mets, who had held the top spot all alone since April 16.

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After being 7-13 and eight games behind the Mets on April 27, outfielder Bryce Harper, told reporters at the time that regardless of the slow start, the Nationals would rally back and win the NL East because they are the class of National League.

He then went onto to capture two consecutive NL Player of the Week awards as the Nationals began their surge.

Harper homered in the game Tuesday, giving him a league leading 15 for the season, while also leading the Majors in RBIs, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, runs and walks.

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Nationals are also set to promote their top infield prospect Wilmer Difo, who was batting .308/.339/.500 in 14 games at Double-A. He had a breakthrough season in 2014, slashing at  315/.360/.470 with 31 doubles, 14 home runs and 49 stolen bases in 136 games for Low-A Hagerstown.

As for the Mets, Sandy Alderson told reporters before Tuesday’s game that despite the team ranking at or near the bottom of the Majors in batting, runs scored, slugging and on-base, he is not exploring any trades to upgrade the offense.

Alderson said that the team doesn’t plan to do anything externally until both David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud return in 10-14 days and he can see how the offense performs with their bats back in the lineup.

“Right now, we’re not looking outside,” he said. “We’re looking inside to get some of our players back and we’ll see where we are at that point.”

It’s important to note that everyone expected the Nationals to run away with the division anyway, and that the Mets would compete for a wild card spot. That hasn’t really changed so there’s no need to hit the panic button yet. Although I’m sure most of my colleagues will do just that.

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