Mets Merized Online » Joe D Sat, 19 Apr 2014 12:42:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 MMO Game Recap: Braves 6, Mets 0 Sat, 19 Apr 2014 02:12:16 +0000 travis d'arnaud

The New York Mets opened up their 10-game homestand with a disheartening 6-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Friday night at Citi Field.

Jon Niese started for the Mets and delivered another solid performance holding the Braves to one run on four hits and three walks in his six innings of work, while striking out seven. He certainly pitched good enough to win, but the Mets offense couldn’t provide and run support tonight.

Carlos Torres pitched a clean seventh, but Gonzalez Germen saw his 9.1 inning scoreless streak come to an end as he was tagged for four runs in the eighth to put the Braves up 5-0. New Mets-killer Freddie Freeman hit a two-run blast in that frame. Jeurys Familia allowed another run score to score in the ninth.

aaron harang

Aaron Harang was the big story in this game, holding the Mets hitless for seven innings, walking six and striking out five. After throwing 121 pitches, he didn’t come out for the eighth and the Braves bullpen took over.  

After 7.2 innings the Mets finally got their first hit when third baseman David Wright singled off Luis Avilan who came on to relieve Harang. That was the only hit in the game for the Mets.

This game was absolutely pitiful, and after a three-game sweep on the road, the Mets returned home and once again looked lethargic. Sooner or later they’ll start playing with a home-field advantage again right? Maybe they were shocked by losing popular teammate Ike Davis as Gary Cohen suggested? Who knows…

They’ll go out and try again on Saturday night at 7:10 PM as Bartolo Colon looks to rebound from his last start and put the Mets back on the plus side, He’ll be opposed by Ervin Santana for the Braves. Lets Go Mets!

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Mets Trade Ike Davis To Pirates For Reliever Zack Thornton and PTBNL Fri, 18 Apr 2014 22:58:18 +0000 ike davis cage 2

With less than an 30 minutes to go before tonight’s game, the Mets have traded first baseman Ike Davis to the Pittsburgh Pirates Mets for minor league reliever Zack Thornton and a player to be named later, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

An emotional Davis said his goodbyes before finally leaving the clubhouse for good.

“Honestly, it’s a little weird,” Davis said. “I’ve been with the Mets organization for a long time, and made some really good friendships and stuff like that. That’s the toughest part, I think.”

“I really had a blast in New York. I made my dreams come true, childhood dreams come true, playing in the big leagues here. But it’s just a stepping-stone. It happens to a lot of people, getting traded. Now [I'll] go help my team in Pittsburgh.”

Thornton, who turns 26 in three weeks, was pitching at AAA Indianapolis with Pirates and was 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA in four relief appearances. He was originally selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 23rd round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Oregon.

Adam Rubin spoke to an MLB Executive with another MLB team who labeled Zack Thornton a soft tosser and noted he was passed over by 29 clubs — including Mets — in Rule 5 draft. Thornton will report to the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas.

Manager Terry Collins made a short comment when told Davis had been traded:

“Our job is not to give players away. There’d better be something come back that you can use that’s of same value.”

Sandy Alderson told reporters that it was time to make a deal. John Harper of the Daily News passed along that the Mets GM is excited about Thornton and really seemed excited about the player to be named later too.

Jon Heyman, who first broke the news, said that Mets settled for a lot less than Tyler Thornburg or Eduardo Rodriguez, but that the PTBNL will be more significant than Thornton.

In trading away Davis, the Mets also shave about $3.5 million in salary from their payroll. They have also made a full commitment to Lucas Duda.

Let’s face it, something had to give. This was something that had to be done. Lets just hope it works out all the way around for us.

Best of luck to Ike in the Burgh…

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Nieuwenhuis Could Go Down When Mets Activate Chris Young Today Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:47:36 +0000 kitk nieuwenhuis

April 18

Chris Young Is expected to be activated prior to tonight’s game. Young hit .667 (8-12) with two home runs, seven runs scored and five RBI in his three rehabilitation games with Las Vegas (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League.

He was placed on the DL on April 3 with a tight right groin.

A corresponding roster move will be announced prior to the game.

it will come down to lefty-hitting Kirk Nieuwenhuis and righty-hitting Andrew Brown.

But keep in mind that Nieuwenhuis will not burn any options if gets demoted because he would have been active less than 4 games. Nieuwenhuis has made his time with the team count, going 3-10 a home run and four RBI.

April 17

GM Sandy Alderson wouldn’t say which player is likely to depart when the team activates outfielder Chris Young from the disabled list on Friday, but we did learn that the Mets first base situation will be unaffected.

Alderson offered no indication the Mets would use the opportunity to demote a first baseman and alleviate crowding there.

“I wouldn’t say that’s a primary consideration,” Alderson said.

Since Terry Collins named Lucas Duda the everyday first baseman and adding that he wouldn’t be platooned, Ike Davis has started there once each series, and Josh Satin has started all three games against left-handed pitchers.

“There’s one first baseman and two guys off the bench,” Alderson insisted. “So I don’t really look at them as all first basemen. If you’re referring to Josh Satin, he can play a number of positions, and as a right-handed hitter off the bench. And, right now, Ike fills a role as a left-handed hitter off the bench.”

Although Duda is hitting .364 (8-for-22) with a homer and four RBIs in his past five starts, a report on ESPN New York indicated that Terry Collins started Davis on Wednesday for two reasons: Davis has four career homers in 36 at-bats at Chase Field, and the manager felt it appropriate to give Davis one start in his hometown.

As for who does go on Friday, it will come down to lefty-hitting Kirk Nieuwenhuis and righty-hitting Andrew Brown. But keep in mind that Nieuwenhuis will not burn any options if gets demoted because he would have been active less than 4 games.


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Mets Want More “Attitude” From Syndergaard Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:31:23 +0000 Noah_Syndergaard

Noah Syndergaard has a major league fastball and curveball, but the Mets would like to see a little more “attitude” from their top pitching prospect according to what team sources told the New York Post.

According to club sources, the stud right-hander disappointed organizational officials with his approach in his first two starts for Triple-A Las Vegas, but looked better on Monday after he was challenged by manager Wally Backman to bring more of a presence to the mound.

“Backman told him to be more aggressive and asked him who he wants to become,” said a person with knowledge of the conversation. “Does he want to become a middle-of-the-road starter or top-of-the-line starter? Syndergaard said he wanted to be a No. 1. He went out with a little more of an attitude on Monday.”

Syndergaard pitched five innings in his last start, allowing two runs on five hits. Overall he is 2-1 with a 3.94 ERA in three starts for Las Vegas.

The Mets are following the road map they used with Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler before him which means Syndergaard will stay at Triple-A until at least late June to help keep the clock from starting on his Super-2 arbitration status.

Rafael Montero has been light’s out in Vegas, and will most likely get the call to the majors first. Many in the organization feel he is currently major league ready, and some felt that way at the end of last season.

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Opinion: Where’s Our Tom Seaver Statue? Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:40:29 +0000 tom seaver bw

In an interview on Friday morning with Boomer and Carton on WFAN, Tom Seaver said that the Mets have never approached him about erecting a statue or monument in his honor at Citi Field.

“I understand that I’m a part of the history of the game of baseball, it is going to be what it is,” Seaver said, when asked about his legacy. “The wonderful thing are the memories that I have about the game, and I loved it.”

Is there anything better than going to your hometown ballpark and seeing all those bronze statues of iconic players or managers who meant so much to the team and more importantly to the fans?

Back in 2009, during the inaugural season at Citi Field, there was an uproar among the fan base because many of us believed that our new home park was not Metsmerized enough.

Eventually, our pleas led to many changes and additions to Citi Field that better represented our team’s rich history and recognized many of our beloved players and managers.

The Mets Museum also opened a year later and it has been embraced by all fans. Additionally, even the outfield walls would go from a dismal black to a royal blue. Citi Field was beginning to feel like home…

However, the one thing that I’ve always wanted to see was a bronze statue or two that would honor Tom Seaver and Gil Hodges in a similar way that other NL East teams honor their all time greats.

Take a look at some of the gorgeous sculptures you’ll find just in the NL East…

Mike Schmidt at Citizens Bank Park

Steve Carlton at Citizens Bank Park

Walter Johnson at Nationals Park

Frank Howard at Nationals Park

Hank Aaron at Turner Field

Phil Niekro at Turner Field

Warren Spahn at Turner Field

Isn’t it sad that we have no such monumental testaments to any of our own iconic Mets at Citi Field?

Wouldn’t it be a great to park your car in one of the lots at Citi, or get off the 7 Train and onto the walkway, and then be greeted by a beautiful statue of Tom Seaver firing a fastball, Casey Stengel in his rumpled Mets uniform with outstretched arms, or Gil Hodges and that quiet look of his holding a lineup card?

We are nearing 25 years since Seaver was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Wouldn’t it be something if we could mark that anniversary with a magnificent statue erected in his honor?

The Mets owners should make this happen, however as I see it, there’s just one obstacle in the way… The Mets owners.

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MMO Prospect Pulse: Steven Matz Takes a No-Hitter into the Sixth Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:03:43 +0000 steve matz

Lefthander Steven Matz turned in another stellar performance on Thursday as St. Lucie beat Fort Myers by the score of 6-1.

Matz carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning that ended with a two-out bunt single. He ended the night with seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits and a walk while striking out six.

“My command was there. I was able to throw all my pitches for strikes,” Matz said after the game. “My fastball and changeup and the contrast between the two was really working for me, and I was able to keep them down and in the zone.”

Ranked as the 10th best Mets prospect by MMO, when he wasn’t striking hitters out, Matz was inducing groundball outs including seven consecutive grounders from the first inning through the third.

“I was pretty annoyed” Matz admitted when he was asked about losing his no-hit bid on a bunt. “It was only a 2-0 game then, so you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. Looking on the bright side, I was getting a little tired and it gave me a little adrenaline kick.”

The 22-year old Long Island native finished strong, pitching a perfect seventh and striking out the last batter he faced. “It was a good feeling to get that last punchout to finish the outing,” Matz said.

The hard-throwing lefty has been coming on strong since losing two seasons to Tommy John surgery after being selected in the second round of the 2009 draft. He went 5-6 with a 2.62 ERA in 21 starts last summer.

It’s exciting to see how Matz has evolved after the many setbacks he has endured. His velocity is actually higher now than it was prior to the elbow surgery and the ball just explodes out of his hand.

Surprisingly, Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen compared Matz to Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw last week, in an interview with MetsBlog contributor Robert Brender. “There is no doubt in my mind,” Warthen said. “I hate to make those comparisons, but I just did.”

Maybe I’m wrong, but it’s one thing when analysts and writers make over-the-top comparisons like that, but that this came from our own pitching coach bothered me. At 22, Kershaw was on his way to the first of two Cy Young awards and three straight ERA titles, not pitching in the Florida State League.

I’ve always believed that these far-fetched comparisons are very unfair and puts undeserved pressure on prospects who rarely – if ever – live up to that kind of hype. If anything, shouldn’t Warthen be the one charged with protecting Matz from expectations like that?

Anyway, the great news is that we have ourselves a tremendous pitching prospect who could develop into something very special for us in the very near future.

I would expect Matz to make his way to Double-A Binghamton within the next 3-4 weeks. We should all look forward to his continued development and even more dazzling performances along the way, like the one on Thursday night.

For more on Matz, MMO minor league analyst David Conde was at the game and has a complete write-up on

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Mejia Will Throw A Bullpen Today To Determine If He Makes Next Start Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:53:30 +0000 USATSI jenrry mejia Credit Brad Bar

April 18

Today is a big day for Jenrry Mejia who is slated to throw a bullpen session this morning to see whether the broken blister on his right middle finger will be a factor.

After his bullpen, Terry Collins said that he will make a determination as to whether the 24-year old righty will be able to make his next scheduled start on Monday.

Mejia is coming off a stellar performance against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday in which he tossed five scoreless innings. He’s been one of the team’s top starters in the early season.

Hopefully, today goes well for Mejia, but in case he does have his next start pushed, the Mets will likely use Dice-K for a spot start.

April 16

After tossing just 77 pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night, Mets starting pitcher Jenrry Mejia had to leave the game because of a torn blister on his right middle finger.

Mejia was absolutely dominant throughout his start, hurling five scoreless innings and limiting the D’Backs to just two hits while striking out three. His strong performance even drew rave reviews from some of the opposition after the game.

“He had a 94 mph cutter that was pretty filthy. And he was locating it pretty well on the outside corner,” said Arizona center fielder A.J. Pollock“I took a couple of swings and felt like I was right on it, but that much movement that late is tough. It seemed like he really had good command of his fastball and that’s what made him really hard. ” 

When it was all over, Mejia picked up his second win of the season as the Mets completed the shutout victory and beat the D’Backs by the score of 9-0.

Despite having to battle his way onto the Mets rotation this Spring, the 24-year old righthander now leads the team with a pristine 2.81 ERA and .200 BAA.

Mejia reportedly wanted to continue pitching despite the blister issue and didn’t want to show his finger to the staff after the fourth inning  However, after he completed the fifth, pitching coach Dan Warthen insisted he take a look and then told his starter his night was over..

“I wanted to keep pitching,” Mejia said. “I wanted to take care of my bullpen, because I know they were a little bit tired. But they said no.” 

After the game manager Terry Collins said he was concerned about his young pitcher. “He’s got one hell of a blister. Tore it up completely.”

It’s not yet clear if this issue will keep Mejia from making his next start, but Collins says it will be monitored very closely, especially on Friday when Mejia will throw his next bullpen. 

“I feel bad for him. Feel terrible, because he has shown he has the stuff to be a winner at this level. But we just have to get him to stay out there.”

Mejia has had some tough luck to start the season, having to already deal with a bunion in spring training, getting hit in the arm by a come-backer in Montreal, and now this blister. But he remains optimistic and said he expects to be ready to go for his next start at Citi Field.


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Remembering Shea: An Amazin’ Icon Passes Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:48:08 +0000

For the next three days, we’re going back and picking out some of our favorite posts that celebrate the great memories of Shea Stadium. We begin with this post, originally written by me on February 10, 2008.

From the very first day that Shea Stadium opened its gates and embraced their new team, the New York Mets, Karl Ehrhardt became a fixture at almost every game from 1964 through 1981.

We all knew Karl by his more famous nickname, the “Sign Man”.

He had become famous for holding up the most perfect signs throughout key moments of each game. Sometimes the signs displayed his frustration, but mostly they shared our exuberance and excitement. Whatever the situation was, you can bet that the Sign Man always had the perfect words.

It is so sad that he will not be able to say a final goodbye to Shea Stadium as it too gets ready for an appointment with destiny.

Karl was 83 years old and died at his home in the Glen Oaks section of Queens. He had been recovering from vascular surgery. The German born immigrant came to the United States when he was only six years old and during World War II, he served our country and was a translator for U.S. forces overseas.

He helped popularize many of the motto’s and phrases now associated with the Mets including Amazin’ Mets, Ya Gotta Believe, Miracle Mets, Tom Terrific, etc. You name them, he had them, in fact, he had over 1,200 different signs in his arsenal.

Some of you may even remember that special night when the Mets won the 1969 World Series and left him speechless. The sign he raised high above his head during the celebration on the field read, “There Are No Words.”

“I just called them the way I saw them,” Ehrhardt told The New York Times in 2006.

“Before I went to the ballpark, I would try to crystal-ball what might happen that particular day,” he said. “I would read all the newspapers to learn who was hot and who was in a slump, stuff like that, and create my signs accordingly.”

I hope the Wilpon’s choose to honor the Sign Man with a fitting tribute and a lasting memorial to him at the new Citi Field. He helped define the New York Mets back in the early days while they were searching for their own identity. Millions of adoring fans will always remember him for his unbridled enthusiasm and never-ending dedication to the team. Karl Ehrhardt was an icon. He was one of the first Met fans to bleed orange and blue.

I would love to see a life sized poster of him adorning one of the corridors at the field level at Shea Stadium this, our final season. As we say our goodbyes to Shea Stadium this season, seeing a poster of the Sign Man holding up a sign that says “Always Amazin”, would be so fitting.

Farewell Sign Man, we will never forget you.

* * * * * * * * * *

Karl Ehrhardt – The Sign Man

November 26, 1924 – February 5, 2008

I cant believe it’s been six years already since Karl’s passing. What a great fan he was and I’ll always remember trying to spot his signs whenever me and my dad went to Shea.

Here are some of Sign Man’s most memorable signs:

  • AMAZIN’! – Based on the team’s nickname which was first coined by Casey Stengel, the franchise’s original manager.
  • MET POWER! – Displayed after Tommie Agee hit his leadoff home run in Game 3 of the 1969 World Series
  • BACK TO YOUR NEST, BIRD! – Appeared during the 1969 World Series against the Baltimore Orioles. This sign is seen in the highlight film during Game 5.
  • CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? – After many a Mets comeback win.
  • CURSES! FOILED AGAIN – We saw that one plenty!
  • AAUGHH! – Inspired by the Peanuts cartoon strip; it was used for whenever the Mets lost a game.
  • LOOK MA, NO HANDS – Was shown when a slow grounder defied the grip of Mets’ shortstop Frank Taveras at a summer Mets game in 1979.
  • JOSE, CAN YOU SEE? – Presented when Cleveland Indians’ outfielder José Cardenal struck out at a 1968-1969 Mets game.
  • IT’S ALIVE! IT’S ALIVE! – For weak hitters who rarely reached base. A head shot of Frankenstein’s monster was to the left of the letters on the sign.
  • SIT DOWN, YA BUM! – Whenever a Dodger struck out, or argued, or just for fun.
  • LEAVE IT TO SEAVER – Inspired by famous sitcom show, Leave It to Beaver; the sign was used for whenever Tom Seaver was on the mound.
  • BELIEVE IN MIRACLES? – Flashed during the decisive Game 5 of the 1969 World Series.
  • BYE, BYE, BIRDIES! – Flashed during the same game.
  • THERE ARE NO WORDS – The sign that Ehrhardt held up when the Mets’ left fielder Cleon Jones caught the final out to clinch the team’s first World Series Championship. This was his most famous creation, seen in the Series highlight film.
  • THEY SAID IT COULDN’T BE DONE – Held high from a convertible, as Ehrhardt rode with the Mets’ victory parade in the Canyon of Heroes in lower Manhattan.
  • NAILED BY THE (picture of a hammer) – Held up after a home run was hit by slugging first baseman John Milner, whose nickname was “The Hammer”.
  • KONG! – For Dave Kingman’s first regular season home run at home as a Met, helping to tag Kingman with the nickname King Kong.
  • THE KING OF SWING – Another tribute to Kingman, drawing on the nickname given jazz legend Benny Goodman.
  • THE SIGNMAN LIVES! – Used on his return to Shea Stadium at a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in August, 2002 to help celebrate the Mets’ 40th anniversary.

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Pardon The Interruption… Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:36:15 +0000 Hey Incredibles, how about giving me a hand here?

Hi Everyone…

As I alluded to a few weeks ago, we are experiencing some tremendous growth and we’ve more than doubled our traffic from a year ago which is very remarkable considering we were already on top of the food chain back then. We’re not talking about hundreds of new visitors and page views per day, or even thousands. The number is in the tens of thousands.

As such, we needed to invest in newer and more powerful servers to accommodate all this new traffic that is expending far too many resources than our current servers can handle. That is why you may have been experiencing brief outages or slow page loads over the last 2-3 weeks.

Today is the big day. We scheduled this off day to do most of the heavy lifting.

For the next 24 hours, the site will be acting very oddly. Some posts may disappear, some of your comments may vanish into the vastness of the internet, some of our images may flash on and off, and other strange and fascinating phenomenon. This is all part of the process as the internet propagates all the information from our old database into our new database.

For at least a day you may be linking to our old server and not seeing new posts, while some of you depending on what part of the country you are, won’t see anything strange at all.

The great news is that by Friday, we will be running at top speed again and though very seamless, you’ll notice that our overall efficiency will quadruple. We went all the way and didn’t pinch any pennies on the technology side of this move.

So long story short, please pardon the interruption while we do some tidying up and some work under the hood.


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MMO Game Recap: Mets 5, Diamondbacks 2 Wed, 16 Apr 2014 23:22:11 +0000 anthony recker

Recker Comes Through Again 

The Mets completed a three-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks after a 5-2 victory on Wednesday afternoon at Chase Field. With the win, the Mets complete a very successful 6-3 road trip.

Dillon Gee, making his fourth start of the season, was perfect through 4.2 innings, retiring 14 batters in a row before giving up a fifth inning double. Gee tossed seven scoreless, allowing just three hits, no walks, and striking out three.

After 72 pitches from Gee, manager Terry Collins turned to the bullpen to get the final six outs. Collins said he wanted to remove Gee while he was riding high.

Kyle Farnsworth got two outs in the eighth, but after allowing two hits, Scott Rice came in to finish the inning. Jose Valverde entered the ninth in a non-save situation and promptly gave up back-to-back home runs before finally collecting three outs to secure the win and complete the sweep.

Offensively, Anthony Recker had a big game going 2-for-4 with a double and a home run. Collins said after the game to look for Recker to start getting more playing time.

Daniel Murphy, David Wright and Andrew Brown each had a pair of hits. The Mets swiped four bases in the game including two by Eric Young Jr. who singled, walked and scored a run.

The Mets improve to 8-7 on the season and end a long road trip on a positive note and head back home to host the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.

Excellent win for the Mets!

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Mets Outright Lannan To Minors, Callup Dice-K Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:29:34 +0000 daisuke matsuzaka dice-k

The New York Mets announced that lefthander John Lannan has been outrighted and that righthander Daisuke Matsuzaka has been called-up from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Sandy Alderson told reporters that Dice K is coming to pitch out of the bullpen, but is also insurance in case any starter can’t make a start – an indirect reference to Bartolo Colon (sore back) and Jenrry Mejia (torn blister).

Matsuzaka has a 2.25 ERA and 1.083 WHIP over 12.0 innings for Las Vegas, allowing seven hits, walking six and striking out 12 batters.

Lannan, 29, appeared in five games for the Mets this season, allowing seven earned runs on seven hits and a pair of walks in four innings of work. Of those seven hits, three were home runs.

So ends the Lannan to the bullpen experiment…. He can report to AAA or elect free agency.

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Duda is Mashing the Ball, Will Not Play in the Outfield Wed, 16 Apr 2014 14:33:10 +0000 lucas duda mets win dugout

After sustaining injuries to Juan Lagares and Curtis Granderson on Monday night, Terry Collins said on Tuesday that he is not planning to use Lucas Duda in the outfield moving forward.

“We made the commitment to play him there,” Collins said about Duda playing only first base. “I think putting him back in left field will take away a little bit of that positive glow that he’s got going right now.”

Duda did move over to left field to complete Monday’s game, but it couldn’t be helped due to the circumstances.

While Collins has been beating his “Duda in the outfield” drum for nearly all of the last three months, his reason for flip-flopping on the issue has nothing to do with a realization of just how awful an idea that would be.

Instead, Collins says that he doesn’t want to interrupt the strides he’s made offensively since being named the everyday starter at first base.

Duda, 28, has been red-hot and is batting .364/.417/.500 in his last 23 plate appearances. On Monday night he went 4-5 with two RBI, tying his career-high with the four hits. Overall, he is batting .275 with three home runs and eight RBIs this season with an .841 OPS.

With Granderson expected back in a day or two, Kirk Nieuwenhuis already here, and Chris Young coming on Friday, there’s absolutely no reason for Duda to play in the outfield regardless. And believe me—that’s a good thing.

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Colon May Miss Next Start With Back Issues Wed, 16 Apr 2014 14:09:13 +0000 USATSI  bartolo colon

Kristie Ackert of the Daily News reports that Bartolo Colon was suffering with a back issue in his last start and that he could miss his next scheduled start on Saturday according to a team source.

Colon, who turns 41 next month, has been receiving treatment on his back for the past two days. The issue came up right before his start Sunday, but several Mets sources said they did not learn about it until after the game.

Regarding whether he’ll be able to make his next start, “It remains to be seen,” the source said.

Sandy Alderson, on the other hand, said he expects his big offseason acquisition to be ready, according to Marc Carig of Newsday.

The Mets signed Colon this offseason to a two-year, $20 million deal to fill the hole in the rotation left by Matt Harvey who will miss the 2014 season.

Colon was torched for nine earned runs by the Angels in that last start – including back-to-back-to-back home runs, bringing his ERA to 6.00 for the season.

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Chris Young Completes Rehab, Will Join Mets In Arizona Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:08:23 +0000 chris young

Here comes the cavalry.

Terry Collins said that he expects Chris Young to rejoin the Mets on Wednesday in Arizona and accompany the team back to New York, according to a report on ESPN New York.

Young is eligible to be activated from the disabled list on Friday, when the Mets open a weekend series at Citi Field against the Atlanta Braves.

Chris Young started in left field for Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday night and went 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored.

During his three game rehab assignment, Young batted .667 (8-for-12) with two home runs, five RBIs, seven runs scored, two walks and one stolen base. Not bad, huh?

With Juan Lagares now on the disabled list with a pulled right hamstring, the timing for Young’s return couldn’t have been any better.

Before straining his right quad during the final exhibition game in Montreal, Young was entering the season on the heels of a spectacular spring training. What I’m excited about is that he doesn’t appear to have lost any of that momentum.

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Will Mets Have Revived Interest In Nick Franklin? Tue, 15 Apr 2014 16:20:24 +0000 franklin

The trade buzz on Nick Franklin is picking up again as both the Yankees and Tigers continue to get meager production from their shortstop position. And while there’s nothing to suggest that the Mets have any revived interest in the Mariners prospect, that could change if Ruben Tejada doesn’t start picking it up at the plate.

Franklin, who just turned 23, is currently tearing up the Pacific Coast League, slashing at an incredible .410/.489/.785 clip in 45 plate appearances. The former Seattle first rounder has hit three home runs with 11 RBIs and seven runs scored, while drawing eight walks. He has a 1.207 OPS on the season for Tacoma, and in a much larger sample size posted a .912 OPS last season for the same Tacoma team. Offensively, scouts say he’s the real deal.

With a .392 OBP in AA (335 PA) and a .370 OBP in AAA (518 PA), the switch-hitting Franklin could fill the Mets void at the top of their batting order. Franklin has good speed and has swiped 64 bases in parts of five minor league seasons.

Franklin started the season in the minors despite making his major league debut last season, as a result of the Mariners signing Robinson Cano to play second base, and Franklin losing a spring training shortstop battle with Brad Miller. Both infielders had solid springs but, but Miller had the edge defensively.

The Mariners have shown plenty of interest in trading Franklin, but won’t give him away. According to ESPN, the Mets, Tigers, Orioles and Yankees have all expressed varying degrees of interest in the past.

The Mets were reportedly scouting Franklin during spring training and the Mariners had several scouts following the Mets this spring as well however no negotiations developed. The Mariners are believed to want a young MLB ready starter in return for their prized asset.

“The Mets have been scouting Franklin to see whether he’d make a viable defensive shortstop, but one rival executive rated Franklin as ‘average to a tick below,’ suggesting he’s comparable to Jhonny Peralta,” CBS Sports reported last month.

With James Paxton going on the DL last week, the Mariners rotation is very questionable behind their ace Felix Hernandez. The Mets could probably snare Franklin with an offer of Rafael Montero or they could try and dangle a Dillon Gee or Jon Niese who are more established and could net the Mets an additional piece from the M’s instead, while opening up a rotation spot for Montero to make his MLB debut.

Franklin could always slide over to second base next season especially if they can’t work out an extension with Daniel Murphy who may even become trade bait at the deadline if the Mets find themselves too far back of a wild card spot. Murphy is already earning $5.7 million and enters his third year of arbitration after this season where he could see his salary spike to $8 million or more.

I’ve seen some analysts compare Franklin’s ceiling to Chase Utley. And if he can be as good as Peralta defensively for one year at shortstop, concerns about his glove are wildly overrated in my opinion.

Anyway, talk it out amongst yourselves Mets fans….

bleed orange & blue  button

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Granderson X-Rays Negative, Lagares Could Be Heading To Disabled List Tue, 15 Apr 2014 07:43:05 +0000 USATSI  juan lagares

The New York Mets may be without the services of Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares for a few days and possibly longer in the case of Lagares. Both departed Monday night’s game against the Diamondbacks with injuries.

Granderson sustained contusions to the left rib cage, forearm and knee after colliding with the right-field fence in the first inning and underwent X-rays, which were negative. He will be evaluated on a daily basis.

“The good thing is everything is negative, the bad thing is just a little sore right now,” Granderson said after struggling to put on his socks and shoes in the clubhouse. “We’ll see how I feel Tuesday.”

Lagares suffered a pulled right hamstring after running to first base on a fielder’s choice in the seventh inning. He was removed from the game and could be facing a trip to the disabled list. A decision will be made later today. 

“It’s really tough,” manager Terry Collins said. “Lagares has played absolutely great, he’s swung the bat very well. He’s earned that right to be out there every day. To have this happen is a tough break for him and tough break for us.”

Collins said the team plans to have someone ready to be activated just in case, and that could be Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who is hitting .310 with two homers and eight RBIs in 42 at-bats for Las Vegas.

If Granderson also goes to the DL, he’ll likely be replaced by veteran outfielder Bobby Abreu who was recently signed. Chris Young is not eligible to be activated until Friday.

Lucas Duda also could see more outfield duty after playing three innings in left field once Lagares was removed. “I’ll play anywhere they want me to play,” Duda said after the game.

We’ll have an update in the morning.

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Power Outage: Mets Have MLB Worst .610 OPS Mon, 14 Apr 2014 19:51:18 +0000 MLB Opening Day at Citi Field

As we enter week three of the season, here are some of the early results from our revamped offense in 2014:

  • The Mets have a .610 OPS as a team which ranks 30 (last) in the Major Leagues.
  • The Mets have 10 home runs as a team which ranks 25 in the Major Leagues.
  • The Mets have a .283 OBP as a team which ranks 28 in the Major Leagues.
  • Lucas Duda leads the team with three home runs. No other player has more than one.
  • Cleanup hitter Curtis Granderson is batting .159/.288/.318 in 44 at-bats with 15 strikeouts.
  • Leadoff hitter Eric Young is batting .186 and leads the team with 17 strikeouts.
  • Travis d’Arnaud is now batting .152/.222/.273 with a .495 OPS.
  • David Wright is batting .229/.296/.313 with a .609 OPS in 53 plate appearances.

Nobody expected the Mets to become the juggernauts of the NL East overnight when they added Curtis Granderson and Chris Young this offseason.

But by the same token nobody expected an appalling start to the season like this either.

They now head to a band box in Chase Field where maybe they can hopefully ignite what has been an MLB worst offense thus far.


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MMO Morning Grind: The Umpire Strikes Back Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:14:39 +0000 wright_you_are_the_worst

“You’re the worst, you’re the worst I’ve seen.”

Daniel Murphy and David Wright were both tossed out of the game in the seventh inning on Sunday after arguing what they thought was a low strike zone by home plate umpire Toby Basner.

Both players were in the dugout when they were ejected and reports say they each went ballistic after watching catcher Travis d’Arnaud called out looking at strike three.

“Everybody who watched the game knows, I don’t think I have to say anything else about it,” Murphy said after the Mets’ 14-2 loss to the Angels. “A ‘disagreement’ was the best way to describe it.”

Wright refrained from giving his side to what happened.

“I’m not going to get into that,” Wright said. “I’m not going to get into more trouble than I already am. There were some disagreements.”

Both Wright and Murphy already had their own altercations with Basner earlier in the game. Murphy started for first base after a 3-2 pitch believing he had drawn a walk, only to realize he was called out on strikes, and Wright stepped out of the batter’s box and went at it with the ump over a very low called strike.

The umpire was awful and his strike zone was lower than I’ve seen in a long time. However, he was consistent with it – at least against the Mets he was.

The Mets struck out eleven times in the game and that brings their total to 122 through 12 games – averaging more than ten a game. That’s the worst mark in the majors.

Murphy, Wright and d’Arnaud were all rung up unfairly in my opinion, by an umpire who seemed to enjoy punishing the team with his comical calls. It was good to see Murphy and Wright defend d’Arnaud as they did. Props for that… But let’s not overlook the fact the Mets are on pace to smash the all time modern record for strikeouts in a season. That’s a bigger problem than three bad calls from a substitute ump.

(Animated gif by Daily Stache)


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Prospect Spotlight: RHP Akeel Morris is Sizzling in Savannah Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:12:34 +0000 Morris - Akeel

Akeel Morris was one of our 2014 Minor League Sleepers – Mets prospects you needed to keep an eye on this season – and so far he hasn’t disappointed.

Last week, he really showed his stuff in a particular outing in which he tossed 3.0 hitless innings, walking one and striking out nine batters. Morris got 10 consecutive outs that night, nine by strikeout and one fly out.

I reached out to Wally Murphy, our beat writer for the Savannah Sand Gnats, the next morning and asked him what he thought of Morris’ performance that night.

He looks like the real deal. In two games I’ve watched him he’s tossed 4.0 scoreless innings and walked two batters while striking out 11 of them. I like that he comes in the game and throws strikes. Last night he was awesome. Probably will be the #1 reliever. I forgot to mentioned in my article that last night he struck out 4 batters in one inning (strikeout and pass ball).

Since then, Morris has continued to shine and in fact tossed another 2.2 scoreless innings on Sunday, striking out three more batters in the process.

Morris, 21, has yet to be scored upon in 6.2 innings pitched for Savannah and has only allowed one hit and three walks while racking up 14 strikeouts.

I asked our Minor League Editor David Conde to reach out to him and see how he was doing.

David: You had a dominating night yesterday, what do you feel was the difference and what was working for you?

Akeel: My fastball was working for me last night, and my catcher Colton Plaia saw that and we worked off that and it allowed me to get in a good rhythm.

David: What role do you feel most comfortable in, a starter, long relief, or a closer? And why?

Akeel: I actually feel fine with them all, I’ve done some of each through my career and I feel I can go out there and get the job done in whatever role in assigned.

David: Where can you see yourself competing this season, do you envision finishing in St. Lucie or Binghamton?

Akeel: I envision myself competing in the big leagues some day just like every other player in the minor leagues. As far as this season, right now I’m in Savannah and as far as promotions go the organization will move me up when they think I’m ready for the next level.

Last season, we saw Morris exhibit a plus-fastball, good curveball with excellent break, and an improving change up. Not a bad arsenal from a 20-year old who was still working on his command and improving all three of his offerings.

While in Brooklyn, Morris showed just how lethal his fastball/hook combination was, striking out 60 batters in 45.0 innings pitched. He held batters to a .184 average and was only taken deep once all year.

Morris oozes with potential and sometimes gets overlooked in a minor league system that is already notable for being stocked with so many promising power arms. But if I’m right, Morris could easily find himself on most Mets Top 20′s by mid-season.

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Enjoy Final Days of the Terry Collins Leadoff Experiment Mon, 14 Apr 2014 13:22:34 +0000 young lagares

One of the things you have to love about baseball, and it’s something I’ve grown to appreciate as I’ve gotten older, is how often the game will reverse what was essentially a bad decision to begin with.

While an imperfect game at its heart, baseball has this beautiful course-correcting nature about it, and given enough time even the worst decisions eventually eradicate themselves.

Such is the case with Terry Collins and his obstinate view that Eric Young Jr. was the team’s optimal everyday leadoff hitter. His reasoning was as basic as this, “He’s done it.”

Done what you might ask? You’ll have to consult directly with Terry for an accurate answer, but obviously whatever EY has done it was enough to take any other leadoff contenders out of the equation – not that our options were ever that grand to begin with.

With the impending arrival of Chris Young off the disabled list on Friday, fate will most likely hand Eric Young a utility spot on the bench this weekend.

Clearly, it’s what his role should have been all along, but hey, it’s not like he didn’t get an opportunity to try and change some minds about him. However, he turned out to be the kind of player I always said he was – a speedy bench option who could back up the outfield and second base.

And so it goes.

Eric’s tenure as the Mets leadoff man currently has him batting .186 with a .280 on-base and a team leading 17 strikeouts.

But fear not, we’re about to upgrade… Once Chris Young is activated – he of the 5-for-5 Sunday night with two home runs, a double and five RBIs.

Shockingly, if not for Chris Young’s strained quad, we may have never known what Juan Lagares had in store for us this season. 

You see the plan was for Lagares to begin the season on the bench. But alas, the baseball gods would have none of that, and a late scratch on Opening Day made Lagares the center fielder to begin the season – and he’s been thriving there ever since.

The paradox of a Terry Collins decision can never escape it’s inevitable outcome – a forthcoming reversal.

In an earlier post I shared some numbers that currently have the Mets sitting with the worst offense in baseball. An embarrassingly shocking .610 OPS to be exact – and spare me the small sample size argument – nearly 500 at-bats produced that appalling result. 

Hopefully some better production at the top of the order will have a positive trickle down effect on the rest of the batting order. It certainly can’t hurt.

I’m looking forward to seeing what an outfield of Curtis Granderson, Juan Lagares and Chris Young can do on an everyday basis. I have to admit I’m hopeful things will get better.

Speed only kills when you can get on base… Another lesson for Mr. Collins from the outer reaches of the Twilight Zone…

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