Mets Merized Online » Joe D http://metsmerizedonline.com Thu, 24 Apr 2014 22:00:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Watch Chris Young Crush His First Home Run With Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/watch-chris-young-crush-his-first-home-run-with-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/watch-chris-young-crush-his-first-home-run-with-mets.html/#comments Thu, 24 Apr 2014 22:00:55 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=154135 chris young

Center fielder Chris Young hit his first home run of the season today as the Mets beat the Cardinals 4-1 to take three out of four games against the defending NL Champs and improve to 12-10 on the season.

In the fifth inning, Young crushed a solo shot into the second deck in left field to tie the game at 1-1 at the time.

Young was robbed of a home run on Wednesday night so it was good to see him get his first one as a Met today. He went 1-for-4 on the day to improve his average to .207 with a .552 OPS in 29 at-bats this season.

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Lucas Duda Snaps Mets Six-Game Homerless Streak http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/lucas-duda-snaps-mets-six-game-homerless-streak.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/lucas-duda-snaps-mets-six-game-homerless-streak.html/#comments Thu, 24 Apr 2014 12:07:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=154061 lucas duda

Lucas Duda had his first key moment since being named the everyday starter at first base when he blasted what proved to be the game-winning home run in the Mets 3-2 win over the Cardinals on Wednesday night.

It was his team-leading fourth home run of the year, a solo shot in the sixth inning.

Duda’s four home runs are one shy of his career-high for homers in a month and snapped a six-game homerless drought for the Mets at Citi Field.

Duda 4.23 HR

Before the game, manager Terry Collins said that he will not bat Duda cleanup and that he could continue to bat sixth for another month.

“We put a lot on Lucas’ plate and I don’t need to pile on.”

Duda has no issue with the decision.

“Whatever Terry decides to do, it’s up to him,” Duda said. “I trust his judgement on everything. I welcome it. It’s up to him.”

Duda has just one start as a cleanup hitter this season, despite leading the team with a .358 on-base, .492 slugging and .850 OPS.

You would thing that with numbers like that and an offense that still struggles to score runs, the natural step would be to give Duda more RBI opportunities while affording David Wright some lineup protection.

Hopefully, Curtis Granderson could finally get going soon, making all of this a moot point. But until that happens, I don’t see the harm in batting Duda cleanup for now.

Collins seems to think it could send the hulking first baseman hiding under the bench in a fetal position. Sorry, I’m not buying that.

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Granderson’s Struggles Continue, Collins Says It’s Only April http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/grandersons-struggles-continue-collins-says-its-only-april.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/grandersons-struggles-continue-collins-says-its-only-april.html/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:35:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153903 curtis granderson

April 23

Curtis Granderson’s struggles continue and he is now hitless in a career-high 22 straight at-bats. However, manager Terry Collins has no intentions of sitting his right fielder.

“He hasn’t changed his demeanor at all, and that’s why I know he’s not letting this get to him,” Collins said. “He’s going to battle his way through it. There’s a certain time, and you see it with a lot of guys, where after a while something is going to get slammed down. But he’s handled it great.”

“It’s April still. We’ve got to get him some at-bats and get him ready.”

I can’t imagine a worse way for Granderson to get his Mets career started. Forget the batting average which now stands at .116, nobody ever expected him to come to Flushing and bat .280 or .290. What is most alarming is that he’s shown no power whatsoever. Even when he makes contact it’s been mostly grounders and popups.

I don’t see what the harm is in giving him a couple of days off to regroup, work with Hudgens and spend some extra time in the batting cages. But as is usually the case with decision-making and the Mets, we have to take the slow and drawn out approach.  

April 22

We’re closing in on the end of the first month of the season and right fielder Curtis Granderson is batting .121 with just eight hits and a .451 OPS in 76 plate appearances.

It’s that time of the year when statisticians drum up things like “Granderson will need to bat .375 the rest of this season to finish with a .230 batting average.”

Batting in the No. 2 spot for the second straight game, Curtis Granderson struck out in all three of his at-bats during Monday’s 2-0 win over the Cardinals. He also reached base after getting hit by a pitch. That extended his hitless streak to 19 straight at-bats – two at-bats shy of his career high — an 0-for-21 skid in 2006 with the Tigers.

Despite that feel-good, walk-off sac fly on Sunday, Granderson was 0-for-6 going into that at-bat and if there was nobody on third base, it’s just a shallow fly to left.

Granderson has now struck out 23 times in 66 at-bats this season.

“I just need to get results,” Granderson said. “I’ve just got to go ahead and put the bat on the ball, put it in play, and hopefully some good things will happen.”

The problem is that he isn’t putting the bat on the ball and for the most part when he does, he’s not doing any damage.

Mike Puma of the NY Post sarcastically said last night, “If Curtis Granderson keeps this up, the Jason Bay comparisons will stop. They’ll be too generous.”

“I’m still trying to get a good ball to handle,” said Granderson, who has been working with hitting coach Dave Hudgens in an attempt to get out of his slump. “I’ve talked to [Hudgens] about trying not to cover everything. Cover your strengths and work on that.”

But what are his strengths?

mlb_e_granderson11_576x324

A look at his heat map from ESPN suggests that he’s an easy out no matter where they pitch him. Granderson has no comfort zone.

The worst part of his HBP on Monday was that he had to stand at first base all that time while being suffocated by a chorus of boos. There was no hiding in the dugout.

For his sake – and ours – I hope he gets it together soon. Even last season’s .229 batting average would be a significant improvement.

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MMO Spotlight: Jenrry Mejia is 3-0 with a 1.99 ERA http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-spotlight-jenrry-mejia-is-3-0-with-a-1-99-era.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-spotlight-jenrry-mejia-is-3-0-with-a-1-99-era.html/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:03:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153901 jenrry mejia

The Mets are now 4-0 in games started by Jenrry Mejia.

On Monday night against the St. Louis Cardinals, Mejia was sizzling as he held the defending NL champs to just four hits in 6.2 scoreless innings.

With blister-gate completely behind him, the young righty looked like an unstoppable force on the mound, stopping the Cards’ high-powered offense dead in their tracks with an explosive fastball.

“Coming off the blister … we weren’t sure what he was going to give us,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “He gave us more than we expected, for sure.”

Mejia struck out seven and walked three, and in the process he extended his scoreless streak to 13.2 innings.

Modest to the core, “That was pretty good,” Mejia said about his outing, “but all of my infielders helped me a lot. Tejada and Murphy, they made a couple of double plays over there. That made me feel pretty good.”

It was right after the fifth inning that it occurred to me that Mejia may be the best starting pitcher we have right now, despite coming within a split-hair decision of beginning the season in the minors. It’s funny how things go sometimes in this game.

It seems like Mejia has been around forever, but the 24-year old is the same age as Matt Harvey and six months older than Zack Wheeler. He now finds himself with a perfect 3-0 record and a 1.99 ERA. This number five starter is pitching more like an ace.

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Which Current Met Is The Best Option For Closer? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/which-current-met-is-the-best-option-for-closer.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/which-current-met-is-the-best-option-for-closer.html/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 17:50:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153830 mets-jeurys-familia

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York asked three scouts who cover the Mets which young pitcher in the organization would be the best choice to close if the Mets needed someone in the next few months?

The options presented were Gonzalez GermenJeurys FamiliaJenrry Mejia, Jacob deGrom, Rafael Montero, Jeff Walters or someone else. Here are their responses:

Scout 1: ”Familia may be the best choice. He’s already there, with a power arm. Control is the question mark. I don’t like to move a starter into that role without experience in the pen.”

Scout 2: ”I’d go with deGrom (2-0, 1.57 ERA in four starts at Triple-A Las Vegas). I think he has the mentality to at least give it a chance. He’s the closest thing to a closer of all of them for me. Not even Familia. And definitely not Montero. He’s a starter.”

Scout 3: ”Mejia is the best of that bunch from what I have seen, but none of the above is more appropriate.”

If I had to choose the best closer out of that group, these would be my top three:

  1. Mejia – Has the best stuff and a great out pitch, but the problem is he’s much too valuable in our rotation right now.
  2. Germen – Never mind his rough outing when he let up four runs after Terry Collins squeezed him for three innings in the previous appearance. Germen has been solid out of that pen.
  3. Familia – Has tremendous raw stuff and the temperament to close, but control could be an issue. Right now he’d be third on my list.

By the way, I thought it was interesting that the third scout said, “definitely not Montero, he’s a starter.”

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Harvey Takes Another Step Forward In Return http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/harvey-takes-another-step-forward-in-return.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/harvey-takes-another-step-forward-in-return.html/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 16:28:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153826 MattHarvey1

Matt Harvey took another step forward in his rehab from Tommy John surgery on Friday, according to a report in the Daily News.

Harvey is now tossing on flat ground from 90 feet as he continues to work his way back. The next step in his rehab will be to throw from 120 feet, Harvey said. He is hoping that he can throw off a mound by June, at which point the injured ace will stay in St. Lucie full time to continue rehabbing at the Mets complex.

I’m very impressed with how Harvey is progressing and that he has had no setbacks. The Mets’ righthander still maintains that his goal is to pitch in the majors at some point this season. “I can’t wait to get back up there,” Harvey told reporters.

The final decision will remain with the Mets of course, but there’s nothing wrong with Harvey’s optimism and mindset. I love Harvey’s warrior mentality.

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Mets Will Wear Camo Jerseys For Military Monday http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-will-wear-camo-jerseys-for-military-monday.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-will-wear-camo-jerseys-for-military-monday.html/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:43:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153819 daniel murphy

The Mets will be wearing their new camouflage jerseys on Monday night for the first of five “Military Monday” games this season.

U.S. Military personnel with active or retired military identification will receive complimentary tickets to tonight’s game for themselves and up to three guests. For the remaining games outside of Military Mondays, the Mets will continue to provide active military personnel with complimentary admission.

Active and retired military with proper identification will also receive a 10% discount off retail items at Citi Field on Military Mondays.

Military Mondays will also extend beyond the ballpark and into the community. Mets front-office staff, alumni and players will visit a VA Hospital throughout the season to meet the recovering veterans and the dedicated doctors and nurses who care for them.

Military Mondays deepens and expands the franchise’s commitment to supporting active and retired members of the military. Other “Military Monday” games will be on July 7, July 28, Sept. 8 and Sept. 15.

metstroops2

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Collins Needs to Stop Babying Duda and Bat Him Cleanup http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/collins-needs-to-stop-babying-duda-and-bat-him-cleanup.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/collins-needs-to-stop-babying-duda-and-bat-him-cleanup.html/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 13:05:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153807 When Terry Collins made the decision to get Curtis Granderson out of the cleanup spot, I wasn’t really too surprised. It was something that clearly needed to be done. Hopefully, this will get Granderson’s bat going again and he can become the run producer this team thought they were getting when they signed him to that four-year, $60 million dollar deal over the Winter.

Despite an 0-for-6 showing at the plate on Sunday, his game-winning sacrifice fly was still a sight for sore eyes and maybe it was just the first of many more big moments for Granderson going forward. 

lucas duda USATSIBatting cleanup yesterday was second baseman Daniel Murphy, which seemed like a real head-scratcher to me.

I thought for sure that Lucas Duda would get the first opportunity to bat behind David Wright, especially given the fact that he leads the team in home runs, slugging percentage and OPS.

After the game, Terry Collins explained his decision to leave Duda in the sixth spot of the lineup.

“It’s huge, and that’s exactly why I’m not ready to move Lucas there right now. With what’s happened here in the past week, he’s got enough on his plate, and I didn’t want to stir the pot by throwing him in the four-hole right away.”

I thought David Lennon of Newsday hit the nail on the head in his column this morning:

The Mets can’t play the sensitive card with him any longer. They chose Duda over Ike Davis — who, by the way, batted cleanup Sunday for the Pirates — and that means trusting him to do the job.

And while we’re on the subject of numbers, Duda’s best offensive stats have come in the No. 4 spot. In 110 games there, Duda has a slash line of .276/.373/.453 with a home run every 25 plate appearances. So don’t tell us Duda can’t handle the pressure.

As long as Granderson is slumping, Collins is going to have to scrape up offense from somewhere. And in this thin lineup, Duda has to become the hitter the Mets say he can be — not look for shelter.

Sooner or later the Mets are going to have to stop babying Duda and start requiring some accountability from him.

How are these players ever going to reach their full potential if we’re going to keep playing nursemaid with them like this?

Duda is 28 years old and given the fact that the Mets are banking on him as their starting first baseman, it’s time for him to live up to that expectation and rise to the occasion. Collins shouldn’t be the one keeping that from happening. Get Duda in that cleanup spot and lets turn the guy loose.

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 4, Braves 3 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-game-recap-mets-4-braves-3.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-game-recap-mets-4-braves-3.html/#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 22:14:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153776 curtis granderson

The Mets salvaged the finale of their three game series and beat the Atlanta Braves 4-3 on a walk-off sacrifice fly off the bat of Curtis Granderson in the bottom of the 14th inning.

Zack Wheeler started for the Mets and earned a quality start, tossing six innings and allowing three runs on six hits and three walks while striking out six batters.

The Mets got eight scoreless innings of relief from the bullpen including three from Daisuke Matsuzaka and two by Carlos Torres. Jose Valverde, who lost his job as closer before the game, pitched the 14th inning and picked up the win. 

David Wright followed up Saturday’s three-hit game with four more hits to raise his average to .316 for the season. Lucas Duda contributed two ribbies and a pair of singles as he and Wright collected six of the Mets’ nine hits.

Granderson was hitless in six at-bats before lifting a shallow fly that was deep enough to score Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the 14th.

With the win, the Mets improved their home record to 3-6 at Citi Field this season.

The Mets begin a four game series with the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday at 7:10 PM. RHP Jenrry Mejia gets the start for the Mets.

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Revisiting The Decision Not To Re-Sign LaTroy Hawkins http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/revisiting-the-decision-not-to-re-sign-latroy-hawkins.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/revisiting-the-decision-not-to-re-sign-latroy-hawkins.html/#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 15:32:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153761 latroy hawkins 2

As was reported earlier, Kyle Farnsworth has been named the new Mets closer by Terry CollinsJose Valverde lost the job after a series of dreadful outings in which he allowed four home runs in his last three appearances.

At 38, Farnsworth has closed on two previous occasions in his 16 year major league career which includes 54 saves and 43 blown saves. The veteran righthander last officially closed in 2011 for the Rays, saving 25 games and blowing six.

The Mets never did add that proven reliever they said was a priority this offseason.

Instead they opted to sign a few minor league deals with players off the scrapheap shortly before spring training started, and hoping that one of them would ultimately stick.

So far John Lannan has already been cut from the bullpen, Valverde may be on the way out as well, Daisuke Matsuzaka has just been added to the pen, and Farnsworth takes over as closer.

Meanwhile, LaTroy Hawkins is flourishing as the closer for the Colorado Rockies. He signed a one-year, $2.25 million contract with them in the offseason.

Sandy Alderson felt that was too much money for Hawkins whose first choice was to stay with the Mets.

“LaTroy had a great season for us last year,” Alderson said. “He stepped in and did a very nice job for us as a closer. I hate to keep emphasizing he’s 41, but at that age, in this game, I think the financial issue becomes not paramount in every case, but I think important.”

Hawkins had a stellar season for the Mets in 2013, posting a 2.93 ERA with 55 strikeouts and ten walks in 70.2 innings pitched.

Used mostly as the setup man, Hawkins stepped into the closer role when the Mets lost Bobby Parnell. He ended up saving 13 games.

Going into Sunday, Hawkins has notched five saves for the Rockies this season with a 1.38 ERA and 0.749 WHIP.

At the time Hawkins signed with the Rockies, the Mets GM also said:

“We’re feeling more and more comfortable about the young pitching that we have that may populate the bullpen next year. Bobby Parnell is expected to be fine for next season, and if he were unable to close, Vic Black is the alternative.”

Of course Parnell is now out for the season with Tommy John surgery, and Black was assigned to Triple-A Las Vegas to begin the season, due to issues with wildness which have plagued him his entire professional career.

Black has appeared in five games for Las Vegas and in 6.1 innings pitched he has walked seven batters, thrown one wild pitch, and has hit one batter.

Last week, the Mets attended a showcase for free agent reliever Joel Hanrahan who is attempting to comeback from Tommy John surgery. The showcase was attended by 20 teams who have all shown varying degrees of interest.

The irony is that even if the Mets were to land Hanrahan, it’s likely that he’ll get almost twice what it would have cost to just keep Hawkins, according to some of the numbers being tossed around.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the Mets navigate through the rest of this season with this bullpen, as we continue in year four of the Alderson era.

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Valverde Out As Closer, Farnsworth To Takeover Saves Role http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/valverde-out-as-closer-farnsworth-to-takeover-saves-role.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/valverde-out-as-closer-farnsworth-to-takeover-saves-role.html/#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 14:21:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153743 jose valverde

10:15 AM Update:

Kyle Farnsworth has been named the new Mets closer by Terry Collins. Valverde will not be used in any critical situations for now.

The 38 year old has closed on two previous occasions in his 16 year major league career which includes 54 saves and 43 blown saves.

Farnsworth last officially closed in 2011 for the Rays, saving 25 games and blowing six.

8:45 AM

It was another rough outing for Jose Valverde, who gave up a three-run homer in the ninth to Justin Upton in Saturday’s 7-5 loss.

He has now allowed four home runs in his last three appearances, including back to back homers against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

After the game, the Mets manager basically admitted that he’s going to need a new closer, because he can’t send Valverde out there in a big situation again.

“I’m going to address that on Sunday,” Collins said.

Collins also said he’s been troubled by some of the pitches Valverde has made this week, describing them as being in the “nitro zone.”

“When we’ve talked to people about him and what he does they say when he’s locating his fastball he gets a lot of outs,” explained Collins. “Right now, he’s leaving balls on the plate and he’s getting hit.’’

As I mentioned yesterday, Valverde is doing the same exact things that caused him to get released by the Detroit Tigers. His fastballs are flat, up in the zone, and easy to hammer.

In his eight appearances this season, the 36-year old veteran has allowed baserunners in all but two of them.

The big question now becomes, who replaces him?

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Granderson Out of the Cleanup Spot and Batting Second http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/granderson-out-of-the-cleanup-spot-and-batting-second.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/granderson-out-of-the-cleanup-spot-and-batting-second.html/#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 13:44:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153745 MLB Opening Day at Citi Field

Update: Curtis Granderson has been moved out of the cleanup spot and is batting second today. 

During last night’s 7-5 loss to the Atlanta Braves, Curtis Granderson went 0-for-5, and left six runners on base. He is now hitting .140 with just four RBIs on the season.

The fans at Citi Field are getting antsy. They rained boos down on Granderson during his final three plate appearances, and it wasn’t just a few, the stadium was resonating. Many of them are now referring to Granderson as Bay 2.0. Curtis Bay, and Jason Granderson.

Granderson, who signed a four-year, $60 million deal this past winter, is trying to stay positive as he battles through a slump that has seen him strike out in a third of his at-bats.

“I’m going to stay focused, stay ready, stay aggressive and eventually things will turn.”

That big smile Granderson displayed whenever he came to the plate during the first two weeks of the season is now gone.

Collins met with Granderson before Saturday’s game. He told Collins he is not pressing, and he trusts that things will begin to turn around for him at the plate.

“He’s not squaring balls up,” Collins said.

Collins is now considering a shakeup that will move Granderson out of the cleanup spot.

This is getting a little scary. It’s still early, but that doesn’t lessen the concern.

The Mets knew there was some considerable risk handing that kind of a contract to someone who batted .232 with nearly 200 strikeouts in his last full season in 2012, and then batted .229 in an injury-plagued season in 2013.

The hope was that in exchange for the risk and the strikeouts, the team would get a ton of home runs in exchange. But that hasn’t happened yet.

Collins does need to make some sort of move here, at least a temporary one until Granderson starts becoming a threat at the plate again.

It might be time to move Lucas Duda into the cleanup spot.

mmo

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Thoughts On Davis, Thornton and the PTBNL http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/thoughts-on-davis-thornton-and-the-ptbnl.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/thoughts-on-davis-thornton-and-the-ptbnl.html/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2014 17:21:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153667 zack thorntonOn Friday, the Mets announced that they traded first baseman Ike Davis to the Pittsburgh Pirates for righthanded reliever Zack Thornton and a player to be named later.

Thornton, who turns 26 next month, was a 23rd round pick of the Oakland A’s in the 2010 draft, who was traded to the Pirates in 2012 for RHP Chris Resop

He has a solid strikeout rate, induces a lot of groundballs, and throws a fastball which sits in the 90-93 mph range.

Sandy Alderson said he considered selecting Thornton in the Rule 5 Draft in December, but he went unselected.

For now he’s been assigned to Triple-A Las Vegas, but we could see him sooner rather than later in the Mets bullpen. Thornton was 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA in four games with Indianapolis (AAA) of the International League this season.

In regards to the player to be named later, there’s plenty of wild speculation running rampant ranging from the Mets getting someone “as good or better than Thornton” to the Mets getting someone “fairly significant.”

That second and more appealing scenario, has some bloggers and Twitter folks believing the Mets may be getting Austin Meadows, who was the ninth overall pick in the 2013 draft for the Pirates. To put Meadows in some more context, he was selected ahead of our top pick in the same draft, first baseman Dominic Smith.

My question is this… Why would the Pirates GM trade someone of that caliber for a player who they only intend to use in a first base platoon?

We may not know who the PTBNL is for another two days, two weeks or two months. So why don’t we just wait and see what happens rather than drumming up these wild and unrealistic scenarios that may be so far removed from the truth you could drive a truck through it?

Here’s what we do know.

  • We got a 26-year old reliever who could be useful, for what was currently a bench player for the Mets that could also be useful for the Pirates.
  • Lucas Duda is now the undisputed starting first baseman for the New York Mets. Hopefully, this gives Duda the confidence to have a solid season for us moving forward, and that he can realize his full offensive potential.
  • The Mets payroll now stands at about $84 million or approximately $10 million less than iast season.

Those are the facts.

mmo

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MMO Game Recap: Braves 6, Mets 0 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-game-recap-braves-6-mets-0.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-game-recap-braves-6-mets-0.html/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2014 02:12:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153662 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 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-trade-ike-davis-to-pirates-for-reliever-zack-thornton-and-ptbnl.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-trade-ike-davis-to-pirates-for-reliever-zack-thornton-and-ptbnl.html/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 22:58:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153639 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 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/nieuwenhuis-could-go-down-when-mets-activate-chris-young-today.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/nieuwenhuis-could-go-down-when-mets-activate-chris-young-today.html/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:47:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153525 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.

mmo

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Mets Want More “Attitude” From Syndergaard http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-want-more-attitude-from-syndergaard.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-want-more-attitude-from-syndergaard.html/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:31:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153623 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? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/opinion-wheres-our-tom-seaver-statue.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/opinion-wheres-our-tom-seaver-statue.html/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:40:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153608 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 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-prospect-pulse-steven-matz-takes-a-no-hitter-into-the-sixth.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-prospect-pulse-steven-matz-takes-a-no-hitter-into-the-sixth.html/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:03:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153599 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 MetsMinors.net.

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Mejia Will Throw A Bullpen Today To Determine If He Makes Next Start http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mejia-will-throw-a-bullpen-today-to-determine-if-he-makes-next-start.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mejia-will-throw-a-bullpen-today-to-determine-if-he-makes-next-start.html/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:53:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153443 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.

mmo

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