Mets Merized Online » John Delcos http://metsmerizedonline.com Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:11:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Mets Are Still Undecided On One-Time Phenom Mejia http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mets-are-still-undecided-on-one-time-phenom-mejia.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mets-are-still-undecided-on-one-time-phenom-mejia.html/#comments Sun, 16 Mar 2014 13:28:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=150677 Brad Barr USA TODAY Sports jenrry mejia

Jenrry Mejia takes the mound and will oppose Cubs left-hander Chris Rusin at 4:05 PM Sunday as the Mets wrap up their two-game series at Cashman Field in Las Vegas.

The Mets have never settled on a role for Mejia, which could be the case again this spring. At 24, Mejia is one of those promising young arms the Mets are boasting. Coming off elbow surgery, they are treating him with kid gloves, but there have been no signs of a setback.

Most starters want to pitch 30 innings in spring training, but with only two weeks left Mejia has only worked two. He could get four today against the Cubs in Las Vegas, but won’t get close to 20, much less 30.

Originally, Mejia was to compete with Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lannan for the fifth-starter role. But, if building for the future is the objective for 2014, it should be Mejia because he has the greatest upside.

Without Matt Harvey, this would have been the perfect chance to develop Mejia. Instead, it is turning out to be a lost opportunity, either to use him for their rotation or showcase him for a trade.

With Mejia in the rotation, they’ll have a better idea of where they stand heading going into 2015. If Matsuzaka gets those starts, they still won’t know about Mejia as a starter.

But, how about as a reliever?

The Mets tried that route without success in 2010. Then-manager Jerry Manuel, knowing his job was in severe jeopardy, wanted Mejia on the major league roster to work out of the bullpen to start that season. That was for Manuel’s interests, not Mejia’s.

However, Manuel wouldn’t use him in pressure situations, so Mejia languished without work when he could have been getting starts in the minor leagues.

Understandably, Mejia struggled and was eventually optioned to Triple-A to go back in the rotation. His arm didn’t adjust to the back-and-forth and he was eventually injured and required Tommy John surgery to repair his elbow.

Entering that season, Mejia was a highly sought prospect, but his value was greatly reduced because of how he was used. After he was hurt, he missed all of 2011.

In five starts last season, pitching with a bone spur in his elbow, Mejia had a 2.30 ERA, walked four and struck out 27 in 27.1 innings pitched. He had a minor procedure to resolve that last fall and is finally 100% healthy for the first time in nearly four years.

The Mets are again considering Mejia for their bullpen, but already have seven candidates without him. Just how much work would he get?

If not up here, they should use him as a starter in the minors, which is probably in their best long-term interest because that would hasten his development and possibly build his trade value.

I see him starting the season in Triple-A, but where ever he ends up, just pick a role and stick with it.

(Photo: Brad Barr, USATSI)

mmo

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What’s With All The Mets’ Early Injuries? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/whats-with-all-the-mets-early-injuries.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/whats-with-all-the-mets-early-injuries.html/#comments Thu, 06 Mar 2014 05:41:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=149757 duda davis

The New York Mets have frequently been criticized for their handing of injuries, and already this spring there have been several, many of them of the tight muscle variety.

The first case was left-hander Jonathon Niese, who complained of a tired arm, caused by weak muscles in the back of his shoulder.

I raised several questions, primarily that he might not have been given the exercises needed for rehab. Niese is now throwing again and has been given a series of exercises.

The Mets’ other injuries this spring are new, and could fall under the umbrella of not warming up properly.

First basemen Ike Davis and Lucas Duda have missed time with tightness in their leg muscles; shortstop Ruben Tejada has a tight left hamstring; and outfielder Eric Young has muscle tightness in his side.

Manager Terry Collins told reporters in Port St. Lucie he attributes these injuries to the fields being hard from being baked by the sun and the players could be overly exerting themselves.

While they could be contributing factors, there might be others, such as whether they spend enough time doing stretching exercises getting loose and are they properly hydrated?

Also, players these days spend an extraordinary amount of time lifting weights and perhaps not enough stretching or doing flexibility exercises. Those stretching exercises are not very popular and even David Wright jokingly remarked on Wednesday at how his teammates hate those drills.

I also am curious to know what type of off-season workout programs the players are on prior to reporting to spring training camp. Are they regimented and monitored by the team?

Who knows, Collins could be right and this could be a freak thing. However, there have already been four players – excluding Niese – who have missed time because of tight muscles.

This all must be analyzed, especially considering the Mets’ history in their handling of injuries.

(Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa)

mmo

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Featured Post: Time To Start Acting Like A 90 Win Team http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/featured-post-time-to-start-acting-like-a-90-win-team.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/featured-post-time-to-start-acting-like-a-90-win-team.html/#comments Wed, 05 Mar 2014 17:23:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=149588 sandy aldersonWe shall see if the New York Mets are capable of winning the 90 games that general manager Sandy Alderson believes they can.

I like manager Terry Collins’ response to his players, that they should take it as a compliment. That’s one way to look at things. What else can he do now that his boss has thrown down the gauntlet.

While Alderson expects his players to play like 90-win players, and Collins to manage like a 90-win manager, I wonder if that extends to him and Fred Wilpon?

Reportedly, Fred Wilpon said “they’d better win 90 games.’’

If that’s the case, will Wilpon give Alderson the go-ahead to get what is needed at the trade deadline? Just wondering.

For his part, how can Alderson believe 90 wins are possible when he has so many unresolved issues including first base, shortstop, the outfield and bullpen, not to mention an unproven catcher and being without his best pitcher?

I also can’t help but wonder how long a leash Alderson will give Ike Davis and Ruben Tejada. In each of the past two seasons the Mets dragged their feet when Davis floundered early. Ninety-win teams don’t act like that, When they have to make a move they do it, and fast. A 90-win team needs a 90-win general manager.

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Mets On Tap: Syndergaard To Start Against Braves http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mets-on-tap-syndergaard-to-start-against-braves.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mets-on-tap-syndergaard-to-start-against-braves.html/#comments Mon, 03 Mar 2014 12:01:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=149483 syndergaard by by BRETT BARR USATSI

One of the bright spots for the New York Mets this spring is pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard, who is coming off a two-inning, five-strikeout performance in last Thursday’s intrasquad game.

Today, he’ll face the Atlanta Braves at the Disney complex near Orlando.

“I kind of shocked myself a little bit,’’ Syndergaard said of his intrasquad outing. “I wasn’t expecting that my first time out there.’’

Syndergaard, who stands an imposing 6-foot-5, throws a nasty curveball and can blow a 97-98 mph fastball by you. That’s a good beginning, but to become an effective major league starter, he’ll need a third pitch.

“I’m excited, a little nervous at the same time,’’ Syndergaard said of today’s exhibition start. “It’s the first time facing a real big-league lineup. I’m going to go out there and do what I can. It’s still a game. They’re still playing baseball out there.’’

The Mets don’t anticipate bringing up Syndergaard until mid-June, instead, they made clear that either Daisuke Matsuzaka or John Lannan will be the fifth-starter candidate to open the season. Three weeks a go both were singed from baseball’s scrapheap to minor league deals.

At the start of spring training, Jenrry Mejia was also listed as a fifth-starter possibility, but there appears a growing sentiment that he’ll likely end up in the bullpen or minor leagues despite a handful of tantalizing starts last season when he showed just how dominating he could be.

In addition:

* Also scheduled to pitch today are Jacob deGromMiguel SocolovichGonzalez GermenJosh Edgin and Jeff Walters.

* With Ruben Tejada day-to-day with a strained left hamstring, Wilmer Flores is expected to play shortstop today after Omar Quintanilla.

* Expect outfielder Eric Young to see time today.

• After three games the Mets remain winless in Grapefruit League play and have been outscored 21-6.

Photo by Brad Barr, USATSI

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Yelling At Reporters Isn’t Going To Fire Up Ike Davis http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/yelling-at-reporters-isnt-going-to-fire-up-ike-davis.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/yelling-at-reporters-isnt-going-to-fire-up-ike-davis.html/#comments Mon, 24 Feb 2014 14:49:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=149012 ike-davis

One of the more ridiculous things I’ve read in the wake of the Ike Davis - Mike Puma verbal spat is the notion this will motivate the underperforming first baseman. If that’s the case, the New York Mets have a greater problem than they thought.

That thinking is flawed on many levels. As a professional athlete, if Davis needs a confrontation with a reporter to fire him up, it says little about his mental faculties.

It says that mental makeup is weak.

A professional athlete should be motivated first by pride and second by a sense of accomplishment. These rank even ahead of money, as oftentimes you’ll hear if a player is solely motivated by dollars his fire dies and the game becomes a grueling job.

The hottest fire is the desire to compete, and yelling at a reporter is misguided and wasted energy. If Davis need jousting with Puma to get him going then he’s in the wrong profession.

If you’ve seen Davis struggle you have to know his pride is wounded. That is where the rebuilding must originate. Arguing with a reporter does nothing to restore his pride, unless he thinks it makes him big in the eyes of his teammates. Even then, I bet most of the were probably thinking to themselves, “please Ike, shut up.’’

Davis’ confidence is in tatters for the simple reason because what worked for him in high school, college and the minor leagues abandoned him in the major leagues.

The competition level is much greater and Davis has not adjusted. Those few good moments he’s enjoyed in the major leagues were snuffed out by superior pitching and injuries, and he doesn’t know how to react.

One just does not restore confidence without a fundamental overhaul, which in Davis’ case is his basic Neanderthal approach to hitting of  “I see ball, I crush ball.’’

Davis labels himself as a “home run’’ hitter with the understanding “strikeouts will happen.’’

What Davis doesn’t understand is why strikeouts happen, which are because of both mechanical and mental flaws. The two become linked.

Davis wants to pull the ball and does not use the whole field. Doing so leaves himself open to the mechanical issues of pulling his head off the pitch and opening up too quickly.

When that happens, there’s no way he can hit the outside pitch, especially if it is a breaking ball. He’s simply not in good hitting position.

Davis also has a terrible hitch and dramatically moves his hands before the pitch arrives, leaving him behind and slow in his swing.

The more he struggled with mechanics, the greater the frustration and the more he pressed. It grows into a vicious cycle.

If Davis said he was hurt last year I believe him, but what I don’t accept is the injury did not affect him. Being in pain makes it hard to swing the bat and slows everything.

And, hitting is about being quick. Being quick with your thinking and pitch recognition, being quick with your hands and with your hips.

Yelling at a reporter does nothing to speed up your swing.

Mechanics are the issue and in Davis’ case they stem from a poor approach. That good stretch of at-bats he needs to get him going – as some said – will never come unless he changes his thinking.

Look, Davis said he wants to be with the Mets and I believe him. Yesterday probably hurt the chances of the Mets making a trade because the perception is Davis is a headache in the clubhouse.

And, in the parking lot.

That Davis continued with Puma in the parking lot shows he didn’t adjust to the incident from earlier in the morning. Much like he hasn’t adjusted to the down-and-away slider.

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Could Matt Harvey Become A High Maintenance Super Nova? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/could-matt-harvey-become-a-high-maintenance-super-nova.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/could-matt-harvey-become-a-high-maintenance-super-nova.html/#comments Mon, 24 Feb 2014 12:39:55 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=148915 Could the New York Mets have a potential problem with Matt Harvey?

There are already signs of him being high maintenance … signs he enjoys the trappings of New York too much … signs he doesn’t handle injuries well … signs of being too sensitive … signs he knows he’s good and isn’t afraid to let you know.

Harvey has never pitched a complete season and is 12-10 lifetime. While we’re not talking about the second coming of Tom Seaver, Harvey seems to be carrying himself with a sense of entitlement and a “you can’t touch me’’ aura.

The latest is his reported reluctance to want to undergo his rehab in Port St. Lucie, which the Mets prefer, and desire to work out in New York.

After Harvey threw for the first time Saturday, general manager Sandy Alderson backed off saying where the 24-year-old 2010 will rehab, but made clear his preference.

“As a general rule, our players rehab in Florida,’’ Alderson said Saturday. “But that’s not a decision we’re going to make or mandate [now]. When we get to the end of spring training we’ll see where he is, and I’m sure there will be discussion between now and then.’’

MattHarvey1For somebody with 36 career starts, why should there even be discussion? If Port St. Lucie was good enough for David Wright and Pedro Martinez to rehab, it should be good enough for Harvey.

In fairness, we haven’t heard Harvey’s reasoning for his preference of New York, which leads to speculation, with little of it showing him in a good light.

Making this more touchy is this could go before the Players Association, as the collective bargaining agreement mandates a player can refuse his rehab in a spring training locale during the season for longer than 20 days.

“The CBA imposes limitations. Yeah,’’ Alderson said. “But in the past, for the most part, our players have been here and it’s been a good situation.’’

We know New York is Harvey’s home, has superior Italian food and a better nightlife than Port St. Lucie.

But, what’s the purpose here?

New York’s nightlife makes one wonder, as Harvey clearly enjoys the perks of being a star – even though that might be a premature characterization of his professional status. Harvey likes the clubs and openly spoke about his drinking in a Men’s Journal magazine piece.

“I’m young, I’m single,’’ he was quoted as saying. “I want to be in the mix. … I have a 48-hour rule. No drinking two days before a start. But, those other days? Yes, I’m gonna go out.’’

The bottom line: If you’re 24 and a high-profile figure, you shouldn’t need a rule about drinking. If he finds it necessary to have a rule, he shouldn’t be drinking in the first place.

Everybody these days has a phone with a camera. Harvey has already been caught several times in incidents of public displays of affection with his former supermodel girlfriend, Anne V. at Rangers and Knicks games, where he is gifted the tickets. More trappings.

He’s now seeing another model, Ashley Haas, which has his comments of wanting to be like Derek Jeter resurface. Of course, It is doubtful Jeter would have ever posed nude.

“That guy is the model,’’ he said. “I mean, first off, let’s just look at the women he’s dated. Obviously, he goes out – he’s meeting these girls somewhere – but you never hear about it. That’s where I want to be.’’

New York’s nightlife has burned out dozens of athletes. Look what it did for Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry. Imagine what Mickey Mantle would have been able to accomplish with a little less drinking and womanizing.

And, as for Jeter, he’s not the Teflon he’s made out to be. Stories of sending his conquests home with a gift basket of memorabilia and forcing house guests to surrender their cell phones don’t portray him in a flattering light. Mom must be so proud.

Shortly after the magazine piece came out, Harvey complained about being misquoted and taken out of context. A reporter for a magazine profile records everything, so it is doubtful the quotes were manufactured. Backing off his comments shows a lack of accountability.

Harvey also got into it with WFAN talk-show host Joe Beningo, ripping him on Twitter and then deleting the post.

When it comes to fighting with a radio personality or the media in general, it is futile as it comes off as petty and unprofessional, plus, he’ll never have the last word.

The media isn’t as easy to bully as was former teammate Jon Rauch, whom Harvey forced out of town after challenging the former Mets reliever to a fight because he didn’t appreciate the rookie hazing, which included getting doused with water while sleeping on the trainer’s table.

If Harvey had a problem he could have confronted Rauch in private rather than making for a very uncomfortable clubhouse scene. That’s something somebody with a professional grasp on things would have done. Instead, he came off as behaving like Jordany Valdespin.

That’s not the only thing Harvey hasn’t handled well. Twice he wasn’t immediately forthcoming in disclosing injuries to the training staff, and arguably it led to his elbow surgery.

I want the best for Harvey. I want him to have a long and brilliant career. However, he has a long way to go, on and off the field. He hasn’t always shown good judgment and a case can be made it cost him this season.

He needs to reign himself in off the field, and that includes not making a big deal about where he rehabs. If reflects poorly on him and makes one wonder if this isn’t about carousing the bars with Haas and watching the Rangers.

If he maintains this course, instead of a franchise pitcher, he could end being a high maintenance super nova.

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Mets Owners Dodge Huge Debt Payment, New Loan In Place http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mets-owners-dodge-huge-debt-payment-new-loan-finalized.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mets-owners-dodge-huge-debt-payment-new-loan-finalized.html/#comments Sat, 22 Feb 2014 15:33:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=148732 Outside a miraculous recovery by Matt Harvey, the New York Mets have the best possible news today. On the day of their first full squad workout, the Mets finalized their refinancing, reported The New York Post.

So, if Fred and Jeff Wilpon are spotted smiling on one of the fields in Port St. Lucie, you’ll know why.

The Wilpon family, stung in the Ponzi scandal, were five weeks from having to make a $250 million payment on an expiring loan. Had the loan been called, it is questionable whether the Mets could have come up with the money.

wilpon collinsReportedly, the Mets lost $10 million last season, but with their payroll to be under $100 million for a third straight year and Major League Baseball’s new television contract, they could turn a profit this season.

The new loan, which is for five years and headed by Bank of America, is for the Libor average plus 3.25 percent. According to the report, the Mets did not have to pay down their former loan to make this one happen or shell out one shiny nickel.

The Mets, who are currently valued at $1 billion, still need to have Major League Baseball approve the deal, which will be a formality.

Irving Picard, who was assigned to recovering funds for victims in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scandal, initially sued the Wilpons for $1 billion, which would have necessitated selling the Mets. However, the courts reduced that to $386 million.

The Mets’ financial restraints were loosened this winter with the signings of Curtis Granderson, Bartolo Colon and Chris Young. However, that did not represent any new spending, but merely replacing some of the dollars freed up by expiring contracts on Jason Bay and Johan Santana.

While that was an encouraging sign, as is the re-financing, don’t expect a spending spree next winter and the team to return to the days of a $143 million payroll.

If the Mets are competitive this season with a $90 million payroll, they will likely increase spending in small increments. At least that’s the hope.

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Collins Already Hinting On Roster Cuts http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/collins-already-hinting-on-roster-cuts.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/collins-already-hinting-on-roster-cuts.html/#comments Sat, 22 Feb 2014 13:25:27 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=148690 The New York Mets haven’t played an exhibition game yet and already manager Terry Collins is hinting at several roster cuts.

With a congested outfield, Collins suggested that Matt den DekkerKirk NieuwenhuisAndrew Brown and Cesar Puello will all begin the year at Triple-A Las Vegas.

It is also conceivable Juan Lagares will open the season in the minor leagues. Collins is very high on den Dekker.

matt den dekker terry collins

“One of the things we’re very lucky with, when you come into camp and you have the likes of the outfield we have right now, they’re so athletic. They can all run,’’ Collins told reporters today in Port St. Lucie. “Matt is in that [group]. He is still very, very highly thought of – a tremendous defender, as we know.

“One of the things you’ve seen in his career, he gets to a level and he may have a rough time in the beginning. And the next time he goes to that same level he advances. And we’re hoping the same thing occurs now, that he now knows what’s expected at the major-league level, what kind of pitching he’s going to see, what adjustments he has to make.

“I think Matt den Dekker is still a huge prospect here. It gives us an ample amount of insurance.’’

While Collins said den Dekker will need at-bats, the same applies for Lagares. Should Eric Young start over him, where will Lagares get his at-bats?

The Mets currently have three players competing for one outfield position. Curtis Granderson and Chris Young are givens, leaving Eric Young, Lagares and Lucas Duda for the other spot.

Should Lagares be optioned, Duda is not a viable outfield reserve and definitely can’t play center. That might force Collins to re-think Nieuwenhuis or Brown.

Thoughts from Joe D.

I’m not sold on den Dekker as much as you seem to be, John. He has yet to reduce his huge strikeout totals in the minors so can you imagine how that will translate in the majors? We actually got a small taste of that in 2013 when MDD batted .204 last season and struck out 23 times in 58 at-bats. That’s not a good sign. At 26, you’ll hardly find him on anymore Mets prospects lists and his stock just continues to tumble.

Nieuwenhuis is another player who has failed to make adjustments and will continue to see a huge amount of breaking pitches which just make him look bad. Captain Kirk now has 130 Ks in 377 major league at-bats.

I figured Andrew Brown earned a spot on the bench, but having Duda and Davis on the team puts the big squeeze on him. It’s not that Brown strikes out any less than the other two, but he makes up for it with his power off the bench and adequate outfield defense. He hit a couple of clutch shots last season and his seven homers and 24 RBI in just 150 AB is worth noting.

If Brown and Lagares don’t make the cut, it’s hard to argue that it makes the Mets a better team and that their taking their best 25. I’ll have something more detailed on Lagares in the morning.

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Why Strikeouts Are A Big Concern For The Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/why-strikeouts-are-a-big-concern-for-the-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/why-strikeouts-are-a-big-concern-for-the-mets.html/#comments Sat, 22 Feb 2014 01:40:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=148671 chris-young-baseball-hq-4_3After writing about the high strikeout rates of Ike DavisChris Young and Lucas Duda, I received a question asking why my concern over strikeouts, with the reader saying, “there’s no difference between a strikeout and a soft grounder to second.’’

He couldn’t be more wrong.

First, a strikeout is a non-productive out, but much more can happen on a grounder to second or any other base for that matter, especially with less than two outs.

A grounder to second, or anywhere in the infield, or a fly ball, has the potential to create something positive while nothing can be generated from a strikeout unless the ball gets by the catcher. And, unless R.A. Dickey is pitching, how often does that happen?

A runner can score on a grounder to second. He can’t on a strikeout.

Also, with a soft grounder to second, there’s a chance the ball could get through for a hit or the fielder could muff it for an error or the batter beats it out. Either way, it leads to a base runner and potential run, or if there’s a runner on second or third, it could generate a run.

See the difference?

In addition, a grounder can advance a runner into scoring position.

ike-davis

When I once asked Davis about his propensity for striking out, he said, “I am a home run hitter. I like to hit home runs. Strikeouts are part of it.’’

Until he changes that attitude, he’ll never be a viable hitter.

I realize times have changed, but to me one of the most incredible statistics in history is that during his 13-year career, Joe DiMaggio hit 361 home runs, but only struck out 369 times.

Arguably, that might be more impressive than his 56-game hitting streak.

Carrying it a step further, last year the Mets struck out 1,384 times, or 8.5 times a game. Translated, they went a third of the game without making contact. Add to that Chris Young (148 K Avg/162 ) and Curtis Granderson (159 K Avg/162 ) who struck out 195 times in his last full season in 2012.

Still wonder why I think it’s a big deal?

 

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Chris Young Presents Quite the Paradox http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/chris-young-is-quite-the-paradox.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/chris-young-is-quite-the-paradox.html/#comments Thu, 20 Feb 2014 19:55:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=148642 The New York Mets haven’t even seen a pitch yet this spring, but it’s not too early to notice how outfielder Chris Young has muddled things.

And, it goes beyond the $7.25 million they’ll pay this year for the player who hit .200 last season with 12 homers and 93 strikeouts. Young’s 162-game averages are .235 with 24 homers and 148 strikeouts, so the Mets aren’t exactly renting a light’s out slugger.

YOUNG: What kind of Impact?

The Mets must play Young because of his contract, but doing so creates several obstacles and dilemmas for manager Terry Collins.

With Young and Curtis Granderson taking up two-thirds of the outfield, that leaves a decision between Eric Young and Juan Lagares for the remaining spot.

If Collins chooses Lagares to play center, it leaves him without a viable leadoff hitter. Lagares has the speed, but strikes out too much to be a top-of-the-order hitter, although he’s young and can improve.

Daniel Murphy and Ruben Tejada have been mentioned, but neither is a great choice. Murphy should hit lower in the order because he’s a gap hitter able to drive in runs. Tejada is coming off a bad year and doesn’t have a good on-base percentage either.

Chris Young can’t lead off because he strikes out too much. Granderson can’t do it either because he also strikes out a ton and must hit fourth anyway to protect David Wright.

But, if Collins chooses Eric Young to hit leadoff and presumably play center, it relegates Lagares to the bench. Or based on what Collins has been strongly suggesting lately, it’s more likely they send Lagares to the minors instead to get him more at-bats. Never mind all the runs he saved with his glove and his arm and the excitement he brought to the team when he finally took over in center.

So, in essence the Mets are paying $7.25 million for a player that would likely delay the development of Lagares for another season.

The Mets are also contemplating keeping both Ike Davis and Lucas Duda on the Opening Day roster, with the intent of giving the latter some time in left field. But, how often will he play if Chris Young is here? And does Keeping both now squeeze out another young player in Wilmer Flores?

The Mets say they are building for the future, but Chris Young doesn’t contribute to that aim because he’s gone after this season. Either he doesn’t produce and they won’t bring him back, or he’ll hit and go elsewhere because the Mets won’t want to pay what he’s asking.

So, if the Mets’ timetable isn’t to win this year, why pay all that money for a rental?

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Wheeler Doesn’t Want Attention, Wants To Throw Strikes http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/wheeler-doesnt-want-attention-wants-to-throw-strikes.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/wheeler-doesnt-want-attention-wants-to-throw-strikes.html/#comments Wed, 19 Feb 2014 14:04:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=148516 zack-wheeler1

One of the highlights for the New York Mets last season was a double-header sweep of Atlanta anchored by future aces Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler, who was making his major league debut.

If you weren’t reading about Harvey last summer you were reading about Wheeler. This spring most of the ink is going to Noah Syndergaard, whom the Mets expect will be in the major leagues in June if he continues to develop in Triple-A.

“That’s fine with me,’’ Wheeler told reporters Tuesday in Port St. Lucie when asked about the spotlight being on Syndergaard. “I don’t have to have all the attention.’’

Actually, in Wheeler’s perfect world, he would rather have little, if any. Wheeler is extremely quiet and shy, and if given the choice, he’d rather not talk if he didn’t have to.

Wheeler was 7-5 with a 3.42 ERA last season in 17 starts. Manager Terry Collins doesn’t presently see an innings limit on Wheeler, and believes his composure and natural stuff will enable him to progress.

Collins said at the Winter Meetings that Harvey showed he could make adjustments on the run and thinks Wheeler has that same capability.

Wheeler was matter-of-fact when asked yesterday what he needs to do to improve: “Just being more consistent, throwing more strikes and stuff.’’

Ask any veteran pitcher and he’d say the same thing. That’s one of the things the Mets like about Wheeler.

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Collins Impressed At How Tejada Trimmed Down http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/collins-impressed-at-how-tejada-trimmed-down.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/collins-impressed-at-how-tejada-trimmed-down.html/#comments Tue, 18 Feb 2014 02:14:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=148224 New York Mets Spring Training at their Minor League practice facility located within Tradition Field in Florida

February 17

Ruben Tejada reported early on Sunday and manager Terry Collins was impressed today by how he looked, saying: “You can tell he’s really worked hard and trimmed down. I asked him how much faster he was. He said, ‘I’ll show you.’ And I said, ‘OK, good.’ He’ll have the chance.’’

February 16

One of the New York Mets on the hot seat is shortstop Ruben Tejada, who got into manager Terry Collins’ doghouse for not reporting early two years ago, his first replacing Jose Reyes.

He appears to have gotten the message, with the proof being showing up to spring training Sunday, almost a week ahead of schedule.

Technically, he reported on time two years ago, but Collins’ way of thinking was in Tejada’s first year as starter he should have shown initiative and reported even earlier.

Tejada redeemed himself by hitting .289 in 2012, but didn’t report in peak shape last spring and his work ethic was brought into question. Tejada got off to a miserable start both at the plate and in the field, was injured and eventually optioned to the minors.

He struggled when he returned and ended the season with a fractured leg and seemingly out of the Mets’ future plans.

However, when the shortstop market – Jhonny Peralta and Stephen Drew – became too pricey, the Mets had no alternative but to thought they’d give Tejada another chance.

Other than the market, what moved the Mets toward a Tejada encore was his commitment in an off-season fitness camp in Michigan.

Tejada’s presence in Ann Arbor, and reporting early is a good sign.

(Photo by Anthony J. Causi)

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10 Mets Who Could Be Dealt At Trade Deadline http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/10-mets-who-could-be-dealt-at-trade-deadline.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/10-mets-who-could-be-dealt-at-trade-deadline.html/#comments Mon, 17 Feb 2014 23:00:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=148132 dillon gee

Realistically, the New York Mets could be a .500 team if everything breaks right. That’s an improvement of at least one more victory a month, which isn’t unrealistic. However, let’s say it unravels early for them and it becomes apparent they have no shot at a wild card berth much less finishing at .500 or better.

What then?

Should they opt to scuttle their ship, and go from buyers to sellers again, they have numerous assets they might unload. And, none of them are their young pitchers. Here’s where they could start:

Dillon Gee: He’s under appreciated, yet consistent and an innings eater. Last season he gave them 199 and overall was their most durable and consistent starter. If the Mets can’t appreciate |that, somebody else will. He’s attractive because of his consistency, willingness to take the ball, and reasonable contract. If he’s healthy and having good season, teams could be lining up for him.

Daisuke Matsuzaka: Should they bring up Noah Syndergaard and he pitches well and there are no injuries in the rotation, Matsuzaka could draw interest from a contender. Especially, if he’s pitching like he did in his final three 2014 starts.

John Lannan: The same applies to Lannan as Matsuzaka. He’s not in their long-term plans so get what they can.

Kyle Farnsworth: If the Mets are cooked by midseason and Farnsworth is pitching well, teams are always looking for a reliable reliever.

Taylor Teagarden: He has a contract clause that allows him to leave if he’s not on the major league roster by June. So, if both Travis d’Arnaud and Anthony Recker show the catching situation is in good hands. It makes sense to showcase him.

Ike Davis: The assumption is if he’s showing anything in the first half… If there’s some run production, somebody might bite. They certainly didn’t during the winter. Davis has to show some measure of progress because teams had little interest over the winter.

Lucas Duda: Pretty much everything that applied to Davis goes for Duda. Also, if one is outperforming the other, they can keep the hot bat and deal the other.

Daniel Murphy: He will make $5 million this year, but over half will be eaten by the end of July. That’s a reasonable contract for a consistent hitter. Should Wilmer Flores demonstrate he can play the position, it might push the Mets to deal Murphy.

Eric Young: Another player with a doable contract. He came to the Mets because they needed speed and a leadoff hitter. Surely, there might be another contender who would need the same. Although calling him a leadoff hitter might be a stretch in the true sense of the role.

Chris Young: I still don’t know why the Mets signed him to a one-year, $7.25 million contract. If he doesn’t play well it is a waste and there will be likely no interest. However, if he performs, the Mets won’t go high in re-signing him and with only a one-year deal teams could show interest.

So, there you have it. Out of a 25-man roster, the Mets have ten chips. Most are average, but a few have the potential to help a contender. They probably won’t bring back much, but in the Mets’ position stockpiling players is a positive.

None of these players are untouchable or seemingly in their long-term plans. You might make a case for Davis if he’s broken out of his funk, but they’ve been saying that for three years.

mmo-fan-shot-278

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Spring Training: Five Questions Terry Collins Must Answer http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/spring-training-five-questions-terry-collins-must-answer.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/spring-training-five-questions-terry-collins-must-answer.html/#comments Sat, 15 Feb 2014 14:00:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=148076 terry collins

Spring training is finally here, and with it comes several issues the New York Mets must address. A lot of things must break right if they are to contend for a wild-card, but manager Terry Collins has five key questions to answer if they are to have a winning season, something they haven’t had since 2008:

Q: WHO WILL BE THE FIFTH STARTER?

Ideally, it should be Jenrry Mejia, but if the Mets are thinking they could have a winning season, Collins could go with veterans John Lannan or Daisuke Matsuzaka. “I’ve always said those veterans can really get you out of the blocks,’’ Collins told reporters in Port St. Lucie Friday. “Then, when those kids are ready, they’re the ones a lot of times that bring you that extra energy, especially late in the summer.’’ Perhaps one of those kids could be the 24-year-old Mejia, but the Mets have eyes on Noah Syndergaard.

Q: WILL BOBBY PARNELL BE READY BY OPENING DAY?

We might not know the answer until they break camp. Parnell underwent surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck and wasn’t supposed to throw off the mound for two weeks. However, he threw 10 pitches Friday and reported no discomfort. Of course, with a pitcher recovering from surgery, it is always the next few days that count. If healthy, Parnell is the closer. If not, Vic Black gets the first opportunity.

Q: WILL THE IKE DAVIS SAGA EVER END?

It sure would be nice. The Mets tried to trade Davis since October, but reportedly their asking price was too high. Davis kept tabs on the rumors and acknowledged he is surprised to be in Port St. Lucie. “The articles would say I wasn’t going to be here, so [it’s] a little bit of a shock I didn’t get traded,’’ Davis told reporters Friday. Davis goes into spring training as the projected starter and Collins said he’ll get at least 90 at-bats in hope of avoiding another slow start. The Mets haven’t said whether they’ll keep both Davis and Lucas Duda on the Opening Day roster.

Q: CAN RUBEN TEJADA SHOW CONSIDERABLE IMPROVEMENT?

Your guess is as good as mine. The Mets soured on Tejada last year, but after his dedication in attending a fitness camp in Michigan are prepared to let him keep his job. Collins hedged on making a formal announcement and mentioned Anthony Seratelli as a back-up infielder. The Mets also plan on giving Wilmer Flores time at shortstop, where he played in 2011. Flores is potentially a better offensive threat, so if he takes to the position it could be interesting.

Q: WHO WILL BE THE LEADOFF HITTER?

The answer could also finalize the outfield alignment. Collins stated a preference for Eric Young, who stole 38 bases last year, but must improve his .318 on-base percentage. Tejada, Chris Young  and Daniel Murphy have all been mentioned, Eric Young gives the Mets a base running threat they’ve missed since losing Jose Reyes. If Eric Young gets the job he’ll play left field. There have been whispers of moving him to second and Murphy to first. However, that would entail breakdowns by both Davis and Duda. As far as second base, Eric Young has only played 56 games at the position. It will take more than a few games in spring training to learn the position. Assuming Eric Young in left, the rest of the starting outfield would be Curtis Granderson and Chris Young, meaning Juan Lagares would probably be optioned.

Presented By Diehards

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Sandy Alderson: Unlikely Mets Acquire Another Major Free Agent http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mets-matters-sandy-says-its-unlikely-he-acquires-another-free-agent.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mets-matters-sandy-says-its-unlikely-he-acquires-another-free-agent.html/#comments Thu, 13 Feb 2014 16:18:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=147880 drew

February 13

Sandy Alderson told reporters today in St. Lucie, that it is unlikely that he acquires another major free agent this offseason.

It’s now one of those cases where you have to do the math.

A Drew signing seems very unlikely at this point and it’s not as if the Mets were ever really that close.

February 12

Sandy Alderson said Tuesday afternoon that the New York Mets have the money to sign shortstop Stephen Drew “under the right circumstances.’’

An opt-out after one year is not one of those circumstances. Neither is Drew’s reported asking price of $15 million a year for a career .264 hitter. I don’t care how good a glove he flashes.

In addition to his contractual demands, there are other reasons why Alderson shouldn’t feed the speculation.

Just say, “No, we don’t have an interest in Drew.’’ He can always change his mind if something happens to Ruben Tejada.

Alderson said he’s happy with Tejada’s off-season commitment to getting in shape by attending a fitness camp in Michigan.

Two years ago Tejada had a good season in the first year without Jose Reyes. Now, Tejada might never equal Reyes’ offensive potential, but his .289 average and .333 on-base percentage in 2012, certainly is good enough to believe there’s a chance for more.

The Mets soured on Tejada because of his attitude and performance last year, which ended with him fracturing his leg. Alderson said upgrading shortstop was an off-season priority, but the prices for Drew and Jhonny Peralta excessive.

Although Alderson said Drew was affordable, it doesn’t make him a wise purchase, especially for a team on the build. Teams not expected to win don’t invest that kind of money on an average hitting shortstop. They do if he’s the missing piece, but the Mets need more than a few pieces.

The Mets are pointing to 2015, and Drew would be gone by then if they give him the opt-out.

If 2014 is simply a transition year, the Mets are better off giving Tejada this season and finding out what they have in him – after all, he’s 24 and Drew is 30.

The Mets can build around Tejada. As their roster is currently comprised, they can’t build around Drew.

Save the money for something else, perhaps for a missing piece at the trade deadline if this season exceeds all expectations.

Thoughts from Joe D.

John, why don’t you tell us how you really feel about Drew? Actually, you’re preaching to choir and I’ve never saw the fascination with such a mediocre player who spends way too much time on the disabled list.

As I’ve been hammering since the offseason began, give Tejada another chance and if it don’t work out, you have a better group of free agent shortstops on the market next offseason.

I’m tired of hearing that the reason we should go hard after Drew is because he’s an upgrade over Tejada. Guess what? Even Tejada is an upgrade over last season’s Tejada. And the kid’s been busting his butt since the season ended. I’ll take my chances and hope that the 2012 version shows up in 2014. Remember when Met fans were all giddy and coming to the park holding signs that read, “Jose who?”

The kind of money we’re hearing about for a player who is not a difference maker boggles the mind. And the scary part is the overwhelming chance he goes belly up right after we sign him to a multi-year deal. Why don’t you think he got a multi-year deal the previous offseason?

Additionally, where do you bat him? Are you going to stick his career .329 on-base in the leadoff spot? No thanks. This guy is like the square peg that will only complicate matters. We already have a great number two hitter in Murphy, and he’ll end up batting 6th or 7th.

Drew has earned $30 million in his eight year career, and now on the wrong side of 30 we have some fans who want to give him that much for a two year deal? It’s almost laughable.

This is simple. Save the money. Play Tejada. Reevaluate at the end of the season when you have better options available.

Presented By Diehards

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My Hall Of Fame Ballot: Mike Piazza and the Other Nine http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/my-hall-of-fame-ballot-mike-piazza-and-the-other-nine.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/my-hall-of-fame-ballot-mike-piazza-and-the-other-nine.html/#comments Tue, 31 Dec 2013 18:03:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=138572 10 METS FAYTOK

I just returned from the post office where I dropped off my Hall of Fame ballot. It’s a ritual for me that on Dec. 31 every year I’ll fill out my ballot. I like holding on to it, read all I can about the players on the ballot, talk to those in the game and also to other voters.

Like most kids I grew up with, and I imagine like most of you, I grew up a baseball junkie. I even logged on to check the box score from the first game I went to, July 19, 1965, in Cleveland, where the Indians beat the Baltimore Orioles. Chuck Hinton homered for the Indians. Rocky Colavito got a couple of hits.

I think back to watching the Indians with the father, to playing catch with my brother, to Little League, and from there, I get to vote for the Hall of Fame.

It is a privilege, which is why it pisses me off no end when I hear of my colleagues selling their vote to Deadspin, to leaving ballots blank, to not returning them, to not even caring whom they vote for. Shameful in my point of view.

I am sure there will be many who disagree with my ballot. I voted for the ten players I was allowed, and have some regret for those I might have omitted. I have no regrets for those I checked.

hof ballot

Jeff Bagwell: To my knowledge he’s like Mike Piazza. He’s never failed a drug test. He was never linked or accused in the Mitchell Report. Nobody on the record has ever charged him or testified to seeing him use PEDs.

Craig Biggio: Three thousand hits. Enough said. I read where one veteran voter accused Biggio of using PEDs, but offered no proof or time-frame.

Tom Glavine: Some say they’ll keep Glavine off and vote Greg Maddux ahead of him. Absurd. Three hundred wins is an automatic ticket punch for me. Glavine and Maddux should go in together.

Greg Maddux: A no-brainer.

Edgar Martinez: I know I’ll take heat for this, but I don’t mind. I didn’t invent the designated hitter position. And, as long as MLB plays with the DH, I don’t see why a player has to have his position work against him. Sure, Martinez played most of his games as the DH, but that is a legitimate position. How many of the numbers belonging to Paul Molitor, George Brett, Carl Yastrzemski and Eddie Murray were accumulated at a DH?

Jack Morris: He’s been on the ballot for years and don’t understand the reluctance of some voters to shy away from him. Morris was a money pitcher who fell shy of 300 wins. The game has changed and eventually you’ll see the bar lowered to accommodate those who just missed 300 wins.

Mike Mussina: He’s another who fell shy of 300 wins. If he hung on he could have made it. When you consider his body of work, he’s two blown saves a year from 300, which shouldn’t be enough to keep him out. I covered Mussina in Baltimore and with the Yankees, and have no doubts he did it cleanly.

Mike Piazza: If he gets the votes, he’ll likely go in as a Dodger. He’s on my ballot for the same reason as Jeff Bagwell. I don’t see where the accusations of several Holier than Thou writers who based their thinking on seeing several pimples on his back as being substantial.

Tim Raines: Along with Rickey Henderson and Lou Brock – both in the Hall of Fame – he’s one of the game’s premier leadoff hitters. Had he played the bulk of his career in the United States, especially New York or Los Angeles, he’d have been in already.

Frank Thomas: One of the outspoken critics of the PED era. He compiled massive numbers, and he did it cleanly.

Maybe next time:

The regrets on my ballot are Fred McGriff, who fell shy of 500 homers and Jeff Kent, the career leader of homers by a second baseman.

I never thought of Kent as a first ballot Hall of Famer, but several people have planted the seed for him. Maybe next year.

Mets on the ballot:

Mike Piazza: Voted for him.

Jeff Kent,: Maybe next year.

Moises Alou: Funny, when I think of him what I remember most is him pointing at Steve Bartman.

Paul Lo Duca: You must be joking.

Armando Benitez: His signature moment with the Mets was a 10-pitch at-bat in which he walked Paul O’Neill in the 2000 World Series. There’s also numerous blown save opportunities against the Braves.

Kenny Rogers: How about that bases-loaded walk against the Braves in the playoffs?

I wish all of the readers on MMO a very Happy New Year.

Presented By Diehards

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Terry Collins: The Sky’s The Limit For Zack Wheeler http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/terry-collins-the-skys-the-limit-for-zack-wheeler.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/terry-collins-the-skys-the-limit-for-zack-wheeler.html/#comments Wed, 18 Dec 2013 13:23:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=135777 wheeler sf

As of now, the New York Mets don’t anticipate an innings limitations on Zack Wheeler, who was shut down for his last two starts in 2013.

Wheeler threw 100 innings last year and said an innings limit hasn’t been determined, and if one is later on, it won’t be until after the season starts.

“We haven’t talked about an innings limit,” manager Terry Collins said. “He should get over 200 if he goes out there 30-something times. If he does that, he would have a heck of a year. When you’re getting those kinds of innings, you’re keeping your team in games.”

Hopefully, that thinking won’t change and the Mets will not put the shackles on Wheeler, who won’t learn how to really pitch at this level unless he does so.

Pitchers today wear down when they don’t accumulate innings. If a pitcher doesn’t build up his arm, he won’t have anything left in the tank when he needs it. There are times when a pitcher has to learn to pitch in the eighth and ninth innings, when he’s running on fumes, when he just has to reach down.

Wheeler had his rough moments last summer, such as when he went away from his fastball and was told to work more on his secondary pitches. When that approach was adjusted to where he could work more off his fastball, Wheeler pitched well.

Collins said he believes Wheeler’s demeanor and emotional make-up could allow him to make a jump similar to what Matt Harvey made last season before he became injured. Collins said Harvey learned how to make adjustments within a game and thinks Wheeler can do likewise.

“I’m hoping he takes the Matt Harvey step,”  Collins said. “Wheeler now realizes he can adjust and make things happen.  That he didn’t have to overthrow.”

“He’s still got that great arm if he needs it.  His command of his secondary pitches got better.  I think his confidence rose as the season went along.  Again, I think the sky is the limit for what potential this guy has.”

Wheeler told ESPN Radio he plans on reporting to spring training around Feb. 5, which is ten days before the official reporting date for pitchers and catchers.

All signs are pointing to a breakthrough season for Wheeler, who turns 24 next May. It would be the shot in the arm the Mets truly need with their ace Harvey out for the season. There’s great expectations from Collins and Sandy Alderson for their young righthander in 2014. And all the people I’ve spoken to, both in the organization and out, believe Wheeler will exceed those expectations and shine in his first full season in the bigs.

Presented By Diehards

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Parnell Expected To Be Ready For Spring Training http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/parnell-expected-to-be-ready-for-spring-training.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/parnell-expected-to-be-ready-for-spring-training.html/#comments Tue, 17 Dec 2013 19:43:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=135298 During a brief media session at Citi Field today, Sandy Alderson updated us on Bobby Parnell who is recovering from surgery last September to repair a herniated disk in his neck .

Speaking about the 30 pound weight loss that was reported in October, Sandy said, ”he’s regained the weight and is about to start throwing again.”

Alderson told us that he doesn’t anticipate any problems and that he has no reason to believe Parnell won’t be ready for a full spring training.

He also confirmed a report on MMO that he was flying to New York to be examined, but said it was routine and not a post surgery follow-up.

“It’s  just an overall review. But right now we don’t have any reason to believe he won’t be ready.”

Original Post

The New York Mets don’t know whether closer Bobby Parnell will be ready for spring training as he continues his rehab following neck surgery on a bulging disc.

Parnell is to be re-examined next week.

“Hopefully he will be able to start resuming some baseball activities,’’ manager Terry Collins said.  “But I don’t know where he is at the moment.  He’s feeling better.’’

bobby parnell

Parnell lost 30 pounds since surgery, which sapped his strength. He has to regain the weight and stamina. Collins said he hasn’t spoken with Parnell, which, honestly, comes as a surprise. You’d think he’d check in.

“We’ve got to wait to see how he shows up, where he’s at in a month,’’ Collins said.

“He hasn’t done much yet, so he’s got to get himself in shape.  I think get his legs underneath him and start throwing.  We’ll just have to wait to see.  Bobby has always been a guy that’s down there in January anyways.’’

Maybe so, but Parnell hasn’t reported before following neck surgery.

After several so-so seasons bouncing around the bullpen, Parnell seized the closer role last year when Frank Francisco went down with an elbow injury.

Parnell saved 22 games in 49 appearances, and produced a 2.16 ERA over 50 innings. Always a power pitcher with a high strikeout ratio, Parnell learned to pitch last season, and drastically improved his control evidenced by a 44-12 strikeouts-to-walks ratio.

Parnell gave up only one homer and had a 1.00 WHIP.

If Parnell isn’t ready for spring training, and at this time no assumptions should be made that he will be, Vic Black, whom the Mets acquired from Pittsburgh in the Marlon Byrd-John Buck trade, is presumably first in line to replace Parnell.

Black throws a wicked fastball, and like Parnell is a strikeout pitcher.

The Mets are looking for bullpen help and might consider released Indians closer Chris Perez, who will come with baggage.

Last year, Perez and his wife were busted for marijuana possession after he was mailed the dope to his house … addressed to the dog. Reminds me of the episode of “Married With Children” when Al Bundy applies for and gets a credit card in his dog Buck’s name.

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Robinson Cano: With All Due “Respect” http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/robinson-cano-with-all-due-respect.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/robinson-cano-with-all-due-respect.html/#comments Sat, 14 Dec 2013 17:51:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=135560 Seattle-is-targeting-Robinson-Cano.-300x207Robinson Cano and Jay Z’’s orchestrated dinner with the New York Mets was clearly transparent, made even more so after his introductory press conference in Seattle. It was only an indicator of things to come from this childish man.

Bottom Line: Cano wanted to stay in New York, but at his price, and in the end his price is all that mattered to him. It is impossible to do business when you give nothing back in the negotiations. If you don’t give back they cease being negotiations.

Cano is a marvelously talented baseball player, but a flawed individual. He might be a five-tool player, but on the human level, none of his tools include discretion, loyalty, common sense or rational thinking. We do know Cano has streaks of arrogance, delusional thinking and greed in his persona. He also has an annoying sense of entitlement.“I didn’t feel respect. I didn’t get respect from them and I didn’t see any effort,’’ Cano said with a straight face when asked about the Yankees.

Being offered $175 million over seven years was plenty of respect countered Yankees president Randy Levine. Look, Levine and the Yankees don’t need anybody to fight their battles, but Cano was shown respect and his hissy fit needs to be addressed, because if nothing else it is a display of all that is wrong with today’s professional athlete.

From the outset, $300 million over ten years, was over the top, but it never hurts to ask because somebody might bite. However, when it became apparent Cano didn’t want to budge, you knew he wouldn’t stay in New York and the Yankees would be better off without him.

With Derek Jeter at the end of this career, and Alex Rodriguez in PED limbo, Jacoby Ellsbury will not be the difference. They need pitching and to shed some of its unproductive payroll – Mark Teixeira for one – and start rebuilding. The money earmarked Cano will be better invested elsewhere.

It was a business decision for Cano to state his negotiating objectives of money and years. It is also a business decision for the Yankees to say they no longer want to give ten-year contracts to players over 30 years old. Cano wants us to respect his business decision, yet he can’t respect the Yankees’ right to do the same. Just delusional and out of touch with reality is Cano.

I don’t begrudge Cano the right to have money as his motivation, but distasteful is his attitude. The only party showing a lack of respect in this issue is Cano, towards the Yankees, to the fans, and to his profession.

You made a choice, now live with it and don’t bash the Yankees on the way out. They didn’t criticize your choice; don’t criticize theirs.

Perhaps the greatest complaints people have about athletes is their disconnect from reality, their disregard about others, and when they don’t hustle. Cano violates our sensibilities by doing all three.

I believe a player is worth what his employer is willing to pay him. In that vein, Cano is worth $240 million to the Mariners. He’s just not worth $240 million to the Yankees, which is their right to determine.

Nobody has the right to say $240 million is too much, because who among you would turn it down?

But, we have the right to be irritated at Cano’s lack of touch with reality, which is insulting to those struggling to make ends meet or have been out of work.

“I was looking for a contract where I would just be able play and focus on the game and wouldn’t wonder when I’m 37, 38 would I have a job one day,’’ was what he tried to pass off as logic for his decision.

Seriously?

If at the end of the $175 million he would have gotten from the Yankees, if healthy and had he not worn out his welcome, he would have had another deal. Please don’t tell us after $175 million you’d be that insecure as to worry about your future. It is insulting to all those who buy tickets to watch you play or purchase your jersey.

Also insulting is your agent, Jay Z, who operating on your behalf, after accepting $240 million from Seattle went back to the Yankees with the request of $235 million over ten years.

It says you really don’t want to be in Seattle. How should they feel about that?

The Yankees are better off without him, which is something Seattle will find out eventually. At 3,000 miles away, it isn’t far away far enough.

In New York, there are too many apologists for your style and attitude. They say you’re entitled to take plays off, to jog down to first base because you’re usually in the line-up and you’re a good player. But, you don’t have that right. Cano has been given a gift of talent, but when you half-ass it to first base, you insult the fan and your profession. Not hustling is never justified.

They let you get away with it, and in the end it had to figure in the Yankees’ thinking. Deep down, they don’t want a dog to be the face of their franchise. You got a pass on that in New York, but they know how to boo in Seattle, and you’ll hear them soon enough.

mmo

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Mets Still Have A Lead-off Dillema http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mets-still-have-a-lead-off-dillema.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mets-still-have-a-lead-off-dillema.html/#comments Fri, 13 Dec 2013 19:50:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=135493 The way things currently stand, the New York Mets don’t have a leadoff hitter. They tried nine last season before settling on Eric Young.

The signing of Curtis Granderson sends Young to the bench, that is, unless the Mets trade Daniel Murphy and move Young to second base. However, the Mets are asking a lot for Murphy, so there’s nothing imminent there.

Chris Young has the speed, but strikes out too much to be a consistent leadoff hitter. Juan Lagares also has speed, but also strikes out too much with a 96-20 strikeouts-to-walks ratio in 392 plate appearances. The Mets would want somebody with better than a .281 on-base percentage at the top of the order.

We talked last year about Murph maybe leading off, but I haven’t gone there,’’ manager Terry Collins said.  “I know Chris Young led off some in Arizona.  But until, again, I see what the pieces are in the clubhouse, I don’t have to write a lineup until the end of February.’’

An intriguing possibility is Ruben Tejada, that is, if he plays the way he did two seasons ago.

“If Rueben Tejada does what we know he can do, he could be that guy because he gets on base,’’ Collins said.  “He gives you great at-bats and gets on base.’’

If not Tejada, Eric Young could resurface if Lagares doesn’t pan out, which is a distinct possibility. Lagares was impressive in center field, but his offense is lacking. There has been some thought of him in a platoon role, which would be a mistake.

If Lagares is on the 25-man roster leaving spring training, he needs to play. Playing off the bench is counterproductive to his development. But, if he plays, he needs to hit. What he gave the Mets last season at the plate won’t cut it.

“I don’t know what it will be.  I don’t know that you can put a number to it,’’ Collins said of Lagares’ offensive potential.  “He’s a guy defensively.  But in order for us to have the success we want, everybody’s got to hit.’’

Quite simply, the Mets aren’t good enough offensively to carry Lagares. He hits, he plays. If not, he should open the season in the minor leagues.

Presented By Diehards

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