Mets Merized Online » Pete Anselmo http://metsmerizedonline.com Fri, 01 Aug 2014 21:40:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Travis d’Arnaud Continues His Assault On The PCL http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/travis-darnaud-raking-since-demotion.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/travis-darnaud-raking-since-demotion.html/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 14:03:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=158766 travis d'arnaud

Travis d’Arnaud certainly does not seem to be taking his demotion very lightly at all. When he received the not so pleasurable news of his recent demotion, his response was “I’ve just got work to do”.

And work is exactly what he’s done since the day he was sent down. d’Arnaud went 1 for 1 in his first game on June 9th and has not looked back as he attempts to blaze his trail back to the majors at full force. He went 2 for 4 the next day but it was on June 11th when he really started to catch fire.

He homered not once, but twice in the contest, registering a 3 for 5 night with three RBI’s in the process. Fast-forward two days later to June 13th, and he homered again with another multi-hit game.

He wouldn’t stop there, though, as he went on to do the exact same thing the next two nights, notching another two homers and another two multi hit games on his belt.

Overall, Travis is slashing .394/.459/.909 since his demotion.

Unfortunately, he is not getting paid to put up gaudy numbers in Las Vegas. TDA looked lost during his brief cup of coffee in the majors and when he gets his second opportunity, it’s in his best interest to capitalize on it. The Mets could certainly use his bat.

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Mets Minors: Kirk Blasts Two Dingers, Tapia Tosses Seven Scoreless http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mets-minors-kirk-blasts-two-dingers-tapia-tosses-seven-scoreless.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mets-minors-kirk-blasts-two-dingers-tapia-tosses-seven-scoreless.html/#comments Thu, 29 May 2014 17:03:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=157209 kitk nieuwenhuis

LAS VEGAS 13, EL PASO 7

Logan Verrett made the start on Wednesday in what turned out to be a slugfest against El Paso. Verrett did not fare well in his AAA debut, allowing a whopping seven earned runs on twelve hits in six innings pitched. However, he did strike out nine batters, while only walking one. Despite Verrett’s poor outing, he was able to pick up the win due to Vegas’ attack on offense. Kirk Nieuwenhuis went 4 for 6 with a pair of two-run home runs, also adding a double to his line. Allan Dykstra had a 3 for 5 game, smacking two doubles and picking up two rib eye steaks. Brandon Allen also had a home run. It was an extremely impressive showing for the Las Vegas offense all around on Wednesday as they picked up the win. Joel Carreno will get the start for Las Vegas on Thursday.

BINGHAMTON 7, NEW HAMPSHIRE 5 - Game 1

Cory Vaughn recorded three hits as the B-Mets held on to win the game and complete the game that initially started on Tuesday night but was suspended due to rain. Tyler Pill received the win, but allowed five runs in four innings. Chase Bradford, who hasn’t given up a run in his last eight appearances, pitched a scoreless ninth for his 11th save.

NEW HAMSHPIRE 5, BINGHAMTON 2 – Game 2

Rainy Lara started the game for the B-Mets but only pitched 2.2 innings, because in the third inning, while covering home plate, he suffered an injury and was removed from the game. He gave up just an earned run on three hits, while walking none and striking out two. He would also suffer the loss. Binghamton could not muster much on offense with Matt Clark registering the only extra base hit. He was also the only player with multiple hits, going 2 for 2 with an RBI. Kyle Johnson picked up the other RBI on a triple in the bottom of the sixth inning that scored Wilfredo TovarKevin Plawecki upped his average to .340 with a 1 for 3 night. Tyler Pill will make the start for the B-Mets on Thursday.

ST. LUCIE 3, BREVARD COUNTY 2

Domingo Tapia took the hill for the St. Lucie Mets on Wednesday and tossed seven innings, allowing three hits and three walks, but only struck out one. He did not give up an earned run, however, and did pick up the win; his second of the season. Brandon Nimmo returned to the lineup on Wednesday and singled in the first inning. He advanced to second on a walk toGilbert Gomez and stole third with Jairo Perez batting. Perez then drove him and Gomez in on a single. Eudy Pena picked up the last RBI with a 1 for 3 game. Randy Fontanez made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth, allowing two runs, but eventually locked down the save. The St. Lucie Mets are now ten games above .500. Luis Cessa will make the start on Thursday.

SAVANNAH, AUGUSTA – POSTPONED

The Sand Gnats’s game against Augusta was postponed on Wednesday due to rain. Ricky Knapp  will take the mound on Thursday against Rome.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Kirk Nieuwenhuis clubbed a pair of two run shots in Wednesday’s contest, while also adding a double. He scored three runs on the night and drove in four.

MMO

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 4, Pirates 2 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mmo-game-recap-pirates-2-mets-4.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mmo-game-recap-pirates-2-mets-4.html/#comments Wed, 28 May 2014 03:05:27 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=157077 jenrry mejia anthony recker

Jon Niese trotted out to the mound on Tuesday night to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates; the first game with newly appointed hitting coach Lamar Johnson in the reins, and the Mets doubled up the Bucs by a score of 4-2.

Niese set down the Pirates in order during the first inning with Juan Lagares making another difficult catch look easy on a ball hit by Andrew McCutchen to the right center field warning track.

The Mets would eventually score first in the bottom of the third inning but not before Andrew McCutchen got his revenge on Juan Lagares. Lagares lined a ball into the right center gap that looked like a guaranteed extra base hit but McCutchen came out of nowhere to lay out and make the extremely impressive catch.

Daniel Murphy followed the webgem with a double down the left field line and was eventually moved to third on a David Wright sacrifice fly. Curtis Granderson drew a walk and Bobby Abreu followed with a two out single through the shift to score Murph.

The Pirates threatened in the top of the fourth inning but Russell Martin popped out with runners on first and third with two outs to allow Niese to escape the jam.

niese recker

The Mets put another run on the board in the bottom of the fourth on doubles from both Ruben Tejada and Juan Lagares. Daniel Murphy walked and Lagares then moved to third on a wild pitch. David Wright eventually grounded out to short to end the two out threat.

Fast forward to the top of the sixth inning where Jon Niese seemed to hit a wall with his control. He walked Josh Harrison to leadoff the inning, got Jose Tabata to fly out and then walked Andrew McCutchen. Gaby Sanchez then flied out with runners on first and second but Niese walked Russell Martin to load the bases with two outs. Starling Marte made him pay with a single up the middle that knocked in Harrison and McCutchen to tie the game.

Vic Black came on to replace Niese and walked Neil Walker but then struck out Ike Davis to end what could have been a deflating inning for the Mets. Niese went 5.2 innings, allowing three hits and two earned runs, but walked four and only struck out two.

The Mets answered back in the bottom of the sixth inning. Ruben Tejada led off with a walk. He eventually made it to third base on two wild pitches with a groundout by Eric Campbell in between. Juan Lagares drove in Tejada with a single up the middle and Daniel Murphy followed with a double down the right field line, scoring Lagares from first. David Wright grounded out and Curtis Granderson struck out to end the inning.

juan lagares scores

Vic Black retired the first two batters in the top of the 7th inning but then walked Jose Tabata to bring up McCutchen with a runner on. McCutchen nearly hit a ball into the gap but Abreu was able to cut it off and hold the runners on first and third. Black caught Gaby Sanchez looking on a gorgeous curve to end the inning.

Jenrry Mejia came on in the top of the 8th inning to attempt the six out save. He started off by punching out Russell Martin looking. He then walked Starling Marte and allowed a single to Neil Walker that advanced Marte to third. Pedro Alvarez then bounced a tailor made double play to Tejada to end the inning.

Ruben Tejada led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a single, reaching base for the fourth time of the game. However, Grilli struck out Campbell, Lagares and Murphy to send the game to the top of the ninth inning.

Mejia began the top of the ninth by inducing a ground ball to Campbell, which he could not handle, allowing Travis Snider to reach. Josh Harrison sent a frozen rope to left, which Chris Young was able to snag. Curtis Granderson then made a beautiful catch in the right field corner to retire Jose Tabata. Mejia walked McCutchen to bring up Gaby Sanchez. With runners on first and second base, Sanchez bounced a ball to the whole where Tejada was able to grab it and get the force out at third to end the game.

It was Mejia’s fourth save since being promoted to closer and Vic Black’s first win in as many appearances. Bartolo Colon takes on Charlie Morton on Wednesday afternoon with the first pitch scheduled for 1:10 pm.

iheartnym

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DeGrom Could Earn A Permanent Rotation Spot http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/jacob-degrom-could-earn-permanent-rotation-spot.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/jacob-degrom-could-earn-permanent-rotation-spot.html/#comments Thu, 22 May 2014 14:00:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=156486 jacob degrom

Even though Jacob deGrom received his second loss in as many starts on Wednesday night, he’s also recorded two quality starts in that time as well. Sure, he has not been flawless in either start but he has certainly impressed.

DeGrom made his big league debut on May 15th, tossing seven innings and allowing just one earned run on four hits, while walking two and striking out seven. His second start looked a little less sexy in the box score but it was still one of quality nonetheless. In six innings, he allowed three earned runs on four hits, three of which were solo home runs by Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez in that order. He walked three and struck out four against Los Angeles.

In both of his big league starts this season, deGrom has shown the ability to get hitters out with a hard sinking fastball that sits at 92-94 mph throughout his entire outing and occasionally touches 95. He also mixes in an above average slider and changeup that work very well when he’s able to keep his fastball down.

Keeping the fastball down was a problem in his start against the Dodgers as he left one up to Adrian Gonzalez, who sent it well into the Pepsi porch. In all fairness, deGrom actually hit his target on the pitch, but Gonzalez being the exceptional hitter he is, went up and got it with ease. Puig’s home run came on a 91 mph fastball left over the heart of the plate and Ramirez’s on a hanging slider. DeGrom has shown pretty decent control in his brief tenure, just not sparkling command.

As I’m sure a lot of people know already, deGrom was a shortstop at Stetson University before he was converted to a pitcher. He then eventually underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011. Because of this, the 6’4”, 180 pound righthander has not accumulated the amount of experience a pitching prospect typically does before making their big league debut. With more time on the mound, it’s fair to believe he’ll improve his ability to locate pitches.

DeGrom was originally going to be called up to bolster the Mets ineffective bullpen but due to Dillon Gee’s lat strain, he would receive an opportunity to start. So far, he’s taken the opportunity and run with it as he’s shown the ability to make pitches in tough spots and not break down late in games. He’s even impressed more than Rafael Montero, who’s struggled with control in his first two big league starts; a problem he’s never had to face throughout his minor league career.

Montero’s struggles and deGrom’s success beg the question of who remains in the rotation when Dillon Gee returns. The Mets have always seen Montero with the ability to start and have been somewhat divided on deGrom’s future. But it looks as if the latter is making bigger strides out of the gates than expected. Will the Mets send Montero to the bullpen when Dillon Gee returns? Who knows? Should they send him to the bullpen? Maybe. One thing is for sure, though, deGrom certainly appears to have a future as a big league starter early on and to take away his opportunity after he’s seized it would be a questionable move. It’s probably too early to judge and make a determination, but that’s exactly what the Mets will have to do next week. Sometimes small sample sizes are all you get. That’s why GMs get paid the big bucks.

MMO

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Who’s Hot/Not Upper Minors: Plawecki Flexing Muscle, Peavey with the Sizzle http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/whos-hotnot-upper-minors-plawecki-flexing-muscle-peavey-with-the-sizzle.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/whos-hotnot-upper-minors-plawecki-flexing-muscle-peavey-with-the-sizzle.html/#comments Fri, 16 May 2014 18:49:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=155869 kevin-plawecki-2

Who’s Hot

Kevin Plawecki

Plawecki has had sort of a streaky season but he’s in a hot streak right now that’s lifted has batting average on the season to a healthy .307. He’s 13 for 39 (.333) in his last 10 games with five extra base hits, including his first home run of the season. He’s also scored five runs and drove in five during this timespan. Plawecki has never been a catching prospect that’s expected to hit for much power so all of his future value will have to be carried by his hit tool and his defense. It’s encouraging to see Plawecki’s average at .307 on the season but he’s drawn just four walks in 88 AB’s this season (.333 OBP). It’s worth noting, however, that he hasn’t been striking out much either.

Jayce Boyd

After an extremely cold start to the season, Boyd is picking up the pace in a hurry with a .393 batting average, five RBI and seven runs scored in his last 10 games. He’s also clubbed three doubles and his first two home runs of the season during this hot streak as well. Boyd’s season numbers still look relatively ugly (.232/.333/.374) but it’s good to see that they’re finally on the upswing.

Greg Peavey

Peavey was good enough in his last two starts to earn MMN’s Pitcher of the Week honors as he recorded his first complete game shutout of his professional career his last time out. In nine innings pitched, he allowed just two hits without walking a batter and striking out six. In the start before that, Peavey went six innings, allowing just one earned run on six hits and two walks. He struck out four in the process. Peavey earned the win in each of his last two starts as his ERA sits at a very nice 3.16 on the season with 25 K’s against 7 BB’s in 31.1 innings pitched.

Who’s Not

Hansel Robles

Robles has struggled mightily in his last two starts, which have inflated his season numbers to the point where one would have no idea he had a very solid start to the season. On May 6th, he suffered his first loss of the season, tossing 5.1 innings and allowing five earned runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out four. During his start on May 13th, Robles suffered his second consecutive loss and was beat up for seven earned runs in just 2.2 innings pitched. He allowed six hits, including three home runs, while striking out five and walking one. Robles’ ERA ballooned to 5.40 on the season after these last two starts.

Cesar Puello

Puello has showed some life in his past two games but, despite that, he has not hit at all this season. In his last 10 games he is batting a paltry .212 with one extra base hit. He has drawn three walks in his last six games, which is somewhat encouraging considering he had just two up to that point. His current line is .248/.309/.297, which is even more cringe worthy when you consider that he’s playing in a notorious hitting environment. Puello’s struggles this season are definitely concerning as his breakout season last year has been tied to the Biogenesis scandal. In order to prove the naysayers wrong, Puello will have to get on track as soon as humanly possible, especially if he wants to be considered for a call-up this summer.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis

Kirk has severely struggled since being sent down to AAA Las Vegas earlier this month. He has just four hits in his last 31 at-bats and had back to back four strikeout games as well, including 11 in those same 31 at-bats. It looks as if Kirk has not taken the demotion well and it’s hard to believe he’s anything more than a AAAA player at this point.

MMO

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MMO Game Recap: Yankees 4, Mets 0 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mmo-game-recap-yankees-4-mets-0.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mmo-game-recap-yankees-4-mets-0.html/#comments Thu, 15 May 2014 02:20:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=155743 rafael montero debut 2

The Mets took on the Yankees on Wednesday night in the first game of two at Citi Field during the 2014 Subway Series and the third game of the series overall.

On the night of phenom Rafael Montero’s big league debut, the Mets were up against a difficult task; attempting to hand Masahiro Tanaka his first professional loss in about two years.

In the first inning, Montero allowed a bloop single to Brett Gardner but kept his composure and retired the next three batters in order. In the latter half of the first inning, with Daniel Murphy having reached first base on a single to left field, David Wright drove a ball to the track that would have surely been out of Yankee Stadium but ultimately was caught by Alfonso Soriano. This would be the most offensive noise the Mets would make all game as they recorded just three hits after the first inning.

Montero walked the first batter of his big league career in the top of the second inning and with two outs and Solarte on first, Brian Roberts laced a line drive to left fielder Eric Young Jr. who haphazardly dove for a ball he probably should not have; a mistake that was even more magnified with Tanaka on deck and defensive whiz Juan Lagares riding the pine in favor of EY.

Fast forward to the top of the fourth inning when Montero had the chance to complete a 1-2-3 frame for the third straight inning but fell short once again when Yangervis Solarte ripped a frozen rope down the right field line for a solo home run. Brian Roberts followed with his second triple of the night but the inning eventually came to a close after Tanaka grounded out  to Daniel Murphy.

Chris Young led off the bottom of the fifth inning by ripping a line drive through the hole on the left side but was eventually erased on a careless play where he tried to catch Tanaka sleeping by stealing second base before the pitch was thrown.

Mark - Teixeira

Mark Teixeira spoiled Rafael Montero’s sixth and final inning of the night with a towering leadoff home run to right center field. However, Montero retired the next three batters in order to cap an otherwise decent start. In six innings pitched, Montero allowed three earned runs on five hits and two walks while striking out three.

Carlos Torres came on in the top of the seventh inning to replace Rafael Montero and retired the first two batters before Brett Gardner beat out a slow chopper to Murphy on a close play. He then stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Derek Jeter then hit a weak ground ball about five or so feet in front of home plate that Anthony Recker adamantly called for but Carlos Torres refused to get out of the way of. Recker’s throw to first was off line as a result and Jeter ended up with an RBI.

The mental mistakes the Mets made tonight proved a moot point as Masahiro Tanaka handled the Mets offense with ease. He allowed just four hits in a complete game shutout, striking out eight without walking a batter.

Overall, it was not a bad first start at all for Montero as he only allowed seven baserunners in his six innings. His main problem was the inability to put hitters away as multiple Yankee hitters repeatedly fouled off his two strike offerings. He also left a few fastballs up in the zone with Solarte and Teixeira making him pay. However, Montero’s performance was definitely something to build on.

The Mets will take on the Yankees at Citi Field tomorrow night at 7:10 PM for the final game of the 2014 Subway Series. Jacob deGrom will make his big league debut for the Mets while Chase Whitley makes his first start of the season for the Yankees.

MMO

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Oakland A’s Could Emerge as Potential Trade Partner for Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/oakland-as-could-emerge-as-potential-trade-partner-for-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/oakland-as-could-emerge-as-potential-trade-partner-for-mets.html/#comments Sat, 03 May 2014 20:58:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=154835 jed lowrie

Update (5/3/2014):

MLB Trade Rumors reports that the Athletics are likely to either deal for starting pitching or move Drew Pomeranz to the rotation. With both Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, the Athletics have had to rely on youngster Sonny Gray and veteran Scott Kazmir to lead the rotation. So far those two, along with Jesse Chavez, have delivered but Dan Straily, Tommy Milone and Josh Lindblom have all struggled.

The Athletics are currently leading the American League West with an 18-11 record; good enough for two games in front of the Texas Rangers. The fact that the Athletics appear interested in dealing for starting pitching tells you that they believe they can compete in that division.

Top prospect Addison Russell is currently down with a hamstring tear, which might make the A’s hesitant to deal current shortstop Jed Lowrie. Regardless, the Athletics appear to want starting pitching and the Mets have it so it will be interesting to see if they engage in any kind of trade talks.

Original Post:

With ulnar collateral ligament tears occurring at higher rates than the common cold, it seems like every team is holding their breath, hoping their projected rotation stays intact as opening day approaches. The Oakland Athletics’ Jarrod Parker is the most recent pitcher to eventually have to succumb to the knife of Dr. James Andrews.

With Jarrod Parker down for at least the 2014 regular season and A.J. Griffin slated to begin the season on the disabled list, the A’s seem to be in a bit of a pickle. Scott Kazmir is also shelved, albeit only for a few days, with tricep stiffness but you just never know with arm maladies anymore.

If you include Kazmir, the A’s are expected to go into the season with a starting rotation that could include names such as Sonny GrayDan StrailyTommy MiloneJesse ChavezDrew Pomeranz, as well as Kazmir himself. Although Sonny Gray is a promising youngster with a seemingly bright future and the A’s can somewhat rely on Kazmir and Milone to put up respectable numbers, it seems they lack a go-to pitcher that can round out the rotation; a necessary asset for a borderline playoff caliber team to have.

With the Oakland Athletics only coming in at number 26 on Keith Law’s organizational farm system rankings, it does not seem like they have the ability to address that need within the organization. This is where the Mets come in. With Jon Niese recently receiving the good news that his elbow is [apparently] fine and Ruben Tejada being Ruben Tejada, the Mets still seem to be in a position to deal some pitching to address the ever so obvious shortstop dilemma.

The news of Parker’s second Tommy John surgery may have added another potential trade partner to the mix. The A’s currently have Jed Lowrie as their opening day shortstop on the big club and Addison Russell polishing up his extraordinary tools in AAA, supposedly waiting to take over the reigns.

While it would be incredibly sweet for the Mets to swing a deal for MLB.com’s number 12 ranked prospect, Addison Russell, the A’s would most likely demand a hefty package for their future All Star and shortstop heir. It would undoubtedly take at least Noah Syndergaard or Zack Wheeler to acquire him and, although I think Russell is worth it for an even swap of either of those two, it might take even more.

Lowrie is probably a more realistic option as he is in his last year of arbitration and set to hit free agency in 2015. With the A’s increased need for pitching, it may cause them to attempt to deal Lowrie earlier than they planned and rush Russell to the majors. If that is the case, the Mets should certainly be in contact with Billy Beane for a potential deal. The plethora of young, inexpensive arms the mets boast as well as a proven pitcher like Dillon Gee could appear very attractive to him at the moment.

I profiled Lowrie way back in December in a post that addressed potential trade routes the Mets could take to address their need at shortstop. He’s nothing spectacular on defense and he’s had significant trouble staying healthy in the past but he put up very impressive numbers last season, slashing .290/.344/.446 with 15 home runs in 154 games, which would automatically be an upgrade over anything the Mets would put out there this season. He’s also relatively inexpensive, if only for this season as he’s only making $5.25 million. If the Mets should make a deal,  they could try to extend him for a few seasons until they feel prospects such as Gavin Cecchini or Amed Rosario are ready.

Addison Russell is certainly the more attractive option here and I think the Mets should go all in for him if the opportunity arises and his price isn’t outrageous. However, in all likelihood, it will be  - due to his status as a potential All Star at a premium position. If Lowrie does become a realistic target before opening day or shortly after the season begins, the Mets have one more option to alleviate not only the shortstop dilemma, but answer the leadoff question as well. Regardless, it will certainly be interesting to see if the Athletics do, in fact, look to the trade market for a starting pitcher to replace Jarrod Parker.

Presented By Diehards

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The Mysterious PTBNL in the Ike Davis Deal http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/the-mysterious-ptbnl-in-the-ike-davis-deal.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/the-mysterious-ptbnl-in-the-ike-davis-deal.html/#comments Sat, 26 Apr 2014 13:30:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=154215 USATSI_ ike davis  by brad barr

As most, if not all of you know, Ike Davis was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates on the evening of April 19th. Some of you may also know that the Mets acquired soon to be 26-year old Zach Thornton; a somewhat underwhelming reliever in the Pirates system. Now, what I am certain that none of us know is the name of the second player involved in the deal; the mysterious player-to-be-named-later (PTBNL).

So if we don’t know the name of the PTBNL, what do we know?

In a series of tweets by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, he speculates that the PTBNL will be “pretty significant” and is “expected to be a 2013 draft piece.”

This makes sense due to the fact that players who were drafted in 2013 are not eligible to be traded until one year after they sign with their respective teams.

Also, according to John Harper of the New York Daily News, Sandy Alderson insists that the value of the PTBNL has not changed from the type of return they could have received in the offseason when they were reportedly offered lefty Zach Britton of the Baltimore Orioles for Davis.

This likely eliminates the possibility that either 2013 first round picks Austin Meadows (#9 overall)  or Reese McGuire (#14 overall) are the PTBNL because if Sandy could have gotten that kind of return in the offseason, it’s safe to say Ike Davis would have been on a different team to begin the season.

There has been considerable buzz around four players, specifically, that are rumored to be the PTBNL. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Blake Taylor

Standing at 6’3” and weighing in at 195 pounds, 18-year-old Blake Taylor is a lefty that has the potential to start in the big leagues. His fastball already sits in the low-90’s but his frame suggests he may be able to add a bit more ticks to his fastball as he matures. His repertoire also boasts a solid average to above average curve and his control is decent. For Taylor to stick as a starter, though, he’ll need to develop a third pitch, likely a changeup.

JaCoby Jones

Former LSU tiger JaCoby Jones was drafted in the third round (#87 overall) of the 2013 draft purely based on his raw potential. Jones has always had the athleticism and tools to be a five-tool player, he just never put it together in his college career. With speed that has been described as plus to plus-plus, the Pirates decided to take a leap on him early in the draft with the hopes he could reach his potential. He saw time at both shortstop and centerfield during his pro debut but was eventually sidelined with a knee injury.

Cody Dickson

Dickson has a similar skillset to left handed pitcher Blake Taylor but he was drafted two rounds later and is a few years older. He sits in the low 90’s with his fastball and occasionally touches the mid-90’s; something he could probably do regularly once he matures. Dickson also has a killer curve in his arsenal that he uses to get strikeouts. With an improved changeup and better control, Dickson profiles in the middle of a rotation. If he can’t improve much on his current stuff, he profiles in the bullpen.

Neil Kozikowski

John Harper speculates that the PTBNL could possibly be 18-year-old Neil Kozikowski, whom the Pirates drafted in the eighth round of the 2013 draft. Kozikowski only throws in the high 80’s right now but is very projectable, standing at 6’4” and weighing 180 pounds. His arsenal reportedly consists of a fastball, slider, changeup and cutter and he apparently throws with a ¾ arm slot. Harper mentions that a Mets scout saw him before the draft last spring and really liked him.

mmo

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Mets Farm Report: Akeel Morris Extends Scoreless Streak To 11.2 Innings http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-farm-report-akeel-morris-extends-scoreless-streak-to-11-2-innings.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-farm-report-akeel-morris-extends-scoreless-streak-to-11-2-innings.html/#comments Thu, 24 Apr 2014 16:06:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=154116 ricky-knapp

LAS VEGAS – DAY OFF

Las Vegas had an off day on Wednesday. The 51s are in first place in the Pacific Coast League by 3.5 games with a 15-5 record. Rafael Montero will attempt to lock down his third victory of the season on Thursday.

BINGHAMTON, PORTLAND – PPD

Wednesday night’s tilt against the Portland Sea Dogs was postponed due to inclement weather.Greg Peavey is scheduled to take the mound Thursday evening.

PALM BEACH 3, ST. LUCIE 1

Gabriel Ynoa took the ball and tossed six gutsy innings on Wednesday but suffered his first loss of the season, allowing eight hits without walking a batter. He struck out four in the outing and allowed three earned runs. Even though Ynoa is 2-1 on the season, and his ERA still sits at 5.40.  The St. Lucie offense did not make much noise as they only mustered up one run on five hits. Brandon Nimmo had a rare 0 for 4 performance. Dilson Herrera and T.J. Rivera each collected a hit in four at-bats while Albert Cordero drove in the only run on a sacrifice fly in the second inning to score Aderlin RodriguezSteven Matz looks to continue his sizzling start on Thursday night as he takes the hill against the Cardinals at 6:35 pm.

SAVANNAH 3, DELMARVA 2

Savannah’s matchup against Delmarva proved to be a pitcher’s duel as Ricky Knapp turned in an impressive start. He tossed five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits while walking one and striking out eight. It was Akeel Morris who picked up the win, however, as he contributed three scoreless innings, punching out three and walking one. That is now 11.2 scoreless innings for Morris with 19 punch-outs. The game had been tied since the third inning until Savannah’s Victor Cruzado led off the inning with a triple and  Dom Smith drove him in on a sacrifice fly. Matt Oberste picked up two of Savannah’s four hits, both of which were doubles. He also scored a run in the third inning. Robert Whalen looks to continue his impressive start to the season for the Sand Gnats on Thursday.

PLAYER OF THE NIGHT

Both St. Lucie and Savannah were relatively quiet with the bats on Wednesday, which allowed Ricky Knapp to shine in his outing. In five innings pitched, he allowed one earned run on four hits. He fanned eight batters and only walked one. It wasn’t enough to earn the victory but it was still a dazzling performance.

(Photo Credit: Photo by Fred Devyatkin)

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It’s Time for Sandy to Upgrade Shortstop http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/its-time-for-sandy-to-upgrade-shortstop.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/its-time-for-sandy-to-upgrade-shortstop.html/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 17:09:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153921 nick franklin

After Jenrry Mejia and the bullpen turned in spectacular performances to help the Mets improve to 10-9 last night, I thought to myself, how the hell are the Mets one game above .500 given how bad their offense has been to start the season? It’s even more mind-boggling when you consider the caliber of teams they have faced. Through the first three weeks of the season, the Mets have squared up against the Nationals, Reds, Braves, Angels and now the Cardinals; all teams that are significantly better than the Mets on paper.

It’s really amazing when you think about it. Curtis Granderson has been useless, David Wright really hasn’t been David Wright until recently, Travis d’Arnaud is just starting to put it together, Chris Young played his first game since opening day a few days ago and Juan Lagares has been MIA for about a week now.

To say the Mets offense has been anemic would be a compliment. At least people with anemia are currently alive. The Mets offense is dead. It does not have a pulse. But somehow the Mets are still in it. This tells me they can remain in it for a significant amount of time with increased performances from players like Granderson and Chris Young, the continued emergence of Travis d’Arnaud, the return of Juan Lagares and most importantly, an upgrade at shortstop.

Ruben Tejada can only dump so many baseballs over the second baseman’s head before other teams catch on. I hate to beat a dead horse as I’m sure most Mets fan can agree that Tejada is not the answer but that does not mean we should stop talking about it. It’s time for the Mets to move on from Ruben Tejada and there’s no better time than now to make a move.

There seems to be some sort of urgency developing in Arizona. The Diamondbacks are 5-17 and already eight games back in the National League West. If they feel they have any sort of chance at playoff contention, the time to do something about their horrendous start is now. The problem with Arizona is, of course, their pitching. And it’s a very big problem at that. They are dead last in all of baseball in ERA (5.69) by a sizable margin. Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers is seemingly dead set on calling up uber prospect Archie Bradley after earning Super Two status so he’s not currently an option. The fans are fed up. Both Kirk Gibson and Towers are on the hot seat and they really do not have any other options at this point.

If I recall, the D-Backs have a certain shortstop the Mets would certainly be interested in. No, I’m not talking about Didi Gregorius. The Mets need offense, not defense. I’m talking about Chris Owings. Owings is off to a decent start, batting .290 with four stolen bases. Mets fans got a brief look at him during the Mets’ three game series in Arizona and it was Gary Cohen who referred to Owings as a ‘gamer’. I’m sure Arizona would love to make him their shortstop of the future but you’d have to believe they realize he’s a much more attractive trade chip than Didi Gregorius.

With their current situation, the D-Backs could possibly be willing to move Owings and possibly even at a lower price than before the start of the season. They were rumored to be interested in a top catching prospect so maybe if you add a guy like Kevin Plawecki to a deal that also includes a proven major league starter like Jon Niese or Dillon Gee, Towers might be willing to budge.

There’s always Nick Franklin as well, who I have always seen as a better fit for the Mets than Chris Owings. He may not be the better overall prospect but I think it’s safe to say his offensive ceiling is higher. He’s got 15-20 home run power with good speed and the ability to hit for average. He is also a more patient hitter who could maybe profile in the leadoff spot for the time being.

The problem many see with Franklin, however, is his defense. This ‘problem’ is a bit overstated in my opinion, as most scouts believe Franklin can be fringe average to average at the position for the foreseeable future. The Mets could always move him to second base if they choose not to extend Murphy, while going after a shortstop in free agency next offseason where the crop isn’t half bad. At second base, Franklin could actually be good enough to save runs on defense.

The only problem I see with acquiring Nick Franklin for a decent price is the fact that Brad Miller is currently in a monstrous slump. It is unclear whether or not the Mariners believe Franklin is capable of manning shortstop but after recently calling him up, they might be inclined to give him some reps at shortstop and an opportunity to seize the position away from Miller. The Mariners, however, desperately need pitching as well due to James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker all currently residing on the shelf.

Whether it’s signing Stephen Drewtrading for either Owings or Franklin, or giving Wilmer Flores a fair shot at the job, the Mets desperately need to do something about their shortstop dilemma. If they expect to float above .500 for the rest of the season, it’s a necessity. The rest of their offense is nowhere near good enough to justify Ruben Tejada or dare I say, Omar Quintanilla, at shortstop for the rest of the season. It’s time for Sandy to pick up the phone and make a move.

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Mets Farm Report: Campbell Soups One Out, Nimmo Two More Knocks http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-farm-report-campbell-soups-one-out-nimmo-two-more-knocks.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-farm-report-campbell-soups-one-out-nimmo-two-more-knocks.html/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 15:09:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153927 eric campbell mmo

Las Vegas 5, El Paso 4 

Logan Verrett took the ball for the 51s and delivered a so-so start giving up four earned runs on eight hits in four innings pitched. He walked none and struck out five. Vic Black threw a rare clean inning, striking out two in the process and keeping his ERA spotless. Jeff Walter recorded his fifth save of the season but it was Miguel Socolovich who recorded the win with a great three inning outing, only giving up one hit and striking out four. Eric Campbell had a great night going 2 for 4 while slugging a double and home run and driving in two runs. Cesar Puello was assigned the leadoff spot for the night and delivered going two for four with a triple and a run.

Portland 7, Binghamton 4

Tyler Pill got beat up in this one as he allowed five earned runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings pitched and suffered his third loss of the season. T.J. Chism did not fair much better, giving up two earned runs in 1.2 innings of relief. On the bright side, Jack Leathersich threw a clean inning. Jayce Boyd had a two RBI night going 1 for 2 with two walks. Red Sox top prospect Henry Owens held off the B-Mets for most of his outing but eventually cracked in the 6th, giving up all three runs in that frame.

St. Lucie 5, Palm Beach 4

Luis Cessa tossed six innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits. His control was a little shaky as he surrendered three walks, while striking out two. Brandon Nimmo simply refuses to cool down, collecting another two hits and a walk, while driving in two runs. TJ Rivera continued his torrid start to the season as well collecting three hits in four at bats and contributing an RBI. Aderlin Rodriguez had the other two RBI’s with a double in three at-bats.

Savannah 10, Delmarva 5

Chris Flexen did not have the best outing as he gave up nine hits and three walks in just five innings pitched. However, he kept the runs to a minimum, only allowing three. Jared King stole the show in this one, collecting two hits and a walk in five at-bats. He clubbed a home run in the third and added a triple as well. Gavin Cecchini continued to struggle with the stick as he only collected a single and walk in five at-bats, while striking out twice. Dominic Smith, however, seemed to break out of his funk with two singles and two walks on the night. LJ Mazzilli drove in two with a 2 for 6 night as well. It was a good night all around for the Sand Gnats offense.

Player of the Night:

Eric Campbell: Campbell collected two steaks and hit his third home run of the season, while also adding a double.

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Mets Farm Report: Walters Earns 4th Save, Whalen Delivers Strong Performance http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-farm-report-walters-earns-4th-save-whalen-delivers-strong-performance.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-farm-report-walters-earns-4th-save-whalen-delivers-strong-performance.html/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:36:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153546 Jeff_Walters

LAS VEGAS 4, RENO 2

The 51’s tagged young phenom Archie Bradley for four earned runs on seven hits and handed him his second loss of the season. Allan Dykstra had a nice night, going 2 for 3 with three RBI’s. Wilmer Flores went 1 for 4, striking out twice but scoring two runs. Zach Lutz scored a run and had two hits in four at-bats, including a triple. Cesar Puello also had a hit and an RBI in four at-bats. Logan Verrett turned in a gutsy performance to earn the win, allowing ten base runners in five innings. In tossing five innings, he allowed two earned runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out five. Jeff Walters sealed the deal with a perfect ninth to notch his fourth save of the season.

BINGHAMTON, PORTLAND – Postponed (Wet Grounds)

The match-up between the Binghamton Mets and Portland Sea Dogs on Wednesday night was postponed due to wet grounds. Matthew Bowman is scheduled to start today at home against New Hampshire.

JUPITER 8, ST. LUCIE 6

Gabriel Ynoa was roughed up by Jupiter in this one. He allowed six earned runs on eight hits in 2.2 innings while walking three and striking out one. Ynoa looked solid in his first two starts of the season but after this one, his ERA ballooned to 5.79 on the season. Aderlin Rodriguezhad a 2 for 5 night including a triple. He scored a run and drove in two. Dilson Herrera scored two runs and had three hits in five at-bats batting in the lead-off spot. His average is now up to .364 on the season. Who else but Brandon Nimmo had another two hits, adding a walk, a run and an RBI. That’s Nimmo’s sixth multi-hit game in his last seven contests now. His batting average now sits at a gaudy .400. Cam Maron and T.J. Rivera also picked up an RBI apiece.Steven Matz will look to earn his first win of the season as he takes the hill in Fort Myers tonight.

SAVANNAH 4, AUGUSTA 1

Savannah was in cruise control in this one as Robert Whalen spun five beautiful innings only allowing two hits and one unearned run, while striking out six. He improved to 2-0 as his ERA is now 1.00 for the season. Gavin Cecchini is starting to sizzle as he scored two runs and picked up another two hits Wednesday night out of the lead-off spot. Cecchini has now hit safely in six of his last seven games, raising his average to .265. He has even started showing some pop, hitting two doubles in four games. Jeff McNeil, Stefan Sabol and Jared King all picked up RBI’s last night. Dominic Smith went 0 for 4 with a strikeout as his average fell to .163. Robert Gsellman will get the ball tonight.

PLAYER OF THE NIGHT

Robert Whalen of the Savannah Sand Gnats turned in a fantastic performance on Wednesday night, going five innings, only allowing two hits. He struck out six and earned his second win of the season on top of that.

Check out Mets Minors On Deck for today’s probable starters.

(Photo Credit: Steve Bisson/Savannah Morning News )

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Mets Farm Report: Syndergaard Solid Again, Nimmo Stays Red Hot http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-farm-report-syndergaard-solid-again-nimmo-stays-red-hot.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-farm-report-syndergaard-solid-again-nimmo-stays-red-hot.html/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:24:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153373 Rob Foldy Getty Images noah syndergaard

Las Vegas 5, Fresno 2

Noah Syndergaard picked up the win in this one to improve to 2-1 on the season. Thor allowed two earned runs on five hits and two walks, while punching out five batters. Syndergaard pitched much better than the numbers would indicate and his only real blemish was a first inning home run by Fresno slugger Adam Duvall. The young righthander was clocked in the 96-98 mph range all night and hit 100 in his fifth and final inning. Joel Carreno, Josh Edgin and Jeff Walters combined to throw four innings of scoreless relief. Edgin and Walters had been struggling up to this point so this was encouraging to see. On the offensive side, Allan Dykstra picked up two RBI’s on a base hit. He also added two walks to his line. Wilmer Flores, Zach Lutz, and Matt den Dekker each contributed an RBI as well. Chris Young followed up his 5-for-5 night on Sunday by going 2-for-3 with 2 singles, 2 walks, 2 runs scored, and a stolen base. Jacob DeGrom will look to record his first win of the season tonight at 6:35 pm in Reno despite some very encouraging performances.

Portland 9, Binghamton 4 

Greg Peavey took the loss in this one going up against Red Sox top prospect Henry Owens.  Peavey gave up five earned runs in five innings. He only allowed two hits but his control proved to be his ultimate demise as he gave up four free passes. It is worth noting he recorded seven strikeouts, however. Matt Clark continued his strong start to the season going 3 for 4 with two RBI’s and drilling his fourth home run of the season. Brian Burgamy also had two RBI’s on the night and hit his fourth home run of the season as well. Dustin Lawley and Corey Vaughn each went 0 for 4 to continue their struggles this season. Matthew Bowman will start on Tuesday for the B-Mets at Portland.

Jupiter 12, St. Lucie 3

The St. Lucie Mets went into this one trying to win their seventh contest in a row but ran into trouble early as Luis Cessa got off to a rocky start. He gave up two earned runs in the first inning but through four scoreless after that one. He walked two and struck out two to receive a no-decision. Aderlin Rodriguez and Maikis De La Cruz each went 2 for 4 with an RBI. De La Cruz hit his first home run of the season hitting in the 9th spot as well. Brandon Nimmo remained scorching hot as he had another multi-hit game, going 2 for 5 in this tilt. His average is up to .384 on the season and he has recorded multi-hit performances in four out of his last five games. Matthew Koch will get the ball on Tuesday at 6:35 pm.

Savannah 0, Augusta 0

Tonight’s matchup between Savannah and Augusta was rescheduled to Tuesday night due to rain. This was an unfortunate circumstance as the Gnats’ Kevin McGowan and GreenJackets’ Christian Jones were locked in a pitcher’s duel going into the fifth inning. These two teams will resume tomorrow at 5:30 pm.

Player of the Night

Matt Clark raised his batting average to .394 on the season with a 3 for 4 performance. He drove in two runs and clubbed a single, double and a home run on the night; his fourth of the season.

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Mets Farm Report: Puello Keys Walk-Off Win For Vegas http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-farm-report-puello-keys-walk-off-win-for-vegas.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-farm-report-puello-keys-walk-off-win-for-vegas.html/#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 14:40:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=152857 cesar puello

LAS VEGAS 7, SACRAMENTO 6

The only game played in the Mets minors yesterday, this one was certainly a battle of the bats as both teams went back and forth the entire game.  Daisuke Matsuzaka gave up five hits and three earned runs in five innings, walking four and striking out four, but the Mets eventually won the game on a Matt den Dekker walk off single in the bottom of the ninth.  Cesar Puello walked with the bases empty with two outs and swiped second base to give den Dekker the opportunity.  Puello finished the game with two hits, a walk, and a strikeout in five at-bats raising his average to .350 on the year.  Rafael Montero will get the ball on Tuesday at 7:05 as the 51’s look to win their third contest in a row.

BINGHAMTON, ERIE, PPD

Monday night’s game between the B-Mets and Erie SeaWolves was postponed due to inclement weather. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Saturday, June 14th with game one scheduled to start at 6:05 PM.

ST. LUCIE, NIGHT OFF

The St. Lucie Mets were off on Monday night and are back in action today when they travel to Jupiter to play the Hammerheads at Roger Dean Stadium at 6:05 pm. Mets starter has yet to be announced.

SAVANNAH, AUGUSTA: PPD

Monday’s game between the Sand Gnats and the Augusta GreenJackets was rained out. The game will be made up today as a part of a double header.  Right-hander Kevin McGowan is set to set to take the mound for game one and  lefthander Dario Alvarez will throw in game two.

PLAYER OF THE NIGHT

Cesar Puello: Stealing second with two outs proved huge as he eventually scored on Matt den Dekker’s single.  He also contributed a single, double, and an RBI of his own.

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Oakland Athletics Could Emerge as Potential Trade Partner for Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/oakland-athletics-could-emerge-as-potential-trade-partner-for-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/oakland-athletics-could-emerge-as-potential-trade-partner-for-mets.html/#comments Mon, 17 Mar 2014 23:57:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=151035 jed lowrie

With ulnar collateral ligament tears occurring at higher rates than the common cold, it seems like every team is holding their breath, hoping their projected rotation stays intact as opening day approaches. The Oakland Athletics’ Jarrod Parker is the most recent pitcher to eventually have to succumb to the knife of Dr. James Andrews.

With Jarrod Parker down for at least the 2014 regular season and A.J. Griffin slated to begin the season on the disabled list, the A’s seem to be in a bit of a pickle. Scott Kazmir is also shelved, albeit only for a few days, with tricep stiffness but you just never know with arm maladies anymore.

If you include Kazmir, the A’s are expected to go into the season with a starting rotation that could include names such as Sonny Gray, Dan Straily, Tommy Milone, Jesse Chavez, Drew Pomeranz, as well as Kazmir himself. Although Sonny Gray is a promising youngster with a seemingly bright future and the A’s can somewhat rely on Kazmir and Milone to put up respectable numbers, it seems they lack a go-to pitcher that can round out the rotation; a necessary asset for a borderline playoff caliber team to have.

With the Oakland Athletics only coming in at number 26 on Keith Law’s organizational farm system rankings, it does not seem like they have the ability to address that need within the organization. This is where the Mets come in. With Jon Niese recently receiving the good news that his elbow is [apparently] fine and Ruben Tejada being Ruben Tejada, the Mets still seem to be in a position to deal some pitching to address the ever so obvious shortstop dilemma.

The news of Parker’s second Tommy John surgery may have added another potential trade partner to the mix. The A’s currently have Jed Lowrie as their opening day shortstop on the big club and Addison Russell polishing up his extraordinary tools in AAA, supposedly waiting to take over the reigns.

While it would be incredibly sweet for the Mets to swing a deal for MLB.com’s number 12 ranked prospect, Addison Russell, the A’s would most likely demand a hefty package for their future All Star and shortstop heir. It would undoubtedly take at least Noah Syndergaard or Zack Wheeler to acquire him and, although I think Russell is worth it for an even swap of either of those two, it might take even more.

Lowrie is probably a more realistic option as he is in his last year of arbitration and set to hit free agency in 2015. With the A’s increased need for pitching, it may cause them to attempt to deal Lowrie earlier than they planned and rush Russell to the majors. If that is the case, the Mets should certainly be in contact with Billy Beane for a potential deal. The plethora of young, inexpensive arms the mets boast as well as a proven pitcher like Dillon Gee could appear very attractive to him at the moment.

I profiled Lowrie way back in December in a post that addressed potential trade routes the Mets could take to address their need at shortstop. He’s nothing spectacular on defense and he’s had significant trouble staying healthy in the past but he put up very impressive numbers last season, slashing .290/.344/.446 with 15 home runs in 154 games, which would automatically be an upgrade over anything the Mets would put out there this season. He’s also relatively inexpensive, if only for this season as he’s only making $5.25 million. If the Mets should make a deal,  they could try to extend him for a few seasons until they feel prospects such as Gavin Cecchini or Amed Rosario are ready.

Addison Russell is certainly the more attractive option here and I think the Mets should go all in for him if the opportunity arises and his price isn’t outrageous. However, in all likelihood, it will be  - due to his status as a potential All Star at a premium position. If Lowrie does become a realistic target before opening day or shortly after the season begins, the Mets have one more option to alleviate not only the shortstop dilemma, but answer the leadoff question as well. Regardless, it will certainly be interesting to see if the Athletics do, in fact, look to the trade market for a starting pitcher to replace Jarrod Parker.

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Wheeler’s Command Not as Bad as it Seems http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/wheelers-command-not-as-bad-as-it-seems.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/wheelers-command-not-as-bad-as-it-seems.html/#comments Fri, 14 Mar 2014 11:00:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=150417 zack wheeler 2

In a fantastic Fangraphs piece written by Jeff Sullivan, he acknowledges the imperfections in Zack Wheeler’s command and introduces the possibility of the receivers catching Wheeler playing a role in last season’s strike numbers.

Sullivan states that Wheeler certainly needs to polish his command to reach his lofty expectations. He’s always walked batters in the minors but, with his excessive strikeout numbers, they did not hurt him much. However, he’s currently guaranteed a rotation spot on the big club this season where he’ll have to throw more strikes and command his pitches with more efficiency to see the same results.

He also had this to say about Wheeler’s strike throwing ability:

“What we can tell is that Wheeler needs to throw some more strikes. Another thing we can tell is that that statement deserves an asterisk.”

What Sullivan means by this is that due to the poor pitch-receiving abilities of John Buck (1.7 strikes below average per game) and Anthony Recker (1.5 strikes below average per game), Wheeler’s strike percentage may have looked uglier than it could have.

He also points out that the receiving got better with Travis d’Arnaud’s promotion with whom he threw 62.5% strikes and only 0.5 strikes below average per start. With Buck and Recker, it was merely 60.4% and 2.8 strikes below average per start.

Here’s what Sullivan had to say if Wheeler had benefited from league average receivers instead of Buck/Recker:

“Wheeler lost some strikes in the zone, and he lost some strikes out of it. If you just plug in league-average numbers, then Wheeler would’ve gained about 35 strikes, lifting his strike rate roughly two percentage points”

Sullivan does not put all the blame on Buck and Recker however, as he suggests the possibility of Wheeler missing his targets, thus taking away the chance of a called strike. He also expresses confidence that Wheeler’s strike throwing ability will improve the more he throws to d’Arnaud and that it’s hard to imagine the situation being any worse than last season.

In the piece, Wheeler’s situation is compared to the progression of other pitchers with strikeout potential and command issues:

“I identified starting pitchers who were 23 somewhere between 2002-2011. Then I started to narrow the pool. I set a walk-rate minimum of 9%. I set a strikeout-rate minimum of 16%, and a contact-rate minimum of 76%. The idea was to get a group of pitchers who had some command issues, but who demonstrated true strikeout ability. I was left looking at 25 names, from CC Sabathia to Casey Coleman.”

The follow up was very promising:

“I then looked at what those same pitchers did in the following two years, spanning 24 to 25 years old. As a group, unweighted, they averaged 8.9% walks, 19.8% strikeouts, and 79.3% contact. Ten of the 25 pitchers were worth at least 5 WAR during the two years. Five were worth at least 8 WAR.”

Wheeler is certainly in good company as names on the list included Tim Lincecum, David Price, and Jon Lester among others.

Sullivan concludes the piece expressing his confidence in Wheeler’s ability to improve his walk rate beyond the simple advantage of having a better receiver. Although he conveys skepticism that Wheeler will ever be “great,” he expects him to be a great sidekick behind the Mets ace, Matt Harvey.

I urge everyone to read the full piece here.

addicted to mets button

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Top 5 Mets Sleeper Prospects http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/top-5-mets-sleeper-prospects.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/top-5-mets-sleeper-prospects.html/#comments Thu, 20 Feb 2014 16:49:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=148588 Luis Cessa 2

With the Mets Merized Online Top 25 Prospects list set in stone, I’d like to take a look at a few names that should be watched closely this upcoming season.

These prospects would not have necessarily been prospects 26-30 on this season’s list but they are all players that I feel are flying under the radar. I also believe these sleeper prospects have a shot to really make an impact this year and force themselves well into the 2015 top 25.

Let’s get started.

5. Luis Cessa

Overshadowed by the performances of Gabriel Ynoa and Steven Matz, it’s fair to say that Luis Cessa flies a bit under the radar. A converted position player, Cessa showed two straight years of considerable success in both Brooklyn and in Savannah. He won’t blow you away with his stuff but he shows a great ability to throw strikes, which is especially impressive considering he doesn’t have much experience on the mound. He throws a low 90’s fastball with a very good changeup but his curveball lags behind those two pitches. If he can develop an average curve, it is possible he succeeds in the back end of a rotation but a few scouts see his future in the bullpen as either a long man or a 7th inning guy. Because the Mets have so many of these back end of the rotation types in their system, he could end up in a bullpen role regardless.

4. Matt Reynolds

An Arkansas infielder drafted in the second round of the 2012 draft, Matt Reynolds won’t wow you with his power but his knack for making contact and reaching base could land him a major league job, whether it’s as a starter or utility man. He has quick wrists and a patient approach at the plate but does not use his lower body much. A third basemen in college, the Mets drafted him hoping his above average speed and solid arm could make him a viable shortstop. He’s probably better suited at third base but his bat does not have enough power to justify him playing there so he’ll likely either stick as a shortstop or be moved to second base where, as a slap hitter, he’ll profile much better. Already 23, Reynolds doesn’t have much time to reach legitimate prospect status. If he shows he can increase his batting average by making better contact, he could make a career as a starting middle infielder but if he continues to struggle, he’ll likely profile as a utility infielder, albeit a valuable one due to his defense and ability to reach base.

3. Wuilmer Becerra

Blue Jays fans already have a bottle of scotch at their side and a gun to their temples after watching R.A. Dickey struggle in his first season as well as Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud appearing on top prospects list all over the Internet. Wuilmer Becerra has the chance to make them pull the trigger. He has the ever so coveted power/speed combination and the ability to turn some heads this year. A former shortstop moved to the outfield, Becerra has fringe plus speed but is probably best suited in left field due to his pedestrian arm. He has a ton of power in his 6’4”, 190 lb. frame but unfortunately it has not translated into games yet. Becerra’s mechanics at the plate are what needs the most work as his upright stance and high load cause his bat to drag through the zone. He’s going to be just 19 years old for the entirety of this upcoming season, so Becerra has plenty of time to refine his approach at the plate and tap into his raw power. One breakout season is all it will take for scouts to start talking about him. If he develops his hit tool to be even just average, he’ll have an opportunity be an everyday outfielder who will hit for power and should be a threat on the basepaths as well.

2. Robert Whalen

Rob Whalen almost snuck into my top 25 prospects list and looking back, he probably should have been apart of it. He had a truly amazing season with the Kingsport Mets, showing the ability to both put away hitters and keep his walk rate down; a rare occurrence for a 19 year old at the time. It’s worth noting that his efforts also earned him the 2013 Sterling Award. He yields a low to mid 90’s fastball and a sinker while flashing what Baseball America has labeled “the best curveball in the system” so if he could develop his changeup or slider to at least an average pitch, he could have a future as a mid to back end rotation starter. If he can’t, then he should easily make a living as a late inning relief option. Even though he’s still probably a couple years away from a major league debut, another solid season from Whalen would prove that he is quite an advanced pitcher for his age, which might incline the Mets to move him through the system at a faster pace than usual.

1. Ivan Wilson

Selected in the third round of last year’s draft, Wilson has the highest ceiling of anyone on this list. A tremendous athlete standing at 6’3” and weighing in at 220 lbs., Wilson was a wide receiver on his high school football team. He is an above average runner with a very strong arm, which will most likely land him in right field. He has the same power/speed combination as Becerra but his hit tool has the chance to develop further since his flaws are more of an easy fix than Becerra’s. He generates good hip rotation but has trouble with timing and synchronizing all parts of his swing to generate good contact. More experience and good coaching should even everything out, however, and once he becomes comfortable at the plate, the power should rear its head. Wilson also has enough speed to throw some steals into his game as well. Even though he was a third round draft pick and is still quite raw, Wilson has the chance to develop into an impact player both offensively and defensively with time. He’s the kind of high risk, high reward player you like to take early in the draft and hopefully the Mets struck gold with this one.

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2014 Mets Top Prospects: No. 1 Noah Syndergaard, RHP http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-1-noah-syndergaard-rhp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-1-noah-syndergaard-rhp.html/#comments Wed, 12 Feb 2014 16:00:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=139663 Top 25 Prospects syndergaard 1

1. Noah Syndergaard

Height: 6’6”
Weight: 240 lbs.
Age: 21
Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Noah Syndergaard has topped every 2014 Mets prospect list I’ve seen and mine is no different. At the time, Travis d’Arnaud was the main piece that convinced the Mets to deal R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays and Syndergaard was just an added prospect. At the time, scouts wondered if he would be able to stick as a starter or have to be moved to the bullpen. It turns out that Syndergaard might be the most valuable piece the Mets got in that deal.

With a rare combination of plus velocity and quality control, Syndergaard has the potential to top a rotation for years to come. Last season across St. Lucie and Binghamton, Thor posted a 3.06 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and a 133:28 K:BB ratio. It’s hard to say he’ll be as good as Matt Harvey was last season. It’s hard to say anyone will be as good as Matt Harvey was last season but I do think he will ultimately be better than Zack Wheeler. Wheeler has the better curveball right now but I think Syndergaard’s command will take him a very long way. He throws an easy 96 mph with a fastball that tends to run in on right handers and has the ability to consistently reach 98. His motion and delivery look effortless and he uses his height to induce a good amount of groundballs. Although his curveball is a little inconsistent at the moment, it has the chance to be an above average pitch at the major league level. His changeup has the potential to be an above average offering as well. With above average command, a plus fastball and two potential above average secondary pitches, it’s scary to think what Syndergaard can do at his peak.

Outlook: Ranked the number 3 RHP prospect for 2014 by MLB.com, Syndergaard’s future is brighter than Zack Wheeler’s shaved head. He is poised to make his debut around midseason; the same time that Matt Harvey made his in 2012 and the same time Zack Wheeler made his last season. With a little more seasoning in AAA Las Vegas, Syndergaard will look to refine his curveball and changeup, while continuing to locate his pitches effectively. The more he can, the more effective his devastating fastball will be. If he were to start the season with the Mets, I think he could easily get by in the middle or back end of the rotation with the stuff he has now. With more development, he has the potential to be an ace or number 2 starter at his peak. When Matt Harvey returns next season, he’ll be the ace of course but that does not mean Syndergaard can’t attain the status of one. Every Mets fan in the world is looking forward to Syndergaard’s debut this upcoming season and looking forward to him, Harvey, and Wheeler, pitching in the rotation at the same time even more. The future for Mets pitching is certainly promising and hopefully we catch an extended glimpse of it this season when Syndergaard is called up.

MMO TOP 25 PROSPECTS

1. Noah Syndergaard, RHP

2. Travis d’Arnaud, C

3. Rafael Montero, RHP

4. Dominic Smith, 1B

5. Kevin Plawecki, C

6. Wilmer Flores, 2B

7. Cesar Puello, OF

8. Amed Rosario, SS

9. Brandon Nimmo, CF

10. Steven Matz, LHP

11. Gavin Cecchini, SS

12. Jake deGrom, RHP

13. Dilson Herrera, 2B

14. Jeurys Familia, RHP

15. Michael Fulmer, RHP

16. Vic Black, RHP

17. Gabriel Ynoa, RHP

18. Domingo Tapia, RHP

19. Jayce Boyd, 1B

20. Luis Mateo, RHP

21. Jack Leathersich, LHP

22. Jeff Walters, RHP

23. Cory Mazzoni, RHP

24. Juan Centeno, C

25. Wilfredo Tovar, SS

Presented By Diehards

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Projecting the Mets 2016 Starting Rotation http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/projecting-the-mets-2016-starting-rotation.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/projecting-the-mets-2016-starting-rotation.html/#comments Tue, 11 Feb 2014 17:07:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=147645 noah syndergaard tiger

The New York Mets have one of the best, if not the best, farm systems when it comes to pitching. There is so much depth coming up the pipeline that picking five pitchers who will most likely be in the rotation come 2016 is incredibly difficult. However, I’m sure every big league team would love to have that problem.

No matter how excited organizations and their fans get about particular prospects, it is a certainty that not all of them will pan out. Some succumb to injury and some fail to live up to the hype. The phrase “You can never have enough pitching” is as true as everyone says it is.

With that being said, the Mets are in a very good position in regards to their pitching depth. They have a plethora of young pitching prospects who project to be mid to back-end types. Now, that doesn’t sound too exciting on paper but when you have to shell out $20 million for two years of Bartolo Colon and $23.5 million for two seasons of Bronson Arroyo, those affordable options become much more attractive. Not only does it allow the front office to allocate funds to other weaknesses, but the excess of pitching prospects the Mets have can also be used to pad trade packages around higher touted prospects or major league pieces.

I’ll offer my prediction for the 2016 rotation at the end of the article but let’s first start off by taking a look at the possible candidates.

harvey gee wheeler

Matt Harvey

Harvey is probably the biggest lock to be in the 2016 rotation. Assuming his rehabilitation goes smoothly and he returns to his previous form by 2016, he’s not going anywhere. He’s a homegrown talent and the best pitcher the Mets have had in several years. Tommy John is a major surgery, but given the recent success rate, I think it’s fair to believe that Harvey will return just as good as he ever was. When he returns for the 2015 season, it’s probably not reasonable to expect him to return to his dominant form right away but a full season is more than enough time to get used to pitching again so it’s fair to expect The Dark Knight to wreak havoc in Gotham by ’16. Therefore, my projection for him is the clear-cut ace of the 2016 staff.

Zack Wheeler

Although I’m not 100% sure of this, I believe Sandy Alderson has stated that Wheeler is one of the “untouchables” on the current Mets roster. Now, a lot can change between now and 2016 but I’m going to hold Sandy true to his words. Wheeler has electric stuff and the potential to be Harvey-esque once he’s able to command his pitches with authority. His fastball is already plus and I think his curveball will eventually reach those heights as well. The only problem I saw with Wheeler last season was, of course, his control. I do believe that will significantly improve as he gains experience but I just don’t ever see him as a plus pitcher in that department. I think he’s still in the Mets rotation by 2016, behind Matt Harvey. It will be a very exciting competition between Wheeler and Syndergaard to see who is the number 2 starter by then.

Jon Niese

Jon Niese can certainly be considered a trade candidate by 2016. There were whispers that he could be traded this offseason but they never turned into full fledged rumors. He has a very team friendly contract that runs through 2016 and gives him a team option for 2017 and 2018. I do not think it is in the best interest of the Mets to trade Niese, however. As of right now, he’s the only lefty in the rotation for the foreseeable future unless the Mets sign one, of course. When healthy, he’s proven that he’s capable of pitching in the middle of the rotation, at times looking like a number 2 starter. I fully expect the Mets to compete by 2016, so I see Niese as more of a candidate to build around than anything else.

Dillon Gee

What Mets fan doesn’t love Dillon Gee? He doesn’t have the greatest stuff but he knows how to make the best of it. He started off shaky last season, perhaps due to recovering from the artery repair surgery in his right arm. Facing a demotion, he put it together in a big way and never looked back. He’s a great clubhouse guy as well and his teammates seem to love him. The only way I see the Mets letting him go is if they don’t want to pay for him. By 2016, he’ll be a veteran and a mentor to the younger arms coming up the pipeline. The Mets probably wouldn’t get much if they offered him up in a trade so I fully expect him to be in the Mets rotation in 2016, especially if he puts together a couple more seasons where he throws 200 innings.

Jenrry Mejia

It is far too risky to project Mejia to be in the Mets rotation in 2016. It’s even too risky to project him as the number 5 starter this season given his injury struggles. He has top of the rotation stuff but that obviously doesn’t matter if he can’t find the mound. However, I think Mejia will definitely stay healthy enough to be a successful major leaguer. I’m a little less confident he can have a full career as a starter but I do have faith. Predicting whether he’s in the rotation, bullpen, or on another team by 2016 is just too difficult. He’ll be an exciting guy to watch this year nonetheless.

Rafael Montero

Although Noah Syndergaard has the higher ceiling without question, Montero is probably more major league ready. If an injury befalls the Mets rotation early, there’s a possibility Montero could be in line for a promotion but it might be more likely that John Lannan or Daisuke Matsuzaka gets the nod. Montero has the stuff to pitch in the middle of a rotation and if he’s big league ready, he should get an opportunity as soon as possible. If he gets a shot to prove his worth this season and lives up to the hype, I honestly think he won’t be on the Mets in 2016. The way I see it, the Mets have to use some of their pitching to acquire an impact bat next offseason. When Matt Harvey returns, they’ll be in a good position to do so and I think Montero might be one such candidate to bolster a trade package.

Noah Syndergaard

Like Wheeler, Thor is another presumed “untouchable.” Acquired from the Blue Jays in the R.A. Dickey deal last offseason, Syndergaard quickly rose to power after there were doubts he’d stick as a starter. Now the third best RHP prospect in the game according to MLB.com, Syndergaard is set to make his debut this upcoming season. Don’t expect him to be up anytime before June as the Mets will most likely have him on the same path as Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. There is a very good chance that he is in the Mets 2016 rotation, but while I hope it doesn’t happen, I wouldn’t be too surprised if he, Montero or Wheeler is headlining a deal next offseason. If the Mets want to attain significant offensive talent, it would be very hard to do so without giving up some talent. Whether they pull the trigger or not is a different story but for now, I’m going to guess they’ll both be in the rotation by 2016.

Jacob deGrom

He’ll likely start the season in AAA where he’ll look to refine his control. deGrom has the stuff to pitch in the rotation but if his command does not improve he might be a bullpen candidate. He’s also fair game for a trade package as anyone the Mets have. I think the Mets hold him in a higher regard than most teams so something tells me he’ll be on the Mets in 2016, whether it’s in the bullpen or the starting rotation, it’s still tough to project.

Other possibilities:

Steven Matz

Michael Fulmer

Gabriel Ynoa

Luis Mateo

Luis Cessa

Logan Verrett

My 2016 rotation prediction:

  1. Matt Harvey
  2. Zack Wheeler
  3. Noah Syndergaard
  4. Jon Niese
  5. Dillon Gee

Presented By Diehards

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Spring Shots: Mets Baseball in Port St. Lucie http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/spring-shots-mets-baseball-in-port-st-lucie.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/spring-shots-mets-baseball-in-port-st-lucie.html/#comments Tue, 11 Feb 2014 16:21:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=147708 tradition field mets

Many Mets players are already in Port St. Lucie and the number keeps growing everyday. Pitchers and catchers don’t report until February 15 and the position players until February 20, but that hasn’t stop some Mets from trying to get a step ahead.

Here are some of the sights from Tradition Field as posted by the beat writers and the New York Mets.

dominic smith's bat kevin kernan

Dominic Smith is in St. Lucie and his gear is ready for action. It will be a treat for Met fans to catch a glimpse of one of the team’s top hitting prospects this Spring. (Kevin Kernan, NY Post)

shots from st lucie 1

Ike Davis and Josh Satin reported to Mets camp Monday, well ahead of the Feb. 20 official date for position players. Davis plans to wait until Friday to speak with the media. (Adam Rubin, ESPN)

jay horwitz jon niese mets

We haven’t figured out what Jon Niese and Jay Horwitz are doing here. Maybe this is one of Niese’s warm-up routines? The Mets’ southpaw was the Opening Day starter in 2013, will he repeat this season? (NY Mets)

dice-k glove kevin kernan

That orange glove belongs to none other than Daisuke Matsuzaka. Looks like neon is back in style, at least in Port St. Lucie. (Kevin Kernan, NY Post)

bobby parnell mets

Bobby Parnell was one of the first arrivals to camp and tosses the ball on Monday. He’s expected to be ready for Opening Day. (NY Mets)

mets in cage psl

We think that’s Ike Davis, but we’re not so sure though in this cool, but unattributed photo taken by TC Palm.

shots from st lucie 9

This time we’re certain it’s Ike Davis as he takes some batting practice on Monday. (Adam Rubin, ESPN)

david wright spring 14 mets

David Wright set to fire one home from left field? Nah, he’s just having a catch and rocking some cool Mets gear. (NY Mets)

eric young speed swag by mets

Eric Young Jr. sports a t-shirt that reads, “Speed Swag.” These Stolen Base Crown winners are all alike. :-) (NY Mets)

Mets cap dubble bubbe USA TODAY

Totally cool shot from our friends at USA Today.

As you can see, baseball is in full swing at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie, and in a couple of weeks we’ll start to see the Mets playing some games. It should be a lot of fun.

Presented By Diehards

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