Mets Merized Online » Roger N – Big Mets Fan http://metsmerizedonline.com Sat, 30 May 2015 16:18:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.8 Mets Minors: Conforto, Rivera, Smith, Morris Are Red Hot http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mets-minors-conforto-rivera-smith-morris-are-red-hot.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mets-minors-conforto-rivera-smith-morris-are-red-hot.html/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 15:52:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182612 t.j. rivera homers

Who’s Hot:

John Church – Las Vegas. The 23rd round pick of the Mets in the 2009 draft may no longer be considered a “prospect” at age 28, but he’s putting together a very solid season in the Vegas pen. Entering Monday’s action, he hasn’t been scored upon in his last 6 appearances, and in his last 11 appearances dating back to April 28th, he has a record of 2-0 with an ERA of 0.59 in 15.1 innings with a WHIP of 0.72 with 4 walks and 11 K’s.

T.J. Rivera – Las Vegas. Since being promoted to Las Vegas, Rivera has appeared in 8 games through May 24th, hitting .414 (12 for 29). Prior to his promotion, he was hitting .318 at Binghamton in 22 games.

Jayce Boyd – Binghamton. Boyd was a 6th round pick of the Mets in the 2012 draft and is currently riding an 11 game hitting streak over which he’s hitting .386 (17 for 44) with 8 runs scored with 4 doubles and 1 HR.

Beck Wheeler – Binghamton. The Bingo reliever hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 5 outings. Since May 15th, he’s pitched 5 innings, allowing 2 hits, no walks, and 5 K’s and a WHIP of 0.40.

Michael Conforto – St. Lucie. Last year’s first round pick is on an 8 game hitting streak and has hit in 11 of the last 12 games, hitting .340 over that stretch (17 for 50). Over this span, he’s scored 9 runs with 8 doubles.

Akeel Morris – St. Lucie. Morris was a 10th round pick in the 2010 draft and has been outstanding over the last three minor league seasons. In 2014, he posted a 0.63 ERA while striking out 89 batters in 57 innings for Savannah. The 22 year old righty has allowed just 6 hits in 22 innings on the season. Over his last 8 games dating back to May 4th, he’s pitched 9.2 innings, allowing 2 hits, 4 walks, and striking out 11 to a WHIP of 0.62 and an ERA of 0.00.

Amed Rosario – St. Lucie. The 19 year old Dominican shortstop is on a 6 game hitting stream and has hit in 12 of his last 13 games, batting .360 (18 for 50) over that span while scoring 9 runs.

Dominic Smith – St. Lucie. The 19 year old first round pick of the 2013 draft is riding a 7 game hitting stream over which he’s hitting .370 (10 for 27) with 5 doubles.

Patrick Biondi – Savannah. Biondi was a 9th round pick in the 2013 draft. Through May 24th, Biondi had hit in 9 of the previous 10 games batting .419 (13 for 31) including 4 multi-hit games.

Who’s Not:

Kyle Johnson – Las Vegas. The 25 year old Vegas outfielder hasn’t had a hit or a walk since May 15th entering Monday’s action. He’s 0 for his last 15 with 5 K’s.

David Cooper – Binghamton. Cooper was a former 1st round pick of the Blue Jays who appeared in 72 major league games for Toronto in 2011-12. He was playing in the Independent Atlantic League earlier this season before being picked up by the Mets. In his last 7 games dating back to May 17th, he’s hitting .083 (2 for 24) while playing first base.

Julian Hilario – Binghamton. Hilario has struggled since being promoted from St. Lucie. In his four appearances since being promoted, he’s had an ERA of 13.50, allowing 6 earned runs in 4 innings, allowing 11 hits, walking 4 with a WHIP of 3.75 and opposing batters hitting .524 off him.

Darwin Frias – Savannah. The 23 year old Dominican pitcher has been scored upon in his last three appearances entering Monday’s action, allowing 5 earned runs in 2.2 innings while yielding 6 hits and 4 walks. Over his last three appearances dating back to May 17th, he’s pitched to an ERA of 16.88 and a WHIP of 3.75.

Jon Leroux – Savannah. The 24 year old infielder was hitting .197 on the season entering Monday’s action. Over his last 7 games dating back to May 15th, he’s hitting just .043 (1 for 23) with 9 strikeouts.

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Jon Niese is Moving Up the All-Time Mets Ranks http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/jon-niese-is-moving-up-the-all-time-mets-ranks.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/jon-niese-is-moving-up-the-all-time-mets-ranks.html/#comments Wed, 13 May 2015 18:14:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=181182 jon niese

He’s a back end of the rotation guy and certainly not someone who attracts the kind of attention of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard.

His future in the Mets organization is uncertain beyond 2015 despite being under contract for $9.05 million for 2016 with club options for 2017 and 2018.

Despite being one of the Rodney Dangerfields of the Mets rotation, Jon Niese is putting up solid numbers in 2015 and has quietly moved up the ranks among All-Time Mets pitchers.

For his career, Niese’s 154 starts puts him 13th in franchise history and, barring injury, he should pass David Cone’s 169 starts for 10th place.

His 738 strikeouts is already 9th all time,although he still has a ways before he reaches Jon Matlack’s 1,023 for 8th.

His 921.2 innings are 15th in franchise history and he should pass Tom Glavine’s 1,005.1 innings this year to move into 11th all time.

Niese’s 55 wins are 14th in Mets history, and another 12 victories (which is not out of reach this season), will pass Steve Trachel’s 66 to also put him into the top 10.

Niese isn’t going to win a Cy Young award anytime soon. We’re not asking him to be one. He doesn’t even have to keep on pitching to his team-best 1.95 ERA and currently 7th best in MLB. We just need him to be what he is – a capable and valuable lefty in the rotation.

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Mets Minors: Carrillo, Matz, Cecilliani Are Red Hot http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mets-minors-carrillo-matz-cecilliani-are-red-hot.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mets-minors-carrillo-matz-cecilliani-are-red-hot.html/#comments Mon, 11 May 2015 13:00:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=181217 steven matz

Who’s Hot (AAA,AA)

Steven Matz – Las Vegas. Matz could just as easily have earned the promotion to the Mets when Gee ended up on the disabled list. Over his last 5 appearances (4 starts) dating back to April 19th, he’s 4-0 with a 1.13 ERA while striking out 36 batters in 32 innings and a 0.72 WHIP. In his most recent start on Mother’s Day he had a no-decision while allowing zero runs and striking out 7 in 7 innings.

Noah Syndergaard – Las Vegas. Thor was on fire in Vegas and earned the call up when Dillon Gee ended up on the disabled list. What has he done lately? Over his last 3 starts he’s only gone 3-0 with a 0.82 ERA while striking out 27 in 22 innings. His WHIP? A sick 0.59. Oh yeah, and he only went 3-for-4 with a home run at the plate in his last start. Let’s hope this is the last time Noah is on any minor league list.

Darrell Ceciliani – Las Vegas. Ceciliani was a 4th round pick of the Mets in the 2009 draft and is in his 7th season in the Mets organization. The 24 year old outfielder has been on a tear since May 3rd, batting .414 (12 for 29) and an OBP of .485 with 8 runs scored.

Jack Leathersich – Las Vegas. Since returning to the 51s, Leathersich hasn’t missed a beat. In four appearances out of the Vegas pen, pitching 3.1 innings, he’s allowed just 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 6.

Xorge Carrillo – Binghamton. The B-Mets catcher has hit in 9 of his last 10 games hitting .400 (14 for 35) over that stretch while scoring 6 runs with 2 doubles, 1 HR, 7 RBI, and a .462 OBP.

Matt Koch – Binghamton. Koch was a 3rd round pick of the Mets in the 2012 draft. In his last 4 appearances out of the Bingo pen, he’s pitched 6.2 innings, allowing 5 hits, 0 walks, striking out 4 batters with an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.75.

Adam Kolarek – Binghamton. The 11th round selection of the Mets in the 2010 draft got off to a rough start to 2015 with an ERA of 14.14 after his first 5 appearances. He’s settled down since then – in his last 4 appearances out of the bullpen since April 29th, he’s allowed zero runs in 8.1 innings with a crisp WHIP of 0.48 and striking out 5 batters.

Who’s Not (AAA,AA)

Albert Cordero – Binghamton. The other B-Mets catcher has been cold at the plate, hitless over his last 5 games dating back to April 28th going 0 for 18 over that stretch with 0 walks.

John Gant – Binghamton. Gant is 0-2 over his last 2 starts with an ERA of 6.30, allowing 15 hits, 8 walks and striking out 8 in 10 innings with a 2.30 WHIP.

Gilbert Gomez – Binghamton. The 23 year old Dominican outfielder is in his 7th season in the Mets organization. He finally broke through with a hit on Sunday after being hitless in his previous 8 games. Since April 24th, he’s hitting just .040 (1 for 25) with 11 strikeouts.

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Mets Promote Johnny Monell, Option Eric Campbell http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mets-promote-johnny-monell-option-eric-campbell.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mets-promote-johnny-monell-option-eric-campbell.html/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 19:36:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=180746 johnny monell

The Mets have optioned Eric Campbell back to Triple-A Las Vegas and activated catcher Johnny Monell to their 25 man roster.

Monell gives the Mets a third catcher as well as a left-handed bat off the bench.

Campbell, 28, batted .200/.320/.323 in 50 at-bats with the Mets, but had been slumping badly over the last week.

May 4

Triple-A catcher Johnny Monell is on his way to New York and is expected to be activated in time for Tuesday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles. No corresponding move has been announced.

After a strong showing this spring, Monell has made a case for himself to be the Mets backup catcher, especially with Anthony Recker continuing to struggle at the plate.

However, a report from Mike Puma of The Post says the Mets intend to carry three catchers, suggesting that Eric Campbell could be heading back to Las Vegas.

Monell, 29, has hit in 8 of his last 9 games during which he’s been hitting .444 (16 for 36) with seven runs scored, two home runs, and 12 RBI.

Overall, he is batting a league-leading .397 with a .455 OBP, four home runs, 15 RBI and a 1.092 OPS in 58 at bats for Las Vegas.

Monell agreed to a minor league contract last November with an invitation to major league spring training.

He hasn’t appeared in a major league game since 2013, when he had one hit and three strikeouts in nine plate appearances with the Giants.

Monell spent the 2014 season batting .238/.301/.364 with 40 strikeouts in 226 plate appearances between the Triple-A affiliates of the Dodgers and the Orioles.

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MMO Special Feature: Mets Starters Are The Best In The NL East http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mmo-special-feature-mets-starters-are-the-best-in-the-nl-east.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mmo-special-feature-mets-starters-are-the-best-in-the-nl-east.html/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 18:38:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=180684 matt harvey

We’re five weeks into the regular season and even though the Mets offense has been struggling lately, the pitching has been strong. So how good has the Mets starting five been? Let’s compare the Mets rotation to the top five starters throughout the rest of the National League East.

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Mets starters have been the best thus far and have gone deepest into games. But as expected, Nationals starters aren’t too far behind. Spots three, four, and five are pretty much what was expected at the start of the season.

The Mets rank 1st in ERA, K/BB Ratio, and IP/S and are second behind the Marlins in WHIP.

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Matt Harvey leads all Mets starters with a perfect 5-0 record. He tossed 7.0 scoreless innings on Friday to earn the only Mets win against the Nationals this past weekend. He is now 3-1 with a 0.68 ERA in six career starts against Washington.

Bartolo Colon has been a rock in the rotation, Jacob deGrom is building on last season, Jon Niese has pitched extraordinarily well, and on Sunday, Pedro Martinez called Dillon Gee the best No. 5 starter in the game.

It’s a long season and as they say it’s a marathon, not a sprint. But from the early returns, it looks like the Mets starting pitching has been better than anyone could have imagined, and that would account for the Amazins’ first place standing atop the NL East.

These results are amazing to say the least, and with continued good health there’s no reason not to expect them to keep producing at this level – or perhaps even better.

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Was Last Night deGnome-Gate? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/was-last-night-degnome-gate.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/was-last-night-degnome-gate.html/#comments Sun, 03 May 2015 15:21:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=180644 jacob deGrom gnome

In a year where Mets ownership is looking to get the fans back, the team is sitting in first place in early May, and there is a buzz at Citi Field that has never been seen with such regularity before. But are the Mets are making a big blunder when it comes to their premium promotions in 2015?

Last night was Jacob deGrom Gnome Night. The first 15,000 fans received the giveaway. There was just one problem… the official attendance was 39,730.

The team was promoting the giveaway pretty heavily for nearly a month. It was everywhere, a dozen promos per broadcast, popup ads on Mets.com, Twitter and Facebook campaigns, and several emails as well. And after all that heavy pushing, they weren’t even available for half the fans at the game.

In recent years, the Mets have cut their giveaways for premium items such as bobble-heads significantly from 25,000 to 20,000 in 2014, and now down to 15,000 for this season, despite attendance increasing the last two seasons.

Lines were long to get into the game before the gates opened, and I’m hearing from others on social media that the giveaways were long gone, even though they were in the park early.

Hey Mets – you’ve been trying to win the fans back. Don’t leave a bad taste in the mouths of the people you’re trying to get back. I understand that by limiting the number of items, you’re encouraging people to arrive early and thus spend extra money at the park, but you’re also creating negative goodwill instead of positive.

Think of the kid that was hoping to get the gnome, but his parents didn’t arrive early enough… the parents had to hear it all game long and they may not bring their kid back because they don’t want to hear the complaining again. You want to get the next generation at the ballpark early and often.

There are a couple of other premium giveaways coming up this season. I understand that it may be too late to order extras in time for some of the other giveaways, but you can still make up for it.

Prior to the game, announce that additional items are being ordered if you didn’t get a giveaway through the gate, or that you can get a rain check and pick it up at the park at another game. You create the positive goodwill and guess what…you’ll get someone back at another game if they want the item bad enough.

But what do I know?

If you were at the game last night, what was your experience?

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Who’s Hot, Who’s Not: Mayberry, Granderson, Lagares Sizzling http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/whos-hot-whos-not-mayberry-granderson-lagares-sizzling.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/whos-hot-whos-not-mayberry-granderson-lagares-sizzling.html/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 19:10:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=176942 john mayberry

Who’s Hot:

Matt Harvey – Harvey has come out swinging this spring. National League – be afraid. Be very afraid. In 14.1 innings this spring, he’s struck out 12 while walking 1 with a WHIP of 0.84 to go with a sparkling 1.26 ERA. He’s also been breezing through his starts. We missed you Matt. Welcome Home.

John Mayberry, Jr. – Mayberry has been hitting this spring at a .452 clip with 14 hits in 31 sprint at bats. He’s also walked 5 times and knocked in 2 HR’s and 8 RBI for a .514 OBP / .710 slugging line. The Mets signed Mayberry to give the team some pop from the right hand side against lefties – he’s struggled in his career against right handed pitching with a career .224/.293/.365 slash line. This spring he’s been tearing up right-handers going 9 for 18 with 4 walks. So is this spring an illusion? We’ll see once the bell rings on the regular season.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis – Kirk knows that it’s now or never for him. He has the upper hand in the 4th outfielder spot over Matt den Dekker since he’s out of options, but he also has to earn his roster spot. He’s playing like he wants on the team for sure, hitting .432 (16 for 37) with 5 doubles, 6 walks and a .512 OBP with a 1.079 OPS. He won’t hurt us at any of the outfield spots and he has left handed pop off the bench. No complaints about him breaking camp with team.

mmo feature original footerJuan Lagares – The Golden Man is flashing the bat this spring, too. He got an inside the park homer against the Yankees on Sunday and he’s hitting .417 with a .475 OBP. We want our leadoff hitter to get on base. Yep, he’s doing it. Well done, Juan.

Johnny Monell – He’s hoping to earn the Mets backup catcher spot. He’s making his case to do so, hitting .379 with 3 HR in 15 spring games. Do I think he’ll break camp with the team? Highly unlikely. Even if he does hit lefty and has some pop off the bench, Recker also has pop. Recker also threw out 37% of base stealers last season vs. just 17% for Monell. The Mets need someone who can throw out runners.

Curtis Granderson – The Grandy Man has been hitting a Ted Williams – esque .407 this spring with 2 HR, 6 walks, and just 4 strikeouts. Let’s see him take this north and continue!

Jacob deGrom – Hitters are batting just .162 off deGrom this spring. In 11 innings, he’s allowed 2 hits, 1 walk while striking out 12 batters. His WHIP of 0.64 isn’t too shabby, either.

Honorable MentionsDaniel Muno, Matt Reynolds, David Wright, Michael Cuddyer, Wilmer Flores

bartolo colon

Who’s Not:

Bartolo Colon – Bartolo has a 7.71 ERA this spring in 11.2 innings and batters are hitting .367 off him. I highly doubt he cares what his spring stats are. He’s a veteran and not trying to make the team. I won’t be worried unless we’re seeing these same numbers after 4 regular season starts.

Scott Rice – Rice isn’t stating his case very well for the wide open lefty spot in the bullpen. He’s no longer on the 40 man roster, and a 9.64 ERA in the spring isn’t likely to get it done, unless it’s entirely by default.

Sean Gilmartin – Rule 5 pick Gilmartin has his opportunity right in front of him. He’s made 6 appearances this spring with batters hitting .308 against him with 4 walks in 6.1 innings. Not exactly getting the job done.

Dario Alvarez – Alvarez also has an opportunity to win the lefty bullpen job. Hitters are hitting only .176 against him. Unfortunately he’s also walked 5 batters in 5 innings. No one is taking the lefty spot by the horns.

Anthony Recker – Recker is trying to hold onto his backup backstop role. He’s being chased by Monell and is batting just .148. Luckily for him, he’s the incumbent and as previously mentioned, throwing out 37% of base stealers is in his favor. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t go north, but he may be in danger as Plawecki progresses.

Dishonorable MentionsBrandon Allen (since sent to minor league camp), Travis d’Arnaud, Matt den Dekker

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This Year is Different… Or Is It? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/this-year-is-different-or-is-it.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/this-year-is-different-or-is-it.html/#comments Sat, 07 Mar 2015 16:01:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=175537 mets spring training 2015

I don’t know about you – but I’m excited about this year. Okay, so I’m excited about the start of every baseball season, but this year is different. This year there is that nervousness that’s been missing. This year there is that “what if?” factor. This year there are higher expectations.

The past few seasons of Mets baseball have been like going to the local high school production of “Guys and Dolls” – heading in, you have absolutely no expectations, you’re just getting out of the house, you’re hoping that you’ll see something you can sincerely cheer and clap for, but you know that you may see something pretty painful and awful, and you know that the odds of seeing Broadway is a fleeting dream at best.

But this year is different.

We have some big names on the marquee. We have bright lights on the stage. We’ve seen some of the performers in some pretty darn good roles and we’re hopeful that this cast of characters has what it takes to put together a great ensemble cast that will put together a long run instead of having the curtain close prematurely.

So yes, I’m excited. I’m nervous, too. The last few seasons haven’t disappointed me. After all, if you don’t have any expectations, you can’t be disappointed. I haven’t been disappointed by my Mets since 2008 when they were eliminated by postseason play on the final day of the season.

DIGIPIX

After two straight season ending failures, I didn’t have any expectations for 2009 when Citi Field opened. Not only were we coming off two epic collapses, we just got kicked in the balls by Bernie Madoff. The Mets lived up to my serious lack of expectations by finishing with a 70-92 record. Sure, they teased a bit that year and were three games over .500 as late as June 25th before getting swept by the Yankees at home, but any real hope was already long gone with Jose Reyes mired on the disabled list. Luis Castillo’s dropped ball on June 12th pretty much summed up what it was like to be a Mets fan.

Come 2010, even Obi-Wan Kenobi couldn’t provide any hope, but by then I was OK with it and coming to grips with it. I mean, c’mon – when your opening day lineup included Alex Cora leading off and playing shortstop, Gary Matthews, Jr. in center field and Jeff Francoeur in right, did you really expect me to have any expectations?

But like I said, I was OK with it by then – I was beginning to indoctrinate my oldest one into Mets fandom and began taking her to games (which I know she will someday curse my name for doing it) and my goal was to just get out of the house and enjoy time with my kid. The team actually improved that year to 79-83, but still finished a distant fourth, 18 games out of first and 12 out of the wildcard. They were never really in it and no one believed, even when the team was 10 games over .500 and in second place as late as July 6th.

The team stumbled going into the All-Star Break and collapsed afterward. All this collapse did was confirm to the fan base that the team would couldn’t keep it up to the end, just like they couldn’t in 2007 and 2008. No need to get excited, nothing to see here, folks. Ya Gotta Believe it wasn’t. Actually, we did believe – we believed the inevitable would happen, which it did. We believed Jason Bay would collect a paycheck, which he did. Oh, and we had the Oliver Perez nonsense.

After 2010, Omar Minaya was ushered out and Sandy Alderson was brought in to clear payroll and save the Wilpons from themselves. The glory days of 2006 were in the rear view mirror and entering 2011 we were now four seasons away from that last  playoff appearance,  and expectations were lower than ever. The team stumbled out of the gate and was 4-11 by April 16th after dropping 7 straight and getting swept in two straight doubleheaders against the Rockies and Braves. It was the same old Mets. Yes, R.A. Dickey got us back to .500 after beating the Yankees on May 20th, but we were never in it.

johan-santana no-hitter

Then came 2012 and the Payroll Purge. Nearly $50 million in payroll came off the books as Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, and Francisco Rodriguez were gone. We found some good performances in our own high school version of “West Side Story” as Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in franchise history,  R.A. Dickey won 20 games and won the Cy Young, and top prospect Matt Harvey made his debut. But once again, there were no expectations. Attendance dropped to 2.2 million good for only 11th in the National League as disgruntled fans stayed away.

Come 2013, all we had to hang our hat on was the All-Star Game and getting David Wright to start in front of his home crowd… oh, and there was a ton of electricity when the Dark Knight took the mound. But we knew the season was all about some sizzle, but no substance. Sandy Alderson declared “What outfield?” during the Hot Stove season and once the All-Star excitement was gone, we were left to dream about 2014, the season where we were finally expected to move towards contention. Then the news came… Matt Harvey. Elbow. Devastation. So much for 2014.

So last year became another year where the goal was to go to Citifield, have a good time with your kids, and just enjoy the National Pastime. But this year is different. We have Harvey, Wheeler and deGrom. We have a healthy David Wright. We have our own version of the Nasty Boys in the bullpen. We’re ready to believe. We need to believe. I want to believe.

I’m hoping for a blockbuster. I don’t want Howard the Duck. Damn those dreaded expectations.

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Ranking the NL East Catchers http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/ranking-the-nl-east-catchers.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/ranking-the-nl-east-catchers.html/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 16:10:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=175025 Florida Marlins v Washington Nationals

How do the National League East Catchers shake out? There can be a lot of debate on this list, and by mid-season this list may be completely different – but let’s take a look and see how they currently rank…

1. Wilson Ramos (Nationals) – Ramos is the best catcher in the East. He gunned down 38% of would be base stealers in 2014 while hitting .269 with 27 HR and 106 RBI over the last two seasons. He just has to stay on the field after tearing his ACL in 2012, a hamstring injury in 2013, and a broken hand in 2014.

2. Carlos Ruiz (Phillies) – As catchers go, Chooch is getting long in the tooth entering his age 36 season. He’s also steady behind the plate. He threw out 27% of baserunners and 27% for his career. Over the last 8 seasons, he’s averaged 114 games with a .272 batting average, .358 OBP, 24 doubles and 8 home runs. As a solid veteran on a rebuilding team and two years (+ a team option) with $17.5 million guaranteed heading his way, will he be traded to a contender that needs a solid backstop?

3. Travis d’Arnaud (Mets) – This is a big season for TDA with Kevin Plawecki knocking on the door in AAA, just waiting for his chance. Last year was a tale of two seasons for d’Arnaud – are we going to see the player who hit .272 with 19 doubles and 10 HR in 69 games after he was recalled from the minors, or will we see the player who hit .180 with 3 doubles and 3 HR in 39 games before being banished to Vegas? He threw out only 19% of base runners last year, and only threw out 13% after being called up. The Mets are going to need to win this year with pitching and defense. Travis is going to need to step up this year for the Mets to contend. Given his improved offensive production in the latter half of 2014, I’ll rank him ahead of the next man on the list, but depending on his start, he can find himself sliding either up or down on the list very easily.

4. Jarrod Saltalamacchia (Marlins) – There’s nothing particularly exciting about Salty. He’s a career .242 hitter who threw out 19% of runners last season (well below the 28% league average). He has some pop, hitting 11 in 2014 and averaging 16 over the last 4 seasons. But hey, he’s owed $15 million by the Marlins through 2016 – not bad work if you can get it.

5. Christian Bethancourt (Braves) – The 23 year old rookie backstop enters the season as tops on the depth chart after trading away Evan Gattis. While A.J. Pierzynski and John Buck were veterans that were signed in the offseason that can mentor the young catcher and possibly step in if he needs more seasoning, the job is Bethancourt’s to lose. He has some pop in his bat, is a career .269 hitter in the minors, and has thrown out 36% of would be base stealers in the minors. The Braves feel he’s their catcher of the future – he’ll just have to show if his promise lives up to his potential. As he’s completely unproven at the MLB level, he’s number 5 on the list, but with production, he may find himself moving up the list.

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Ranking the NL East Right Fielders http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/ranking-the-nl-east-right-fielders.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/ranking-the-nl-east-right-fielders.html/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2015 13:54:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=174673 Washington Nationals v Miami Marlins

1. Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins) – There is no question who is the Top Dog. The only possible question mark about Stanton is if there will be any residual effect from the horrific beaning he took which ended his 2014 season (which does make me wonder if that played any factor in agreeing to sign long term with the Marlins this offseason). Provided he comes back 100% healthy, we’re looking at the true Baddest Man on the Planet who is entering his age 25 season coming off a year where he hit .288 with 37 HR, 105 RBI and was intentionally walked 24 times. Scary to think what he can do once he hits his prime.

2. Nick Markakis (Braves) – Markakis is one of those guys who you flip over the back of his baseball card and you know what you can expect in 2015 and beyond. He’s been pretty much Steady Eddie in nine MLB seasons, averaging 152 games played, 83 runs scored 172 hits, 35 doubles, 16 HR, 73 RBI, and a slash line of .290/.358/.435. He’s also a two-time gold glove winner, one of them earned in 2014. There is some concern about his neck surgery.

3. Bryce Harper (Nationals) – Harper behind Markakis? Really? We all know Harper has a world of talent and while some may say he hasn’t lived up to his potential, let’s remember that he’s still very young… just entering his age 22 season. He’s played three MLB seasons when most guys his age are just hoping for an invite to spring training with the big club and a uniform number in the 80s. But the third best right fielder in the division? At this point, yes. Markakis is durable and you know what you’re going to get. Harper has only averaged 109 games the last two years and his ability to stay on the field is costing him the number two spot. I’d love to see him in a Met uniform in his prime and while I think he’s going to be a monster in another few years, until he stays healthy and indeed proves to be a monster at the major league level, he’s #3 in the division.

4. Michael Cuddyer (Mets) – Which Cuddyer will we see in 2015? Will it be the player who played between 139 and 157 in all but one season from 2006-2011, or will we see the Michael Cuddyer who appeared in only 49 games in 2014? Will we see the player who hit .331 the last two seasons in Colorado or will we see the player who hit .271 the first 12 years of his career? We gave up a first round pick to get him and at two years he’s a stopgap until Brandon Nimmo or Michael Conforto is major league ready, so I don’t feel he’s a bad signing as long as he can stay on the field… but is he an elite player? No. But he is a proven major league bat, and we need that in the lineup.

5. Domonic Brown (Phillies) – When we profiled the National League East Left Fielders, Brown was at the top of the depth chart for the Phillies. Since then, Grady Sizemore has shifted to the top of the Phillies chart in left and Brown is on the chart in Right. Brown is one of those former top prospects that everyone expected so much from, but never lived up to those expectations. He had a great first half of the 2013 season where he hit .281 with 21 HR and 62 RBI that earned him an All-Star berth, but has been nothing spectacular before or since. He’s entering his age 27 season, so there’s still time to put it together, but for now he’s looking like one of those prospects that never lived up to that dreaded “potential”. I had him ranked as the #4 left fielder, but he’s pulling up the rear in RF.

Previous Editions

NL East First Basemen

NL East Second Basemen

NL East Shortstops

NL East Third Basemen

NL East Left Fielders

NL East Center Fielders

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Ranking the NL East Center Fielders http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/ranking-the-nl-east-center-fielders.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/ranking-the-nl-east-center-fielders.html/#comments Sun, 08 Feb 2015 22:47:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=174449 denatd span

1. Denard Span (Nationals) – Span put together an outstanding 2014 campaign in which he was tied for the National League lead in base hits (184), tied for 4th in doubles (39), was 5th in stolen bases (31), 5th in batting (.306), 5th in runs scored (94), 18th in OBP (.355), 29th in extra base hits (52), 20th in total bases (254), and finished 19th in MVP balloting. In two years with the Nationals, he’s averaged 150 games played with a slash line of .290/.341/.398 with 34 doubles, 10 triples, 84 runs scored, and 26 stolen bases. He doesn’t have Lagares’ glove, but it’s looking like a really good trade that Washington made in November 2012 for minor league pitcher Alex Meyer.

2. Juan Lagares (Mets) – Mr. Gold Glove is the best defensive outfielder in baseball. Period. I know I’m not alone in this… if a ball is hit anywhere in the outfield and if you see Lagares anywhere in the picture, you’re shocked if he doesn’t catch it. Mere mortals are fools to run on his arm. He is a difference maker in the outfield. His bat hasn’t caught up to his All-Universe Glove yet, but he’s holding his own. He improved his batting average to .281 in 2014 from .242 his rookie season. His OBP improved by 40 points. He showed late in the season he can steal bases. He should be good for 30+ doubles in 2015. For those detractors that say he doesn’t hit enough, he hit .356 at AAA, .303 in AA, and .306 in High-A ball. I expect his future offense to be at least on par and 2015 will bring more improvement over last season. Juan is a keeper.

3. Marcell Ozuna (Marlins) – The 24 year old Ozuna showed us how dangerous he can be with his own cannon when he single handedly beat the Mets last June 20th when he gunned down two Mets at home plate. In his first full MLB season, he hit .269 with 23 HR and 85 RBI and is part of a very young and very dangerous Marlins outfield that may be giving the Mets fits for years. He’s the least heralded of the Marlins outfield starters and he still has to show he can replicate his 2014 season, but he has the potential to be one of the good ones that will command a lot of cash when it comes time for Scott Boras to negotiate his contact.

4. Ben Revere (Phillies) – Revere was a former first round pick of the Minnesota Twins back in 2007 that was acquired prior to the 2013 season for Vance Worley and Trevor May. He doesn’t have any pop, with just two home runs 1,905 MLB at-bats and just five in 1,878 minor league at-bats. He is fast, with 145 stolen bases in 493 MLB games, including 49 swipes in 2014, which was 4th in all of MLB. He hit .306 last season and was tied for the National League lead in base hits with 184. He’s not much more than a singles hitter that can stretch his singles into doubles by stealing bases at an 86% success rate. 162 of his 184 hits were singles and he only walked 13 times, the fewest among the 146 players who qualified for the batting title.

5. B.J. Upton (Braves) – What in the world happened to this guy? He hasn’t batted above .250 in six full seasons, but he was particularly awful the last two. In two seasons since becoming a Brave, he’s averaged 134 games played while batting .198 with 10 HR, 30 RBI, and 162 strikeouts. His .208 batting average in 2014 was 145th out of the 146 players who qualified for the batting title in MLB. He’s still owed $46 million over the next three seasons, with the Braves on the hook for all of it in what may be the worst contract in the game for all players not named A-Rod.

Previous Editions

NL East First Basemen

NL East Second Basemen

NL East Shortstops

NL East Third Basemen

NL East Left Fielders

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Ranking the NL East Left Fielders http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/ranking-the-nl-east-left-fielders.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/ranking-the-nl-east-left-fielders.html/#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2015 01:15:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=173883 MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals

1. Jayson Werth (Nationals) – While the depth chart on the official MLB website is still listing Bryce Harper as the left fielder, the Nationals have announced that Werth and Harper are swapping corner outfield spots. Even though Werth underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery on January 9th and he may not be ready for Opening Day, he’s the top dog in LF upon his return. Over the last 7 seasons, Werth has averaged 22 HR, 72 RBI, 80 runs scored, 28 doubles, and 70 walks while putting up a slash line of .281/.375/.480. The numbers would be even better if not for an injury plagued 2012 season in which he appeared in only 81 games. The Caveman will be turning 36 this season, and while he’s getting long in the tooth, he’s shown no signs of slowing down.

2. Christian Yelich (Marlins) – He’s young, having just turned 23 this offseason. The Marlins’ first round pick in the 2010 draft put together an impressive first full season in the big leagues in 2014. Yelich appeared in 144 games and scored 94 runs while collecting 30 doubles, 70 walks, and 21 stolen bases, while batting .284 with a .362 OBP. And if all that wasn’t enough, he won a Gold Glove too. Yelich has a lot of upside and is part of a young and very talented Marlins outfield.

3. Curtis Granderson (Mets) – The Grandy Man switches corner spots and is slotted as the Mets left fielder for 2015. Granderson had his ups and downs in 2015, but by the time all was said and done, his final stat line was pretty much what we were expecting. He was durable, appearing in 155 games. He batted just .227, walked a bunch, and struck out a lot. His power numbers were down, hitting only 20 home runs, 27 doubles and only 66 RBI, as he was bounced around the order, including a chunk of time in the leadoff spot. He was also streaky, hitting just .136 in April and .147 in August while hitting .300 in June and .299 in Sept/October. He needs to improve those numbers for the Mets to contend in 2015, and Sandy Alderson pulled all the stops by reuniting him with hitting coach Kevin Long, and shortening the fences in his power zone.

4. Domonic Brown (Phillies) – Brown is one of those former top prospects that everyone expected so much from, but never lived up to those expectations. He was the player I was hoping the Mets would be able to flip Carlos Beltran for in 2011. He had a great first half of the 2013 season where he hit .281 with 21 HR and 62 RBI that earned him an All-Star berth, but has been nothing spectacular before or since. He’s entering his age 27 season, so there’s still time to put it together, but for now he’s looking like one of those prospects that never lived up to that dreaded “potential”.

5. Zoilo Almonte (Braves) – Almonte is currently sitting atop the Braves depth chart in left field after the trade of Evan Gattis to the Houston Astros. The Dominican born outfielder signed with the Braves as a free agent this offseason after appearing in parts of the last two seasons for the New York Yankees, compiling a slash line of .211/.242/.282 in 47 MLB games. He’s also played in 745 games over 9 minor league seasons, collecting 755 hits in 745 minor league games while batting .268 with 94 HR including 18 last year at AAA Scranton and a career high 21 in 2011 for AA Trenton. He’ll be 25 on Opening Day and his pop will get him a look for the time being. Whether he remains the regular left fielder remains to be seen. For now, he’s #5 in the NLE and holding up the rear.

Previous Editions

NL East First Basemen

NL East Second Basemen

NL East Shortstops

NL East Third Basemen

NL East Left Fielders

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Ranking the National League East Third Basemen http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/ranking-the-national-league-east-third-basemen.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/ranking-the-national-league-east-third-basemen.html/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 11:00:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=172580 david wright

Unlike other spots around the diamond, I’m not expecting to see any further change in the East between now and Opening Day. So how do the National League East Third Basemen rank? Let’s take a look and let the debate begin…

1. David Wright (Mets) – This one may very well be a homer call given who’s occupying the number two spot, but I’m still calling David Wright the top dog at third base in the East. David is certainly not the same player he was from 2006-2008 and he’s coming off the worst season of his career in which a bum shoulder limited him to a .269 batting average with only 8 HR and no knocks after the All-Star break. I’m chalking up the season to injury and pointing out pre-All-Star numbers of .284 with 8 HR and 48 RBI with 24 RBI and 101 hits in 88 games. These numbers would have been solid over a full unmarred season. While the Captain isn’t a spring chicken anymore and is entering his age 32 season, I’m not counting him out yet. He has 1,702 career hits and I fully expect him to return to his usual high level of production and collect the remaining 1,298 hits to reach the 3,000 mark and place him in Cooperstown. There, I said it.

2. Anthony Rendon (Nationals) – Rendon was the 6th overall pick in the 2011 draft and had a breakout 2014 season for the Nationals during which he hit .287 with 21 HR, 83 RBI, 39 doubles, and led the league with 111 runs scored. Rendon was 5th in MVP balloting and won his first Silver Slugger. I’m tempted to put Rendon at number one, but I won’t just yet… However another season like 2014 and unless Wright returns to prior form, by the All Star break this exciting young player may very well be the clear top third baseman in the division and perhaps the league.

3. Martin Prado (Marlins) – The Marlins acquired the versatile Prado from the Yankees on December 19th. Currently listed as the top third baseman on the Marlins depth chart, Prado has started 878 games in the majors with 347 starts at the hot corner, more than any other position. Over the last six seasons, Prado has averaged 142 games played while batting .290 with 35 doubles, 12 HR, 64 RBI and 74 runs scored. Nothing wrong with that.

4. Chris Johnson (Braves) – Johnson was acquired from the Diamondbacks prior to the 2013 season to replace the retiring Chipper Jones. He rewarded the Braves with a solid season in which he hit .321 with 34 doubles and 12 HR while making 123 starts at third and another 10 starts at first base. The Braves in turn rewarded Johnson with a three-year contract extention worth $23.5 million with a $10 million team option for 2018. However Johnson regressed in 2014, hitting just .263 with 10 HR and 58 RBI with 27 doubles and 159 strikeouts while making 149 starts at third. Over the last four seasons, the 30 year old has averaged 134 games played while posting a slash line of .280/.318/.412 with 28 doubles, 11 HR, and 61 RBI. He’s not spectacular, but he’s solid and as his 2013 season showed, he has the ability to put up some good numbers in an otherwise offensively challenged lineup in Atlanta.

5. Cody Asche (Phillies) – Asche is entering his second full MLB season and has been the starter at the hot corner in Philadelphia since debuting in July 2013, displacing Michael Young who was later traded to the Dodgers. The 24 year old former 4th rounder started 105 games at third base in 2014 with a slash line of .252/.309/.390 with 10 HR and 46 RBI while striking out 102 times in 397 at bats. He only made 18 of his starts against lefties, but didn’t show a significant drop-off against them, slashing at a .240/.296/.373 clip against southpaws. Asche does have  some upside potential after hitting .324 with 12 HR and 72 RBI in the minors in 2012 and hit .295 with 15 HR and 68 RBI at AAA in 2013 before getting the call to the majors. 2015 is a big year for Asche and he’ll  get ever opportunity to show if he’s a long term solution.

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Ranking the National League East Shortstops http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/ranking-the-national-league-east-shortstops.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/ranking-the-national-league-east-shortstops.html/#comments Sun, 04 Jan 2015 15:18:56 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=172164 Andrelton+Simmons+San+Diego+Padres+v+Atlanta+_nTxnuPD1kll

Shortstop is a position where we still might see some additional flux between now and Opening Day – maybe not with the Mets as Flores will likely be starting in April, but almost certainly in Philadelphia. So for now, how do the shortstops stack up in the National League East?

1. Andrelton Simmons (Braves) – The 25 year old Simmons is one of the most exciting and dynamic glove men we’ve seen in a long time. Who cares that he’s a career .252 hitter with a .297 OBP. That Glove. Wow. The way we Mets fans drool over Lagares play in center field is the way they drool over Simmons’ glove in Atlanta. He is a Stud. There’s no one better in the East than him and I’d love to see him in a Mets uniform. Unfortunately, we have to watch him from afar in Atlanta.

2. Ian Desmond (Nationals) – Desmond has three straight Silver Slugger awards for a reason. Over the last three years, the Nationals shortstop has averaged 23 HR, 81 RBI and 32 doubles. He’s a career .270 hitter and does strike out a lot, having been punched out 183 times in 2014 and averaging 138 strikeouts per season since 2010. He’s also made 720 starts at short for the Nationals since becoming their everyday starter in 2010. Not too shabby.

3. Adeiny Hechavarria (Marlins) – Hechavarria has made 291 starts at shortstop for the Marlins over the last two seasons and he has averaged 2 HR, 38 RBI, 42 runs scored, 136 hits and 9 stolen bases with a slash line of .251/.287/.327. He’s not in Simmons class with the glove, but he’s certainly solid defensively in the field and can make some highlight reel plays of his own.

4. Wilmer Flores (Mets) – Should Flores be our Opening Day shortstop? Will or won’t the Mets trade for Troy Tulowitzki? Will the Mets sign Stephen Drew who still remains on the free agent market? It’s looking more and more like Flores will start the season at short for the Mets, and while we all know that he has a world of potential with the stick, the defensive concerns still cast a pall on him. In 105 big league games, he’s a career .240 hitter with 7 HR and 42 RBI. Since becoming a regular in the second half of 2014, his slash line was .257/.295/.408 with 5 HR and 22 RBI in 53 games and 49 starts. A shortstop can get away with those offensive numbers if your last name is Simmons. If your last name is Flores, the production will need to be better. He’s at number four now, but once the Phillies upgrade, Flores couls slide down to number five until he proves otherwise.

5. Freddy Galvis (Phillies) – With the Jimmy Rollins trade to the Dodgers complete, Galvis now stands atop the depth chart for the Phillies. The Phillies didn’t win the rights to Jung-ho Kang and until Ruben Amaro upgrades the spot, the utility infielder with his career slash line of .218/.259/.362 is first in line.  His .176 batting average in 2014 in 43 games played makes the Phillies envious of Ruben Tejada. He’s fifth on the list for the time being, and even with the Phillies looking like a complete disaster heading into 2015, I can’t see them sticking with Galvis as their everyday shortstop for too long.

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Ranking the NL East Second Basemen http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/ranking-the-nl-east-second-basemen.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/ranking-the-nl-east-second-basemen.html/#comments Tue, 23 Dec 2014 03:21:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171090 daniel murphy

We saw some change within the division at the Winter Meetings with the Marlins making a significant upgrade at second and appearing to be serious this offseason about a wild card run in 2015, much to the Mets’ chagrin. It’s also looking more and more like Murphy will continue to be our starter and as far as I’m concerned, the Mets are in pretty good shape at the position  There may still be some additional flux at the position within the division before opening day, but for the time being – here’s how I’m ranking the starters within the National League East.

1. Chase Utley (Phillies) – It kills me to say this, but Utley is still the best second baseman in the National League East. He’ll be 36 on opening day and is no longer the same player he was from 2005-2009, but he’s still a solid producer. He made 147 starts at second base in 2014 after averaging 108 games played the previous four seasons. In 2014, he hit .270 with 11 HR, 36 doubles, 78 RBI and a .339 on-base. That’s solid production from a second baseman. Gotta give credit where credit is due – he’s top dog until Father Time catches up with him for good, or he is traded, or one of guys below leapfrogs him.

Steamer: .258 – 14 HR – 63 RBI – 66 R – 7 SB – 3.1 WAR

2. Daniel Murphy (Mets) – Is he going to win a golden glove? No. Does he occasionally have a brain fart that makes you wonder if Little Baby Murphy kept him up all night? Yes. Is he a good ball player? Yes. Murphy isn’t part of the problem, he’s part of the solution and I’m hoping he remains on the team. You know what you’re going to get with Murph – over the last three years, he’s averaged 153 games played, 175 hits, 78 runs scored, 38 doubles, 9 HR, 67 RBI, 15 SB and a slash line of .288/.327/.407. He is a doubles hitting machine who is one of the better offensive second basemen in the game. He wasn’t our only All Star in 2014 because of his good looks, folks. He’s not a superstar, but he’s a really good player and the second best second baseman in the division.

Steamer: .277 – 9 HR – 56 RBI – 68 R – 11 SB – 1.5 WAR

3. Dee Gordon (Marlins) – The Marlins certainly upgraded their second base situation during the winter meetings and are showing they’re serious about making a run at the playoffs in 2015 (at least at the moment because we’ve heard this story before). Ranking Gordon as the #3 second baseman in the division isn’t a knock against Dee one bit – the division is now the home of all three of the 2014 National League All-Star Second Basemen and if Murphy wasn’t already on our own roster, I would have been miffed it the Mets hadn’t tried to acquire the speedy Gordon to sit atop the lineup. The speedster had a breakout season in 2014 at the age of 26, leading the National League in triples with 12, steals with 64, while scoring 92 runs for the Dodgers. While Gordon struggled with his throwing as a shortstop, he is a much better defender at second. One could make a valid argument for ranking any of these top three in any order and while Utley, Murphy, and Gordon are three very different types of players with different weapons – you’re not getting hurt by having any of them in your starting lineup.

Steamer: .261 – 3 HR – 43 RBI – 74 R – 55 SB – 1.2 WAR

4. Danny Espinosa (Nationals) – There’s a big drop off after the top three. Espinosa hit a combined 38 home runs in 2011-2012 while hitting ,242 and averaging 178 strikeouts and playing in 318 games. However in the last two seasons, he’s averaged 79 games played, has hit .200 and averaged 6 HR and 20 RBI. Will he be the starter come opening day? Maybe. Maybe not. Nothing exciting here, folks.

Steamer: .221 – 13 HR – 55 RBI – 53 R – 9 SB – 0.8 WAR

5. Alberto Callaspo (Braves) – With a gaping hole at second base, the Braves signed the Venezuelan free agent to a one year deal for $3 million on December 15th. Last season with the A’s, Callaspo hit .223 with 4 HR and 39 RBI while making 41 starts at second, 17 at second, and 16 at third base.  While Callaspo is presently listed at the top of the depth chart, the starter may end up being 24 year old former first rounder Jace Peterson, whom the Braves just acquired from San Diego in the Justin Upton trade.  In 2014, Peterson hit .307 with a .402 OBP between AA and AAA.

Steamer: .251 – 9 HR – 51 RBI – 51 R – 3 SB – 0.8 WAR

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Ranking the NL East First Basemen http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/ranking-the-nl-east-first-basemen.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/ranking-the-nl-east-first-basemen.html/#comments Wed, 03 Dec 2014 18:07:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170943 Opening Day is still months away, but it’s never too early to start looking at how the National League East is shaping up. Let’s take a look, position by position, at how each team shapes up around the diamond. Of course a lot can still happen between now and Opening Day – players may be traded, free agents may sign, injuries may change things, etc. But for the time being let’s see where each team stands as we rank the division’s starting first basemen.

freddie freeman

1. Freddie Freeman (Braves) – We can’t stand him, but man… he is good. He’s 25 years old and signed through 2021, so he’ll be haunting us for a long time. Since his rookie season in 2011, he’s averaged 153 games played while hitting .287 with 21 HR, 34 doubles and 89 RBI with a .368 OBP and .466 slugging. He’s been better against righties, hitting .300 in 2014 and for his career – but he’s held his own against lefties, batting .260 in 2014 and .258 overall. He’s the best first baseman in the National League East.

lucas duda

2. Lucas Duda (Mets) – Duda will be entering his age 29 season in 2015 and finally had his breakout season in 2014 after winning the first base battle over Ike Davis. In 2014, Duda slammed 30 HR and 92 RBI while batting .253 with a .349 OBP and slugging .481. He was particularly good against righties, hitting .273 with 28 HR. He really struggled against lefties – 21.5% of his official at bats were against left handed pitching, but he only hit 2 HR and 10 RBI while batting just .180. Duda showed he was a force, but he’s going to need to improve against lefties. His 30 HR was third in the National League and his 92 RBI was fifth. He vaulted himself into the second best first baseman in the NL East after his 2014 season. He’ll need to follow up with another solid campaign to stay there and perhaps even challenge Freeman.

070713-ryan-howard_600

3. Ryan Howard (Phillies) – The 35 year old Howard is on the down slope of his career and has never been the same since tearing his Achilles in the 2011 postseason. He made 141 starts at first base in 2014, but put up only a .223 batting average with 23 HR and 95 RBI. He struck out 190 times, leading the league. The left handed lifting slugger actually hit better against lefties, hitting .230 while slugging .447 (versus .353 against righties). He may be on the back nine of his career and he’s not putting up $25 million per year numbers anymore, but he’s still dangerous, isn’t a guy you can LOOGY, and was third in the National League in RBI. He may slide another spot down if the next guy on our list can regain his form, but don’t count the Big Man out just yet.

Zimmermans ryan

4. Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals) – Zimmerman is listed first on the Nationals depth chart. Injuries, the departure of Adam LaRoche, and the $74 million owed over the next 5 seasons (before the 2020 team option / $2 million buyout) necessitates the move despite Ryan playing only 18 major league innings at first base. The 30 year old appeared in only 61 games in 2014 while hitting ,280 with 5 HR and 38 RBI with a .342 OBP / .449 SLG. Time will tell if he will have healed up enough to return to the form that averaged 140 games played, a .284 batting average, 22 HR, 33 doubles, 83 RBI and a .351 OBP / .476 SLG over the previous 8 seasons. Until he shows otherwise, he is the fourth best first baseman in the NL East. If he has another season like the one he had in 2014, he’ll drop down to number five.

garrett jones

5. Garrett Jones (Marlins) – Jones is the incumbent first baseman for the Marlins and is signed through the 2015 season. The 33 year old is coming off a 2014 season in which he hit .246 with 15 HR and 53 RBI while getting on base at a .309 clip and slugging .411. He’s also struggled against lefties – none of his 15 home runs in 2014 came off of lefties and just 3 of his 53 RBI were off southpaws. Over the last 5 seasons, he’s averaged 148 games while hitting .249 with 19 HR, 30 doubles, 67 RBI, and a .308 OBP and a .438 slugging. He’s not going to overwhelm you, but you know what you’re going to get – the fifth best first baseman in the National League East.

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Which MLB Players Do Current Mets Compare To? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/which-mlb-players-do-current-mets-compare-to.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/which-mlb-players-do-current-mets-compare-to.html/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 12:00:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168488 MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies

If you were to go to Baseball-Reference to look up particular player, you can always see who the top ten players that have a similar statistical profile either overall and also through their current age.

I thought it would be fun to see which MLB players throughout history, some of our current Mets compared to through similar aged seasons. There’s nothing scientific about this whatsoever – so sit back and here we go:

Daniel Murphy

Billy Werber – Werber played in 11 MLB seasons (1930, 1933-1942) with the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Athletics, Cincinnati Reds and New York Giants. He appeared in 1,295 games, batting .271 with 78 HR, 539 RBI and 1,363 hits. Other similar players: Todd Walker, Martin Prado

Lucas Duda

Dan Pasqua – Pasqua played ten MLB seasons (1985-94) with the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox, appearing in 905 games with 117 HR, 390 RBI and 638 career hits. Other similar players: Mike Young, Dick Gernert

Curtis Granderson

Ron Gant – Gant played 16 MLB seasons (1987-93, 1995-2003) with the Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Anaheim Angels, Colorado Rockies, Oakland A’s and San Diego Padres. He appeared in 1,832 games, hitting .256 with 321 HR, 1,008 RBI and 1,651 career hits. Other similar players: Bob Allison, Roger Maris

Juan Lagares

Jeremy Reed – Reed played eight MLB seasons (2004-2011) with the Seattle Mariners, New York Mets, Toronto Blue Jays, and Milwaukee Brewers. He appeared in 483 MLB games, batting .252 with 12 HR, 110 RBI and 315 hits. Other similar players: Endy Chavez, Leon Culberson

wright

David Wright

Scott Rolen – Rolen played 17 MLB seasons (1996-2012) with the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays, and Cincinnati Reds. While we recently featured Wright’s statistical similarities to George Brett through his age 31 season, his closest match was Rolen (Brett was #2). Rolen appeared in 2,038 games, hitting .281 with 316 HR, 1,287 RBI and 2,077 hits. Other similar players: George Brett, Aramis Ramirez

Ruben Tejada

Jose Offerman – Offerman played 15 MLB seasons (1990-2002, 2004-05) with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kansas City Royals, Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies, and New York Mets. He appeared in 1,651 games with a career .273 batting average with 57 HR, 537 RBI and 1,551 hits. Other similar players: Bucky Dent, Jack Barry

Eric Young Jr.

Mike Felder – Felder played ten MLB seasons (1985-1994) with the Miwaukee Brewers, San Fransicso Giants, Seattle Mariners, and Houston Astros. He appeared in 899 MLB games, hitting .249 with 14 HR, 173 RBI, 161 stolen bases, and 564 hits. Other similar players: Gregor Blanco, Milt Cuyler

Bartolo Colon

Jamie Moyer - Moyer pitched for 25 MLB seasons (1986-91, 1993-2010, 2012) with the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, Philadelphia Phillies, and Colorado Rockies. In 696 games (638 starts), he had a record of 269-209 with an ERA of 4.25 in 4,074 innings. Other similar players: Orel Hershiser, David Wells

Jeurys Familia

Roger McDowell – McDowell pitched for 12 MLB seasons (1985-96) with the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, and Baltimore Orioles. In 723 games (mostly as a reliever) he had a record of 70-70 with a 3.30 ERA and 159 saves in 1,050 innings. Other similar players: Randy Moffitt, Jim Park

Dillon Gee

Cal Eldred – Eldred pitched for 14 years (1991-2001, 2003-05) with the Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago White Sox, and St. Louis Cardinals. He appeared in 341 games (192 starts) with a record of 86-74 and an ERA of 4.42 with 9 saves in 1,368 innings. Other similar players: Pascual Perez, Brandon McCarthy

Jenrry Mejia

Joe Kerrigan – Kerrigan pitched in four MLB seasons (1976-78, 1980) with the Montreal Expos and Baltimore Orioles. He appeared in 131 games with a career record of 8-12 and an ERA of 3.89 with 9 saves while pitching 220 innings. Other similar players: Bo McLaughlin, John Wetteland

jon niese

Jon Niese

Odalis Perez – Perez pitched in ten MLB seasons (1998-99, 2001-08) with the Braves, Dodgers, Royals and Nationals. He appeared in 252 games with a record of 73-82 with a 4.46 ERA in 1,335 innings. Other similar players: Matt Garza, Denny Lemaster

Carlos Torres

Matt Wise – Wise pitched eight MLB seasons (2000-02, 2004-08) with the Angels, Brewers, and Mets. He pitched in 209 games (18 starts) with a record of 17-22 and an ERA of 4.23 with 2 saves in 317 innings. Other similar players: Rene Arocha, Chris Sampson

Zack Wheeler

Vance Worley – Worley is still pitching, and has been in the majors for five years (2010-14) with the Phillies, Twins, and Pirates. Worley has appeared in 81 games (73 starts) with a record of 27-22 with a 3.75 ERA in 437 innings. Other similar players: Josh Johnson, Eddie Stack

Bobby Parnell

David Riske – Riske pitched for 11 MLB seasons (1999, 2001-2010) with the Indians, Red Sox, White Sox, Royals, and Brewers. Riske had a record of 20-20 with an ERA of 3.67 and 22 saves in 462 career appearances (all out of the pen) in 497.2 innings.Other similar players: George Frazier, Brandon League

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David Wright vs. George Brett: The Royal Treatment http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/david-wright-vs-george-brett-the-royal-treatment.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/david-wright-vs-george-brett-the-royal-treatment.html/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:08:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168344 david wright

David Wright has taken a lot of knocks over the last several months and undeservedly so… He’s a player on the decline. He’s always getting hurt. He’s washed up.

There was another MLB star Third Baseman who is currently in the Hall of Fame that has a similar statistical profile to Wright through their age 31 seasons. Like our captain, this HOF player missed a lot of time during his age 30 season to the disabled list and played in only 123 games. He also missed 29 games while on the DL during his age 31 season, playing in just 104 games. In his age 30-31 seasons, this HOF Third Baseman played in just 227 games, compared to David’s 246.

This other Hall of Fame Third Baseman is George Brett. David has played 11 seasons, getting called up in 2004. Brett appeared in 12 MLB seasons through his age 31 season (including 13 games in August/September 1973 and the strike shortened 1981 season).

Wright vs. Brett through age 31 seasons:

                                        David Wright                             George Brett

Games Played                      1508                                          1462

Batting Average                     .298                                           .314

Base Hits                               1702                                          1783

Runs Scored                           907                                            894

OBP                                       .377                                           .368

Slugging                                 .494                                           .500

Doubles                                  375                                             362

Triples                                     26                                               103

Home Runs                            230                                              163

RBI                                         939                                              866

Stolen Bases                          191                                              131

All Star Games                        7                                                  9

Is Wright washed up? No. Did he have a very uncharacteristic season? Yes, he was hurt. Brett’s age 31 season also was below his career norms when he was recovering from an injury that kept him from starting the season on time. He only hit .284 with 107 hits.

David will be fine.

george brett

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Morning Grind: James Shields Should Stay in Kansas City http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/morning-grind-james-shields-should-stay-in-kansas-city.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/morning-grind-james-shields-should-stay-in-kansas-city.html/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 11:25:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168192 James shields

Big Game James Shields will likely leave Kansas City this offseason and will command a hefty deal in free agency this offseason. But if the Royals win the World Series, he should consider staying.

While I certainly won’t begrudge Shields the opportunity to enter free agency as a top flight, durable pitcher who may command a nine-figure contract… but by staying in Kansas City, he’ll get something he likely won’t be able to get anywhere else. Godhood.

Okay, maybe that’s a little strong, but think about it for a minute. He’s helped KC get to a once in a generation promised land. Just look at our own history – the Mets have taken home two crowns. The 1969 and 1986 Mets are legends. Keith and Ron have turned that one title into a successful postseason career. Bob Ojeda has been in the studio for years. Tim Teufel is on the staff. Wally Backman (even though he hasn’t been promoted to manager) is in the family. Mookie and HoJo remain legends. Let us not forget Darryl and Doc (even though both later became Yankees, they’re always and forever Mets). Even Rafael Santana is a member of the Alumni Association and makes appearances on the Mets behalf.

But what about Ray Knight? Knight has had a very successful post playing career. He was already a major league manager and is currently a broadcaster for the Washington Nationals. He also left the Mets via free agency and signed with the Baltimore Orioles after he and Frank Cashen were unable to agree upon a contract. Ray was also one of the few members of the 1986 team who did not appear for the 20th anniversary celebration of the 1986 team. Regardless of the reason for his departure following the season, the World Series MVP isn’t as beloved as his teammates. We see the replays, we know his fiery toughness, but he isn’t revered in the same manner that other members of the 1986 team are.

Should the Royals win the World Series, Shields can stay and become another Conquering Hero and a Hometown Legend. Or he can take the money and run and become another version of Ray Knight. Or Mike Hampton.

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Should We Open 2015 with a Six Man Rotation? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/should-we-open-2015-with-a-six-man-rotation.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/should-we-open-2015-with-a-six-man-rotation.html/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 13:30:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168085 wheeler harvey

With all the discussion around which pitcher or pitchers the Mets will deal this offseason, I’ll toss this one out there… what about opening the season with a six-man rotation?

Before dismissing this as folly, it may actually make sense – especially with Matt Harvey coming off Tommy John surgery and likely being on some sort of innings limit. We’re all hoping that the Mets will be contenders in 2015 and we’re not all that far removed from the 2012 controversy surrounding Stephen Strasburg when he was shut down for the postseason the year after his own surgery. This is something we surely don’t want to see if the Mets are playing October baseball.

Another potential reason to look into carrying these six starters is the depth. Inevitably, someone will be sidelined with an injury. The team can always drop back down to five and not miss a beat. Or they can look to slide Noah Syndergaard or Rafael Montero into the sixth spot (provided one or both wasn’t traded). And if the season becomes a total disaster and the Mets are looking to make a trade in season, we’d be looking to jettison someone anyway.

The rotation is a strength. Use it. Someone will inevitably go down. Stay strong with MLB quality depth to help get to the postseason. Make sure Harvey is strong enough to pitch into October and let the rest of the starters battle it out to fill out the remainder of the postseason rotation.

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