Mets Merized Online » Brian Devine http://metsmerizedonline.com Thu, 28 Jul 2016 23:05:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.15 Mets Have Brewers Relievers Jeremy Jeffress and Will Smith On Radar http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/mets-have-brewers-relievers-jeremy-jeffress-and-will-smith-on-radar.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/mets-have-brewers-relievers-jeremy-jeffress-and-will-smith-on-radar.html/#comments Mon, 25 Jul 2016 12:00:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=218542 Jeremy, Jeffress

According to Jon Heyman of FanRagSports, the Mets have interest in Brewers’ relievers RHP Jeremy Jeffress and LHP Will Smith.

While Jeffress and Smith have preformed well this season, Heyman reports they could come at a steep price.

“The Brewers are getting big interest in their pen guys, especially Will Smith and Jeremy Jeffress,” Heyman says. “They don’t feel an urgency to deal them since they are under control for years, but in this market, they should be able to get someone to seriously overpay.”

In his first season as a closer, Jeffress has 23 saves with a 2.23 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in 40.1 innings pitched. During his seven year career, he has a 2.95 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 189 innings.

Meanwhile, Smith has a 1.93 ERA and 0.96 WHIP with 16 strikeouts in 18.2 innings this season. He has a 3.82 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 270 innings during his five year career.

Heyman says two other possibilities for the Mets are Angels relievers Joe Smith and Huston Street.

Smith, a former Met, has a 4.32 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 33.1 innings this season. While Street, a 12 year veteran, has a 5.03 ERA and 1.96 WHIP with eight saves in 19.2 innings.

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Syndergaard Effective In First Start After All-Star Break http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/syndergaard-effective-in-first-start-after-all-star-break.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/syndergaard-effective-in-first-start-after-all-star-break.html/#comments Wed, 20 Jul 2016 10:00:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=218094 noah syndergaard

In his first start after the All-Star break, Noah Syndergaard came through with a gutty performance despite showing a little rust. More importantly, he exhibited no ill effects despite getting 11 days off and leaving his previous outing with an arm fatigue.

He struck out eight batters, allowed seven hits, two walks and one unearned run in 5.2 innings against the Cubs.

“The fatigued arm obviously is gone,” Terry Collins said after the game. “But I’ll tell you what he had to do: He had to work hard. He had to work very, very hard. His command wasn’t like we normally see it. He had to work. And I like it. ”

While Syndergaard didn’t make it past the 6th inning, he threw a total of 105 pitches and told reporters after the game that he got stronger as the night went on. (Adam Rubin, ESPN NY)

This comes as excellent news to Collins and the coaching staff since they were concerned how Syndergaard would pitch deep into the game. Syndergaard left his last start after his velocity dropped when he came out for the 5th inning.

“I think it’s going to be deeper in the game as we saw last time. He was still throwing 98, 97 for four innings last time out and all of a sudden it went away so I think we got a little deeper into the game,” Collins said. and I told Dan today it will be interesting to see after pitch 75 where he’s at and how’s he doing.” (Kristie Ackert, NY Daily News)

In addition to hopefully putting his injury concerns to rest, Syndergaard also reached a career milestone. He struck out his 300th career batter, and he is third fastest among active starters to reach that bark behind only Yu Darvish and Jose Fernandez.

“To be able to compete in games like that when you go out there and you don’t necessarily have your best command, they’re fun to be able to compete in, because it really shows your true colors and your competitiveness,” Syndergaard said. “Overall, it was a great team win.”

It’s truly been a remarkable beginning to Syndergaard’s career. In just two seasons, he’s established himself as a clutch postseason performer, an All-Star and one of the elite starters in the MLB.

In 111 innings pitched this season, he has an excellent 2.43 ERA with 136 strikeouts and nine wins.  Syndergaard will look continue this dominance in the second half as the Mets look to fight for a playoff spot.

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Mets Receive Good Signs Heading Into Chicago http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/mets-receive-good-signs-heading-into-chicago.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/mets-receive-good-signs-heading-into-chicago.html/#comments Mon, 18 Jul 2016 13:00:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=217910 yoenis cespedes 2

After a demoralizing loss on Saturday, the Mets quickly turned things around with a convincing 5-0 victory yesterday over the Phillies. Behind the dominance of Jacob deGrom, who fired a one-hitter, the Mets took the series and head into Chicago with serious momentum.

“We know we’re heading to a place where we’ll be facing a really good team, especially at home,’’ Neil Walker told The Post. “Maybe the last three weeks they haven’t been great, but this is a really good team and we know we have to be tight in all aspects of the game and take advantage of every situation we can.’’ (Kevin Kernan, NY Post)

The Mets lineup will getting a much needed boost as Yoenis Cespedes returned to action yesterday, and Michael Conforto was recalled from Triple-A.

Cespedes’ presence was sorely missed during his week long absence as he’s been the team’s best and most powerful hitter. He’s crushed 21 homeruns this season with a .302 average and 52 RBI in 81 games.

“We need him,’’ Terry Collins said. “[Wrigley] is a great park to hit in. That’s why we’ve been careful with him. Even [Saturday] he said ‘I can pinch hit.’ I said, ‘Listen, I can’t afford to lose you for three weeks.’ ’’

Meanwhile, Conforto seems to have figured out his issues in minors as he’s batting a blistering .344/.420/.623 with three home runs in 70 plate appearances for Las Vegas.

Additionally, Jose Reyes is starting to heat up and looks like a threat once again out of the leadoff spot. He’s hit three homeruns, 6 RBI with two steals in his first nine games back as a Met.

“I’m getting there,’’ said Reyes, who has at least one RBI in each of his last four games.

While the Cubs hold one of the best records in the MLB, the Mets certainly aren’t intimidated. They have beaten them in eight straight games, including their NLCS sweep last October.

The Mets have dealt with a lot of tough breaks with injuries and underperformance this season, but maybe now is the turning point of the season.

They are getting promising news about several key players, and have a great opportunity to gain ground in the playoff race against the Cubs and Marlins this week.

“It’s going to be a dogfight,’’ Collins said of these next two stops. “At least we are going into Chicago with everybody in the bullpen fresh. This road trip has a long way to go yet.’’

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Verrett’s Rotation Spot Appears Safe For Now http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/verertts-rotation-spot-appears-safe-for-now.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/verertts-rotation-spot-appears-safe-for-now.html/#comments Sun, 17 Jul 2016 12:00:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=217828 logan verrett

While Logan Verrett wasn’t dominant last night against the Phillies, but he kept the team in the game and gave them a chance to win.

Verrett pitched six solid innings while allowing two runs and striking out four. But the Mets provided him with only two runs of support, and the bullpen yielded the game’s go-ahead run in the 7th inning.

After the game, Collins said Verrett doesn’t need to worry about losing his rotation spot, but he made it clear that everyone has to step up with the Mets now seven games out of the division. (Kristie Ackert, NY Daily News)

“At this moment, we don’t have a lot of options, but he’s got to give us good innings. That’s the job of any pitcher, to go out and pitch as well as you can for as long as you can and leave the rest of it be up to the bullpen,” Terry Collins said. “This guy has pitched enough good games for us as a starting pitcher that we think he’s got good innings left in him. We’re just hoping now in a more consistent role, he finds the command that makes him so effective.”

“So I don’t think there is any reason for him to look over his shoulder, but you know what? We’re in a pennant race. All five of them should be concerned about going out and doing their job. It’s not just Logan Verrett. This becomes crunch time and we need to pitch well.”

Verrett has done a nice job filling in this season, but the Mets are going to have to decide if he’s a viable long term solution.

His start last night highlighted some of his weakness as he allowed a lot of base runners with eight hits and a walk.

He was also burned badly on a solo homerun by Ryan Howard in the second inning, and he was helped out immensely by his defense in the 6th inning when James Loney threw out Ruiz at home plate.

Overall, Verrett is this season 3-6 and has a 4.21 ERA with 40 strikeouts and 28 walks in 62 innings pitched.

As the Mets 3rd round pick of the 2011 draft, Verrett quickly advanced in the minors and was taken by the Rangers in the rule five draft in 2015. He was returned to the Mets later that season, and pitched well as a rookie with a 3.03 ERA and 0.87 WHIP in 38.2 innings.

Verrett’s next few starts will likely be watched closely, especially since the Mets are in the thick of a heated playoff race.

With Jacob deGrom on the mound tomorrow, the Mets need to rebound with a win. They can’t afford to keep falling further behind Washington, and need someone to come through and stop the bleeding.

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Nimmo Will Likley Be Sent Down When Conforto Returns http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/nimmo-will-likley-be-sent-down-when-conforto-returns.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/nimmo-will-likley-be-sent-down-when-conforto-returns.html/#comments Mon, 11 Jul 2016 13:10:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=217377 michael conforto

Michael Conforto has been on fire ever since he was sent down to Triple-A Las Vegas. In 57 plate appearances, Conforto is batting .340 with three homeruns and 13 RBI to go along with an excellent .411 OBP and .991 OPS.

But it stands to reason that when the Mets decide to bring Conforto back to the big-league team, it likely means that Brandon Nimmo will be optioned back to Las Vegas. While Collins did not give a timetable for Conforto’s return, the Mets’ manager said he would rather have Nimmo play every day in the minors instead of sitting on the bench.

“When you’ve got two young guys, they’ve got to go play someplace,” Collins said.(NY Post)

Conforto was perhaps the Mets’ hottest hitter in the month of April as he maintained a blistering hot .365/.442/.676 triple slash line with four homeruns in 86 plate appearances. But he suddenly cooled off with a .148 batting average over the next two months before he was sent down to the minors to get his focus and confidence back.

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Meanwhile, Nimmo is batting .256/.319/.326 with one homerun in his first 47 plate appearances with the Mets. He provided a spark early on, but he has only three hits in his last 19 plate appearances, including four strike outs in his last five at-bats.

It’s also worth noting that Nimmo was hitting great at Triple-A as well before getting the call. He had a .328 average, a .409 OBP and five homeruns in 287 plate appearance for Las Vegas.

It’s a tough decision for the Mets as both players are very talented with great futures ahead of them. Both are former first round picks and top prospects, but there just isn’t room in the starting lineup for both of them.

Last night during MMO’s Talkin’ Mets Podcast, Rich Couthino of ESPN Radio said that Conforto will likely be the only offensive upgrade the Mets could make in the second half, given the way their team is constructed. He also added that he views Nimmo as more of a 4th outfielder than an everyday player.

I think Conforto eventually reclaims his starting role, especially since he was so good in the second half last season. He posted a .841 OPS with nine homeruns in 174 plate appearances in his rookie season, and played a major role in the Mets’ National League title.

But I’d still like to see Nimmo given more of a shot since he’s started only 11 games. This would allow the Mets to see what they have in Nimmo while also giving Conforto additional time to clear his mind and figure the issues that plagued him in May and June.

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Rosario and Smith Are Tearing Up Double-A http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/rosraio-and-smith-are-tearing-up-double-a.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/rosraio-and-smith-are-tearing-up-double-a.html/#comments Sun, 03 Jul 2016 12:00:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=216648 dominic smith swings

With the Mets on the verge of sweeping the Cubs, they are also getting great news down on the farm.

Top prospects Dominic Smith and Amed Rosario are crushing the ball, and they are starting to turn a lot of heads in the Double-A Eastern League.

Last night, Dominic Smith continued his home run binge with four hits, five RBI and two home runs in the first game of the double header against New Hampshire. It’s the sixth homerun and 15th RBI he’s had in his past ten games.

Smith, 21, is now up to ten homers and 58 RBI for the season, with a .281 average and .786 OPS in 78 games. Look for the the 2013 first rounder on July 10 in San Diego where he’ll represent the Mets at the 2016 All Star Futures Game.

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Meanwhile, Rosario is still batting over .400 in Double-A after going 1-for-2 with two walks in game one of yesterday’s double header.  He has a 1.136 OPS with eight RBI in his first nine games with Binghamton, and has a  .326/.374/.463 triple slash line in 75 overall games this year.

B-Mets manager Pedro Lopez says Rosario has benefited from a much improved approach at the plate. (Kevin Kernan, NY Post).

“His approach has gotten a lot better, and that has allowed him to put up the numbers he did in [Class-A] St. Lucie in the first half and now with us here,’’ said Lopez.

“He’s gotten on board with what we are trying to do as an organization, getting guys better, especially not swinging out of the strike zone as much.’’

His teammates, including Smtih, are staring to take notice too.

“Rosario, man, I’ve gotten to watch him grow and he definitely excelled at every part of his game the last three years,’’ said Smith. “He’s made some plays this year that have shocked me and excited me. He’s really growing into a great shortstop.’’

He also caught the attention of Jose Reyes, who is working his way back into shape with Binghamton.

“Wow! He’s 20 years old and he looks like a veteran,” said Reyes. “No doubt, the Mets have a shortstop for the future.’’

It’s great to see Smith and Rosario making such great progress after hearing about how barren the Mets’ system was all offseason. Even after trading some prospects last year, it looks like there is another strong wave of great young talent about to burst onto the MLB scene.

Most projections, including our experts at Mets Minors.net, believe that both Smith and Rosario will debut in 2017.

“To get there I need to keep working hard here, day by day,’’ Rosario said. “When God gives me the opportunity, I will be there.’’

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Nimmo Says Nerves Weren’t A Factor In Debut http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/nimmo-says-nerves-werent-a-factor-in-debut.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/nimmo-says-nerves-werent-a-factor-in-debut.html/#comments Mon, 27 Jun 2016 14:00:37 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=216047 brandon nimmo 3

Despite going 0-for-4 in his major league debut, Brandon Nimmo says he got over his jitters quickly and enjoyed the experience.

“Actually, after the first pitch in my first at-bat, it was OK,” said Nimmo. “It’s the same game. It’s a big game but same game in just a different environment.” (Fred Kerber, NY Post)

While Nimmo hoped to have performed better, he was just happy to be in the majors after his long journey to the big leagues.

“I wish it would have ended up different. Still for me, first MLB game, to be able to get out there and look around and enjoy being in a triple-deck stadium and just playing against the Braves and for the Mets it was a very surreal feeling.”

Selected out of high school by the Mets in the first round of 2011 draft, Nimmo was known for his athleticism and upside. In his six years in the Mets system, he’s made tremendous strides and given the franchise hope that he finally realized his potential.

In 287 plate appearances for Triple-A Las Vegas this season, Nimmo batted .328 with  five home runs and 37 RBI. He also had 16 doubles, 33 walks and posted a .917 OPS.

Before the game, Collins told Nimmo to stay within himself and keep doing what made him successful in the minors.

“Any young player that’s ever come to the big leagues, the first thing that I always tell them is what got you here will keep you here,” Collins said.

The key for Nimmo’s game will his ability to get on base as he has a career .385  OBP in the minors. If he can transfer some of that  success to the major league level, there’s no doubt that he’ll be an important piece on this team going forward.

“He’s going to be fine. His last at-bat was pretty good,” Collins said.”That guy [Braves closer Arodys Vizcaino] is real, real good, and I thought Brandon had a nice at-bat. I’m sure the first-game jitters were huge for him, but we’ve got to get him calmed down because he’s going to a bigger series in 24 hours.”

Hopefully, Nimmo can breakout and collect his first ever hit during this pivotal series against the Washington Nationals starting tonight.

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Robles And Mets’ Bullpen Dominate In 8.2 Innings Of Relief http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/robles-and-mets-bullpen-dominate-in-8-2-innings-of-relief.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/robles-and-mets-bullpen-dominate-in-8-2-innings-of-relief.html/#comments Wed, 22 Jun 2016 12:30:27 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215562 hansel robles

Hansel Robles and the Mets’ bullpen pitched spectacularly during New York’s 2-1 win over Kansas City. The bullpen pitched 8.2 innings while allowing only one run after Bartolo Colon left the game in the first inning with an injury.

Colon was hit on his pitching hand by a line drive, but Robles fired 3.2 innings of one run ball in relief while striking out six.  It was the longest outing of Robles’ career, and arguably his best of the season.

“You looked at the guy who could give us 50 or 60 pitches, and that was Hansel,” Collins said. (Mike Puma, NY Post)

After a difficult stretch earlier in the season. Robles appears to be back on track. He’s lowered his ERA to 3.21, and picked up his first win of the year.

“I was a little tired, but not too exhausted,” Robles said.

The Mets also received great outings from Erik Goeddel and Jerry Blevins. Goeddel tossed two scoreless while Blevins shutdown the Royals in the 7th.

“A lot of people did a lot of good things today,” reliever Erik Goeddel said. “Hopefully we can keep that momentum going and get a win-streak going.”

Goeddel has yet to allow a run in 4.2 innings this season, and Blevins has not yielded a run in his last 20 outings.

Blevins’ streak is the 9th longest in the majors. He has a 1.45 ERA in 30 appearances this season.

Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia sealed it in the 8th and 9th innings with scoreless appearance’s of their own.

Familia’s save was his 23rd of the season, which is the most in the majors.

Hopefully, this type of performance is exactly what the Mets need to get back on track. After getting swept by one of the worst teams in baseball, it’s a great sign that they were able to rebound with an excellent team effort against the defending champs.

“These are the kind of games I really believe you should grow from,” Collins said. “Everybody that came in the game pitched great.”

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Collins Not Losing Hope Despite Falling 6 Games Out http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/collins-not-losing-hope-despite-falling-6-games-out.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/collins-not-losing-hope-despite-falling-6-games-out.html/#comments Sun, 19 Jun 2016 12:00:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215313 terry collins

With the Mets six games behind the Nationals, Terry Collins says isn’t time to panic yet. The Mets have dropped two games in a row to the last place Braves, but Collins believes his team will turn things around very soon.

“We’ve got [the first-place Washington Nationals] seven times over the next [three] weeks,” the Mets manager said Saturday. “So we’ll be ready for it.” (Danny Knobler, ESPN.com)

Collins says he has confidence because the Mets always seem to step up their performance against top tier teams. Last season for example. the Mets swept the Nationals twice in the second half to overtake them for the National League East title.

“I’ve always felt this about our team,” Collins said. “When we need to pick it up, we do. It seems like when we play the Nationals, or play these good teams, for some reason there’s just more energy.”

Maria Guardado of NJ.com points out the Mets will face one of their most challenging stretches of the season in the coming weeks. They will play 20 straight games against the Royals, Braves, Cubs, Marlins and two sets against Washington.

The Mets are preparing to face some of the best pitching staffs in the league, but Collins doesn’t believe they are under any added pressure to preform.

“This is the major leagues,” Collins said. “This is where the best are, and the good teams are going to have good pitching. If you’re pitching is subpar, I don’t care how good offensively you are, you’re not going to win a lot of games. We know their pitching is good. Our whole thing was we felt that going into spring training, our depth in our rotation is what made us special. But we knew other teams had good pitching.”

While Collins’ is keeping an optimistic outlook, he fully understands the team needs to play with urgency.

“Of course there is,” manager Terry Collins said before the Mets’ game against the Atlanta Braves Saturday. “But do you talk about it? No. You gotta go play. We’ve got them seven times here in the next two weeks, so we’ll be ready for it.”

There’s still plenty of games left in the season, but the Mets can’t afford to fall too far behind. The Nationals appear much stronger this season as they have the third best record in the majors at 43-26.

Their lineup led by Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy is formidable, and they feature a devastating 1-2 punch at the top of their rotation Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer.

These upcoming matches against them are going to be huge, and it could be the turning point of the season.

But one thing is for certain, if the Mets plan on catching their heated rivals, their offense desperately needs to step up. The Mets rank 28th in the majors in runs scored, ahead of only the lowly Phillies and Braves.

Injuries have played a huge role in these struggles, and they received even more bad news this week as their captain, David Wright, underwent neck surgery.

“We’re going to miss David’s presence,” Collins said. “We’ve got to pick up the slack, not just on the field but in the clubhouse.”

But with Travis d’Anaud scheduled to return on Tuesday, the lineup will be getting a much needed boost.

In 268 plate appearances last year, d’Aranud slashed .268/.340/.485 with 12 homeruns and 41 RBI. While he was off to a slow start this year, he’s clearly a big upgrade offensively over the light hitting Rene Rivera and struggling Kevin Plawecki.

“This guy, when he’s in the lineup, is a threat,” Collins said.

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Featured Post: Is Now The Time To Call Up Nimmo? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/featured-post-is-now-the-time-to-call-up-nimmo.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/featured-post-is-now-the-time-to-call-up-nimmo.html/#comments Wed, 15 Jun 2016 16:40:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=214783 Brandon-Nimmo

Editor’s Note: A day after we posted the following article, reporters asked Sandy Alderson about Nimmo and GKR spent an inning discussing it during last night’s broadcast. Here is the original article.

One of the main issues the Mets have this season is their inability to get on base. While they are 6th in the majors in homeruns, they rank 23rd in OBP.

While I’ve seen fans discussing dozens of ideas to fix this problem, there’s one option that consistently gets overlooked. And that’s calling up 2011 first round pick, Brandon Nimmo.

Contrary to popular opinion, Nimmo is certainly not a bust and his ability to get on base is exactly what the team needs right now.

In 222 plate appearances with Triple-A this season, Nimmo is batting .330 with five home runs and an outstanding .405 OBP. The Wyoming native is also incredibly hot at the moment as he’s batting .462 with four homeruns and a .500 OBP in his last nine games including a two-homer game.

Even though Las Vegas is notoriously a hitting friendly environment, there’s nothing to suggest his on-base percentage is a fluke. During his five years in the minors, Nimmo’s career OBP is .384.

His power may not have developed like many had hoped back in 2011, but he knows how to get on base and does it extremely well – better than anyone else in the system over the last three seasons.

Adding a player with this unique skill set at the top of the batting order would not only give Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker more RBI opportunities, but it will also add another dimension to the lineup. The Mets rely heavily on power, but Nimmo would provide them with some speed and as well as a premium table setter.

The biggest challenge would be finding Nimmo a spot to play as Cespedes, Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto currently occupy starting roles.

But since the start of May, Conforto is batting .153 with a .529 OPS. If he continues to struggle, the Mets should at least start to think about having Nimmo take over.

This would allow Conforto some time off to fix his issues, and give Nimmo a chance to prove himself in the MLB. After toiling five years in the minors, perhaps it’s time to see what this former first rounder can do.

Given the team’s crowded outfield, maybe now is not the best time to make the move. But it’s one possibility the Mets have to consider and he’s already on the 40-man roster.

Nimmo is still only 23 years old, and he is quietly in the midst of an excellent season in Triple-A. With all this talk of trading for a bat, perhaps the Mets already have an ideal option to turn to – a potential solution in search of an opportunity.

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Pitching Isn’t To Blame Despite 3rd Straight Loss http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/pitching-isnt-to-blame-despite-3rd-straight-loss.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/pitching-isnt-to-blame-despite-3rd-straight-loss.html/#comments Wed, 08 Jun 2016 13:00:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=214317 jacob degrom 2

While the Mets have lost three straight games, their starting pitchers shouldn’t receive any blame. Matt Harvey, Steven Matz and Jacob deGrom all pitched well enough to win, but their offense failed to provide them any run support.

Over the past three games, the Mets have only scored two runs. They have recorded just 13 hits and have struck out 32 times during this stretch.

On Sunday, Harvey lost 1-0 to the Marlins despite tossing seven strong innings and allowing only four hits.

In game one of yesterday’s double header, Matz struck out eight and gave up two runs in five innings, but still suffered the loss.

And while deGrom punched out nine and walked none in six innings last night, the three runs he surrendered proved costly as the Mets managed to score only once.

It’s disappointing the Mets wasted these solid efforts, especially since Harvey and deGrom are pitching the best they have all year. Harvey has allowed only one run and six hits during his last two starts, and deGrom has struck out 33 in his last 25 innings.

While it’s hard to fault the Mets’ offense for getting shutdown by Marlins’ ace Jose Fernandez, scoring just one run against Jon Niese and Juan Nicasio is cause for growing concern.

Heading into yesterday’s games, the Mets ranked 13th in the National League in runs scored ahead of only the Braves and Phillies They also ranked 10th in OPS and 14th in average despite having the most homeruns.

The offense is no doubt hampered by injuries to David Wright, Travis d’Arnaud and Lucas Duda, but many of the team’s key players are mired in slumps. Hitters such as Michael Conforto, Asdrubal Cabrera and Curtis Granderson are all batting under .200 for the past week.

While the team’s pitching is outstanding, they can’t be perfect every night. They have the 2nd best ERA in the league, as well as the best strikeout to walk ratio.

But if the Mets want to make another postseason surge, they will once again need their offense to step up.

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Addison Reed Has Been Lights Out http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/addison-reed-has-been-lights-out.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/addison-reed-has-been-lights-out.html/#comments Sun, 05 Jun 2016 13:00:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=213998 addison reed

When the Mets acquired Addison Reed last season, not many people were expecting him to be a dominant relief pitcher. He had an ERA over 4.00 during his career for the Diamondbacks and White Sox, but something clicked for Reed ever since coming to New York.

In 15 innings in September last year, Reed posted a 1.17 ERA and 1.04 WHIP with 17 strikeouts. And he’s carried over this excellence into 2016.

Reed leads all the Mets’ relievers with an outstanding 1.82 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 12.4 K/9 in 25.2 innings pitched. He also holds a 1.62 FIP and 2.34 xFIP, which suggests these spectacular numbers can be sustained going forward.

The last time Reed allowed a run was April 30th against the Giants. He’s pitched 13.2 scoreless innings since then, including another scoreless appearance against Miami in yesterday’s .

He’s truly become the lockdown setup man the Mets have been looking for, and paired with closer Jeurys Familia, the bullpen’s backend is one of the strongest in the National League.

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Hansel Robles Suffered A Sprained Ankle http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/hansel-robles-suffered-a-sprained-ankle.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/hansel-robles-suffered-a-sprained-ankle.html/#comments Wed, 01 Jun 2016 23:00:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=213640 hansel robles

Mets reliever Hansel Robles has a sprained right ankle, manager Terry Collins told reporters after Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

Collins said he didn’t believe the injury was serious and that he would be fine by Friday.

Robles, who was coming off two brutal outings, came in to pitch the 12th inning. After getting the first out, he hurt his ankle while in a 3-2 count to the next batter.

Following a visit from the trainer and Terry Collins, Robles was removed from the game and replaced by Logan Verrett who got the out and completed the inning.

Original Report

During the 8th inning of last night’s game, Hansel Robles blew the Mets 5-4 lead after allowing a two-run homer to White Sox shortstop Tyler Saladino.

The loss was Robles’ third of the season, and it’s the second straight outing where he struggled mightily. He has a 23.18 ERA in his last two appearances as he’s yielded four home runs and four walks in his last 2.1 innings pitched.

“I haven’t been able to locate my pitches,” Robles said through a translator. “And I’ve paid the consequences for not locating.” (Newsday)

During this stretch, Robles’ ERA has increased to 3.52. His ERA was 1.31 after his scoreless appearance last week against the Nationals.

After the game, Terry Collins told reporters Addison Reed  wasn’t used in the 8th inning because Jeurys Familia was getting the day off.

But the Mets’ entire bullpen has not pitched well of late either. They have combined to allow 20 earned runs in their last 21.0 innings, which amounts to a  8.57 ERA.

While Robles has been a major part of this problem, it’s clear that the rest of the bullpen needs to start preforming better as well.

In 54 innings last year, Robles posted a 3.67 ERA with a 1.01 WHIP and 10 K/9.

 

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Collins Still Believes In Matt Harvey http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/collins-still-believes-in-matt-harvey.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/collins-still-believes-in-matt-harvey.html/#comments Mon, 30 May 2016 12:00:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=213439 matt harvey terry collins

Despite Matt Harvey’s brutal start to the season, Terry Collins believes he will rebound.

“I do believe as we continue that Matt’s going to get better,” Collins said. “If this was something that we thought was physical, I’d say, ‘Hey, he’s going to have a tough time.’ But I think he’s going to bounce back.” (MLB.com)

Harvey enters today’s game with a 3-7 record, a 6.08 ERA and 1.68 WHIP during 51.1 innings pitched. He is coming off another disappointing start as he allowed five runs and eight hits against the Nationals while striking out only one.

Harvey also had his worst outing of his career against Washington on May 19th where he was hammered for nine runs and eight hits in 2.2 innings.

Perhaps even more concerning is how his problems go far deeper than ERA and WHIP. His numbers are down in every major category as his FIP (4.43), K./9 (7.4) and strikeout to walk ratio (2.59) are all career lows.

But prior to this season, he was one of the most dominant pitchers in the game.

He posted a strong 2.71 ERA and 1.01 WHIP during 189 innings pitched last year, and had a career 2.53 ERA, 2.65 FIP and 9.5 K/9 through his first 65 starts.

“This is not just a Triple-A guy who’s here for a tryout,” Collins said. “This is a guy who started an All-Star Game a couple of years ago, so I think we’ve got to push a little farther.”

Despite his current struggles, Collins says Harvey is physically fine and thinks they are a result of an increased workload during the playoffs.

“He pitched later in the year than he ever has before and with great effort,” Collins said. “Those are big innings that he pitched last year in October and November. From my experience, your body doesn’t bounce back as quickly as you wish it did. Even though you’re 27-years old, sometimes it takes a little time. I think that’s exactly where Matt’s at. I’ve told him that.”

Harvey pitched 26.2 innings in the postseason, and had a 3.07 ERA with wins against both the Dodgers and Cubs. He also pitched spectacularly against the Royals in Game 5 of the World Series, even though Kansas City battled back against him in the 9th inning and later won in extra innings.

Collins also says Harvey should get stronger as the season goes on like he was able to do last year.

“I told Matt that a year ago we were all concerned that his velocity wasn’t there, that his slider wasn’t there. By mid-summer it was there. I still think the same thing’s going to happen this year.”

After the All-Star break last season, Harvey posted a stellar 2.19 ERA and 0.93 WHIP.

As Harvey’s track record shows, he has the ability to be a tremendous starter. Even though his performance this year is extremely concerning, it’s easy to why Collins is still sticking by him and willing to give him every last chance to succeeded.

“We’ve discussed every possible scenario and way to deal with it,” Collins said. “We’ve talked about disabling him. But you have to have a reason. If he’s physically OK, you just can’t make up something. We’ve talked about giving him some time, sending him down, but we’ve got to get this guy to perform here. All that stuff has been discussed. We’ve just got to ring the rag dry here.”

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Juan Lagares Homers In Back to Back Games http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/juan-lagares-homers-in-back-to-back-games.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/juan-lagares-homers-in-back-to-back-games.html/#comments Sun, 29 May 2016 13:26:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=213331 juan lagares

While the Mets’ offense was stymied by Kenta Maeda and the Dodgers’ bullpen, Juan Lagares provided the only spark with a pinch hit solo home run against reliever J.P. Howell during the 8th inning.

It was Lagares’ second homerun of the season, and he’s now hit one in consecutive games.

Overall, he’s batting .310 with an OPS of .803 during 74 plate appearances this season.

It’s encouraging progress for Lagares, who disappointed last season after signing a 4 year, $23 million dollar extension. He batted .259/.289/.358 with six homeruns in 465 plate appearances in 2015, and his defense in the outfield noticeably declined.

His Ultimate Zone Rating dropped from 18.5 in 2014 to 3.5 last year according to Fangraphs.

But he seems to be adjusting well to his role as the team’s fourth outfielder. His excellence on defense appears to have returned, and the power he’s flashed the last two days shows he can be a valuable bat off the bench. He’s become a formidable weapon for the Mets against left-handed pitching.

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Mets’ Relationship With Cespedes Getting Stronger After Hot Start http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/mets-relationship-with-cespedes-getting-stronger-after-hot-start.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/mets-relationship-with-cespedes-getting-stronger-after-hot-start.html/#comments Wed, 25 May 2016 13:00:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=212888 yoenis cespedes

With Yoenis Cespedes off to an excellent start, Kevin Davidoff of the NY Post says the Mets’ relationship with Cespedes appears to be warming up.

But Davidoff wonders if this means the two sides will be able to commit to a long term deal.

“It’s a little early,” John Ricco, the Mets’ assistant general manager, said. “We really haven’t had discussions about that. It’s probably in the back of everyone’s mind, maybe, but nothing that we’ve even discussed internally.”

Cespedes can opt out of his three year $75 million dollar contract after this season, but Terry Collins says Cespedes wants to stay beyond this year.

“We’re paying him a lot of money. Don’t mistake that,” Collins said Tuesday. “But he wants to play in New York City. And that says a lot. Because a lot of guys would shy away from that challenge. He wants to be here. What he provides in the middle of that lineup, we need. And we’re going to need it as we continue to move forward.”

While it once looked like Cespedes wouldn’t return to the Mets this season, he has become the team’s most dangerous hitter.

His 15 homeruns and 36 RBI lead the National League, and he’s raised his batting average to .309 after a 2-for-4 performance last night against Washington.

He also has the highest OPS in the league at 1.060, which is even better than his total last season.

He posted a .942 OPS with 17 homeruns and 44 RBI in 249 plate appearances during the second half for the Mets in 2015.

“Every time he takes the field, it puts a smile on my face,” Ricco said Tuesday. “And I give credit to Sandy, who kind of put us in position to where we didn’t think it was likely, but he never gave up on it.”

Cespedes’ presence in the lineup has been tremendous ever since he was acquired during last season’s trading deadline, and hopefully he will continue to be a key part of the team for many years to come.

 

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MMO Exclusive: Interview With 1B Prospect Dash Winningham http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/02/mmo-exclusive-interview-with-1b-prospect-dash-winningham.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/02/mmo-exclusive-interview-with-1b-prospect-dash-winningham.html/#comments Sat, 13 Feb 2016 03:00:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=206136 dash winningham

Dash Winningham, who the Mets drafted out of high school during the 8th round of the 2014 draft, enters the season as one of the most promising power hitters in the Mets’ minor league system.

The 20-year old first baseman blasted 12 home runs in 290 plate appearances for the Kingsport Mets, tying for league lead in the Appalachian League. He also posted an impressive .266/.310/.479 triple slash line to go along with 51 RBI and 19 doubles.

Winningham says that he’s in great shape after training really hard during the offseason with Barwis Methods at the Mets Training Complex in Port St. Lucie, and he believes he’s poised for an even better year.

On Thursday, I talked with Winningham about his successes and what he needs to do to keep making progress in the minor leagues.

Q: When the Mets drafted you in the 8th round of the 2014 draft, how did you find out about the news?

AArea scout John Updike called to tell me that I was just drafted.  I was also following the draft on the computer at my draft party. I saw my name come up on the screen when the Mets made their pick.

I made my decision to sign with the Mets quickly. We had a pretty good relationship throughout my senior year, and they invited me to a private workout.  Daniel Murphy was also there.

Q: Did you talk to Murphy?

A: Yeah, it was pretty unique working with him. He definitely has an idea of the business, and he’s a very good contact hitter. It was great watching him hit like he did in the postseason.

Q: What was it like playing for the Kingsport Mets, who won the western division in the Appalachian league?

It was awesome. We had a great group of hard working players. It felt like home, and the fans treated me really well. It was a fun experience.

Q: Who were the players/coaches that stood out to you the most on the team?

A: Everyone all around did well. Pat Mazeika, an 8th round pick, Kevin Kaczmarski, Milton Ramos and Luis Carpio all stood out. It was a great group of players overall, but we just came up a little short in the playoffs.

Q: Your numbers were much improved in 2015. Can you talk about some of the adjustments you made from your first year?

I had a much better idea at the plate. I was more patient. It felt like a good year power wise. I was getting a little too aggressive at times, falling behind counts, but overall it was a good year.

Q:  Besides hitting for power, what are some of your other strengths?

My defense has gotten a lot better. I’m a lot more mobile now than I was last year. The Barwis Methods I did back in October improved my speed and agility.  I feel like this is really going to help me mid-to late in the season. Last year my hips were super tight during the end of the year, but I now feel like I’m 100 percent.

Q: What areas of the game do you need to keep improving on?

Making better adjustments at the plate and having a better approach. I feel like I’m going to improve a lot, and have a breakout year because I’m developing a better routine. I lost 16 pounds this offseason. I went from 235 down to 218, which I feel is a great playing weight for me.

Q: How closely did you follow the major league team last year?

A: I followed them throughout the playoffs and watched every game for sure. I followed them during the regular season too.

Q: Who was your favorite player/team growing up?

The St. Louis Cardinals were the team I grew up watching. They were always consistent and won a lot of games.

My favorite player was David Ortiz. I liked the way he was a big clutch hitter, who always came up big to help the Red Sox win. He’s a power guy like me, and drives in a lot of runs. He’s also a good leader, one of the captains, and a good teammate.

Q: Tell us something about yourself that most Met fans wouldn’t know.

There’s not any real meaning to my name. My parents just thought “Dash Winningham” sounded cool.

Q: If you could have dinner with any three historical figures, who would you choose?

I’d probably have to go with Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, and Mickey Mantle.

Q: What was the last movie you streamed?

Honestly, I don’t watch a lot of movies, but I think the last one I saw was “Straight Outta Compton”.

Q: Favorite ballpark food?

A: Philly Cheese Steak

Q: Every Met has an At-Bat song. What will yours be?

A: Sunset by Kid Ink.

Q: Thank you again for your time. Is there anything else that you want to add?

A: I’m excited for the season, and I’m looking forward to having a great year.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to help the Mets win a World Series in the future, and I hope they win one as soon as this season.

(Photo: Jessica Rudman)

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Featured Post: Can Mets Trust Addison Reed In Setup Role? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/featured-post-can-mets-trust-addison-reed-in-setup-role.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/featured-post-can-mets-trust-addison-reed-in-setup-role.html/#comments Sun, 17 Jan 2016 15:59:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=204203 addison reed

In a recent article by Mike Puma of the NY Post, he outlines the case against Addison Reed in the set up role. While Reed has saved over 100 games in his career, Puma points out that his reliability and consistency are legitimate concerns.

Reed posted a 4.20 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 40.2 innings before being traded to the Mets last summer. He also struggled in the postseason where he allowed five runs in seven innings, despite having a strong finish in the regular season in New York.

Puma asked a talent evaluator about what he thought about Reed in the setup role, and said the Mets should not be content with him.

“Definitely no,” the evaluator said.

“He throws too flat a breaking ball, throws hard but straight. He needs a splitter — not a changeup. You can tell he’s not confident against lefties. Plus, he’s tight in late-and-close situations.”

However, another evaluator had a much more promising outlook:

“With a little tweaking, I think he can be highly effective again,” the evaluator said.

Reed, 27, has a career 4.01 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 3.41 FIP in five major league seasons. I have to agree more with the second analyst, who said he can get back to performing at a high level like he did a few years ago as closer for Chicago and Arizona.

Reed showed flashes of this potential down the stretch in the second half  as he allowed only two runs in fifteen innings with the Mets. His 2.74 FIP and 10 K/9 in this span are also good signs, and suggest he’s headed in the right direction.

But even with these improved numbers, the Mets could still benefit from adding a reliever like Antonio Bastardo to the mix.  Bastardo had a 2.98 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 66 appearances last season, and Puma says that he’s unlikely to sign with Mets unless he’s willing to accept a one year deal. However, getting Bastardo would  surely deepen the entire bullpen, and provide insurance just in case Reed doesn’t live up to the team’s expectations.

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Wright Weighs In On Sandy, Cespedes and Health http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/wright-weighs-in-on-sandy-cespedes-and-health.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/wright-weighs-in-on-sandy-cespedes-and-health.html/#comments Fri, 15 Jan 2016 12:00:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=204290 David, Wright

Despite the Mets’ slow offseason, David Wright is optimistic about what the team has done over the winter. While they haven’t acquired any big names, he believes the additions of Neil Walker, Asdrubal Cabrera and Alejandro De Aza were solid moves that have flown under the radar. (Mike Puma, NY Post)

“There hasn’t been that kind of blockbuster, sexy deal, but I think all of the moves have been excellent baseball moves,” Wright said. “At the end of last year we had Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe and we were interchangeable as far as being versatile and being able to give guys a blow here and there.”

Wright says that he fully supports Sandy Alderson and the Front Office, and believes they will do what’s right even though it might be unpopular.

“I’ve learned, don’t ever doubt Sandy,” David Wright told The Post on Thursday, referring to general manager Sandy Alderson. “Sandy comes in with a plan and sticks to his guns, and although sometimes it might be unpopular, he is going to stick with what he believes in.”

Wright was also asked about what he thought about the Yoenis Cespedes situation. He says that Alderson’s track record gives him confidence that the Mets will end up making the right decision about the 30-year old slugger.

“I don’t know what the situation is with Cespedes and the Mets, but I do know that Sandy has earned the right to make these type of decisions,” Wright said. “You can’t argue with the success he’s had in turning this organization from the bottom of the NL East to National League champs last year, so I have all the confidence in the world that he will make the correct decisions.”

A lot of people seem to be downplaying what Wright can do this year, but the Mets’ captain can still make a major impact. While he was limited to just 38 games last season, he still posted a solid .289/.374/.434 triple slash line with five home runs and a 128 OPS+ in 174 plate appearances. This type of production shows that he’s still capable of producing at a high level, and could be a valuable piece even if his playing time is somewhat limited.

Terry Collins has suggested that Wright could be kept on a 135 game schedule, but the Mets third-sacker says that he’s going to wait to see how he feels before making any decisions.

“I can try to guess,” Wright said. “But until I get into the grind of things and see how my body responds, my goal is to go out there and play as much as I possibly can, assuming my back feels OK.”

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Mets Are Interested In Tommy Hunter http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/mets-are-interested-in-tommy-hunter.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/mets-are-interested-in-tommy-hunter.html/#comments Thu, 14 Jan 2016 13:30:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=204212 Tommy+Hunter+Baltimore+Orioles+v+Tampa+Bay+xa9GcsJgkLFl

Mike Puma of the NY Post says that the Mets are keeping tabs on reliever Tommy Hunter. Puma says Hunter is seeking a multi year contract, but the Mets only want to sign relievers to one year deals.

Hunter, 29, posted a 4.18 ERA and 1.24 WHIP over 60.1 innings pitched last season for the Cubs and Orioles. However, he was previously coming off two solid seasons in 2013 and 2014 where he thrived in the late innings of Baltimore’s bullpen. He had a solid 2.88 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 3.46 FIP and a 4.35 K/BB ratio in this span.

Hunter seems like a good bet for a bounce back season, and could also be a nice value if the Mets can lower his demands to a one year contract. . He can still throw over 95 MPH and has excellent command as his career  2.0 BB/9 shows.

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Collins Has Moved On From Decision To Leave Harvey In http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/collins-has-moved-on-from-decision-to-leave-harvey-im.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/collins-has-moved-on-from-decision-to-leave-harvey-im.html/#comments Tue, 12 Jan 2016 12:00:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=204073 matt harvey terry collins

Following the Mets’ agonizing World Series defeat, Terry Collins‘ decision to leave Matt Harvey in the game haunted him for days. However, in an interview that airs tonight on MLB Network, Collins now says that he feels better about it and has moved on.

” I had my bad three days. You’ve got to move on,” Collins says in the show. (Anthony McCarron, NY Daily News.)

Collins explains his decision in depth during the interview, and said that Harvey’s passion was the main reasons behind it.

“I saw the passion in his eyes — ‘I want this game,’ ” Collins says. “That’s why I think he’s great and that’s what’s going to make him great is that he wants to compete and he wants to compete on the biggest stage in the biggest moment, so I gave him that chance.”

Even after Harvey allowed the first runner to reach base via a walk, Collins left him in and stood by his call.

“No. I’m not a big believer in, if you send the guy out there and the first guy gets on, you go get him. If that’s the case, you shouldn’t have sent him out there to begin with. I just said, ‘OK, we’ll get the next guy, because he had pitched (Eric) Hosmer great the entire game.

“I still felt pretty good until he hit the ball over the left fielder’s head.”

I still can’t blame Collins for what happened that night. Harvey was the team’s ace, and he was absolutely dominant all game. Collins never would have heard the end of it from the fans and the media if he would have taken him out. Plus, a lot of credit has to be given to the Royals, who were an excellent team in the clutch and never gave up.

That being said, Collins definitely has the right mindset about it now. He can’t do anything to change what happened, so he just needs to focus on 2016 and hope for another chance to get back to the World Series.

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