Mets Merized Online » Brian Devine Sat, 22 Oct 2016 01:24:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Cespedes Returns With A Bang, Revives Mets’ Playoff Hopes Mon, 22 Aug 2016 18:40:44 +0000 yoenis cespedes hr

Yoenis Cespedes really knows how to make an entrance. Fresh off a 15 day stint on the disabled list, Cespedes returned with a bang this weekend, blasting three mammoth home runs while driving in five and helping the Mets end their west coast swing on a high note with two straight wins.

I think it’s safe to say that Cespedes’ quad is fully healed and one can’t help but wonder where the Mets would be if they had simply DL’ed him back in early July instead of letting him limp through some woefully inadequate production while playing at less than 100 percent strength for a month.

But the good news is that there’s still plenty of time for the Mets to grab that second wild card, and with Cespedes now firing on all cylinders and giving the lineup that potent punch that it had been lacking, I really love our chances.

Cespedes is a true difference maker in every sense and his numbers as a Met are kind of jaw-dropping. In 154 games with the Amazins, he’s batted .290 with 33 doubles, nine triples, 42 home runs and a .937 OPS in 575 at-bats.

If he continues to produce these kinds of numbers over the next 38 games, and the Mets continue to get solid performances from Syndergaard, deGrom and Matz, a second consecutive trip to the postseason is well within the team’s grasp.

- – - Joe D.

Original Report – Aug 21

In just his second game back from the disabled list, Yoenis Cespedes ignited the Mets’ offense with an incredible afternoon at the plate. He belted a RBI double to left field in the first inning, and then later smashed two solo homeruns off Matt Moore and Jake Peavy.

Cespedes’ triumphant return to the lineup has given Terry Collins renewed hope that the Mets will make it back to the playoffs.

“Let me tell you something, if this guy gets going, we’ll make it [to the postseason],” Collins said. (Kevin Kernan, NY Post)

The best news about Cespedes’ performance is that it shows his injury, which he suffered just before the All-Star break, is finally behind him.

“Today was a good day for any ballplayer,” Cespedes said. “You could say today is an excellent day. I felt very good at the plate. But you can’t say the timing is 100% back, though we’ll see what goes on next.”

“When I am up at the plate, I am able to swing better now that I have that strength back in my leg,” Cespedes added. (Mike Puma, NY Post)

With the Mets 4.5 games out of the wild card and their record standing at 61-62, they desperately need Cespedes back at full strength.  They have to to go 27-14 the rest of the way just to win 88 games, but Cespedes has helped the Mets overcome seemingly insurmountable odds before.

Last season, with the Mets’ also in dire need of offense, it was Cespedes who rejuvenated the team. He batted .287/.337/,604 during the second half with 17 homeruns and 44 RBI in 57 games.

While some regarded it as a fluke, Cespedes has shown that his heroics last season wasn’t the product of a small sample size. His performance this year has been just as good with a .293 average, .930 OPS and 24 homeruns in 96 games.

He’s without a doubt the best hitter on the team as he leads the Mets in almost every major category, including average, OBP, slugging percentage,  homeruns and RBI. .

“Cespedes, that presence is just sort of fear and concern in the other team,” Bartolo Colon said.

Obviously, it’s asking a lot for one player to turn an entire season around, so the Mets need the rest of the team to step up as well.

But the Mets won’t be able to do it without the star power of Cespedes. If he can go on a tear during the final weeks of the season, he could help lead the Mets back to the playoffs.

“Cespedes is so dangerous in the middle of our lineup and he makes such a big difference,” Collins said. “It’s nothing against anybody else, but he’s tough to replace.”

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Rookie T.J. Rivera Collects 4 Hits As Late Addition To Lineup Wed, 17 Aug 2016 14:30:51 +0000 t.j. rivera scores

Because second baseman Neil Walker was a late scratch to the lineup, rookie infielder T.J Rivera started at third base and provided a major impact during last night’s 7-5 victory over Arizona.

Rivera reached base in all of his plate appearances as he went 4-for-4 with two runs scored. But his night was not flawless since he also made two errors in the field.

“He’s just trying to get his feet on the ground,” Terry Collins said. “I think he’s got a chance to hit. He’s always hit. He’s hit wherever he’s been. He puts good at-bats on. One of the things they’ve told me about this guy, he puts the barrel on the baseball.” (Adam Rubin, ESPN NY)

Collins also added that Rivera’s defense will only get stronger as he gets more adjusted to the speed of the game at the major league level.

“The game’s faster here,” Collins said. “He’s just got to slow it down a little bit and rely on a couple of things. He’ll get it.”

While it’s only a small sample, Rivera is showing signs that he can absolutely hold his own in the majors.  After yesterday’s effort, Rivera increased his average to .364 with a .764 OPS through his first seven games.

He is consistently making hard contact, which is a skill that made him such a successful hitter in the minors.

Rivera was hitting .349 with 11 home runs and 80 RBI in 406 plate appearances in Triple-A this season before getting called up by the Mets. And during his six seasons in the minor leagues, the 27 year old infielder owns a career .323/.370/.433 batting line.

Signed by the Mets as an undrafted free agent in 2011, Rivera spent six years in the minor league system being overlooked. But now  he’s finally getting his long awaited chance, and it appears like he is making the most of it.


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Mets Really Need Granderson To Step Up Mon, 15 Aug 2016 11:00:52 +0000 curtis granderson

After a solid 2015 season, Curtis Granderson has struggled to produce this year for the Mets. Through 465 plate appearances, Granderson is batting .226/.318/.423 with 18 homeruns and he has a .741 OPS.

While his 97 OPS + is around the league average, his struggles are far more pronounced when taking a closer look. With runners in scoring position, Granderson is batting .130 has a .402 OPS.

Furthermore, his woeful .208 OPS with two outs and runners in scoring position is the worst in all of baseball. This failure to come through in the clutch is why he has only has 31 RBI despite hitting 18 homeruns even with him batting mostly first or second.

Consider this, in 2014 and 2015, Granderson was getting an RBI per 8.5 and 8.3 at-bats respectively. This season, his AB/RBI is at 13.1, the second worst mark in his career.  He’s also walking less, seeing his walk rate dip from 13.3 to 10.1.

While all these numbers are concerning, they are also uncharacteristic for Granderson, so maybe there’s hope he can reverse most of these trends.

Last year, Granderson was perhaps the team’s unsung hero as he blasted ten homeruns and had a .886 OPS down the stretch in August and September. He then followed that up with three homeruns, 12 RBI and .866 OPS in 64 plate appearances in the postseason.

That’s the Curtis Granderson the Mets need right now, but so far he’s not yet showing any signs of breaking out.  He’s batting .186/.252/.309 in 102 plate appearances in the second half, and hitting just .163 in the month of August.

If this slump continues, he’s in danger of losing playing time, especially when  Yoenis Cespedes returns from the disabled list next weekend.

Perhaps at the age of 35, Granderson’s skills have declined. But it was just one season ago when he led the Mets with a 5.1 bWAR, and given his strong track record of success I’m not ready to write him off.

With the Mets offense still looking to find some consistency, they need Granderson to come through and play at the same performance level we are accustomed to seeing. Granderson has shown throughout his career that he is capable of being a major difference maker, and that’s exactly what the Mets can use right now.

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Jon Niese To Start Against D’Backs On Wednesday Mon, 15 Aug 2016 02:47:47 +0000 jon niese

Manager Terry Collins made it official and announced that Jon Niese will replace Logan Verrett in the rotation and start in Wednesday’s series finale against the D’Backs in Arizona.

For Niese it will be his first start since rejoining the Mets, having already made three relief appearances in his second go-around with the Amazins.

In his last appearance out of the pen, Niese was roughed up pretty bad by the D’Backs, who tagged him for six runs on three walks and three hits, including a home run in one inning of work.

Niese had a 5.13 ERA in 18 starts this season with the Pittsburgh Pirates and it resulted in a demotion to the bullpen. The Bucs eventually dealt him back to the Mets on Aug. 1 for reliever Antonio Bastardo.

— Joe D.

Original Report – Aug 13

According to Terry Collins, left-hander Jon Niese will likely take over Logan Verrett‘s spot in the rotation.

“I know he’s upset about it,” Collins said of Verrett. “But we certainly got to make a change there.” (North

During last night’s start against San Diego, Verrett surrendered eight earned runs in 2.2 innings while allowing six hits, four homers and three walks.

The Mets tried to rally with six runs of offense and a shutdown effort from the pen, but that wasn’t enough to take Verrett off the hook for his eighth loss of the season.

“I put us in a hole, 5-0, in the first inning, and what’d they do?” Verrett said. “They battled back.” (NY Times)

Yesterday’s outing is a continuation of an extremely rough stretch for Verrett.  In his seven starts replacing Matt Harvey in the rotation, Verrett has a 7.18 ERA. For the season, his ERA has soared to 5.36 in 85 innings pitched.

Collins will hope to get better production out of Niese, but the veteran lefty is also going through some struggles of his own right now.

In his latest bullpen outing on Thursday,  Niese yielded six runs and three walks in one inning of work against Arizona. There’s also concerns if Niese will be ready to take mound by next week as he’s currently dealing with a knee injury.

In 116 innings pitched this season, Niese has an 8-6 record with a 5.20 ERA and 1.57 WHIP.


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Logan Verrett Will Stay In Rotation, Make Next Start Against Padres Tue, 09 Aug 2016 21:07:31 +0000 logan verrett

Despite coming off a rocky start on Saturday, right-hander Logan Verrett will make his next scheduled start against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field this weekend.

“We think he’s the best match up for San Diego,” Terry Collins told reporters.

After Verrett’s start against the Tigers in Detroit, Collins tossed out the possibility that he would be replaced in the rotation. Among the considerations were newly acquired Jon Niese or farmhands Gabriel Ynoa and Robert Gsellman.

Since replacing Matt Harvey in the rotation, Verrett is 1-5 with a 5.61 ERA, while allowing 48 baserunners in 33.0 innings.

Collins believes Verrett is the best matchup against the Padres, despite his recent struggles. In his only appearance against the Padres, Verrett faced nine batters and allowed three hits and a run.

Original Report – Aug 7

After struggling in last night’s game against the Tigers, Logan Verrett‘s spot in the rotation is in jeopardy. Verrett allowed six runs and seven hits in 3.2 innings as the Mets were handed their second consecutive loss.

After the game, Terry Collins didn’t sound pleased with Verrett’s performance and he told reporters the team is looking at their alternatives.

“I just talked to Sandy [Alderson] about something, and we’re going to certainly take a look at some options,” Collins said. “We’ve certainly got to pitch better in that spot.” (Adam Rubin, ESPN NY)

One option is moving Jon Niese into the rotation and Verrett back into the bullpen.

Niese, who was recently reacquired from Pittsburgh, pitched 2.1 effective innings in relief of Verrett last night. While Niese allowed one inherited runner to score, no earned runs were charged against him and he struck out two batters while allowing three hits.

Niese has certainly been through his own struggles this year, but he’s had past success in the Mets’ rotation. For his career, Niese is 69-67 as a starter with a 4.00 ERA and 1.37 WHIP.

He stringed together three solid seasons from 2012 to 2014 as he posted a 3.48 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in this span. He was also named the team’s opening day starter in 2013 after his career best season in 2012 when he won 13 games with a 3.40 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 190 innings.

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While Niese has declined since those days, it’s possible he could rekindle some of that success reuniting with his old team and pitching coach Dan Warthen. Even though he ended his first tenure in New York on a sour note, he spent a decade in this organization and it’s where he’s had all of his success.

The Mets drafted Niese out of high school in the 7th round of the 2005 draft.

Meanwhile, Verrett doesn’t have a long track record, and it’s looking like MLB hitters have figured him out.

Since the month of May, Verrett has a 5.93 ERA and 1.54 WHIP. This poor stretch has raised his ERA form 0.52 to 4.66.

And in his six starts since replacing Matt Harvey in the rotation, Verrett ‘s ERA stands at 5.16. Additionally, Verrett’s  strikeout to walk rate is also a concern as he’s struck out only 55 batters and walked 37 in 82 innings pitched this season.

It’s possible Verrett is better suited for the pen as he has a 3.18 ERA out of relief compared to an ERA well above four as a starter.

While he could still have some value out of the bullpen, it’s becoming clear the Mets cannot rely on him as the 5th man in the rotation going forward.

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Gsellman Puts Himself In Mets’ 5th Starter Conversation Mon, 08 Aug 2016 13:00:01 +0000 robert gsellman

With a great stretch of starts in Triple-A, Robert Gsellman is a potential candidate to replace Logan Verrett in the rotation.

Terry Collins suggested that prospects like Gsellman and Gabriel Ynoa are being considered for the 5th starter role in addition to Jon Niese.

“I think anytime is right if a guy is good enough,” Collins said. “We’ve seen what the dynamics are when you call some young guys up. It started with Matt Harvey to Zack Wheeler to [Jacob deGrom]. They came up and made a difference. A lot of times, as we’ve seen when we’ve faced guys for the first time, they can dominate you. So we haven’t made any decisions yet.” (Maria Guardado,

Even though Gsellman initially struggled after his promotion to Las Vegas, he has thrown four consecutive quality starts with a 3.04 ERA and 25 strikeouts over his last 26.1 innings pitched.

While not an overpowering pitcher, Gsellman is an interesting choice given his command and ability to generate a lot of ground balls. He has walked 2.3 batters per nine innings in his minor league career, and posted a ground ball rate as high as 58% in High-A St. Lucie in 2015.

The 6″4′ 204 pound right-hander was drafted by the Mets out of high school in the 13th round of the 2011 draft. And he has been one of the most consistent performers in the system over the past few years.

He has a career 34-31 record with a 3.06 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 87 minor league starts.

Heading into the season, he was ranked as the Mets’ 9th best prospect according to Baseball Prospectus. And he is currently ranked 14th overall in’s latest midseason update.

At the age of 23, Gsellman is having another successful season as a pro. He has a 3.84 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 103 innings pitched this season between Las Vegas and Binghamton, and he is now inching closer towards an MLB debut.

The concern with Gsellman has always been that he doesn’t strikeout enough batters to thrive in the major leagues as he posted a 6.5 K/9 rate in the minors. But the Mets have enough strikeout artists in the rotation and Gsellman could provide a nice change of pace and different look. His K/9 is identical to Verrett but Gsellman has a significantly better K/BB (2.77 vs 1.81).

The Mets just need someone who can give them some quality innings at the back of the rotation until the potential return of Zack Wheeler in September.

Gsellman has been a rock solid pitcher throughout his entire minor league tenure, and he appears locked in at the moment.  He’d be a good choice to fill that fifth spot while keeping Niese in the bullpen where he has been effective. We should know what Collins decides on Tuesday.



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De Aza Stays Hot, Homers Off Tanaka Wed, 03 Aug 2016 14:00:21 +0000 alejandro de aza

Batting leadoff and starting in centerfield, Alejandro De Aza had an impressive night at the plate. He blasted a two-run homerun off Yankee’s starter Masahiro Tanaka in the third inning that gave the Mets an early lead over their crosstown rivals.

While De Aza disappointed for most of the season, he has quietly started to heat up. Since July 1, he’s batting .324 with eight walks and two home runs in 45 plate appearances.

“The more at-bats that I get, the more chances I get to play, it’s great and I feel more comfortable at the plate,” De Aza said. (Adam Rubin, ESPN NY)

When the Mets signed De Aza  to a one year $5.75 million dollar contract during the winter, he was originally slated to platoon in centerfield with Juan Lagares. But those plans abruptly changed when the Mets brought back Yoenis Cespedes in January.

Regulated to the bench, De Aza received little playing time and struggled mightily, batting .158 with a .447 OPS in 103 plate appearances during the first three months of the season.

His poor performance caused many fans to sour on him, but he now has a second chance to redeem himself in Queens.

With injuries to Yoenis Cespedes and Juan Lagares, De Aza the closest thing the Mets have to a true centerfielder on their roster, so the door is certainly open for him to make an impact.

His two best seasons came in 2012 and 2013 when he was starting centerfielder for the White Sox. He slashed .271/.335/.408 during those seasons with an average of 13 homeruns and 23 steals per year.

For his career, the nine year veteran is a .264 hitter with a .729 OPS. He also has a Ultimate Zone Rating of 0.2 in over 300 games in centerfield.

Given the Mets’ crowded outfield, it’s hard to say exactly what his role will be down the stretch. But it looks like he could end up being valuable piece, especially if his hot streak continues.

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]]> 0 Reed Extends Scoreless Streak To 16.1 Innings Mon, 01 Aug 2016 13:00:04 +0000 addison reed

With a scoreless appearance yesterday against the Rockies, Addison Reed extended his scoreless inning streak to 16.1 innings. Reed allowed one hit, but struck out three batters to pick up his 26th hold of the season, tying a franchise record set by Aaron Heilman in 2006

“His command is off the charts,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “His improvement with his slider has really helped him.” (Anthony McCarron, NY Daily News)

Reed’s ERA stands at 1.81 and he holds an outstanding at 0.85 WHIP. He has also struck out 63 batters in 49.2 innings while only walking nine.

“He just goes at you,” the manager noted. “I know there’s a lot of movement. It’s a strange delivery, that slide step, even if there’s nobody on. It might be a lot of arms and legs. They (hitters) just don’t seem like they pick the ball up.”

It’s been a career year for the Mets’ dominating set up man, who ranks inside the MLB top ten in WHIP, OPS against and strikeout to walk ratio.

While he previously had success as a closer for the White Sox and Arizona, he’s never been this dominant this dominant before. His lowest ERA prior to this season was 3.38 in 2015.

The Mets acquired Reed last year after he he was in dire need of a change in scenery. He lost his job as the Diamondbacks closer, and he was having a mediocre season with an ERA above four.

But Reed turned things around immediately when he joined the Mets, posting a 1.17 ERA in September. He’s carried this success over to this season, and has been a shutdown reliever in the 8th inning.

In fact, Reed has been so good that Collins was even thinking about naming him to the All-Star team.

“That’s what he’s meant to us,” Collins said.

Looking back on it, the Reed trade has truly been a steal as the Mets got him cheaply for two minor league pitchers, Miller Diaz and Matt Koch. Diaz has an ERA above seven in Arizona’s Single-A affiliate while the 25-year old Koch has a 4.70 ERA in Double-A.

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Collins Hopeful Despite 4th Straight Loss Sun, 31 Jul 2016 11:00:52 +0000 terry collins

After the Mets lost their fourth game in a row yesterday, Terry Collins said he remains hopeful the Mets will turn it around. Collins told reporters the Mets can put this stretch behind them if they can finish the home stand strong.

”What is it, four in a row? That’s not going in the right direction,” the Mets manager said. ”But, as I told them last night, if we win the next four, we can forget about it.”

”Right now we got to win the next three here,” Collins added. “That’s the next goal, to come out tomorrow and play a good game. We’ve still got to come here every day and grind it out.”

This latest stretch is perhaps the lowest point of the season so far. The Mets have dropped five of their last six games, and they are 6-9 since the All-Star Break.

“Teams, just like players, go through slumps,” Yoenis Cespedes said through an interpreter. “We’re obviously going through a slump right now. But I know that every guy that goes out there, they can play hard. They’re going to keep working at it. And eventually, we’re going to come out of this.” (ESPN NY)

The lineup is struggling mightily as they have scored only 40 runs since the break, which is the worst total in the majors.They’ve also scored just four runs over their last 29 innings.

Injury concerns are also continuing to grow as Cespedes’ quad injury is still nagging, and Jose Reyes just landed on the disabled list with an oblique injury.

Additionally, it’s starting to appear unlikely the Mets will add a major piece at the deadline. Jonathan Lucroy is now off the market after his trade to the Indians, and their other options are hardly ideal and Sandy Alderson doesn’t want to trade his top prospects for them.

But the Mets have experienced lows like this before, and were able to overcome them a year ago.

It was right around this time last year when the Carlos Gomez trade fell through, and they were dealt a devastating loss to the Padres at Citi Field. The Mets quickly overcame this adversity and made it all the way to the World Series thanks to some key additions and getting healthier.

While this year’s team is facing a lot of obstacles, they still have enough talent and time left to make similar run.  A 7.5 game deficit isn’t insurmountable, and a wild card spot is well within reach.

The starting pitching is still one of the leagues’ most dominant with Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz leading the way. If the offense can just find a spark, the Mets could storm their way back into the thick of it once again.

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Mets Have Brewers Relievers Jeremy Jeffress and Will Smith On Radar Mon, 25 Jul 2016 12:00:43 +0000 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 Wed, 20 Jul 2016 10:00:03 +0000 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 Mon, 18 Jul 2016 13:00:25 +0000 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 Sun, 17 Jul 2016 12:00:51 +0000 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 Mon, 11 Jul 2016 13:10:59 +0000 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 Sun, 03 Jul 2016 12:00:42 +0000 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, 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 Mon, 27 Jun 2016 14:00:37 +0000 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 Wed, 22 Jun 2016 12:30:27 +0000 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 Sun, 19 Jun 2016 12:00:20 +0000 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,

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 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? Wed, 15 Jun 2016 16:40:20 +0000 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 Wed, 08 Jun 2016 13:00:28 +0000 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 Sun, 05 Jun 2016 13:00:52 +0000 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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