Mets Merized Online » Mets Related Posts Sun, 01 Mar 2015 20:36:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sunday Spring Notes: Opening Day, Lagares Leading Off, Granderson Staying In RF Sun, 01 Mar 2015 19:41:00 +0000 murphy syndergaard

There was quite a bit of Mets news and notes from Port St. Lucie today especially considering it was a Sunday. Here’s what we’ve learned.

1. With the Grapefruit League schedule kicking off on Wednesday, don’t expect to see David Wright, Daniel Murphy, Michael Cuddyer and Curtis Granderson until next weekend. Terry Collins reiterated that all four will sit out the first two games and will not make their spring debuts until Friday. The Mets open the spring docket on the road and Collins is allowing his veterans to skip the road trips.

2. Terry Collins also said he’s now leaning toward using Michael Cuddyer in left field and Curtis Granderson in right field. It’s a switch from his earlier position. Collins said that after considering the matter further he likes Granderson’s ability to cover ground and his comfort with the wall in right field, and that it overrides any concerns with his lack of arm strength.

3. When confronted with the new outfield configuration plan, Cuddyer said that though he is deaf in his left ear since childhood, it won’t be an issue playing left field and hearing Juan Lagares call for the ball.

4. Speaking of Juan Lagares, he will bat leadoff on Wednesday when the Mets play against the Braves. “Get ready for it,” Terry Collins said. The Mets manager also added that the team still has some concerns with Lagares’ elbow, the one that shelved him last season, and that they will be monitoring it all spring long.

5. Lucas Duda is still a week away from swinging a bat in a game due to his left intercostal strain. But Collins said he will get some swings in this week off a tee. The hope is that he can participate in batting practice next week.

syndergaard harvey

6. Get ready to see both Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard make their Spring debut on Friday in a game that will be televised on SNY. That should be a big treat.

7. Terry Collins says everyone but Matt Harvey is being considered to start on Opening Day. He says that Zack Wheeler is getting strong consideration because he deserves it. Before the weekend, Adam Rubin had two team sources tell him that Bartolo Colon is also a serious candidate for the Opening Day assignment.

8. Finally I’ll leave you with this little tidbit from Terry Collins this afternoon. The Mets manager says he wants this team to have some swagger this year. “They need to start showing it, swagger.”

As a convenience, here are the pitching assignments for week one of the Grapefruit League season.

March 4: Dillon Gee, Jon Velasquez in relief

March 5: Bartolo ColonGabriel Ynoa in relief

March 6: Matt HarveyNoah Syndergaard in relief

March 7 (SS): Jacob deGromMatt Bowman in relief

March 7 (SS): Steven MatzRafael Montero in relief

March 8: Jon NieseTyler Pill in relief

March 9: Zack WheelerCarlos Torres in relief

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Featured Post: Wright Urges Team To Stop Talking And Start Doing Sun, 01 Mar 2015 14:07:29 +0000 wright

After months of hearing players, coaches and management boasting about how the Mets are heading to the playoffs, complete with team issued t-shirts emblazoned, Take the Damn Thing, team captain David Wright says enough is enough.

“Last time I checked, the team that talks the most doesn’t get any more wins,” Wright said. “Now it’s a matter of getting the work in and starting to practice, going out there and playing good baseball, and that started today.”

Wright tells the Bergen Record that he doesn’t want all this Mets talk to backfire on them.

“It’s one of those things where — I’ve been guilty of this, too — where you get confident in this group of guys and you’re asked a question and you answer it honestly, and we’ve kind of talked a big game this off-season,” Wright said.

“It’s now a matter of shutting up and going out there and playing. We’ve already done a pretty good job of, I think, publically expressing what we expect from ourselves this year, but it’s enough of the talk. Now it’s a matter of going out there and preparing for opening day.”

While I’ve enjoyed hearing the Mets talk confidently about heading to the playoffs, I agree with Wright that it’s time to stop boasting and start focusing on winning ballgames on the field.

Without sounding patronizing, I must admit I’m proud of David Wright for finally saying what most of us have been thinking. This is the mark of a leader.

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Collins and Tejada Respond To Jose Reyes Criticism Sun, 01 Mar 2015 14:04:04 +0000 jose-reyes

Terry Collins told reporters that he has no problem with Jose Reyes being critical of Ruben Tejada.

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with one of your peers challenging you once in a while,” Collins said

“Reyes is a guy who gets ready to play. I think the world of Jose Reyes. Apparently, he may know something I don’t. They were good buddies when they were here and I think Jose might know some things that I don’t know.”

Tejada also responded to the criticism.

“He tried to push me up and tried to help me. And that’s the way to take that comment.”

“I try to do my best and come every day to work hard.”

February 27

Former Mets shortstop Jose Reyes had some harsh words for Ruben Tejada for failing to grab hold of the starting shortstop job with the Mets.

In an interview with reporter Anthony Reiber of Newsday, Reyes expressed disappointment in Tejada believing his former teammate didn’t do enough to win the job and keep it.

“He had the opportunity to be the everyday shortstop for a long time there in New York. You have to work, man. When you’re younger, you think you have everything there for you. But if you do something wrong, it’s going to go away. Quick.”

“Do the right stuff, work hard, and you’re going to be here in New York. Because the talent is there. You’re so young. And now he’s in a tough position because he doesn’t even have a position.”

“Something’s wrong,” Reyes said. As recently as a couple of weeks ago, Reyes said he tried to tell Tejada he had to try harder or risk becoming an afterthought at age 25.

“Every time I talk to him I try to give him some advice,” Reyes said. “What can I do? I try to push him to do stuff. I don’t know if he gets it or not.”

In 2013, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson publically criticized what he felt was Tejada’s reluctance to do extra work. The team also has expressed unhappiness with Tejada’s conditioning, although that doesn’t appear to be an issue now.

Terry Collins said earlier this week that Tejada will get every opportunity to win the starting shortstop job believing he could still be an All Star offensively.

However, Wilmer Flores is expected to earn the Opening Day job according to recent statements by Sandy Alderson.

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Rollins Would Have Played For Mets, Says Their Future Is Bright Sun, 01 Mar 2015 00:41:21 +0000 jimmy-rollins-400

When Jimmy Rollins was still with the Phillies, there were two reports that he would use his veto rights to kill any trade to the Mets, who were reportedly very interested in the boisterous and still very productive shortstop.

However, in an interview with Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, Rollins refuted those reports and admitted that the New York Mets were his second choice of preferred offseason trade destinations.

“This was my No. 1 landing spot,” Rollins said from Los Angeles’ spring training camp, “and I considered the Mets to be No. 2. They have some arms over there — oh my gosh.”

“I’m not saying I would have gone there. It would have taken a lot. But when I was asked, ‘Write down the places you would go if you don’t have any (no-trade protection),’ I had one team on my list and another where I would go if it didn’t work out. Fortunately it worked out here (in Los Angeles). I’m very delighted with that.”

Rollins was eventually traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for two minor-league pitchers in December, and he waived his 10-and-5 trade rights to allow the deal to go through.

Although he’ll be playing in the NL West, it won’t surprise him if Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and the Mets’ young pitchers help the team make some waves in the East.

“In New York, if you’re not the best, you’re the worst,” Rollins said. “But in my opinion, from playing against them, that team wasn’t that bad. And when you look to the future there, it looks pretty bright.”

It’s amazing how much bullshit gets falsely reported in the offseason. It was always bad, but now with the advent of the Twitter age, it’s gotten exponentially worse. It’s all part of the deterioration of sports journalism which has been reduced to blurbs, blasts, and rants, 140 characters at a time.

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Managing Expectations As We Move Ahead Sat, 28 Feb 2015 20:49:58 +0000 terry collins

Even the most pessimistic Mets fan believes right now the 2015 team will be an improvement over the last five versions of the team. Given any kind of reasonable health one expects 82 wins at a minimum. The optimists foresee 89 or 90 wins and a wild card slot. If the Nats were to do a total el foldo then perhaps even a division title is conceivable.

The Alderson administration has not set a very high bar so that even if the club just gets over .500 it will be a high water mark of sorts and touted as significant progress and a step forward.

So there will be fewer losses this year than in recent years and that must be all good, right?

Actually I am not thinking so. Let’s look at the things we’ll be saying and thinking when those losses occur.

For those who think that Terry Collins is a subpar manager there will be those days – as there have been in the past – where he misuses his bullpen or tires the hell out of his pet reliever. When those kinds of losses occur they figure to sting more than in the past few years.

If we think Terry has cost his team a couple of wins with faulty strategies it really only made a difference between being a bad team and a very bad team. But these few blown games in 2015 could be the difference between being a playoff team and being on the outside again. Ouch.

Similarly a goodly number of Mets fans question whether Wilmer Flores has the skills to be an acceptable defensive shortstop. There likely will be games when the keystone of Wilmer and Murphy will fail to turn a turnable DP. Or days when Wilmer’s lack of range turns a potential out into a key hit for the opposition.

Yes, there will be days when Flores’ bat will save the day and we have to hope that those days will outnumber the bad-fielding days. But the losses from a weak up-the-middle defense will surely sting quite a bit as they happen.

And when Michael Cuddyer inevitably finds himself on the DL, as Michael Cuddyer so often does, the RF spot gets turned over to den Dekker or Nieuwenheis or Mayberry. Those losses from a weakened offense will be dispiriting especially when the June draft comes around and the Mets aren’t selecting in round 1.

All this is to say that while the typically passive offseason by Alderson and Co. might work out, when the avoidable losses occur there will be many of us in the Mets community wondering why many of the known leaks weren’t plugged and whether we could have done more this offseason.


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Kevin Long Dishes On Lagares, Granderson, Murphy Sat, 28 Feb 2015 16:25:56 +0000 New Mets hitting coach Kevin Long spoke with reporters for about 20 minutes on Saturday morning in Port St. Lucie. You can read his full comments on ESPN New York, but I  wanted to cherry pick and share his views on the following three Mets players which I thought were quite compelling.


He compared Juan Lagares favorably to Robinson Cano saying both had very similar plate approaches. Long is excited about how good a player Lagares can be and is looking forward to having him tap into what he sees as significant offensive potential.

“Juan is talented. I’ve noticed that,” Long said. “And I’m excited about this player. He’s got a nice demeanor about him. He’s confident. Obviously he’s going to have to hone in on the strike zone — and take these chases and swings out of the zone — and be able to lay off some pitches and determine what’s a pitch that he can do damage to.”

“He’s got a good swing. And he’s always had the ability to get hits. He finds a way. I think he hit .285. The major league average is .250. So he’s 35 points up there. I think the point we’re looking at is: What is his on-base percentage? It’s probably .315-.320. If we can get that number up to .350-.360, you’ve gained on it quite a bit.”

curtis granderson

Obviously, Long will be working a lot with Curtis Granderson and one of the things they decided was to go back to doing some of the things he did when he was successful with the Yankees.

“We’re going back to the blueprint of when he was with the Yankees. There are a couple of minor things that we’re working on. One is getting his hands into a consistent position and getting him to feel the consistency that he had, the shortness to the ball, obviously the compact swing that he had, the explosiveness. It’s all in there.”

“When I’ve seen Curtis, and I’ve seen him at a very high level, he’s able to get on base,” Long said. “He’s able to drive the ball. Certainly the top of the order, those guys are going to get more at-bats throughout the year. Let’s say he hit sixth. So he’d probably lose, I don’t know, 70-80 at-bats to the guy who hits leadoff. We’ll see how this plays out. Terry ultimately is going to have the final say-so on that. But Curtis has done it before. He’s capable of doing it.”

daniel murphy

Long had lots of good things to say about Daniel Murphy who’s been the team’s best hitter over the last two seasons. What he wants him to do is hit for more power.

“Some guys have a lot of things to work on. Other guys, for instance Murphy, you look at his swing and you go, ‘Man, you know why he’s had success.’ He’s very simple. He gets himself in a good position.’

“Is there more in there? We’re going to talk about maybe doing a little more damage to the ball. If he does that, I think he’ll walk at a rate that would be average at the major league level. Right now it’s below average. It’s something we’ve talked about and we’ve addressed.”

Long also talked about his expectations for David Wright, Travis d’Arnaud, and Lucas Duda, and added that the Mets as a whole need to score more runs. Asked if the Mets are better than last year’s .239 team average, which ranked 28th in the majors, Long said:

“You are what you are. We’ll see if we can get that number to increase. At the end of the day, it’s really about scoring runs. We need to maximize our ability to score runs. There’s some intangibles that come along with that. There’s baserunning. There’s situational hitting.”

Read the entire interview with full quotes on ESPN New York.


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Noah Syndergaard: Refocused, Recharged, Driven Sat, 28 Feb 2015 13:46:19 +0000 noah syndergaard

While all the attention and focus was on Matt Harvey during Friday’s live batting practice at Tradition Field, top prospect Noah Syndergaard also tossed to Mets batters and was equally as impressive.

“It was nice coming in and throwing after Harvey did. All the eyes are more on him than me. It’s cool to share the same mound as he did and to be included with guys like him, Zack Wheeler and Jacob deGrom.”

“He threw the ball very well himself,” Terry Collins said of Syndergaard. “It’s going to be fun when we get into these games.”

Syndergaard,  22, is expected to make his major league debut this season and he told reporters that he is eager to show what he can do following what he called an underwhelming and disappointing 2014.

Fueling his drive and motivation was his September snub last season when the Mets decided not to call him up.

“It was kind of heartbreaking,” Syndergaard told reporters in Port St. Lucie. “I went home, let things relax a little bit, and then got back in my workout program and just enjoyed time in the offseason. But it was disappointing.”

“To be in the big leagues has been my dream ever since I was a little kid. I use last September as a little extra motivation, because I don’t want to hear that phone call again.”

Syndergaard admitted he spent too much time worrying about things beyond his control and insists that this year he’s not wasting any energy focusing on when he’ll be promoted to the majors.

“I started really pressing, getting really tense last year, because I paid attention to the Super 2 deadline,” Syndergaard said. “I had too much in my head last year. And when it wasn’t happening, I started pressing a little bit more. Now, I just kind of let things take its own toll.”

Syndergaard said that he spent so much time online reading about himself that he finally deleted the Twitter app from his phone to get away from all the noise.

“He should have done that around May 15th last year,” said Frank Viola, the Las Vegas pitching coach. “He was reading everything about himself, and you knew when he read something good, when he read something bad, from the way he came on the field just for warm-ups.”

Syndergaard went 9-7 with a 4.60 ERA, striking out 145 and walking 43 in 133 innings pitched last season for Triple-A Las Vegas. He’s now driven to improve those numbers and after consulting with manager Terry Collins he now understands that it’s in his power to dominate this season and force the Mets’ hand.

“You want to pitch here? Pitch your way out of there,” Collins said. “That’s what the message is going to be to Noah.”

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Mets Flashback: Dave Kingman Comes To Queens Sat, 28 Feb 2015 05:15:45 +0000 dave kingman

On this day in Mets’ history in 1975, the contract of outfielder and first baseman Dave Kingman was purchased from the San Francisco Giants. The 6-foot-6 Kingman, nicknamed Kong for his prodigious strength and power, was to give the Mets the fearsome home run hitter they had never had this early in their existence.

“He was going to make us a winner,’’ said Joe, a life-long Mets’ fan. “He had such awesome power. We had never had a guy like that before.’’

During his 17-year career, Kingman played six seasons with the Mets, more than any other team. He gave the Mets the power they wanted with 154 home runs. However, the all-or-nothing Kingman also hit .219 with a .287 on-base percentage, and with only 389 RBI and just 211 walks in comparison to 672 strikeouts. He had more strikeouts than hits (509) with the Mets.

In addition to the Giants and the Mets, Kingman played for the Athletics, Cubs, Padres, Angels and Yankees. Kingman had two stints with the Mets (1975-77 and 1981-83).

Kingman also struck out a lot in his interactions with fans and the media. Of all the things Kingman is known for, perhaps most disturbing was sending a live rat to Susan Fornoff, a female reporter covering the Athletics.

Kingman hit 30 or more homers seven times, including 48 in 1979 with the Cubs and 37 in 1982 with the Mets, when he led the National League in homers.

Dave Kingman (27)

Kingman also struck out 1,816 times – an average of 152 times a season – and in 14 years struck out at least 100 times, and eight times fanned at least 125 times. Only once, in 1985, did he draw as many as 60 walks.

History is filled with numerous all-or-nothing sluggers like Kingman, such as Adam Dunn, Greg Vaughn, Frank Howard, Rob Deer, Mark Reynolds and a case can also be made to lump former Met George Foster into that group.

Kingman’s 154 homers ranks fifth on the club’s all-time list, behind Darryl Strawberry, David Wright, Mike Piazza and Howard Johnson.

Kingman finished with 442 career homers and speaking at the closing of Shea Stadium, said if he played longer: “I’m sure I could have hit 500 (home runs). That’s all right. I’m very happy with (my career). I enjoyed my time in the big leagues.’’

Prior to the steroid era, 500 homers used to be an automatic ticket into the Hall of Fame, along with 300 pitching victories and 3,000 hits. Had Kingman played two more years and reached that milestone he would have been an interesting test case.

As a Hall of Fame voter, I wouldn’t give him my vote because his numbers other than homers were terribly weak and non-deserving.

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Mets Strongly Considering Bartolo Colon For Opening Day Start Sat, 28 Feb 2015 04:09:45 +0000 bartolo colon 2

On Monday, a team source told Mike Puma of the New York Post that the Mets are strongly considering Zack Wheeler for the Opening Day start against the Nationals in Washington on April 6.

However, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York is reporting today that “multiple sources” have told him that it’s Bartolo Colon whom the Mets are strongly considering for the Opening Day start.

“The sources added that the Mets have narrowed the choices to Colon and one other pitcher, and that it’s too early to decide which will get the assignment.”

So perhaps it’s between Colon and Wheeler, although I don’t know why they need to make this decision so soon and before one pitch has been thrown in Grapefruit League play.

Rubin also added that if it ends up being Colon, he would become — at 41 years, 317 days old — the oldest Opening Day starter in the majors since Jamie Moyer (43 years, 136 days) and Randy Johnson (42 years, 205 days) in 2006. He also would become the oldest Mets Opening Day starter ever, surpassing Tom Glavine in 2007 (41 years, 7 days).

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Matt Harvey Wows The Crowd During Live Batting Practice Fri, 27 Feb 2015 17:52:29 +0000 matt harvey

It was a big day for Matt Harvey who pitched to live batters today at Port St. Lucie for the first time in 18 months.

The big righthander let it rip, throwing all four of his pitches with ease and precision as he faced his teammates David Wright, Michael Cuddyer, Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy – a grouping he tabbed “our core four.”

“I was in compete mode,” Harvey said. “I wasn’t holding back.”

There were plenty of fans on hand cheering the Mets ace on as he delivered pitch after pitch, about 45 in all, over a couple of sessions.

Wright and manager Terry Collins loved what they saw, with the Mets captain saying, “he looked just as good as the Matt Harvey of 2013.”

It was all smiles with plenty of applause when Harvey threw his final pitch, walked off the mound, and declaring the latest step in his comeback a huge success. Everyone who watched came away impressed.

“Once I pick up a ball there’s a mission, there’s a goal,” Harvey said in his press conference afterward.

“It’s a good feeling to be back and I couldn’t feel better.”

Harvey is now scheduled to make his spring training debut against the Detroit Tigers on March 6 at Tradition Field.

Harvey Days are back… Let the good times roll…

(Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa)

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Perhaps History Played A Role In Mets Offseason Inactivity Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:24:12 +0000 On December 10, 1971, the Mets sent pitching prospect Nolan Ryan to the Los Angeles Angels for third baseman Jim Fregosi.

At the time, the deal seemed reasonable. Fregosi had been an All-Star for six of the past seven seasons and was widely regarded as one of the better third basemen in baseball.

nolan ryanMeanwhile, the Mets already had a rotation chock full of talent highlighted by Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and phenom Jon Matlack along with a cadre of quality supporting arms. Ryan was expendable, and the Mets made a logical trade with the hope of finally firming up a position that had seen 45 different players come and go over the 10 previous seasons.

And yet this deal became the worst in Mets history.

The 30 year old Fregosi went on to bat .232 with 5 home runs and 32 RBI during the 1972 season. He never regained his All-Star form and the Mets released him two years later. On the contrary, Nolan Ryan went on to strike out 5,714 batters over the next 22 years en route to an illustrious Hall of fame career.

Flash forward to the 2014 offseason. Blame the Mets not landing Troy Tulowitzki or Ian Desmond on ownership’s financial woes or other GMs’ reluctance to deal with Sandy Alderson. However, often overlooked but just as equally important a factor was Alderson’s fear of making the next Ryan-Fregosi trade.

tulowitzkiThis offseason, Alderson saw nothing but flawed players. Tulowitzki has amassed more than 150 games just twice in his nine year career. Plus, he just rehabbed from a major hip injury that caused him to miss nearly the entire second half last year. These red flags deterred Alderson and other GM’s, making them disregard Tulo’s spectacular on-field performance, and instead notice the dark “injury prone” cloud that has hung over his head since his first major injury in 2008.

The other shortstop that piqued the interests of Mets fans was the Nationals’ Ian Desmond. But just like with Tulowitzki, Alderson was quick to find some flaws. He pointed to Desmond’s high whiff rate (183 times last year) and atrocious defense highlighted by his 20 or more errors three out of the past four years. Needless to say, Desmond was quickly dismissed as a possible shortstop for the Mets this season.

Financial constraints aside, Sandy Alderson did not want to run the risk of giving up a premier arm for a past All-Star nearing the wrong side of 30. It is a safe bet to make that he feared being ostracized by the entire Mets community, much like the way Bob Scheffing was 44 years before.

Hypothetically, Noah Syndergaard was reportedly the prospect who would get traded if the Mets decided to make a move. Like Nolan Ryan, Syndergaard was touted as the next Mets phenom, and scouts have even gone as far to describe him as “having better pure stuff than Wheeler” or being “more refined than Harvey was at the same age.” There is no way Alderson could trade Syndergaard without a response of total uproar. So he played it safe, hanging on to the big righty from Texas, hoping to bolster an already formidable rotation.

Perhaps Sandy made the right call.

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MLB Announces 2015 Draft Bonus Allotments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:44:39 +0000 Sandy Alderson and Paul DePodesta visited MCU Park Wednesday night, likely to check out first-round pick Michael Conforto. (Photo by Jim Mancari)

Major League Baseball officially released the bonus pool allotments for the 2015 First Year Player Draft, which you can view at Baseball America. The draft will begin on June 8 and run through June 10.

The Mets, who do not have a first round pick, will have $3,587,800 to spend this year - the lowest amount among all 30 MLB teams.

The bonus pool allotment is how much each team is allowed to spend on players who are selected in the first 10 rounds of the draft, and players selected in the last 30 rounds who receive more than $100,000. Teams that exceed their draft allotment will incur a large tax and penalties.

The Mets forfeited their first round pick (15th overall) when they signed free agent Michael Cuddyer to a two year, $21 million dollar contract. They won’t have a selection until the 53rd overall pick in the second round.


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Grapefruit League Week One Pitching Assignments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 22:29:02 +0000 degrom matz harvey

The Mets announced the pitching assignments for week one of the Grapefruit League season.

March 4: Dillon Gee, Jon Velasquez in relief

March 5: Bartolo ColonGabriel Ynoa in relief

March 6: Matt HarveyNoah Syndergaard in relief

March 7 (SS): Jacob deGromMatt Bowman in relief

March 7 (SS): Steven MatzRafael Montero in relief

March 8: Jon NieseTyler Pill in relief

March 9: Zack WheelerCarlos Torres in relief

Spring Training Broadcast Schedule

All of the televised Mets games will be in Port St. Lucie and begin at 1:10 p.m.

6 Tigers, SNY
7 Braves, PIX11
8 Red Sox, PIX11
9 Marlins, SNY
12 Nationals, SNY
13 Braves, SNY
14 Nationals, PIX11
17 Marlins, SNY
19 Astros, SNY
20 Cardinals, SNY
22 Yankees, SNY
24 Astros, SNY
28 Nationals, PIX11
30 Marlins, SNY

1 Cardinals, SNY

Let the games begin!


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Injury Update: Duda Won’t Swing Bat For Another Week Thu, 26 Feb 2015 18:43:42 +0000 lucas duda hr

In his daily briefing with reporters on Thursday, Mets manager Terry Collins said that Lucas Duda will need at least another week before he starts swinging a bat again.

The Mets first baseman is trying to recover from a left oblique strain that was initially supposed to sideline him for 2-3 days.

Duda has been able to participate in running and fielding drills, so I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about and that the Mets are just being extra cautious.

February 24

First baseman Lucas Duda has mild right oblique strain, the team announced. The injury will keep him from swinging a bat for 2-3 days. He was able to participate in fielding drills this morning.

Adam Rubin added that Terry Collins speculated Duda probably “overdid things.”

The manager noted that he showed up at the Mets’ spring-training complex on a Sunday a month ago and found Duda in the cage swinging.

“He’s going to start hitting in two to three days and everything is going to be fine,” Collins said Tuesday afternoon.

Update: Lucas Duda just told reporters that he received a cortisone shot for the oblique strain and hasn’t been swinging a bat for a couple weeks. A fact that Terry Collins failed to mention when he briefed reporters, or was completely oblivious to.

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Ike Davis Still Has Dirty Taste In His Mouth Thu, 26 Feb 2015 17:54:34 +0000 ike-davis-mlb-oakland-athletics-workout-850x560

In an exclusive interview with Andy Martino of the Daily News, former Mets first baseman Ike Davis still has a bad taste in his mouth from his time in New York.

Nearly a year removed from New York, he can now acknowledge several hard truths: His Valley Fever returned last spring, which was not previously known (Davis feels much better now, he says, but his 2014 Mets physical revealed the issue had once again appeared on his lungs). The ankle injury in 2011 altered the course of his career. And he was deeply hurt by a 2012 report suggesting that the Mets took issue with his nightlife habits.

“That’s really the only thing that I still have a dirty taste in my mouth about. Because everything else, you could see it in numbers. What, am I going to argue? I didn’t play well. But as far as calling me out for drinking problems, and being a bad influence — that was a joke. It’s ridiculous. But you can use it as a learning experience: You can’t trust people.”

The perception followed Davis when the Pirates acquired him last April, and his manager Clint Hurdle raised the issue.

“Clint asked me about it when I first got over there,” Davis says. “I was like, ‘I don’t know what to tell you, but a guy made up an article.’

“He was like, ‘I heard you’ve had issues.” And I was like, ‘Issues with what? I’ve never gotten in trouble. I’ve never gotten in a fight. I’ve never done anything to anyone. Yeah, I’ve gone out and had beers and stuff, but who hasn’t done that?’ I don’t know why I got singled out.”

Davis, 28, is expected to get the majority of playing time in a first base platoon for the Oakland A’s this season. The former first round draft pick says he’s healthy now and is hoping to resurrect his career as a power-hitting middle of the order hitter.


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Harvey Tentatively Scheduled To Pitch March 6th Against Tigers Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:43:28 +0000 MLB: Oakland Athletics at New York Mets

A team source told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that Matt Harvey is tentatively scheduled to make his first spring training appearance on March 6 when the Mets take on the Detroit Tigers at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie.

The game will be broadcast on SNY and would be Harvey’s first live game action since August 24, 2013.

Harvey To Face Live Batters On Friday

So far it’s been all good news for Matt Harvey. His confident demeanor coupled with some impressive bullpens and workouts has everyone at Port St. Lucie coming away impressed.

“It doesn’t look like he’s missed much of a beat,” manager Terry Collins said. “You watch the command of his fastball and working both sides of the plate like he hardly has missed anything.”

On Tuesday, the team took off the kid gloves and Harvey was given the okay to start throwing sliders and curves, one of which Collins saw and exclaimed it was ”stinkin’ dynamite.”

Harvey, who turns 26 next month, will now face his next challenge on his comeback trail. He is expected to throw live batting practice to hitters on Friday, according to Marc Carig of Newsday.

It’s the moment the Mets ace has been waiting for, and you can bet that all Mets brass from Fred Wilpon on down will be on hand to gauge the results.

Harvey was having an incredible breakout season in 2013 before a torn UCL shut him down. He went 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 157 ERA+ and 191 strikeouts against just 31 walks in 178 1/3 innings pitched.

It’s those huge numbers that have his teammates and coaches salivating at the thought of a playoff contending season for the Mets in 2015.

If Harvey comes close to replicating his former production, he gives the Mets one of the most formidable starting rotations in the National League if not all of baseball.

So far, his rehab and comeback has been nothing short of remarkable. So much so that Sandy Alderson suggested that Harvey could throw as many as 200 innings in his first season back from Tommy John surgery.

Im so excited at the thought of seeing Matt Harvey back on the mound again and overpowering hitters as he once did.

I’m crossing my fingers that he’ll pitch one of the games in the opening series against the Nationals in Washington. When I see Harvey dropping that hammer curve and striking out the likes of Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth, I’ll know that everything is alright and that the Mets are going to have a very special season.

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Murphy Wants To Stay With Mets, But Extension Seems Unlikely Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:05:34 +0000 daniel murphy

Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy told reporters that he has not had any talks with the Mets regarding a possible contract extension. Murphy, who is a free agent after the season, said he would like to remain with the Mets and hopes the team will speak with his agents.

“I’ve always been open to an extension. I’ve never approached the blessing of playing in the big leagues with thinking I need to maximize every single dollar I can get out of this game. I’ve made a whole bunch of money already.”

“As of right now I’m a Met for this year, for sure, love to be here in the future, but that is way in the future.”

According to Mike Vorkunov of, Murphy does not believe he’s pricing himself out of the Mets’ range, as he pointed to the free agent deals the Mets have tendered Michael Cuddyer, Curtis Granderson and Bartolo Colon the last two offseasons.

Murphy, who turns 30 in April, will earn $8 million in what could be his final season with the Mets. An All-Star last season, it will be interesting to see how the Mets will handle the situation with the very popular Murphy this year.

With Dilson Herrera waiting in the wings, will they look to trade him before the deadline or ride the whole season out and risk not having anything to show for him when he heads to free agency?

Will the Mets gamble and make him a $16 million dollar qualifying offer after the season, an offer which Murphy may very well accept?

It’s certainly one of the many storylines to keep an eye on this season for the Amazins.

Murphy did say he would be willing to talk to the Mets about an extension during the season, but he prefers not to answer questions about it.

“The organization has a direction, just because I’m not locked up to a multi-year extension doesn’t mean I’m not part of that direction right now,” Murphy said.

“I am a part of what’s happening right now in 2015 which is exciting and which is what I think myself and the organization and everyone in that locker room is more concerned with.”


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Taking a Look at Mets Prospects Over Time Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:00:25 +0000 Fernando Martinez

It’s that time of year when prospects can find their names on the same jerseys being issued to major league players. Spring Training makes everyone look like a big leaguer, as seasoned veterans and bubble-gum chewing minor leaguers meet under the Florida sun.

It’s also that time on the calendar when prospect lists are plentiful. Perhaps the most talked about list being from Baseball America, who recently released their 2015 version of a Top 100 prospect countdown.

The dream of every prospect realized when their name is no longer printed on a list with 99 other names, but one with 24 fellow major leaguers.

Of course, which prospects make it to the Mets versus those who stay toiling in Savannah, Binghamton, and Port St. Lucie is a guessing game. Nobody really knows who is a future star; we can only make educated guesses. That is what a prospect list does: it provides an educated guess, based on informed scouts, on players who have a chance at becoming well-paid pitchers and hitters.

On the 2015 Baseball America list, the Mets have seven names. A hopeful number for fans who have suffered through six consecutive losing seasons, when payroll has plummeted, and hope for roster improvement seems reserved for the farm system instead of free agency.

But how hopeful should Mets fans be? So what if they have seven names on the BA list; what does that even translate into in real life?

Well, let’s find out.

Looking at Baseball America’s all-time prospect list, dating back to 1990, we can identify which prospects turned into career major league players, and how good their careers turned out to be. To do this, I pulled out every Mets’ player that was listed since 1990, and to allow fair developmental time for the more recent prospects, excluded the players listed after 2010. I then matched each prospect with their career WAR value.

To provide some context, when looking at prospect rankings in terms of WAR, we can use research from the folks at The Point of Pittsburgh, who found league average WAR for five prospect tiers from the Baseball America list.

BAAvgThe WAR values in the table represent the average value of prospects within their first six years of service time, important because those are the team-controlled years. For the Mets, I decided to look at their career WAR value, so players like David Wright, who have produced a lot of value beyond their first six years of service, aren’t undervalued.

The purpose of looking at the all-time Mets’ prospect list is not necessarily to highlight which prospects were the best Mets, but to try to set expectations for looking at current prospect lists on how much value a particular prospect may be worth, over their career, based on their prospect ranking.

Without further ado, let’s look at how the Mets’ best prospects since 1990 have fared, first breaking them down by hitter. Again, this is the average career WAR value for any Mets player who was listed on Baseball America’s top 100 prospect list dating back to 1990 (and excluding 2011-2015). Their prospect ranking for the last year they appeared on the list is used.


Now, for the pitchers.


Sample size has a lot to do with how the Mets compare to the league average, for instance, Paul Wilson is the lone top-ten ranked pitcher, but we can at least get an idea of how the various prospects have performed. Clearly, either Baseball America missed the mark, or the Mets seem to have the most trouble developing pitching prospects who are ranked outside of the top 50, with 12 such players, who, combined, have averaged a measly 1.5 career WAR value in the majors. That is largely due to the fact that five of those 12 players never made it to the pros.

Overall, the group of Mets who have found their names atop Baseball America’s rankings have had varying degrees of success, with their career trajectory, based on ranking tier, about par for league average.

Finally, for the list in its entirety.

Each prospect on this list has a different story. Injuries play a huge role in player development, as do a variety of factors, which is why it is hard to draw an overall conclusion based on a retrospective prospect list.

That being said, what this list can do is perhaps set expectations for the fans on current prospects. Just because a Mets’ player is listed on Baseball America’s top 100 list doesn’t mean they are going to have a great major league career, or a career at all. David Wright has produced 52 WAR in eleven seasons. That is more value than the combined value of 22 of the 45 players listed above.

Of course, the flip side is that Baseball America can miss on prospects who turn into star players – i.e. Jacob deGrom.

Having looked back at the Mets’ all-time prospect list, can we get an idea of what to expect from the current group of top ranked prospects? Not entirely. We know that players tend to have better careers, the higher they find their names on the prospect list. But we also know there are many exceptions. Perhaps the most telling point is that no matter where a player is listed, it is quite difficult to predict who will be the best players.

Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs.


Another original article from Metsmerized Online!

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Mets Aren’t The Only Ones In Division Touting Playoffs Thu, 26 Feb 2015 02:28:16 +0000 bryce harper

The Mets aren’t the only ones in the division talking about stacked rotations, October baseball and winning a championship. On Wednesday, Bryce Harper of the Nationals did some touting of his own.

“It’s absolutely stupid how good our staff is. To add a Cy Young, to add a guy that’s unbelievable in the postseason — if you have to go into a five-game set in the postseason, looking ahead like I told you I wouldn’t, but if you have to go into a five-game set against a team, you’re going to have to face Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. I mean, good luck. Because that’s insane.”

“I’m going to bring back a title to D.C. no matter what. And I’m getting chills thinking about it.”

I noticed most of the odds makers updated their baseball futures this week and I thought I’d take a look.

terry collins

Current MLB futures with sportsbooks are giving the Mets +2500 odds to win the World Series and +1200 to win the NL Pennant in 2015.

It’s a slight improvement from January and the over/under has also increased from 81.5 to an even 82.

Straight up odds for the Mets to win the World Series remained at 28/1 ranking 17th overall among all MLB teams, and remaining ahead of the Miami Marlins and New York Yankees who are at 33/1.

Of course the Nationals are the odds-on favorite wherever you look, but the Mets continue to keep improving ever so slightly.

I would love to see the Mets open the season in Washington by taking at least two of the three games. You don’t normally label a series in April as must-win, but considering what’s at stake and how the Mets need to break the stranglehold the Nationals have placed them in the last three years, a series win would make a huge statement for New York. Whatever the matchups end up being, they should all end up being epic pitching matchups and fun to watch.


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Collins Denies Retirement Talk Wed, 25 Feb 2015 17:02:59 +0000 New-York-Mets-Terry-Collins

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, two people close to Terry Collins suggested that the Mets manager could retire at the end of the 2015 season regardless of how good or bad the year plays out.

Collins, who turns 66 in May, denied he would retire at season’s end and conceded that while managing is difficult, he didn’t know why his friends would say that.

“I’ve really enjoyed it here, had a great time,” he continued. “I get up in the morning, and you better be ready for a challenge every day in New York City. It seems like there’s a fire you’ve got to put out, some place. You get ready for the day. You get ready to compete.

“When you get to be my age, at the end of every year, you’ve got to take a look at the big picture and where you are,” Collins said. “How’s your health? A lot of things are contingent on that, for sure.

“I’m fine. I’ve been great. At the end of every year, it’s like anything else. It’s hard. It’s a hard job. So, you’ve got to take a little time to recharge the batteries. That’s why this winter has been a little bit tough, because of my dad’s stuff. But when you come into spring training and you see the faces of those kids in that clubhouse, it gets you going again.”

“If we have a good year, I would love the opportunity to come back and do it again,” he said.

Earlier this month, Mike Puma of the New York Post said manager Terry Collins is on the hot seat.

“Though the Mets have holes, most notably at shortstop, Collins is expected to keep this crew in contention for the entire season. So if the Mets are sitting seven or eight games below .500 on Memorial Day, Collins could be a goner.”

Back in September, Andy Martino of the Daily News wrote that while Collins does has his backers in the organization, it’s now very clear he has his detractors as well. Not everyone supported Sandy Alderson’s decision to bring him back for the 2015 season.

We can all agree that Collins’ role in his first few seasons was to play caretaker as the Mets slashed payroll and focused on rebuilding. However, 2015 is the season when the Mets are expected to become relevant again and contend for a playoff spot. If the Mets get off to a slow start, the calls for Collins’ to be axed could quickly overshadow what is supposed to be a very promising season.

Furthermore, if the Mets are struggling to stay at .500 by May, it will bring Alderson’s judgement into question for retaining Collins, especially if the team he put together severely under-performs.


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