Mets Merized Online » Mets Related Posts Fri, 29 Aug 2014 18:34:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mets Have No Interest In Trading Travis d’Arnaud Fri, 29 Aug 2014 18:34:24 +0000 travis d'arnaud

August 29

Updating last night’s report that the Mets have discussed a possible move to left field for catcher Travis d’Arnaud, here’s some new information.

MetsBlog’s Matt Cerrone wrote that a a move from behind the plate could be inevitable for TDA given that Kevin Plawecki is nearly MLB-ready and the front office loves him. Additionally, he suggests that d’Arnaud could also become a trade candidate this winter because his bat becomes less valuable if he’s moved to the outfield.

Marc Carig of Newsday dashed any thoughts of trading their present catcher, hearing from a team source that the Mets “have little to no interest in trading d’Arnaud.”

I think some are starting to  put the cart ahead of the horse. What everyone seems to be forgetting is how low key and casual this conversation was. In all honesty, Terry Collins should have never mentioned it.

But given the way social sports media works these days, expect this off-the-cuff conversation to blow into an avalanche of d’Arnaud trade speculation this offseason, it’s the nature of the beast.

In my opinion, neither d’Arnaud or Plawecki are going anywhere, especially not until the Mets get enough information on both of them. That could take at least another year.

However, I am glad to see Plawecki finally getting some well-deserved attention. As regulars here know, he’s been high on my list since he was drafted.

Original Post – August 28

Terry Collins told the Daily News that the Mets front office has had casual conversations about moving Travis d’Arnaud to left field, although the manager noted that it was just CASUAL conversation and not some plan.

The aim would be to keep d’Arnaud healthy and avoiding concussions while keeping his bat in the lineup.

Tonight I mentioned that Sandy said his big concern with d’Arnaud was his durability.

TDA has been hitting better of late, batting .248/.292/.463 since All-Star break.

Collins told the Martino, “As of right now we haven’t even approached left field as an option, because he would have to be go to the instructional league.”

Triple-A catcher Kevin Plawecki is distinguishing himself as a solid defender and his pitchers love him. There’s also rumors that he can swing a bat. :-)

This won’t go anywhere for now, but that they discussed it is worth noting.

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Wally Backman Named PCL Manager Of The Year Fri, 29 Aug 2014 17:14:04 +0000 wally backmanAccording to ESPN’s Adam Rubin, Wally Backman has been named the Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year.

This season the Las Vegas 51′s are 80-61 and are the only team to have clinched their division in the PCL. They led the league in wins, home runs and runs (by 88!). Hired in 2009 by the Mets, Backman has risen through the ranks of the Mets starting in Brooklyn. He took over the 51′s (then the Buffalo Bisons) in 2012. His last two seasons at AAA have been incredible, winning over 80 games both years.

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MMO Exclusive: Dilson Herrera Goes From Big Dreams To Big Leagues Fri, 29 Aug 2014 15:34:19 +0000 herrera

Wow, what a dramatic change of events for the Mets on Thursday night, first Daniel Murphy goes on the DL and then the Mets catch everyone off guard and call up top prospect Dilson Herrera.

When I first heard the news, I was shocked and not because Herrera does not deserve the opportunity, oh he definitely does, but because the Mets actually thought enough of his amazing season to jump him straight from Double-A.

I spoke with Dilson last night after finding out the news and he was just so thankful that his dreams are finally becoming a reality. But from what I have witnessed from spending time with him and just chatting about baseball and life, was that he has a confidence that I have never seen before in a player so young and he knows in his mind that he belongs in the majors.

The Mets bring up a player that has played exciting baseball in both Advanced-A St. Lucie and then got better at Binghamton. For his reward, he’ll now showcase his amazing talent on the big stage and what better place to do that than New York City.

What he isn’t is a flashy player. What he is is a player with a solid bat that can turn on a fastball and drive it. He can also take the ball the other way and knows how to get on base. He plays good defense, gets the job done, and has proven to be a winner.

I am very excited about this move and looking forward to seeing him perform in the show. Also with Herrera being the first Colombian native to don a Mets uniform, Citi Field should be rocking again very shortly.  The team will not be in contention this season, but with a few more moves the future is going to be brighter than ever.

Below is an interview I conducted with Herrera this past season..

When the Mets knew that their 2013 season wasn’t going anywhere, they decided to unload two main players, Marlon Byrd and John Buck to the Pittsburgh Pirates, hoping that in return they would receive some future value to the organization. What they did receive would not pay any dividends for years to come, but it was a way to continue to solidify their farm system with additional talented ballplayers.

In last summers trade with the Pirates, the Mets brought in relief pitcher Vic Black and middle infielder Dilson Herrera, and even though Black may have been the player to make an immediate impact to the big league roster, Herrera could actually be the most significant part of the deal.

Herrera signed an international contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates at 16 years old. I asked him if they were the only team that showed interest in him, “I tried out with a few organizations and wasn’t sure who I would sign with, but the Pirates showed the most interest, so I decided I would sign with their organization,” he says.

While growing up in his native land of Colombia, both his father and grandfather played baseball and he tells me that he owes his talents to his upbringing, “My family has always loved baseball, and because my father played the game, he was able to show me how to play the right way.”

Before signing a contract to play professional baseball, Herrera was molded to be a shortstop and he even emulated how Jimmy Rollins played the position. But the Pirates had other plans and decided to sign him to play third base. But then after one season they moved him to second base.

Even though Herrera preferred to play short, he tells me that the move to second was a better fit.

“I felt that I was more comfortable playing second base, because shortstop was a bit more difficult to get adjusted to early on and the throws were much longer. But now, I have shown that I am capable of adjusting and playing both positions very well.”

In 2011, the he played his first pro season in the Venezuelan Rookie League for the Pirates and he hit .308/.413/.472 with 19 doubles, five triples, two home runs, and 27 RBI’s. The following season he was promoted to the Pirates’ Gulf Coast team and in 53 games, he batted .281/.341/.482 with seven home runs, and 27 RBI’s. Herrera finished out the 2012 season with a bump to Low-A State College in the NY Penn League and in seven games batted .321/.345/.536.

Herrera would call the South Atlantic League home in 2013, and in 109 games for Single-A West Virginia he batted .265/.330/.421, with 27 doubles, 11 home runs, and 56 RBI’s. His prospect status was on the rise.

During that summer, Herrera represented the Pirates in the All-Star Futures Game at Citi Field, and became the second-youngest player to ever play in the game.

“It was an amazing experience to be in New York and have an opportunity to play at Citi Field. It was very special to me to be chosen for the game and something I will never forget,” says Herrera.

When the Pirates decided to part ways with the young infielder, initially he says he didn’t take it too well.

“I was a bit confused and down when I was traded to the Mets, because I didn’t understand why the Pirates would trade me especially since they were the first team to sign me. I felt like they were my team.”

For a young kid from another country who was still not comfortable with the English language, leaving the only organization he ever knew was a shock to the system. But the one of the good things that came out of it was the immediate connection he made with the Mets organization.

Pedro Perez, a player within the Mets farm system, knew Herrera from their homeland of Colombia and he played a big part in helping Herrera to adjust to his new organization.

“Pedro was the first person to contact me and welcome me to the Mets and I was very thankful that I had a friend that understood me and could help me feel comfortable in my new surroundings.”

After the trade, Herrera was assigned to Single-A Savannah for the last seven games of the season. He batted .316/.417/.316 with his new club. The move also allowed him to be a part of a team that would capture the 2013 SAL Championship.

“When I arrived in Savannah, the players, especially our manager Luis Rojas welcomed me and instantly made me feel like a member of the team. It was a great feeling to play with a group of guys that were good enough to win the league championship. I was very grateful for the opportunity to not only play but help the team win.”

For a player that is 5’10”, Herrera has displayed some surprising power, belting 22 home runs in three minor league seasons. But his plate approach is not about hitting home runs, but as he says, playing the game the right way. “I like to drive the ball the other way, and I don’t focus on hitting home runs, I just focus on putting the bat on the ball and making things happen,” says Herrera.

Dilson  Herrera Bunting

Herrera oozes with confidence and focuses on producing the best he can from day to day. He tells me that he doesn’t worry about things beyond his control. “My main focus is to do what needs to be done on the field. I can only control that part of my game and I know that in time I will get my opportunity.”

Herrera, who is now playing with Advanced-A St. Lucie in his first full season with the organization, started the year 3-for-17 (.176) in his first five games. But since then he reeled off an 11-game hit streak in which he batted .391 (20 for 51), with three doubles, a triple, home run, five RBIs and four walks.

Overall this season, he has been a catalyst, batting .333/.389/.432, with eight multi-hit games. After seeing his hitting streak come to an on Monday, he started a new one on Tuesday with three hits and one more hit in Wednesday night’s game.

This exciting infield prospect has solidified himself in the lead-off spot for St. Lucie and he is one of the main components in a potent lineup that leads the Florida State League through Wednesday games with a .283 batting average, 99 runs, 190 hits, 92 RBI’s, 267 TB, and a .356 OBP.

“I feel very comfortable playing with St. Lucie and we have a very good team with a great group of talented guys that go out each and every night and compete.”

I had a chance to watch Herrera play from April 17-19, when the Mets visited the Miracle in Fort Myers, and what I witnessed was a very talented ballplayer that could turn on any fastball and drive it with power. His range at the shortstop and second base were flawless and his throws to first were very strong and accurate.

Only 20 years old, Herrera has had an incredible minor league career thus far, producing at every different level he’s played. He’s been dynamic both at the plate and in the field. In a few short years I can see him becoming an impact player on our big league roster. I’m excited for the day he makes his debut and electrifies our lineup.

Interview was conducted in Spanish and translated into English for our readers to enjoy.

mmo always believe

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What Does Herrera’s Arrival Say About Murphy’s Future? Fri, 29 Aug 2014 15:26:27 +0000 herreraTonight Dilson Herrera will likely make his major league debut at second base, replacing Daniel Murphy who landed on the disabled list after yesterdays game. There has been a wide range of opinions on whether or not this move made sense for the Mets. My opinion is that it doesn’t matter. You can’t find out much about a 20 year old during his first 28 games.

For years Mets fans have been screaming for owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon to put a winning product on the field. They brought in Sandy Alderson who has done an incredible job rebuilding the farm system. What he hasn’t done in his four seasons as Mets GM is put a winning team on the field at the major league level.

One of those pieces that has spent time in the minors is Herrera who was acquired with Vic Black (in what now seems like an incredible trade) for Marlon Byrd and John Buck last season. The second baseman has absolutely torn up the minor leagues but it didn’t seem likely that he’d make his way to Queens for a few years. Murphy’s injury opened that door.

daniel murphyIt’s exciting sure. I can’t wait to see what Herrera is all about. He’s young, he’s talented and boy can he hit. But where does this leave Daniel Murphy?

In his fifth full season in the majors, Murphy is hitting .301 and had a shot, before his injury, at 200 hits. He was trying to join Lance Johnson and Jose Reyes as the only Mets to accomplish that feat. Now Murphy goes to the disabled list as the forgotten man and the hype begins to surround Herrera.

There are a few possible scenarios. First is that Herrera tears up the final month of the season making either himself or Murphy expendable in a trade during the off season. Second is that he is just ok, leading to no definitive answers whatsoever. Third is that he doesn’t come close to filling the void left by Murphy and the Mets are forced into a much more difficult decision after the season. Sign Murphy or trust Herrera.

If the Mets decide that Herrera is the real deal, Murphy can become a trade chip but can they really make that decision with just 28 games left? It’s going to be a big risk either way but I’m trusting in Sandy to make the right decision…for now.

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Featured Post: The Emergence of Jeurys Familia Fri, 29 Aug 2014 08:47:30 +0000 Jeurys - Familia

In his first full season in the big leagues, Jeurys Familia has been outstanding to say the least.

The 24 year old has established himself as a key component to the success of the Mets bullpen this season and is being thrown into the conversation of being the closer of the future for the Amazin’s.

In 61 appearances so far in 2014, Familia has pitched to a 1.93 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and .208 BAA over a span of 65.1 innings pitched.

Familia is a guy that we have heard so much about over the last few years. He has the potential to be a stud out of the bullpen for years to come and now it looks like we are finally seeing it come true.

Every time Familia steps on the mound, I feel increasingly more comfortable and certain that he will escape any jam that he has inherited and in fact he seemingly does.

When you look at the competition going into spring next year, you have three very talented pitchers competing for the closer job in Jenrry Mejia, Bobby Parnell and Familia. It’s not a bad problem to have. In fact, and it shows just how promising and strong our ‘pen is and will hopefully be for years to come, built on the foundation of young arms like Familia.

Just the idea of having a 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th combo of Vic Black, Bobby Parnell, Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia to finish off games makes me all giddy. And that’s not even including guys like Josh Edgin, Carlos Torres and the other young arms we have on the horizon.

Familia looks like he’s found a home and a role with the Mets and we are certainly fortunate to have him.

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Mets Promote Top Prospect Dilson Herrera Fri, 29 Aug 2014 06:09:07 +0000 dilson-herrera-in-the-cage

The Mets announced that Daniel Murphy has been placed on the DL and that Dilson Herrera will be called up from Double-A Binghamton.

The 20-year old Herrera skips Triple-A and goes straight to Go. He was having an incredible season at Bingo, slashing at .333/.401/.504 with ten home runs and 49 RBI in 237 at.bats. He of course, was the second-base prospect acquired with Vic Black in the Marlon Byrd trade.

Herrera will join the Mets before Friday’s series opener against the Phillies, replacing Murphy.

Now the Mets get their first look at Herrera,  who had to be added to the 40-man roster anyway to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft this winter. Can he make the jump? The Mets GM certainly thinks so.

“He’s starting to control the strike zone a little more in Binghamton,” Alderson recently said of Herrera in an interview with “He’s shown surprising power for his size and age. … His athleticism, his body type allows him to hit for power. He’s aggressive and generates a lot of bat speed.”

While he has spent most of his time at Binghamton at second base, Herrera is capable of playing both middle-infield positions.

“Usually when you see kids his age getting to this point, the tendency seems to be some guys being more pull hitters than anything else,” Binghamton manager Pedro Lopez said in June. “What he does is have plate discipline and an ability to drive the ball the other way. That’s what makes him successful.”

Herrera should play every day at least until Murphy returns from the DL. Murphy has been out since leaving Sunday’s game with a calf strain and was leading the NL in hits and hoping to reach 200.

Sadly for Murph, that won’t happen. But worse yet for him, this bold move could signal that his time with the Mets is drawing to an end as he’s expected to earn as much as $8 million in arbitration. The team seems eager to move on without their only All Star this season.

Herrera will get the next four weeks to show the Mets what he could offer them. It’s been a meteoric rise for this exciting player who went from Single-A to the Major Leagues in under five months. I can’t recall the last time a Mets prospect did that.

Welcome to the Show, Dilson.

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MMO Game Recap: Braves 6, Mets 1 Fri, 29 Aug 2014 02:10:35 +0000 jon niese

The Mets lost to the Atlanta Braves by a score of 6-1 on Thursday night, for their 72nd loss of the season and putting them at ten games under .500.

Jon Niese pitched a solid game. He got through 7.1 innings with 5 K’s, 1 BB and giving up 9 hits and 3 ER. His velocity was still not at his usual low 90’s. He threw 93 pitches of which 64 were strikes. Unfortunately, he took the loss.

Mike Minor was dominant coming off of his near no-hitter in his last outing.  He was perfect through 4 innings.  His final line was 7 innings pitched with 5 K’s, 0 BB’s, 4 hits and 1 ER.  He through 98 pitches, 65 for strikes.

Minor helped his cause with two hits on the night, an RBI single in the 2nd and a leadoff double in the 8th.  Minor came around to score in the 8th on a triple off the bat of Emilio Bonifacio. The rally continued as Freddie Freeman singled in Bonifacio.

Duda broke up the perfect game in the 5th inning with a leadoff single to right. He moved to second on a sacrifice groundout and was stranded there.

Granderson led off the 7th inning with an infield hit. David Wright followed by grounding into a 6-4-3 double play to end the likes of any potential Mets rally.

The Mets started the 8th inning with a double to right-center off the bat of Travis d’Arnaud. Eric Campbell followed with an RBI single into centerfield.  Wilmer Flores moved Campbell to second-base. After a Ruben Tejada flyout, Kirk Nieuwenhuis pinch-hit and drew a two-out walk. Juan Lagares followed with a sharply hit ball to second that was scooped up by Tommy La Stella to end the rally.

Carlos Torres pitched .2 innings to relieve Niese, striking out both hitters he faced.

Dice-K made his return from the disabled list in the 9th inning.  He gave up a single to Tommy La Stella. Two batters later, Ryan Doumit hit a pinch-hit, two-run bomb to right-center field. A couple two out hits, a double by Jason Heyward and a single by Emilio Bonifacio ended the outing for Dice-K. Dana Eveland came in and struck out Freddie Freeman to end the damage.

The core of the Mets lineup, Granderson, Wright and Duda went down 1-2-3 in the ninth.

What’s next: The Mets and Phillies hook up for a weekend set at Citi Field. Jacob deGrom (6-6, 3.13) will start the Friday night opener and goes up against Phillies right-hander David Buchanan (6-7, 4.21). First pitch is at 7:10 PM.

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Curtis Granderson Has Been Invisible Fri, 29 Aug 2014 00:18:23 +0000 curtis-granderson

Most of us refer to him as the Grandy Man, but one Mets team source called him the Invisible Man while speaking to John Harper of the Daily News. Of course we’re talking about right fielder Curtis Granderson.

“Remember, he was supposed to be our cleanup hitter,” the source told Harper. “The guy has been invisible.”

Granderson has had a couple of one-week hot stretches this season, but since the All Star break he is slashing  at a .171/.261/.243 clip with a .504 OPS.

Among all right-fielders in baseball with 200 or more plate appearances, Granderson ranks:

  • 35 with .217 batting average.
  • 21 with a .322 on-base percentage.
  • 27 with a .368 slugging percentage.
  • 24 with a .689 OPS

Says Harper, “ To put it in perspective, Jason Bay had a better first season with the Mets, concussion and all.”

With three years left and $47 million still owed to him, the Mets must be concerned in his career worst production.

The Mets had hoped to recharge him by batting him leadoff, but he’s responded with a .210 batting average and .289 on-base in 235 such plate appearances.

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Vic Black Headed To DL, Matsuzaka Recalled Thu, 28 Aug 2014 21:45:28 +0000 vic black

UPDATE: Thursday, August 28th, 6:53pm

According to the Mets, Vic Black is heading to the DL and will be replaced by Daisuke Matsuzaka on the active roster.

Original Story

Vic Black has been one of the brightest stars for the Mets this season. He’s pitched to 2.20 ERA over 32.2 and has 31 strikeouts. With that great success comes an even greater relief that the stud righty should be ok after a few days rest.

Black had missed the last few games with a sore neck and went for an MRI on Wednesday. To everyones relief, the MRI showed a slightly herniated disc, an injury that should heal itself in a few days.

Black told Marc Carig of Newsday that “It shouldn’t be a big deal” and “I’ll be able to finish out the season.” According to that report, Black is being treated with anti-inflammatory medications. Black had noted that while he could probably pitch through it, it’s just uncomfortable to throw. “Outside of that, it’s a nice break for the arm. But I’d rather be out there.”

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Braves, 7:10 PM Thu, 28 Aug 2014 21:12:38 +0000 Mets starting pitcher Jonathon Niese 2

The Mets will try once again to take down the series against the Braves on Thursday night, sending Jon Niese (7-9, 3.47) against Mike Minor (5-8, 4.90).

In his last start Niese tossed his third consecutive quality start in the Mets’ 6-2 defeat at Dodger Stadium, allowing two earned runs on eight hits while striking out four over 6.2 innings of work. It was Niese’s ninth loss of the season.

The Mets have hit a home run in a season-high eight straight games, the longest streak since they opened the 2013 season (April 1-16) with a home run in 12 straight games. The Mets have 13 home runs during the current streak.

Juan Lagares is hitting .500 (9-18) over a five-game hitting streak, with multiple hits in four of the five contests. He has hit two home runs in those five games and has an RBI in four straight games (seven total), tied for the longest streak of his career.

Starting Lineup

  1. Juan Lagares – CF
  2. Curtis Granderson – RF
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Lucas Duda – 1B
  5. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  6. Eric Campbell – LF
  7. Wilmer Flores – 2B
  8. Ruben Tejada – SS
  9. Jon Niese – LHP

In the first game of the series, the Mets won 3-2, last night, the Braves won 3-2. Today Jon Niese looks to bring the Mets back on the winning path. On the season he is 7-9 over 24 games and 148.0 innings with a 3.47 ERA. In his last three games he has pitched 19.2 innings with a 2-1 record while posting a 3.20 ERA. In one start against the Braves this year, he allowed 1 ER over 6.0 innings while walking 3 and striking out 7. The Braves have the following numbers against Jon:

  • Freeman 9-30, 2 2B, 2 HR
  • Heyward 9-24, 2 2B, 2 HR
  • J Upton 9-17, 2B
  • C Johnson 4-15, 2 2B
  • Simmons 5-13, 2B
  • BJ Upton 1-9, 5 K

Mike Minor gets the start for the Braves. On the season he is 5-8 over 20 games and 119.1 innings with an ERA of 4.90. In his last three starts he is 1-1 over 21.1 innings with a 2.53 ERA while striking out 19 batters. In two starts against the Mets this year he allowed 6 ER over 11.1 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against Mike:

  • Wright 6-23, 2 2B, 3 HR
  • Tejada 8-22, 2 2B
  • Murphy 3-21, 2 2B, HR
  • Duda 6-19, 2B, HR
  • Granderson 3-12, HR
  • Lagares 4-11, 2B

Lets Go Mets!

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Wheeler Wonders Why Mets Wouldn’t Spend Money Thu, 28 Aug 2014 19:22:07 +0000 wheeler d'arnaud

Kevin Kernan of the New York Post,spoke to Zack Wheeler who has his own thoughts about what the Mets should do as far as spending this offseason.

“How could you not spend money?” Wheeler said to Kernan. “You’re in New York. I know the Wilpons. I’ve been around them awhile now. I know they want to win. It’s just a matter of putting the right pieces together, formulating it all and making a winner.’’

Wheeler also expressed his hope that he doesn’t get traded this offseason, the second time he’s made such a plea in a week.

“I don’t want to be traded,” Wheeler told Kernan. “We’re only going to get better when the guys we got here get more experience and spend a little bit of money, making trades, get some better bats and stuff.”

Yes Zack, we’re in New York, but obviously you haven’t been around the Wilpons long enough to know that they aren’t and haven’t been spending money.

And even when they were spending money it was because they were getting 15-20% growth on their funds when the rest of the country was getting 3-7%. Then the scheme fell apart.

Listen Zack, why do you think the team needs to unload Bartolo Colon‘s contract?

Why is Daniel Murphy a part of every trade rumor and hasn’t even been confronted about an extension?

Why do you think they traded Ike Davis ($3.5MM)  instead of Lucas Duda ($1.6MM)? (At least we got lucky on that one.)

Why do you think payroll went down $10 million from 2013 when all the propaganda the previous season trumpeted that it would go up?

And as for whether you’ll get traded my dear boy, it will depend on just how good you are moving forward and whether you price yourself out of the Mets plans via arbitration. Just like Murphy did, and just like Duda will a year from now.

How could you not spend money? You’re in New York? Why can’t we a build a winner?

Great questions, Zack… But don’t look for the answers inside the clubhouse, you won’t find them there.

We’ve been asking the same questions for the better part of six seasons – all losing seasons at that. Believe me, it comes easy to these owners.

Despite record revenues from their cable and blog networks, and a $30 million dollar infusion from MLB for the new national TV contract this past Spring, not a DIME went toward improving the team’s roster. Instead we saw more slashing.

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Battery of Syndergaard And Plawecki Dominated On Wednesday Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:33:52 +0000 plawecki-milbThe Mets top 2 prospects (according to Noah Syndergaard and Kevin Plawecki teamed up for an effort worthy of those rankings on Wednesday.

Making his 25th start for the AAA Las Vegas 51′s, Syndergaard made it one of his best. Over 6.2 he struck out 9 and yielded just 1 run on 7 hits. What was most impressive was his command of the strike zone. Of the 110 pitches that Syndergaard threw, 80 went for strikes. This was a purely dominant start for the top prospect.

Syndergaard’s battery mate Plawecki provided just about all the offense the 51′s would need. He launched two home runs into the Las Vegas night, finishing 4 for 4 with 3 RBI’s. Plawecki’s batting average is now .304 and he has emerged as one of the best catching prospects in all of baseball (he is currently ranked 4th by Major League Baseball).

For these two prospects, good fortune may have come at the perfect time. With a potential Bartolo Colon trade and September call-ups just around the corner, both Syndergaard and Plawecki could get their chance in the majors. For now, every member of the 51′s has September 3rd circled. That night they will open up the Pacific Coast League playoffs and unless he’s in Queens, Syndergaard will be on the hill throwing to Plawecki.

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Andrelton Simmons Saves Game That Ruben Tejada Gave Away Thu, 28 Aug 2014 15:00:20 +0000 MLB: New York Mets at Minnesota TwinsLast night was really about two shortstops. Zack Wheeler pitched another incredible game, giving up 2 earned runs over his 7 innings of work. Unfortunately for him, it was the 1 unearned run that would be the difference in the game.

In the top of the third, with a run already in, Ruben Tejada booted a relatively easy ground ball that he had charged in on. There wasn’t a lot of speed running to first and it appeared as if he had made this play hundreds of times in his life. Unfortunately he couldn’t come up with it and Freddie Freeman scored the all important 3rd run of the game.

Tejada was back a shortstop because of Daniel Murphy‘s absence. Wilmer Flores shifted over to second while the more experienced and better fielding Tejada went back to short. Although the play came early on, it was the difference in a very well pitched game.

What seemed to rub Tejada’s play in even more was that in the bottom of the 8th, Braves shortstop and perennial Gold Glover Andrelton Simmons made one of the best plays of the season, robbing Travis d’Arnaud of a would-be RBI single. That RBI would have tied the game.

After the game, there was nothing but praise from the Mets. Wheeler noted that it reminded him of Derek Jeter. Murphy said that he didn’t think he had a prayer (Danny Knobler, ESPN).

When d’Arnaud was asked about whether or not he’d seen the replay he responded simply “I heard. In slow motion, it looks like he had no chance. Then, at the last moment, he just reached for it, got it and made a perfect throw.”

Last nights game will raise the age old question of whether or not the Mets have a viable option at shortstop moving forward. One that can make the plays on the field and provide a little bit of offense. The eyeball test is telling Mets fans that the guy isn’t currently in Queens.

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Cyclones Win Wild Walkoff On Hit-By-Pitch Thu, 28 Aug 2014 14:44:41 +0000 Scarlyn Reyes turned in 7.0 innings of two-run ball. (Photo by Jim Mancari)

Scarlyn Reyes turned in 7.0 innings of two-run ball. (Photo by Jim Mancari)

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – In a game that featured three wild pitches in the same inning leading to a critical run, it was a fitting end that the Brooklyn Cyclones earned a victory on a walkoff bases-loaded hit-by-pitch.

The Cyclones (40-31) needed 11 innings to defeat the Staten Island Yankees 3-2 at MCU Park in Coney Island Wednesday night, but the win keeps Brooklyn 2.0 games ahead of the Connecticut Tigers in the Wild Card race with five games left to play.

Brooklyn rebounded from a rough patch in the middle of the season to now be 25-12 over its last 37 games and has outscored its opponents 169-116 in that stretch. Not surprisingly, this stretch coincides with the addition of Mets’ first-round draft pick Michael Conforto to the lineup.

Conforto was 4-for-5 Wednesday night with a run scored. The team is now 18-2 when he scores at least one run. The first rounder now has 16 multi-hit games this season, including five in his last seven games.

“This was a huge one for us,” said Cyclones’ manager Tom Gamboa. “They all are at this stage of the game. You can’t say enough about our pitching, which has been good all year.”

Right-hander Scarlyn Reyes made his sixth start of the season, and after surrendering a first-inning run, he settled in nicely over the next five frames.

With the Cyclones leading 2-1 in top of seventh, Reyes wound up striking out the side. However, after giving up a leadoff single, he threw three wild pitches, allowing the tying-run to come around easily.

Reyes finished with seven strikeouts in 7.0 innings but was tagged with a no-decision.

Both teams couldn’t muster anything offensively over the next four innings. Cyclones’ lefty relievers Kelly Secrest, Shane Bay and Brad Wieck turned in another dominant combined relief effort to keep Brooklyn in the game.

The Cyclones loaded the bases in the bottom of the 11th inning with only one out. To that point, the team had struggled all game with runners in scoring position.

But it was the 18-year-old Amed Rosario who was hit by a pitch to force in the winning run.

Brooklyn heads upstate Thursday to open a three-game game series against the Tri-City Valleycats, the Single-A short season affiliate of the Houston Astros. Martires Arias takes the ball for Brooklyn looking to improve upon his 2-0 record with a 1.10 ERA. Game time is 7 p.m.

The Cyclones control their own destiny with five games to play. If the team can hold on, the first round of the New York-Penn League playoffs would open Wednesday, Sept. 2 at MCU Park.

“We’re two up with five to play,” Gamboa said. “We just have to keep playing.”

Click here to view the complete box score from this game.

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Mets Lack Excitement On The 40-Man Roster Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:21:15 +0000 Noah SyndergaardSeptember 1st is just over one week away and looking over the Mets 40-man roster, there are really no players worth calling up.

The players that currently occupy spots on the 40-man include players like Josh Satin, Andrew Brown, Cesar Puello and Erik Goeddel. None of the top prospects, guys like Noah Syndergaard, Matt Reynolds or Kevin Plawecki are on the roster and therefore a player would need to be removed in order for the September call up to take place.

What makes this an interesting month is that the Mets won’t be playing for anything in September and all of the players that they could call up would be filling spots occupied by other starters. Take Syndergaard as an example. Unless there is an injury to one of the five starters, someone would have to be skipped or removed from the rotation to make room for him.

In addition, someone would need to be removed from the 40-man and passed through waivers. That could be a guy like Goeddel, a five-year minor leaguer who hasn’t shown much in that time. Another guy could be Puello who has struggled mightily since returning from his steroid suspension. He is batting just .238 in 100 games (AAA) this year after an impressive .326 in 2013 (AA).

The question becomes: Is it worth it?

Sure we’d all like to see Syndergaard but couldn’t he make his debut pitching in the fifth game of the 2015 season after Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jon Niese and Jacob deGrom?

There is one guy that could make sense in September. If the Mets choose to give their pitchers some extra rest and move to a six man rotation, Steven Matz could be recalled from AA to make a few starts. Matz is 6-4 with a filthy 2.17 ERA and 8 strikeouts per nine innings. Sure it’s a jump to go from AA to the majors but because he’s already on the 40-man roster it’s an easy move to make.

The Mets will look different in 2015 but for now it will be nice to get a small peak at the future. On September 1st we’ll start to see what the Mets have moving forward and which players will be moving on from Queens.

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Is Lucas Duda The Future At First Base? Thu, 28 Aug 2014 12:00:57 +0000 lucas duda

A simple search of my Twitter feed, or my comment history on this site will reveal a strong dislike for Lucas Duda (as a baseball player, I don’t know the man).

This spring when the Mets were auditioning both Duda and the since traded Ike Davis for the everyday first base spot, I strongly backed Ike Davis. In my opinion, I had seen flashes of brilliance from Ike that I hadn’t seen in Duda. Davis hit 32 homers in 2012. He’d shown a disciplined approach, posting walk rates over 10.0% from 2010-2012. He’d hit .302 in an injury shortened 2011. Ike Davis looked like a guy who was waiting to put it all together. Duda looked like a spare part.

I was dead wrong, and I’m here to admit that.

Lucas Duda has turned himself into more than just an average first basemen, while Ike Davis has continued to struggle — recently losing his job in Pittsburgh’s first base platoon.

Yesterday, Mike Petriello of FanGraphs published an article entitled “Is Lucas Duda a Star Now?”, and it really caught me off-guard. I knew Lucas was having a good season, but I hadn’t really put it in perspective by considering his standing amongst his peers. Petriello broke down some of Duda’s stats, and I highly recommend reading the article, as well as everything they do on FanGraphs.

Here’s some numbers in Duda’s stat-line that really jumped out at me.

(All statistics are accurate as of 8/26)

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Despite being more than a full run lower than stars like Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rizzo and Freddie Freeman, Duda ranks an impressive fourth in WAR amongst National League first basemen.

While we all know that Lucas currently sits in third place in the NL in home runs, there’s another metric which really highlights just how much of a power boost he’s provided for this light-hitting Mets team. Check out the NL leaders in ISO:

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This is quite a surprise. Essentially what ISO means is how many extra base hits a player averages per at-bat. As you can see, Lucas trails just the NL home run leader Giancarlo Stanton in this category.

Lastly, we’ll take a look at how Duda stacks up against other first basemen in wOBA, or Weighted On-Base Percentage. wOBA is one of my favorite metrics. While batting average is certainly useful, its flaw is that it weighs all hits equally. Slugging percentage, while weighing hits differently, has proven to be inaccurate over time while leaving certain components out all together. wOBA weighs all hits and ways of reaching base differently in correlation to their actual run value.

Once again Lucas places in the upper echelon.

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So does, that answer the question? Is Lucas the future at first base for this team? In short, I don’t know. While he’s shown improvements in nearly all facets of his game, there’s no telling what next season will bring. What I do know is that Lucas is having a tremendous season and has a lot of us eating crow– but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t taste pretty good.

What do our knowledgeable readers think?

]]> 0 Latest Buzz: Angels and Royals Not Hot For Colon Thu, 28 Aug 2014 03:20:49 +0000 bartolo colon

The latest on the Bartolo Colon front comes from Andy Martino of the Daily News. Sources tell him that the Angels and Royals both considered trying to trade for the veteran righy, but felt the cost in prospects and salary were too much.

Neither team is hot for Colon and overall interest in him seems to be waning.

Colon cleared waivers on Monday and can be traded to any team. However teams are apparently leery about taking on Bartolo Colon’s $11 million salary for 2015.

The Mets would have to kick in some money to facilitate any deal, but it appears more likely they’ll deal Colon in the offseason.

An executive from a team that was interested in Colon told Martino, “Everyone is scared of next year.”

Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times pointed out that the Angels would be up against the $189 million luxury-tax threshold if they were to take on Colon’s salary for 2015, leaving them virtually no flexibility to pursue another free-agent next winter. 

The Mets have five days left to complete a deal. After August 31, Colon would be ineligible for a postseason roster, making him a lot less attractive to contenders.

As I’ve been maintaining all along, I still don’t see Colon being dealt until the offseason, if they deal him at all. I’m still not convinced they don’t hang onto Colon as a hedge against Harvey returning at full strength. That was WHY Alderson gave Colon that second guaranteed year in the first place

At least we now know that no team was willing to take on Colon and his salary even if it cost them no players in return. That speaks volumes…

August 24

Buster Olney of ESPN Insider touches on what I said yesterday:

“For the Angels to have a shot at Colon on waivers, he would have to pass through the entire National League without any team placing a claim — and the Dodgers would be a candidate to take a shot at him, given their injuries — and all the way through every other AL team, including the New York Yankees, who have been placing a lot of claims to block.”

Olney says that Colon could be auditioning for the Dodgers in his start against them on Sunday.

Also, a rival executive told Olney that the Mets would be ecstatic if a team claims Colon because they have a small-market payroll and need the financial flexibility. 

Finally, the San Francisco Giants may also be a strong suitor for Colon as Tim Lincecum is dangerously close to being removed from the rotation.

This is starting to get very interesting.

August 23

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting that the Mets have placed Bartolo Colon on revocable waivers.

If Colon is claimed, the Mets can pull him back and be unable to trade him, work out a trade with the claiming team, or dump the $11 million contract for 2015 on the claiming club.

If Colon is claimed, the two teams have 48.5 hours to work out a trade.

He must pass through 28 teams before the Los Angeles Angels could get a crack at him, Rosenthal adds.

One team who could block the Angels are their division rivals, the Oakland A’s, who are one game behind them for first place in the AL West.

Lets see, the Dodgers, Mariners and Yankees may all have varying degrees of interest, and they each have better farm systems than the Angels….

Fasten your seat belts everybody…


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MMO Game Recap: Braves 3, Mets 2 Thu, 28 Aug 2014 02:12:03 +0000 zack wheeler

The Mets (62-71) were defeated by the Atlanta Braves (69-64) tonight at Citi Field by a score of 3-2

What you should know:

Zack Wheeler pitched seven good innings for the Amazin’s, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits, while walking three and striking out seven.

Julio Teheran was impressive for Atlanta as well, as he tossed 6.1 innings, allowing one run on three hits, while walking two and striking out four, earning the win.

Jason Heyward lead off the game with a solo home run to left field, putting the Mets in a early hole

The Mets answered back in the bottom of the second, as Wilmer Flores hit a solo home run of his own to tie the game at one.

The Braves tacked on two runs in the top of the third, after a Justin Upton RBI groundout, followed by a fielding error by Ruben Tejada enabling Freddie Freeman to score.

The Mets threatened in the bottom of the seventh as they had two runners on base, but failed to get a run across.

Jordan Walden entered the game in the bottom of the eighth and proceeded to put runners on first and second with no out. Juan Lagares drove a run in with an RBI line drive up the middle, but after a Lucas Duda double play and an outstanding play by Andrelton Simmons in the hole, the Mets failed to get the tying run across.

The Mets got runners to second and third with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but the Braves would hold on to win 3-2.

On deck:

The Mets look for the series victory tomorrow night at Citi Field with Jonathon Niese (7-9, 3.47 ERA) taking on Mike Minor (5-8, 4.90 ERA)

MMO footer

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Braves, 7:10 PM Wed, 27 Aug 2014 19:47:26 +0000 zack wheelerThe Mets look to take the series against the Atlanta Braves tonight with Julio Teheran (12-9, 2.96) taking on Zack Wheeler (9-8, 3.48) at 7:10pm.

In his last start Wheeler earned his sixth straight win in the Mets’ 8-5 victory against the Athletics on August 20th in Oakland. He pitched 5.2 innings, allowed four hits, four runs, two earned, and three walks, while striking out three. This marked the first time Wheeler had allowed more than three runs since June 25th.

Wheeler has made 10 straight starts without a loss (6-0 in decisions). The last Mets pitcher to have such a streak in a single season was Matt Harvey, who had a 13-game stretch without a defeat in 2013.

Juan Lagares has 30 defensive runs saved, second among all major leaguers to Atlanta’s Jason Heyward. Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) has been a stat researched over the last 12 years and Lagares is the only player to record back-to-back seasons of 30 or more defensive runs saved.

Starting Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson – RF
  2. Juan Lagares – CF
  3. Lucas Duda – 1B
  4. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  5. Eric Campbell – 3B
  6. Matt den Dekker – LF
  7. Wilmer Flores – 2B
  8. Ruben Tejada – SS
  9. Zack Wheeler – RHP

The Mets opened up the season series with the Braves last night with a close 3-2 win thanks to great defense from Lagares and another Lagares homer. Plus, the Mets won with Murphy and Wright getting the night off, something that doesn’t happen too often. Tonight Julio Teheran gets the start for the Braves as he squares off against Zack Wheeler.

Wheeler is 9-8 on the season over 26 games and 152.2 innings with a 3.48 ERA. In his last two starts he has allowed 6 runs, 4 earned over 12.1 innings with 13 strikeouts. In three games this year and 17.1 innings he has a 4.15 ERA. The Braves have the following numbers against Wheeler:

  • Freeman 6-11, 2B, HR
  • C Johnson 2-17
  • Simmons 4-15
  • Heyward 6-15, 2 2B, HR
  • J Upton 0-15
  • BJ Upton 3-8, 2B, 3B
  • Gattis 1-8, 2B

Julio Teheran is 12-9 over 27 games and 182.2 innings with a 2.96 ERA. After back to back poor starts to start off the month (11 ER, 13.1 innings) he has now allowed 2 ER over 12.0 innings. Against the Mets this year he allowed 6 ER over 10.1 innings over 2 games. The Mets have the following numbers against Julio:

  •  Duda 4-11, 2B, HR
  • Murphy 2-10, 2B
  • Tejada 1-12
  • E Young 5-11
  • Wright 3-11, HR
  • Granderson 2-4, HR

Lets Go Mets!

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Yankees Sign Chris Young To Minor League Deal Wed, 27 Aug 2014 19:46:56 +0000 chris youngJust when we all thought that Chris Young’s career was done in New York…

This afternoon, the Yankees signed outfielder Chris Young to a minor league contract according to Jon Heyman of CBS. Young was released by the Mets on August 15th after hitting just .205. He will report to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

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