Mets Merized Online » Mets News & Notes Tue, 25 Oct 2016 14:30:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tigers Unlikely to Deal Second Baseman Ian Kinsler Tue, 25 Oct 2016 12:38:29 +0000 ian-kinsler

Detroit Tigers GM Al Avila has made it known that he is looking to cut payroll and shake up his roster this Winter. However, he has no intentions of moving two of hs core players in second baseman Ian Kinsler or right-hander Justin Verlander for that matter.(Detroit Free Press)

Beat Writer Anthony French explains why Kinsler is staying put:

“By trading Kinsler, who carries a lot of value with his contract expiring after the 2017 season pending a $12-million buyout, the Tigers would be parting with their heart and soul, an aggressor at the top of the lineup, and overall, a winning player.”

Original Report – Oct 22

The Mets have many needs this year, and only a few positions to add players. One position in flux is 2nd base. The Mets have the option of using some combination of Wilmer Flores, Jose Reyes, Gavin Cecchini and T.J. Rivera, who all come with risk and uncertainties. Or they have the option of gambling on the balky back of Neil Walker (requiring either $17.2 million qualifying offer, or a long-term commitment). This is where the recent news that Detroit is looking to purge major salary comes into play.

This brings us to Ian Kinsler. For those of you who are unaware of Ian Kinsler, he is a premier second baseman coming off one of the best years of his career at age 34, posting  a 123 wRC+. While some may shy away from a player in his mid 30′s, Kinsler has shown no signs of decline, ranking as an elite defensive player (posting UZR/150 of 7.5, 6.7, 11.2 over the last 3 seasons) while annually putting up a .340+ on-base percentage ( a glaring need for the Mets) and posting a .319 average w/RISP last season (another glaring need for the Mets).

So the question comes down to what will it cost via trade, and in terms of finances. Kinsler is on the back side of a 5 year contract extension that currently has him on the books for $11 million in 2017 with a club option of $10 million for 2018, with a $5 million buyout. So essentially the Mets choose 1 year at $16 million total (cheaper than Walker’s QO) or 2 years at $21 million (cheaper than what Walker’s contract would be if signed). This is a low commitment, high reward scenario for the Mets with minimal risk.

As for the cost in prospects, that may be a determining factor. Reports are that the key is teams willingness to take on full contract requirements of any player Detroit unloads. So it would appear the price in terms of prospects may not be steep. Given that and the affordable contract it’s possible that Kinsler is a perfect fit for the Mets.

It will be interesting to see what route Sandy Alderson goes this offseason, but with a player of Kinsler’s caliber available, with minimal risk involved, it would be wise for Alderson to explore this option. He showed no issue with signing mid 30′s players, as he reportedly offered 4 years to Ben Zobrist just last offseason, and Kinsler is a younger, better all around player compared to Zobrist.

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Mets Interested in Smyly, Looking to Upgrade at Catcher? Tue, 25 Oct 2016 11:00:46 +0000 drew-smyly

Shots fired… Was searching for some Mets news late last night and while this certainly doesn’t qualify as news I came across the following while skimming through articles on Fox Sports. This article says that the New York Mets have popped up in some recent rumors regarding left-handed starter Drew Smyly of the Tampa Bay Rays.

President of Baseball Operations Matt Silverman is reportedly “hellbent” on getting the Rays back into contention and dealing Drew Smyly is almost a given as he could potentially earn $6.9 million via arbitration.

The Yankees are also showing interest in Smyly, and could move catcher Brian McCann to the Rays if he is willing to waive his no-trade clause. However, he may be too rich for Tampa Bay’s blood and a deal with the Mets could make  more sense.

The article speculates that the Mets could acquire Smyly for catcher Travis d’Arnaud and outfielder Michael Conforto. D’Arnaud could use a change of scenery after failing to meet expectations both offensively and defensively, and he’s projected to earn $1.7 million in arbitration this Winter. Conforto could entice the Rays into dealing Smyly as he could be a solid replacement over Corey Dickerson.

Smyly, 27, had a tough season in 2016, posting a 4.88 ERA with a 1.272 WHIP over 30 starts with 167 strikeouts in 175.1 innings pitched. Over a five year career with Detroit and Tampa Bay, Smyly has a 3.74 ERA, 1.199 WHIP, 8.7 K/9 and 3.82 FIP in 156 appearances including 85 starts.

There’s going to be dozens upon dozens of rumors, buzz and speculation like this regarding the Mets over the next few months, so if you’re not into that kind of thing you may want to sit the Winter out. But for the rest of you, buckle yourselves in for what should be another fast moving hot stove season for the Mets.

Now about this article, the only thing that got my attention was the buzz that the Mets may be looking to upgrade at catcher. That’s something I wrote about on Sunday and I’m of the belief that d’Arnaud has worn out his welcome and that he’ll be dealt this offseason. That almost happened at the trade deadline but the offer was snubbed.

As for Smyly, I have no doubt that Tampa Bay will deal him, I’m just not convinced it will be to the New York Mets.

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Mets Want To Bring Back Bartolo Colon, We Say Lets Do It! Mon, 24 Oct 2016 18:34:54 +0000 bartolo-colon

According to Jon Heyman of Knuckleball the Mets would like to keep the Major Leagues’ sexiest pitcher in New York for the 2017 season. 

Bartolo Colon, 43, surpassed everyone’s expectations in 2016, going 15-8 with a 3.43 ERA. He tossed 191.2 innings, striking out 128 and walking only 32.

In a year plagued with injuries, he was truly the stalwart the Mets rotation needed. However, going into 2017, the Mets should have seven good young pitchers ready to go, with Noah Syndergaard, Seth Lugo, and Robert Gsellman returning in addition to Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz, Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom coming back from surgery.

Despite the plethora of young arms, there is of course that saying “you can never have enough pitching.” Big Bart will probably be paid very well this offseason, as he has more than proven he can pitch effectively despite his age. Over the last three seasons with the Mets (since turning 40) he has won 44 games.

If Colon were to return to the Mets, though, he would probably have to accept a bullpen/spot start role.

Thoughts from Joe D.

Bartolo Colon, led the rotation with 15 wins and delivered his third straight season of 30 or more starts – last accomplished by Mike Pelfrey. The veteran right-hander posted a 3.44 ERA and 1.210 WHIP this season and for the second year in a row he had an MLB-best 1.50 walk rate among all qualified starters. All of this in his age 43 season.

You want to talk about unsung heroes, I don’t know where the Mets would have been without Colon. He of course was supposed to be dispatched to the bullpen in July upon the return of Zack Wheeler, but as all of you know that never happened. Instead, the Mets again and again relied upon him in times of crisis and Colon for the most part never let the team down.

Colon was also strong down the stretch going 6-2 in his last 12 starts with a 3.17 ERA and 1.192 WHIP that could have been even better if not for the 2.1 innings and seven earned runs against the Miami Marlins on the day following the passing of Jose Fernandez.

Colon will earn a raise from the $7.25 million he earned this season and a one year deal for $10-12 million to return in 2017 would be fair and reasonable.

With Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz all returning from varying degrees of surgery in the Spring, I think having Colon in camp as a safety net is a no-brainer. Lets do it.

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Mets Say No Urgency In Signing Cespedes, We Beg To Differ Mon, 24 Oct 2016 11:19:57 +0000 yoenis cespedes walkoff

The Mets are willing to wait on the Yoenis Cespedes market according to Buster Olney of ESPN Insider . One source told Buster that “there is no urgency” in coming to terms with Cespedes once he opts out of his current deal with the Mets.

Cespedes hit .280/.354/.530 with 25 doubles, 31 home runs and 86 RBI while posting the highest walk rate (9.4%) of his career. He was limited to 132 games because of a right quadriceps injury that placed on him on the disabled list in August. The injury also limited his range on defense in the second half.

Sandy Alderson was patient last year with Cespedes as they signed him in late January to what was essentially a one-year contract worth $27.5 million. The deal does include two more years at $23,750,000 million per, but it’s a forgone conclusion that Cespedes will opt out and test the open market for the second straight offseason.

It will be a strong market for power hitting options with Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, Carlos Beltran, Mark Trumbo and Justin Turner all being free agents.

cespedes cabrera

Thoughts from Joe D.

Clearly, it’s imperative that the Mets front office does everything in its power to re-sign Yoenis Cespedes and keeping from latching onto a potential rival as we saw with Daniel Murphy signing with Washington Nationals and carrying them to a first place NL East finish. And we already know the Nats tried once and failed to secure Cespedes mostly because their offer was heavily backloaded.

Cespedes, who turned 31 this month, is more than just a power bat they can replace with a healthy Lucas Duda or a better version of the Jay Bruce who fell flat on his face after being dealt to the Mets at the trade deadline. With David Wright reduced to a shell of his former self and Travis d’Arnaud failing to meet his lofty power expectations, I shudder to think how exposed the Mets lineup will be without the dynamic right-handed thunder that Cespedes adds to the middle of the order.

The best evidence for how significant an impact Cespedes has had with the Mets and why his loss could spell doom for the Mets offense is looking at the won-loss column. The Mets were 72-54 in games that Cespedes started this past season, and 34-20 in 2015. That adds up to a 106-74 record in his time with the Mets, good for a .589 winning percentage.

Ideally, it would behoove the Mets to get a deal done with Cespedes before that five day window after the World Series in which only them can negotiate with him. After that it’s off to the races as he becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team. Still, if this comes down to a bidding war that drives his price to $100 million or more, I still say that it’s a bidding war the Mets can;t afford to lose. It’s time for the Mets to put on their big boy pants.

The Mets have a 2-4 year window to try and win a championship with their elite young pitching staff before they start hitting free agency and become too costly to keep the rotation together. To waste any portion of that window trying to find a right-handed power bat like Cespedes’ would make for an arduous task and it will probably lead to even more wasted stellar pitching performances than we’ve seen already.

Simply put, it’s time to make a Mike Piazza sized commitment for a player who has had a Mike Piazza sized impact on the New York Mets. If it takes a five-year deal that is beyond the comfort level for Sandy Alderson, he’ll have to grin and bear it – just as he did when Jeff Wilpon handed David Wright that mega deal. It’s no secret that Cespedes loves New York and New York loves him. He’s an incomparable and dynamic talent that thrives in the spotlight not shrink. Let’s get this done.

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Players On the Mets 40 Man Roster Bubble Mon, 24 Oct 2016 11:00:15 +0000 gilmartin-collins

With the Mets losing the Wild Card Game, the front office has the difficult task of assessing what the weaknesses on the roster were and how those spots could be improved. Each player is assessed on a case-by-case basis to determine if that player could be a valuable contributor for the 2017 season. If not, it is clear they need to be removed in some way, shape, or form for their valuable roster spot.

Unfortunately, no decision is made in a vacuum. With a team keeping one player, they then potentially put another player’s spot on the 40-man roster in jeopardy. For example, keeping one utility player makes the other utility player less valuable or needed. An additional complication is the Mets have 66 minor league players the team needs to decide if they are worthy of protection or if the Mets should risk losing that player in the Rule 5 Draft. Actually, it is 65 players as the Mets are definitely putting Amed Rosario on the 40 man roster.

At some point, with the Mets adding prospects like Rosario to the 40-man roster, eventually some players currently on the 40 are going to have to be removed to make room.

During the 2016 season, there were players like T.J. Rivera and Josh Smoker who solidified their spot on the 40 man roster. However, there are other players who have given the Mets a reason to designate them for assignment to make room on the roster for a more promising player. Here is a look at those players:

logan verrett


Josh Edgin

Heading into the 2015 season, Edgin was supposed to be the Mets LOOGY for years to come. Those plans changed when he needed Tommy John surgery causing him to miss the entire 2015 season.

He returned in 2016, and he wasn’t the same pitcher having yet to regain his previous velocity. As a result, Edgin got hit around. In AAA, he had a 3.51 ERA and a 1.650 WHIP. In his limited stints in the majors, he had a 5.23 ERA and a 1.548 WHIP. Another complication for Edgin is he is arbitration eligible meaning the Mets are presumably going to have to pay him more to keep him on the roster.

On a positive note, Edgin still did get left-handed batters out at the major league level. In a very small sample size (20 plate appearances), lefties only hit .235 off of him with no extra base hits. It is a big reason why he was on the Wild Card Game roster when the Mets faced a San Francisco Giants team stacked with lefties. Between his ability to get lefties out, the hope his arm could improve a second year removed from surgery, and his still having options available, there is still some hope for Edgin.

Sean Gilmartin

Gilmartin has gone from an important bullpen arm the Mets acquired in the 2015 Rule 5 Draft to a player who is seemingly lost his ability to get batters out.

Despite Gilmartin being a valuable long man in the pen, the Mets had him start the year in AAA to become starting pitching depth. In 18 starts and one relief appearance, he was 9-7 with a 4.86 ERA and a 1.425 WHIP. On a couple of occasions, he was recalled, and he pitched exclusively in relief for the Mets. Things did not go well for him in those 14 relief appearances as Gilmartin had a 7.13 ERA and a 1.585 WHIP. Between his performance and his having to go on the minor league disabled list with shoulder soreness, it was a lost year for Gilmartin.

Some of the struggles of Gilmartin were the result of his uneven usage between AAA and the majors. The other issue was his shoulder soreness, which for now, appears to no longer be an issue. Another strong factor in his favor is the fact that he is not yet arbitration eligible meaning the Mets do not have to pay him much to see if he returns to form. His having options available is also a positive. The Mets could still keep him on the roster with the idea of returning him to the role he was most successful.

Erik Goeddel

There is perhaps no Mets pitcher that evokes such split opinions than Goeddel. For years, there were people who saw a pitcher that was able to go out there and get outs. There were others who saw a guy who had fringy stuff that was more the beneficiary of good luck than good pitching. After the 2016 season, most people agree that Goeddel was a liability for the Mets.

In 36 appearances for the Mets, Goeddel had a 4.54 ERA and a 1.318 WHIP. It should be noted this was a big departure from how he had previously pitched with the Mets. In 2014 and 2015, Goeddel had a combined 2.48 ERA and a 1.000 WHIP. His prior success, his pre-arbitration status, and his having options remaining, gives him a chance to remain on the 40 man roster.

jim henderson

Jim Henderson

In April, it would’ve have been blasphemy to suggest Henderson would have been at risk for being taken off the 40 man roster. After that fateful game against the Marlins, it no longer was the case. Henderson lost velocity on his fastball, and he went on an extended trip on the the disabled list to deal with a shoulder impingement.

Despite his hot start, Henderson finished the year with a 4.37 ERA and a 1.400 WHIP. If the Mets believe he can regain his April form, they could be inclined to offer him arbitration and keep him on the 40 man roster to start the year in the majors or AAA. If not, he is as good as gone.

Rafael Montero

Saying he is on the bubble is a misnomer. Montero has to be as good as gone from the 40 man roster. Entering the 2016 season, the Mets had it with him, and they sent him a message by making him one of the first people sent down to minor league Spring Training. Montero responded by pitching so poorly in Las Vegas that he was demoted to Binghamton. It was only due a rash of pitching injuries that he got a shot at pitching in the majors again, and like his other opportunities, he squandered that.

Logan Verrett

Strangely enough, the Mets had to make a decision on whether to expose Verrett to the Rule 5 Draft or to remove a player from the 40-man roster to protect him in 2015. The Mets chose the former, and lost him for a period of time. After Verrett struggled with the Rangers, the Mets took him back where Verrett pitched well out of the bullpen and the rotation for the Mets.

The Mets envisioned Verrett succeeding in that role in 2016, but it wasn’t to be. He wasn’t as effective replacing Matt Harvey in the rotation as he was in 2015. He went from a 3.63 ERA as a starter to a 6.45 ERA. He performed so poorly out of the rotation that the Mets gave Montero a chance to start over him down the stretch of the season.

Still, there was a silver lining to Verrett’s 2016 season. In his 23 relief appearances, he had a 2.84 ERA. When you consider his reliever ERA, how well he performed in 2015, his pre-arbitration status, and his having options remaining, there is still a chance for Verrett to remain.

kevin plawecki


Kevin Plawecki

Thinking of Plawecki being on the bubble is a bit odd especially when he is only 25 years old, has shown himself to be a terrific pitch framer, and he has only had 409 plate appearances at the major league level.

The problem there is Plawecki hasn’t hit at all in those 409 plate appearances. In his brief major league career, Plawecki is a .211/.287/.285 hitter. That’s worse than what Rene Rivera could give you, and Rivera has firmly established himself as Noah Syndergaard‘s personal catcher. Worse yet, Plawecki is not the defensive catcher Rivera is.

When you also consider Tomas Nido‘s breakout season in St. Lucie possibly forcing the Mets to protect him a year earlier than anticipated, the Mets are going to be faced with the dilemma of carrying four catchers on their 40 man roster. With Nido perhaps passing him as the catcher of the future, and Travis d’Arnaud having shown he has more offensive ability than Plawecki, it is quite possible, Plawecki could find himself having run out of chances with the Mets organization.

With all that said, it is hard to believe the Mets moving on from Plawecki this soon in his career.

Eric Campbell

For years, the Mets have seemingly valued Campbell’s exit velocity, his defensive versatility, his willingness to do whatever was asked of him, and his willingness to learn different positions to make himself as versatile and useful as possible. It’s one of the reasons why he was on the Opening Day roster, and it is a reason why despite some similarly talented players having surpassed him on the depth chart, Campbell made the Wild Card Game roster.

Overall, the results just aren’t there for Campbell, and he gets worse at the plate every season. In 40 games this year, Campbell hit just .173/.284/.227. Still, with the Mets apparently holding him in higher esteem than the fans, with him still having options remaining, and with him not yet being arbitration eligible, there is still the chance he remains on the 40 man roster.

Ty Kelly

This is an interesting situation for Kelly to be in considering he was signed to be minor league depth last season. With a rash of injuries and some hot hitting in AAA, Kelly finally reached the majors after his long seven year odyssey in the minor leagues.

After some time, the Mets actually discovered who Kelly was. Despite his switch-hitting skills, he really could only hit from the right-hand side against major league pitching. He was versatile, but his best position was left field. Overall, his main asset down the stretch in September was as a pinch runner. With all the said, he did make the Wild Card Game roster, and he got a pinch hit single off Madison Bumgarner.

Basically, all the reasons you can make for him being kept on the roster or being cut from the roster are the same exact things you could say about Campbell. At this point, there is really no telling if the Mets are going to keep both, cut both, or favor one over the other.

Justin Ruggiano

Believe it or not, Ruggiano was a member of the 2016 Mets this past season. In fact, he would play eight games, and he would absolutely annihilate left-handed pitching. While you could easily envision a role for Ruggiano as a platoon outfielder, there are some major hurdles to him remaining on the 40 man roster.

The first is his being out of options meaning if the Mets do not envision him on the Opening Day roster, they are going to have to cut him at some point. The second and most important is the Mets are already bursting at the seams in outfield depth, and that is before you consider the fact the Mets have yet to make a decision on re-signing Yoenis Cespedes. With respect to Ruggiano, it just appears to be a numbers game, and despite what he can do against left-handed pitching, he does not seem long for the roster.


At the moment, the Mets have 46 players (45 once the Jon Niese buyout becomes official) on the 40 man roster meaning there are going to be a lot of tough decisions to be made. Those decisions are made even tougher when you consider the Mets are likely going to want to add somewhere between two to five players from the minor leagues onto the 40 man roster.

The Mets also have Alejandro de Aza, James Loney, Kelly Johnson, Fernando Salas, Jerry Blevins, Bartolo Colon and Neil Walker who are pending free agents. That knocks the Mets 40-man roster down to 38 and the inevitable Yoenis Cespedes opt out puts it at 37.

Seemingly, the one player who is all but guaranteed to be removed from the roster is Montero. After Montero, Ruggiano seems to be the player most likely to be removed from the roster. The Mets have many either/or decisions, which include, but are not limited to Gilmartin or Verrett, Goeddel or Henderson, and Campbell or Kelly.

Out of all the aforementioned players, the player that seems safest is Plawecki. Still, as we have seen, even those players whose spots are seemingly the safest are all but guaranteed.

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WOR to Rebroadcast Game 7 of 1986 World Series Fri, 21 Oct 2016 22:46:00 +0000 jesse orosco 1986

According to Joe Curci of WOR, the Gary Thorne and Bob Murphy call of Game 7 from the 1986 World Series will be rebroadcast on 710 WOR next Thursday the 27th.

October 27th is the 30th anniversary of the Mets 8-5 victory over the Boston Red Sox in Game 7. The Mets famously battled back from being down 3 games to 2 en route to winning their second World Series title in franchise history.

You can also follow along with Game 7 and the games leading up to it by following @TodayIn86Mets on Twitter.

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Mets Bringing Back Reyes, Buying Out Niese Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:42:59 +0000 jose-reyes

The Mets have picked up the Major League minimum option for 2017 on infielder Jose Reyes according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Heyman also reports that the Mets will pay Jon Niese a $500,000 buyout instead of picking up his $10 million option for 2017.

Reyes signed a deal to return to the Mets on June 25th, just two days after the Colorado Rockies released the veteran. Reyes would go on to hit .267/.326/.443 with 13 doubles, four triples, eight home runs and nine stolen bases in eleven chances for the Mets in 2016.

After being traded by the Mets during the offseason to bring in second baseman Neil Walker, Niese was reacquired by the Mets on the August 1st trade deadline in a swap for Antonio Bastardo. Niese pitched eleven ugly innings for the Mets with a 11.45 ERA before suffering a torn meniscus that needed season ending surgery.

Both moves were seen as no-brainers heading into the offseason. Reyes will return as much needed insurance at third base for the health of David Wright. As well as someone who can give veteran Asdrubal Cabrera a break at shortstop.

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Mets Jump 20 Spots in ESPN’s Ultimate Standings Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:30:22 +0000 cespedes-cabrera

For the past 13 years, ESPN has ranked all 122 sports franchises from best to worst according to fan votes. The Mets rose up 20 spots to 82nd overall and 21st in Major League baseball. Atop the list in baseball is the Kansas City Royals (9th overall) and on the bottom is the Oakland Athletics (115th overall).

The ranking is based on the eight categories you see below (1 is best, 122 worst):

Overall: 82
Title track: 67 (+8)
Ownership: 102 (+14)
Coaching: 99 (+4)
Players: 87 (+3)
Fan relations: 87 (+20)
Affordability: 91 (+15)
Stadium Experience: 66 (+3)
Bang for your buck: 46 (+33)
Change from 2015: +20

Not shocking to see that ownership gets the worst rating for the Mets. Bang for your buck saw the biggest change improving by 33 spots from 2015.

The Mets were the second highest rated National League East team behind the Washington Nationals (7th in MLB, 34th overall). Followed by the Philadelphia Phillies (23rd in MLB, 88th overall), then the Miami Marlins (25th in MLB, 91st overall) and lastly the Atlanta Braves (28th in MLB, 104th overall).




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The Best Last Plane Ride Ever Thu, 20 Oct 2016 11:00:03 +0000 1986 Mets Parade: That's a Roger...

James Blagden is an awesome illustrator and baseball fan.  He takes real accounts of events that occurred in baseball history (example: Dock Ellis talking about throwing a no-hitter while on LSD) and animates it with the narration being heard in the background.  He used his unique talent to capture the flight back to New York after the Mets beat the Houston Astros in six games in the 1986 National League Championship Series.

The series against the Red Sox was so historic that some forget what an extraordinary series the Mets played against the Astros and their world class baseball scuffer extraordinaire Mike Scott.

To make matters worse, Scott had been a Met, a mediocre pitcher from 1979 to 1982 compiling a 14-27 record.  The Mets traded him to the Astros, and mastering the art of scuffing the baseball he went 18-10 with a league leading 2.22 ERA.  He also beat the Mets twice in the series, by scores of 3-1 and 1-0. He actually won the MVP of the NLCS despite the Mets winning the series.

On October 15, 1986 the Mets were leading the series 3-2 but with Mike Scott looming in Game 7, we were trailing the Astros 3-0 in the ninth.  We scored three that inning to tie it then went ahead in the 14th – only to see the freaking Astros tie it.  We came back again and scored three runs in the 16th, but the Astros wouldn’t go quietly. They scored two runs in the bottom of the inning until their luck finally ran out. Jesse Orosco would strike out Kevin Bass with the tying run in scoring position to put us in position for our showdown against the Boston Red Sox.

It was a game for the ages, and James Blagden captured several Mets—Daryl Strawberry, Kevin Mitchell, Lenny Dykstra, and Dwight Gooden, discussing the ensuing celebration.  It started in the locker room, poured into the team bus, and settled onto an airplane which would never be flyable again.


That was not a PG team and this is not a video to share with the young kids.  Kevin Mitchell starts it with a laugh as he says, “I don’t think this incident would have happened if it wasn’t for the hard liquor.”

Mr. Blagden captures with streaming animation and sound effects the story as told by those Mets.  So many tales have been told about that Met team, but this really captures the anarchy, fun and rebelliousness of the team and its manager.

Some of the details are fantastic—listening to Doc and Darryl and Nails explain that the plane was split between the brass and the players, with the ‘milk section’ in between, the players that didn’t drink. That entire section was made up of…Mookie Wilson.

The back of the plane?  Whether it was Roger McDowell making a salad (and eating it) off passed out Barry Lyons’ bald head; or the back row of the plane, nicknamed ‘the scum bunch’, which consisted of Danny Heep (who, ironically, we got in the Mike Scott trade), Doug Sisk and Jesse Orosco creating complete anarchy; to the food fight that led to over $100,000 worth of damage to the plane, this was a group that was very resistant to the idea of authority. (And I didn’t mention what they said the wives were doing on the plane…as mentioned, this video is not for the little kids).

And when a furious Frank Cashen handed Davey Johnson a bill for the damage the next day?  Kevin Mitchell reports he was slinking in his locker, only peeking out to see Davey rip up the bill and growl, “You pay it.  They earned it.”

It has been a long 30 years since we Mets fans have been able to celebrate like we did in 1986.  Many of us hoped this would be the year we recaptured the magic.  Without leaning on excuses, certainly injuries and some steps back from our young players kept that from happening.  Maybe 2017 is the year we regain the magic.  Until then check out James Blagden’s great short video “The Best Last Plane Ride Ever” and remember one of the most successful and wildest teams in baseball history.

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Should Mets Re-Sign Jerry Blevins? Wed, 19 Oct 2016 17:56:00 +0000 jerry blevins

One of the resounding themes from the 2016 season has been how incredible it was the Mets made it back to the postseason despite Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Steven Matz needing season ending surgeries. However, that didn’t mean the Mets didn’t have good pitching that led them back to the postseason.

In addition to Noah Syndergaard and Bartolo Colon, the Mets had a terrific bullpen that helped them maintain leads when the Mets weren’t getting hits with runners in scoring position, and they helped buttress the young starting pitching that couldn’t go quite as deep into games. While it is imperative the Mets starters come back healthy next season, it is equally as imperative that the Mets bullpen return in tact next year.

This means the Mets need to re-sign Jerry Blevins.

Coming into the 2016 season, Blevins had a reputation of only being a LOOGY. It was with good reason. During his career, Blevins has limited left-handed batters to a .214/.266/.322 batting line whereas right-handed batters have been a more robust .243/.332/.387 against him. In 2016, that began to change.

In Blevins 73 appearances with the Mets, he was actually better against right-handed batters than he was against left-handed batters. Blevins would face right-handed batters 65 times, and he would limit them to a .182/.266/.345 batting line. Granted, it is a small sample size, but there were some things Blevins did to induce those results. First, he scrapped his cutter, which was not an effective pitch for him at all against right-handed pitching. In turn, he used his curveball and changeups at a higher rate, which led to a higher strikeout rate and fewer line drives.

What this meant was the despite your prototypical lefty specialist, you could trust Blevins to pitch a right-handed batter between two left-handed batters. It took some of the hand wringing out of which batter should you deploy your weapon. It also allowed you to rest some bullpen arms because you knew you could trust your LOOGY to actually go out and throw an inning.

Despite Blevins’ remarkable turn-around against right-handed batters, he is still a LOOGY, and as a such it’s his job to get the big left-handed batter out in a big moment in the game. For his career, Blevins has been terrific in those situations:

  • .228 batting average against with RISP
  • .226 batting average against in late and close games
  • .218 batting average against in high leverage situations
  • .220 batting average against in innings from the seventh inning on

* late and close and high leverage situations are as defined by Baseball Reference

We saw this in action when time and again, Blevins limited the damage in games. Overall, Blevins only allowed 14.5% of inherited runners to score this season, which was the best on the team (40 IP minimum). That number is all the more impressive when you consider he inherited more runners than anyone on the Mets staff.

In fact, Blevins inherited the second most runners in all of baseball this past year. Out of the pitchers that inherited over 50 batters in 2016, Blevins had the third best rate in preventing runners to score. It should come as no surprise then that he stranded the second most batters in the major leagues.

Overall, when you have a pitcher who gets lefties out, is improving better against right-handed batters, and is at his best in high leverage situations, that is a guy you need to keep in your bullpen.

There is an other important reason to keep Blevins. The Mets don’t have another option. At one point, Josh Edgin was considered to be the LOOGY of the future. Unfortunately, he needed Tommy John surgery before the 2015 season (which ironically was part of the reason the Mets traded Matt den Dekker to obtain him). Edgin was able to pitch this season, but he has not fully regained his velocity.

The other notable option is Josh Smoker. However, Smoker is a lefty with reverse splits. Effectively speaking, Smoker is a guy you bring in for the big strikeout, but he is not the guy you bring in to get the big left-handed batter out.

With the Mets having little to no internal options, and with Blevins being an effective LOOGY in his career, the Mets should make it a priority to re-sign him in the offseason. Fortunately for the Mets, Blevins has said he would like to return.

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10 Years Since Endy Made The Catch Wed, 19 Oct 2016 16:39:59 +0000 endy_chavez_catch

Ten year ago today, Endy Chavez made an unbelievable catch that will always be remembered as one of the best in Mets history and in Major League Baseball postseason history.

Leaping as high as he could over the fence in left field to rob Scott Rolen of a go-ahead home run and then having the presence of mind to throw into the infield to double off Jim Edmonds at first base to end the inning.

Unfortunately, Game Seven of the 2006 National League Championship Series will be remembered for the Mets failed opportunities in the sixth and ninth innings. AS well as Yadier Molina hitting a two-run homer off Aaron Heilman in the top of the ninth that gave the Cardinals a 3-1 win to secure a spot in the World Series.

It was the culmination of a great season for Chavez who had a career year at the plate with his .306/.348/.431 slash line during the 2006 regular season. He would go on to play two more seasons for the Mets as an outfield reserve before being traded to the Seattle Mariners.

After a season in the minors in 2010, Chavez returned to the big leagues with the Texas Rangers in 2011 to hit .301/.323/.426 in 274 plate appearances.

He struggled for the Baltimore Orioles in 2012 before playing his final two seasons in the majors with the Mariners. Chavez resurfaced with the Bridgeport BlueFish this year where he hit .345 and won the Atlantic League batting title.

No matter what Chavez did in the ten years since The Catch, he will always have a special place in the hearts of Mets fans.

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Harper: Mets Need Kenley Jansen To Keep Up With Cubs Tue, 18 Oct 2016 15:09:49 +0000 kenley-jansen

John Harper of the Daily News makes his case for the Mets signing free-agent closer Kenley Jansen this offseason.

“If the Mets want to take a huge step toward re-claiming that supremacy next year and beyond, they should make a big splash this off-season by signing Kenley Jansen,” writes Harper who argues that adding Jansen will put the Mets on par with the Chicago Cubs as one of the top two contenders in the league.

I always laugh when I see all these writers and bloggers use that line “make a big splash” as the crux of what the Mets should do in the offseason. It dulls any other reasoning for the move and it ends up making for a shallow and poorly conceived argument.

The primary goal for the Mets is to allocate their resources effectively while addressing the team’s needs and upgrading where necessary. And while Jansen would certainly bolster the bullpen significantly, is it the best use of our payroll dollars with Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia already set to earn roughly $20 million in arbitration?

The answer is a resounding no.

With Jansen projected to net himself a 4-5 year deal worth $60-75 million dollars, I think there’s way too many land mines when you spend that kind of money on a reliever.

Obviously, there’s a lot of risk when you dole out a 4 or 5 year deal to any pitcher, but adding Jansen also adds a different set of problems. How will instilling Jansen as your closer effect Familia and will it lead to the Papelbon affect?

We already know that Familia is a player who thrives when his confidence is high, but how does he handle being demoted to a setup role after he led the league in saves in a historic season?

The flip side to that is why would Jansen sign with a team that plans to use him in a setup role after a brilliant career that has made him one one of the top closers in baseball?


In 71 appearances for the Dodgers this past season, Jansen saved 47 games with a 1.83 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, and a whopping 104 strikeouts in 68.2 innings.

Jansen, 29, has delivered five consecutive stellar seasons and has put up some eye-popping numbers along the way to 189 saves.

But this isn’t about Jansen as much as it is about potentially usurping the best setup man and closer combination in the game with Reed and Familia. Do we really want to mess with that?

What the Mets need in the bullpen is a reliable reliever who could be a bridge to our current shutdown dynamic duo. That’s something that is much more feasible and will efficiently upgrade the pen without expending an inordinate amount of your budgeted payroll dollars.

Lets not be the team that gives Jansen that 5-year, $75 million contract. Instead, lets utilize our resources in addressing some of the team’s real needs and not throw huge dollars in fixing something that isn’t broke.

Sorry John Harper, try again. This isn’t the “big splash” that makes the Mets the best team in the league as you attest. Rather it’s an odd move that does nothing to address some of the real issues facing this team.

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MLB Exec Thinks Mets Could Deal Jay Bruce Tue, 18 Oct 2016 11:00:41 +0000 jay-bruce

There’s absolutely no question that the New York Mets will exercise the $13 million dollar option on outfielder Jay Bruce as soon as the World Series comes to an end. That much is clear. What isn’t so clear is what happens next.

Clearly, Bruce had a rough go of it in New York, a city he hoped the Reds wouldn’t trade him to. “Yes, New York wasn’t on my list initially. Definitely I wasn’t as comfortable with New York as I was the other places, but I’m happy to be here.”

One look at his numbers before and after the trade, and you can see why so many Mets fans get squeamish at the mere mention of his name. And yes, Bruce finished the season strong, but we’re talking about eight games, and it happened right after he was embarrassed by Terry Collins who pinch hit Eric Campbell for him in a huge spot.

Over the final eight games of the season, Bruce batted .480 (12-for-25) with four homers and eight RBIs. However, in his 42 games before that hot streak, he batted .174/.252/.285 with four homers, 11 RBI a team worst .536 OPS in that span.

So if you’re Sandy Alderson do you bank on Bruce as your everyday right fielder next season, or do you trade him and try to recoup as much value as you can from a team looking to add some power?

According to Jon Heyman of Knuckleball, a rival executive thinks that picking up that option on Bruce could be precursor to a trade this offseason.

Yesterday, I wrote that if the Mets were to re-sign Yoenis Cespedes, it would likely mean that Michael Conforto starts the season in Triple-A. There’s no way the Mets will stunt his development by having him languish on the bench as a fifth outfielder. That’s no way to treat a first-round talent who has flashed some exciting potential in a few short spurts over parts of two seasons. The Mets are still very high on him.

yoenis cespedes michael conforto

But – and that’s a big but – if the Mets were to deal Bruce it changes everything. You could pencil Conforto in as your right fielder, with Cespedes in left field and a platoon of Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares in center. It may even open up the fifth outfielder spot for Brandon Nimmo – who many scouts view as a highly productive part-time player anyway. Everything fits neatly into a tidy configuration with Jay Bruce out of the picture.

While I won’t cry you a river if the Mets were to hang onto Bruce and Conforto would have to wait another year to take over in right field, it would be a little scary to gamble on which Jay Bruce the Mets will get in 2017.

Look, we have never hesitated to hand precious rotation spots to our many talented pitching prospects over the last three years, and injuries aside, they’ve all been phenomenal. Maybe it’s time to start putting our confidence in some of the team’s top hitting prospects. Let Michael Conforto get a full shot as an everyday player – and that means leaving him in there against left-handed pitchers who he annihilated in the Minors.

I’d love to see Sandy Alderson show up at the Winter Meetings with Jay Bruce on the block and a half-dozen or more teams all competing for his power bat. I see this as an excellent opportunity for the team to recoup some value and perhaps swing themselves a solid reliever for the pen and a prospect we can stow away for the future.

Anyway, that/s what I’m thinking we should do and I look forward to reading your thoughts on trading Bruce or keeping him.

By the way, Mathew Brownstein wrote a nice piece last week that highlights some of the potential trade targets for Bruce. You can check it out here.

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Alonso Ranked Fifth Best Power Hitter in ’16 Draft Class Tue, 18 Oct 2016 10:14:06 +0000 peter alonso

Baseball America released its 2016 Draft Report Card on Monday, compiling lists of various top five categories, including fastest runner, best defensive player, and best pure hitter.

Under the category of “Best Power Hitter”, the Mets’ 2nd round draft pick Peter Alonso is ranked fifth among this year’s drafted players. Alonso, 21, is the lone Mets player to be listed under any of BA’s categories this year.

Alonso was taken with the 64th overall pick this year by the Mets, after a breakout season with the Florida Gators in which he slashed .374/.469/.659 with 14 home runs and 60 RBI in 58 games.

The right-handed slugger was assigned to Brooklyn after agreeing to a $909,200 contract, where he played in 30 games for the Cyclones before breaking his right pinky finger on August 10, after he slid into second base awkwardly for his 12th double on the season. In 109 at-bats for Brooklyn, Alonso slashed .321/.382/.587, with five homers, 21 RBI, and 20 runs scored. He led the Cyclones in doubles (12), slugging (.587), OPS (.969), and tied for first in homers with Brandon Brosher (5).

Alonso killed lefty pitching in Brooklyn, with a 1.331 OPS against southpaws compared to .721 against right-handers. Alonso posted solid numbers with runners in scoring position, slashing .433/.441/.900, with three homers and 16 RBI in 30 at-bats.

Alonso could progress quickly through the Mets’ system, similar to Michael Conforto who was also drafted out of college in his junior year, and was 21-years-old when he made his professional debut with Brooklyn. Alonso also has experience playing in high pressured games, as the Gators made the College World Series in back-to-back years in 2015-16. has Alonso ranked as the 13th best Mets prospect in 2016, and had the following to say about his raw power and the small tweak he made in his swing for better results at the plate:

“Alonso was making consistent, hard contact for the Gators as his junior season progressed. He’s always had raw power, but didn’t always look like he could tap into it consistently. He shortened his swing and began to use the whole field more effectively, showing extra-base pop to the opposite field. Much of his success stems from a more open stance which has helped him get his hips through more consistently.”

The six-foot-three slugger is one to keep an eye on next year, as he could be climbing the minor league ranks and pushing Dominic Smith at first base. Smith is the better defender at the position, however, Alonso’s raw power is intriguing and if he continues to develop as an overall hitter as he was doing with the Cyclones, then we might see some competition at first in the very near future.

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Expect Few Changes Offensively for the Mets in 2017 Mon, 17 Oct 2016 16:57:57 +0000 MLB: SEP 20 Yankees at Mets

One of the questions I am asked most often is what I think the Mets will do this offseason, and quite frankly I don’t really see the Mets doing too much. Perhaps the most significant decision facing the Mets is trying to re-sign Yoenis Cespedes – and I’m hearing the front office will be focusing most of their efforts on getting some kind of resolution on this before they do anything else. Rightfully so. What the Mets do or don’t do this offseason offensively, all hinges on whether Cespedes will be back next season.

If Cespedes does re-sign with the Mets, I would expect to see the team looking very similar to the one that they ended the season with except for a few minor changes. Offensively, I would expect the starting outfield to remain intact with Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares platooning in center field flanked by Cespedes in left and Jay Bruce in right.

Despite a report by Adam Rubin to the contrary, I do not see the Mets tendering a qualifying offer to second baseman Neil Walker. Instead, the Mets will cross their fingers and hope that T.J. Rivera is every bit as good as he looked in his month-long debut. They will still have Jose Reyes as a fallback option on the roster with Gavin Cecchini providing some depth at Triple-A.

Like it or not, the Mets are locked in at the corners with Lucas Duda and David Wright. At first base, Duda finally returned in late September from his back injury and he should benefit from a full offseason of rest. Meanwhile, Wright is laser focused on returning from his neck surgery while continuing to battle with his spinal stenosis condition. With Reyes on hand, the Mets will give their captain every opportunity to mount his comeback while remaining at ease if things go awry.

Second half MVP, Asdrubal Cabrera, will be back at shortstop and will have all Winter to rest his ailing knee. Cabrera was a steadying force defensively at short and he became a force batting second in the order.

It’s behind the plate where you might see some significant change after a very disappointing season by Travis d’Arnaud. You have to believe that arbitration eligible Rene Rivera will be back, but will the front office see the catching position as an opportunity to upgrade? Or do they give their once promising catching tandem of d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki another year to step forward and win the starting backstop job?

The bench is where you’ll see at least one small change. Do the Mets roll with Brandon Nimmo in a utility outfield role or do they go out and sign another Alejandro De Aza type outfielder? Other than that, Reyes and Wilmer Flores should return as backup infielders.

Now, if the Mets fail to bring back Cespedes, you have to believe that a right-handed power bat will be high on the Mets to-do list this Winter. And that could lead to a substantial domino effect. But I have a good feeling that the Yo Show will return to Citi Field in 2017 so it’s a moot point.

Up Next: Thoughts on Rotation and Bullpen

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ALCS Game 3: Indians vs Blue Jays, 8:00 PM Mon, 17 Oct 2016 16:48:16 +0000 1280x720_1015_cle_tor_nlcs_gm3_nv8f3gyw_l0bfh43r

The Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays play Game 3 of the 2016 American League Championship Series at the Rogers Center at 8:00 PM tonight. The Indians enter Game 3 with a 2-0 advantage in the series.

RHP Trevor Bauer (12-8, 4.26) vs RHP Marcus Stroman (9-10, 4.37)

Indians Lineup

1. DH Carlos Santana

2. 2B Jason Kipnis

3. SS Francisco Lindor

4. 1B Mike Napoli

5. 3B Jose Ramirez

6. RF Lonnie Chisenhall

7. LF Coco Crisp

8. CF Tyler Naquin

9. C Roberto Perez

 Blue Jays Lineup

1. RF Jose Bautista

2. 3B Josh Donaldson

3. 1B Edwin Encarnacion

4. SS Troy Tulowitzki

5. C Russell Martin

6. DH Michael Saunders

7. CF Kevin Pillar

8. LF Ezequiel Carrera

9. 2B Ryan Goins

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Arizona Fall League: Mets Week 1 Recap Mon, 17 Oct 2016 14:48:07 +0000 tim-tebow-2

One week into the Arizona Fall League season, the Tom Goodwin led Scottsdale Scorpions are 2-3 and are in last place in the Eastern Division.  Ultimately, the record and standings are window dressing for a league that is intended to be a showcase for young talent and an opportunity for the best minor leaguers to play alongside one another and improve their games.  With that in mind, here is a review on how the Mets prospects have done in the Arizona League so far:

Tim Tebow

Tebow was an undrafted 29 year old outfielder who signed with the Mets for $100,000.  He got his first action in the Instructional League before being sent to the Arizona Fall League.

Love him or hate him, most people are first going to ask about how Tebow has been doing in the Arizona Fall League.   As Keith Law pointed out in his scathing review of Tebow, he isn’t performing well, nor is he showing the necessary tools to eventually become an everyday player.  He has been a pull happy hitter who has been taking poor routes to balls in the outfield.  Still, there are some positives to Tebow.  At the plate, Tebow is 0-9 with a run, two walks, and an RBI.

Still there are some positives to Tebow playing in the Arizona Fall League.  He has been a positive influence in the clubhouse.  He showed his humanity when a man had a seizure trying to get his autograph.  His presence has caused more attention to come to the Arizona Fall League with attendance nearly doubling over last year’s figures.  This calls more attention to the prospects who are there and performing well.

Gavin Cecchini

The 22 year old shortstop was the Mets 2012 first round draft pick out of Alfred M. Barbe High School in Lake Charles, LA.  In AAA this season, Cecchini hit .325/.390/.448 with 27 doubles, two triples, eight homers, and 55 RBI in 117 games.  He was added to the 40 man roster and was one of the Mets September call-ups.  In four games, he was 2-6 with two doubles and two RBI.

Surprisingly, the Mets have had Cecchini playing more shortstop than second base, which is the position he will most likely play next season.  Like he has done most of the year, Cecchini has made an error at shortstop.

At the plate, Cecchini has cooled off since his great first game.  Cecchini opened the season going 2-3 with a run, a double, a walk, and three RBI in a 9-6 Scorpions win.  In his two subsequent games, Cecchini is 1-6 with two walks and two strikeouts.

Champ Stuart

The 24 year old centerfielder was the Mets 2013 sixth round draft pick out of Brevard College in Brevard, NC.  Stuart split time between St. Lucie (71 games) and Binghamton (43 games) hitting .240/.314/.349 with 12 doubles, seven triples, eight homers, 45 RBI, and 40 stolen bases.  With Stuart being Rule 5 eligible for the first time in his career, he would benefit more than anyone by having an outstanding Arizona Fall League.  Stuart is off to a great start.

In just two games, Stuart has gone 3-8 with a run, a home run, an RBI, and two stolen bases.  There are some people that will tell you Stuart has power potential despite his Juan Pierre-esque minor league slugging percentage.  The Mets do not need him to hit for much power given his Gold Glove caliber defense in center field and his elite speed and base stealing ability.  If Stuart can hit just a little bit, just like Juan Lagares, he can be a major league player.  Before getting too excited about Stuart’s start, it should be noted it is still just two games, and he has yet to draw a walk, which is another area of his game he needs to improve upon.

Matt Oberste

The 25 year old 1B/3B was the Mets 2013 seventh round draft pick out of the University of Oklahoma.  In 124 games for Binghamton, Oberste hit .283/.340/.409 with 21 doubles, two triples, nine homers, and 54 RBI.  Like Stuart, Oberste is first time eligible for the Rule 5 Draft.  Given him coming off a disappointing minor league season, Oberste needed to build upon a strong finish to the season.  So far, he hasn’t. Oberste has played in three games and he has yet to register a hit going 0-11 with an RBI and three strikeouts.

Marcos Molina

Marcos Molina

The 21 year old right-hander was signed as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2001 and received a $100,000 bonus.  Due to Molina’s rehab from Tommy John surgery, he did not pitch at all during the 2016 minor league season.  In fact, his appearance in the Arizona Fall League marks the first time he will pitch in a game since August 17, 2015.  Therefore, while Molina is first time Rule 5 Draft eligible, it is more important for him to show he is healthy than for him to impress the scouts.

In Molina’s two innings of work, his stuff was back.  He was throwing around 93 MPH with an effective changeup.  More importantly, Molina had much improved mechanics.  This is especially important because many have blamed Molina’s poor mechanics for his injury.  In Molina’s two innings of work, he allowed four hits, one earned run and one walk with two strikeouts.

Molina was 7-3 with a 1.77 ERA, a 0.84 WHIP, and a 10.7 K/9 with the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2014.

Corey Taylor

The 23 year old Taylor was the Mets 2015 seventh round draft pick out of Texas Tech University.  In 45 appearances for St. Lucie this season, Taylor was 4-5 with 20 saves, a 1.87 ERA, 1.245 WHIP, and a 3.46 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Taylor has gone from a dominant collegiate closer to a dominant minor league closer to more of the same in the Arizona Fall League.  In two appearances, Taylor has pitched 3.2 innings allowing two hits, one run, one earned, and no walks with two strikeouts.  Despite him being a reliever, Taylor is second on the Scorpions in innings pitched.

David Roseboom

The 24 year old left-hander was the Mets 2014 17th round draft pick out of the University of South Carolina Upstate.  In 52 appearances for the Binghamton Mets, Roseboom was 1-1 with 14 saves, a 1.87 ERA, 0.902 WHIP, and a 3.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

While Roseboom has not been doing it as long as Taylor, Roseboom established himself as a terrific closer this year for the Binghamton Mets.  Roseboom has carried his level of dominance to the Arizona Fall League so far by not allowing any hits or runs against him in both of his appearances.  He has only allowed two base runners in his 2.1 innings, and he has struck out three.  While this outstanding Arizona Fall League start, which followed a terrific B-Mets season, Roseboom is making his case to be a bullpen arm in the near future for the Mets.

Corey Oswalt

The 23 year old right-hander was the Mets 2012 seventh round draft pick out of Madison High School in San Diego, CA.  In 13 starts and on relief appearance for the St. Lucie Mets, he was 4-2 with a 4.12 ERA, a 1.345 WHIP, and a 9.0 strikeout per nine ratio.  Like some of the Mets players sent to the Arizona Fall League, Oswalt will be Rule 5 eligible for the first time, and he needs an impressive performance.  Unfortunately, he has not provided one yet.

In Oswalt’s one start, he allowed four hits, four runs, four earned, one home run, and three walks with only one strikeout in two innings of work.  He had pitched into the third inning, but he was chased from the game after the three run homer.  Because the Scorpions, led by Cecchini, put on an offensive display that day, Oswalt got the win.

Tomas Nido

The 22 year old catcher was the Mets 2012 eighth round draft pick out of Orangewood Christian High School in Maitland, FL.  Nido had a breakout year for the St. Lucie Mets winning the batting title.  Overall, Nido played in 90 games hitting .320/.357/.459 with 23 doubles, two triples, seven homers, and 46 RBI.  While he will be Rule 5 Draft eligible for the first time, he has done more than enough to impress the Mets during the 2016 minor league season.  Nido is on the taxi squad meaning he is only available on Wednesdays and Saturdays. So far, Nido has not appeared in a game.

Overall, the Mets prospects have shown themselves to be the players they were thought to be before entering the Arizona Fall League.  Cecchini looks like a future second baseman at the major league level.  Stuart is a gifted player who needs to put it all together.  Taylor and Roseboom are dominant out of the bullpen.  If these players continue to progress the way they have so far in the Arizona Fall League, you could say it has been a successful one as far as the Mets are concerned.

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Jacob deGrom Likely to Receive Big Pay Raise in 2017 Sun, 16 Oct 2016 14:00:51 +0000 jacob deGrom

Jacob deGrom was upset about his salary for 2016, refusing to sign the $607,000 deal that was offered to him by the Mets. This season though, deGrom is in line for a big bump in pay.

According to, the top 22% of players who were called up in 2014 will qualify for an extra year of salary arbitration. With two years and 139 days of service time under his belt, deGrom would fall under this category.

It is projected that deGrom could get $4.5 million dollars in arbitration for the 2017 season. Jacob is under team control until 2020, but the two sides could consider a multi-year deal.

Coming off an injury plagued season in which he saw himself start 24 games while pitching to a 7-8 record with an ERA of 3.04, deGrom has previously expressed interest in signing a deal to buy out his arbitration  years.

DeGrom has been excellent so far in his career with the Mets, pitching to an overall record of 30-22 and an ERA of 2.74 to go with a WHIP of 1.10. Signing him to a deal now that would include his arbitration years and some free agency may be very attractive to the front office at this point.

The Mets have yet to approach any of their young starting rotation at this time on a long-term deal. As the years continue to tick down, free agency inches closer for each of them. Getting deGrom on board for the long term would not be a bad start to say the least.

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NLCS Game 2 Thread: Kershaw vs Hendricks, 8:00 PM Sun, 16 Oct 2016 14:00:35 +0000 miguel-montero

Los Angeles Dodgers (91-71) vs Chicago Cubs (103-58)

Wrigley Field, Chi. – 8:00 PM ET – FS1

LHP Clayton Kershaw (12-4, 1.69) vs RHP Kyle Hendricks (16-8, 2.13)

Catcher Miguel Montero saved his manager Joe Maddon and his closer Aroldis Chapman on Saturday night, with a pinch-hit grand slam that vaulted the Chicago Cubs to an 8-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the NLCS at Wrigley Field. It marked the first time in history that a pinch-hit grand slam provided the game-winning run in a postseason game.

The Dodgers will try to even the series tonight as they send their ace Clayton Kershaw to the mound. He will be opposed by Kyle Hendricks for the Cubs who will look to leave Wrigley with a 2-0 series lead.

Dodgers Lineup

1. Chase Utley, 2B
2. Corey Seager, SS
3. Justin Turner, 3B
4. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
5. Josh Reddick, RF
6. Joc Pederson, CF
7. Yasmani Grandal, C
8. Andrew Toles, LF
9. Clayton Kershaw, LHP

Cubs Lineup

1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Kris Bryant, 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
4. Ben Zobrist, LF
5. Addison Russell, SS
6. Javier Baez, 2B
7. Willson Contreras, C
8. Jason Heyward, RF
9. Kyle Hendricks, RHP

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Jose Reyes Could Serve in Super Utility Role for 2017 Sun, 16 Oct 2016 12:00:06 +0000 jose-reyes

Last offseason, the Mets lost out on the prime player they were targeting in free agent Ben Zobrist. The team though may have themselves a very Zobrist like player in 2017 with a versatile  Jose Reyes.

Reyes could not have done anymore for the 2016 Mets, proving that he was not the washed up veteran that many thought he had become. Things had come full circle for the man who signed with the Mets as an international free agent at the young age of 16.

Jose showed his ability to adapt to new positions, manning the hot corner with relative ease. He was able to fill in at shortstop to spell Asdrubal Cabrera when necessary as well.

In order to make himself more attractive to the Mets, Reyes had even offered to play outfield in 2016. It is said that when Sandy Alderson was discussing bringing Reyes aboard with his agent Peter Greenberg, he had asked his thoughts on Jose playing left field as the the team was also pursuing Cuban free agent, Yulieski Gurriel at the time.

“Tell Chris [Leible, one of Greenberg’s deputies] to get me a left fielder’s glove,” Reyes said. (NY Post)

Reyes wanted to show he was willing to do whatever the Mets may have needed. He just wanted another chance. Reyes received it and rewarded his team with some vintage play.

To add to his super utility type role in 2017, it is possible we may see Reyes get some time in the outfield in certain situations. With an entire spring training to work on it for the coming year, it will be interesting to see if it is a route the Mets may look to take.

Reyes provided the Mets with a great bat atop the order in his 60 games with the team. Jose hit to a .267/.326/.443 batting line to go along with eight homers and 24 RBI. Reyes also swiped nine bases and helped produce 45 runs.

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Gary Cohen’s SNY Contract Set To Expire Sat, 15 Oct 2016 21:58:55 +0000 Gary Cohen

According to the New York Daily News‘ Bob Raissman, beloved play-by-play man Gary Cohen’s SNY contract is set to expire at the end of 2016.

Cohen, 58, has been with the Mets organization for 28 years, the first 17 years as a member of their radio team on WFAN. Cohen, along with Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling, have been the Mets’ TV voices since 2006, when the Mets debuted their newest cable television network, SportsNet New York (SNY).

Sources tell Raissman that representatives at SNY have been working to hammer out a new multi-year contract for Cohen, but nothing has been finalized. Mets fans have been spoiled since 2006, having the great pleasure of listening to one of the best broadcast teams in all of baseball, a point that would be hard to dispute amongst loyal and fair fans.

Turning on the television to SNY for a 7:00 pm game, then watching the pre-game introduction, and finally hearing those familiar words fans have grown accustomed to over the years, ”And a pleasant good evening everybody” is the official indication for me that the game is about to get underway.

What makes the relationship between Cohen and the Mets even more memorable is the fact that growing up, Cohen was a huge Mets fan, so getting to broadcast the games for his childhood team is a dream that many fans have wished for at some point in their lives.

It sounds like a new deal will be reached with the veteran play-by-play broadcaster, as the trio have great chemistry and baseball knowledge together, along with multiple New York Emmy Awards. Stay tuned for future updates on the matter.

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