Mets Merized Online » Mets News & Notes http://metsmerizedonline.com Sun, 26 Oct 2014 04:38:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.4 David Wright Feels Fine, Hopes For Good News When Doctors Reexamine Shoulder http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/david-wright-feels-fine-hopes-for-good-news-when-doctors-reexamine-shoulder.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/david-wright-feels-fine-hopes-for-good-news-when-doctors-reexamine-shoulder.html/#comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 01:57:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168673 MLB: Washington Nationals at New York Mets

Mike Vorkunov of NJ Advanced Media spoke to Mets third baseman David Wright who told him that everything is going well as he continues to rehab his injured left shoulder.

“No setbacks, we’re moving forward,” Wright said. “That’s all you can ask.”

Wright was shut down for the season on September 9 with inflammation in his left shoulder. However, an MRI taken after the season ended revealed more significant ligament and rotator cuff damage than team doctors first thought. The Mets placed him on a six week strengthening program to try and avoid shoulder surgery.

“It’s doing good,” Wright told Vorkunov. “I’m hopefully finishing up some rehab stuff. I’m going to get checked out by the doctors in the next couple of weeks. And we’ll see how that goes and that will kind of determine what’s next as far as the plan moving forward for next year.”

Wright is expected to be reexamined on or around November 1, when the team will learn if the strengthening program worked. “Hopefully I get some good news when I go to the doctors,” Wright said.

The injured shoulder most likely contributed to Wright’s disappointing season that ended with a .267 average and a career low eight home runs and .698 OPS.

With $107 million dollars remaining on his current deal which runs through 2020, Wright and the Mets will be hoping for some good news next week as they put this season behind them and look for some significant improvement in 2015 and beyond.

(Photo: USATSI)

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Jeurys Familia Underwent Successful Sports Hernia Surgery http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/jeurys-familia-underwent-successful-sports-hernia-surgery.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/jeurys-familia-underwent-successful-sports-hernia-surgery.html/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 19:27:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168663 Jeurys - Familia

The New York Mets announced that right-handed reliever Jeurys Familia underwent successful surgery to repair a bilateral sport hernia on Friday in Philadelphia. He’ll be fine and fully recovered in 3-4 weeks.

After the team decided to convert him from a starter to a reliever, Familia delivered a breakthrough rookie season for the Mets in 2014 and became a force to be reckoned with out of the bullpen.

The 24-year old posted a 2.21 ERA and 1.17 WHIP while earning five saves in 76 appearances which ranked third in the majors.

In 77.1 innings pitched, this Mets workhorse allowed just 59 hits, walked 32, and struck out 73 batters, to become not only the Mets’ top reliever, but one of the best in the league as well.

Familia was lethal against right-handed hitters who he held to a .134/.216/.161 batting line, and he’s thrust himself into the team’s closer conversation for the upcoming season.

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Featured Post: Cuddyer At Two Years Fits Sandy’s Plan http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/featured-post-cuddyer-at-two-years-fits-sandys-plan.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/featured-post-cuddyer-at-two-years-fits-sandys-plan.html/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 13:08:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168450 michael-cuddyer-rockies

Andy Martino of the Daily News sees free agent Michael Cuddyer as the exact sort of piece that fits the Mets offense and that people familiar with the Mets’ thinking say that they consider him attractive on a two-year deal.

With the Mets highly reluctant to trade any of their young pitchers this winter, coupled with a lack of money to add a more significant player, Cuddyer makes sense for them Martino says.

One executive said that it was hard to imagine Cuddyer getting more than two years, but free agency can be so unpredictable.

Cuddyer, who turns 36 years next Spring, played just 49 games in 2014 after being plagued by a shoulder fracture and two other DL stints for hamstring injuries. That could be a big concern for interested teams, especially at his age.

Since 2011, his final season with the Twins, Cuddyer has missed more than one-third of his team’s games.

All of that said, Cuddyer is a versatile player who could slot in at left, right and first base. When he was healthy he won a batting title in 2013 with a .331 average. He practically duplicated that average in 2014, hitting .332 with 10 homers in his limited playing time.

As Martino points out, two years of control at a rate that will not bust the Mets’ tight budget makes Cuddyer better than many other choices. He could get anywhere between $20-25 million for two years and as much as $30 million for three.

There are huge risks here, but this is what the Mets have become, always looking for value in flawed or advanced age players with injury concerns. In that regard, Cuddyer is the cream of the crop. 

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World Series Thread: Royals vs. Giants, 8:00 PM (Game 4) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/world-series-thread-royals-vs-giants-800-pm-game-4.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/world-series-thread-royals-vs-giants-800-pm-game-4.html/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 05:00:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168658 vargas vogelsong

Kansas City Royals vs. San Francisco Giants

Saturday 10/25, 8:00 PM ET at AT&T Park

Jason Vargas (11-10, 3.71) vs. Ryan Vogelsong (8-13, 4.00)

After a 3-2 victory in Game 3 on Friday night, the Royals have the upper hand with a 2 games to 1 series lead. The Giants, vying for their third championship in five seasons, need to win tonight or face the insurmountable odds of having to win three straight including two in KC.

Vargas held the O’s to one run in 5 1/3 innings on Oct. 15 in the ALCS. He earned the Game 4 win to lift the Royals to the World Series. Other than an exhibition game in 2010, Vargas has never pitched at AT&T Park in his nine-year career.

Typically a postseason force, Vogelsong struggled against St. Louis in the NLCS, lasting just three innings in Game 4. He entered that outing having allowed one run or fewer in five straight starts to begin his postseason career — an MLB record.

The Giants don’t want to fall in a 3-1 hole, as only four clubs in 47 tries have climbed out of it to win the World Series.

Since the New York Mets in 1969 (the start of divisional play), teams that win Game 3 in a World Series that was tied 1-1 have gone on to win the championship 16 of 19 times.

 

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Is Rafael Montero The One The Mets Trade? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/is-rafael-montero-the-one-the-mets-trade.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/is-rafael-montero-the-one-the-mets-trade.html/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:31:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168504 Rafael - Montero

The Mets are highly reluctant to trade any of their young pitchers this winter, despite an urgent need to upgrade the offense, writes Andy Martino of the Daily News.

However it’s not impossible to imagine Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and to some extent Rafael Montero playing for different teams next year, he says.

This offseason will be filled with lots of Mets trade rumors and buzz, and unlike last year when Sandy Alderson suggested he would trade a young pitcher to acquire a bat and ultimately stood pat, I believe this time the Mets will actually go through with it.

That said, Martino writes that over the past 12 months, Wheeler went from sort of available, with some in the organization pushing hard to move him, to virtually untouchable. And as for deGrom, with the young righthander soon to be named the National League rookie of the year award, he isn’t going anywhere either.

That leaves Noah Syndergaard and Montero. Sure there’s Dillon Gee, Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon. But nobody believes the Mets could get the kind of bat they need for one of them. Along with either Montero or Syndergaard, one of them might go to acquire that piece they’re looking for.

This should make for lots of interesting debate and conversation as the Hot Stove season begins to warm up. When all is said and done, I have a hunch that Montero and Gee will be the ones to go. I just hope it’s all worth it in the end.

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Which MLB Players Do Current Mets Compare To? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/which-mlb-players-do-current-mets-compare-to.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/which-mlb-players-do-current-mets-compare-to.html/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 12:00:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168488 MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies

If you were to go to Baseball-Reference to look up particular player, you can always see who the top ten players that have a similar statistical profile either overall and also through their current age.

I thought it would be fun to see which MLB players throughout history, some of our current Mets compared to through similar aged seasons. There’s nothing scientific about this whatsoever – so sit back and here we go:

Daniel Murphy

Billy Werber – Werber played in 11 MLB seasons (1930, 1933-1942) with the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Athletics, Cincinnati Reds and New York Giants. He appeared in 1,295 games, batting .271 with 78 HR, 539 RBI and 1,363 hits. Other similar players: Todd Walker, Martin Prado

Lucas Duda

Dan Pasqua – Pasqua played ten MLB seasons (1985-94) with the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox, appearing in 905 games with 117 HR, 390 RBI and 638 career hits. Other similar players: Mike Young, Dick Gernert

Curtis Granderson

Ron Gant – Gant played 16 MLB seasons (1987-93, 1995-2003) with the Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Anaheim Angels, Colorado Rockies, Oakland A’s and San Diego Padres. He appeared in 1,832 games, hitting .256 with 321 HR, 1,008 RBI and 1,651 career hits. Other similar players: Bob Allison, Roger Maris

Juan Lagares

Jeremy Reed – Reed played eight MLB seasons (2004-2011) with the Seattle Mariners, New York Mets, Toronto Blue Jays, and Milwaukee Brewers. He appeared in 483 MLB games, batting .252 with 12 HR, 110 RBI and 315 hits. Other similar players: Endy Chavez, Leon Culberson

wright

David Wright

Scott Rolen – Rolen played 17 MLB seasons (1996-2012) with the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays, and Cincinnati Reds. While we recently featured Wright’s statistical similarities to George Brett through his age 31 season, his closest match was Rolen (Brett was #2). Rolen appeared in 2,038 games, hitting .281 with 316 HR, 1,287 RBI and 2,077 hits. Other similar players: George Brett, Aramis Ramirez

Ruben Tejada

Jose Offerman – Offerman played 15 MLB seasons (1990-2002, 2004-05) with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kansas City Royals, Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies, and New York Mets. He appeared in 1,651 games with a career .273 batting average with 57 HR, 537 RBI and 1,551 hits. Other similar players: Bucky Dent, Jack Barry

Eric Young Jr.

Mike Felder – Felder played ten MLB seasons (1985-1994) with the Miwaukee Brewers, San Fransicso Giants, Seattle Mariners, and Houston Astros. He appeared in 899 MLB games, hitting .249 with 14 HR, 173 RBI, 161 stolen bases, and 564 hits. Other similar players: Gregor Blanco, Milt Cuyler

Bartolo Colon

Jamie Moyer - Moyer pitched for 25 MLB seasons (1986-91, 1993-2010, 2012) with the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, Philadelphia Phillies, and Colorado Rockies. In 696 games (638 starts), he had a record of 269-209 with an ERA of 4.25 in 4,074 innings. Other similar players: Orel Hershiser, David Wells

Jeurys Familia

Roger McDowell – McDowell pitched for 12 MLB seasons (1985-96) with the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, and Baltimore Orioles. In 723 games (mostly as a reliever) he had a record of 70-70 with a 3.30 ERA and 159 saves in 1,050 innings. Other similar players: Randy Moffitt, Jim Park

Dillon Gee

Cal Eldred – Eldred pitched for 14 years (1991-2001, 2003-05) with the Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago White Sox, and St. Louis Cardinals. He appeared in 341 games (192 starts) with a record of 86-74 and an ERA of 4.42 with 9 saves in 1,368 innings. Other similar players: Pascual Perez, Brandon McCarthy

Jenrry Mejia

Joe Kerrigan – Kerrigan pitched in four MLB seasons (1976-78, 1980) with the Montreal Expos and Baltimore Orioles. He appeared in 131 games with a career record of 8-12 and an ERA of 3.89 with 9 saves while pitching 220 innings. Other similar players: Bo McLaughlin, John Wetteland

jon niese

Jon Niese

Odalis Perez – Perez pitched in ten MLB seasons (1998-99, 2001-08) with the Braves, Dodgers, Royals and Nationals. He appeared in 252 games with a record of 73-82 with a 4.46 ERA in 1,335 innings. Other similar players: Matt Garza, Denny Lemaster

Carlos Torres

Matt Wise – Wise pitched eight MLB seasons (2000-02, 2004-08) with the Angels, Brewers, and Mets. He pitched in 209 games (18 starts) with a record of 17-22 and an ERA of 4.23 with 2 saves in 317 innings. Other similar players: Rene Arocha, Chris Sampson

Zack Wheeler

Vance Worley – Worley is still pitching, and has been in the majors for five years (2010-14) with the Phillies, Twins, and Pirates. Worley has appeared in 81 games (73 starts) with a record of 27-22 with a 3.75 ERA in 437 innings. Other similar players: Josh Johnson, Eddie Stack

Bobby Parnell

David Riske – Riske pitched for 11 MLB seasons (1999, 2001-2010) with the Indians, Red Sox, White Sox, Royals, and Brewers. Riske had a record of 20-20 with an ERA of 3.67 and 22 saves in 462 career appearances (all out of the pen) in 497.2 innings.Other similar players: George Frazier, Brandon League

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Mets Announce Kevin Long As New Hitting Coach http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-hire-kevin-long-as-hitting-coach.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-hire-kevin-long-as-hitting-coach.html/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:04:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168491 Kevin long cage

The Mets have announced that Kevin Long will become the hitting coach for the Mets. In a statement released to the media, Sandy Alderson said the following:

“Kevin’s experience, success and wealth of knowledge make him the perfect fit as our hitting instructor. This is a very positive step for the Mets. We welcome Kevin, and his wife, Marcey, to the Mets family.”

On becoming the Mets hitting instructor, Long had this to say:

“I’m excited to get the opportunity to work with a team that I think is on the rise. I had a great meeting with Sandy and Terry yesterday and I can’t wait to get started and help in any way I can.”

Long, 47, had spent the previous eight seasons (2007-2014) as the Yankees hitting coach. Under his guidance, the Yankees led the majors in runs scored three times and finished second twice. Before he joined the major league team, Long served as the Yankees’ Triple-A hitting coach with Columbus of the International League for three years (2004-2006).

Prior to joining the Yankees, Long was the hitting coach for the Triple-A Omaha Royals from 2002-2003 and the Double-A Wichita Wranglers’ from 2000-2001. Long was named the Northwest League Manager of the Year after leading Spokane to the title in 1998. He began his coaching career with Wilmington in the Carolina League in 1997.

Long was a second-team All-American and first-team All-Pac-10 in 1989 at the University of Arizona. The outfielder was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 31st round of the 1989 First-Year Player Draft and played eight years (1989-1996) in Kansas City’s minor league system reaching, Triple-A.

The club also named Dustin Clarke, their new Major League Strength and Conditioning Coach.

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Royals Letting Yordano Ventura Exceed Innings Limit http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/royals-letting-yordano-ventura-exceed-innings-limit.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/royals-letting-yordano-ventura-exceed-innings-limit.html/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 04:02:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168477 Courtesy of Fox Sports

Courtesy of Fox Sports

Innings limits have become the norm in baseball and for many it’s at the cost of great baseball. Sure you want to take care of young arms but treating all pitchers the same doesn’t make sense. No two bodies are the same and the Royals are trying to push their young co-ace Yordano Ventura past an innings limit many clubs stick to, in hopes of winning the World Series.

Ventura threw 183.0 innings during the regular season of his rookie campaign, 33 innings more than in 2013 when he pitched 134.2 in the minor leagues and another 15.1 in the majors.

David Lennon of Newsday points out that the Mets could have found themselves in a similar situation this past season.

“For an example closer to home, we’re sure you recall how the Mets handled Jacob deGrom’s Rookie of the Year audition. As soon as deGrom went over 178 innings, a mark he reached on Sept. 21, the Mets pulled the plug without discussion.”

For the Royals, this feels like a once in a decade opportunity. With a ton of young players, this improbable run is something they have to capitalize on now. Before Game two of the World Series, Royals general manager Dayton Moore said that “Everybody has a small window of opportunity. All of our success is tied to that opportunity.” It’s true for all baseball teams. In most cases there is only a small window and not seizing it seems like a crime.

This season Matt Harvey will be coming off of Tommy John surgery and if history is any indication, he won’t be pushed much past 160 innings. That was the limit for Stephen Strasburg in 2012. Also in 2012, Adam Wainwright threw 198.2 for the Cardinals after the surgery but he had pitched 200+ innings multiple times before that.

Moore also points out something that many people in baseball seem to ignore. Not all players are created equal.

“No two players are the same,” Moore said. “The only commonalities in this game are 60 feet, six inches, the plate is 17 inches, the ball is the same weight, ninety feet [between the bases]. Those are the commonalities. But every pitcher is different. They all prepare differently. They all have different mindsets. Their arms work perhaps differently. They have different arsenals.”

So should Harvey and Strasburg have the same limits? Could the Mets have pushed deGrom harder if they were in the race? The baseball world will ponder those questions until the ends of time but for Moore and the Royals, they are recognizing that runs like this don’t happen often and when they do, pushing a guy into uncharted territory is sometimes a necessity.

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Mets Won’t Be Players For Yasmani Tomas http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-wont-be-players-for-yasmani-tomas.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-wont-be-players-for-yasmani-tomas.html/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:44:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168409 yasmani tomas cuba

Here is the latest on Cuban outfielder Yasmani Tomas as reported by Andy Martino of the Daily News.

Tomas has been linked to with varying degrees of seriousness to the Dodgers, Padres, Phillies, Twins, Rangers, Giants and Tigers.

Martino says that people involved in the process now identify the Phillies as strong contenders for Tomas, and the Padres and Dodgers as far less likely. “And don’t count out the Tigers,” one source said.

The Yankees and Mets are not expected to be players for Tomas, league insiders say — the former due to a glut of outfielders (which assumes that Carlos Beltran can still contribute), and the latter because when was the last time the Mets gave $100 million to someone not named David Wright?

I’m reading and hearing the same things about the Phillies potentially ending up the winner in the Yasmani Tomas sweepstakes. Martino adds more on that:

“He makes a lot of sense for Philadelphia,” said one rival executive, noting that that the Phillies have money, a thin farm system, and a desire to reverse their fortunes as quickly as possible. Plus, people around the game took note when GM Ruben Amaro Jr. flew to the Dominican Republic to personally scout Tomas.

It was interesting to note that multiple executives with teams interested in Tomas say that, if he were a free agent, he would be a $15 million per year player, making a 5-year, $75 million contract for 23-year-old reasonable.

However, because he is not attached to a draft pick, and will be the subject of a bidding war, Tomas could easily end up with a $100 million deal, executives told Martino.

“Tomas’ best attribute is his power, a trait that is in short supply in today’s game. Only 14 players hit 30 or more home runs in 2013, and fewer might reach that threshold this year.  Tomas has 70 raw power on the 20-80 scale,” wrote Baseball America’s Ben Badler, “So he profiles as one of those rare 30+ home run bats.”

I don’t like this year’s free agent class one bit, but Tomas is someone that the Mets should be looking at. And by looking I mean more than just a passing glance. The experts endorse him, scouts are impressed, and executives and GMs are in hot pursuit. That’s quite telling.

What’s also quite telling is that the lack of interest by the Mets probably best illustrates that payroll is not rising anytime soon. The more Sandy, Fred, and Jeff keep saying that there are no financial limitations to the team’s payroll, the more their actions scream otherwise.

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Mets and Ricciardi Could Have Extension Completed Within A Week http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-and-ricciardi-could-have-extension-completed-within-a-week.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-and-ricciardi-could-have-extension-completed-within-a-week.html/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:13:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168222 ricciardi

Andy Martino of the Daily News reports that the Mets and J.P. Ricciardi could have a new extension wrapped up within a week.

The Mets, who extended Sandy Alderson in September, could wrap up a new deal for assistant GM J.P. Ricciardi within week, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. Ricciardi, a respected baseball man who oversees the pro scouting department and advises Alderson, arrived with the GM in late 2010.

That’s the first confirmation of what Nick Cafardo originally reported.

Ricciardi is under contract until the end of the 2015 season, so that they would seek to extend him now as opposed to later is quite telling to me.

First of all, Ricciardi and Sandy Alderson have been joined at the hip for three decades, and any GM should be able to choose his own assistants. But adding to that, I see Ricciardi as the heir apparent to Alderson once Sandy steps down or retires at the end of his newly signed contract.

I’ve been told that Ricciardi has worked very hard on polishing his image that was heavily tarnished during his tenure as the GM of the Toronto Blue Jays. He dealt with many trust issues with management, the players and the fans.

Ricciardi received heavy criticism for the mega deals he gave to Vernon Wells and Alex Rios. Sports Illustrated tabbed the Wells deal as one of the worst contracts in MLB history. 

People change and I’m sure that in retrospect Ricciardi wishes he could have handled some things much better than he did, especially the B.J. Ryan and Adam Dunn incidents. Nobody’s offered Ricciardi a GM position since then and he seems better suited to being a second wheel rather than a head honcho. 

October 19

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Mets are working on an extension deal to keep J.P. Ricciardi as a special assistant to general manager Sandy Alderson. The two worked together for 12 years with the Oakland Athletics.

Prior to joining the Mets, Ricciardi previously served as Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations and general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays from 2001 until he was fired in 2009 and replaced by Alex Anthopoulos.

Ricciardi is considered by most to be the heir apparent to Alderson once he retires or steps down.

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Mets To Formally Interview Kevin Long On Wednesday http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-to-formally-interview-kevin-long-on-wednesday.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-to-formally-interview-kevin-long-on-wednesday.html/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 01:12:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=167893 Kevin long cage

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Mets will formally interview former Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long on Wednesday, for the vacant hitting coach position created when Lamar Johnson was relieved of his duties.

Long was the hitting coach for the Yankees for seven seasons before being fired by Brian Cashman two weeks ago.

In addition to the Mets, he is drawing interest from the Blue Jays, brewers, Pirates, D’Backs  and Braves.

October 15 – Who is Kevin Long

With all the talk about the Mets considering Kevin Long to fill the Mets vacant hitting coach position, I decided to spend an hour researching him and learning what this former Yankee is all about. I learned some things along the way and thought I’d share some of them with you.

Long Is Very Confident

“If you’re going to fix somebody’s swing, you better know what you’re doing because you’re putting your name and reputation on the line. One of the criticisms I heard was how I could teach this caliber of player when I never played at this level. That doesn’t matter. It matters what kind of educator and teacher I am that I can get these guys to compete at an optimal level.”

Long Is A Hard Worker

“There’s always three things that I think are going to put you above anybody else as a coach. First of all, work ethic. No one is going to outwork me. No one is going to put in more time. That’s number one because the players see that.

Number two is knowledge. I’ve got to be very knowledgeable about what I do. Drill work, what adjustments I make with these guys… I have to know what makes good hitters good. I’ve done my homework. I’ve studied. I’ve taken Barry Bonds’ swing and broken it down into the finest details. And that’s how I started with my philosophy.

The third part—and if you don’t have this, you might as well pack it in as a hitting coach— is you’d better be personable. You’d better have people skills.”

About the Home Run Drill

“You never know if it’s going to catch on,” Long said. “You’re trying to help players become as consistent as possible. When you see guys have a lot of success with a certain drill, you keep it around. And it’s just one of those drills where I’ve seen numerous people throughout my career get better and better with it.”

The drill is intended to build muscle memory and teach players to consistently pull the ball for power.

Long Goes Above and Beyond

“I went to the Dominican Republic to work with Robinson Cano. Did the Yankees pay for that? Did Robinson Cano pay for that? You know who paid for that? Kevin Long paid for that….It wasn’t the Yankees saying go. I went in order for me to be a good instructor. You know what Robinson Cano thinks of me? He thinks I’m the greatest guy in the world…And as I do that, and as we go through a season where there’s struggles and this and that, he now feels he can lean on me, and we can lean on each other and that part can get you over the hump.”

Carlos Pena on Kevin Long

“You can know it all, but if you don’t know how to share it with your players, then the knowledge is lost. His strength is not actually all he knows, but how he teaches, how he can relate to a single player and make the player comfortable and confident and make the player trust him. Regardless of the stage or the level of the hitter, they start to feel they are the best in the world without ever even realizing it.”

Hope you enjoyed this and that you learned a little bit more about Kevin Long that you didn’t know already. These quotes were courtesy of ESPN, the New York Times, Hardball Magazine and Fox Sports.

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Alderson’s Draft Picks Are Indication Of Long Term Plan http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/aldersons-draft-picks-are-indication-of-long-term-plan.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/aldersons-draft-picks-are-indication-of-long-term-plan.html/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:31:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168341 brandon nimmoThe hardest thing about building a winning team is the anticipation. Before 1996, there were no guarantees that Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and the rest of a very young Yankees team would prosper at the same time, if at all. The same can be said about the 1986 Mets. Frank Cashen took Darryl Strawberry with the #1 overall pick in the 1980 draft. It happened to be the very first pick Cashen made in New York and it turned out pretty well.

Fast forward to 2011 when Sandy Alderson took over the Mets and selected Brandon Nimmo with the 13th overall pick in the draft. Like Strawberry, Nimmo was a high school outfielder with a ton of raw talent. It took Strawberry three years to reach the majors, debuting in 1983. Three years after that, they won the World Series. Now Alderson is hoping Nimmo is on the same track.

An interesting note from Cody Derespina of Newsday revolved around other high school players taken early in the draft.

“Since 1980, there have been 16 high school players drafted No. 1 overall. That list includes Strawberry, Ken Griffey Jr., Chipper Jones, Alex Rodriguez, Josh Hamilton, Adrian Gonzalez and Joe Mauer. Of the 14 No. 1 picks out of high school from 1980-2011, only Brien Taylor, Matt Bush and Tim Beckham didn’t debut in the majors within three years. Bush and Taylor never even made it to the bigs.”

Nimmo being a 13th overall pick won’t fit into that group but it’s clear that the Mets have completely abandoned a win-now approach in favor of the win-long-term strategy. Mets’ vice president for player development and scouting Paul DePodesta, had this to say about building for the future.

“We’re not necessarily looking for quick fixes. We hopefully plan on being here for a while and really trying to do this right. We’re not going to take a guy just because he might be the quickest mover to the big leagues.”

Nimmo will enter his fifth season in the Mets minor league system this spring at the age of 22. As Derespina points out, three to four years isn’t all that long for a high school player to mature and Nimmo will take longer than that. Gavin Cecchini and Dominic Smith were other players who Alderson drafted out of high school and who are unlikely to debut anytime soon.

Derespina also notes that with Alderson’s contract extension in place, he’ll likely be around until 2017 and by then, Cecchini, Smith, Nimmo and 2014 first-rounder Michael Conforto could debut.footer

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Familia Replacing Mejia As The Mets Closer? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/familia-replacing-mejia-as-the-mets-closer.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/familia-replacing-mejia-as-the-mets-closer.html/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:59:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168337 jeurys familia

Mike Vorkunov of NJ.com ponders if the Mets should just go with Jeurys Familia as the team’s closer next season.

He argues that as as impressive as Jenrry Mejia was last season in his first stint as closer, Familia was far more consistent than him.

“While Mejia’s saves could sometimes feel like he was walking a tight-rope (A 1.50 WHIP in save situations), Familia was more stable. So it’s worth asking: Should Familia be the closer next season?”

I love Familia and before the season I predicted that he would be one of the most valuable arms in our bullpen. He finished the season with a pristine 2.21 ERA and he became our eighth inning setup man, a job he did very well.

I just don’t understand why we have to screw around with something that we finally fixed. After five years of struggling with an awful bullpen – including three doomed attempts to revamp the bullpen by Sandy Alderson – we ended the season with an incredibly strong and with a very bright outlook. Roles were set and established and several relievers shined.

Everyone seems to be on a mission to usurp Mejia from the closer role, be it for Bobby Parnell who may or may not be ready by Opening Day, and even doing something as drastic as not naming a closer at all and simply going with a committee as was asserted on MetsBlog last week.

Just when we seem to finally have everything set and looking good, give me one good reason why we should blow all that up on some whim?

Who can ensure me that Familia would be just as effective closing games as he was as a setup man? There’s an incredible amount of pressure to come out with the game on the line and secure those final three outs. It takes a special swagger. You not only need the stuff you need the mindset.

While not perfect, and let’s face it who is, Mejia quickly took to his new role as closer and ran with it. As a reliever, he posted a 2.72 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 56.1 innings and he saved 28 games. Only the Marlins’ Steve Cishek saved more games in the second half last season than Mejia who had 18 to his 19.

We’ve all seen how big a role confidence plays in the performance of Familia and Mejia over the years. How do you think that plays out if you yank Mejia out of the closer role after he thrived in it? Don’t we have enough issues on this team without having to manufacture some new ones?

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Beltran Could Have Altered Fate For World Series Teams http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/beltran-could-have-altered-destiny-for-world-series.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/beltran-could-have-altered-destiny-for-world-series.html/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 04:11:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168353 beltran

The trade that sent Carlos Beltran to the San Francisco Giants for Zack Wheeler set off a chain of events that could have impacted the fates of both the Giants and Royals.

Beltran went on to sign with the Cardinals during the following offseason and then signed a three-year deal with the Yankees before the 2014 season. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, teams were convinced that Beltran would land with the Royals, the team that he came up with a decade earlier.

“When it happened, I cried. Because I was emotional,” Beltran told Dick Kaegel of MLB.com back in 2012.

“I signed with the Royals, I came up with the Royals, I had many years in that organization. But at the end of the day, those types of moments make you stronger as a person and make you understand a little more the game of baseball and how things happen. Baseball is a business, big business.”

How different would the playoff landscape look right now if that had been the case?

Wheeler could be getting ready to pitch game three or four for the Giants while Beltran would undoubtedly be one of the best hitters on the opposing team.

Obviously the trade has nothing to do with either players path. If Beltran wasn’t traded to the Giants, it doesn’t mean he would have been any more likely to end up in Kansas City years later. Still, the connection between the two players exists.

Beltran’s homecoming was thwarted by the three-year deal the Yankees offered him and Wheeler will be a part of the Mets stellar rotation for years to come.

It’s clear now that the Mets won that trade, as the Giants failed to make the playoffs in 2011, losing Beltran to free-agency the year after, while the Mets will end up getting seven years of service from Wheeler. Both could have been playing in the World Series this year had their paths been different.

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Hitting Coach Update: Yankees Tell Magadan He Didn’t Get The Job http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/hitting-coach-update-yankees-tell-magadan-he-didnt-get-the-job.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/hitting-coach-update-yankees-tell-magadan-he-didnt-get-the-job.html/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 01:04:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=167977 dave magadan

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, reports that Dave Magadan, who was a finalist for the Yankees’ hitting coach job, was informed he did not get the position and that the Yankees and are looking elsewhere.

That makes Magadan the frontrunner for Oakland’s open hitting coach job, Slusser says, particularly with Chili Davis having accepted the Red Sox position and leaving the A’s with the vacancy. Magadan told Slusser he has “had some conversations” with A’s general manager Billy Beane.

The Mets also have talked to Magadan, but as I pointed out last week and you can read below, there’s no chance of that happening given the history between Magadan and Alderson.

Kevin Long is still a possibility, but since last week several more teams have joined the hunt for his services including the Braves, Blue Jays, Brewers, Pirates and Diamondbacks.

October 16

According to what Dave Magadan told NJ.com, he got the sense that neither the Yankees or Mets are in any rush to fill their vacant hitting coach positions. ”I don’t think either one of them is in a huge hurry to make any choices.”

George King and Joel Sherman of the New York Post, first reported that the former Met had been contacted by the Mets, telling them that talks were very preliminary.

This evening a reader emailed me to say that Magadan and Sandy Alderson actually have a history, and not particularly a good one. Sandy fired Magadan when the two were together in San Diego.

After a stint as the Padres’ minor league hitting instructor, Magadan was promoted to the big-league staff a year later as hitting coach for manager Bruce Bochy.

“I’d met with Sandy two weeks before, and he was like, ‘You’re doing a great job. Whatever you need — videotape, whatever it is you need that you feel will enhance what you want to do — let us know, we’ll get it for you.’

“Two weeks later, I was driving home…I don’t even remember what I said. I was in such shock.”

Manager Bruce Bochy was upset and angered by the move. He stormed into the team clubhouse to tell his players that Magadan had just been fired and that he had no part in the decision. That didn’t sit well with team brass.

After being granted permission to look for another opportunity, Bochy left the Padres with one year remaining on his contract to become the manager of the San Francisco Giants.

At the time Magadan was fired, the Padres, played in pitching-friendly Petco Park, were just one game out of first place in the NL West.

Merv Rettenmund replaced Magadan as the Padres hitting coach, but he too was fired mid-season just under a year later. Wally Joyner took over as the new hitting coach, but resigned 14 months later citing a difference in hitting philosophy with Sandy Alderson.

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(Updated) Red Sox Likely Trading Yoenis Cespedes http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/updated-red-sox-likely-trading-yoenis-cespedes.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/updated-red-sox-likely-trading-yoenis-cespedes.html/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:23:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168271 yoenis cespedes

Updated at 1:00 PM

MLBTR reports that  Yoenis Cespedes has switched agencies and is now being represented by Roc Nation Sports.  Cespedes had previously been represented by Adam Katz of WMG.

As I said, there’s little chance that Cespedes signs an extension with any team and rest assured he’ll be a free agent after the 2015 season.

Original Post 10:00 AM

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe hears that the Red Sox will likely make Yoenis Cespedes available this offseason.

Cespedes is in the final year of his deal and will earn $10.2 million in 2015. He appears intent on becoming a free agent and was standoffish on engaging in long-term talks with the Red Sox.

Cafardo adds that Cespedes has no desire to play right field or work on his defense, which is likely fueling Boston’s desire to deal him, especially with a glut of outfielders and Mookie Betts close to an everyday outfield job.

cespedes stats

Hey, I don’t have a problem with Cespedes, but I live in the real world. I’m not buying the buzz that there’s any Mets interest here, especially when you consider the prospects we’d have to give up for what’s essentially a one-year rental.

And in the extremely remote possibility that Cespedes would sign an extension, in what alternate universe will the Mets have the resources to add another $100 million dollar player when they already have David Wright and Curtis Granderson set to earn $36 million combined annually for the next three years?

I just don’t see it.

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Jacob deGrom Named Sporting News Rookie Of The Year http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/jacob-degrom-named-sporting-news-rookie-of-the-year.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/jacob-degrom-named-sporting-news-rookie-of-the-year.html/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:22:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168279 jacob degrom

Mets rookie starting pitcher Jacob deGrom is considered the heavy favorite to win the 2014 NL Rookie Of the Year award. This was further verified today when the Sporting News announced the results of their annual player’s poll which is released prior to the official award.

I’ll give you the skinny on deGrom’s season, but most of you know the numbers by now.

DeGrom had 22 starts for the Mets this season and pitched 140 1/3 innings to the tune of a 2.69 ERA. Among all starting pitchers with at least 100 innings of work, deGrom ranked 15th in strikeouts per nine innings (9.24) and xFIP (3.03).

“I’m very honored to receive this prestigious award,” deGrom told the Sporting News.

“My teammates were a huge reason for my success. Individual honors are nice but what excites me the most is looking forward to next year and helping the Mets reach the postseason.”

As the Sporting News notes, deGrom was pitching lights out over his last few starts and ended the season on an upward trend. This not only bodes well for next year’s expectations, but also makes the 26 year old Florida native a clear frontrunner for the official award which is announced on November 10th by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Lets! Go! Mets!

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Mets Will Square Off With Yankees During Spring http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-will-square-off-with-yankees-during-spring.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-will-square-off-with-yankees-during-spring.html/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:24:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168299 Curtis Granderson - Jeff Roberson-Associated PressFor the first time since 2012, the Mets and Yankees will face each other during Spring Training this year. While the Mets spring training schedule has not been released yet, the Yankees have released there schedule and it features a “Subway Series” matchup down south.

The Yankees will visit Port St. Lucie on March 22nd and the Mets will play in Tampa on March 25th.mmo footer

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Mets Have Drafted Highest Percentage Of High School Players http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-have-drafted-highest-percentage-of-high-school-players.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-have-drafted-highest-percentage-of-high-school-players.html/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 18:07:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168218 brandon-nimmo-2

According to a new report by Baseball America, the current Collective Bargaining Agreement and its bonus pools have created incentives for teams to select high school players early in the draft before spending less in the back half of the top 10 rounds.

They write that 2014 was the most aggressive use of that strategy in the three years under the current CBA.

Nearly half of the high school players drafted in the top 10 rounds (47.1 percent) went in the top two rounds. Leading this trend are the New York Mets.

“No team had high school players comprise a higher percentage of their draft signings than the Mets (35.7 percent), who signed the second-most high school players of any team (10).”

“While more than half of the (57.7 percent) of all high school players that signed were drafted in the top 10 rounds, the Mets drafted all but two of their prep players after the 10th round (third-round shortstop Milton Ramos and eighth-round first baseman Dash Winningham), signing many of them to bonuses exceeding $100,000 such as righthanders Erik Manoah and Gabe Llanes, outfielder Raphael Ramirez and shortstop Dale Burdick. There were 60 prep players who signed after the 10th round, and the Mets drafted eight of them (13.3 percent).”

Actually, the Mets have concentrated most of their top selections on high school players over their last four drafts under Sandy Alderson. And unlike other teams, they have yet to see any of their draft selections debut yet in the majors. However, many of them are highly regarded as prospects.

That should change in 2015 with the expected debut of college catching prospect Kevin Plawecki, and Adam Rubin believes that if everything breaks right, we could see the first high school prospect selected by the Mets, Brandon Nimmo, in September.

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Mets Road Splits Go To The Heart Of The Matter http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-road-splits-go-to-the-heart-of-the-matter.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-road-splits-go-to-the-heart-of-the-matter.html/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 05:00:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=167993 Mets

The New York Mets have seemingly struggled offensively over the last several years, prompting fans to call for better hitters, and more offense. I know I certainly have. The Mets front office has sometimes responded by signing free agent sluggers like Jason Bay and current Met Curtis Granderson. Two players that both had previously produced near MVP seasons before signing with the Mets. The results have been disappointing to say the least, if not disastrous in Bay’s case.

Why have these sluggers struggled to hit in a Mets uniform? Did they forget how to hold the bat? Have they forgotten to identify the little red dot that appears on the ball when the pitcher throws a slider? Did they lose their bat speed to the point they could no longer catch up to a fastball?

Most likely, it’s none of those particular factors that led to their rapid offensive decline. They both came from AL East teams that play the majority of their games in band boxes like Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, The Rogers Centre in Toronto, and Oriole Park at Camden Yards. And yes, switching leagues can oftentimes lead to some unfamiliarity among the opposing pitchers. But after taking a look at some of the current Mets road splits this season, it seems as though the problem with Granderson, at least, is the field which he calls home.

Curtis - Granderson

Granderson finished up his inaugural Mets season with some seemingly pedestrian numbers, batting .227 with a .326 on-base and .388 slugging percentage in 654 plate appearances. He was good for 27 doubles, 20 home runs and 66 RBI, but his .714 OPS was an 11-year career low, far below his .830 OPS average in his previous four seasons.

Although the lack of RBIs can be attributed to batting leadoff for the majority of the season. Believe it or not, Granderson’s season graded out as slightly above average with the league wide void of offense. The following numbers are very telling of the effects of Citi Field on Granderson in 2014

Home: .195 AVG, .290 OBP, .340 SLG, 16 2B, 7 HR, 26 RBI, .630 OPS

Road: .261 AVG, .360 OBP, .436 SLG, 11 2B, 13 HR, 40 RBI, .797 OPS

Quite a stark contrast on the road from the numbers he produced at home, and almost twice as many longballs.

No one in their right mind expected Granderson to put up the same gaudy power numbers that he posted in his former home park in the Bronx. A ballpark that even turned Eric Young Jr. into a power hitter for at least one night last May, when he blasted a ball several rows deep into the right field seats.

In a fair home park, it stands to reason that Grandy would’ve probably had between 25-30 home runs this season. His road numbers were actually really impressive compared to the rest of the NL that played a similar schedule away from their home park.

Granderson was a road warrior for the Mets. His 13 road home runs were good for 6th in the NL and tied with none other than Giancarlo Stanton. His 40 RBI, with most of his AB coming right after the pitchers spot, was in the top 15. And he also ranked 13th in runs scored with 42 and 3rd in walks with 45. Granderson was quite a different player on the road than what we saw from him at Citi Field this season.

lucas duda

Only five NL players had more homers on the road this season than Granderson, and one of those five was teammate Lucas Duda, who had more away home runs than all NL hitters with the exception of the Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo.

Duda finished the 2014 season with 16 HR away from the unfriendly confines and was quite the road warrior as well, posting a .275/.365/.496 slash with 49 RBI and a .861 OPS.

Those numbers were good for second in home runs and RBI on the road. Considering his struggles against LHP in 2014, there are very few hitters in baseball that fared better versus right-handed pitching than Lucas Duda. Fortunately for the Mets, the big man can hit it out of any stadium, but it sure seems like he lost at least a handful of round trippers in the early part of the season with the wind blowing in at Citi Field in April, May and the early part of June, particularly in the vicinity of right and right-center.

daniel murphy

Duda and Grandy weren’t the only hitters that had increased production away from Citi Field, as Daniel Murphy led the NL in hits on the road, and was the only player in the NL that topped the century mark with 103 base-knocks. Freddie Freeman and Buster Posey finished in a tie for second with 95. Here’s Murphy’s 2014 road stats which are quite impressive:

.322 AVG, .359 OBP, .447 SLG, 21 2B, 5 HR, 33 RBI, .805 OPS

Among all NL hitters with at least 200 road AB, only Buster Posey (.348), and Juan Uribe (.333) had a higher batting average, and only Jonathan Lucroy (34), Adrian Gonzalez (23), and Freddie Freeman (22) had more doubles than Murph.

That level of offensive production from second base, in the current offensive drought that the league is suffering through, is pretty close to irreplaceable. Murphy certainly looked much better defensively at third base, but that’s another story altogether. For yet another comparison, Robinson Cano slashed at .314/.382/.454 for the year.

kitk nieuwenhuis

Travis d’Arnaud (.757 OPS), Eric Campbell (.729), Anthony Recker and EYJ. all fared better on the road, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis (.975) and Dilson Herrera (1.060) absolutely crushed the ball on the road, albeit, in a limited number of AB. The difference is astounding however, as Kirk had an OPS of .643 at home, and Herrera had pitcher like offensive numbers at Citi with a .326 OPS, again, small sample size.

The 2014 Mets were second on the road, trailing only the star-studded Dodgers, in hits, runs, walks, batting average, and OBP.

They finished third in doubles and RBI behind the Dodgers, and likely NL Champion San Francisco Giants, 4th in OPS and SB, and 7th in HR and OBP on the road, finishing just one HR behind the Colorado Rockies. In short, the Mets were one of the best offensive teams in the National League on the road.

The aforementioned numbers also include some unsightly numbers that our pitchers contributed at the plate – numbers which were historically bad and almost unfathomable.

The Mets played the entire first month of the season without getting a single hit from a pitcher. Dillon Gee and Bartolo Colon combined to go 3-for-100 at the plate this season. That is not a typo. That’s right, they hit .030.

Mejia, Matsuzaka, Montero and Torres, unbelievably, were worse, as they contributed ZERO hits in 44 trips to the plate. That’s 3-for-144 (.021 Avg). Even for pitchers, that’s unheard of.

Conversely, the Mets hit .224 in their home park, easily worst in the NL, and only the wildly underachieving Braves and punchless Padres scored less runs than the Mets did at home.

So maybe bringing in the fences is a reasonably good idea. I think our current crop of hitters aren’t nearly as bad as the overall numbers suggest. It stands to reason that if the Mets were at or near the top of almost every offensive category on the road when compared to teams that played similar schedules and under similar conditions, that Citi Field is doing more damage to our offense than the opposing pitchers they are facing. The evidence suggests that bringing in the fences, specifically in right and right-center, is a no-brainer. Thanks for reading and Lets Go Mets.

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