Mets Merized Online » Mets News & Notes http://metsmerizedonline.com Tue, 31 Mar 2015 20:40:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.5 MMO Game Recap: Mets 2, Nationals 0 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mmo-game-recap-mets-2-nationals-0-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mmo-game-recap-mets-2-nationals-0-2.html/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 20:35:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=177695 WAR.  What is it good for?  For Niese, it might be good for keeping him in New York.

The New York Mets traveled to Viera on Tuesday and defeated the Washington Nationals by a score of 2-0.

Pitching:

What a stellar performance by lefthander Jon Niese who is having himself a fantastic spring and looks to be gearing up for huge season in 2015. All he did was fire six scoreless innings, allowing just four hits, walking none and striking out three.

Niese has been working on a new delivery to put less stress on his shoulder, and by all accounts he’s looked great and even dominant at times. He improved his Grapefruit League record to 3-0 with a pristine 1.65 ERA.

“My shoulder feels as good or better than its felt in a real long time,” Niese said. “Real happy with it.”

The newest Met Jerry Blevins faced Bryce Harper in the 7th inning, striking him out. The Mets acquired Blevins from the Nationals to do just this during the regular season, come in and get out the tough lefties.

Zack Thornton continued his strong spring, tossing 2/3 of an inning, striking out one. He lowers his spring ERA to a sterling 1.80.

Rule-5 pick Sean Gilmartin pitched two scoreless innings to record the save, striking out one National and walking one. After an abysmal start to the spring, Gilmartin’s ERA now stands at a respectable 4.22.

Offense:

Ruben Tejada got the Mets on the board with an RBI single to score Daniel Muno in the 5th inning He now has 12 RBIs in 19 games. Travis d’Arnaud had a pair of singles to raise his average to .239 for the spring.

Lucas Duda singled against Gio Gonzalez today, and that marked four consecutive hits against left-handed pitching.

John Mayberry had three hits, including the big blow, his fourth home run of the spring. He improved his batting average to a team leading .426 and a .473 OBP and ten RBIs in 20 games.

Notes:

All three of John Mayberry‘s hits came off lefties today. The Mets brought him on board to serve as a lefty killer off the bench, and has proven to be up to that task.

Lucas Duda‘s hit came off Gio Gonzalez, a tough lefty. He has hit well against lefties this spring, let’s hope it continues into the season.

The Mets dominated the Nationals this spring, going 5-1 and out-scoring them 48-23. After it was the other way around last season, it would be great to see the Mets’ success against Washington carry over into the regular season.

On Deck:

The Mets will play their last Grapefruit League game at Port St. Lucie tomorrow at 1:10 against the St. Louis Cardinals, when Bartolo Colon takes the hill against Carlos Martinez.

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MLB Commissioner Calls Wilpon A Victim That’s Been Treated Unfairly http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mlb-commissioner-calls-wilpon-a-victim-whose-been-treated-unfairly.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mlb-commissioner-calls-wilpon-a-victim-whose-been-treated-unfairly.html/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 19:21:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=177653 rob manfred

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred was a guest on WFAN Radio on Tuesday and gave Mets owner Fred Wilpon another vote of confidence, portraying him as a victim who has been treated unfairly.

“I do understand that that undercurrent is out there. I really don’t believe it’s fair, however. The most important point is this: At this point in Major League Baseball, I think it’s very, very difficult to go out and make yourself into a winning team overnight by spending money in free agency.”

“If you look at the teams that are winning now, they’re teams that have fundamentally sound farm systems and bring along a cohort of players who are effective on the field, and they may add through free agency to get over the top. But it’s really hard to just go out there and rebuild your team by that mechanism because there’s just not enough talent in the market to do that.”

He contrasted the situation with former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and Fred Wilpon as follows:

“In contrast Mr. Wilpon was a victim of the Madoff scheme,” Manfred said. “I think you have to treat somebody who is acting as opposed to somebody who is victimized differently.”

When reminded that the Mets payroll has shrunk from $147 million to a low of $85 million in 2014, he said:

“Under the basic agreement, it’s really not the business of central baseball to second guess the payroll decisions by clubs. I am satisfied that the New York Mets have a very strong desire to be successful on the field and that they’re making decisions directed at being successful on the field. I’m also satisfied they have sufficient resources to be successful.”

So there you go. Have at it…

March 31 – Original Post

Bob Klapisch of Newsday didn’t take too kindly to Fred Wilpon ducking several interview requests after a closed door meeting with the team on Monday. The only thing that was allowed to leak out was that it was “positive” and it was about “winning.”

Players were told not to divulge anything to fans or media, there was no press release to media, and the progenitor of the meeting himself refused to face reporters who were all anxious to hear what the Mets owner, who had a bodyguard to protect him, had to say.

“By all accounts this was a terrific meeting. Without going into specifics, David Wright said, “Fred has always been upbeat.” Terry Collins said it was “very, very impactful.” There were no threats, no win-or-else edicts issued. Wilpon played his hand to perfection, at least until the meeting ended and he strolled by a group of reporters.”

“That’s when Wilpon blew off a chance to deliver a state-of-the-team address. Instead of stopping, even for a few moments, to pump up the fan base, Wilpon walked right by. Not a word, not a gesture, no eye contact. Just feigned oblivion.”

This has been the case for Fred Wilpon for over two years now, avoiding any questions about his own team and preferring not to discuss anything about his not so shiny and not so new toy.

Like all the other opportunities to engage fans or the team’s reporters, Wilpon has perfected his close, oftentimes a smile and a nod and off he goes into his golf cart or his limousine.

“For those keeping score, it’s been two years since Wilpon granted his last interview, which prompts the obvious question: What’s he afraid of? Wilpon turned away from a slam-dunk opportunity to reassure ticket buyers that, yes, he’s got enough money to finance a Mets’ rebirth.”

“Instead, Wilpon continues to hide out, feeding the disconnect that made it possible for loyalists to love the Mets, but detest ownership. Ask any Mets fan if he or she would rather win a World Series or drive the Wilpons out of town and – guaranteed – they’d give serious consideration to door No. 2.”

Klapisch wonders why there has been no accountability from Wilpon in two years and believes he is hiding something, or hiding from something.

“Perhaps it’s the more difficult questions that still hover over the Mets. As in, will there be money for a midseason pickup should the Mets become legitimate contenders? Do the Wilpons have the means (and the guts) to bring Troy Tulowitzki to Flushing?”

“This is merely the top layer of distrust; the fans’ problem with ownership goes much deeper. They see the popular Bobby Ojeda walk away from SNY and think: It must be the money. They see Harvey denied the start in the home opener, pushed back to the second game, and think: It must be the money. Everything, it seems, is a money-grab with the Mets.”

“Yet Wilpon, born and bred in Brooklyn, seems to have forgotten that Mets fans cannot be conned. They are a tough, hardened and incredibly loyal subset. They know two years of silence represents arrogance at best, deception at worst.”

It’s very strange how Fred Wilpon is so afraid to come out in the open at a time when his team seems to be on the threshold of a new and special era. For a man who has spent the better part of the last quarter century always being out front and boasting about the team or preaching patience for better days, what an odd time for him to take refuge in a bunker, refusing to offer any words of encouragement to the tens of thousands who are going to be purchasing tickets to see this team and keep him afloat..

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Baseball America: Mets Have 5th Best System In MLB http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/baseball-america-mets-have-5th-best-system-in-baseball.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/baseball-america-mets-have-5th-best-system-in-baseball.html/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 18:29:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=177682 noah syndergaard

Baseball America ranked the New York Mets with the 5th best farm system in MLB. The Mets have seen their farm ranking improve steadily as the system was restocked by Sandy and Co. and a dozen or so players from the prior regime rose to top prospect status or won regular major league jobs. Baseball America had the Mets ranked 16th in 2013 and 10th in 2014.

Here is what they had to say about their latest Mets ranking:

TOP 10 PROSPECTS

1. Noah Syndergaard, RHP (11)
2. Steven Matz, LHP (33)
3. Brandon Nimmo, OF (45)
4. Dilson Herrera, 2B (46)
5. Kevin Plawecki, C (63)
6. Amed Rosario, SS (98)
7. Michael Conforto, OF (80)
8. Rafael Montero, RHP
9. Marcos Molina, RHP
10. Gavin Cecchini, SS

How They Got Here: €œRebuild mode€ has described the Mets for most of this decade, so it’€™s natural they rank high in prospect talent. They’€™ve made astute trades for prospects such as Noah Syndergaard and Dilson Herrera, drafted and developed prep (Steve Matz), college (Kevin Plawecki) and international (Amed Rosario, Marcos Molina) talent . . . They’€™ve even produced impact big leaguers such as RHP Jake deGrom, who went from No. 10 prospect to NL Rookie of the Year.

High-Ceiling Sleeper: Lucas Duda developed from seventh-round pick to 30-homer big leaguer, and the Mets hope for similar power from C/1B Brandon Brosher, a Florida prep product who will be coming back from a broken ankle in 2014.

2015 Rookies: Syndergaard, Matz and Rafael Montero provide rotation insurance, especially with RHP Zack Wheeler out with an elbow injury. Syndergaard and Montero have Triple-A experience that gives them a leg up. SS Matt Reynolds isn’t€™ on the 40-man roster yet, but shortstop is a weak spot in Queens, giving him a potential path to playing time.

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Nationals, 1:05 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-nationals-105-pm-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-nationals-105-pm-2.html/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 15:07:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=177673 jon niese

The New York Mets (17-11) travel to Viera on Tuesday to face the Washington Nationals (10-13) at 1:05 PM.

LHP Jon Niese (2-0, 2.61 ERA) starts for the Mets and will oppose LHP Gio Gonzalez (0-1, 2.63 ERA) for the Nationals.

No radio or TV for this game!

News and Notes

A day after acquiring a pair of left-handed relievers in Jerry Blevins and Alex Torres, the Mets optioned prospect Dario Alvarez to minor league camp on Tuesday morning. Alvarez posted a 4.91 ERA in 10 Grapefruit League relief appearances.

While Vic Black is unlikely to break camp with the Mets and is DL bound, Daniel Murphy is still “touch and go” said Sandy Alderson on Monday. If Murphy can’t go, the Mets are leaning toward Daniel Muno over Matt Reynolds according to reporters.

Lucas Duda is on fire. A day after his three-hit game on Sunday, Duda blasted a three-run double and two-run homer on Monday. He has ten RBIs in his last seven games. “I feel good at the plate,” said Duda, who missed the first two weeks of games with a strained left intercostal muscle. “I feel like my timing’s getting back.”

Starting Lineups

New York Mets

  1. Ruben Tejada, 2B
  2. Wilmer Flores, SS
  3. John Mayberry Jr., RF
  4. Lucas Duda, 1B
  5. Travis d’Arnaud, C
  6. Eric Campbell, LF
  7. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, CF
  8. Daniel Muno, 3B
  9. Jon Niese, LHP

Washington Nationals

  1. Michael Taylor, CF
  2. Yunel Escobar, 3B
  3. Bryce Harper, RF
  4. Ryan Zimmerman, 1B
  5. Ian Desmond, SS
  6. Tyler Moore, LF
  7. Jose Lobaton, C
  8. Danny Espinosa, 2B
  9. Gio Gonzalez, LHP

Enjoy the game and Let’s Go Mets!

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Still No Decision On Mets Fifth Starter As Race Tightens http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/still-no-decision-on-mets-fifth-starter-as-race-tightens.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/still-no-decision-on-mets-fifth-starter-as-race-tightens.html/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 14:46:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=177651 Brad Barr USA TODAY Sports rafael montero

After another dominant performance by Rafael Montero on Monday, the question as to who will be named the team’s fifth starter between him and Dillon Gee rages on.

mmo feature original footerMontero strengthened his case with six scoreless innings against a stacked Marlins lineup, allowing just two hits, walking none and striking out six batters. It was vintage Montero, displaying that impeccable command that he was known for in the minors. His ERA this spring has improved to 2.40.

“That’s something we’ll talk about over the next two or three days,” GM Sandy Alderson said. “Dillon has the experience and has been successful. Montero has the upside as a young guy. And he demonstrated today that when he pitches and has location, and uses all of his pitches, he can be outstanding.”

“There’s certainly a presumption that Dillon’s the guy,” Alderson said. “I’m not sure that that has changed. But Montero has done everything he possibly can to change that presumption, so we’ll just have to see.”

dillon gee

However Alderson has also maintained that this is a decision that Terry Collins ultimately makes, and whether you believe that or not, the Mets manager, who already declared Gee as the replacement for Wheeler two weeks ago, said this on Monday:

“Dillon Gee to me is a guy who has been over .500 on a team that hasn’t been over .500, and that’s got to be a huge consideration,” he said. “But Rafael Montero is certainly making a play for it.”

It could be that this situation resolves itself before it becomes too much of a distraction.

The Mets are still looking to trade Gee and hope to do so within the month, an organization source told ESPN New York on Sunday. There are no active discussions with other clubs for now, but that could quickly change.

For now I’d prefer to see Montero in the rotation if only because he best represents the hope for our future and our focus on youth.

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2015 Mets Opening Day Roster Projection (Version 4.0) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/2015-mets-opening-day-roster-projection-version-4-0.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/2015-mets-opening-day-roster-projection-version-4-0.html/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 10:00:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=177606 USATSI_8472018_154511658_lowres

I think it’s safe to say that this is my final 2015 Opening Day Roster Projection of the preseason. Yep, that’s right, there will be no more of my roster projections for you to kick around anymore after this.

Starting Lineup

1. CF Juan Lagares
2. RF Curtis Granderson
3. 3B David Wright
4. 1B Lucas Duda
5. LF Michael Cuddyer
6. SS Wilmer Flores
7. C Travis d’Arnaud
8. 2B Daniel Muno

It certainly looks like Daniel Murphy will begin the season on the DL, and from what I’m hearing from Mets beat writers the team prefers to let Matt Reynolds begin the season at Las Vegas. Why you may ask? The only thing I could come up with is that they don’t trust that Terry Collins would play him everyday, and that he ends up getting the Wilmer Flores treatment, riding the bench while Ruben Tejada gets the lion’s share of the playing time. Being they view Muno as a future utility player anyway, they’ll go with him. But it’s not like he didn’t earn it, Muno had just as good a Spring as Reynolds.

Juan Lagares will be your leadoff hitter or else villagers will flock to Citi Field carrying torches and pitchforks. Lagares, my choice for Mets Breakout Player of the Year, is taking more walks, laying off balls out of the zone, driving the ball with more power, and utilizing his speed more than ever. All the things some said he’d never do.

Bench Warmers

C Anthony Recker
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis
OF John Mayberry, Jr.
IF Ruben Tejada
IF Eric Campbell

It’s the same five players I projected a day after we acquired Mayberry. New York native Johnny Monell gave Recker a good challenge, but it was never gonna happen. Matt den Dekker is now out of the picture, and as for Campbell, Soup had a great spring.

Starting Rotation

1. RHP Jacob deGrom
2. RHP Matt Harvey
3. LHP Jon Niese
4. RHP Bartolo Colon
5. RHP Dillon Gee

I know, I know, we all want to see Montero in there, but Collins is fixated on Gee even if the front office isn’t. In fact, how’s this for where Sandy is leaning: “Gee may have the experience, but Montero has the upside.” Then you have him saying it’s Terry’s decision. Bummer, dude…

Bullpen

CLS Jenrry Mejia
RHP Jeurys Familia
RHP Carlos Torres
RHP Rafael Montero
LHP Alex Torres
LHP Jerry Blevins
LHP Sean Gilmartin

With Vic Black likely to open the season on the DL, the Mets intend to go with three left-handers for the first week of the season. After that, we’ll see how it goes. The biggest loser is RHP Buddy Carlyle who went from a bullpen lock to a Sand Trooper in Vegas in a matter of minutes, but it will be comforting to know we’ll have him in case we need him. Bobby Parnell will open the season on the DL, but is expected back around April 15. I think by then that Gee will be traded, opening up a spot for Montero in the rotation and Parnell in the bullpen.

By the way, Mr. North Jersey posted the following in one of our threads:

If you are trying to get a sense of where in the lineup the Mets have batted the most this Spring so far. The top for each spot breaks down as follows.

1 Slot: Juan Lagares (17 Times)
2 Slot: Curtis Granderson (11 Times)
3 Slot: David Wright (12 Times)
4 Slot: Michael Cuddyer (9 Times)
5 Slot: Kirk Nieuwenhuis (7 Times)
6 Slot: Wilmer Flores (6 Times)
7 Slot: Travis d’Arnaud (4 Times)
8 Slot: Matt den Dekker (4 Times)

Six more days!

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Mets Deal Matt den Dekker To Nationals For LHP Jerry Blevins http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mets-deal-matt-den-dekker-to-nationals-for-lhp-jerry-blevins.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mets-deal-matt-den-dekker-to-nationals-for-lhp-jerry-blevins.html/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 22:45:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=177615 jerry-blevins

The team just announced that they have dealt outfielder Matt den Dekker to the Washington Nationals in return for LH reliever Jerry Blevins,

Blevins, 31, was 2-3 with a 4.87 ERA (31 earned runs/57.1 innings) and 66 strikeouts in 64 games for the Nationals last year.

The 6-6, 185-pounder has appeared in 60 or more games three straight seasons and has reached that plateau in four of the last five years. He held lefthanded hitters to a .160 (17-106) batting average in 2014 and has limited lefties to a .212 (114-539) career mark.

Blevins stranded 31 of 35 inherited runners, notched nine holds and averaged 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings last year.

The Johnson City, TN native was 5-0 with a 3.15 ERA (21 earned runs/60.0 innings) in 67 games with the Oakland Athletics in 2013.

Blevins is 15-9 with a 3.58 ERA (129 earned runs/324.1 innings) and 305 strikeouts in 345 career games with the Athletics and Nationals from 2007-2014.

Den Dekker, 27, hit .250 (38-152) with seven RBI in 53 games for the Mets last season.

This looks like the end of the road for Sean Gilmartin as a Met… Or maybe not as Terry Collins just sounded like he has made the team. From no lefty relievers to three? Stay tuned…

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Mets Acquire LHP Alex Torres From Padres http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mets-acquire-lhp-alex-torres-from-padres.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mets-acquire-lhp-alex-torres-from-padres.html/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 22:44:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=177558 alex torres

According to Ken Rosenthal on Twitter, the Mets have acquired lefty Alex Torres from the San Diego Padres.

In return, the Padres will receive Mets prospect Cory Mazzoni and a player to be named later.

Torres, 27, went 2-1 with a 3.33 ERA (20 earned runs/54.0 innings) in 70 games with San Diego in 2014. He held righties to a .209 (23-110) batting average, the sixth-lowest mark among NL lefthanded relievers. Lefties hit .256 (23-90) against him last year.

The 5-10, 185-pounder stranded 39 of 44 inherited runners, tied for the fourth-best rate in the majors last season.

Torres is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA (two earned runs/8.0 innings) in eight spring games with San Diego this year.

The native of Valencia, Venezuela is 7-4 with a 2.55 ERA (34 earned runs/120.0 innings) and 122 strikeouts in 113 major league games with the Rays and Padres.

Torres will make the league minimum this season and is not eligible for arbitration eligible until 2017.

Torres is perhaps known best around baseball for wearing the isoBLOX protective hat that MLB introduced due to countless pitchers experiencing traumatic head injuries after being struck with line drives.

Mazzoni is a former 2nd round pick that has missed big chunks of the last two seasons with injury. He made 14 starts across 4 levels last year finishing with a 7-2 record and a 4.68 ERA. The inflated ERA doesn’t tell the whole story though, he had a 4.18 FIP and 4.08 SO/W at Las Vegas.

Cory looked to get more comfortable as the year progressed winning his last 4 decisions and producing a 41/2 K/BB over his last 41.2 innings. His fastball and slider are very good but some scouts question whether his splitter is a good enough 3rd pitch to stick as a starter. He hasn’t pitched in relief (besides Spring Training) since 2011 but the Mets obviously are pretty stacked when it comes to starters.

He ranked No.17 in the MMO Top 25 Prospects this year.

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Mets GM Says Vic Black Is Likely Heading To The DL http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mets-gm-says-vic-black-is-likely-heading-to-the-dl.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mets-gm-says-vic-black-is-likely-heading-to-the-dl.html/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 21:11:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=176208 vic black

Vic Black threw another bullpen session off a mound at Tradition Field on Monday, however general manager Sandy Alderson told reporters afterward that it is unlikely that Black is ready for Opening Day.

If Black begins the season on the disabled list then the Mets can backdate it to March 9, giving the righthander a little more time to strengthen his problematic shoulder.

This will give the Mets the opportunity to carry three left-handers in the bullpen in Sean Gilmartin, Jerry Blevins and Alex Torres. But I’m thinking that Gilmartin might be on the bubble when Black does return sometime around April 13, the Mets home opener.

March 25

Reliever Vic Black, who has not pitched since March 9 due to right shoulder tendinitis, soft-tossed off flat ground on Tuesday, but is still not ready to return to game action.

GM Sandy Alderson called Black a question mark for Opening Day and with less than two weeks left to build his arm strength, Black could join Bobby Parnell and Josh Edgin On the DL to begin the season.

“I’m not worried about it,” said Black. “As long as things progress OK and they let me go, I think I’ll be ready. But they have their own methods and their own checkpoints that you have to get to. So I’ll follow them and do what they ask.”

The only sure things in the Mets bullpen right now are Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia and Carlos Torres.

March 23

Reliever Vic Black is scheduled to throw on flat ground on Tuesday. Black completed his regimen of anti-inflammatory medication on Sunday, and gained clearance from medical staff to pick up a baseball.

Black recently had an MRI that showed no structural damage and was diagnosed with shoulder tendinitis.

With only two weeks to Opening Day, Black might open the season on the DL, writes Adam Rubin. Terry Collins expressed that concern on Friday.

If Black were to start season on the shelf, Buddy Carlyle appears to be in line to replace him.

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 7, Marlins 1 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mmo-game-recap-mets-7-marlins-1-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mmo-game-recap-mets-7-marlins-1-2.html/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 20:33:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=177613 USATSI rafael montero Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets (17-11) beat the Marlins (12-12) by a score of 7-1 on Monday afternoon at Tradition Field.

With the last spot in the starting rotation potentially at stake, Rafael Montero took the ball for the Mets and was awesome, striking out six batters in six scoreless innings, allowing two hits and walking none.

Montero and Dan Haren (who was apparently lying about how he would retire if traded to the Marlins) each started the game with three perfect innings. Miami’s Dee Gordon led off the top of the fourth with a double that broke up Montero’s meaningless no-hitter, but Gordon was thrown out at third on the next play, and Montero escaped the inning with his meaningless shutout very much intact.

David Wright hit a two-out single in the bottom of the fourth to give the Mets their first baserunner, and Lucas Duda followed up the Captain by lining one over the wall in right to put the hosts up 2-0.

The Mets blew the game open in the bottom of the sixth. After Ruben Tejada led off the frame with a single, Juan Lagares—with Tejada running on the pitch— hit a single of his own to give the Mets runners on the corners with no outs. Curtis Granderson walked to load the bases, and after Wright struck out, Duda pulled one over the first-base bag for a bases-clearing double which put the Mets up 5-0. Michael Cuddyer was next, and he hammered a two-run shot to left field to send Haren to the showers. Wilmer Flores greeted reliever Brad Hand with a double and moved to third on a wild pitch, but the Mets could not bring him home, and were left to settle for a 7-0 lead.

Carlos Torres came in to pitch the top of the seventh, and immediately got himself into trouble by walking Giancarlo Stanton and surrendering a single to Michael Morse. But Carlos, determined to hold off the newly-acquired Alex for the title of Terry’s Favorite Torres, got Martin Prado to hit into a double-play and struck out Marcell Ozuna to escape the jam and keep the over/under on his appearances at 161.5 (I’m taking the over, because Harvey will definitely throw a complete game at some point).

After the Mets failed to make anything of a two-out single from Cesar Puello, Jeurys Familia came in and retired both hitters he faced to start the top of the eighth. Scott Rice came in to take care of the lefty, but Ichiro Suzuki hit one up the middle for what Gary Cohen called his “billionth hit.” Rice, blissfully unaware that Jerry Blevins was about to be acquired to take his LOOGY role, bounced back and induced a groundout from Donovan Solano to retire the side.

Jenrry Mejia came in to wrap things up in the top of the ninth, and was once again shaky. After Tyler Colvin grounded out, Mejia walked his former teammate Jordany Valdespin. Mejia then fanned Jeff Baker for the second out, but after Valdespin moved up a base on Defensive Indifference, Don Kelly singled up the middle to score Valdespin and break up the shutout. Mejia then issued his second walk of the inning to Cole Gillespie, but got Reid Brignac to fly out to seal the Mets’ 7-1 victory.

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Another day, another solid showing from the Mets’ offense. The starting pitching was great as well, with Montero turning in a gem. Duda is mashing the ball, Cuddyer is still raking, Flores, Juan, and even Tejada are getting on base, and Kevin Long has my vote in 2016.

I still think Dillon Gee should break camp as the #5 starter. I definitely wouldn’t trade him, because as we’ve seen, it’s good to have depth in the rotation (and everywhere else). I don’t think he’d make a good reliever. But he does make a good starter. When healthy, he’s been terrific.

I had been hoping Montero would be converted to the bullpen because I think he’d make a great reliever, but he’s looked good as a starter lately, so perhaps he should be sent down to AAA if he doesn’t win the last spot in the rotation. If he’s excelling in Las Vegas and Gee is struggling in New York, give Montero the call-up. If somebody gets hurt, give Montero the call-up.

Anyway, I’m sure there will be plenty of Montero/Gee debate in the next week or so, so let’s move on.

The bullpen looked shaky once again today, despite not giving up more than one run. Mejia hasn’t been convincing, and Torres was a bit rocky. On the bright side, Familia was better this time around. And with today’s trades for Alex Torres and Jerry Blevins, help appears to be on the way. But if I had to pick out one area of concern, it would definitely be the pen.

1 week to go. Let’s hope the winning ways don’t stop when the games start to matter.

Up Next: The Mets will face the Nationals on Tuesday at 1:05 PM. Jon Niese will face Gio Gonzalez at Space Coast Stadium.

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MMO Game Thread: Marlins vs Mets, 1:05 PM (SNY) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mmo-game-thread-marlins-vs-mets-105-pm-sny-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mmo-game-thread-marlins-vs-mets-105-pm-sny-2.html/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 14:44:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=177547 Rafael - Montero

Big game for Rafael Montero who gets another chance today today to make a case for the starting rotation as the New York Mets take on the Miami Marlins. Montero opposes right-hander Dan Haren for the Marlins in a 1:10 PM matchup at Tradition Field (SNY).

Mets Notes

Fred Wilpon addressed Mets players in a closed-door meeting, but wouldn’t take questions from media. No players would divulge what was discussed other than to say it was about winning. I wonder if that means winning at all costs, Fred? The Mets owner has blacked out any and all media requests for an interview since 2013.

Dillon Gee has yet to be told if he’ll start the season in the rotation or bullpen. There are many in the front office who prefer Rafael Montero while Terry Collins practically named Gee the No. 5 starter on March 16. “That’s why we’ve got him. He’ll be the guy.”

Matt Reynolds could be who Mets go with if Daniel Murphy starts season on DL. “I honestly didn’t think I really had a shot at making the team, but my mindset was just coming in here and showing them what I could do, and things would play themselves out,” Reynolds told the NY Post. “I didn’t expect things to happen with injuries with Murphy and everything. I hate to see it happen, but at the same time it’s an opportunity.”

Thought for the Day

Three reasons why the stats crowd don’t always get it right: Juan Lagares, Wilmer Flores and Lucas Duda.

Here are today’s Starting Lineups:

New York Mets

  1. Juan Lagares, CF
  2. Curtis Granderson, RF
  3. David Wright, 3B
  4. Lucas Duda, 1B
  5. Michael Cuddyer, LF
  6. Wilmer Flores, SS
  7. Travis d’Arnaud, C
  8. Daniel Muno, 2B
  9. Rafael Montero, RHP

Miami Marlins

  1. Dee Gordon, 2B
  2. Christian Yelich, LF
  3. Giancarlo Stanton, RF
  4. Michael Morse, 1B
  5. Martin Prado, 3B
  6. Marcell Ozuna, CF
  7. Adeiny Hechavarria, SS
  8. Jeff Mathis, C
  9. Dan Haren, RHP

Is this our Opening Day Lineup? It could be… Enjoy the game and Let’s Go Mets!!!

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ESPN NY: Mets Still Open To Trading Dillon Gee http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/espn-ny-mets-still-open-to-trading-dillon-gee.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/espn-ny-mets-still-open-to-trading-dillon-gee.html/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 14:15:14 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=177549 dillon gee

Despite losing Zack Wheeler to a ligament tear that required Tommy John surgery, the New York Mets still may trade right-hander Dillon Gee within the month, an organization source told ESPN New York.

“Gee is expected to open the season in the Mets’ rotation, although there are dissenters among team officials, who prefer prospect Rafael Montero.”

“Mets manager Terry Collins has not yet named Gee the fifth starter. Montero is expected to open the season in the bullpen.”

Rubin adds that for now there are no active discussions with other clubs.

Honestly, Montero would be my choice for No. 5 starter. What about you? Do you have a strong opinion on Montero or Gee?

And after weeks of praise for Alderson for not trading Gee, what gives now? Was he actually hanging onto Gee all this time or simply unable to find a deal to his liking?

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Reynolds Has Inside Track At 2B If Murphy Lands On DL http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/reynolds-has-inside-track-at-2b-if-murphy-heads-to-dl.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/reynolds-has-inside-track-at-2b-if-murphy-heads-to-dl.html/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 23:38:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=177528 matt reynolds

According to a report by Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, a solid showing at big league camp coupled with the possibility that Daniel Murphy begins the season on the DL, has given Matt Reynolds the inside track at making the opening day roster over Daniel Muno.

“I feel like I’ve been working really hard this camp. I came in working hard. It doesn’t change just because I suddenly get thrown into the mix,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds is hitting .381 in 42 spring at-bats with a .595 Slugging and .995 OPS.

It’s looking more and more likely that Murphy, who took at-bats without running in a minor-league game on Sunday, will start the season on the disabled list. Because the Mets can backdate it, he could only end up missing a week.

Danny Muno and Ruben Tejada have not been officially ruled out.

“He’s a baseball player — everybody keeps saying that about him, but that’s what he is,” manager Terry Collins said. “He handles the bat, he runs the bases, he does a lot of little things right. But Danny Muno’s a dangerous bat — I’ll tell you what, he can get a hit. And the other kid, Ruben, he’s played there. He’s played there under the bright lights and been very successful. So we’ve got a lot of options.”

That decision will come later this week, when the Mets determine for certain whether Murphy goes on the DL.

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 3, Cardinals 2 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mmo-game-recap-mets-3-cardinals-2-3.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mmo-game-recap-mets-3-cardinals-2-3.html/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 19:49:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=177516 lucas duda

The New York Mets defeated the St. Louis Cardinals by a score of 3-2 in Jupiter on Sunday.

Pitching:

Dillon Gee started and delivered a strong seven inning performance, allowing just two runs, scattering seven his, walking two and striking out three.

Lefty Dario Alvarez relieved Gee, faced one lefthanded hitter and struck him out. Zach Thornton got two quick outs to end the eighth.

Sean Gilmartin struck out two in the ninth and Erik Goeddel picked up the last out.

Offense:

Lucas Duda went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI singles against lefthanded pitching. In fact, LHP Randy Choate walked David Wright to pitch to Duda who made him pay, driving in the tying run at the time.

Curtis Granderson had a nice game, going 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored.

The Mets scored the third go-ahead run on Ruben Tejada run-scoring fielder’s choice.

Notes:

Bobby Parnell hit a batter and walked a batter in a scoreless minor league inning on Sunday. He tossed 16 pitches.

Anthony DiComo points out the Mets have a .706 Grapefruit League winning percentage and a +47 run differential since March 12.

On Deck:

The Mets will host the Marlins at Tradition Field on Monday at 1:05 PM. Rafael Montero will get the start for the Mets.

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Cardinals, 1:05 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-cardinals-105-pm-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-cardinals-105-pm-2.html/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 15:33:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=177505 dillon gee

Only one more week to go…

The New York Mets travel to Jupiter on Sunday to take on the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:05 PM. (MLB Network)

Dillon Gee will take the hill for the Mets and will be opposed by left-hander Marco Gonzales.

Daniel Murphy had five at-bats in a minor league game on Saturday, although he didn’t run the bases. Murphy has been dealing with a strained hamstring. Reports say that Murphy will be confined to minor league games so the Mets can backdate any potential 15-day DL stint as much as nine days into spring training.

Vic Black, who has been out with shoulder weakness, tossed 24 pitches off a mound on Saturday and said he felt fine afterwards. Black wants to play in games beginning on Wednesday, but understands the team may be more cautious. On Saturday, both Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling commented that they saw Black and he looked like he was favoring his shoulder and not throwing fluidly.

Here are your Starting Lineups:

NEW YORK METS

  1. Juan Lagares, CF
  2. Curtis Granderson, RF
  3. David Wright, 3B
  4. Lucas Duda, 1B
  5. Michael Cuddyer, LF
  6. Matt Reynolds, 2B
  7. Anthony Recker, C
  8. Ruben Tejada, SS
  9. Dillon Gee, RHP

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

  1. Matt Carpenter, 3B
  2. Jason Heyward, RF
  3. Matt Holliday, LF
  4. Matt Adams, 1B
  5. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  6. Yadier Molina, C
  7. Randal Grichuk, CF
  8. Pete Kozma, 2B
  9. Marco Gonzales, LHP

Enjoy the game and Lets Go Mets!

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Mets Discussing Long-Term Contract With Lucas Duda http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mets-discussing-long-term-contract-with-lucas-duda.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mets-discussing-long-term-contract-with-lucas-duda.html/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 13:48:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=177490 Lucas+Duda

Joel Sherman of the NY Post reported today that the Mets are in conversation with first basemen Lucas Duda on a contract extension. Duda described it as “preliminary talks” and it was also noted that there would be no negotiations after Opening Day.

The 29-year old had a breakout year in 2014, hitting 30 home runs and producing 92 runs-batted-in. He is due to make $4.2 million in 2015 through arbitration and is under team control through 2017.

Sherman points out Duda’s struggles against lefthanded pitching and the question of whether Duda can repeat his performance in 2014.

When he asked general manager Sandy Alderson if he thought what Duda did last season was aberrational or could be duplicated, he replied, “Good question.”

We will continue to monitor this news and update this post with any additional details.

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Mets Remain Confident They’ll Acquire Lefty Reliever In Coming Week http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mets-remain-confident-theyll-acquire-lefty-reliever-in-coming-week.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mets-remain-confident-theyll-acquire-lefty-reliever-in-coming-week.html/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 13:26:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=177464 Mets relief pitcher Scott Rice

After Saturday’s 10-2 win, the Mets re-assigned reliever Scott Rice to minor league camp. The move now leaves just Dario Alvarez and Sean Gilmartin as the only lefthanded relievers in big league camp.

Adam Rubin wrote in his briefing this morning that the Mets’ left-handed relief answer may very well come from outside the organization in the next week.

Additionally, Joel Sherman of the NY Post reports that the Mets may have set their sights on Nationals southpaw reliever, Jerry Blevins.

Blevins came on to strike out Granderson looking to end the fifth, but gave up a one-out pulled triple to Duda before being removed in the sixth.

Sherman spoke to manager Matt Williams who said the Nationals will settle on two lefthanded relievers from among Blevins, Matt Thornton and Xavier Cedeno, all of whom are out of options and cannot be sent to the minors without first passing through waivers.

Mets officials told Sherman they remain confident they can find a lefty reliever in the next week before Opening Day, but that the Nationals are more of a fallback position in case other stuff does not materialize.

The Mets also have been looking at Orioles lefty Brian Matusz, as well as lefty relief options from the Braves, Dodgers, Rockies and others.

March 28

Here are four things we learned today about the Mets bullpen and relievers, followed by my opening day projection.

1. Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that closer Bobby Parnell could return as soon as mid-April.

The Mets initially estimated a May 1 return so this indicates that Parnell is progressing well and ahead of schedule. Parnell is slated to pitch on the minor league side on Sunday and is working on ramping up his velocity gradually.

2. Jenrry Mejia is having a rough go of it lately. After he allowed what proved to be a decisive home run to Rafael Ortega on Friday in a three run outburst, manager Terry Collins suggested Mejia may be going through a dead arm period.

“I think a couple of those guys, they’re in that dead arm stage with them that’s starting to take place,” he said. “But you gotta go through it. You gotta go through it now because you don’t want to have it happen during the season.”

3. Vic Black threw 24 pitches off a mound on Saturday and expressed hope the team will let him begin the season on the Opening Day roster, writes Adam Rubin who cautions, “Still, days are dwindling for Black to be ready.”

Black hasn’t appeared in a game since March 9 and while he hopes the Mets will let him pitch in big league games as soon as Wednesday, that probably won’t happen so the Mets would want to keep open the possibility of backdating any DL stint.

Pitching coach Dan Warthen said he wouldn’t discount Rafael Montero as the Mets 7th-inning guy if Black can’t go.

4. Here comes Sean Gilmartin. The Mets Rule 5 selection struck the one left-handed batter he faced on Friday as he continues to build his scoreless innings streak.

“He’s doing a nice job,” Collins said. “We talked today about being a left-handed reliever and he’s done a very, very good job. He really mixes speeds up, he uses all his pitches against lefties. It’s a big change from starting, which it is, but he’s done a good job adjusting.”mets logo button footer

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When Will Citi Field Be Home? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/when-will-citi-field-be-home.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/when-will-citi-field-be-home.html/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 13:00:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=177291 citi field

One thing that you can always count on is the New York Mets. It does not matter what happens in life, a death in the family, a break-up with someone you have dated for years or a fight with your parents. Those lovable losers will still play a game most nights from March through September, and hopefully well into October.

mmo feature original footerThe Mets are headed into their 7th season playing at Citi Field and yet it still does not feel like their stadium. Yes they do play 81 games there but it is not home.

Citi Field is a great place to take in a ball game, the visual experience is first class and the concessions are amongst the best in the league, at least the Mets are good at something. All of that is great but it still is not like Shea Stadium. When you drive into Citi Field the parking sign has the price for playoffs. My friend and I always joke because the Mets have never played a meaningful game there in August let alone October!

Fans, or if you want to call them that, go to the games sit on their cellphones, take selfies to upload to Instagram and leave before the 6th inning is over, not to mention the stadium is half empty on a good night. You could never say that about Shea Stadium.

Growing up Shea Stadium was never a dump to me; it was the greatest cathedral a young boy could ever witness. Back in those days you could not see the field from everywhere you stood in the stadium so when you walked out to see the field for the first time it was special. It was the greatest feeling to walk to your seats and see the field plush with the greenest of grass and the best ball players alive, it always sent chills throughout my body that first glimpse. My idol Mike Piazza would kick the dirt behind home plate and we were all ready to go. Life was simple.

They tore down Shea Stadium when I was away at college my freshmen year. I cried in the dining hall watching construction crews dismantle it, of course the Mets having an epic collapse did not help my emotions either. Shea was never a just a stadium, it was where I learned to love the game of baseball and so much more.

Our close family friend who I considered an uncle had season tickets to the Mets. Me, him and my dad would go to a lot of games, the fun was never ending and the good times rolled whenever the Mets won. We used to go to Firework Night every year and sit in the parking lot. As a kid this was pure bliss and the most fun you could possibly have at a baseball game, the smiles and laughter were never ending. My uncle passed away on September 11th, 2001. I can still picture him smoking cigarettes and drinking beer cheering on the team he loved.

shea stadium

One of my greatest memories of Shea Stadium was a sizzling mid-summer day. My whole group of friends went to a day game and got absolutely torched by the sun. The best part was that we had an entire section in the upper deck of the outfield to ourselves. Somehow the Shea staff left a Gatorade cooler filled with water unguarded, typical Mets, right outside our section, it was awesome! Then my friend punched me in the face on the LIRR platform after the game, which in a sick way I still find hilarious and made the day better.

From Endy Chavez to John “bleeping” Franco to Todd Hundley to Cliff Floyd to Turk Wendell, those guys were what Shea was all about. Always booing whomever wore a Braves jersey, especially John Rocker he was and still is the worst. The roar that stadium made can never be duplicated, at times it got so loud I thought my eardrums would burst.

That is what I want Citi Field to be like, and sooner rather than later. A place filled with tradition and a sense of pride calling the Mets your favorite baseball team.

I compare the Mets fanbase to that of the New York Islanders. You will never find two sets of fans that will get loud and appreciate a team like them. When the product on the playing surface is good Mets fans will show up, and not the ones who got free tickets from work. You want to see an area get loud watch the Islanders in the playoffs next month, just what I would expect at a Mets game in October. The real Mets fans are the people who get there before the national anthem and are planted in their seat until the final out has been recorded. Cheering, screaming, acting like a bunch of lunatics. That’s how a home stadium for the Mets should be.

The Mets will always be 2nd fiddle in New York to the Yankees no matter what anyone says but there is no comparison with the fans. A couple years ago the Yankees had a hard time selling out a home playoff game. I laughed at that because that would never happen with the Mets. Yankees fans will say “we always win, make the playoffs then we can talk” and they are right but that’s what the best part about being a Mets fan is. You know how much it sucks to lose and suffer through gut wrenching loss year-in and year-out, that is why we love our winners so much.

I ask one thing to the entire New York Mets organization this year and that is to play with pride, guts and never quit. Play like you need to win, that every game could be your last. Make us sell out Citi Field in September, not just for the Subway Series but because the Mets are in the thick of a playoff battle. Make it feel like Shea Stadium where the only thing that matters to anyone at the game is the game.

I hope Citi Field turns into a place that is capable of creating memories no one will ever forget, just like Shea Stadium.

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Heyman Blasts Claim That Alderson Revived The Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/heyman-blasts-claim-that-alderson-revived-the-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/heyman-blasts-claim-that-alderson-revived-the-mets.html/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:37:31 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=177449 Atlanta Braves v New York Mets

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports takes issue with the premise that general manager Sandy Alderson has revived the Mets as the new authorized biography Baseball Maverick claims. He is very critical of the overall positive and “saintly” portrayal of Alderson by former A’s beat writer Steve Kettmann who say’s Sandy’s one flaw is that he’s too competitive.

“Maybe the book’s accomplished and facile author should want to ask how Alderson has come to guide as GM nine straight teams to losing records – his last five with the A’s and first four with the Mets – without going nuts, throwing fits, or even quitting (in fact, he signed up for a two-year extension after last year). I come away with no belief in a special competitiveness that is noticeably above anyone else in such a high-pressure job.”

Regarding Alderson’s tenure with Oakland, Heyman writes that Sandy’s run of success should be with an asterisk, even if it’s a small one.

“That dynasty occurred at a time the term Bash Brothers stood only for home run excellence and excitement, and only they knew they were juiced to the max.”

“Ultimately, it’s probably fair to say, whether Beane followed Alderson around or not, Beane turned out to be not only a better marketer but also ultimately the better baseball executive.”

As for Alderson reviving the Mets, Heyman points out that it’s hard for this baseball maverick to name one major league player he acquired through trade since becoming Mets GM more than four years ago.

He credits Alderson for his trades swapping major league talent for prospects, but also that Alderson has become less of a chance taker in his later years.

“He’s even a hero in the book for trades and signings he didn’t make, like not giving Stephen Drew the $10-million plus salary he allegedly sought. And by the way, no one else did, either.”

“It’s the part about the Mets revival that is a wild overshoot, at least for today. It’s that part that has triggered a few raised eyebrows around the game.”

Alderson told Heyman that he only signed off on the main title “Baseball Maverick,” and that he didn’t know about the subtitle until it was on the book jacket.

degrom matz harvey

“Alderson credited Omar Minaya in a sentence for drafting Matt Harvey, the team’s best player. That seems to be in stark contrast to Alderson’s trade for Wheeler, which gets a chapter.”

“But the reality is that while Harvey is one of the top two or three pitchers on talent in baseball and his pick at No. 7 in the draft was a genius stroke by Minaya and his guys, Rudy Terrasas, Sandy Johnson and Bryan Lambe, Wheeler looks like a very good young pitcher, but not necessarily a difference maker along the lines of Harvey, or for that matter Jacob deGrom, another holdover from the Minaya tenure.”

“In fact, it’s fair to say that of the 15 most important Mets for this key season, about 11 came from Minaya’s regime, with David Wright from the earlier Steve Phillips tenure, and Wheeler, d’Arnaud and Syndergaard (who will start the year in the minors) the big Alderson pickups.”

Anyway, Heyman does credit Alderson for being a solid baseball guy, smart, witty, likable, a credit to the game. It’s not a total rip job. He’s basically saying that Sandy needs to show and do a lot more for the Mets before being lauded and canonized for reviving the franchise, and that he can start by delivering at least one winning season.

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 10, Nationals 2 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mmo-game-recap-mets-10-nationals-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mmo-game-recap-mets-10-nationals-2.html/#comments Sat, 28 Mar 2015 20:14:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=177481 jacob deGrom

The Mets (15-11) crushed the Nationals (9-12) on Saturday afternoon, winning 10-2 at Tradition Field.

Jacob deGrom pitched for the Mets and was terrific, allowing just 1 run on 4 hits in 7 innings, striking out 4 and walking 2.

The Mets got a runner on in the bottom of the first against Stephen Strasburg when Curtis Granderson walked, but David Wright hit into a double-play to end the inning. In the bottom of the third, with Ruben Tejada on second after a double, Strasburg issued another free pass, this time to Juan Lagares, who had worked a terrific at-bat with two outs. Granderson made Strasburg pay, hitting a three-run shot over the right field wall. Wright was up next and added a shot of his own, this one a solo blast which put the hosts up 4-0 (and sparked a weak but amusing “Harvey’s Better” chant in the stands).

After deGrom worked around a two-out double by Clint Robinson to put up a scoreless top of the fourth, Travis d’Arnaud hit a three-bagger with two gone in the bottom of the frame. But Strasburg, like his counterpart, was able to strand the runner, fanning Tejada to end the inning.

deGrom again stranded a runner in the top of the fifth thanks to a double-play started by the Captain, but the Nats finally got to the long-haired sophomore in the top of the sixth, when Bryce Harper led off with an absolutely titanic blast to make it 4-1.

Harper didn’t get to savor the moment for long, though. In the bottom of the inning, Lucas Duda hit one towards the corner in right off of lefty reliever Jerry Blevins, and Harper took a seat while trying to play the carom, watching in embarrassment (and apparent discomfort) as the ball squirted past him and Duda ended up on third base with a rare triple.

Tanner Roark came in to face Michael Cuddyer, who greeted him with a single through the oddly-positioned infield, scoring Duda. Cesar Puello came in to run for Cuddyer and scored on a double to the wall off the bat of Wilmer Flores, putting the Mets up 6-1.

deGrom worked a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the seventh to finish the day, and the Mets put the game out of reach in their turn at bat. Johnny Monell led off with a solo shot against Roark, and after the Washington pitcher bounced back to retire the next two hitters, Dan Uggla made an error on a weakly hit ball from Danny Muno, extending the inning. Duda took advantage, lining one over the wall in right to put the Mets up 9-1. After Puello singled, Matt Reynolds hit a pop-up just past the infield that, with some help from the wind and Uggla, dropped in for an RBI “double” to make it a 10-1 game.

Zach Thornton, acquired in the Ike Davis trade, was the first man out of the pen for the Mets, and he faced two batters, retiring Uggla before walking Kevin Frandsen. Sean Gilmartin came in to face the lefty and failed to do his job, walking Harper. Buddy Carlyle came in and walked Wilson Ramos to load the bases, but got Mark Minicozzi to ground into a double-play to end the inning.

The Mets failed to tack on any insurance (and I use the term loosely) after Matt den Dekker‘s double in the bottom of the eighth, and Jeurys Familia came in to wrap things up. Familia struggled, giving up a run on 3 hits, but eventually put the game to bed, giving the Mets a win over their division rivals.

lucas duda

The Mets’ offense has been terrific this spring and, while a few of those home runs may have been wind-assisted, and the Nationals could have played better defense, Terry Collins‘ club continued to rake today. Four home runs, some great at-bats, some two-out magic, and wiping grins off the faces of Strasburg and Harper is a formula for a fun day.

deGrom was great, as usual. He was attacking hitters, pounding the zone, keeping his pitch count low, fielding his position well, and he went deeper in the game than any Mets pitcher this spring. He looks ready for the season.

Grandy, Wright, and Duda going yard is cause for great optimism. So is Flores driving balls in the gap, Cuddyer coming through with runners on base, Juan Lagares working some great at-bats as he prepares for the leadoff role (or the #9 slot), and Monell ensuring that the Mets will have two guys who can take the ball out of the park behind Travis d’Arnaud. I’m not sure who I want to win the backup catcher job. I’d go with Recker, but it’ll be good to have Monell in the system as well.

Tejada has hit decently this spring. He shouldn’t have too big a role going forward, but we need infield depth, and if Daniel Murphy isn’t ready to start the season, we’ll need somebody to play second base for (hopefully only) a week or two.

The bullpen looked bad. Familia looked terrible. Jenrry Mejia looked pretty bad yesterday. Black and Parnell have their injury issues. Our starting pitching is good, but they can’t do it all, and as we continue to see, we shouldn’t be pushing our starting pitchers past their limits. So we need a bullpen we can trust, and I don’t think we have that right now. Familia and (to a lesser extent) Mejia were great last year, so hopefully they’ll get the job done when the season starts. But right now, the bullpen is definitely a cause for concern.

Of course, if the Mets keep up their awesome work with the bats, they could win games with me out there in the bullpen (I only like to pitch six days a week, so I wouldn’t be a good fit for Terry’s bullpen system, but you get my point).

Beating the Nationals is never easy, but you wouldn’t know that from watching the Mets wallop them today. Hopefully we can take all this positive energy into the season.

Up Next: The Mets will visit the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon. Dillon Gee will face Jaime Garcia at 1:05 PM.

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