Mets Merized Online http://metsmerizedonline.com Sun, 26 Jun 2016 02:48:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.15 Kelly Johnson Homers Late As Mets Beat Braves 1-0 In Extras http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/kelly-johnson-homers-late-as-mets-beat-braves-1-0-in-extras.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/kelly-johnson-homers-late-as-mets-beat-braves-1-0-in-extras.html/#comments Sun, 26 Jun 2016 02:41:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215954 degrom darnaud

The New York Mets (40-33) defeated the Atlanta Braves (25-49) by a score of 1-0 tonight at Turner Field. With the win and a Nationals loss, the Mets now find themselves just 2.0 games out of first place.

Pitching:

Jacob deGrom toed the rubber for the Mets tonight, and pitched another gutsy performance, but was able to keep the Braves in check for the entirety of the night.

All in all, deGrom tossed eight scoreless innings, scattering eight hits, and striking out six while walking one. However, deGrom will have to settle for another winless outing, as the Mets were unable to provide any offensive support for the righty.

Jerry Blevins faced Freddie Freeman to kick off the ninth, and quickly allowed a hit before turning the ball over to Addison Reed, who finished off the inning.

Jeurys Familia, despite pitching a scoreless 11th, induced some sweats as usual, but he did get the job done and recorded his 26th save of the year.

kelly johnson

Offense:

Oh, Julio Teheran, you’ve haunted my dreams as of late. After one hitting the Mets just last week, Teheran pitched eight scoreless innings again tonight, striking out seven and allowing five hits.

Despite Teheran and committee keeping the Mets scoreless until the eleventh, Kelly Johnson finally broke the silence against his former team, giving the Mets a 1-0 lead with a solo shot, which they would hold on to and eventually win the game.

On deck:

Bartolo Colon (6-3, 3.00 ERA) takes the mound for the Mets tomorrow in the series finale at Turner Field, and will be opposed by Bud Norris (2-7, 4.69 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 PM.

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Braves, 7:15 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-braves-715-pm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-braves-715-pm.html/#comments Sat, 25 Jun 2016 19:44:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215885 jacob degrom 2

Saturday, June 25, 2016 • 7:15 p.m.
Turner Field • Atlanta, GA
RHP Jacob deGrom (3-4, 2.96) vs. RHP Julio Teheran (3-7, 2.66)
FOX • WOR 710 AM • ESPN 1050 AM

Holy Toledo, the Mets beat the Braves! Matz was doing well through the first four innings but fell apart in the 5th and allowed 6 runs. At that point, the Mets had a large lead and leaving Matz in was questionable but the end result was the Mets won. Tonight Jacob deGrom makes the start for the Mets as he goes against Julio Teheran.

As part of Major League Baseball’s tribute to the Negro Leagues, the Mets will wear Brooklyn Royal Giants jerseys tonight. The Brooklyn Royal Giants were an independent team and played in the National Association from 1907-1908 and in the Eastern Colored League from 1923-1927. Among its stars were Smokey Joe Williams, “Cannonball” Dick Redding and John Henry “Pop” Lloyd.

Mets Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson – RF
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera – SS
  3. Yoenis Cespedes – CF
  4. Neil Walker – 2B
  5. James Loney – 1B
  6. Wilmer Flores – 3B
  7. Alejandro De Aza – LF
  8. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  9. Jacob deGrom – RHP

Braves Lineup

  1. Jace Peterson – 2B
  2. Ender Inciarte – CF
  3. Freddie Freeman – 1B
  4. Nick Markakis – RF
  5. Adonis Garcia – 3B
  6. Tyler Flowers – C
  7. Erick Aybar – SS
  8. Emilio Bonifacio – LF
  9. Julio Teheran – RHP

Jacob deGrom is 3-4 over 12 starts and 73.0 innings with a 2.96 ERA this season. In his last three starts he’s 0-3 with a 4.00 ERA over 18.0 innings while striking out 24 batters, so it hasn’t been the best time for deGrom. List last start was against Atlanta where he allowed 3 ER over 6.0 innings. Overall against the Braves this year he has pitched 11.2 innings allowing 4 ER while striking out 7. The Braves have the following numbers against deGrom:

  • Freeman 4-16, 2B, HR
  • Markakis 4-12, HR
  • Peterson 3-11, 2B
  • Pierzynski 0-9
  • Inciarte 2-7, 2B
  • Bonifacio 0-2
  • d’Arnaud 0-3

Julio Teheran is 3-7 over 15 starts and 98.0 innings with an ERA of 2.66 while striking out 92 batters. His last start was a tremendous one as he complete game shutout, one hit…the Mets. Leading up to that start he had a 3.81 ERA over four starts and 26.0 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against Teheran:

  • Granderson 4-19, 2B, HR
  • Walker 2-14
  • Flores 3-13, HR
  • d’Arnaud 1-12
  • Johnson 1-5
  • De Aza 1-4, 2B

Let’s Go Mets!

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It’s Official: Mets Have Signed Free Agent Jose Reyes http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/its-official-mets-have-signed-free-agent-jose-reyes.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/its-official-mets-have-signed-free-agent-jose-reyes.html/#comments Sat, 25 Jun 2016 18:19:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215889 Jose-Reyes-20

UPDATE: IT’S OFFICIAL!

Statement from Jose Reyes:

As I have expressed in the past, I deeply regret the incident that occurred and remain remorseful and apologetic to my family. I have completed the counseling required by MLB, have been an ongoing therapy, and will continue with counseling going forward.  I appreciate the Mets organization for believing in me and providing the opportunity to come back home to New York. 

Statement from Sandy Alderson:

We made the decision to offer a contract to José after extreme consideration and discussion with José, his representatives, major-league baseball and various departments of the Mets. We are convinced that José has accepted responsibility for his actions and their consequences and have confirmed he is taking steps beyond those prescribed by MLB, including ongoing counseling. Accordingly, we believe he deserves a second chance to return to our organization.

Jose Reyes will report to the Brooklyn Cyclones on Sunday as he begins working his way back to the big league team. It shouldn’t be more than two weeks tops.

Original Report

In what has been the worst kept secret in baseball, the New York Mets are reportedly set to sign Jose Reyes shortly after he becomes a free agent at 1:00 PM this afternoon.

Reyes, 33, will return to the organization that signed him as a 16-year old kid out of the Dominican Republic where he caught the eye of Mets scouts and Scouting Director Omar Minaya who recommended him to GM Steve Phillips. After making his big league debut three years later in 2003, Reyes batted .307 as the youngest player in the major leagues and quickly became one of the most exciting players in the game.

Known for his enthusiastic love of the game and his blazing speed, Reyes would carve out a brilliant nine year career with the Mets as a catalyst at the top of the order, while setting many franchise records along the way. During his time with the Mets he led the majors in triples four times, and stolen bases three times including a career high 78 swipes in 2007.

Reyes became the only Met ever to win a batting title when he hit .337 in 2011, his final season with the organization.

With the Mets in dire straits financially, Reyes walked away without an offer and signed a six-year, $106 million contract with the Miami Marlins.

Reyes never enjoyed the prosperity he had with the Mets and it was no secret he was unhappy away from New York where he continued to live and always referred to as his home.

Unfortunately, Reyes was arrested last Oct. 31 after he allegedly grabbed his wife Katherine by the throat and pushed her into a sliding-glass door in their hotel room while vacationing in Hawaii.

And while a judge ordered the charges dropped due to a lack of cooperation by his wife, Major League Baseball suspended him without pay for violating its new domestic abuse policy. Reyes has since apologized and released the following statement last month:

“I want to apologize for everything that has happened. I am sorry to the Rockies organization, my teammates, all the fans and most of all my family. I am happy to put this all in the past and get back to doing what I love most, playing baseball. My wife Katherine has remained by my side throughout everything and for that I will be forever grateful.”

The Rockies are responsible for the remaining $39 million owed to Reyes, and the Mets will only be financially responsible for approximately $250,000.

jose reyes

After a week or two in Triple-A to get back into game shape, Reyes is expected to fill a utility role while giving the the team some sorely needed speed. In addition to playing familiar positions at second base and shortstop, he is expected to also play some third base and even outfield according to manager Terry Collins.

“We took Matt Reynolds and put him out there with no experience at all,” Collins said about playing Reynolds in left field. “This guy is as good an athlete as certainly Matt is. He’s got the arm. He’s got the foot speed for it. These are just things we’re tossing around.”

“He was a great player. He did a lot of things. He was a good hitter, he could fly, he’s got a great arm, he played very good shortstop. He brought a lot to the party,” Collins added.

“One of the things that probably caught my imagination was his joy of playing in New York. He loved it. …We’re going to have some good and bad days, and he always had a smile.”

Reyes should get plenty of playing time for the Mets where he will reprise his customary role as the Mets leadoff man.

As I wrote yesterday, I’m a huge fan of Jose Reyes, and while I admit his skills are now diminished, he is still a huge upgrade over anyone on our bench.

Reyes gives the team the speed it lacks and can still hit and wreak havoc on the bases. His high energy and enthusiasm could be just the tonic this team needs to wake up a stagnant offense, and his positive attitude and hustle has always been infectious.

I don’t take lightly the gravity of the domestic violence issue, and I found his actions to be deplorable. But I believe he’s contrite, he accepted and served his punishment, and if his wife can forgive him and stand by his side, so should we.

I look forward to his first game back at Citi Field where I expect him to get a resounding ovation from the fans he gave so many thrills to during his Mets career. Welcome back, Jose!

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Mets Promote Brandon Nimmo, Option Michael Conforto To Las Vegas http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mets-promote-brandon-nimmo-option-michael-conforto-to-las-vegas.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mets-promote-brandon-nimmo-option-michael-conforto-to-las-vegas.html/#comments Sat, 25 Jun 2016 17:35:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215915 Brandon-Nimmo

According to Jeremiah Johnke of the Wyoming Tribune, the Mets have promoted outfielder Brandon Nimmo from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Nimmo was hitting .328/.409/.508 with 16 doubles, seven triples, five homers and 37 RBI for the 51s.

Nimmo, 23, was GM Sandy Alderson’s first draft pick when he selected Brandon out of Wyoming with the 13th overall pick in the 2011 draft. He has been on fire in June, hitting .388/.459/.612 in 65 at-bats with 11 walks compared to 14 strikeouts.

In the corresponding move the Mets are demoting the slumping Michael Conforto to AAA where he has never played a game.  Conforto has been mired in a long slump, hitting only .148/.217/.303 in his last 142 at-bats.

michael conforto

Thoughts by Joe D.

This is a bold move and the right move by Sandy Alderson. Conforto’s slump was even more magnified in a lineup that struggled to consistently produce runs.

Clearly, Conforto was pressing and kept getting worse as his once-perfect swing was completely out of whack as he kept swinging for the fences and chasing balls out of the strike zone.

This is not the end for Conforto who had an incredible rise from Single-A to the Majors last season. He is still the team’s left fielder of the future. Some time in Triple-A will make him a better hitter and he can go back to doing the things that made him so successful.

You all know my thoughts on Nimmo as I’ve been saying he was ready for this opportunity for weeks. I love his approach and ability to get on base.

As I told a number of you who disagreed with me last week, forget his PCL numbers – it’s his .390 OBP in six minor league seasons that is what the Mets need right now.

Bottom Line… The Mets just got infinitely better today and with the forthcoming addition of Jose Reyes, they head into the Nationals series in DC with a revamped lineup and rejuvenated team. Today could be a turning point for the season.

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Featured Article: What is Brandon Nimmo? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/featured-article-what-is-brandon-nimmo.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/featured-article-what-is-brandon-nimmo.html/#comments Sat, 25 Jun 2016 17:08:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215149 brandon nimmo

An MMO Fan Shot by Marc M. (Not4)

With Brandon Nimmo set to make his MLB debut with the Mets, here is an article we posted last week that is well worth reading.

As most fans know, Brandon Nimmo was the Mets’ first round pick (no.13, infamously 1 slot ahead of Jose Fernandez) in 2011.  When drafted, he was very raw having grown up in Wyoming, a state apparently without high school baseball.  Nimmo was therefore viewed as a bit of a project who was unlikely to be fast-tracked.

But, as we all know, once a 1st round pick gets on the fans’ radar, the proverbial clock starts ticking, patience gets short and expectations rise (often unrealistically), followed by so-called “prospect fatigue” from having heard about him for so long.  Inevitably, when a prospect fails to move quickly enough through the system, or their stats are not strong enough for some fans’ liking, these fans (who often do not even follow the minors) make pre-mature, definitive proclamations that the prospect is a “BUST”.  So it has been with Nimmo and countless other Mets’ prospects in recent years.

Since being drafted Nimmo has lost some of his speed, and gained some bulk, but still seems to have enough speed to continue to play solid, if unspectacular CF.  If he loses more speed either because of injury or simply getting bigger, he may be limited to a corner OF spot.  His advanced approach at the plate continues to be his calling card as he is praised for regularly getting into hitter’s counts, but at the same time, he is regularly knocked for not being aggressive enough and taking too many hittable pitches after getting to a favorable count.

Some recent reports have credited Nimmo’s being more aggressive this year in those situations, which has helped drive his success.  If true, that is a huge step forward for him.  Either way, at this point, reports of his demise [as a prospect] are grossly exaggerated, but in fairness, so too would be the opposite view that he is a sure-fire MLB star in the making.  The simple truth is that we do not know what Nimmo will ultimately be, but we are getting closer to finding out.  Parenthetically, the need for some fans to rush to judgment on prospects or even younger MLB players has always confounded me.

Debunking the “Slow Start” Myth

“Nimmo struggles with his first X PAs at every level”.  Let’s just put this narrative to rest one and for all, as it simply is not accurate.  He has now played at all 4 full season levels in the minors.  He raked out of the gates in both Savannah and St. Lucie, struggled badly out of the gates in Binghamton and hit okay out of the gates in Vegas.  Here are the facts, focusing first on Bingo:

  • Nimmo absolutely struggled when first promoted to Binghamton in 2014, hitting .189/.318/.360/.679 in 31 games, covering 133 PA.  (I guess you could argue he also struggled later that fall when he played in the AZ Fall League, albeit that was only 15 total games in total). 
  • Nimmo absolutely raked in 2013 when first playing in Savannah, to the tune of .440/.520/.603/1.123 in his first 16 games, covering 75 PA. 
  • Nimmo absolutely raked in 2014 when first playing in St. Lucie, hitting .407/.530/.549/1.080 in his first 24 games, covering 115 PA. 
  • Nimmo was okay – neither great nor bad when first promoted to Vegas late in 2015.  He started out pretty well, hitting .304/.431/.435/.866 in 15 games (58 PA), but then slumped badly in the next 13 games (37 PA)before finishing with a hot last 4 games (17 PA) of the season.  That 13 game slump pulled down his overall line for Vegas in 2015 to .264/.393/.418 – again, not horrible, but no WOW factor either.  Granted all of these are SSS, but given the results, it’s simply not accurate to characterize his performance when first promoted to Vegas as “struggling to adjust.”
  • Extending Nimmo’s AAA performance to this year also fails to support the notion that he had a difficult adjustment period.  While Nimmo got off to a very slow start over the first 16 games (70 PA) this year in Vegas, the prevailing view is that slow start was at least somewhat caused by the time he missed in ST with a foot injury.  He has been on a tear since then though, over the last 36 games (167 PA, hitting .385/.467/.657 over that time, for an overall line of .330/.411/.529 over 52 games and 237 PA.

Judging Nimmo’s Performance in Context

At the outset, it bears noting that statistics in the minors are not always indicative of future success at higher levels.  Some players who lack the tools to succeed at the MLB level can succeed in lower levels or even upper levels of the minors.  Conversely, some players do not post eye-popping stats at some levels in the minors, but have the tools to succeed in the MLB.  Inasmuch as the focus of so many fans has been based upon Nimmo’s perceived “initial struggles at each level” or his perceived unimpressive production throughout the minors, it is worthwhile to look a little closer at each year, beyond his hot starts in 2013 and 2014 and slow start in 2015 to see if he was able to sustain the hot starts and turn around the slow start and if not, what happened.

  • As noted earlier, in Savannah in 2013, Nimmo started the year on a tear hitting .440/.520/.603/1.123 when he suffered a wrist injury in late April.  He tried to play through it a few games before winding up on the DL.  He came back at the end of May and struggled with the nagging wrist injury for all of June and a large chunk of July, as he tried to compensate for and play through the injury.  But once his wrist fully healed in July, he really tore it up again. While I cannot say conclusively that all of his struggles in Savannah were related to that wrist, it seems more likely that they were tied to the injury than to a difficulty adjusting to pitchers’ adjustments.  His overall line in Savannah was not eye-popping impressive, though hardly the train wreck people make it out to be, as he hit .273/.397/.359 in a pitcher friendly park and league.  But when you dive deeper, it was a tale of two seasons:  He was horrible for the 48 games (211 PA) or so when he was playing with a bad wrist (.184/.300/.246), but was fantastic for the 62 games (269 PA) he was healthy, hitting .347/.472/.454. 
  • In St. Lucie, after that hot 24 game start (115 PA), he struggled for 15 games (67 PA, .196/.328/.232/.561), before rebounding to hit .313/.433/.513/.945 in his next 23 games (97 PA) and earning a promotion to AA.  A 15 game slump sandwiched between 24 and 23 game stretches of solid production speaks for itself, as does his overall sold line in A+, hitting .322/.448/.458/.906 in 62 games (279 PA).  
  • In Binghamton in 2014, after that horrid 31 game beginning, he performed considerably better in his last 34 games (146 PA), hitting .279/.359/.426/.  Nimmo actually had a mini slump his last 5 games of that season, which pulled down his numbers.  In fact, his triple slash for the 29 game stretch (prior to the 5 game swoon to end the season) was .321/.408/.495. Obviously, we cannot ignore those final 5 games, but his success for 29 games after a slow start in his first 34 games shows that even the one time that Nimmo had a very slow start at a level, he ultimately made an adjustment and enjoyed a nice stretch of production. (He started 2015 in AA and hit okay – .297/.368/.420/.788 for the first 1-1/2 months (34 games, 155 PA) before hitting the DL with a knee injury, which unfortunately plagued him for the remainder of the 2015.  He largely struggled the rest of that year, hitting .260/.340/.313/.653 in 34 games (147 PA) in AA after returning from the DL, and then .264/.393/.418/.810 in 32 games (112 PA) after being promoted to Vegas. 

What to Expect From Here?

The jury is still out on Nimmo.  No one knows whether he will turn out to be a star or a bust, or more likely somewhere in between.  But he has worked his way to the precipice of the Majors and seems to be playing the best ball of his life.  Some recent accounts have indicated that one of the reasons for Nimmo’s success has been that he finally has changed his approach to be more aggressive at the plate once he gets into hitters counts.

Reports (and video highlights) indicate that Nimmo has been driving the balls into the gaps this season, including to left-center, which is very encouraging and diminishes some of the concern that his success is simply a PCL phenomena.  Truly looking at this performance in context reveals a player who has played far better than the average fan realizes, though still one with some flaws.  Until Nimmo gets called up to the big league team and performs at that level, any conclusions declaring him a bust or a future HOFer are premature to say the least.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by Marc M. (Not4). Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 30,000 Met fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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Addison Reed’s June Swoon http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/addison-reeds-june-swoon.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/addison-reeds-june-swoon.html/#comments Sat, 25 Jun 2016 15:30:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215866 addison reed

Before Thursday night’s disaster, the Mets were 34-1 when they were leading after seven innings.  After Addison Reed grooved one down the heart of the plate to Adonis Garcia, the Mets record is now 34-2 when leading after seven innings.  It’s hard to get on Reed for the loss as he has been so good this year.  In fact, the Mets have not blown a lead in which Reed pitched the eighth and Jeurys Familia pitched the ninth.

Reed is a huge reason why.  So far this year, Reed has pitched the best he ever has in his entire career.  Up until Thursday night’s blown save, Reed was 1-1 with a 2.48 ERA and a 1.010 WHIP.  During the month of May, he did not allow one earned run in 12 appearances.  He limited batters to a .205/.225/.205 batting line.  It seemed that as the season was progressing, he was getting stronger.

Unfortunately, Reed’s success has not carried forward into June.  So far, he is 1-2 in the month of June with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.313 WHIP.  Batters are hitting .262/.311/.476 against him.  He has already made 11 appearances this month (he made 13 in April and 12 in May), and he is starting to show some signs of fatigue.

It is showing both in the results and his velocity  In April, he threw a 92.9 MPH fastball and an 86.8 MPH slider.  In May, he was throwing a 93.8 MPH fastball with an 87.4 MPH slider.  And so far in June, his velocity is down.  He’s throwing a 92.6 MPH fastball and a 85.3 MPH slider.

Ultimately, this is what Reed has been his entire career.  He has typically been a pitcher that gets off to great start, wears down in June, and then picks it back up before falling off during the last few weeks of the season.  Here are his career monthly splits:

  • March/April – 2.79 ERA
  • May – 3.83 ERA
  • June – 5.54 ERA
  • July – 3.66 ERA
  • August – 2.08 ERA
  • September/October – 5.21 ERA

This is Reed’s typical June swoon. He tires as the season progresses, and he’s rejuvenated with the All Star Break.  He’s following the same pattern this year but with far better results.

Overall, Terry Collins may need to watch how he uses Reed for the rest of the season as the Mets will need him at his best for the pennant race and beyond.

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Matt Reynolds Is Decent, Should Play More http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/matt-reynolds-is-decent-should-play-more.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/matt-reynolds-is-decent-should-play-more.html/#comments Sat, 25 Jun 2016 14:00:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215833 matt reynolds

The Mets bench has not been a pretty place for most of the past two seasons. It’s been riddled with sub-.200 hitters that belonged in AAA. So when Matt Reynolds started his big league career 3-for-19, it was only natural that he began to be lumped in with the likes of Danny Muno, Eric Campbell and Ty Kelly.

But since June 14, Reynolds is 5-for-10 at the plate. Overall, he’s sporting a .276 batting average and an .805 OPS. A BABIP of .368 is a tad high but not overly fluky. The numbers suggest that as a whole, Reynolds has held his own in the major leagues. He’s even hitting .429 with RISP, which might as well make him Babe Ruth compared to the rest of the Mets.

This isn’t a cry to get Reynolds in the lineup everyday. It’s that the Mets have a hitter who is doing good things at the plate right now. They need to a) find out what they have, and b) play as many hitters that are hitting well as possible. Right now, Reynolds has made five starts all season. You can’t know what he is in five starts.

Riding the hot hand and giving a young player an extended look can pay off. Look at Matt Duffy and the San Francisco Giants in 2015 for example. Duffy, like Reynolds, was not a prospect. He was not penciled in for a large role. Yet due to need, the Giants called him up and played him. He hit .295 with 12 home runs and 77 RBI. Yes, Duffy has taken a step back in 2016, but the Mets shouldn’t be thinking about the long-term with Reynolds. If he can give them a solid batting average and clutch hitting this year, he should play until he proves otherwise.

Third base is a place Reynolds should be playing more often. Wilmer Flores has three hits in his last 29 at-bats and has had countless opportunities with the Mets to show what he can do. It’s looking more and more likely that he can’t hit enough to play everyday. So play Reynolds at third base against lefties and make him one of your top bench bats when he’s not playing. There’s nowhere but up to go with the production they’re getting from Flores in that role. See what you have in Reynolds.

This is by no means an article to suggest that Reynolds is the answer to all of the Mets’ offensive problems. He’s not, and he shouldn’t stop them from signing Jose Reyes, who adds much-needed speed and excitement, or trading for a third baseman. But he should play more until he proves he’s not a major league bat. The Mets are a franchise that gave a non-productive Campbell years to show what he could do. Why not give Reynolds a few weeks?

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James Loney Has Exceeded Expectations http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/james-loney-has-exceeded-expectations.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/james-loney-has-exceeded-expectations.html/#comments Sat, 25 Jun 2016 12:30:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215879 james loney hr

New York Mets first-baseman James Loney has been everything and more than anyone could have asked for. Replacing the production of Lucas Duda is no easy task, but Loney has done quite a job in his absence.

Loney has been a boost at the plate and in the field, flashing a solid bat to go along with a flashy glove. He was in the middle of some of last night’s biggest moments in the team’s 8-6 win over the Atlanta Braves. In the top of the fifth, Loney blasted a three-run bomb, giving the team their 8-0 lead which would hold up to end their four-game drought against the Braves.

Through 22 games this year, Loney has himself 25 hits and is hitting to a .305/.367/.463 slash line. He has two homers to go along with eight RBI and nine runs scored. Loney also has himself five doubles and a triple, showing he is more than just a singles hitter that many believed he would be.

The final play of last night’s game ended with a strikeout in the dirt by Jeurys Familia. Travis d’Arnaud quickly scrambled to make the throw to first and it was a great pick by James Loney that helped to end the game in controversial fashion. Atlanta lost the challenge that Loney never touched the bag while making a great play.

“I had to anticipate what side he’d throw it on and then I went to that side,” Loney said. “I knew it’s going to be over there somewhere.” (Newsday)

When Loney was traded for, no one believed he would be anything but a platoon player for this team. He though has seized the opportunity in front of him and has not looked back. Loney has been a pleasant surprise in an offense that has sputtered through the month of June.

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Steven Matz Continues To Deal With Elbow Tightness http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/steven-matz-continues-to-deal-with-elbow-tightness.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/steven-matz-continues-to-deal-with-elbow-tightness.html/#comments Sat, 25 Jun 2016 11:00:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215877 steven matz

New York Mets rookie southpaw, Steven Matz could not get through five innings after being staked to an 8-0 lead in Friday’s 8-6 victory over the Atlanta Braves. After the game, Matz advised he was still dealing with discomfort in his elbow.

Matz went 4.1 innings in what seemed like a sure win for the lefty. He cruised through the first four innings of the ballgame, but hit a wall when entering the fifth. He only retired one Brave while allowing six runs in the fifth, being pulled from the game. Matz gave up nine hits to go with the six runs while walking and striking out none.

“I threw a great four innings, and then it just got away from me,” Matz said, “But we won.” (NY Post)

Steven could be seen rubbing his elbow in the dugout on the SNY telecast, raising questions as to if it again was causing him issues. Matz has complained of elbow issues intermittently throughout the season so far, a troubling thing to hear. Matz though believes its nothing to worry about and didn’t effect him Friday night.

“It’s been tight, but it’s fine,” Matz said. “I was able to throw the ball fine the first four innings.”

It’s curious to wonder if the elbow is a bigger issue than Matz is leading on as he has seemed to struggle in the month of June. This month has been anything but kind to Matz. In the month of June he is 0-2 with an ERA of 5.91 and a 1.59 WHIP.. He has allowed 15 runs, 14 of which were earned in 21.1 innings pitched. Matz also has allowed 30 hits in this same stretch, not exactly the type of numbers you expect from Steven.

Hopefully for Matz and the Mets this is nothing but a rough patch for the southpaw. Matz had been cruising until he hit the month of June, sans his first start of the season. The biggest concern at this point has to be that the elbow issue is a non-issue as Matz looks to get back on track.

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Yoenis Cespedes Says Ankle Is Fine After A Brief Scare http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/yoenis-cespedes-says-ankle-is-fine-after-a-brief-scare.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/yoenis-cespedes-says-ankle-is-fine-after-a-brief-scare.html/#comments Sat, 25 Jun 2016 04:53:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215868 yoenise cespedes

Jason Getz, USA Today Sports Images

New York Mets center fielder Yoenis Cespedes gave everyone a scare during Friday night’s 8-6 win over the Atlanta Braves.

After a leadoff single in the seventh, Cespedes was picked off first base and twisted his ankle trying to get back to the bag. Cespedes remained huddled on the ground for a couple of minutes before trainer Ray Ramirez and manager Terry Collins helped him off the field.

It looked pretty gruesome on replay, but surprisingly Cespedes remained in the game and gingerly ran to center field at the bottom of the inning.

After the game, Cespedes told reporters that his ankle felt fine and that he had no intentions of leaving the game.

“It bothered me a little once I twisted it at first base, but I’m OK,” Cespedes said through an interpreter. 

The Mets have already dodged a couple of bullets with regards to losing Cespedes to the disabled list this season. Tonight, it looks like they averted disaster again. Thankfully.

Overall this season, Cespedes is batting .288 with a .946 OPS, 12 doubles, 18 home runs and 44 RBI.

Cespedes, 30, is the third leading vote-getter among NL outfielders and currently holds a starting spot in the 2016 All Star Game.

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MMO Game Recap: Mets Hang On In Wild One To Beat Braves 8-6 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mmo-game-recap-mets-hang-on-in-wild-one-to-beat-braves-8-6.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mmo-game-recap-mets-hang-on-in-wild-one-to-beat-braves-8-6.html/#comments Sat, 25 Jun 2016 03:04:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215859 james loney hr

The New York Mets (39-33) defeated the Atlanta Braves (25-48) by a score of 8-6 at Turner Field Friday evening.

Offense: 

Aaron Blair wasn’t very good tonight and the Mets took advantage.

The Mets got things started in the top of the second inning.  Neil Walker started the inning off with a sharp single into center field.  After James Loney was hit with a pitch, Wilmer Flores crushed a ground rule double into the gap to plate Loney.  After a Michael Conforto strikeout, Travis d’Arnaud grounded out but it would plate Loney giving the Mets the early 2-0 lead.

In the top of the fourth inning, Neil Walker lead off with a single into right field.  James Loney, who has been raging hot lately, followed with a double moving Walker to third.  After Wilmer Flores grounded out sharply and Aaron Blair intentionally walked Conforto to load the bases, Travis d’Arnaud made him pay with a 2 RBI single to right field.  Steven Matz would follow with a well-timed sacrifice fly giving the Mets the 5-0 lead.

In the top of the fifth inning, the Mets got right back at it.  Asdrubal Cabrera kicked off the inning with a walk.  After a Yoenis Cespedes line out, Neil Walker singled on a line drive to left field.  James Loney was next and he crushed a home run over the center field wall giving the Mets an 8-0 lead.

steven matz atl

Pitching:

Steven Matz was on the hill for the Mets tonight and he was on cruise control for the first four innings.  Matz allowed only one hit through the first four but man oh man did the wheels fall off in the fifth.

Jeff Francoeur lead off the fifth inning with a double into the gap. Nick Markakis followed with a double of his own on a play in which Cespedes lost the ball in the lights and let the ball drop right next to him.  Adonis Garcia followed with a double.  Tyler Flowers followed with a single.  After a groundout from Erick Aybar, Brandon Snyder hit a three run home run.  Jace Peterson singled.  Ender Inciarte singled. Freddie Freeman singled.

Whew.  Finally, Matz was mercilessly removed from the game in what was a complete meltdown.   Six runs would come in for the Braves in the fifth inning.  All in all, Matz pitched 4.1 innings, allowing 6 earned runs, walking none, and striking out none.

Matz was shown rubbing his elbow before the fifth inning started so it might be something to monitor.

Hansel Robles came in to clean up Matz’s mess in the fifth and he quickly got himself out of the never ending inning.

Robles would again come in for the sixth and seventh innings and would pitch a 1, 2, 3 inning both times.  Robles has been an absolute life saver lately retiring eight in a row tonight.

Antonio Bastardo would came in for the Mets in the eighth.  After retiring the first two batters, Bastardo gave up a double to Nick Markakis.  Terry Collins went straight to his closer and Jeurys Familia recorded the quick final out of the inning.

Familia came back in for the ninth and got himself into a little bit of trouble.  With two runners on and no out, Familia was able to get Chase d’Arnaud to hit into a double play.  With two out, Familia was able to strikeout Jace Peterson to record his 25th save of the season.  Familia is 25 for 25 in save opportunities in 2016.

travis darnaud

Notes:

Jose Reyes is about to clear waivers and is allowed to sign with any team tomorrow at 1:00 PM.  It is being widely reported Reyes is set to join the team that birthed him.

Yoenis Cespedes turned his ankle on a pick off play tonight.  Cespedes was able to tape up the ankle and stay in the game.

James Loney made two incredible scoops at first base.  Combined with his offense, he was the MVP tonight.  Hansel Robles gets honorable mention in my book.

On Deck: 

The Mets will play their third game of a four game series with the Atlanta Braves tomorrow night at Turner Field. The game has a start time of 7:15 PM.  Jacob deGrom (3-4, 2.96 ERA) will look to keep the Mets going against righty Julio Teheran (3-7 2.66 ERA). Teheran is coming off a complete game, one hit shutout against the Mets his last time out.

METSMERIZED NIGHT LG

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Braves, 7:35 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-braves-735-pm-6.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-braves-735-pm-6.html/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 19:59:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215817 steven matz

Friday, June 24, 2016 • 7:35 p.m.
Turner Field • Atlanta, GA
LHP Steven Matz (7-3, 2.74) vs. RHP Aaron Blair (0-4, 7.19)
SNY • WOR 710 AM • ESPN 1050 AM

Last night was another frustrating game for the New York Mets against the pesky Atlanta Braves. Matt Harvey finally had a solid start against the Braves, but the Mets bats couldn’t ramp up more than three runs and they eventually allowed the Braves to take the lead on a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 8th. Luckily, the Mets still have three games against the Braves to try and turn things around.

The Mets had their two-game winning streak snapped last night. New York has lost four of its last six games and are 4-6 in their last 10 games. They fell to 15-10 in one-run games with last night’s 4-3 loss.

Mets Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson – RF
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera – SS
  3. Yoenis Cespedes – CF
  4. Neil Walker – 2B
  5. James Loney – 1B
  6. Wilmer Flores – 3B
  7. Michael Conforto – LF
  8. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  9. Steven Matz – LHP

Braves Lineup

  1. Jace Peterson – 2B
  2. Ender Inciarte – CF
  3. Freddie Freeman – 1B
  4. Jeff Francouer – LF
  5. Nick Markakis – RF
  6. Adonis Garcia – 3B
  7. Tyler Flowers – C
  8. Erick Aybar – SS
  9. Aaron Blair – RHP

Steven Matz will be pitching tonight despite leaving his last start with elbow discomfort. He’s 7-3 on the season over 12 starts and 72.1 innings with a 2.74 ERA. His last start was against the Braves and he held them to 2 ER over 6.0 innings while striking out 7. Overall, he has faced the Braves three times totaling 20.0 innings with a 2-0 record and a 1.80 ERA while striking out 23 batters. The Braves have the following numbers against Steven:

  • Freeman 3-10, 2B
  • Markakis 2-9
  • Francoeur 3-9, HR
  • Garcia 2-9
  • Aybar 1-7
  • Flowers 1-8, 2B

The Mets draw Aaron Blair who is 0-4 over 10 starts this season an 46.1 innings with a 7.19 ERA. His last start was against the Mets and it was average, which is good for Aaron as he allowed 3 ER over 6.0 innings. In the month of June he has pitched 19.1 innings with a 7.91 ERA, which is slightly above his season stats. Overall against the Mets this year, he has pitched 11.1 innings with 6 ER and 5 K’s. The Mets have the following numbers against Blair:

  • Cabrera 3-6
  • Confortion 1-5, 2B
  • Granderson 1-5
  • Flores 1-5, HR
  • Walker 1-5
  • Cespedes 1-2, HR
  • Loney 2-2, 2B, 3B

Let’s Go Mets!

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Mets View Jose Reyes In Super Utility Role, Reunion Now Appears Very Likely http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mets-view-jose-reyes-in-super-utility-role-reunion-now-appears-very-likely.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mets-view-jose-reyes-in-super-utility-role-reunion-now-appears-very-likely.html/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 18:38:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215579 New York Mets v Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies requested waivers on shortstop Jose Reyes for the purpose of granting his unconditional release on Thursday. The move was a formality that clears the way for his free agency on Saturday at 2:00 PM.

According to several reports, there has been virtually no interest in Reyes from other teams which pretty much places Reyes on a silver platter for the Mets if they want him.

The Mets have not yet made a final decision on Reyes according to several sources, but most of them agree that a reunion is very likely.  

According to Jon Heyman, the Mets are weighing the public relations hit from the domestic violence suspension versus the potential impact his play could add to the team’s offense which has been stagnant.

Mike Puma of the New York Post heard that the Mets could include some performance-based bonuses into any contract they offer Reyes.

While some reports say the Mets would play Reyes at third base, and another suggested Reyes would start at second base while Neil Walker is shifted to third base, beat reporter Anthony DiComo now hears the Mets are looking at Reyes as a super-utility player. In that role he would get some playing time at shortstop, second and third base.

One thing that has become clear is that Reyes would need to spend anywhere from 2-4 weeks in the minors to get back to game readiness. He has not played in a big-league game since last season, when he batted .274 with a .310 on-base percentage, and a 82 OPS+ in 116 games with the Blue Jays and Rockies.

Tomorrow we will learn just how serious the Mets’ interest is.

Original Report – June 22

Reports have come out that Jose Reyes is said to be desperate to return to the team who signed him out of the Dominican Republic in 1999. Reyes has made it known that he has pined to come back to the team he left in 2011 for the big money contract he desired and eventually found with the Miami Marlins. Mike Puma of the New York Post spoke with some individuals who are familiar with the situation and who have spoken to Reyes as well regarding his current situation.

Possibly a low-risk, high-reward type move the Mets could make as he would only be owed a prorated share of the league minimum due to being designated for assignment by the Colorado Rockies, who are on the hook for $38 million still owed to him. This though is not just about money as the public relations nightmare that may ensue due to Reyes being arrested for domestic violence and serving a 53-game suspension as a result of it may just be too steep to overcome. One American League executive though does not see this being an issue in New York.

“I wouldn’t think there would be much P.R. fallout from what he did — they know him there,” the executive said. “It’s not like he’s going to a new place. He’s a good guy and people know him.”

That same executive also did note that Reyes is likely to need two weeks in the minors prior to joining the big league club. That good guy tag though may no longer be relevant after hearing of the brutal incident that allegedly occurred. The team would be sure to get some backlash if the signing is made.

Looking at things from a pure baseball prospective though, a talent evaluator who just witnessed Reyes in his minor league tuneup believes that he has a lot left in the tank and could help the Mets tremendously.

“He’s got a lot left — lots of energy. They should sign him,” the evaluator said. “They haven’t had a leadoff hitter since he left. … It’s a no-brainer. … I would put him at shortstop. He’s got a cannon still and a lot of range. I know [Asdrubal] Cabrera has done a nice job, but you can move him [to third or second]. I think they are crazy if they don’t sign him.”

Reyes though would also be needing to play out of position. Something he has not been seen to do much in his career other than the failed second base attempt to make way for Kazuo Matsui in 2004. It is though believed he would be able to play second or third base if asked to do so. Mets manager, Terry Collins seems quite open to the idea of getting the chance to manage Reyes yet again.

“He’s a ball. He brings energy to the team, he’s got a great smile, he loves to play and he loves to play here,” Collins said. “He comes every day and wants to be in the lineup, but even then on the days we gave him off, he still kept him ready in case we needed him.”

Things seem to be heating up these last few days as the rumors to sign him continue to swirl and get louder by the day. A source told Andy Martino of the Daily News that owner Jeff Wilpon wants Sandy Alderson to go after Reyes. This may explain the 180 degree reversal after a front office source said last week, there was zero chance the Mets bring back Reyes.

This also could just be the Mets testing the waters to see how the fanbase may react if they do decide to sign their former star. Scouring social media on the subject for the last few days will prove to show an almost 50/50 opinion on those who believe it to be a good or bad idea to sign Reyes. Whatever the decision may be we should find out sooner than later as he is expected to become a free agent this coming Saturday.

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Week 14 Mets Pitching Review: Robles Shines In Relief http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/week-14-mets-pitching-review-robles-shines-in-relief.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/week-14-mets-pitching-review-robles-shines-in-relief.html/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 16:45:14 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215784 hansel robles

A review of the latest turn through the Mets starting rotation:

Name

Innings

Hits

Earned Runs

Strikeouts

Walks

ERA

WHIP

Quality Start

Matz (7-3)

6.0

4

2(2)

7

2

2.74

1.13

Yes(12/8)

DeGrom (3-2)

6.0

5

3(3)

6

1

2.96

1.14

Yes (12/9)

Colon (6-3)

0.1

0

0(0)

0

0

3.00

1.19

No (14/8)

Syndergaard (8-2)

6.0

8

3(3)

4

0

2.08

0.99

Yes (14/12)

Harvey (4-8)

6.0 8

2(2)

3 0

4.64

1.39

Yes (14/6)

Best Start: This is the essence of having a top of the line rotation that’s struggling. Each of the young starters finished six innings and allowed three runs or less…

But were any of them dominant? Did any of thease performances dazzle you or, to quote the great Mean Gene Okerlund, show the intestinal fortitude of a champion?

While Noah Syndergaard did throw well despite arm troubles, I’m going to go with Steven Matz and his six innings against a pesky Atlanta Braves team that seems to suddenly have the Mets’ number.

Worst Start: The stat line makes this one rather easy. By only recording one out on Tuesday, Bartolo Colon set up one Mets reliever for some huge success…

Best of the Bullpen: and Hansel Robles showing off a 95 MHP fastball with an offspeed pitch that baffled one of the best contact teams in baseball. Six strikeouts in 3.2 innings against the Royals is similar to a 15-strikeout performance over 8 innings IMO.

Robles was easily the best pitcher in a Mets uniform this week, but early on I felt like I jinxed the entire unit after praising their numbers during my Week 13 review…and then watching the Braves beat both Jim Henderson (blown save) and Addison Reed on Saturday, then score three runs against Antonio Bastardo and Robles on Sunday. But the group effort they

But the group effort they put together in relief of Big Sexy and getting the final nine outs for Noah Syndergaard the following day said a lot. And did I forget to mention that Jeurys Familia set a team record with his 24th straight save to start the season?

Next Big Thing: While the sweep at Citi Field means most Mets fans aren’t looking past the Braves this weekend, it’s hard not to notice three games in Washington followed by four at home against the Cubs coming up. Whether it was gamesmanship or general concern that caused Terry Collins to switch Colon and Thor around this week, the result is our Norse god is scheduled to start the series against the Nationals and face Jake Arrieta on a Saturday night that’s certain to be a sellout.

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Why Haven’t The Mets Turned To Dilson Herrera http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/why-havent-the-mets-turned-to-dilson-herrera.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/why-havent-the-mets-turned-to-dilson-herrera.html/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 15:57:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215819 dilson herrera homers

There appears to be two very different views of Mets second base prospect Dilson Herrera. The first is the player who absolutely rakes in the minors hitting .310/.362/.504 over two seasons at Triple-A Las Vegas.  This is the player the Mets see as their second baseman of the future – a future that was supposed to start in 2016, but was pushed to Opening Day of 2017.

Then there is the other Dilson Herrera.  This is the Herrera who has looked overmatched at the plate in his limited time in the majors.  When Daniel Murphy went down in 2014, Herrera struggled in the 18 games he did play hitting only .220/.303/.407.  Last year, when David Wright went down, Herrera was first summoned as the Mets long-term plan to improve the team.  But he struggled again, hitting just .195/.290/.317 in 25 games.  Ultimately, this forced the Mets to start looking elsewhere to fill the void left by Wright’s injury.

In 2016, David Wright went down again.  However, this time, the Mets never even considered Herrera as an option to help the offense.  Instead, they went with a combination of Eric Campbell and Ty Kelly until Wilmer Flores returned from the disabled list.  Even when the Mets lost Lucas Duda to his own long-term injury, the Mets still refrained from calling-up Herrera.  Instead, they made a trade for James Loney.

You could make the argument that the Mets could have moved Neil Walker to third base.  However, the Mets made the arguably rational decision not to ask Walker to play a position he has only played 15 times in his career and a position he hasn’t played in about 10 years.  With that in mind, it didn’t make sense to call-up Herrera as he would have probably spent a lot of time on the bench and a player this young needs regular playing time to continue developing and improving. In the end, the Mets seemed content to go with Loney and Flores at the corner infield positions.

That said, the Mets have really struggled to produce runs with Flores and Loney at the corner infield positions.  However, it’s hard to blame either of them for these offensive shortcomings.  Loney has hit a respectable .291/.349/.405 since coming over to the Mets, and since his return from the disabled list, Flores has hit .262/.319/.415.  Their production isn’t exactly awe-inspiring, but they are solid numbers not only for temporary replacements, but also for bottom of the lineup hitters.  Still, the Mets are a team with World Series aspirations, and if they want to get back to the Fall Classic, they probably need to do better than Loney and Flores at the corners.

New York Mets v Colorado Rockies

Accordingly, the Mets have begun to consider different possibilities.  Next week, the Mets are going to bring in Yulieski Gourriel for a workout presumably to see if he is capable of playing second or third base.  Also, it seems increasingly likely that the Mets will bring Jose Reyes back to Queens to either play second or third.  If the Mets were to bring either Gourriel or Reyes aboard, it is at least possible, that move would require the Mets moving Walker to third.  With that in mind, it is surprising that the Mets haven’t at least investigated the possibility of calling-up Herrera to play second.  It’s simply ponderous.

If you want justification for the Mets decision, you could point to Herrera only hitting .290/.337/.496 in Las Vegas this year.  However, this overlooks the fact that Herrera had an extremely slow start after dealing with some early season injuries.

Since April 24th, Herrera is hitting .301/.354/.488 with 13 doubles, two triples, and 11 homers.  Over the course of the entire season, Herrera is hitting .338/.385/.606 with runners in scoring position.  Herrera is hitting, and he can certainly help the Mets.  It is surprising that the Mets are going to pursue other opportunities before even giving him another fair look in the majors. It’s even more surprising given the fact that they have also given non-top-prospects like Kelly and Matt Reynolds opportunities this year.

While no one is saying it publicly, it seems that the Mets are not as confident in Dilson Herrera as they once were.  It’s odd that it may have come to this when Herrera is still only 22 years old.

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MMO Fan Shot: Signing Reyes Is More Than A PR Issue http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mmo-fan-shot-signing-reyes-is-more-than-a-pr-issue.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mmo-fan-shot-signing-reyes-is-more-than-a-pr-issue.html/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 14:00:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215801 Jose-Reyes-20

MMO Fan Shot by Andy Love, Originally Published on Fair and Unbalanced

In 2006, the Mets were one pitch away — albeit, a nasty, possibly unhittable Adam Wainwright curveball (that Carlos Beltran watched for strike three with the bases loaded, but I digress) – from making the World Series.  That team was led by two of the game’s brightest young stars:  David Wright and Jose Reyes.  And although the next two promising years resulted in epic, brutal, end-of-the-season collapses, Wright and Reyes (with the exception of Reyes’ slumping September in 2007) lived up to the hype with explosive campaigns and were poised to be the two pillars of an exciting new era of winning Mets baseball.

Well, that is not exactly what happened.  The Mets would not have another winning season until last year when Reyes was long gone and Wright was mostly hurt.

David Wright did have a couple more stellar years, but starting in 2009, when he suffered a concussion from a Matt Cain beanball, he has endured a never-ending series of injuries that has plagued his career. This culminated in a diagnosis of spinal stenosis last year and a season-ending neck injury this year.

Meanwhile, Jose Reyes remained, for a time, one of the most exciting players in baseball.  He played with passion, joy and fire that not only made him a delight to watch and root for, but he often carried a team that otherwise lacked those qualities.  However, after the 2011 season (in which he led  the National League in batting), only 28 years old and seemingly approaching the peak of his career, Reyes (unlike Wright) was not signed by the Mets to a long-term contract but was allowed to pursue free agency.  He signed a massive deal with the Miami Marlins but was traded to Toronto after one year, where the artificial turf wreaked havoc on his legs.  In 2015, Reyes was traded again, this time to Colorado, where he played poorly.

His skills seemingly diminished, the now 33-year old shortstop has been put on waivers by the Rockies, and if not claimed in 48 hours, Reyes will become a free agent.  From a purely baseball perspective, Reyes would be a bargain for any team that wants to give him a try.  His new team would only have to play a pro-rated league minimum while the Rockies remain on the hook for the $39 million left on his contract.

Some have clamored for the Mets to bring Reyes back into the fold, perhaps to make the loss of David Wright, the other half of the erstwhile dynamic duo, less acute  And given how little the team would have to pay for his services, it might be worth the risk.  The Mets could certainly use his undeniably electric energy to shake up what feels like a team that needs some shaking up.

Even at this advanced stage of his career, Reyes has more speed than just about anyone currently in the Mets dugout.  If he still has a bit of pop in his bat, he could be a worthy contributor to what has become a fairly anemic lineup.  In the field, he could play not just shortstop, where Asdrubal Cabrera is doing just fine, but could possibly play David Wright’s old position — third base — or he could play second and the Mets could move Neil Walker to third.  Or he could play the role of a utility man, coming off the bench to pinch hit, pinch run, and play any of the infield positions when needed.

But — ah, there’s always a but — last year on Halloween, Jose Reyes was charged in a domestic violence incident after a particularly frightening assault on his wife:

According to the report, Reyes grabbed his wife by the throat after an argument in their hotel room and then shoved her into the sliding balcony door in their room. He was arrested for abuse of a family or household member. His wife was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for injuries to her thigh, neck and wrist.

Charges were dropped after Reyes’ wife declined to cooperate with prosecutors. But Reyes was suspended by Major League Baseball, pursuant to its domestic violence policy, for 51 games, essentially, the first two months of this season.  In addition to his loss of playing time and salary while suspended, Reyes made a public apology.  He also has apparently participated in some kind of a counseling/therapy program and contributed $100,000 to a charitable organization on preventing domestic abuse and treating domestic abuse survivors.

It has been suggested that signing Reyes would merely be a “PR” problem given the domestic violence incident.  But this is about much more than PR.  Instead of talking about Reyes’ batting and fielding statistics we should be talking about the following statistics from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

On average, 20 people per minute are victims of physical violence by an intimate partner in the United States. Over the course of a year, that equals more than 10 million women and men. Those numbers only tell part of the story—nearly 2 million women are raped in a year and over 7 million women and men are victims of stalking in a year.

When Major League Baseball adopted a domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy last year, it finally accepted responsibility for addressing such significant societal problems.  As MLBPA executive director Tony Clark stated: “Players are husbands, fathers, sons and boyfriends. And as such want to set an example that makes clear that there is no place for domestic abuse in our society. We are hopeful that this new comprehensive, collectively-bargained policy will deter future violence, promote victim safety, and serve as a step toward a better understanding of the causes and consequences of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse.”

Particularly if they sign Jose Reyes, the Mets organization would have a civic obligation and moral duty to show their fans that they take domestic violence deadly seriously.  They could do this by making sure that Reyes continues in a therapeutic/counseling program for domestic violence abusers.  They should require him to make public service announcements and appearances about domestic violence that could have a far-reaching impact on the community.  The team should also devote significant resources to fostering awareness about violence against women and contribute to anti-domestic violence organizations.

A reunion with a formerly beloved star who appears to be on the decline could be a great story of redemption if Reyes has some game left and helps the Mets win but, more importantly, if he and the Mets show a demonstrated commitment to taking meaningful action to combat violence against women.

* * * * * * * *

This Fan Shot was contributed by Andy Love of Fair and Unbalanced. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 30,000 Met fans who read this site daily.

Send your Fan Shot to FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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Mets Minors Recap: Ynoa Gets 9th Win, Szapucki Dazzles http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mets-minors-recap-ynoa-gets-9th-win-szapucki-dazzles.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mets-minors-recap-ynoa-gets-9th-win-szapucki-dazzles.html/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 13:35:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215814 gabriel ynoa

Las Vegas (40-33) 8, Reno 6 Box Score

The 51s got out to an early lead scoring four in the second inning and three in the third before the bullpen made it interesting with six runs allowed in the seventh and eighth innings combined. They now have a season high six-game winning streak.

Nimmo is now batting .400/.473/.638 in 80 June at bats. Taijeron is second in the minors with his 29 doubles.

  • Gabriel Ynoa RHP: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, Win (9-2, 3.40)
  • Chasen Bradford RHP: Struck out only batter faced to strand runner (3.71)
  • Seth Lugo RHP: IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 K (6.72)
  • Josh Smoker LHP: IP, H, K, Save (1st save, 5.57)

Eight strikeouts is the most Ynoa’s had in game since May 1st of 2015 when he struck out the same amount.

Roster Note – The Mets brought back lefty starter Darin Gorski to the organization and he will get the start tonight for the 51s who’s rotation has been ravished by MLB call ups. He was pitching for the Somerset Patriots in Indy ball. 

Altoona 9, Binghamton (28-42) 6 Box Score

Amed Rosario didn’t make it to the game in time to start but he hit a pinch hit double in the ninth inning and would come around to score. He was promoted from St. Lucie earlier in the day and should provide an offensive boost for a team that has really struggled to score runs.

Gibson was hitless in his last three starts and should see his playing time diminish significantly with Rosario aboard.

Palm Beach 3, St. Lucie (35-33) 2 Box Score

Guillorme is starting to come around with the bat and now gets to play his natural position.

Great outing by the former 2nd round pick who needed only 91 pitches (63 strikes) to go a complete game.

Roster Note – South Atlantic League all-stars Vinny Siena and P.J. Conlon were added to the roster before the game. 

Augusta 6, Columbia (36-35) 3 Box Score

Another night when the Fireflies couldn’t cash in on their offensive opportunities, they went 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position.

Everyone in the Fireflies lineup reached base besides Jeffrey Diehl.

Connecticut 3, Brooklyn (2-5) 2 Box Score

Starter Harol Gonzalez lost his no-hitter with one in the seventh inning.

Cyclones out hit the Tigers 8-2 but left eight runners on base.

  • Harol Gonzalez RHP: 6.2 IP, H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 2 WP, Loss (0-1, 3.09)
  • Taylor Henry LHP: 1.1 IP, H, 0 ER, 2 K, two inherited runners scored (0.00)

Elizabethton 4, Kingsport 3 F/Rain shortened Box Score

It was the season opener for the Mets who wasted a dominating first professional start by 2015 5th rounder Thomas Szapucki.

The Mets were walked nine times but went 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position.

DSL Mets1 (7-9) 5, DSL Pirates 3 Box Score

DSL Mets2 (7-10) 8, DSL Astros 4 Box Score

Enmanuel De Oleo had only one at bat on the day but made it count with a grand slam in a seven run ninth inning for the Mets.

The 17-year shortstop has reached base safely in 15 of his first 16 professional games.

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One Man’s Quest to Get the Mets to Acquire Danny Valencia http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/one-mans-quest-to-get-the-mets-to-acquire-danny-valencia.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/one-mans-quest-to-get-the-mets-to-acquire-danny-valencia.html/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 13:00:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215758 danny valencia

As is often the case, the baseball world has finally come around to seeing what one person on the internet has been saying all along. Sometimes, that one person is a brilliant one who was just waiting to be discovered (think: Nate Silver). Other times, that person is like a broken clock that you just so happened to look toward at just the right moment (think: Peter Schiff, who called the financial crisis but who otherwise has no apparent ability to predict the economy).

In this case, it doesn’t matter, because that visionary and/or broken clock is me, and Joe D. and Metsmerized are wonderful enough to let me write here. So I am going to.

The subject of my obsession? That former Blue Jay and now Oakland Athletics third baseman Danny Valencia. More specifically, it is that Danny Valencia is pretty good at baseball, and nobody was noticing.

Well, now, everyone has taken notice. Valencia is clobbering the ball to the tune of a .330/.375/.546 line after hitting .290/.345/.519 last year. He’s turning 32 in September, and has one more year of “team control,” so he occupies a somewhat unusual spot in baseball’s economy. He also occupies a somewhat unusual spot in this year’s trade market, and has been connected to the New York Mets for the last few weeks.

Fangraphs posted an article recently entitled Danny Valencia, Future Met and I felt that today was the proper time for me to get this off my chest.

On May 26, 2015, Valencia was on the Toronto Blue Jays, buried on the depth chart at DH behind MVP Josh Donaldson and 3B behind All-Star Edwin Encarnacion. He was also buried on the depth chart at 1B, but by veteran also-ran Justin Smoak. Smoak was worth a total of -0.3 WAR in his career entering last year over about 550 games. Nonetheless, the Blue Jays stuck with Smoak.

Smoak ended the year hitting .226/.299/.470 and posting 0.6 WAR, which is actually a huge improvement for him. He currently remains the Blue Jays primary first baseman. As I mentioned above, Valencia ended up hitting .290/.345/.519 and posting 2.2 WAR in only 378 plate appearances.

Through June, the Blue Jays continued to play Smoak over Valencia. Through July, it was no longer a question of probabilities — it was facially ridiculous for the Blue Jays to continue to be unable to find a spot for Danny Valencia somewhere.

That Valencia was buried was *especially* ridiculous given the fact that the Blue Jays had the #1 offense in Major League Baseball, but had the 21st ranked pitching staff through the All Star Break.

In fact, in mid-June I could no longer express my feelings through tweets alone and wrote an entire article about how the Mets should trade Jon Niese and perhaps get a player like Valencia in return. Article here:

One potential trade partner might be the Toronto Blue Jays who, at 35-32, are pushing hard in the American League East. Their rotation currently features an ineffective R.A. Dickey and has a vacancy due to Aaron Sanchez‘s injury … Coming back to the Mets could be a veteran like Danny Valencia … who is in his first year of arbitration.

It was widely read, but I guess it didn’t get to Sandy Alderson.

July and August Valencia updates. Even if he wasn’t as great as he was showing in 2015, his track record extended back through 2014 as well.

I expressed regret for the Blue Jays, who got nothing in exchange for Valencia and were failed by their pitching in the postseason.

During the offseason, I hoped that the Mets would make a play for Valencia before his price continued to rise. But alas, 2016 began and he raked again.

I even snuck in references on MetsBlog. I’d like to think that I had something to do with the public groundswell of support we’ve seen recently.

The worst part about the Danny Valencia trade talk right now is that the Mets could have had him for free last season when the Toronto Blue Jays put him on waivers in late July.

  • August 3, 2015: Selected off waivers by the Oakland Athletics from the Toronto Blue Jays.

Is Valencia the Mets savior right now? No. Is Valencia likely to hit .330 the rest of the way? No. But the Mets should have been all about acquiring a viable major league corner infielder last season and this past offseason to prepare for the eventuality that David Wright might become injured again.

Valencia is making only $3.15 million this year, and will likely make somewhere in the neighborhood of $6-7 million next year if he keeps this up. He’s a shorter, cheaper commitment than Yulieski Gourriel and he carries with him none of the baggage of Jose Reyes, which is why all the major outlets now see Valencia as the best fit for the Mets. The only question now is how much it will cost and whether the Mets will be willing to pay.

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Matt Harvey Continues To Struggle With Mechanics http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/matt-harvey-continues-to-struggle-with-mechanics.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/matt-harvey-continues-to-struggle-with-mechanics.html/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 11:00:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215805 Matt Harvey

New York Mets pitcher, Matt Harvey continues to struggle with his mechanics in what has been a trying year. Harvey has not been able to get himself in any sort of groove after seeming to find himself just a few starts prior.

Harvey had an okay day on the mound, pitching to a quality start. He allowed just two runs on eight hits in six innings of work. Harvey walked none and struck out three while taking the no-decision.

“It was definitely a struggle,” Harvey said. “I went back to not feeling as great as I did in a couple of starts before this. I was able to make some quality pitches when I needed to and guys made the plays behind me.”

“A couple of balls that [center fielder Alejandro] De Aza tracked down helped me a lot and helped me get through six innings. It was a struggle, but when I needed to make a pitch, I was able to do that.” (ESPN)

Harvey’s ERA dropped down just a bit to 4.64 on the year as his WHIP stands at 1.38. He just did not look comfortable on the mound again. Hearing him also openly talk about things not being right yet again is troubling to hear. Harvey has just seemed to be so hittable, and lacking confidence while on the mound. You just do not sense that killer instinct from years past. He has been unable to figure out how to right his mechanics, as it is an ongoing battle.

“When you’re out there, the last thing you want to think about is your mechanics. For some reason this year it’s been popping into my head, and just pitch for pitch doesn’t feel the same. It’s one of those things I’ve got to battle through and keep pushing forward. We’re going to do that next start.”

Harvey’s next start comes against the Mets’ biggest rival, the first place Washington Nationals. It will be interesting to see if the adrenaline of such a big game may help to kick up the intensity that we are used to seeing from him. Harvey is still such an important piece to this staff that needs to get right for continued success of the team.

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Conforto Throws Out Bonifacio At The Plate http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/conforto-throws-out-bonifacio-at-the-plate.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/conforto-throws-out-bonifacio-at-the-plate.html/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 09:54:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215806 travis darnaud michael conforto

One of the defensive highlights in Thursday’s 4-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves, came in the bottom of the seventh inning when the Mets were trying to preserve their 3-2 lead at the time.

With the tying and winning runs on second and third, Ender Inciarte lifted a deep flyball to left field. Michael Conforto settled underneath the ball and made the catch in foul territory.

The runner on third, Emilio Bonifacio, tagged up and raced home. It looked like the Braves were about to tie the game up.

But Conforto fired an accurate throw to Travis d’Arnaud at the plate, and Bonifacio was called out to complete the inning ending double play and thwart any Atlanta comeback.

It was a tremendous throw by Conforto, but d’Arnaud played it perfectly, blocking the plate with his knee and applying the tag before Bonifacio could sneak in.

“It was a crazy catch,” said d’Arnaud after the game. “To get rid of it that quick and make that strong of a throw was really impressive.”

Braves manager Brian Snitker challenged the play and was quickly ejected when the ruling confirmed the call on the field.

“I knew it was going to be close,” Conforto said. “Incredible play by Travis to catch it on the short hop and then put the tag on him. Really, that was all him. I put the throw there, but he made the play.”

The Braves broadcast booth were screaming holy hell and even Keith Hernandez was stunned that the play was not overturned.

But a careful examination clearly provided little evidence to overturn the out call as Bonifacio avoided a clear and open lane to the plate, and instead slid right into d’Arnaud’s knee which blocked the left side of the plate.

The Braves would eventually win the game 4-3, prompting the Atlanta broadcast booth to celebrate and say that the Baseball Gods intervened and overturned the bad call. “Karma is gonna get you,” one of them exclaimed.

Here’s the play:

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Mets Still Unable To Solve Braves, Lose 4-3 In Series Opener http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mets-unable-to-solve-braves-yet-again-lose-4-3-in-series-opener.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mets-unable-to-solve-braves-yet-again-lose-4-3-in-series-opener.html/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 02:11:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215795 matt harvey

The New York Mets (38-33) dropped yet another game to the Atlanta Braves (25-47) on Thursday night in Turner Field. This one came in heartbreaking fashion as the Braves came back late against the Mets, taking the opener of the four-game set by a score of 4-3.

Pitching:

Matt Harvey started for the Mets and had a shaky but effective start. Harvey went six innings on the night while allowing two runs on eight hits. He struck out three batters while walking none and took the no-decision.

Jerry Blevins started the eighth for Mets and quickly gave up a single to Freddie Freeman. Addison Reed took over with one out in the eighth to take on Adonis Garcia, who got the best of the Mets’ setup man. Garcia hammered a two-run shot off Reed to give the Braves the lead for good.

Offense:

The Mets offense was able to muster three runs against Matt Wisler and the Braves Thursday night, but were shut down by Atlanta’s bullpen.

Neil Walker had a nice night at the plate for the Mets, going 2-for-2 with two RBI and a walk. Alejandro De Aza also found himself some success, going 2-for-2 with a double and a RBI that put the Mets on the board in the second inning.

alejadro de aza

Notes:

The Mets have now lost five of their last six games to Atlanta.

The team dropped a prime opportunity to pick up some ground against the idle Washington Nationals. A win tonight would have put them just three games back of first place Washington.

On Deck:

The New York Mets will look to get things right against the Braves yet again Friday night as LHP Steven Matz (7-3, 2.74 ERA) toes the rubber for the team. Matz will be opposed by Braves RHP Aaron Blair (0-4, 7.19 ERA).

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