Mets Merized Online Wed, 24 Sep 2014 04:01:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mets Make It Official: Alderson Gets 3-Year Extension, Collins Will Remain Manager Wed, 24 Sep 2014 04:01:16 +0000 sandy alderson terry collins

The New York Mets today announced the club has signed General Manager Sandy Alderson to a contract extension that will run through 2017.

“We are excited about the direction the team is headed and look forward to Sandy continuing his efforts to build the Mets into a postseason contender,” said Mets COO Jeff Wilpon.

“Sandy and his staff have built our minor league system into one of the best in baseball, and will continue to balance player development along with making key additions that will help us reach our goals.”

“I deeply appreciate the opportunity to continue what we have started,” said Alderson.  “There have been positives this season, but there is still a lot of work to do.”

Alderson, who joined the Mets on October 29, 2010, announced that Manager Terry Collins will return for the 2015 season.

“Terry Collins has done an excellent job for us this season,” said Alderson.  “The team has played hard throughout the year and this is a reflection of Terry’s energy and his passion for the game and for the Mets.  We look forward to his leadership again next season.”

Prior to joining the Mets, Alderson served as a special consultant to Baseball’s Commissioner for Latin America. He worked as the CEO with the San Diego Padres from April, 2005-March, 2009, leading the team to back-to-back playoff appearances (2005-2006). From 1998-2005, he was Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations. Alderson was the architect of the Oakland Athletics that won three consecutive American League pennants from 1988-1990 and the 1989 World Series.

Collins was named the 20th manager in franchise history on November 23, 2010. Under his leadership the Mets have won 76 games with six games remaining this year, the most since 2011 when they won 77. The Mets are 301-341 under Collins. He managed previously in Houston (1994-1996) and Anaheim (1997-1999).

Some other minor news from the press conference included Tim Teufel remaining the third base coach and not becoming the hitting coach. In addition, Sandy dodged questions about Wally Backman possibly joining the big league coaching staff.

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MMO Game Recap: Nationals 4, Mets 2 Wed, 24 Sep 2014 02:54:31 +0000 bartolo colonThe Mets (76-81) lost to the Nationals (92-64) tonight by a score of 4 to 2 in Washington.

What you should know:

The Mets fell to the Nationals for the 14th time this season tonight behind a strong effort from starting pitcher Tanner Roark who won his 15th game of the season.

Bartolo Colon fielded himself into trouble in the 5th inning. After he failed to break off the mound to cover 1st base, Adam LaRoche made him pay with a big 3-run shot into the right field stands. It was LaRoche’s 6th home run this year against the Mets, the most against any one team.

The only Met with multiple hits was Wilmer Flores, who scored 2 runs and recorded his 12th double of the season.

Travis d’Arnaud hit his 3rd triple of the season but also committed his 9th error. That ranks 4th highest in baseball.

Carlos Torres, Josh Edgin and Daisuke Matsuzaka combined for 2 scoreless innings.

The Mets were a dismal 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position. They squandered multiple opportunities throughout the game including in the 7th when they loaded the bases twice and scored just a single run.

On Deck:

The Mets continue their series against the Nationals on Wednesday with Dillon Gee (7-8, 3.88 ERA) facing Gio Gonzalez (9-10, 3.74 ERA)

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Nationals, 7:05 PM Tue, 23 Sep 2014 21:00:05 +0000 bartolo colonTonight the Mets open up their second to last series of 2014 against a team that has wiped the floors with them this year. The Nationals come in having won 13 of 16 games against the Mets. The pitching match-up pits  Bartolo Colon (14-12, 4.02), in what could be his final start for the Mets, against Tanner Roark (14-10, 2.85).

In his last start, Colon received the win in the Mets’ 9-1 victory against the Marlins on September 16th at Citi Field. He tossed 7.2 innings, allowed one earned run on a season-high 12 hits, stricking out seven and walking no one in the 109-pitch effort.

Wilmer Flores has scored 10 runs this month, collecting four doubles, one triple, four home runs and driving in 12 runs in 18 games in September. Flores is tied for fourth in the NL with four home runs this month.

Starting Lineup

  1. Matt den Deker, LF
  2. Daniel Murphy, 3B
  3. Travis d’Arnaud, C
  4. Lucas Duda, 1B
  5. Wilmer Flores, 2B
  6. Curtis Granderson, RF
  7. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, CF
  8. Ruben Tejada, SS
  9. Bartolo Colon, RHP

The Mets start their last road series of the 2014 season tonight against the Nationals. A team that has given the Mets some difficulties, the Nationals now stand between the Mets and an improbable last week of the season where the Mets mathematically can still finish at .500 and in second place. The Mets find themselves in this position thanks to a sweep in Atlanta, which is still shocking to me. Tonight Bartolo Colon gets the start as he goes against Tanner Roark.

Bartolo Colon is 14-12 this season with a 4.02 ERA over 29 starts and 190.1 innings. His last start against the Nationals was awful, but he rebounded nicely against Miami allowing 1 ER over 7.2 innings while striking out 7. Overall in the season he is 1-3 against the Nationals this year with a 4.13 ERA over 24.0 innings, which is great considering last time he allowed 5 ER over 3.0 innings against them. The Nationals have put up the following numbers against Colon:

  • Span 1-13
  • Cabrera 1-11, 2B
  • Rendon 4-13, HR
  • Desmond 4-10, 2 HR
  • LaRoche 4-9, 2 2B, HR
  • Werth 4-7, 2 2B
  • Harper 1-7

Tanner Roark is 14-10 in his second major league season with a 2.85 ERA over 30 starts and 192.1 innings of work. In his last two starts he has pitched 13.1 innings and only allowed 2 ER while striking out 5. Against the Mets this year he is 3-0 over three starts and 17.1 innings with a 3.12 ERA. The Mets have the following numbers against him:

  • Murphy 3-12, 2B
  • E Young 4-13, 2B
  • Duda 4-12, 2B
  • Lagares 1-8, 2B
  • Granderson 2-7, 2 2B
  • Tejada 1-7

Lets Go Mets!

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Juan Lagares, Dilson Herrera, Vic Black Done For The Season Tue, 23 Sep 2014 20:20:11 +0000 juan lagares

Update (September 23rd, 2014)

Terry Collins announced on Tuesday evening that while Juan Lagares won’t need surgery, he is done for the season. He added that Dilson Herrera and Vic Black are also done for the year and earlier in the day it was announced that Jacob deGrom would not make his final start of 2014.

Original Story (September 17th, 2014)

Juan Lagares left Tuesday night’s game against the Marlins with what the team initially called a hyper-extended right elbow. He was removed prior to the top of the fifth and was replaced by Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

Lagares hyper-extended it while making a strong throw to nail Garrett Jones at second base after trying to run down a fly ball by Jarrod Saltalamacchia to shallow center.

This afternoon, Lagares told reporters that the MRI he underwent has revealed an elbow sprain and he is unsure of when he’ll return to action.

Team doctors will reexamine Lagares on Sunday so it’s safe to say he’ll likely be out until then.

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Wilpon: Mets Will Have ‘Payroll Flexibility’ Tue, 23 Sep 2014 20:04:41 +0000 Mets CubsIt’s hard to understand quotes like the ones Jeff Wilpon made this afternoon. After all, your eye tells you one thing while your ear tells you something else. Until we see the results it will be hard to understand but according to Wilpon, Sandy Alderson and his staff will have payroll flexibility moving forward.

Wilpon said “He does have payroll flexibility, whether through free agency or trades” ( It sounds like a trap.

Still, it feels like a statement by an ownership group that has been scrutinized lately for their misleading ways. Alderson said that “Free agency is a crap shoot…On the other hand you expect to hit a certain number of times. That’s an area where we hopefully will continue to be active but also more successful than we’ve been in the past.”

It’s not exactly a video tape of Fred and Jeff Wilpon signing a big check, but for now it’s a start. The team has supreme confidence in Alderson and his management group and the entire organization believes they are close. Alderson described them as needing to improve by 10 to 12 games in the off-season, as they use the Nationals as their measuring stick.

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Jacob deGrom Will Be Shut Down, Won’t Make Final Start Tue, 23 Sep 2014 18:54:54 +0000 jacob degromESPN’s Adam Rubin is reporting that Jacob deGrom will be shut down for the season and will not make his final start against the Astros. An organizational source reported the news to Rubin and it appears deGrom’s pursuit of the National Leagues Rookie of the Year Award will end with 22 starts and a brilliant 2.63 ERA. His final record for the 2014 season is 9-6. He pitched 178 2/3 innings between the major and minor leagues, 31 innings more than last season.

A Mets insider told Rubin that “There just doesn’t seem to be much upside in pitching him one more time.”

Rafael Montero is expected to start in deGrom’s place.

Billy Hamilton was the guy running in stride with deGrom until the end of July. Since July 8th, deGrom’s 1.79 ERA ranks 2nd in the NL to Clayton Kershaw who is likely on his was to winning the Cy Young Award and MVP simultaneously.

Since July 8th, Hamilton on the other hand has hit just .226 with 13 extra base hits and 21 stolen bases. When you look at the two players you come to one conclusion. deGrom is something special and he’s done things this year that haven’t been done in decades. Hamilton on the other hand is a solid player who’s very fast.

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Collin McHugh Shutdown, Won’t Face Mets This Weekend Tue, 23 Sep 2014 16:05:40 +0000 collin mchugh

The Houston Astros announced that righthander Collin McHugh will be shutdown for the rest of the season due to reaching his innings cap.

He was initially slated to start against the Mets this weekend at Citi Field, but that won’t happen now.

McHugh wraps up a solid rookie season for the Astros, going 11-9 with a 2.73 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 25 starts. Over 154.2 innings pitched the former Met struck out 157 batters while walking 41.

Too bad… Would have been nice to see him match up with Montero.

September 4 – Collin McHugh: You Win Some, You Lose Some

Right-hander Collin McHugh didn’t exactly get his major league career off to a good start when he lost his first eight decisions in two brief stints with the Mets in 2012 and 2013. Despite posting a 2.91 minor league ERA in 2012, and a 2.87 ERA for Triple-A Las Vegas in 2013, the Mets had seen enough after just five major league starts and decided to trade him to Colorado that June for utility outfielder Eric Young Jr., who had been placed on waivers by the last place Rockies.

After a brief 3-month stint in Colorado, McHugh was placed on waivers and claimed by the Houston Astros where the Illinois native began to flourish.

With nine major league starts under his belt, the 26-year old McHugh entered the 2014 season with a clean slate and a fresh new outlook.

After 22 starts this season, McHugh has a 2.89 ERA and is now among the top pitchers in the American League. With an ERA that ranks seventh and a 1.09 WHIP that ranks eighth, McHugh is also boasting a strikeout rate of 9.4. His 3.13 FIP suggests that this season is completely legit.

As Mark Simon of ESPN pointed out this morning, McHugh is closing the year out very strong, going 4-0 with a 1.79 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in his last seven starts.

Recently ousted manager Bo Porter cited that McHugh’s key to success this season is how efficient he’s become and his aggressiveness on the mound.

“The biggest thing he did was attacking the strike zone. He doesn’t waste a lot of pitches. He went right after those guys and forced them to put the ball in play.”

If not for some pesky, no-name, Cuban guy, whose power wouldn’t translate to the majors, and who was considered a defensive disaster as a first baseman, you could argue that McHugh would be a contender for the American League Rookie of the Year this season.

Unfortunately for McHugh, he’ll have to settle for second or third place behind Jose Abreu for top rookie honors, but this kid has nothing to be ashamed about.

It’s been an incredible breakthrough season for the former Mets pitching prospect, and it certainly looks like the Astros have hit the jackpot with him.

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What Will The Mets Do This Off-Season? Tue, 23 Sep 2014 15:38:36 +0000 Sandy Alderson and Paul DePodesta visited MCU Park Wednesday night, likely to check out first-round pick Michael Conforto. (Photo by Jim Mancari)

Well, it looks like another sub-.500 season is close to the end, and we can expect Alderson and Collins back, so it’s time to look at what the off-season might have in store for the Mets. I think we can eliminate “spend big and acquire two or three major stars”, but it’s still somewhat of a mystery what the Amazins will do. Here are a few possibilities. 

1. Minor Tinkering Only: With Matt Harvey coming back and progress from the likes of Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler, Travis d’Arnaud, Juan Lagares, and Lucas Duda, we can hope for continued improvement from them along with better seasons from David Wright and Curtis Granderson. Just add a few pieces via low-cost free agency or minor trades such as another righthanded hitting 1B/LF type, a veteran utility infielder, and a couple of arms to replace Carlyle and Eveland. Maybe replace a coach or two. This, is of course, the ultra-conservative approach. It assumes any trade of Colon, Gee, Niese, or Murphy will be instigated by the other team involved and that the return will be in the form of more prospects or relatively inconsequential major leaguers.

2. Trade Prospects for Established Players: Will Alderson go this route to fill the holes in left field and shortstop? Such names as Yoenis Cespedes, Mark Trumbo, Jose Bautista, Yunel Escobar, Starlin Castro, etc. have popped up from time to time Obviously the value of each in terms of the talent the Mets will have to give up varies and whatever deal the Mets make will undoubtedly be considered an over-payment by some fans, but at least the Mets can say they are serious about challenging for a playoff spot in 2015.

3. Trade Pitching Prospects for Hitting Prospects: This probably won’t improve the team’s chances in 2015 but there are plenty of fans drooling over the Cubs’ Addison Russell or Javier Baez and think trading 2-3 of our top prospects for either one of them would be a great deal. Count me out on that one.

4. Unload Veteran Players: Trade Colon, Murphy and/or Gee for whatever they can get in prospects and use the money saved to sign a Melky Cabrera or Nelson Cruz to a multi-year deal.

5. Get A Star: Target one particular star player and offer whatever prospects it takes to get him. The player has to be potentially a major difference maker such as Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Braun, Giancarlo Stanton, or any other established star in their class. Of course, we are also talking major salary commitment.

Personally, I am hoping for option #2, but I’m expecting option #1.

What do you think? What do you want the Mets to do (be realistic, please – selling the team is not an option!) and what do you expect them to actually do?

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Two Clubs: One GM Stays and Another Goes Tue, 23 Sep 2014 13:00:49 +0000 100612 braves CC2

Yesterday, the Atlanta Braves announced the dismissal of their general manager, Frank Wren. Wren had been hired in 2007 after his predecessor and mentor, John Schuerholz, had been promoted to president of the Braves. This marks an end to Wren’s fifteen year career as a member of the Braves’ front office, of which he spent seven as the general manager. Also yesterday, there were reports from multiple sources, such as Mike Puma of the NY Post, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, and Andy Martino of the Daily News, that the Mets have reached a three year extension with Sandy Alderson – which you can read more about in Joe D’s post here.

So, what are we as Mets fans to make of all this? An Atlanta Braves team that had gone 96-66 to win the N.L. East Division Title in 2013, and had a 94-68 record in 2012 to win an N.L. Wild Card, decided that the man that drafted a majority of their top young talent had to go. As part of the Atlanta front office before his position as general manager, Wren was involved in the 2007 draft that brought Jason Heyward in the first round, Freddie Freeman in the second, and would have brought Craig Kimbrel in the thirty-third. Kimbrel did not sign that season, but did so in the third round of the 2008 draft. Wren’s front office clearly had an eye for talent. They also picked Washington’s budding superstar Anthony Rendon in the 2008 draft, but he too failed to sign.

From 2009 to 2012, the Braves drafted Mike Minor, Andrelton Simmons, Evan Gattis and Alex Wood. These players have combined for 18.4 WAR since 2013. That’s an average of 2.3 WAR per season, per player. On the open market, that production would fetch around $10 – $12 million per season, per player. Even though Wren’s 2009 to 2012 drafts do not come close to those from 2007-2008 (3.58 WAR per season, per player between Heyward, Freeman and Kimbrel since 2013), his later drafts still produced cheap, quality talent at key positions.

These last few words should stand out for Mets fans under the Alderson regime. Alderson has made it a point to acquire young, team controlled, up-the-middle talent and right-handed power pitching through his drafts and trades. In 2011, Alderson drafted the then-unknown Brandon Nimmo. While Nimmo has since packed on muscle mass and may not be able to stick at center long-term, he was seen as a possible center field candidate at the time of the draft and has played mostly center field throughout his professional career.

In 2012, Alderson chose shortstop Gavin Cecchini in the first round of the MLB draft. The picks the Mets received for the loss of Jose Reyes netted middle infielder Matt Reynolds and catcher Kevin Plawecki. In the international market, Alderson chose to give out one of the largest international bonuses in Mets history to shortstop Amed Rosario. Regarding trades, Alderson acquired two right-handed power arms in Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard, and of course, the Mets’ starting catcher, Travis D’Arnaud. Let’s not forget about right-handed pitcher Vic Black or Dilson Herrera, also a middle infield prospect.

Wren and Alderson have both emphasized the same kind of talent in their farm systems. Why then is a general manager whose teams have gone 190-134 in a recent two-year period out of work while another, whose teams have gone 148-176, is signing a three year extension? It’s because of bad contracts to underperforming players. Wren had signed B.J. Upton (-0.6 WAR in two seasons as a Brave), Dan Uggla (4.9 WAR in four seasons as a Brave), and Derek Lowe (7.0 WAR in four seasons as a Brave).

B.J. Upton is signed for $72 million over five years, and has produced a value of about -$4 million (yes, negative). Uggla was signed for five years and $62 million and before being released had produced a value of about $24 million. Derek Lowe earned $45 million over three years with Atlanta, but produced at a level of about only $35 million.

If Alderson is paying attention, and if he is held at all accountable by ownership, he should be made extremely wary by this canning in Atlanta. We already have two overpaid and underperforming players this season in David Wright and Curtis Granderson. Wright is due $20 million in 2014, but has produced at a value of only about $8 million. Granderson is due $13 million but has been worth about $6 million. That’s not to say that both of these players won’t bounce back, but the facts are the facts and they haven’t earned their money this season. They may not come close to the values of the rest of their contracts.

The news that Alderson and the Mets are looking at an additional three years of partnership, in light of the Wren firing, highlights the role Alderson plays in the current state of the Mets. Working or not, whether you agree with it or not, Alderson’s plan is here to stay until the Mets win a World Series or until Con-Edison cuts off the lights at Citi Field.

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Does 2nd Place Take The Sting Off 6th Straight Losing Season? Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:00:27 +0000 MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Washington NationalsOn Monday night, the Atlanta Braves lost 1-0 to the Pittsburg Pirates moving the Mets into 2nd place in the division. While it’s all for not this year, it seems like an important step. The Mets now control their own destiny in not only reaching .500, something they can do by going 5-1 in their final 6 games, but in finishing in 2nd place in the National League East.

While the Mets may be in 2nd place at the moment, they are lumped in with the rest of their division sitting 15.5 games behind the division winning Nationals. The Mets, Braves, Marlins and Phillies are all separated by just 5 games at the bottom of the worst division in the National League.

chase utleyThe real debate is whether it matters in any way. At this point in the season, winning tastes almost as bad as losing. While you want to finish strong for the sake of the long off-season, each win puts them further behind when it comes to signing free agents and drafting elite talent in the 2015 first year player draft.

Still, the Mets in 2nd place with just 76 wins points to the mediocrity in the division. The Phillies are a long ways from their dominant days with Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard and the Braves haven’t been able to cover the gaps left by injured pitchers and overpriced free agents. The Marlins are, well the Marlins. That leaves the Nationals as the elite team in the division and makes the Mets that much more exciting in 2015.

david wright swingsThe fact is, the Mets will be facing very mundane competition and if they can turn their losing ways around against the Nationals, they’ll have a real shot at the division in 2015. Despite having lost 13 of 16 games to the Nats, they still have a winning record (37-36) inside the division. With one series against the Nationals left, maybe the Mets can infuse some juice into the rivalry before 2015 even begins.

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Sandy Alderson Gets Three-Year Deal To Remain Mets GM Tue, 23 Sep 2014 05:27:18 +0000 New York Mets Sandy Alderson at Citi Field

Multiple sources are reporting that Sandy Alderson has reached a deal with the New York Mets on a 3-year contract extension to remain as general manager. The new deal will override his 2015 option and span the 2015-17 seasons according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Mike Puma of the New York Post confirms that it will be a 3-year extension and adds that the deal is believed to contain a club option that keeps him under team control through 2018.

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York hears that the Mets will wait until the season’s end to make an official announcement.

It was Andy Martino of the Daily News who first reported that the Mets and Alderson were working on an extension deal.

Alderson, 66, was hired on Oct. 29, 2010 and is completing the final guaranteed season of an original four-year deal that included a team option for 2015.

The Mets are 301-341 (.469) in four seasons under Alderson and the team will need to win five of their remaining six games in order to produce their first winning record since 2008.

His signature moves as Mets GM include improving the farm system, trading for prospects Zack Wheeler, Dilson HerreraTravis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard, signing David Wright to an eight-year, $138 million extension, and bringing in free agent Curtis Granderson on a four-year, $60 million deal.

It would make sense that he should stay on to continue building what he began and seeing it through. I would have been fine if the team simply picked up the option and waited to see how 2015 evolved before giving him an extension, but I’m perfectly okay with this.

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Latest On Collins, Backman, Coaching Changes Mon, 22 Sep 2014 20:27:40 +0000 New-York-Mets-Terry-Collins

With the big news that the Mets and Sandy Alderson have agreed on a 3-year extension, reports are also circulating that the Mets will soon announce that Terry Collins is returning as the team’s manager in 2015.

Additionally, Mike Puma of the New York Post was told that the Mets are considering Tim Teufel as a possibility to replace Lamar Johnson as the team’s hitting coach. Teufel, 56, has spent the last three seasons as the Mets’ third-base coach.

Puma says that Teufel has earned the respect of the front office because he embraced the Mets’ hitting philosophy from the very beginning.

Among the rest of the staff, pitching coach Dan Warthen and bench coach Bob Geren are expected to be retained, but it’s less clear if first-base coach Tom Goodwin and bullpen coach Ricky Bones are safe. 

Wally Backman is also being considered for the coaching staff but it’s not clear if that will happen.

“Alderson, according to a source, was recently put off by a comment Backman made in which the Las Vegas manager indicated he knew all along that pitcher Jacob deGrom — who has emerged as an NL Rookie of the Year candidate — had the potential to become something special. The source indicated Alderson believed the comment implied that nobody else in the organization knew of deGrom’s potential.”

Collins is believed to be an advocate of adding Backman to the major league staff. but the final call belongs to Alderson.

I don’t see it…

(Joe D.)

September 15th, 2014

According to Andy Martino of the Daily News, the Mets are expected to retain Manager Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson, and will make an official announcement at the end of the season.

“We still have some things to accomplish,” Alderson said. “And I would like to be here when we do”.

Regarding Collins, the Mets GM told the Daily News that “What we will do is we will make an announcement toward the end of the season, if not at the end of the season.”

“His status still hasn’t been announced…I think he’s done a good job. Throughout the season, we’ve had some issues that we’ve had to deal with. He has handled them very well. We have seen the growth of our young players, especially in the pitching area. And we have played well the last — really, if we go back to even before the All-Star break. So he has done an excellent job.”

Collins is under contract for 2015 and has a team option for 2016.

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Yasmani Tomas Having Private Workout For Phillies Today Mon, 22 Sep 2014 18:01:04 +0000 yasmani tomas cuba

Cuban slugger Yasmani Tomas held his showcase in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, and by all accounts every major league team including the Mets had scouts in attendance. The most serious potential suitors had their front office brass there. Now the pretenders can go home and return to their regularly scheduled programming, while the contenders ask Tomas to attend their private workouts.

For many teams, including the Mets, this latest Cuban talent won’t fit into their financial equations. With his price tag expected to be as high as $100 million, only the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, Giants and Rangers will be in hot pursuit.

According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, the Phillies are already the first team to have Tomas participate a private workout. That will take place today in the D.R. and general manager Ruben Amaro will be in attendance.

As I mentioned a few times in the last two weeks, with Mets payroll expected to remain at $85 million and the team facing $22 million in raises for 2015, there’s no room at the inn for a player like Tomas – even though the 23-year old slugger likely has the power that they desperately crave.

It’s a shame really…

Is Tomas a risk? Of course he is, but he’s exactly the kind of risk a team playing in large market should take. Especially with a free agent market that is devoid of power hitters this winter and a front office that’s reluctant to unload any of their precious arms to trade for one.

Tomas’ power was rated a 70 on the scouting scale by Baseball America, or in other words – elite level. His power is most often compared to Jose Abreu by most of the scouts that have seen him.

He would fit perfectly in the cleanup spot of the Mets lineup in 2015 while replacing 5+ years of poor production in left field.

Tomas would be the difference maker Sandy Alderson keeps saying he’s going to acquire but never does, and his addition would inject some life and excitement back into one of the worst ranked offenses in the majors this season.

Not to mention that it would give an apathetic fan base a clear message that the front office is finally dead serious about winning.

And some people want to know why I keep ragging on Fred and Jeff Wilpon everyday… SMH…

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3 Up 3 Down: Braves Get The Broom Mon, 22 Sep 2014 17:41:11 +0000 wilmer flores dilson herrera

The Mets are finishing up on a strong note and played a great series down in Atlanta this weekend. Below are the usual takeaways in this edition of 3 & 3.

3 Up

jacob degrom1. The starting pitching was excellent in this series, particularly the guys making the league minimum, Zack Wheeler and Jacob deGrom. Wheeler went 6.0 innings, allowed 5 hits, struck out 7 batters and held the opposition scoreless. It was Zack’s 21st quality start on the year, the most among Mets starters in 2014. It was also his 11th win, pushing his record over the .500 mark with only one start left on the year. deGrom was stellar as well, going 6.0 innings, allowing 3 hits and one earned run while striking out 10. What else can be said about deGrom at this point? He’s a stud and along with Wheeler and Matt Harvey, the Mets will have one of the best rotations in all of baseball next year.

2. Curtis Granderson is finishing up the year strong. The veteran went 5 for 10 in the series (.500) and posted a 1.615 OPS. In the month of September, Curtis is batting .308, slugging .569 and getting on base at a .400 clip. He also has 13 RBI’s to go along with 12 runs scored during that time frame.

curtis granderson3. Lucas Duda hit his 28th home run of the year in yet another crucial situation to put the Mets ahead 2-0 in the sixth inning of Friday’s game. While it’s easy to admire Duda’s raw power, he still doesn’t get enough credit for how talented an offensive player he is outside the home run department. A perfect example was Saturday’s game, where Lucas went 0 for 3 at the plate, but still contributed an RBI on a sacrifice fly and drew a walk to get on base. Overall, Duda posted a .333/.357/1.024 triple slash line for the series.

3 Down

1. Dilson Herrera was having a great series before straining his right quad in the 6th inning of Saturday’s 4-2 win. His two run blast down the left field line was the difference in that game, but unfortunately, it looks as though the prized prospect might not return for the remainder of the year. There’s a lot of logical reasons why injuries like this happen, but every year I find myself questioning this training staff. Again, I’m not saying injuries, particularly in the leg, don’t happen, but it seems nearly impossible for players on this team to muster a full season without hurting themselves. I wish Herrera a quick and speedy recovery and if this was the end of his 2014 campaign, it was certainly a success for the 20 year old.

travis d'arnaud2. Travis d’Arnaud has to make immediate changes to how he positions himself behind the plate. I touched on mechanical improvements that he needs to make in the offseason in the last 3&3, but this needs to happen now. In this series, d’Arnaud once again got hit on the head with a back swing and was shaken up for a quick second. Luckily he was able to move on without a hitch. This is a major concern though, he already has a history of concussions that stem from this and it doesn’t seem to be improving. There are only so many times he can have his bell rung before it impacts his career. The Mets need to prioritize this and protect one of their top young stars.

3. This is a bit of a reach because it’s hard to gripe about anything, in particular when the team sweeps a division rival and all but ends their playoff hopes in the progress, but it’s a shame Matt Reynolds didn’t get a call-up to finish out the season. With Herrera and David Wright out, now would have been the perfect time to see Reynolds at shortstop and Wilmer Flores at second. The current lineup obviously is clicking, but giving at bats to Ruben Tejada doesn’t help the organization assess its internal assets heading into 2015.


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DeGrom’s Last Stand? Mon, 22 Sep 2014 17:26:31 +0000 degrom

There isn’t any doubt in my mind that Jacob deGrom should be the National League’s Rookie of the Year. What he did in Sunday’s 10-2 rout of the Braves to complete a rare sweep in Atlanta – one earned run with ten strikeouts in six innings – should seal the deal.

What deGrom’s performance may have also sealed – although Terry Collins isn’t saying – is his ledger for the 2014 season. The Mets initially planned on 180 innings for deGrom this year and he’s at 178.2. Close enough.

Collins will make a decision early this week.

“We’ll regroup here in a couple of days and decide what we’re going to do with him as far as his next start goes,’’ Collins told reporters after the game. “He’s real close to where we wanted him to get anyway on the season. We were talking from 180 to 185 was going to be max anyway. We’ll just see if he starts the next game.’’

Collins said he’s impressed with deGrom’s stuff, both on the mound and from within.“I know one thing: He walked in here and he said he wanted to pitch,’’ Collins said. “He’s not sitting back saying, ‘OK, I’ll just shut her down.’ He wants to go back out there.

“That was impressive to hear. This time of year, in our situation, it would have been very easy for a lot of guys to say, ‘I’m done. I’m washed up.’ He’s not like that.’’

Collins has been impressed with his team’s unwillingness to pack in the season, and that’s a good reflection on him and why he’ll be back.

I have no problem with the Mets shutting down deGrom now, although it would be nice for him to take a bow at Citi Field in the season’s final weekend. The Mets are being ultra cautious, which is what to expect from them evidenced by their treatment of Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler.

If today was deGrom’s final start, he finished at 9-6 with a 2.63 ERA, 43 walks and 144 strikeouts. Those are definitely Rookie of the Year credentials.

Assuming deGrom is shut down, Rafael Montero would start next Saturday against the Houston Astros.

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What Does The Future Hold For Ruben Tejada? Mon, 22 Sep 2014 13:30:30 +0000 USATSI ruben tejadaAs we start to turn our gaze towards 2015, we have to start to figure out which players will impact the team going forward. Ruben Tejada is one guy with a large question mark hanging over his head. At the start of 2014, he was once again granted the keys to shortstop. There was no competition and he was never challenged. Once again, he failed to earn the position he was given. He hit just .228 with just 15 extra base hits and stole just a single base all season. We all know that stealing isn’t exactly Tejada’s calling card.

One thing that has stayed constant is his defense. He committed just 7 errors in 108 games at shortstop (99 starts) this season. That ties him with Jimmy Rollins for the fewest errors at shortstop in all of Major League Baseball. Despite playing in fewer games than many shortstops, he maintains a near league best .985 fielding percentage, second only to Rollins (.988).

So what to do with Ruben Tejada? It’s been speculated throughout the Mets world that a new shortstop must be found in order to compete. With only left field and short providing obvious spots for improvement, it’s unlikely that Tejada will be given the same opportunities that he was given in 2014 (2013 and 2012). Over the past few weeks he’s entered the game a few times as pinch hitter or defensive replacement. Terry Collins was asked about using him in this role moving forward on Sunday.

“That’s certainly we’ve talked about in here. That this could be the perfect guy to be the extra guy on the team. He does handle the bat. We’ve seen that. We’ve watched it for three years. When the season’s over I hope Ruben Tejada says ‘OK, I understand I might be a backup player but I’m going to come to spring training and win the other job’” (Mike Vorkunov,

Can Tejada be a viable backup option? Think about what you’d like out of your backup. You want him to be able to handle the bat in different situations. You want him to never make an error in the field and you want him to understand the teams philosophy. Considering Tejada has been with the Mets for just as long as Collins has, it appears this might be the perfect role for him in 2015.

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Poll: Has Strong Finish Changed Your Mind On Terry Collins? Mon, 22 Sep 2014 12:57:07 +0000 terry collins springIt’s been obvious for most of this season that Terry Collins wouldn’t be fired before the end 2014. By most accounts he was handed a deck that was only half full and deserved a chance with this team at full strength; or whatever Sandy Alderson’s version of full strength is. Fans that don’t believe in Collins point to his in-game management as a sign of weakness. Every week he makes a few moves that make you scratch your head. Alderson seems content with bringing Collins back, a sentiment he shared last week with Andy Martino:

“His status still hasn’t been announced…I think he’s done a good job. Throughout the season, we’ve had some issues that we’ve had to deal with. He has handled them very well. We have seen the growth of our young players, especially in the pitching area. And we have played well the last — really, if we go back to even before the All-Star break. So he has done an excellent job” (NYDN).

The Mets have gone 12-7 to open up September and if they are able to win at least 4 of their last 6, it will be the most wins by the team in any single month this season. It’s not only that the team is playing to their strengths in the rotation, they are also hitting the ball. They scored 19 runs in the series sweep against the Braves and 9 in the previous series to the Marlins. While 9 doesn’t seem particularly high, consider the amount of series this year in which the Mets scored 2 to 4 runs. Things have gotten better this September.

You could say that Collins is fighting for his job, pushing the team a little bit harder these last few weeks. Like it or not, the team is playing better for him down the stretch.

So I ask you, does the way the team has played in September change your feelings on Collins moving into 2015?

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For Now, Sandy Happy To Have Both Plawecki and d’Arnaud Mon, 22 Sep 2014 06:12:55 +0000 kevin plawecki

While discussing the Sterling Award winners on Monday at Citi Field, general manager Sandy Alderson was asked how the organization would handle the potential logjam at catcher in 2015 with the emergence of Kevin Plawecki, who the front office has loved since taking him with the 35th overall pick in the 2012 draft, and incumbent catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who has been coming on strong since a mid-summer demotion to Triple-A.

Alderson minced no words. “If their potential starts to converge at the major league level, and it warrants major league time, then we’ll have to make a decision,” 

Alderson added that he doesn’t see either Plawecki or d’Arnaud in a backup role which suggests that there won’t be another Duda and Davis type situation in the future.

“But in the meantime, we’re happy to have both of them. But Kevin has made a lot of progress, and obviously Travis has done well the second half of this season.”

Plawecki was also asked about how this would play out next season: “That’s a business decision. Thank God I don’t have to make it. Travis is a great friend, and he’s a great player. I can go to him if I have any questions.”

travis d'arnaud hrFor a franchise that has struggled to develop their own starting catchers for the better part of 52 years, this is certainly a nice problem to have.

Both players have a lot in common. D’Arnaud, 25, has slightly more power while Plawecki, 23, makes more contact and is tough to strikeout. It also appears that the younger of the two is the better defender.

D’Arnaud’s recent resurgence at the plate has improved his average to .245 for the season with a .307 on-base percentage. In 408 plate appearances he’s hit 13 home runs and driven in 41 runs. If the team has any concerns with TDA’s game it’s his defense. He has an MLB leading 12 passed balls and ranks at the bottom of defensive runs saved. Additionally, he’s allowed 55 stolen bases this year while stopping only 14 for a .198 caught stealing percentage.

Plawecki had a solid season and if not for a 40 man roster logjam, was being considered for a September call-up. The Mets praise his discipline, high contact rates and low strikeout totals and view him as high-average, line drive hitter with moderate power who can spray the ball to all fields.

There’s rampant speculation in the Mets blogosphere that one of them will be dealt this offseason. But I doubt the front office would be so shortsighted as to move one without first ascertaining exactly what they have in d’Arnaud or what Plawecki can be capable of at the major league level.

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 10, Braves 2 Sun, 21 Sep 2014 20:43:25 +0000 ruben tejada

On the strength of another strong performance by Jacob deGrom and a huge offensive outburst including a home run by Ruben Tejada, the Mets beat the Atlanta Braves by a score of 10-2 to complete the three game sweep.

After striking out a historic eight consecutive batters to begin his last start, deGrom began today’s game by striking out five of the first six batters he faced and seven of his first nine.

The Mets got on the board first after a leadoff double by Matt den Dekker who would then score on fielders choice grounder by Daniel Murphy. They made it 2-0 in the second when Curtis Granderson scored on a sac fly by Ruben Tejada.

The Mets would score two more runs  without the benefit of any RBI hits, until Tejada hit a hanging curve for his fourth home run of the season to put the Mets up 5-0 after three. B.J. Upton contributed to a pair of those Met runs with a couple of awful throws to the plate.

Meanwhile deGrom was still dealing on the mound, retiring 12 straight batters through four perfect innings with eight punchouts. Are you freaking kidding me?

The Braves finally got something started against deGrom with back to back singles to begin the 5th inning to put runners on first and third with nobody out. DeGrom induced the double-play grounder, but an error by Tejada allowed the first Braves run to score and still two on. A pair of walks led to another run to cut the Mets lead to 5-2.

In the sixth inning with Anthony Recker on third and Tejada on first, deGrom executed a perfect suicide squeeze to give the Mets another run against a Braves team that was asleep at the switch. Heads are gonna roll in Atlanta as soon as this season ends next weekend, the players look like they’ve all given up.

jacob degrom

After six innings and 100 pitches, deGrom’s day was done. The rookie right-hander allowed just one earned run on three hits and three walks while striking out ten. He lowered his ERA to 2.63 for the season and now the question is, was this his final start of the season? The Mets ain’t saying yet…

Buddy Carlyle and Daisuke Matsuzaka each pitched a perfect inning of relief, in the 7th and 8th, and then the game turned into a laugher when the Mets tacked on three more runs in the 9th to make it 10-2.

Erik Goeddel pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the final frame and the ballgame is OH-ver!

Duda and Recker had three hits apiece in the game, while Nieuwenhuis, Granderson and Tejada each collected a pair in the Mets 14 hit attack.

Hey, who was laughing when the Turner Field organist started playing the “Flintstones” theme when Flores came to the plate? Wilma!!!!

So with the victory, the Mets are just a half game out of second place in the NL East behind a Braves team that is disintegrating as we speak.

Up Next: The Mets will have the day off on Monday as they travel to D.C. for the start of a three game set against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday. Bartolo Colon (14-12, 4.02 ERA) will start for the Mets and go up against RHP Tanner Roark (14-10, 2.85 ERA) for the Nats. 


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Infielder Wilfredo Tovar To Join Mets In D.C. Sun, 21 Sep 2014 16:14:46 +0000 wilfredo-tovar1

With second baseman Dilson Herrera suffering a right quadriceps strain and likely shutdown for the season with , the Mets announced they will add infielder Wilfredo Tovar to the big league team for the final six games of the season.

Herrera hit his third home run of the season last night before injuring himself legging out an infield single and leaving the game with the right quad strain.

Tovar was already on the 40-man roster so the decision to add him makes sense. He will join the team on Tuesday when the Mets begin a three game series with the Nationals. He hit .282 with two homers and 29 RBIs in 255 at-bats for Double-A Binghamton this season while logging 47 games at shortstop and 30 games at second base.

Tovar, 23, batted .288 with a .360 on-base percentage in 315 plate appearances this season for Binghamton (78 games and St. Lucie (5 games). He had 11 doubles, two triples, two home runs. 35 RBI and 33 runs scored. In 2013, Tovar appeared in seven games for the Mets, batting 3-for-15 with two RBIs.

Daniel Murphy will continue to start at third base with Herrera out and Wilmer Flores is supposed shift to second base according to Terry Collins.

By the way, Adam Rubin reports that Herrera will be playing Winter Ball for Licey in the Dominican Republic this offseason. He batted .220 with a .710 OPS, three home runs and 11 RBI in 18 games with the Mets this season.

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