Mets Merized Online http://metsmerizedonline.com Mon, 28 Jul 2014 12:00:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Connor’s Korner: Appreciating Lucas Duda http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/appreciating-lucas-duda.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/appreciating-lucas-duda.html/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 12:00:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161794 lucas duda

Lucas Duda came through once again yesterday, hitting another crucial home run that would be the difference in the game. The home run was his 18th of the season, tied for sixth best in the National League and second among National League first basemen. Going into yesterday’s game, he was tied for 16th in all of baseball in wRC+.

In roughly the same sample size as this season, Duda was a sub replacement level player in 2013. This year, he has been worth 2.2 wins above replacement, averaging out to around 3.3 if he were to keep this up over a 150 game stretch. That’s a solidly above average player, one who would fetch $10-15 million annually on the open market*. The point is, this guy has been really good.

Say what you will about Duda’s approach at the plate under Dave Hudgens versus Lamar Johnson, but the strategy has been constant the entire season. Johnson has been the one tasked with preaching the very same system Hudgens taught, except to the minor leaguers. If anything, the way that has been delivered to the players has changed drastically since Hudgens’ firing (which his writing on hitting strategy could tell you).

The Mets have put Duda in a position to succeed this season by not asking him to be more than he is. As of now, Duda is a platoon player. As much as his production against right-handers is going to tempt people to want him to face lefties as well, that shouldn’t happen. Duda has proven throughout his career that he can’t hit lefties.

I’ve said all along that Duda could make partner with someone else to make a very productive platoon at first base. As someone who hits righties, Duda will play the vast majority of games. All the Mets need is find someone who is reasonably productive against left-handed pitching. They seem to have found that player in Eric Campbell. Campbell has hit lefties well this season (.3328/.357/.449) and can obviously play a host of other positions when not at first base.

What really ate into Duda’s numbers last year was his time against lefties. He got almost twice the exposure to lefties as he has this year. When you hit well under .200 against lefties, even in a somewhat limited sample, that’s going to eat into your overall statistics pretty badly. Against right-handers last year, Duda hit a very respectable .240/.369/.462, not the numbers he has put up this season, but very solid nonetheless. Duda having job security and a fresh voice in his ear in Lamar Johnson, the Mets are setting him up for this type of season.

If there is one player who the Mets have handled perfectly this season, it’s Lucas Duda. They put their trust in the right first baseman, even if it meant having to play someone else a quarter of the time. There is no shame in a platoon, especially if it produces these kinds of results.

As a team, the Mets have a 130 wRC+ from first basemen this season. Who is that tied with? None other than the Chicago White Sox, who spent close to $70 million on Jose Abreu this offseason.

The Mets made a gamble when they traded away Ike Davis and committed to Lucas Duda once and for all, but boy has it paid off.

*1 WAR has been worth roughly $5 million in free agency.

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MMO Prospect Watch: Thor Solid, Conforto Keeps Raking http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mmo-prospect-watch-thor-solid-conforto-keeps-raking.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mmo-prospect-watch-thor-solid-conforto-keeps-raking.html/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 03:40:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161878 syndergaard

Here’s how our Top 10 Prospects performed on Sunday, July 27th.

Noah Syndergaard, Las Vegas – Noah went 5.0 innings in a no-decision for the 51s in front of 1,747 at Cashman Field on Sunday. Thor allowed 5 hits, walked 2, struck out 8, and allowed 2 runs (1 earned). On the season, Noah is 8-5 with a 5.16 ERA in 96 innings with 100 K’s.

Dilson Herrera, Binghamton – Dilson was batting second and playing Second Base against the Trenton Thunder in front of 4,348 at Arm & Hammer Park. He went 0 for 3, lowering his batting average to .345 with Binghamton.

Gavin Cecchini, St. Lucie – In Game 1 of the doubleheader against the Daytona Cubs at Jackie Robinson Ballpark, Gavin was batting 7th as the DH and went 1 for 3. In Game 2, Gavin was batting 7th and playing shortstop, going 0 for 3. Cecchini is batting .179 at St. Lucie after being promoted from Savannah.

Dominic SmithSavannah – Dominic was batting third and playing First Base, going 0 for 3 with 2 walks in front of 3,195 at Whitaker Bank Ballpark against the Lexington Legends. On the season, Dominic is hitting .287 with 0 HR and 32 RBI.

Michael ConfortoBrooklyn – Michael was batting fourth and playing Left Field at Edward A. LeLaceur Park in front of 3,417 against the Lowell Spinners. He went 2 for 4 with 1 RBI, 1 walk, and 1 strikeout, raising his average on the season to .412.

Amed Rosario – Brooklyn – Amed was batting second and playing Shortstop against the Spinners. On the day, he went 2 for 6 with 2 runs scored and 1 RBI, raising his season average with the Cyclones to .299.

MMO Top 10 Prospects that did not see action on June 27th: Rafael Montero (AAA), Kevin Plawecki (AAA), Brandon Nimmo (AA), Steven Matz (AA)

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Mets Land Five On MLB.com Top 100 Prospects List http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mets-land-five-on-mlb-com-top-100-prospects-list.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mets-land-five-on-mlb-com-top-100-prospects-list.html/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 01:40:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161860 MLB.com released its latest set of prospect rankings tonight, and the Mets have five prospects who made the cut.

Noah Syndergaard (13), Kevin Plawecki (67), Brandon Nimmo (68), Michael Conforto (86), and Dominic Smith (88) each made the overall top 100 list.

Here’s some of what the MLB.com staff had to say about each of them:

Syndergaard:

Scouting grades: Fastball: 70 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 60 | Overall: 65

…Syndergaard is a classic power right-hander, and he uses his big frame to throw downhill and induce ground balls. His fastball regularly reaches 98 mph and runs inside on right-handed hitters. Syndergaard’s 12-to-6 curveball is his best secondary pitch, though his changeup has the potential to be a third plus pitch in his arsenal. He has excellent command and posted a 4.75 K-to-BB ratio in 2013.

Many expected Syndergaard to follow the path that Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler blazed and reach Queens early this summer. But some minor injuries and on-field struggles at Triple-A Las Vegas slowed down Syndergaard’s progress this season. He still profiles as a front-line starter and remains on track to make his Major League debut at a younger age than either Harvey or Wheeler.

Plawecki:

Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 35 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 5

…Plawecki has impressive bat control and a knack for making contact. His swing is built more for hitting line drives than for power, but his natural strength gives him a chance for more pop in the future.

Defensively, Plawecki is a good receiver and earns praise for his leadership skills. He has an average arm and his game calling is making strides. Plawecki’s play has alleviated pre-Draft concerns about his ability to stay behind the plate, and he now looks like he’ll be more than capable of being an everyday player in the big leagues.

Nimmo:

Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 50 | Run: 50 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 55

…Despite his atypical background, Nimmo has a mature approach at the plate. He lines balls from gap to gap and he knows how to work a walk. Nimmo’s swing has a little length to it, and he has been prone to high strikeout totals early in his career.

Nimmo is a center fielder now, but his average speed may eventually force him to into an outfield corner. His game still needs refining, but Nimmo’s on-base skills and quick hands give him the potential to be a solid Major Leaguer in time.

Conforto:

Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 60 | Run: 40 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 55

Conforto has athletic bloodlines, as his father Mike was a Penn State linebacker and his mother Tracie (Ruiz) won two gold medals in synchronized swimming at the 1984 Olympics. Conforto picked baseball, which proved to be a wise choice as he was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year in 2013 and was drafted 10th overall a year later.

Conforto’s signature tool is his left-handed power, which could produce 25-plus homers on an annual basis once he gets to the Major Leagues. He doesn’t get cheated at the plate, taking a big uppercut hack that produces nice loft on his drives.

Smith:

Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 55 | Run: 40 | Arm: 50 | Field: 60 | Overall: 55

…Smith has the potential to hit for both average and power. His hand-eye coordination and advanced pitch-recognition skills allow him to get on base often, while still driving balls.

Smith is a below-average runner, limiting him to first base. He has all the skills necessary to develop above-average defense at the position. Even if Smith’s defense does develop as expected, there will always be pressure on his bat. Scouts are confident he will provide enough offense to make him a solid Major Leaguer in time.

There were a few notable snubs on the Mets’ side, including Dilson Herrera, Steve Matz, and Rafael Montero. Remember, Montero pitched 20 innings for the Mets earlier this season, but did not lose his rookie eligibility, so he was still eligible for this list. Montero was ranked 85th going into the season. It’s interesting that Syndergaard’s struggles only cos him three spots on the list, but Montero’s knocked him off it completely.

Overall, however, this list includes four first-round picks by the Mets (all but one of Sandy Alderson’s first-round selections) and one trade acquisition.

If that doesn’t fire you up, perhaps this will. Along with MLB.com’s new top 100 list, they also released an updated top 20 list for each team, and it includes three new draftees or acquisitions. Glancing over the top ten, you could make a case for almost all of them to be in the overall top 100 list. Here is the list:

  1. Noah Syndergaard
  2. Kevin Plawecki
  3. Brandon Nimmo
  4. Michael Conforto
  5. Dominic Smith
  6. Rafael Montero
  7. Amed Rosario
  8. Dilson Herrera
  9. Steve Matz
  10. Gavin Cecchini
  11. Milton Ramos
  12. Gabriel Ynoa
  13. Cesar Puello
  14. Cory Mazzoni
  15. Jack Leathersich
  16. Marcos Molina
  17. Blake Taylor
  18. Michael Fulmer
  19. Matt den Dekker
  20. Logan Verrett

And there you have it.

MetsMerizedOnline will be releasing its own official top 25 Mets prospects tomorrow morning. Stay tuned for that, and tons of other minor league analysis here and at MetsMinors.net.

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 2, Brewers 0 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mmo-game-recap-mets-2-brewers-0.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mmo-game-recap-mets-2-brewers-0.html/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 21:40:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161850 jacob degrom

The New York Mets took on the Milwaukee Brewers this afternoon at Miller Park. The Mets were looking for the series split against Milwaukee, and to finish .500 on their ten game road trip. Jacob deGrom took the mound for the Amazin’s, as Jimmy Nelson got the start for the Brewers.

What you should know:

Jacob deGrom was outstanding for the Mets yet again, as he tossed 6 and 1/3rd’s innings, allowing no runs on four hits, while striking out four and walking two.

Jimmy Nelson was also impressive for Milwaukee, as he went seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits, while walking two and striking out six.

The two rookie pitchers would duel it out, as the game would remain scoreless until the sixth inning as the smoking hot Lucas Duda launched a two-run home run, his eighteenth of the season.

Vic Black and Jeurys Familia would combine to pitch 1 and 2/3rd’s innings of scoreless ball leading to Jenrry Mejia, who shut the door in the ninth inning, earning his fifteenth save of the year.

jenrry mejia anthony recker

Additional notes:

Jenrry Mejia has now recorded a save in seven consecutive appearances, and is pitching to an 0.90 ERA in his last ten games.

Jacob deGrom has allowed one earned run or less in his last four starts (2 ER in last 27.1 innings) and is now 5-5 on the season.

Chris Young doubled in four straight plate appearances, including two today. The only other Met to ever double in four straight plate appearances is Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who did it earlier this season.

The Mets went .500 on the road trip, going 5-5.

Lucas Duda has hit four out of the five Mets home runs since the All-Star break, and now has eighteen on the season, a career high.

Player of the Game:

Jacob deGrom gets today’s nod as Player of the Game, who was fantastic yet again, earning his fourth straight win.

Final score: Mets 2, Brewers 0

Winning pitcher: Jacob deGrom (5-5)
Losing pitcher: Jimmy Nelson (1-2)
Save: Jenrry Mejia (15)

On deck:

The Mets start a seven game homestand tomorrow night against the Philadelphia Phillies, as Bartolo Colon (9-8, 4.03 ERA) will square off against A.J. Burnett (6-9, 3.86 ERA)

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Cuban Phenom Rusney Castillo Wows Scouts In Showcase http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/cuban-phenom-rusney-castillo-wows-scouts-in-showcase.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/cuban-phenom-rusney-castillo-wows-scouts-in-showcase.html/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 14:53:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161690 Cuban Rusney Castillo arrives safely in

According to Walter Villa of Baseball America, Cuban defector Rusney Castillo wowed all 28 teams in attendance during his showcase on Saturday and impressed the over 100 scouts who were on hand.

The 27-year old outfielder worked out for two hours and 45 minutes at the University of Miami as teams came to catch a glimpse of what could be the next great thing out of Cuba. Castillo fielded flyballs in the outfield as well as grounders at shortstop.

BA says the most pleasantly surprising aspect of Castillo’s game was the power he showed and the ability to hit to the opposite field with authority.

Running: Castillo ran the 60-yard dash somewhere between 6.4 seconds and 6.5, depending on which scout you asked. Castillo gave a slight “deke” before he started his sprint, which threw off some stop-watches. Either way, though, Castillo is a plus runner by consensus of various scouts.

Throwing: Castillo started out in right field, fielding base hits and firing to third base. He then took base hits and threw home. All his throws were on a line and hit the mark on the fly or on one hop. “He has a 50 arm,” said one scout. “It’s an average big league arm. He could be used in all three outfield spots in a pinch, but his arm plays more like a left fielder.”

Batting Practice: Castillo showed a natural lift to his hacks, upper-cutting balls with force. After a few minutes in the cage, Castillo took three rounds of batting practice on the field. This is where he made his biggest impression. “After his second round of batting practice, I would have stopped right there because I didn’t think he could improve on that,” one scout said. “But he did.” Another scout was also impressed with his hitting. “I like him,” the scout said. “He’s a major league player.”

Live Batting: Castillo hit live against 6-foot-3 righthander Nate Carter, 22, who was 4-1, 1.54 with eight saves for Division II Florida Southern this past season. Carter was asked how well he thought Castillo did with his pitches. “He’s a great hitter,” Carter said. “I threw some fastballs at the knees on the outside corner, and he hit them over the fence or close to it.” Castillo took 16 cuts, missing two and fouling off eight. Of the six he hit fair, only one was a likely out, a couple of shots were off the wall and a couple went over the fence.

July 25

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, scouts representing 11 MLB teams are flocking to Miami to watch free agent Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo, who has been said to be like “Brett Gardner with power.”

The Mets, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers, Astros, Cubs, Braves, Giants, White Sox, Orioles and Marlins are all expected to be on hand Saturday at the University of Miami.

Considering how fellow Cubans Jose Abreu, Yasiel Puig, Yoenis Cespedes and most recently Odrisamer Despaigne, have recently rewarded their signing teams, expect Castillo to be in high demand.

Castillo is short at 5’9″ but has a strong, athletic build. His speed is his calling card, and Baseball America says he is one of the best base stealers in Cuba and an aggressive, high-energy player with a line-drive stroke.

Heyman compares the 27-year old center fielder to Kenny Lofton and Jacoby Ellsbury, and scouts believe he could be in the big leagues by the end of this season.

He profiles as a leadoff or number two-type hitter.

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What It Would Take To Land CarGo or Tulowitzki http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/what-it-would-take-to-land-cargo-or-tulowitzki.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/what-it-would-take-to-land-cargo-or-tulowitzki.html/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 14:35:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161742 Carlos+Gonzalez+Troy+Tulowitzki+San+Francisco+rUY3TpSfSyel

Team insiders told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that the Mets are not engaged in any substantive trade talks at present. However that does not mean something won’t materialize in the coming days and before Thursday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline.

A Mets source also “severely tempered” the recent buzz that the team inquired about Colorado superstars Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez. The team exec said the Mets worked hard over a few years to build up their young pitching and are “unlikely to part with multiple high-level pitching prospects in one deal” for a big-ticket item.

It was interesting to hear SNY’s Jim Duquette give his opinion on what it would take for the Mets to land Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez from the Rockies.

The former Mets GM said the cost for acquiring either player would be significant and speculated that any deal would begin with Zack Wheeler, Rafael Montero, and Dominic Smith. Plus depending on if ot’s Tulo or CarGo at least one other player. Wow… That’s pretty steep…

Tulowitzki, 30, is owed $114 million through 2020 with a $15 million team option for 2021.

Gonzalez, 29, is owed $53 million through 2017 after which he becomes a free agent.

When word reached David Wright about the Tulo/CarGo rumor, it left the Mets captain wondering how that would even be possible. ”What are you willing to give to obtain that? And that is kind of an open-ended question.”

Despite embracing the opportunity to pay with someone like Tulowitzki who he’s befriended, Wright also downplayed the possibility of such a deal transpiring.

“Sandy Alderson has got a tough job because, yeah, I’m sure we’re interested, but I’m sure there’s 29 other teams that are interested, also. “What are you willing to give, because the Rockies are not going to be giving these guys away.”

“You’re talking about two of the better players in the game,” Wright said. “Ruben Tejada is starting to swing the bat better, so it’s no knock on any shortstop. It’s just that Tulowitzki hits like a corner infielder or corner outfielder and plays tremendous defense.”

(Updated July 27)

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Brewers at Miller Park, 2:10 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-brewers-at-miller-park-210-pm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-brewers-at-miller-park-210-pm.html/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 13:15:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161820 jacob deGrom

The Mets will close their 10-game road trip on Sunday with the finale of a four-game series with the Brewers at Miller Park. Rookie right-hander Jacob deGrom (4-5, 3.01) takes the hill against right-hander Jimmy Nelson (1-1, 5.05) for the Brewers is a 2:10 PM matchup.

Jacob deGrom has recorded a win while pitching at least 7.0 innings and allowing no more than one run in each of his last three starts. DeGrom is only the second rookie pitcher in team history with a three-game streak of that kind as Jerry Koosman did it from April 11-23, 1968.

DeGrom leads NL rookies in strikeouts (79) and innings pitched (80.2). Among rookie starters who have pitched 80.0 or more innings, only the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka has a lower ERA (2.51). The Mets righthander has not allowed a home run in his last 52.2 innings, the sixth current longest streak in the majors.

The Mets have scored three runs or fewer in eight straight games after scoring five runs in their first game after the break (July 18 at San Diego). The last time the Mets had a longer such stretch was August 18-26, 2012 when they went nine straight games scoring three runs or less.

Daniel Murphy went 2-4 last night, his second straight multi-hit game. Murphy is third in the NL with 123 hits, is tied for seventh with 27 doubles and is 10th with 33 multi-hit games. He is also ninth in the NL with a .306 road batting average.

Starting Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson – RF
  2. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Lucas Duda – 1B
  5. Chris Young – LF
  6. Juan Lagares – CF
  7. Anthony Recker – C
  8. Ruben Tejada – SS
  9. Jacob deGrom – RHP

The Mets wrap up their 10 game road trip today. If the Mets pick up the win today, they will split the series with the Brewers and go .500 on the first trip after the All-Star break. Yesterday the Mets took the early lead but weren’t able to hold on.

Today Jacob deGrom will take the mound with a 4-5 record over 13 games and 80.2 innings with a 3.01 ERA. In his last three starts he is 3-0 with a 0.86 ERA while striking out 26 batters and walking only 3 while pitching 21.0 innings. He faced the Brewers earlier this season and allowed 3 ER over 5.2 innings and 9 hits while striking out 4. The Brewers have the following numbers against deGrom:

  • Braun 0-2
  • Davis 1-3
  • Gennett 2-3, 2B
  • Gomez 2-3
  • Lucroy 2-3, 2B
  • Peralta 0-3

Jimmy Nelson gets the start for the Brewers. He is 1-1 in his first three starts of the season with a 1-1 record over 16.0 innings. In that time he walked 6 and struck out 16. He had one start in May and really has been called up since mid July. In those two starts he has allowed 9 ER over 10.1 innings, inflating his ERA. His only start last year was against the Mets where he allowed 1 ER over 5.0 innings while walking three and striking out 4. The Mets have the following numbers against Nelson:

  • E Young 0-3
  • Duda 0-1
  • Lagares 0-1
  • Murphy 1-1
  • Recker 0-2

Lets Go Mets!

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Peavy To The Giants Means One Less Suitor For Colon http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/peavy-to-the-giants-means-one-less-suitor-for-colon.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/peavy-to-the-giants-means-one-less-suitor-for-colon.html/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 12:35:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=159780 bartolo colon

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports the San Francisco Giants have acquired Jake Peavy from the Boston Red Sox for a pair of minor league pitching prospects Edwin Escobar and Heath Hembree.

The rumor mill was buzzing about a potential deal between the two teams over the last two days. And yesterday FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Red Sox and Giants were in serious discussions.

This puts a kibosh on any chance the Mets had of trading Bartolo Colon to San Francisco.

July 22

Citing a source close to Bartolo Colon, ESPN Deportes is reporting that the San Francisco Giants have expressed interest in acquiring the 41-year-old right-hander.

Colon is scheduled to pitch Wednesday against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. He is under contract for $9 million this season and $11 million in 2015.

Danny Knobler also heard the Mets are trying hard to move Colon. Sources have told ESPN New York that the Mets are receptive to trading Colon with the team considering itself deep at starting pitcher.

The Mets have Daisuke Matsuzaka they can turn to, Jeremy Hefner nearing a return from elbow surgery, and prospects Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero in Triple-A. Plus Matt Harvey is due to return from Tommy John surgery next season.

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Di-JEST: The MMO Chat You Missed http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/di-jest-the-mmo-chat-you-missed.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/di-jest-the-mmo-chat-you-missed.html/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 12:26:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161822 This MMO Chat isn't loading for me...

This MMO Chat isn’t loading for me…

OK.  Truth be told you didn’t miss this Mets Merized chat on account of the fact that it never happened.  Here’s the back-story.

I’m a sucker for online chats and read them at MLB Trade Rumors, Baseball Prospectus, FanGraphs, and wherever else I stumble upon them.   I don’t know why I bother since I rarely find more than 10% of the questions and answers interesting or useful.  But once you’re hooked, your hooked.  Sort of like being a Mets fan.

The reason I don’t do a real chat is two-fold.  One is that I’m not all that technologically advanced and probably wouldn’t be able to figure out how to do it.  I’m the guy with the cell phone that has a crank on its side so I can call Mabel and ask her to connect me with Andy or Barney at the sheriff’s station.

And the other reason, a bigger one I suppose, is that I am nowhere near as knowledgeable as those guys who do the real live chats.  These guys can tell you who the 11th rated prospect is for the Royals and what his chances are of cracking the major league roster.  Me, I think I know that Josh Satin plays for Las Vegas – end of knowledge.

Another thing about those chat hosts is that it seems they all are expert in some other area too. For half of them it’s their ability to tell you what craft beer to order in any particular county in this country.

My beer knowledge consists of liking Samuel Adams and a few others. And I do know that my son likes Yuengling – but in the BOTTLE, not the can (won’t make that mistake again).

So my chats stay on topic for that reason.

Given all that, here’s the chat transcript you missed.

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Philadelphia Beans:  You’re always so hard on Terry Collins.  What is the thing that most bothers you about him?

LS: I suppose it’s that he plays too many Young guys (Chris and Eric) and too many old guys (Bobby Abreu).  I’d prefer to see Chris released, Eric confined to pinch-running mostly, and Abreu restricted to pinch-hitting.  Let Soupy Campbell share LF with Captain Kirk and let Flores, Murphy, and Duda share 1B and 2B.

Ted Pontiff:  Clearly Ruben Tejada is a bad hitter but exactly how bad is he?

LS: Let’s give him this – he’s not the worst.  My scale of awfulness begins with Rey Ordonez, the ABSOLUTE ZERO of offensive effectiveness.  In Rey Rey’s illustrious career he batted .246 and had an OPS of exactly 600 (remember readers I use the Bill James method and toss out the decimal point when I discuss on base + slugging percentage).  His career WAR (wins over replacement) is a ridiculously puny +1.2 and almost all of that is due to his defensive prowess.

Ruben has a career batting average of .255 with an OPS of 644.  44 points of OPS is not monumental but it is more than trivial. He already has logged a WAR of 3.8.

So bottom line is that Ruben is a poor hitter and really should be a team’s utility infielder.  But he’s not the bottom of the barrel.

My Name Is Earl:  In Washington they do the Presidents race and in Milwaukee it’s the sausages.  What kind of race can the Mets do to entertain the fans?

LS:  Certainly not a pennant race….

But let’s try this.  We’ll have Mr. Met, a person dressed as a large apple, the Statue of Liberty, and someone impersonating Jeff Wilpon all racing towards a  dollar sign that’s placed at the finish line.  (Come to think of it, to save money maybe Jeff will do the running himself)

Strato Buddy:  What was your reaction when the Mets came back dramatically in the 9th inning on Friday to win?

LS: I think this sums it up nicely:

Bucky Dentine:  When the Mets don’t make the playoffs (you know – most every year) what team do you pull for?

LS:  There are other teams?   Who knew?

Not Really Sandy Alderson:   Should I be trading Murphy and/or Colon?

LS: Listen NRSA, questions like that are silly since we fans have no knowledge of what players are being offered for our guys.  I don’t think any Met should be ruled untouchable – if the Angels want to offer Mike Trout for David Wright + Matt Harvey (or Syndegaard or friggen anyone else) I’m down with that.

I really like Daniel Murphy and would hate to see him go but knowing that Flores, Matt Reynolds, Dilson Herrera, and Mazzilli are coming on strong makes it more palatable to trade Murph IF the return is particularly promising.

Bartolo would be easier to deal but hopefully he can bring back someone to upgrade LF or SS.  If all that is offered is another minor league arm then hold on to the guy and have someone teach him to bunt.

SNY Viewer:  You’ve always been extremely complimentary towards the broadcast team of Gary, Keith, Ron, and the soon to be departed Kevin Burkhardt.  Surely there’s something about them that ticks you off.

LS: You got me.  There’s just one thing.  It drives me nuts that none of them ever describe a player as “hot” but rather that they all use the term “red hot” exclusively.

I know that’s not a biggie but I always felt there were degrees of hotness.  For example, if Ruben Tejada has three hits, all singles, in his last 10 at bats, I’d say he is “hot”.  If he has four hits in his last 10 and one of them accidentally is a double, then OK he’s “red hot.”

If Chris Young is one for his last five – “hot”.

If he’s one for his last five and has two loud fouls – ok, “red hot.”

Depressed Mets Fan:  With the commissioner retiring how might this affect the Mets?

LS: Good question.  I’ve always suspected that Papa Fred Wilpon had a stash of incriminating photos of Bud Selig doing kinky stuff with Suzyn Waldman in the Yankees’ radio booth.  What else could explain why the commish would let a big market team run such a barebones operation?

Hopefully the next commissioner won’t feel so beholden to the Wilpons.  Perhaps he prods them to spend more on their team and less on the real estate market.  One can hope.

Skeptic:  So you say you’ve been a Mets fan since their inception in 1962.  Who are your favorite players and least favorite?

LS:  Check out this table for a semi-pleasant walk down memory lane.

 favorite-least-favorite-table

(click on the graphic to embiggen it)  

Stratogist: Where do you stand on the question of bunting?

LS:  I’m not a big advocate of sacrifice bunting.  What does puzzle me is why Terry Collins will have a good hitting pitcher like Jake deGrom give up an out with a bunt in order to bring up a pansy hitter like Eric Young Jr.  Hell, I’d rather see Tejada bunting to bring up deGrom!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

LS: Sorry folks that’s all the time I have. Got to wrap up this chat.   I have to go check on eBay to see if anyone’s bid yet on that Brad Emaus jersey I’m auctioning off.  Damn, thought that kid was going to make it.

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Remembering the “Disappointed But Not Devastated” Tom Glavine http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/remembering-the-disappointed-but-not-devastated-tom-glavine.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/remembering-the-disappointed-but-not-devastated-tom-glavine.html/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 04:11:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161830 tom glavine

The Baseball Hall of Fame will induct its 2014 class today in Cooperstown, NY and standing among them will be two former Mets. Joe Torre, who was elected by the Veterans Committee, played for the Mets from 1975-1977, where he hit .267 with 12 home runs and 75 RBI in 254 games. Torre began his managerial career with the Mets in 1977 and skippered the team through 1981, going 286-420. LHP Tom Glavine will also be enshrined today. Glavine was 61-56 with a 3.97 ERA in five seasons (2004-2007) with New York.

To baseball fans, Glavine was one of the best pitchers of his generation.  He won 305 games over his 22-year career, including five 20-win seasons.  He finished in the top three in Cy Young Award balloting six times, while winning the award twice (1991, 1998).

Mets fans might remember him for something different.  Some will remember Glavine for picking up his 300th career victory in 2007 as a member of the Mets. Others will remember his outstanding 2006 campaign; a year in which he finished with a 15-7 record in the regular season and followed that up with two more victories in the postseason, which included a sparkling 1.59 ERA in three starts.

Some of us will only remember Glavine for his final appearance in a Mets uniform…

On September 30, 2007, just one day after John Maine pitched his near no-hitter against the Marlins to help the Mets tie the Phillies in the standings going into the regular season finale, Glavine was only able to record one out against Florida in what would be the worst start of his career.

The veteran southpaw was tagged hard for seven runs – all earned – by the Marlins that day in a devastating 8-1 loss.  Coupled with Philadelphia’s victory over the Washington Nationals, the Mets failed to repeat as division champions in 2007 and the late-season collapse was etched in stone. With a seven-game division lead on September 12, the Mets lost 12 of their last 17 games in what is regarded as one of the worst collapses in MLB history.

If his poor performance against the Marlins wasn’t enough to enrage Mets fans, his post-game comments surely managed to do the trick when Glavine told reporters he was disappointed but not devastated.

“I spent a pretty big hunk of my career in New York. And I know at first I was just a guy coming in. But after a while, I became comfortable, and I think I was accepted. Winning the National League East in 2006 made it better, and then I won my 300th with the Mets. I felt I had the city behind me. If we had beaten the Marlins in the last game, I don’t think I would have lost any standing. But the way it worked out wasn’t as good as it could have been.”

As a baseball fan, I appreciate what Tom Glavine did on the baseball field.  While I rooted for him everyday as a Met. for some reason I never quite looked at him as a Met. Whenever I saw him I saw Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Chipper Jones and Bobby Cox. The Tomahawk Chop would be playing in my head. He’ll be joining his teammate Maddux this afternoon on that podium.

I want to congratulate Glavine, who was always a class act on and off the field. He was a great competitor, a quality postseason pitcher, and he was always a plus in the clubhouse. 

However, as a Mets fan, every time I think of the final 17 games of the 2007 season, I think of Tom Glavine. In many ways we are still trying to recover from that historic collapse.

Congratulations on your Hall of Fame enshrinement, Mr. Glavine.

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MMO Game Recap: Brewers 5, Mets 2 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mmo-game-recap-brewers-5-mets-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mmo-game-recap-brewers-5-mets-2.html/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 03:03:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161811 Screen Shot 2014-07-26 at 10.56.54 PM

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Phelps, AP

The Mets (49-55) lost to the Brewers (59-46) by a score of 5-2 on Saturday night at Miller Park.

Jon Niese got the start for the Mets and was pretty good, but not great. Niese allowed 3 runs in 5 innings on 5 hits, 2 walks, and a wild pitch, striking out 4 and throwing 89 pitches.

The Mets scored first in the top of the third when Curtis Granderson doubled and, after a walk from David Wright, scored on a single from Lucas Duda. A wild pitch by Wily Peralta put runners on 2nd and 3rd with just 1 out, giving the Mets a chance to tack on to their 1-0 lead. However, Travis d’Arnaud‘s fly ball to right was not deep enough to score Wright, and Chris Young grounded out to end the inning.

New York scored again in the top of the 5th thanks to a solo shot from Grandy, but Niese began to unravel in the bottom of the frame. Jon allowed a leadoff hit to Mark Reynolds, who switched places with Jean Segura on a fielder’s choice. Segura then stole 2nd, moved to 3rd on a fly ball, and scored on a wild pitch. With 2 out and nobody on, Carlos Gomez singled and came all the way around from 1st to score on a double by Ryan Braun. Braun scored on a base-hit from Jonathan Lucroy, and Milwaukee suddenly had a 3-2 lead.

With Chris Young on 2nd and 2 outs, Terry Collins brought in Bobby Abreu to pinch-hit for Niese, ending the southpaw’s evening. However, when Milwaukee brought in Zach Duke to play the matchup, Terry called Abreu back (I wonder why we always burn our bench so quickly) and sent up Eric Campbell to hit instead. There would be no Soup for Terry in this ballgame, as Campbell whiffed on a 2-2 pitch to end the threat.

It was a day ending in “Y”, so Terry decided to call on Carlos “Were you really surprised to see me?” Torres to pitch the 6th (and more, of course). Torres got 2 quick outs, but surrendered a solo shot to Reynolds to stretch the Brewers’ advantage to 4-2.

Chris Young doubled for the 2nd time in the game (!!!!) with 2 outs in the 8th, but Wilmer Flores was unable to drive him in, surely costing him a chance to escape the bench again over the next week. Torres gave up another insurance run on an RBI double by Khris Davis, who went to 3rd on the throw. Davis appeared to score on an infield hit from Reynolds, but after video review, Reynolds was called out and the 2 teams headed to the 9th with Milwaukee up 5-2.

Francisco Rodriguez came in to seek redemption in the 9th, and much to the relief of his in-laws, K-Rod retired the side smoothly, with an Eric Young double the only blemish. The Mets are now 4-5 on their road trip.

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Photo Credit: Jeffrey Phelps, AP

The Mets’ starters have been turning in some 5-and-out starts lately, and I don’t like it. Torres had to pitch 3 innings today. He’ll probably be unavailable tomorrow. Of course, he’ll still probably pitch…

Niese was decent, but was a little wild all night long and it ended up hurting him, in the form of walks, wild pitches, and a few hangers. Hopefully he gets his command back soon.

Chris Young had 2 doubles tonight. I won’t get my hopes up for a turnaround, but I still think he is worth a roster spot, at least over somebody like Abreu, who can’t run or field, and isn’t really hitting much anymore, either.

Grandy and Daniel Murphy also put in some nice work at the plate. Unfortunately, New York just couldn’t get many big hits with runners in scoring position tonight. Hopefully the impending return to Citi Field helps the offense out. (I can’t believe I just wrote that).

Only one more game on the road trip. Let’s try to finish the series and the trip with an even record before heading home. I’ll probably try to catch a few games on the homestand before I head off to college, so hopefully the Mets bring their bats to Queens.

Up Next: The Mets will look to earn a split with the Brewers on Sunday afternoon in Milwaukee. Jacob deGrom (4-5, 3.01 ERA) will face Jimmy Nelson (1-1, 5.06 ERA) at 2:10 PM.

#FreeBuddyCarlyle

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Brewers, Miller Park, 7:10 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-brewers-miller-park-710-pm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-brewers-miller-park-710-pm.html/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 19:50:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161783 jon niese

After a stirring come from behind win on Friday, the Mets continue their series against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday at Miller Park. Jon Niese (5-5, 3.13 ERA) opposes right-hander Wily Peralta (11-6, 3.58) in a 7:10 PM matchup.

Niese went 21 consecutive starts allowing three runs or less before surrendering four runs in his last outing on July 21 at Seattle. It was tied for the second-longest streak in team history and was also his first start since returning from the DL with a left shoulder strain.

The Mets have three home runs since the All-Star break, the third-fewest in the majors, and Lucas Duda has all three home runs. The Mets had hit a home run in eight of nine games from July 4-12 (11 total during that span) heading into the All-Star break.

Jenrry Mejia struck out the side in the ninth inning to earn his sixth save in his last six appearances. The last Mets reliever with a save in six straight outings was Billy Wagner in 2008 (July 11-24). He has hurled 6.0 shutout innings and allowed one earned run in his last 14.0 innings (0.64 ERA) with 17 strikeouts since June 21 and is 14-for-16 in save chances since he moved to the bullpen.

Starting Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson – RF
  2. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Lucas Duda – 1B
  5. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  6. Chris Young – CF
  7. Wilmer Flores – SS
  8. Jon Niese - LHP
  9. Eric Young, Jr. – LF

The Mets bats still haven’t truly come back yet from the All-Star break but they were able to squeak out a win last night. The Mets were down 2-0 heading into the 9th against K-Rod when Murphy, Wright and Duda were able to get it done and score three runs (thanks to Duda’s 2 Run Blast) that put the Mets ahead. This puts the Mets in position now to have an opportunity to win the series or at least split, and also continued them playing .500 ball for the road trip.

Niese gets the start tonight for the Mets, on the season he is 5-5 over 18 starts and 109.1 innings with a 3.13 ERA. His first start since the All-Star break was not a pleasant one as he allowed 4 ER over 6.0 innings against the Mariners. He faced the Brewers earlier this year holding them to one run over 7.2 innings and 6 hits while walking only one and striking out 8. The Brewers have the following numbers against Niese:

  • Ramirez 6-16, 2B, 2 HR
  • Weeks 4-13, 2B, HR
  • Lucroy 5-15
  • Braun 2-11
  • Gomez 3-11
  • Reynolds 2-7, HR

The Mets bats will try to wake up consistently against Wily Peralta who is 11-6 this year with a 3.58 ERA over 20 games and 125.2 innings. After thee bad starts in a row where he allowed 4 ER over 6, 4 ER over 6 and 9 ER over 4.1, he’s gotten back on track allowing 1 ER in his last two starts (14.0 innings). Earlier this year when he faced the Mets, he allowed 1 ER over 6.1 while striking out 3. The Mets have the following numbers against Peralta:

  • Murphy 1-6
  • Tejada 0-6
  • Wright 0-6
  • Duda 0-4
  • Abreu 1-3
  • Granderson 2-2, 2B
  • E Young 1-2

Lets Go Mets!

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Dice-K Goes To DL With Elbow Inflamation, Carlyle Recalled http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/dice-k-goes-to-dl-with-elbow-inflamation-carlyle-recalled.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/dice-k-goes-to-dl-with-elbow-inflamation-carlyle-recalled.html/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 18:11:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161702 matsuzaka

The Mets announced that pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka has been placed on the DL with inflammation in his right elbow.

Terry Collins said he will not throw for 7-10 days to let the inflammation subside. There has been no talk about surgery or any structural damage, for now, but he will be examined again after inflammation diminishes.

“I’m sure it’s just from all the innings,” Collins said. “Like we know, you count up all those innings and throw all those pitches, there’s going to be damage. Can’t help it. I’m sure that’s how it is and I hope it’s not that severe where the rest and rehab will be fine.”

The Mets recalled reliever Buddy Carlyle to replace Dice-K in the bullpen.

July 25

Right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka is in New York having his elbow examined according to manager Terry Collins. Dice-K felt pain in his elbow and will have an MRI.

Matsuzaka looked like he was in pain after pitching in the sixth inning of last night’s loss to the Brewers. His velocity was off and he was quickly tagged for three runs on a pair of homers off the bats of Khris Davis and Ryan Braun.

Dice-K could be seen shaking his arm and grabbing his elbow in the dugout afterward and looked to be in some sort of obvious distress.

However, when Terry Collins was asked about his pitcher after the game, he told reporters he wasn’t aware of any injury even though many in the dugout could be seen attending to Dice-K and trying to console him.

Matsuzaka, 33, has a 3.87 ERA in 28 appearances this season, which includes nine starts.

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How Should the Mets Handle Matt Harvey’s Return? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/how-should-the-mets-handle-harveys-return.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/how-should-the-mets-handle-harveys-return.html/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 15:00:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161727 Mets fans can dream about next year’s starting rotation, which will presumably include Matt Harvey, Jonathon Niese, Dillon Gee, Zack Wheeler, and Jacob deGrom. All of them will be 28 or younger when the season begins and all could be well above average next season.

There is no doubt that when Matt Harvey is healthy, the Mets are a much better team. While getting him back will be like trading for an ace making the league minimum (except without giving up your entire farm system), there are still lingering questions over how the Mets should approach his return.

Obviously, Harvey isn’t going to be pitching this season, despite his determination to do so. He may pitch a few innings in the Arizona Fall League, but that’s just about it.

Everyone remembers the controversy surrounding Stephen Strasburg‘s return from Tommy John Surgery. He hit his innings limit in early September in the midst of a pennant race, and the Nationals shut him down for the season. The Mets may be facing another very similar scenario next year, in a season in which they expect to compete. Perhaps the 2012 Nationals weren’t sure they were going to compete, so they proceeded normally. However, with all the trade buzz surrounding the Mets combined with the new arrivals of top prospects, the front office expects next year to be a big year. That makes this situation a bit different from the one Strasburg was in two years ago.

As dangerous as it is, the Mets will more or less throw Harvey into the fire at some point next season. It sure is risky to do that. I’ve always said the reason Johan Santana got hurt wasn’t the no-hitter, but the fact that after not pitching for over a year, the Mets suddenly threw him out there regularly, taking very few precautions. Unfortunately, there really aren’t many more practical methods to easing a pitcher back into it. Luckily for the Mets, Harvey is quite a bit younger than Santana.

Nevertheless, the Mets will still need to be careful how they handle Harvey, knowing that their goal is to compete in September and possibly October while also keeping their ace on an innings limit somewhere between 160 and 190. How will they do this? Here are a few options.

Extreme option: Put him in the bullpen for a while

matt harveyThe Mets may want to put him in the bullpen to start the season, possibly for four to six weeks to limit his innings. They will still get use out of his arm, but without the early season wear and tear. In the often cold and raw April games, it could reduce injury risk.

There are, of course, many problems with this idea, which is why it is an “extreme option.” For one, the transition to and from the bullpen isn’t exactly easy or quick. It took Jenrry Mejia a while to transition back and forth. The Mets may have two weeks at both ends of the experiment with a somewhat wasted roster spot, two when he’s getting used to pitching on back-to-back days, and two more when he transitions back to the rotation. And don’t forget the risks of Terry Collins overusing him, which is never out of the question with any relief pitcher.

Somewhat extreme option: Start his season late

Instead of beginning workouts at the Port St. Lucie complex in early February, start Harvey out in early March. He will have an extra month to strengthen his arm and the rest of his body, and could pitch through the end of the season. It makes sense on all fronts, but there is one huge problem with it: Harvey will absolutely hate it.

Remember, this is the pitcher who said he would pitch Opening Day this season. What are the odds he would go along with a delayed start? Probably slim to none. That being said, this option is probably the best compromise between Harvey’s long-term health and the Mets’ hopes to compete.

Realistic but ineffective option: Skip starts, be cautious

This is one of the more likely options, but it is probably the worst. As we have seen, skipping starts throws pitchers off their routines. However, what makes this a realistic option is how well Harvey has fared with more rest:

Four days rest: 19 starts, 3.07 ERA, 1.065 WHIP

Five days rest: 10 starts, 2.25 ERA, 1.029 WHIP

Six or more days rest: 7 starts, 0.77 ERA, 0.707 WHIP

Keeping that in mind, this option is less attractive for the team. Taking Harvey out early taxes the bullpen and focusing on skipping him allows you less flexibility with the rest of the starting rotation. Consider that and the fact that doing this still probably won’t be enough. IT may come down to the Mets putting Harvey on the DL for a few weeks with “elbow fatigue” to keep him from exceeding his limit.

Most likely option: Do nothing, shut him down in September

This option is fine for Harvey’s health, but it doesn’t take into consideration the needs of the team. Right when the Mets will need Harvey the most, he will be shut down. This is what the Nats did with Strasburg and what the Mets will likely do with Harvey next season.

The Mets need to sit down with Matt Harvey and his agent Scott Boras and lay out a plan that will both keep him healthy and make sense for the team. There is absolutely no excuse. There will be a media frenzy if either side is left in the dark about the other’s intentions and it could get very ugly.

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First-Rounder Michael Conforto Shines In Cyclones Loss http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/first-rounder-michael-conforto-shines-in-cyclones-loss.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/first-rounder-michael-conforto-shines-in-cyclones-loss.html/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 12:42:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161736 BROOKLYN, N.Y. – It was Italian Heritage Night Friday at MCU Park in Coney Island, so that was the perfect setting for a big night from Mets first-round draft pick Michael Conforto.

Michael  Conforto (Photo by Jim Mancari)

Michael Conforto (Photo by Jim Mancari)

The 21-year-old Oregon State University product finished 2-for-4 with an RBI double, and he added a stellar defensive play in foul territory and an outfield assist – his second in two nights.

However, Conforto’s effort was not enough, as the Brooklyn Cyclones (19-22) fell by a score of 5-2 to the Vermont Lake Monsters, the Single-A short season affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. The team is now 4-3 since Conforto joined the team July 19.

Conforto has recorded at least one hit in all seven games he’s played in his first week of professional baseball. In this small sample, he’s hitting .407 (11-for-27) with four doubles and three RBI.

“He (Conforto) take’s a lot of pride in his game, and his at-bats have just been terrific right from day one,” said Cyclones’ manager Tom Gamboa. “The rest of the guys can learn from him in BP and in his pitch selection in the games.”

The first-rounder singled sharply up the middle in his first at-bat and then followed that up with a two-out RBI double into the right field corner in the bottom of third inning to plate the Cyclones’ first run.

He later hit two balls hard to the left side, which went for outs, but he said he feels comfortable hitting the ball to all fields.

“I’m very comfortable,” Conforto said of his offensive production in his first week. “I think I’ve just kind of settled into a mode where I’m seeing the ball well and getting into a rhythm and getting confident. I’m getting a lot of pitches to hit, a lot of fastballs, and I’m doing what I can with them in trying to hit the ball where it’s pitched.”

Conforto’s defense has also impressed early on in his tenure in Brooklyn, especially his throwing.

“It’s one of those things that I’ve worked on, trying to get my arm in shape and making sure that when I was back home I wasn’t losing any arm strength,” Conforto said. “It (his defense) was something that was out there as a question mark, and I took that as a challenge personally. I’ve made it a priority to work on that part of my game.”

Michael  Conforto greets Brooklyn fans. (Photo by Jim Mancari)

Michael Conforto greets Brooklyn fans. (Photo by Jim Mancari)

“The reports on him (Conforto) were adequate defensively, and we’re seeing way beyond that,” Gamboa said. “For a 21-year-old, he’s miles ahead of most guys I see come into professional baseball. That was his reputation coming here. That’s what we were told, except that he runs, throws and fields better than people gave him credit for. The focus was on his bat, but everybody is seeing a more complete player here.”

Righty Octavio Acosta started on the mound for the Cyclones and was able to pitch out of a few early jams up until the top of the fifth inning, in which eight Lake Monsters came to bat to plate three runs.

Acosta had gone at least 6.0 innings in each of his five starts since his 4.2-inning outing on Opening Day. But he only lasted five innings in this one and surrendered a season-high 10 hits. He falls to 3-2 on the summer with the loss.

The Cyclones only mustered seven hits on the night. One of those was a seeing-eye double over the third-base bag for third baseman Jhoan Ureña, which increases his hitting streak to 11 games. The 19-year-old had a 13-game hitting streak earlier this summer, and he joins Angel Pagan (2001) as the only two players in Cyclones’ franchise history to record two 10-game hitting streaks in the same season.

Although the team has cooled off since its hot start, it’s still very much alive in the Wild Card race with the season just beyond the halfway point. Brooklyn came into play at only 2.0 games behind the Staten Island Yankees and Williamsport Crosscutters in the race for the final playoff spot.

The team is back in action at home Saturday night, looking for a series win against the Lake Monsters. Texas native Corey Oswalt bids for his fourth win of the summer at 6 p.m.

Click here to view the complete box score from this game.

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Mets Minors Report 7/26: Kirk Goes Deep, Herrera Hit Streak Snapped, Peavey Tosses Gem http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mets-minors-report-726-kirk-goes-deep-herrera-hit-streak-snapped-peavey-tosses-gem.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mets-minors-report-726-kirk-goes-deep-herrera-hit-streak-snapped-peavey-tosses-gem.html/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 05:00:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161758 kirk nieuwenhuis

Last Night’s Quick Scores

Prospect Pipeline

  • Rafael Montero, in only his second appearance with Vegas since returning from the DL, struggled in five innings, allowing five runs, on six hits, while walking one and striking out six.
  • In his first game since returning to Vegas from the Mets, Kirk Nieuwenhuis went 3 for 4 and launched a big three run homer in the 7th to put the 51s in the lead for good.
  • Allan Dykstra finishes 4 for 4, with three runs scored and hits his 14th home run on the season.
  • Greg Peavey pitches eight innings, allowing one run on five hits, one walk, strikes out seven and earns his eighth victory for the B-Mets.
  • Dilson Herrera was hitless in Binghamton’s win and ends his hit streak at 12 games.
  • T.J. Rivera was 2 for 4 and has hit safely in 8 of last 10 games, batting .389 (14 for 36) in that span.
  • Michael Conforto went 2 for 4, with a double on Friday night and has recorded at least one hit in all seven games he has played in to start his pro career. In that span he is batting .407 (11 for 27) with four doubles.

Organizational Pitching Leaders

ERA

1 Martires Arias KNG 0.59
2 Marcos Molina BRK 1.26
3 Octavio Acosta BRK 2.14
4 Kevin McGowan STL 2.31
5 Steven Matz BIN 2.39

Fun Events On The Farm 

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 3, Brewers 2 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mmo-game-recap-bang-bang-boom-mets-3-brewers-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mmo-game-recap-bang-bang-boom-mets-3-brewers-2.html/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 03:57:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161735 lucas duda

Bang… Bang… Boom!!!

The Mets delighted fans on Friday night, with a thrilling come from behind win to even up the series against the Brewers.  Yovani Gallardo had the Mets searching for answers all night until the ninth when Brewers brought in K-Rod.  Murphy led the inning off with a double and later came in to score on a Wright single to left.  Murphy ended the night going 3-4.

Lucas Duda delivered the decisive blow crushing a flat fastball from Rodriguez into the right field for his 17th homer of the year.  This gave the Mets a 3-2 lead, as once again Mejia came in and shut the door to earn his 14th save of the season,  Mejia is now 14 for 16 in save situations for the Mets.

After being shut down by Gallardo for 7.2 innings, only getting four hits and striking out eight times, the Mets had the core of their lineup come up big in the ninth.  Murphy and Wright, who went a combined 5-8 on the night, stroked back to back hits before Duda launched his two run blast that gave the Mets the 3-2 lead. 

Tale of the Tape (Since trade)

Ike Davis – .240, 5 HR 26 RBI, 79 G

Lucas Duda – .257, 14 HR 45 RBI, 81 G

Murphy’s leadoff hit in the ninth atoned for his two costly errors he had on the night.

zack wheeler 2

Mets pitchers had a great night, led by starter Zack Wheeler, and supported by relievers Vic Black, Carlos Torres, and Jenrry Mejia. They combined for 13 strikeouts and allowed only four hits.  Wheeler had another strong outing as he racked up nine of the strikeouts. His only blemish was a solo shot by Carlos Gomez. In his last 5 starts, Wheeler has a 1.41 ERA in 32.0 innings pitched.

Tonight’s thrilling win has the Mets only 5.5 games out the the N.L wild card and keeps hope alive for a possible playoff push.  The Mets are now 4-4 in their first eight games since the all-star break, and with a passion filled win the Mets will look to take game three of the series tomorrow at 7:00 pm as Jon Niese (5-5, 3.13) will oppose the Brewers’ Wily Peralta (11-6, 3.58)

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Mets Would Trade Murphy For A Hefty Haul http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mets-would-trade-murphy-for-a-hefty-haul.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mets-would-trade-murphy-for-a-hefty-haul.html/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 23:56:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=160987 daniel murphy

Despite reports that the Mets are not actively shopping Daniel Murphy, ESPN’s Jayson Stark said in a chat today, that the Mets second baseman is available if teams were willing to pay a high price.

“They’d definitely move him,” he writes. “But they want quality back. Sandy Alderson does a really good job of making these types of moves. And there are enough teams looking for a second baseman that I think that’s a real possibility.”

Nobody should be untouchable, especially when you’re on the verge of six straight losing seasons.

What Stark is saying here is neither revealing or insightful and could be said about almost any player on the Mets.

If a team is willing to overpay for any of our players, it would be negligent of us not to listen or even act if it makes the team significantly better.

11:00 AM

Marc Carig of Newsday reports that teams have reached out to the Mets about trading for second baseman Daniel Murphy. However, he adds that the front office is more likely to keep Murphy rather than deal him away.

Yesterday I mentioned that I can’t see the Mets trading Murphy mostly because it would send a signal that the team is still not ready to be competitive and is still rebuilding. The exact opposite of what Sandy Alderson is trying to convey.

Murphy, 29, made his first All-Star team this season and is batting .287/.335/.406 with 26 doubles, seven homers, 38 RBI, 57 runs scored and 11 stolen bases.

He is currently earning $5.7 million this year and will be eligible for his final year of arbitration this winter and could get about $8 million or a little more than what the Mets gave Chris Young for 2014.

The topic of trading Murphy has become a hot-button issue in the fan base, so I asked some of our writers to weigh in on this to give us a broader sense.

Destry – The Mets should absolutely lock up Daniel Murphy as soon as they possibly can.  He was quoted recently as saying something to the effect of “I’ve already made enough money for one lifetime.”  This tells me that he would sign a below market deal, and those just don’t happen for players that have already established themselves as an All Star caliber player.  He does everything the right way.  He’s done everything the team and the organization has ever asked of him, and he’s never complained once, about anything.  He’s a tireless worker, and an excellent role model for the young players and this franchise.  He’s also at or near the top of almost every major offensive category in the NL for the past year and a half.  With the exception of OBP, its uncanny how his numbers are virtually identical to league MVP Andrew McCutchen during that span.  Sign him up ASAP for 5 years and $47.5 mil. He could easily get $12 million per on the open market.

Roger – Daniel Murphy should be signed to an extension. Yes, the team has some really good second base prospects in the minors right now, but prospects are just that until they prove they can perform on the major league level. Most prospects don’t make it and even those that don’t – how many of them do you truly look back on 10 years down the line and say, “We never should have traded him away.” Odds are, you’re not trading a Future Hall of Famer. Murphy is a proven major league hitter. Why trade him in hope of a couple of years down the line one of the prospects eventually produces at the level Murphy currently is?

Joe Spector – I love Murph. He’s turned into one of the best second basemen in the game. Obviously he’s an offensive player but he’s come a long way since first being asked to play second. Keep him. He’s not great enough to bring in a haul but he’s good enough to keep.

XtreemIcon – Impossible to answer without knowing the potential return or contract demands. Murphy is significantly overrated by Mets fans. That doesn’t make him bad or invaluable, but consider that there was very little buzz surrounding him at the Winter Meetings, the Astros declined a trade for him for a shortstop that they demoted to AAA and has a career OPS barely north of .600, and the only reported trade offer TO the Mets for him was one middle reliever. The league doesn’t seem to value him quite as highly as Mets fans do, and for good reason.

Michael Branda – It depends on what he wants. If he wants to be here until say 2017, then sign him. He comes off as a heart and soul type player and you can’t just find those guys easily. If they let him walk, they are basically guaranteeing themselves a downgrade at a position that is giving them some of their best offensive production. If they dealt him, their internal plan would be what? Wilmer Flores? So basically you’re trading an All-Star 2B and replacing him with a young player who isn’t ready to hit in the major leagues yet. That’s what rebuilding teams do.

Ed Marcus – I am a Murph supporter, but with Dilson Herrera in the pipeline and possibly two seasons away I feel the Mets should maybe give Murphy a short term extension or just avoid arbitration and trade him next midseason.

Stephanie – I feel that they should re-sign him to a two to four year deal. He’s been improving every season at second base and it would be a real shame to see him traded this year. He has deserved an extension but we should be extremely cautious of the years and money we are giving him after just one great season which still isn’t even over yet.

David Conde – Tough, tough one, because I really like what is coming up in the minors. I mean with Dilson Herrera tearing it up at every level and they still have Flores, and I really like Murphy, but signing him to an extension just closes the door on any chance these kids have. But trading Murphy now would mean that Flores gets a real opportunity this season. I’m a skeptic that if you’re building for the future then don’t block the way for the future to happen.

Robert Piersall – I am a huge Murphy supporter. We need to lock this guy up right now. He has worked his rear end off to become a quality defensive second baseman, and though he still has his occasional mishaps in the field, his hitting makes up for it 100%. Murphy is our most consistent hitter. Definitely think it would be a huge mistake to trade Murphy, unless it was a very overwhelming offer for another major league ready player who could make a difference for this team.

Gerry Silverman – The Murphy question is perhaps the most intriguing personnel decision that will need to be made. Clearly he has developed some legitimate value at his position but appears to stand in the way of the team’s top current offensive prospect. I love his grit and his spirit, but I gotta confess, I think Wilmer Flores could be the middle of the lineup bat that Murph won’t ever evolve into. I’m torn.

Connor O’Brien – It doesn’t matter. Either way, trading Murphy or extending him, you are going to get tremendous value. If he is signed to $8-10 million annually, that’s a huge steal. If Alderson uses him as a big piece in a deal for a slugger, he has a lot of trade value. I like Murphy, but this team can’t really go wrong trading him or extending him, unless he wants too much – like $15 million per of course.

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Rockies Are High On Mets’ Syndergaard, Matz, Herrera and Nimmo http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/rockies-are-high-on-mets-syndergaard-matz-herrera-and-nimmo.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/rockies-are-high-on-mets-syndergaard-matz-herrera-and-nimmo.html/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 23:00:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161639 Carlos+Gonzalez+Troy+Tulowitzki+San+Francisco+rUY3TpSfSyel

Two updates to the growing buzz on Tulo and CarGo…

First, contrary to what has been reported, Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki does not have a no-trade clause in his contract according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com.

Second, the Rockies are said to be very high on Noah Syndergaard, Brandon Nimmo, Steven Matz and Dilson Herrera.

Joel Sherman says that if the Mets are willing to part with some combination of those prospects, “they will will be factors for CarGo, Tulowitzki or any other star that comes onto the market.”

July 24

According to Joel Sherman of the NY Post, the Mets have told the Colorado Rockies they would like to be involved with trade discussions if and when Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez become available.

Sherman says that Rockies ownership has strongly stated it does not want to deal CarGo and, especially, Tulowitzki. But the extended run of poor play by the franchise, the growing contracts of the two players and the teeming disenchantment of the fan base has moved many within the industry to believe that decision could change, if not now, then this offseason.

There’s no way that either will be moved this month, but if they do become available this Winter, the bidding will be fast and furious for either of these two difference-makers. 

Tulowitzki, 30, has a no-trade clause, wears No. 2 in honor of Derek Jeter and is considerably more interested in being a Yankee than a Met, Sherman adds. And Colorado already has expressed interest to the Yankees in their top pitching prospect, Luis Severino.

The Cardinals — owners of arguably the deepest farm system in the sport — are also enamored with Tulowitzki and would move significant pieces to land him. In fact, the market will be deep if Tulowitzki comes onto it, because he is viewed as one of the 10 best players in the majors.

CarGo, 29, would certainly fill the void in left field, but as I wrote earlier, I don’t know if Sandy Alderson has the chops to trade for a top talent like this. And then there’s the issue of money. Money which I don’t believe this team has.

I’d love to see the Mets acting like a big market team again, but inquiries like this we’ve seen before. It’s the follow-through and execution that has been lacking.

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Brewers, 8:10 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-brewers-810-pm-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-brewers-810-pm-2.html/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 21:35:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161686 zack wheeler

The Mets (48-54) and Brewers (58-45) go at it again as they continue their four-game series at 8:10 PM tonight at Miller Park in Milwaukee. Zack Wheeler (5-8, 3.78 ERA) will start for the Mets against Brewers RHP Yovani Gallardo (5-5, 3.79).

Zack Wheeler is 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA over his last four starts. He has pitched 6.0 or more innings and allowed one or fewer runs in four straight starts. The last time a Mets starter had a longer such single season stretch was R.A. Dickey, who went six straight starts of 6.0 or more innings and one or fewer runs, from May 22 to June 18, 2012. Wheeler has had nine starts this year where he’s gone 6.0 or more innings and allowed one or fewer runs.

Lucas Duda established a career-high with his 16th home run last night. He had 15 hits in each of the previous two years. Duda has hit a home run in two of his last three games and also leads the team in home runs. He is third among NL first basemen with 16 home runs.

Travis d’Arnaud is hitting .298 (25-84) with three home runs and 13 RBI with a .337 on-base percentage in 22 games since returning from Las Vegas (AAA) on June 24. He has at least one hit in 18 of those 22 games and has reached safely in 19 of 22. D’Arnaud hit .180 (23-128) with three home runs and nine RBI in 39 games from the start of the year through June 6. He has raised his average 46 points from .180 to .226 over the last 22 games.

Starting Lineup

Curtis Granderson, rf
Daniel Murphy, 2b
David Wright, 3b
Lucas Duda, 1b
Travis d’Arnaud, c
Bobby Abreu, lf
Juan Lagares, cf
Ruben Tejada, ss
Zack Wheeler, rhp

The Mets look to just forget about last night’s game as Zack Wheeler takes the mound today. Wheeler is 5-8 over 20 games and 114.1 innings with a 3.78 ERA. He has pitched 25.1 innings in his last four starts striking out 21 batters, walking 10 and posting a beautiful 1.42 ERA. Last year he made one start against the Brewers where he allowed 1 ER over 5.0 innings with 3 runs overall while walking 3 and striking out 3. The Brewers have the following numbers against Wheeler:

  • Gomez 3-3, 2B
  • Lucroy 0-3
  • Ramirez 0-0, 2 BB
  • Schaefer 0-2
  • Weeks 0-2

The Mets bats look to pick themselves up against Gallardo tonight who has pitched 20 games this season over 121.o innings with a 5-5 record and a 3.79 ERA. His last four starts have been rougher than his season average allowing 19 runs, 16 earned over 23.1 innings, a 6.17 ERA. Last year he was 2-0 in as many starts against the Mets allowing 13 hits and 6 ER over 12.0 innings of work. The Mets have the following numbers against Gallardo:

  • C Young 3-22
  • Wright 3-19, HR
  • Murphy 6-15, 3 2B
  • Duda 5-10, 2B, 2 HR
  • Tejada 2-6
  • E Young 0-6
  • Granderson 0-2
  • Lagares 0-2
  • d’Arnaud 1-2

Lets Go Mets!

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