Mets Merized Online Thu, 24 Apr 2014 03:04:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 MMO Game Recap: Mets 3, Cardinals 2 Thu, 24 Apr 2014 03:00:55 +0000 jon niese

Fighting against a brutally windy night, Michael Wacha‘s fastball, and a frantic comeback in the 9th, the Mets found a way to scratch out three runs to beat the Cardinals 3-2. With the win, they improve their record to a respectable 11-10, and go for a series win tomorrow afternoon.

Michael Wacha pitched one of the strangest games you will ever see, and not just because the wind caught his cap and blew it off during the game. He recorded his first nine outs via the strikeout. It looked like the Mets boxscore would be as empty as the Citi Field seats tonight. Then, in the fourth inning, Wacha completely lost the strike zone. He walked three batters, two of which with the bases loaded, resulting in two runs. He would leave the game before the end of the fourth inning due to an inflated pitch count. Only the third pitcher in baseball history to pitch four or less innings with at least ten strikeouts.

For the Mets, once again, their starting pitching kept their meager offense in the game. Jon Niese pitched 6.2 innings, allowing only one run. It was then the bullpen’s turn to hold the lead and work out of some key jams. First, Carlos Torres allowed a double to Yadier Molina in the 8th to put the tying runs in scoring position with one out. He got Jhonny Peralta to pop out, before handing the ball to Scott Rice, who got Matt Adams to fly out, preserving the lead. Then in the 9th, things got scary. Facing Kyle Farnsworth in the closing role, the Cardinals put two batters on base with one out. Daniel Descalso promptly doubled in what looked like a game-tying hit, but Kirk Nieuwenhuis relayed the ball to Ruben Tejada, who threw a perfect strike to Travis d’Arnaud, who made a replay-confirming tag to get the tying run. Curtis Granderson would have to fight the wind to make the final out on a fly ball. And the Mets hung on to win.

Key Play

Since MLB wants to take forever to release the video of the game-saving play at the plate, we will use Lucas Duda‘s eventual game-winning home run as the key gif tonight.

Duda 4.23 HR

Starter Focus

Jon Niese

Niese threw a variety of pitches tonight for strikes. He struck out three and walked only two. A lot of balls went in play, which could have been unfavorable with the wind, but only six fell for hits.

Niese 4.23

Michael Wacha

As noted earlier, Wacha had a strange night, pushing up his pitch count to get pulled before the end of the fourth inning. In 3.2 innings, he struck out ten Mets, but walked five. He only allowed three hits.

Wacha 4.23

Win Probability Chart courtesy of FanGraphs. Detailed pitching data courtesy of Brooks Baseball.

Presented By Diehards

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MMO Game Thread: Cardinals vs Mets, 7:10 PM (SNY) Wed, 23 Apr 2014 22:14:02 +0000 USATSI  jon niese

The 10-10 Mets look to get back up over .500 as they they  continue their series against the Cardinals tonight at Citi Field. Jon Niese (0-2, 2.84 ERA) opposes right-hander Michael Wacha (2-1, 1.73) in what should be a solid 7:10 PM matchup.

Jon Niese is 0-2 with a 2.84 ERA since returning from the Disabled List on April 6. There are only three pitchers in the  majors with a better ERA that haven’t earned a victory yet (minimum three starts): A.J. Burnett, Jeff Samardzija and Josh Beckett.

Over the last eight games, the starters have posted a 1.98 ERA (11 earned runs/50.0 innings). The starters have compiled 13 quality starts this year, tied for the fourth-most in the majors.

At the conclusion of this series the Mets will have played 22 games. New York will have faced three separate teams that went to the postseason in 2013 and a combined 12 games vs. those squads.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis will be batting leadoff and playing centerfield tonight.

Starting Lineup

  1. Kirk Nieuwenhuis – CF
  2. Curtis Granderson – RF
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  5. Chris Young – LF
  6. Lucas Duda – 1B
  7. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  8. Ruben Tejada – SS
  9. Jon Niese – RHP

Game Preview

The Mets dropped the second game of the series last night, but to be fair Adam Wainwright was full-Wainwright last night. Anyway, the Mets get to put last night behind them as they take on Wacha tonight with an opportunity to guarantee a series split with a win. On the hill for the Mets will be Jon Niese.

Niese has not won a start this season but over his first three starts he has a 2.84 ERA over 19.0 innings while walking 5 and striking out 16. Last year he made one start against the Cards where he pitched 7.1 innings allowing 6 hits and 2 runs while walking 2 and striking out 3. The Cards have the following numbers against the Mets:

  • Molina 3-11
  • Holliday 2-10
  • Jay 3-8, 2B
  • Craig 1-5, 2B
  • Ellis 4-6
  • Carpenter 1-3, 2B

Wacha will be making start #5 tonight. On the season he is 2-1 with a 1.73 ERA over 4 starts and 26.0 innings with 3 walks and 25 strikeouts. His last two starts are a little more human as he has allowed 6 runs, 4 earned over 13.1 innings with a 2.71 ERA. Last year he picked up the win against the Mets pitching 6.0 innings, allowing 5 hits and 2 earned runs while walking 3 and striking out 4. The Mets have the following numbers against Wacha:

  • Duda 0-2
  • Murphy 1-3
  • Quintanilla 1-3, HR
  • Wright 0-2
  • Nieuwenhuis 0-2

Lets Go Mets!

homer the dog

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Playing Eric Young Everyday Hasn’t Improved His Performance Wed, 23 Apr 2014 19:24:57 +0000 USATSI eric young jr

Eric Young Jr. is not an ideal leadoff hitter. He is the best candidate on the New York Mets, but that is not saying much. Once Juan Lagares returns, Young Jr. should not even be in the conversation as an everyday player.

Since Young Jr. made his MLB debut in 2009, he only exceeded 100 games once (in 2013). Last year he posted an underwhelming .249/.310/.336 slash line. Young Jr. was a spark when he was traded to the Mets last June, but he became an automatic out down the stretch.

As of April 22, Young Jr. was hitless in eight games. He struck out in 19 of his first 65 at-bats and is hitting just .231 with a .636 on-base plus slugging. Throughout his career, Young Jr. is a .256 hitter with a .659 OPS.

His defense does not hurt the Mets, but it is not impressive. Young Jr. is able to cover ground with his speed, but his read of the ball’s trajectory is poor at times and nowhere near the level of Lagares. Young Jr. also has a weak throwing arm that is not even in the same stratosphere of Lagares’ cannon.

Despite his shortcomings, Young Jr. is tied for first in MLB stolen bases with 10. He makes the most of his time on the base path, but does not get on board often enough to justify playing him everyday.

Before he suffered a tight hamstring, Lagares was locked in with a .314/.345/.471 slash line in 51 at-bats. He was off to a hot start and only time will tell if he can sustain his heat wave.

No one in the Mets outfield, or arguably the entire National League, holds the defensive prowess of Lagares in center field. He is running, feeling good, and is expected to be activated from the disabled list on April 30. He needs to start everyday once he returns to the lineup.

Yes, Young Jr. was the 2013 National League stolen base champion, but he would be most valuable in spot starts and as a pinch runner. Lagares cannot sit on the pine.

On April 14, the New York Post reported that the Mets were going to mix and match the outfield once Chris Young was activated from the disabled list on April 18 and Lagares is healthy. The plan is to rotate between Young, Young Jr. and Lagares with Curtis Granderson solidified in right field, even though Young Jr. is the weakest link.

“I wouldn’t say [Lagares] is going to be in there necessarily more than anybody else, because I’m going to get each of those guys a blow every now and then and try to keep them fresh,” said Terry Collins on April 14, according to the article.

Young Jr. should only start if another outfielder is injured or needs rest. The outfielders do not all possess the same level of talent, so they should not all get the same amount of chances.

Lagares must be endorsed as the everyday center fielder. Speed kills, but only if Young Jr. gets on base.

Presented By Diehards

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The Traditional Importance of Mets Pitching Wed, 23 Apr 2014 18:44:31 +0000 harvey gee wheeler

Traditions are interesting. They place events from the here and now in a historical context so that we may gain some insight or understanding about what the events mean. My parents, for instance, are from two adjacent towns on an island in the Mediterranean where Easter is stacked with strange traditions that culminate in the Easter Eve midnight massacring of each others’ church domes with tens of thousands of homemade rockets.

The following day they will count the number of broken roof tiles to determine who won the “battle.” The Ottomans tried to suppress the tradition as its organizational structure (secret basement and backyard “rocket cohorts” composed of mostly young men) had a clear potential for more subversive purposes, but it persists to this day. Traditions are resilient that way.

The military, for those of you who’ve served in one of our four fine branches, is steeped in tradition. I remember how surprised I was to receive 4 full days of liberty following November 10th festivities celebrating the Marine Corps’ birthday. Everything from cadence to uniforms to the stories passed down to us about Tun Tavern and Belleau Wood and the Frozen Chosin, all served to indoctrinate us into the culture and history of what we’d become a part of.

In the end, traditions are a means. They speak to how we transfer critical information from one generation to the next, a kind of generational mnemonic.

Baseball is loaded with tradition, perhaps more than any other sport, and for good reason. Generations in baseball are not like normal lifespan generations that last the 70 odd years most of us can expect to live. A generation in baseball doesn’t last very long. When we think baseball “careers” we tend to imagine the typically longer more successful careers that run anywhere from 12 to 16 years, but the reality is that the average baseball career is much shorter.

Back in 2007 Sam Roberts of The NY Times published a piece discussing longevity in baseball and cited a study that looked at 5,989 position players who began their careers between 1902 and 1993 and who played 33.272 years of major league baseball. They found that the average career for a rookie entering the majors is a measly 5.6 years. Now granted many rookies flame out and career norms for players for instance in their third year tend to be longer, but the fact remains, there is tremendous turnover in baseball. On any given team, if you stick around long enough the personnel will be largely different every 5 or 6 years.  So tradition takes on an even greater role because it’s the one thing that remains constant generation after generation of players coming up from the minors.

Tony Stark

The Mets have their own traditions, their own uniforms and stories passed down to them, their own sacred relics. Met tradition is rooted in the Miracle of 1969, and to a lesser degree the 1986 Championship season. Met tradition is entrenched in the successes of the past, and that success has been, and more than likely will be (should we ever be treated to it again), grounded in lights-out, shutdown, overpowering pitching. Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Dwight Gooden and many other greats led our pitching heavy success stories. The lessons learned? We live and die by our pitching. To quote a Tony Stark line from Iron Man, “That’s how Dad did it, that’s how America does it, and it’s worked out pretty well so far.”

It is no surprise that tradition is a means to relay information that is heavily relied upon by military organizations. Building on previous success emboldens and prepares current generations with winning strategies, confidence, and important lessons. Even the church blasting rocket tradition in all likelihood had its organizational roots in any number of insurgencies against very real oppressors, and in the absence of these oppressors turned to more peaceful village rivalries with only a few annual blown off fingers as casualties.

The Marines instill their recruits with a sense of pride and “esprit de corps.” Camaraderie through mindless drill and the drudgery of boot camp and amazing stories of courage and sacrifice serving to produce remarkably cohesive units that function seamlessly under fire – with the ability to maintain morale under unbelievable hardship.

buddy harrelson pete rose

Traditions teach us who we are based on who we’ve been, they teach us how to conduct ourselves based on how we’ve conducted ourselves in the past. They are an integral part of organizational success and as such should never ever be ignored. To do so is to invite failure, as Mike Piazza did after Clemens threw the bat … That certainly wasn’t a Bud Harrelson (vs. Pete Rose) moment, or even a Ray Knight (vs Eric Davis) inspired trot to first … the Metropolitans traditionally have never shied away from a scrap, in fact they’ve often appeared to look for one.

The Mets of course play in the National League, and have always played their home games in pitchers’ havens.They were conceived during a pitching dominated NL “small ball” era and when you add Shea’s dimensions to their humble origins, you can see the where and why of our fine Met pitching tradition.

2014 is a pivotal season in this regard. The current generation of Mets is tasked with a monumental task — learning to win. What better way to do that than by looking at what has worked in the past? It’s a hard lesson, particularly after the horrendous failures of our recent history. Many fans are hesitant to embrace any inkling of success given so many losing seasons and point to a futile offense and shaky bullpen, but after last night’s 2 – 0 win against another NL franchise loaded with pitching and small ball success (the Cardinals of course), I feel compelled to point out that last night’s victory was as reminiscent of games from 1969 and 1973 as I’ve seen in a very very long time. The pace, the defense, the pitching, last night had it all, and that is significant.

Pitching and defense are in our blood… 2–0 games should be ingrained in the DNA of every Met prospect in every Met franchise throughout the minors. This is our template, our formula, our recipe. Embrace the stinginess and the tension Met fans, I’ll take a traditional 2–0 win any day over a 7–3 slugfest. We can put last night’s win in the books, and in historical context … 2 – 0 type games are how we roll. It’s a good sign folks, perhaps a harbinger … provided we can repeat the delivery.

Traditions are resilient, and I have to say there may even be something magical about them. There is a painful irony to the fact that 2006 ended tragically at the hands of a defense first backstop whose only home run vs. the Mets came in the post season, against a power laden Met team lacking its traditional pitching first make-up. Personally, I’ll take Wheeler, Harvey, Mejia, Syndergaard, and Montero going forward over any host of boppers and mashers.

Embrace the stinginess Met fans, embrace the tension!


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From Left Field: Mets Have No Luck With Free Agents Wed, 23 Apr 2014 18:16:52 +0000 MLB Opening Day at Citi Field

We’ve played about a month of the season, and already the Mets’ prized free agent of the offseason – Curtis Granderson – has appeared lost at the plate.

As a Met fan, I understand what patience truly is, but Granderson’s struggles are certainly alarming for a player who has not only experienced success but has also done so in New York.

With a $15 million per year price tag, Granderson is going to play every day. If that’s the case, please Terry, get him out of the No. 2 hole. All he does is kill rallies, so I’d say bat him sixth or seventh until he figures it out.

Granderson’s slow start in Flushing got me thinking that this organization really has no luck when it comes to bringing in high-profile free agents.

From Vince Coleman, to Bobby Bonilla, to Kaz Matsui and of course to Jason Bay – arguably the worst of them all – good players sometimes forget how to play when they arrive here.

Some guys, like Roberto Alomar, Mo Vaughn, Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez, were traded to the Mets before flopping completely.

And other guys, like Pedro Martinez, Frankie Rodriguez and Johan Santana, were productive for a time but will always be remembered for their injuries in New York.

Really, the only guys I can think of that played well after a free-agent contract were Mike Piazza and Carlos Beltran.

Piazza of course was acquired via trade and would sign a seven-year, $91 million contract. Sure, he wasn’t the same player the final few years, but his production during the prime of his Mets career lived up to that contract.

As for Beltran, he may have gotten off to a slow start after signing a seven-year, $119 million, but he very quietly put together a solid Mets career. The strikeout against Adam Wainwright may cast a dark cloud over his Mets legacy, but he did have some good years in orange and blue.

It’s an unfortunate trend that the Mets have had so much trouble striking gold on the free-agent market. If things don’t turn around for Granderson, he could be next on the long list of Mets free-agent flops.

But luckily for Curtis, his Mets tenure has just begun. Guys go through slumps to start a season all the time. Keep in mind, he missed most of last year, so he’s still trying to rediscover his stroke.

Frankly, I don’t even care about the low batting average or the strikeouts as long as he’s driving in runs. He’s not all of a sudden going to transform into a .300 hitter.

It’s all about making productive outs and driving in runs when given the opportunity. Striking out with runners on second and third and nobody is unacceptable, especially for a middle of the order type hitter.

Since the other Mets are struggling offensively as well, Granderson’s woes are that much more noticeable, since he was brought in to give some stability to the offense and some protection behind David Wright.

For Granderson, I’ve already been hearing the Jason Bay comparisons. Through the first few weeks, “The Grandyman Can’t,” but he still has some time before a change is necessary.

It’s not like Bobby Abreu is going to be playing right field every day…

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Mets Farm Report: Dykstra’s Bat Leads 21 Run Salute Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:30:11 +0000 Allan-Dykstra

Las Vegas 21, El Paso 9

The 51′s scored in every inning Tuesday except their half of the 8th, as they take down the Chihuahua’s 21-9 in the series finale.  Las Vegas took 3-out-of -4 from El Paso and improve to 15-5 on the season.  Dana Eveland wasn’t spectacular but did what he needed to do, going five innings giving up four runs but striking out eight.  Las Vegas sent 12 batters to the plate in the first run and put seven on the board with nothing but walks and singles.  The 51′s were brutal against El Paso pitching all afternoon.  MMN Player of the Week Allan Dykstra continued his torrid pace going 4-for-5 with a homerun, two doubles, four runs scored, and five RBI.  Matt den Dekker would also have himself a good night driving in five runs of his own while hitting his first home run of the season.  Las Vegas is off Wednesday but will prepare to play hosts to Tacoma for a four-game series.

Portland 5, Binghamton 3

It would take extra innings, but Portland would score two runs in the top half of the 11th inning and beat the B-Mets 5-3.  Tied at 3-3 after the 6th inning, both teams were exchanging blows until Portland got the better of them to win the second game of the four-game series.  Hansel Robles would have his share of control problems during his short 4.2 inning outing.  Robles would end the night on the wrong side of the BB/K battle with 7 walks to 5 strikeouts.  He also gave up Portland’s three runs but ended with the no decision.  The B-Mets bullpen was great allowing just one hit in 5.1 innings until the wheels fell off for Jon Velasquez in the 11th. Kevin Plawecki went 2-for-5 and picked up one of the two Binghamton RBI.

St. Lucie 6, Palm Beach 5

Eudy Pina scores in the 12th inning on a Phillip Evans walk-off single as the St. Lucie Mets take down the Palm Beach Cardinals 6-5.  The Mets sweep the home portion of the home-and-home series against the Cardinals.  Matthew Koch would have a rough go of things early as he gave up four runs in his first inning of work.  The Mets bullpen kept them in the game withRandy Fontanez picking up his first win of the season with his one inning of work.  T.J. Riverahad a very nice day going 2-for-6 with his third home run of the season and would also drive in three runs.  Phillip Evans would also add a home run for the Mets to go along with his game-winning RBI single.  St. Lucie travels to Palm Beach on Wednesday for the final two games of this home-and-home series.

Delmarva 4, Savannah 1

Savannah falls to 10-6 on the season as the Delmarva Shorebirds take down the SandGnats 4-1.  Hunter Harvey would get the start for Delmarva and was baffling for four innings.  Control problems would end his day after four innings as he had walked five SandGnats.  Kevin McGowan had a rough go of things for Savannah giving up all four of the runs in 4.1 innings of work.  Dario Alvarez would come in for a lengthy relief appearance and was brilliant giving up just one hit in 3.2 innings while striking out six.  Savannah had no extra-base hits and would not record an RBI.  Gavin Cecchini scored the only run while going 1-for-3.  Savannah will look to rebound on Wednesday in the final game of the three-game series.

MMN Player of the Night

So I have decided to stay with the hot bat and select Allan Dykstra as the player of the night.  I probably could have picked anyone on Las Vegas but Dykstra’s 4-for-5 with 5 RBI takes the cake.

(Photo Credit: Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)


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MMO Fan Shot: Dave Hudgens and The Mets´ Way Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:20:34 +0000 sad mets bench

An MMO Fan Shot by Dave in Spain 

Dave Hudgens has been the Mets´ hitting coach since 2011. He and the Mets´ braintrust are proponents of a high- OBP approach, and being patiently aggressive.

Here is the progression of the ranking of Mets OBP in MLB under Hudgens´ tenure:

2011 – 6th
2012 – 20th
2013 – 25th
2014 – 26th (so far)

And here is the progression of OPS:

2011 – 13th
2012 – 23rd
2013 – 29th
2014 – 30th (so far)

I’ve heard the excuse that the Mets players just aren’t that good. The problem is, there are other teams with bad players too, yet the Mets are getting progressively worse in their specific target stats every year.

And now I hear that the brain-trust has invented some new esoteric pitch-per-something stat that they´re trying to apply throughout their system as a benchmark of success.

Writes Anthony DiComo at

Mets players received statistical breakdowns of their 2013 performances centered upon Bases Per Out, an internally developed metric that seeks to measure a player’s overall offensive production. Players with less than three years of service time were told that their BPOs would determine bonuses tacked onto future salary offers. Each base — one for a walk or single, two for a double — would earn them $200 more than what they would otherwise receive. Each out would slice off $100.

When Alderson first became GM, he and his staff made their views on hitting known, but did not enforce them to any great extent. That changed quickly. By last summer, coaches at each Minor League level were actually keeping score of their players through a point system, which had no correlation with traditional statistics. A hitter who worked a favorable count, for example, earned one point. A hitter who swung at a pitch out of the zone, regardless of the result, lost one. …

The only problem is that to date, the club’s offensive approach has not resulted in actual success. The Mets have scored dramatically fewer runs each year under [Sandy] Alderson, [Paul] DePodesta and [Dave] Hudgens, going from 718 in 2011 to 650 in ’12, down to 619 last season.

When will the madness stop?

When is it time to say ¨OK, maybe we were wrong and need a different approach?

I guess there´s one bright side to the declining OBP and OPS progressions: They will stop soon. They can´t go lower than 30th.

* * * * * * * *

This Fan Shot was contributed by Dave in Spain. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 30,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to us at Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

mmo fan shot

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Eric Campbell Making A Case For Mets Bench Spot Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:20:16 +0000 MLB: Spring Training-New York Mets at Miami Marlins

The recent performance of 27-year old Eric Campbell (AKA “Soup”) in Las Vegas may be proving costly in Josh Satin’s future as bench player/platoon first basemen for the Mets. In limited at bats this year for the Mets, (14), Satin has batted .143 with six strikeouts to go along with a .294 OBP. His strikeout percent is up from 25% to 35% this year. Again, Satin has not been given much time on the field and his time will increase in the future now that Ike Davis out of the picture.

However, Mets prospect Eric Campbell has been tearing it up in Las Vegas so far this season. Through 19 games, Campbell has produced a .346/.430/.556 clip, including three home runs and 18 RBI’s. Campbell has also walked more times than he has struck out (11 BB,9K), a very healthy line thus far.

When comparing Satin and Campbell’s minor league stats in Las Vegas, they have both produced similar numbers. The clear advantage that Campbell has as a bench player is his ability to play multiple positions. Campbell has played every infield position this year in Las Vegas, including one games at shortstop, a position he hasn’t played since his early minor league years.

Additionally, Campbell has also played both corner outfield positions during his 2014 campaign. Campbell has yet to commit a fielding error this season, and has a career .981 fielding percentage in his seven-year minor league career. Campbell has proven to not be a liability at the multitude of positions he is capable of playing. While many players see their offensive production decline when they are learning and experimenting at different positions, Campbell has been able to keep a solid batting average and on-base percentage while playing his role as a gap-to-gap hitter in the middle of the 51’s lineup.

It would be interesting to see the set up of the Mets bench with Campbell on the team instead of Satin. Satin only plays first and third base for the Mets, while Campbell could be a viable backup at first base, second base, third base, and the corner outfield positions. I am not sold on him being able to act as a backup shortstop in the majors, but he can sure play there in a pinch.

With Campbell on the team, the Mets can send down an outfielder to make room for a higher upside bat, maybe a Wilmer Flores or a Kirk Nieuwenhuis (assuming he is sent down once Lagares returns). It is an interesting thing to consider reforming the Mets bench and giving them flexibility in late game situations.

I see Satin’s days on the big league squad dwindling if Campbell can continue his AAA production and provide an upside opportunity for the Mets bench.

Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Presented By Diehards

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How About Some Offense, Please? Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:27:32 +0000  lucas duda mets win dugout

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, manager Terry Collins suggested he might give our current lineup a month — with Curtis Granderson No. 2, Daniel Murphy No. 4 and Lucas Duda No. 6 — before eventually placing Duda in the cleanup spot.

“We’ve put a lot on Lucas’ plate in the past week,” Collins said about the reluctance to use Duda as a cleanup hitter now. “I don’t want to pile on.”

While we are watching most every night an offense that is struggling to perform, everyone is wanting to upgrade.  It’s not easy to get new players, so what can we do with what we have?  First let’s take a look at what has been going on.  Let’s look at the last ten games.

The leadoff hitter, Eric Young Jr., is batting .194, but has a .341 OBP.  The #2 hitter, Curtis Granderson, is hitting .108 with a .150 OBP.  David Wright is hitting .356 with almost a .400 OBP, but only has three runs scored.  Daniel Murphy has been hitting .239 with only one walk and two RBIs.  Chris Young has been here for six games and has a .238 average.  The sixth place hitter, Lucas Duda, is batting .303 with a .361 OBP. Travis d’Arnaud started slowly and while he has hit only .219 in his last ten games, he’s had some decent at-bats and could be warming up. Ruben Tejada is hitting a very empty .172.  In the power department, there has been only one homerun, by Duda.

So, here is our batting order the last ten games:

  1. .194
  2. .108
  3. .356
  4. .239
  5. .238
  6. .303
  7. .219
  8. .172

Pretty sad.  Here are some proposed changes:

  1. Bring up Wilmer Flores already.  What is the delay?  Tejada does not have big expectations like a Granderson so we aren’t expecting much and Omar Quintanilla has NO range and no bat.  Can’t Flores do at least that with hopefully some pop and offense?
  2. Switch Duda and Granderson.  While Collins wants to shelter Duda from the cleanup spot, the better spot to utilize his walks would be in front of Wright and Murphy.
  3. Bat Chris Young leadoff and EYJ ninth.  Collins talked about doing this and like anything else he has said he would do, we have not seen it.  However, having the two Youngs in front of Duda, Wright, and Murphy couldn’t hurt.  This way, EY’s low run production is ok in the #9 spot and we can afford to give him one less plate appearance per game. 

Hence, here is my proposed lineup:

  1. Chris Young
  2. Lucas Duda
  3. David Wright
  4. Daniel Murphy
  5. Wilmer Flores
  6. Curtis Granderson
  7. Travis d’Arnaud
  8. Pitcher
  9. Eric Young Jr. 

I think this new lineup consolidates our better hitters at the top and gives Granderson a less stressful environment to get his bat going.  When Granderson does get going, we can simply adjust.

Presented By Diehards

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Granderson’s Struggles Continue, Collins Says It’s Only April Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:35:24 +0000 curtis granderson

April 23

Curtis Granderson’s struggles continue and he is now hitless in a career-high 22 straight at-bats. However, manager Terry Collins has no intentions of sitting his right fielder.

“He hasn’t changed his demeanor at all, and that’s why I know he’s not letting this get to him,” Collins said. “He’s going to battle his way through it. There’s a certain time, and you see it with a lot of guys, where after a while something is going to get slammed down. But he’s handled it great.”

“It’s April still. We’ve got to get him some at-bats and get him ready.”

I can’t imagine a worse way for Granderson to get his Mets career started. Forget the batting average which now stands at .116, nobody ever expected him to come to Flushing and bat .280 or .290. What is most alarming is that he’s shown no power whatsoever. Even when he makes contact it’s been mostly grounders and popups.

I don’t see what the harm is in giving him a couple of days off to regroup, work with Hudgens and spend some extra time in the batting cages. But as is usually the case with decision-making and the Mets, we have to take the slow and drawn out approach.  

April 22

We’re closing in on the end of the first month of the season and right fielder Curtis Granderson is batting .121 with just eight hits and a .451 OPS in 76 plate appearances.

It’s that time of the year when statisticians drum up things like “Granderson will need to bat .375 the rest of this season to finish with a .230 batting average.”

Batting in the No. 2 spot for the second straight game, Curtis Granderson struck out in all three of his at-bats during Monday’s 2-0 win over the Cardinals. He also reached base after getting hit by a pitch. That extended his hitless streak to 19 straight at-bats – two at-bats shy of his career high — an 0-for-21 skid in 2006 with the Tigers.

Despite that feel-good, walk-off sac fly on Sunday, Granderson was 0-for-6 going into that at-bat and if there was nobody on third base, it’s just a shallow fly to left.

Granderson has now struck out 23 times in 66 at-bats this season.

“I just need to get results,” Granderson said. “I’ve just got to go ahead and put the bat on the ball, put it in play, and hopefully some good things will happen.”

The problem is that he isn’t putting the bat on the ball and for the most part when he does, he’s not doing any damage.

Mike Puma of the NY Post sarcastically said last night, “If Curtis Granderson keeps this up, the Jason Bay comparisons will stop. They’ll be too generous.”

“I’m still trying to get a good ball to handle,” said Granderson, who has been working with hitting coach Dave Hudgens in an attempt to get out of his slump. “I’ve talked to [Hudgens] about trying not to cover everything. Cover your strengths and work on that.”

But what are his strengths?


A look at his heat map from ESPN suggests that he’s an easy out no matter where they pitch him. Granderson has no comfort zone.

The worst part of his HBP on Monday was that he had to stand at first base all that time while being suffocated by a chorus of boos. There was no hiding in the dugout.

For his sake – and ours – I hope he gets it together soon. Even last season’s .229 batting average would be a significant improvement.

Presented By Diehards

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MMO Morning Grind: The Insurance Run Epidemic Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:56:27 +0000 jose valverde

Good morning, Mets fans!

Let me set the scene. The Mets head into an important inning, late in the game. It might even be the 9th. It’s usually the 9th. They’re down by a run, or maybe 2. Whatever the deficit is, it’s usually larger by the time the inning ends.

The Mets hand out so many insurance runs that Mr. Met should probably be replaced by a sassy gecko by the end of the season (No word on whether the sassy gecko has Super-2 status, which would be a game-changer).

Take Opening Day, for example. The Mets allowed the Nationals to take the lead in the 10th, then let Washington tack on a few more runs before getting out of the inning. David Wright hit a 2-run home run in the bottom half of the inning, but thanks to the insurance runs, it didn’t matter.

Or why don’t you take Saturday night’s game, when Jose Valverde ket a 1-run deficit become a 4-run gap, which wasted the impressive rally the Mets would put together against Craig Kimbrel in the bottom of the 9th.

Even last night’s game would have looked a bit different if Valverde hadn’t given up a run in the top of the 9th to make it a 3 run game. In a 2-run game, maybe Curtis Bay Granderson is more aggressive with a runner on base once he gets into a hitters’ count. Maybe David Wright and Daniel Murphy take different approaches at the plate.

Whenever the Mets dig themselves into a hole, they  have to try and see if they can pull out one last rally. But when one of their relievers deepens that hole right before the Mets get set to make their final push, it makes the comeback attempts harder (obviously) and can have a demoralizing effect on the hitters. Imagine running out onto the field for the top of the 9th knowing you’ll just need 1 run in the bottom half, but being down 4 runs by the time you get back in the dugout.

Relievers are most often criticized when they blow leads (you have ONE job!), and they take a good amount of heat when they can’t maintain a tie. But when a reliever enters a game with his team trailing by a run or 2, he has to bear down and keep it that way. Keep your team in the game, give your team a chance to win. That’s what you have to do if you’re a reliever, and our bullpen’s current inability to do so has cost us early in the season.

Let’s hope the bullpen can stop handing out insurance runs. Or better yet, let’s hope we can hand our relievers leads, and render this entire discussion moot. A nice, relaxing, blowout victory today would be nice. Have a good day, Mets fans!

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MMO Game Recap: Cardinals 3, Mets 0 Wed, 23 Apr 2014 02:43:37 +0000 dillon gee

Once again, the Mets got stellar starting pitching, and once again, the bullpen was solid with the exception of Jose Valverde, but unfortunately, as has happened far too often this early season, once again, the Mets bats fell silent. The Cardinals got a brilliant pitching performance by Adam Wainwright, who was forced to leave the game after seven innings due to an apparent knee injury, and beat the Mets 3-0.

With the loss, the Mets fall back to .500 at 10-10. They wasted a strong outing by Dillon Gee who pitched six innings of two run baseball. Curtis Granderson seems incapable of breaking out of his current slump, going 0-3, and extending his hitless streak to 22 straight at-bats. David Wright had a rare 0-4 night, breaking his 12-game hitting streak. The Mets and Cards will go back at it tomorrow night with Jon Niese facing Michael Wacha.

Mets Cards 4.22 WE

Key Play

It was a little too reminiscent of 2006. In a strange coincidence of characters and theatrics, Adam Wainwright had a curveball hit for what looked like a game-tying home run untll Matt Holiday stole it from the top of the wall. Of course, it was nowhere close to as spectacular as Endy Chavez play.

Holliday Robs HR

Starter Focus

Dillon Gee

It took 95 pitches for Gee to reach six innings of work. He allowed only two runs on six hits, struck out four, and walked two. He got lots of swings on his breaking pitches, but only one swing-and-miss on the curveball. The key was 17 of 25 batters he threw first pitch strikes.

Gee 4.22

Adam Wainwright

Wainwright was sharp through seven innings before landing awkwardly while running towards first base, forcing him out of the game. He only needed 79 pitches to retire the Mets with ease, allowing only four baserunners.

Wainwright 4.22

Win Probability Chart courtesy of FanGraphs. Detailed pitching data courtesy of Brooks Baseball.

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MMO Game Thread: Cardinals vs Mets, 7:10 PM Tue, 22 Apr 2014 21:50:24 +0000 USATSI dillon gee

After moving back above .500 with a win against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night, the Mets tackle them again tonight at Citi Field. Cards ace Adam Wainwright opposes Dillon Gee in a  7:10 PM start as the 4-game series continues.

Dillon Gee picked up his first win of the season in last start against Arizona, pitching 7.0 scoreless innings, allowing three hits, walking none and fanning three. He has tossed 6.0 or more innings in 24 of his last 26 starts dating back to May 30 of last year, going 15-11 with a 2.86 ERA.

Daniel Murphy swiped third base in the sixth inning last night, his 25th consecutive stolen base, dating to June 9, 2013. It is the third longest streak of consecutive steals in franchise history. Howard Johnson went 26 straight in 1989 and Kevin McReynolds swiped 33 straight from 1987 to 1989.

David Wright has eight RBI in his last eight games, including two multi-RBI games during that run and at least one RBI in three straight contests. He Extended his hitting streak to 12 games going 1-4 last night and is hitting .370 (20-54) during this span.

New York’s bullpen has tossed 10.1 scoreless innings over its last two games. Carlos Torres is 2-0 with one save, 15 strikeouts and a 0.79 ERA (one earned run /11.1 innings) in his last eight outings.

Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young Jr., lf
  2. Curtis Granderson, rf
  3. David Wright, 3b
  4. Daniel Murphy, 2b
  5. Chris Young, cf
  6. Lucas Duda, 1b
  7. Travis d’Arnaud, c
  8. Omar Quintanilla, ss
  9. Dillon Gee, rhp

Game Preview

The Mets have a winning record! Last night, the Mets beat the Cardinals in a shutout win as they moved one game above .500. Now the Mets will have to face the heart of the St. Louis starting rotation for the next three days, so the order is tougher, but the Mets will be up to the challenge. Today Dillon Gee gets the start as he matches up with Adam Wainwright.

Dillon Gee is 1-0 on the season over 4 starts with a 3.71 ERA and 26.2 innings of work. His FIP this season is 5.03 as he has walked 7 and struck out 17. His last start against the Diamondbacks was by far his best of the season as he shutout them out over 7.0 innings while allowing only 3 hits, no walks and 3 strikeouts. Last year he was 1-1 over 10.2 innings and two starts with a 5.06 ERA while allowing 15 hits, 7 runs, 6 earned, 5 walks and 12 strikeouts. The Cards have the following numbers against Gee:

  • Holliday 2-12, 2 2B
  • Molina 3-12, 2 2B
  • Craig 4-8, HR
  • Jay 2-7
  • Carpenter 2-4, 3 BB
  • Ellis 0-3

The Mets match up against their long time foe in Adam Wainwright who is off to another great start this year where he has gone 3-1 over 4 starts with a 1.80 ERA, 2.28 FIP and 30.0 innings of work allowing 9 walks and striking out 32. Two starts ago were rougher Adam as he allowed 4 ER over 7.0 IP, but last time out he threw a complete game shutout. Against the Mets last year he pitched 13.0 innings over two starts with a 2.08 ERA. The Mets have the following numbers against Wainwright:

  • Wright 5-15, 2 2B
  • C Young 2-12
  • Duda 2-8, 2B, HR
  • Murphy 6-11, 2 2B, 3B
  • Quintanilla 4-12, 2 2B
  • Granderson 1-5

Lets Go Mets!

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Anthony Recker Proving To Be Solid Backup Catcher Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:15:43 +0000 anthony recker

When Anthony Recker made the Opening Day roster in 2013, I thought to myself: “Who on earth is this guy?” The now 30 year old backstop for the Mets is making a case for staying in Flushing for the near future.

Anthony Recker had played in only 27 games in his major league career, in stints with the Cubs and the Athletics, before signing with the Mets before the 2013 season.

Early on in 2013, he served as the backup to veteran catcher John Buck, but didn’t see much playing time because John Buck was red hot to start the season. He would later spend some time in Las Vegas before being called back up when Buck was traded in August. This time, he was called upon to backup highly touted catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud.

Recker’s final line in 2013 doesn’t do him much justice. He finished the season playing in 50 games, getting up to the plate 135 times and only batting .215 with a .680 OPS. However, Recker always seemed to come through when we really needed it, including a 13th inning home run on the Fourth of July against Heath Bell and the Padres to give the Mets a lead, numerous caught stealings behind the plate, and even a relief appearance against the Washington Nationals.

He again made the Opening Day roster in 2014, serving as the primary backup to Travis d’Arnaud, and thus far, has proven he deserves to stay. From throwing out Billy Hamilton, to another 13th inning home run against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, to his raw power, and even more throw-outs, Anthony Recker has dazzled behind the dish and is making a case to being one of the better backup catcher’s in baseball.

Recker has a knack for big home runs and of his eight longballs as a Met, seven of them have either tied the game or put the Mets in front.

After Recker homered and doubled in the Mets’ 5-2 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks last Wednesday, Terry Collins said he likely would begin giving him more playing time.

A year ago, I didn’t know who Anthony Recker was, and today I’m thankful that he is on the Amazin’s and is providing us with some depth behind the dish and us as fans can be confident when he steps up on d’Arnaud’s off days.

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It’s Time for Sandy to Upgrade Shortstop Tue, 22 Apr 2014 17:09:08 +0000 nick franklin

After Jenrry Mejia and the bullpen turned in spectacular performances to help the Mets improve to 10-9 last night, I thought to myself, how the hell are the Mets one game above .500 given how bad their offense has been to start the season? It’s even more mind-boggling when you consider the caliber of teams they have faced. Through the first three weeks of the season, the Mets have squared up against the Nationals, Reds, Braves, Angels and now the Cardinals; all teams that are significantly better than the Mets on paper.

It’s really amazing when you think about it. Curtis Granderson has been useless, David Wright really hasn’t been David Wright until recently, Travis d’Arnaud is just starting to put it together, Chris Young played his first game since opening day a few days ago and Juan Lagares has been MIA for about a week now.

To say the Mets offense has been anemic would be a compliment. At least people with anemia are currently alive. The Mets offense is dead. It does not have a pulse. But somehow the Mets are still in it. This tells me they can remain in it for a significant amount of time with increased performances from players like Granderson and Chris Young, the continued emergence of Travis d’Arnaud, the return of Juan Lagares and most importantly, an upgrade at shortstop.

Ruben Tejada can only dump so many baseballs over the second baseman’s head before other teams catch on. I hate to beat a dead horse as I’m sure most Mets fan can agree that Tejada is not the answer but that does not mean we should stop talking about it. It’s time for the Mets to move on from Ruben Tejada and there’s no better time than now to make a move.

There seems to be some sort of urgency developing in Arizona. The Diamondbacks are 5-17 and already eight games back in the National League West. If they feel they have any sort of chance at playoff contention, the time to do something about their horrendous start is now. The problem with Arizona is, of course, their pitching. And it’s a very big problem at that. They are dead last in all of baseball in ERA (5.69) by a sizable margin. Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers is seemingly dead set on calling up uber prospect Archie Bradley after earning Super Two status so he’s not currently an option. The fans are fed up. Both Kirk Gibson and Towers are on the hot seat and they really do not have any other options at this point.

If I recall, the D-Backs have a certain shortstop the Mets would certainly be interested in. No, I’m not talking about Didi Gregorius. The Mets need offense, not defense. I’m talking about Chris Owings. Owings is off to a decent start, batting .290 with four stolen bases. Mets fans got a brief look at him during the Mets’ three game series in Arizona and it was Gary Cohen who referred to Owings as a ‘gamer’. I’m sure Arizona would love to make him their shortstop of the future but you’d have to believe they realize he’s a much more attractive trade chip than Didi Gregorius.

With their current situation, the D-Backs could possibly be willing to move Owings and possibly even at a lower price than before the start of the season. They were rumored to be interested in a top catching prospect so maybe if you add a guy like Kevin Plawecki to a deal that also includes a proven major league starter like Jon Niese or Dillon Gee, Towers might be willing to budge.

There’s always Nick Franklin as well, who I have always seen as a better fit for the Mets than Chris Owings. He may not be the better overall prospect but I think it’s safe to say his offensive ceiling is higher. He’s got 15-20 home run power with good speed and the ability to hit for average. He is also a more patient hitter who could maybe profile in the leadoff spot for the time being.

The problem many see with Franklin, however, is his defense. This ‘problem’ is a bit overstated in my opinion, as most scouts believe Franklin can be fringe average to average at the position for the foreseeable future. The Mets could always move him to second base if they choose not to extend Murphy, while going after a shortstop in free agency next offseason where the crop isn’t half bad. At second base, Franklin could actually be good enough to save runs on defense.

The only problem I see with acquiring Nick Franklin for a decent price is the fact that Brad Miller is currently in a monstrous slump. It is unclear whether or not the Mariners believe Franklin is capable of manning shortstop but after recently calling him up, they might be inclined to give him some reps at shortstop and an opportunity to seize the position away from Miller. The Mariners, however, desperately need pitching as well due to James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker all currently residing on the shelf.

Whether it’s signing Stephen Drewtrading for either Owings or Franklin, or giving Wilmer Flores a fair shot at the job, the Mets desperately need to do something about their shortstop dilemma. If they expect to float above .500 for the rest of the season, it’s a necessity. The rest of their offense is nowhere near good enough to justify Ruben Tejada or dare I say, Omar Quintanilla, at shortstop for the rest of the season. It’s time for Sandy to pick up the phone and make a move.

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Mets Farm Report: Campbell Soups One Out, Nimmo Two More Knocks Tue, 22 Apr 2014 15:09:25 +0000 eric campbell mmo

Las Vegas 5, El Paso 4 

Logan Verrett took the ball for the 51s and delivered a so-so start giving up four earned runs on eight hits in four innings pitched. He walked none and struck out five. Vic Black threw a rare clean inning, striking out two in the process and keeping his ERA spotless. Jeff Walter recorded his fifth save of the season but it was Miguel Socolovich who recorded the win with a great three inning outing, only giving up one hit and striking out four. Eric Campbell had a great night going 2 for 4 while slugging a double and home run and driving in two runs. Cesar Puello was assigned the leadoff spot for the night and delivered going two for four with a triple and a run.

Portland 7, Binghamton 4

Tyler Pill got beat up in this one as he allowed five earned runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings pitched and suffered his third loss of the season. T.J. Chism did not fair much better, giving up two earned runs in 1.2 innings of relief. On the bright side, Jack Leathersich threw a clean inning. Jayce Boyd had a two RBI night going 1 for 2 with two walks. Red Sox top prospect Henry Owens held off the B-Mets for most of his outing but eventually cracked in the 6th, giving up all three runs in that frame.

St. Lucie 5, Palm Beach 4

Luis Cessa tossed six innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits. His control was a little shaky as he surrendered three walks, while striking out two. Brandon Nimmo simply refuses to cool down, collecting another two hits and a walk, while driving in two runs. TJ Rivera continued his torrid start to the season as well collecting three hits in four at bats and contributing an RBI. Aderlin Rodriguez had the other two RBI’s with a double in three at-bats.

Savannah 10, Delmarva 5

Chris Flexen did not have the best outing as he gave up nine hits and three walks in just five innings pitched. However, he kept the runs to a minimum, only allowing three. Jared King stole the show in this one, collecting two hits and a walk in five at-bats. He clubbed a home run in the third and added a triple as well. Gavin Cecchini continued to struggle with the stick as he only collected a single and walk in five at-bats, while striking out twice. Dominic Smith, however, seemed to break out of his funk with two singles and two walks on the night. LJ Mazzilli drove in two with a 2 for 6 night as well. It was a good night all around for the Sand Gnats offense.

Player of the Night:

Eric Campbell: Campbell collected two steaks and hit his third home run of the season, while also adding a double.

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Howie Rose: That’s As Good As It Gets! Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:52:08 +0000 ruben tejada jenrry mejia

In probably one of the most satisfying wins thus far, the Mets, backed by superb pitching and spectacular defense, narrowly shut out the Cardinals, 2-0. While the offense was not overwhelming, they were able to work Cardinals’ starter Tyler Lyons enough to knock in two runs and draw four walks. it was a much needed victory for the Metropolitans, who are experiencing many difficulties winning at home.

Jenrry Mejia put together a spectacular outing, going 6.2 strong innings with seven strikeouts and three walks. His placement and command were exceptional, and his offspeed and breaking pitches were downright nasty. He started off extremely strong, letting up only two hits through the first five innings. When trouble began brewing in the sixth after two walks,

Mejia did a marvelous job pitching his way through the inning to coax the popups and the double plays when needed.

Ruben Tejada had a monster day in the field, making a few gorgeous diving stops and starting two critical double plays including this one in the fifth inning in which he pairs with Daniel Murphy to wow the crowd:

Last night’s win could easily be credited to the admirable defensive display put on by infielders Tejada, Murphy, Josh Satin and David Wright. In the sixth inning, Mejia made sure to give a fist bump to all four of them before departing the mound after Terry Collins replaced him.

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Draft Update: Harrison, Kolek, Toussaint Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:00:49 +0000 Monte-Harrison

High School outfielder Monte Harrison

Kolek Could Go Top 5

ESPN’s Keith Law recently had a chance to check out Texas high schooler Tyler Kolek. The Shepard H.S senior came into the season as a surefire first round pick, but his stock has been on the rise since. The fire-balling right-hander, who has been known to hit 100 MPH on the radar gun, now looks like a top-5 selection. Law broke down Kolek’s repertoire after seeing him live:

Kolek was 93-97, mostly sitting 95-96, showing good two-seam life on some of the pitches, with others straightening out because he overthrew them. He throws a hard, slurvy slider that is average to above-average when he’s pitching to a right-handed batter, 79-83 with sharp break and good tilt. However, it gets sloppy with a left-handed batter at the plate, as Kolek tries too hard to hit the outside corner and the pitch loses its sharpness and some of its angle. He has a changeup but barely uses it — at this level, it’s just doing hitters who can’t catch up to 94-plus velocity a favor.

There were some reservations on Law’s part, however, and most of them centered around Kolek’s gargantuan body.

Kolek is massive for a high school student — I’ve seen him listed at 6-foot-5 and anywhere from 230 to 250 pounds, but eyeballing it I’d guess he’s closer to 265-270. He looks like a late-20s Roger Clemens or Nolan Ryan, with a strong trunk and legs to generate all that power. The other body comparison I might offer is Jeff Juden, who started out at 6-8, 240 pounds but peaked near 300 pounds in 1994. The challenge for Kolek will be maintaining his conditioning, and the challenge for scouts is to convince themselves he’s up to the task.

Toussaint Still Battling Command Issues

Nick Faleris of Baseball Prospectus got a look at prep right-hander Touki Toussaint recently at the National High School Invitational, and came away impressed with the improvement of his offspeed pitch.

Toussaint has already been written about plenty in this space, but his NHSI start was unique for him in that he brought to the table his best changeup to date. The off-speed was a deceptive offering that worked in various counts as both a freeze pitch and a swing-and-miss follow to his 89 to 92 mph fastball (he was in the low 90s, touching 94 early on).

The Vanderbilt commit jumped up draft boards at the end of last season, but has seen his stock slip a bit due to command issues that now have likely headed for the back end of the first round. It was more of the same in his NHSI start according to Faleris:

Control issues continue to plague the Vandy commit, as he issued five walks over his six innings pitched, but the Orange Lutheran (Orange, CA) lineup could not take advantage, and Toussaint ended up with a six inning shutout and a win, allowing just one hit and striking out 12.

Monte Harrison’s Stock Rising? 

Baseball America’s Clint Longenecker is singing the praises of Missouri high school outfielder Monte Harrison. The 6’2, 201 pound Harrison is a physical specimen that oozes athleticism, which is backed up by his dual-sport commitment to Nebraska (he scored 28 touchdowns and gained over 1,500 yards in football for his high school).

A potential five tool player, Harrison has shown serious promise in baseball despite limited time to dedicate himself to the sport (he also plays basketball). Yet somehow, he’s still impressing scouts and especially Longenecker, who broke down Harrison’s tools:

The 6-foot-2, 201-pound Harrison is a physical specimen with lean, powerful muscle on his frame. Harrison is a plus runner in the 60-yard dash, although his speed played closer to average on the showcase circuit with a swing that left him slower out of the box. But he has posted plus times this spring. He is a long-striding, gliding runner whose speed really plays underway and takes multiple bases.

His arm is one of the best in the class, consistently showing plus, if not plus-plus. His physical attributes and athleticism give the chance to be a plus defender.

Although he showed some swing and miss at Tournament of Stars last summer, Harrison made a surprising amount of contact on the showcase circuit given how many baseball reps he had compared to his showcase peers.

Harrison’s hit tool will be watched closely this spring by evaluators as the only remaining tool that is not confidently in the plus category.

Although his power was mostly to the gaps on the showcase circuit, Harrison has 70-grade raw power, according to one evaluator.

Longenecker isn’t alone either, he’s spoken to some scouts and evaluators who have been drooling over the toolsy outfielder.

“It’s hard not to dream on the premium athletes like Monte,” an American League scout said. “You never know what they are going to turn into but he could be a perennial All-Star if everything comes together. There’s almost nothing he can’t do on the baseball field.”

And if all of that wasn’t enough, Monte appears to be a great kid and a leader on and off the field, with great instincts for the game despite limited playing experience. The only question appears to be if a team can sign him away from a potential football career.

To read the rest of the articles by these draft guru’s, simply click the hyperlink in their respective blurbs.

(Photo credit: Scott Kurtz/Area Code Baseball and Mike Janes/Four Seam Images/AP Images)

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MMO Spotlight: Jenrry Mejia is 3-0 with a 1.99 ERA Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:03:22 +0000 jenrry mejia

The Mets are now 4-0 in games started by Jenrry Mejia.

On Monday night against the St. Louis Cardinals, Mejia was sizzling as he held the defending NL champs to just four hits in 6.2 scoreless innings.

With blister-gate completely behind him, the young righty looked like an unstoppable force on the mound, stopping the Cards’ high-powered offense dead in their tracks with an explosive fastball.

“Coming off the blister … we weren’t sure what he was going to give us,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “He gave us more than we expected, for sure.”

Mejia struck out seven and walked three, and in the process he extended his scoreless streak to 13.2 innings.

Modest to the core, “That was pretty good,” Mejia said about his outing, “but all of my infielders helped me a lot. Tejada and Murphy, they made a couple of double plays over there. That made me feel pretty good.”

It was right after the fifth inning that it occurred to me that Mejia may be the best starting pitcher we have right now, despite coming within a split-hair decision of beginning the season in the minors. It’s funny how things go sometimes in this game.

It seems like Mejia has been around forever, but the 24-year old is the same age as Matt Harvey and six months older than Zack Wheeler. He now finds himself with a perfect 3-0 record and a 1.99 ERA. This number five starter is pitching more like an ace.

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 2 , Cardinals 0 Tue, 22 Apr 2014 02:10:32 +0000 jenrry mejia

The Mets defeated the St. Louis Cardinals by a score of 2-0 on Monday night at Citi Field.  Debuting their camouflage uniforms that will be worn for five Military Monday night games throughout the season, righthander Jenrry Mejia opposed Cardinals southpaw Tyler Lyons.

What you should know:

Jenrry Mejia looked sharp right out of the gate, pitching 6 and 2/3 innings, while striking out 7 and only allowing 4 hits. He ran into a bit of trouble in the 7th inning, but was bailed out by Scott Rice, who induced a ground ball to end the inning.

Tyler Lyons also looked good for St. Louis early, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits, but was on the wrong end of a tightly contested game.

Travis d’Arnaud went 2-for-4, just missing a home run in his first at bat, and driving in a run in the 6th inning.

David Wright continued his hot hitting, extending his hit streak to 12 games, the third longest current streak in the major leagues, and also drove in a run, going 1-for-4 on the night.

Curtis Granderson‘s woes continued as he went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and a hit by pitch.

Ruben Tejada showed flashes of Andrelton Simmons in the field Monday night, making two spectacular plays with the leather, including a double play that will be soon be seen on Baseball Tonight’s Web Gem segment.

The Mets went 3 for 7 with Runners In Scoring Position tonight, as opposed to 0 for 10 yesterday afternoon.

kyle farnsworth

The Mets bullpen was splendid yet again, with Scott Rice, Carlos Torres and Kyle Farnsworth combining to pitch 2 and 2/3 innings of scoreless ball.

Kyle Farnsworth shut the door in the 9th, earning his first save as a New York Met.

Player of the Game:

Monday night’s player of the game goes to Mets starting pitcher Jenrry Mejia, who turned in 6 and 2/3 innings of scoreless innings while striking out 7.

Final Score:

New York Mets 2, St. Louis Cardinals 0

Winning Pitcher: Jenrry Mejia (3-0)

Losing Pitcher: Tyler Lyons (0-1)

Save: Kyle Farnsworth (1)

On Deck:

The Mets face the Cardinals again Tuesday night, as they look for another victory with Dillon Gee squaring off against Adam Wainwright.

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