Mets Merized Online » 2011 http://metsmerizedonline.com Sat, 27 Aug 2016 03:30:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.15 As Mets Consider A Jose Reyes Reunion, Here’s Why They Should Sign Him http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/as-mets-consider-a-jose-reyes-reunion-heres-why-they-should-sign-him.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/as-mets-consider-a-jose-reyes-reunion-heres-why-they-should-sign-him.html/#comments Tue, 21 Jun 2016 10:00:37 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215018 New York Mets v Colorado Rockies

A team source has told Adam Rubin of ESPN that the Mets are now considering bringing back Jose Reyes once he becomes a free agent. It’s a complete reversal from five days ago when this team source described a reunion with Reyes as having “virtually no chance.”

After getting swept by the Atlanta Braves over the weekend and team owner Jeff Wilpon barking that the front office needs to act now and not later, all options are now on the table including 33-year old former Met.

Let me come out and say that I am completely biased when it comes to the subject of Jose Reyes. He was my favorite baseball player for almost a decade because of the excitement, intensity and enthusiasm he brought to every game. A Jose Reyes triple was the most electrifying play in all of baseball. And the fact that he played shortstop for the Mets (the exact job I still hold in my dreams) didn’t hurt either.

So when I read fellow MMO writer Mets Daddy’s perfectly reasonable explanation of why the Mets would be foolish to re-acquire Jose Reyes, who was designated for assignment by the Colorado Rockies last Wednesday, I had to offer a counter argument.

Despite being a Reyes super-fan for so many years (with the jersey t-shirts to prove it), I have no delusions that he still resembles the dynamic player he was on the Mets from 2003 to 2011. Reyes is 33 years old, advanced age for someone who relies mostly on his speed to succeed. He is coming off an underwhelming second half of 2015 in Colorado, where he also demonstrated a bad attitude after being traded against his will.

Most glaring is the matter of Reyes’ arrest for domestic violence against his wife, which caused him to be suspended for 59 games by Major League Baseball. I can’t argue with anyone who objects to bringing Reyes aboard purely for that reason, or the PR disaster that might ensue, and it would certainly be difficult to root for someone accused of such a crime.

None of these red flags should be overlooked, particularly the domestic violence charges. But if Reyes is going to receive another chance, as so many athletes have before him, the Mets should be the team to provide it.

jose Reyes

From a baseball perspective, Reyes could be the spark this depleted Mets offense (and demoralized fan base) badly needs, and a cheap one at that. Even in his declined physical state, he could easily be one of the most exciting and productive players in a Mets lineup that gets duller, weaker and more injured by the day.

Reyes would provide speed and the ability to manufacturer runs to a team that has neither. He hit .274 last season with 26 steals, numbers that aren’t great but would be extremely welcome if even remotely replicated in a Mets uniform this season. And maybe playing for the team that raised him and the fans that loved chanting his name (“Jose, Jose, Jose…”) would rejuvenate Reyes’ career.

Even if he is a shell of his former self, Reyes would still likely be an upgrade over several of the players the Mets are sending to the plate these days. The revolving door of replacement level infielders – Matt Reynolds, Ty Kelly and Eric Campbell – would finally be shut. With David Wright potentially out for the season, Lucas Duda’s return date still unknown, and Travis d’Arnaud perpetually injured, adding a major league-caliber player with a proven track record in New York City could only help the team.

Logistically speaking, if the Mets acquired Reyes they could shift Neil Walker to third base and Asdrubal Cabrera to second. While this would not be ideal defensive positioning, getting Reyes’ bat and speed into the lineup should be the priority. It would also allow Wilmer Flores to go back to his role as a part time player and utility man. Or they could simply start Reyes at third base – we know he has the arm.

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Jose Reyes still lives in New York

The Mets passed on re-signing Reyes when his contract ended in 2011, and even a Jose super-fan like me couldn’t be upset given the absurd contract he received. They now have another opportunity to bring back one of the most exciting players in the team’s history, at practically no cost.

Reyes may be too old to make a difference on the field, and he may be too much of a liability off it. But the Mets are in desperation mode right now. They are slow and boring, two things that Reyes is certainly not. So why not take a chance and bring Jose back?

Reyes loves the Big Apple and has referred to his time with the Mets as the best years of his life. He also continues to call New York home and never sold his beautiful house in Old Brookville. Why not see if we can catch lightning in a bottle?

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MLB Draft: Mets Have No. 19 Selection, Reviewing Past Top Picks http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mlb-draft-mets-have-no-19-selection-reviewing-past-top-picks.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mlb-draft-mets-have-no-19-selection-reviewing-past-top-picks.html/#comments Thu, 09 Jun 2016 17:38:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=214477 2014 draft day studio secaucus

Major League Baseball will conduct day one of the 2016 First Year Player Draft on Thursday, June 9 at MLB Network’s Studio 42 in Secaucus, New Jersey.

The event will air live on MLB Network and will be streamed on MLB.com at 7:00 p.m. ET.

The New York Mets will have two picks (19, 31) during the first round on Thursday night and the team will be represented by former closer John Franco.

MMO will be on hand at Studio 42 where senior editor Clayton Collier will live tweet the event, speak to some of the draft day hopefuls, and get some insights from the Mets contingent.

Here is a summary of past top draft picks by the New York Mets spanning the last five hears of the current regime.

Mets Top Draft Picks During Sandy Alderson ERA:

2015: Desmond Lindsay, OF (2nd round, 53rd pick)

In 35 games with the GCL Mets and Brooklyn Cyclones in 2015, Lindsay batted .263 with a .364 on-base percentage, seven doubles, two triples, one home run and 13 RBI in 134 plate appearances. He currently is biding his time St. Lucie until the Cyclones season begins.

2014: Michael Conforto, OF (1st round, 10th pick)

Conforto was the first top draft pick to reach the major leagues in the Alderson era. In 2015, Conforto skyrocketed from Single-A St. Lucie all they way to the big-league team and wrestled the starting left fielder job from incumbent Michael Cuddyer. He put an exclamation point on his rookie season with two home runs in Game 4 of the World Series.

2013: Dominic Smith, 1B (1st round, 11th pick)

A highly regarded defensive first baseman, Smith had his breakthrough season as a pro in 2015, batting .305 with 33 doubles, nine home runs and 79 RBI in 118 games with Single-A St. Lucie. He is currently batting .264 with 11 doubles, four homers and 36 RBI in 55 games with Double-A Binghamton.

2012: Gavin Cecchini, SS (1st round, 12th pick)

Cecchini is tearing things up at Triple-A Las Vegas after a breakout season for Double-A Binghamton (.317/.377/.442) in 2015. The slick fielding shortstop is batting .326 with a .394 OBP for Las Vegas with 23 runs scored and 13 RBI.

2011: Brandon Nimmo, OF (1st round, 13th pick)

Nimmo has yet to have a full season in the minors, having spent significant chunks of his first five years on the DL with various injuries. He has been very adept at drawing walks, but the Wyoming native has yet to show the home run power many believed his swing would generate. He is now at Triple-A Las Vegas where he’s off to a great start, batting .317 and posting the best slugging percentage of his pro career at .481 – more than 100 points higher than 2015.

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Mets and MMO Super Bowl 50 Predictions http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/02/mets-and-mmo-super-bowl-50-predictions.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/02/mets-and-mmo-super-bowl-50-predictions.html/#comments Sat, 06 Feb 2016 16:53:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=205809 super bowl 50

Super Bowl 50 is set to kickoff on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, as the NFC champion Carolina Panthers and the AFC champion Denver Broncos battle it out for this year’s Vince Lombardi Trophy.

The Panthers finished the regular season with a 15–1 record and after defeating the Arizona Cardinals 49–15 in the NFC Championship Game they advance to their second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.

The Broncos finished the regular season with a 12–4 record and defeated the New England Patriots 20–18 in the AFC Championship Game. They now join the Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, and Pittsburgh Steelers as the only teams that have made eight appearances in the Super Bowl.

Let us know who you think will take home the trophy and head to Disney World, and then check out our staff picks and what some Mets players are predicting!

MMO Staff Predictions

Joe D. – Panthers 24, Broncos 13

Connor O’Brien – Broncos 27, Panthers 24

Jacob Resnick – Broncos 28, Panthers 27

Big Mets Fan – Panthers 17, Broncos 10

Michael Mayer – Broncos 23, Panthers 20

Tommy Rothman – Broncos 27, Panthers 17

Matt Balasis – Panthers 30, Broncos 23

Mitch Petanick – Broncos 21, Panthers 20

Matt Fritz – Panthers 27, Broncos 23

Mets Daddy – Broncos 24, Panthers 20

Logan Barer – Broncos 25, Panthers 24

Did you know…

This will be the first Super Bowl to feature a quarterback on both teams who was the #1 pick in their draft classes. Manning was the #1 selection of the 1998 NFL draft, while Newton was picked first in 2011. The matchup also pits the top two picks of the 2011 draft against each other: Newton for Carolina and Von Miller for Denver.

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Culmination Of An Unlikely Five-Year Plan http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/culmination-of-an-unlikely-five-year-plan.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/culmination-of-an-unlikely-five-year-plan.html/#comments Mon, 25 Jan 2016 11:30:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=204885 sandy-alderson-paul-depodesta-j-p-ricciardi-2010-11-16-19-0-14

When Sandy Alderson was installed as the new general manager of the Mets in October of 2010, he inherited a team whose public persona had been battered and stigmatized by the effects of the Madoff scandal as well as a plunge in the standings. The campaign just concluded had resulted in the second of what would be four consecutive 4th place finishes in the division, an ugly comedown for a squad that had contended strongly during the heyday of the Willie Randolph-led era from 2006 through 2008.

As an essentially hand-picked-by-the-Commissioner successor to the splashy and largely successful tenure of Omar Minaya (“specially Selig-ted” if you will), Alderson was viewed by much of the fanbase and NY press as a kind of “conservator” whose mission was to oversee a hobbled operation that faced an indeterminate period of forced financial restraint. Charged with a rebuild, although that term would rarely be invoked, he assembled a front office staff whose “moneyball” pedigree purportedly could allow at least a faint hope of contention in the near term.

The reality of the situation would prove far less optimistic, and with the institution of a “small-cap value” vs. “large-cap growth” philosophy in the area of player acquisition (something that will make the most sense to those familiar with investment terminology), a new age of organizational identity was underway. The deadline trade of Carlos Beltran to the Giants for Zack Wheeler in July of 2011 put any remaining illusions of an immediate turnaround to rest.

Despite all signs pointing to the contrary, Sandy, never the most forthcoming of people during a press conference, steadfastly maintained that his personnel decisions were not primarily made for financial reasons and that the front office had one eye on keeping the current team viable for some realistic level of contention. While some degree of truth, stretched though it may be, was undoubtedly present in these statements, the overall direction of the organization was made manifest by the character of the team’s transaction log.

One-year contracts for reclamation projects became the order of the day, and if a reasonable level of performance was the reward, the player in question, now armed with negotiating leverage born of a bounce-back season, was allowed to seek greener pastures elsewhere (e.g. Chris Capuano).

DIGIPIXMeanwhile, the Mets intelligentsia headed back to the bargain bin to pad the roster for the next go-round. The decision not to trade eventual free agent shortstop Jose Reyes for prospects was viewed askance after he signed a big money contract with the Marlins in December of 2011, but the team was able to draft promising backstop Kevin Plawecki with the compensation pick they received as a result. Otherwise, the scrapheap remained the primary shopping destination for patches to the lineup, rotation, or bullpen of the big club while a strategy was being put in place for farther down the line.

Consequently, mound innings were soaked up by the likes of 40-ish Miguel Bastista (kind of a less-sexy “Big Sexy”) and Chris Young (the 6’ 10” soft tosser who came back to haunt the team in the 2015 WS), while at-bats went to the likes of lefty-killer Scott Hairston and utility man Willie Harris.

When R.A. Dickey (one of Minaya’s remaining reclamation projects) unexpectedly morphed into the greatest one-season knuckleball phenomenon in baseball history, Alderson had the good sense to sell high and parlay the 2012 Cy Young winner into what increasingly appears to be a largely one-sided trade with the Toronto Blue Jays. Two components of that deal, catcher Travis D’Arnaud and Nordic-by-way-of-Texas quasi-deity Noah Syndergaard, figured significantly in this past season’s near-championship run and look to provide the possibility of the same going forward while lower level “throw-in” Wuilmer Becerra’s performance in A-Ball has tantalized fans by demonstrating his toolsy future possibilities.

The following season, a similar scenario resulting from the signing of veteran (and PED-tarnished) outfielder Marlon Byrd who was spun off to the Pirates for promising infielder Dilson Herrera and since-departed reliever Vic Black. Along the way, Minaya-regime signees such as Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Steven Matz have been nurtured along and now stand to comprise the balance of an historically fearsome (even by Mets’ standards) starting rotation.

The increasingly impressive statistics compiled by the team’s young starters and newly appointed closer Jeurys Familia highlighted why the team’s surprising early-2015 performance was more than a fluke. At the same time, the abysmal numbers put up by the offensive side of the equation signaled a warning that the team’s policy of prospect hoarding was no longer the correct strategy to follow.

michael conforto juan uribe

The evolution of the team and its front office was made clear during the latter part of last July when, in the space of a week, the lineup was transformed by a series of transactions that added Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe from the Braves, the heralded prospect Michael Conforto from AA Binghamton, and most significantly, Yoenis Cespedes from the Detroit Tigers. As we all know, this set of moves worked about as well as one could hope and the suddenly league-leading offense that resulted nearly brought a championship to the Queens faithful, a possibility that seems oh-so realistic going forward now that Cespedes’ services have been retained for the upcoming season and perhaps beyond.

Is it just me, or did it seem as if things began happening at a seriously accelerated pace last summer once the decision was made to go for it? How much more restraint would have been used in maintaining the integrity of the Met minor league system has the big club lagged somewhat farther behind the Nationals heading into the season’s second half? Would the fluctuating concept of Matt Harvey’s innings limit have been of greater concern? Would Conforto and his sweet swing been ticketed for a bump up to Vegas instead of Flushing? What kind of dam had to break to actually lend some credence to the idea that Sandy could spend if he felt it was warranted? Was the team able to do it all along, at least at the “middle market” level?

Regardless, through a combination of calculated gambles, intuitive moves with prospects, and decisive action once decisions were made, it appears that whatever oddball path of a five-year plan was used by Sandy Alderson and his sabermetric brain trust to get the Mets where they are has worked, at least for the most part.

Granted, there have been some duds (e.g John Mayberry, Brad Emaus) and talent miscalculations along the way (e.g Justin Turner), but nobody’s perfect. The Cespedes signing, at what are clearly terms that favor the team over the player, may best represent the triumph of the Alderson approach. He will wait, and wait, and wait, sometimes to the point of driving the team’s fans to the point of madness, but in the end he often gets what he wants, the way he wants it. And right now, his methodology resembles nothing so much as true vision.

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Tommy Tanous Will Likely Replace DePodesta http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/tommy-tanous-will-likely-replace-depodesta.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/tommy-tanous-will-likely-replace-depodesta.html/#comments Wed, 06 Jan 2016 16:28:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=203664 tommy-tanous-2013

Following Paul DePodesta’s departure, John Harper of the NY Post says that Tommy Tanous will likely take over his role as the head of player development. Tanous originally joined the organization as a professional scout in 2010, and he was named the Director of Amateur Scouting the following year.

This decision seems to make the most sense as he was heavily involved in the draft the past several seasons with DePodesta. He has done a great job helping build the Mets minors, and should be able to adjust to the new role just fine.

“Whatever Sandy decides, I think it will be a seamless transition,” J.P. Ricciardi said yesterday. “We have enough people in place. Even though Sandy wasn’t at the Winter Meetings, this has been business as usual for us this winter. It’s always a team effort, with Sandy listening to everyone’s opinions and making decisions from there.”

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Featured Article: Becerra, Rivera, Bowman Are Potential Rule 5 Selections http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/featured-article-becerra-rivera-bowman-are-potential-rule-5-selections.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/featured-article-becerra-rivera-bowman-are-potential-rule-5-selections.html/#comments Thu, 10 Dec 2015 14:34:31 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=200963 wuilmer becerra

J.J. Cooper of Baseball America put together a list of players he believes could potentially get selected in next month’s Rule 5 Draft. Among them he includes three Mets prospects who could be at risk.

Wuilmer Becerra, OF, Mets (21): It’s hard to see how a team could keep Becerra on the big league roster all year, as he’s a still somewhat raw outfielder who played all year at low Class A Savannah. But Becerra, the Mets’ No. 10 prospect, has a chance for five average tools with a chance for above-average power. He cites Odubel Herrera as one layer who was selected last year and won an everyday job as a center fielder for the Phillies.

I wrote about the decision to leave Becerra exposed on Saturday. All he did this season was show why scouts are so high on him while emerging as one of the organization’s top position prospects. Blessed with a powerful throwing arm, the right fielder batted .290 last season with a .342 on-base percentage and .423 slugging while playing at the cavernous Grayson Stadium – the toughest hitting environment in minor league baseball.

In 118 games for Single-A Savannah, Becerra stroked 27 doubles, three triples, nine home runs, scoring 67 runs, driving in 68 and stealing 16 bases in his breakthrough season as a pro.

T.J. Rivera, 2B, Mets (27): He’s not a particularly sexy pick but Rivera always hits. He has hit .338 combined over the past two years at Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas and he has a career .318 batting average. Combine that with defensive versatility—he’s stretched at shortstop but he can play anywhere in the infield—he’s worth looking at as a potentially inexpensive utility infielder.

Matthew Bowman, RHP, Mets (24): There’s not much to like about Bowman’s 5.53 ERA and his .321 average against. But Bowman has a long track record of success before last year. He throws strikes with four average or fringe-average offerings. He cites Logan Verrett and Sean Gilmartin as pitchers who were picked last year because they can locate with fringe-average to average stuff.

Remember, anyone taken in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft must be kept on the major league roster for all of the 2016 season or be offered back to their original club.

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Walker for Niese Is A Major Win-Win For Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/walker-for-niese-is-a-major-win-win-for-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/walker-for-niese-is-a-major-win-win-for-mets.html/#comments Thu, 10 Dec 2015 14:28:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=202157 walker neil

The Mets stay hot in the “sometimes the best deals are the one’s you don’t make” category.

In failing to reach a deal with Ben Zobrist — who opted for the bespectacled weirdness of Joe Maddon over the inscrutable gremlinese of Terry Collins — a chain of events was set in motion that resulted in Jon Niese getting shipped to Pittsburgh for Neil Walker. Neil for Niese not only effectively upends a common “I before E” mnemonic, it fills the Mets’ second base opening with a guy who has a higher OPS+ than Murphy since 2011 (113 to 111), who has averaged 15.5 home runs a season since 2010, who has a .769 OPS, who is a markedly superior fielder, who doesn’t block Dilson Herrera (unless we want him to via QO), and whose name hasn’t become synonymous with a particular variety of late inning brain-cramp … Win

We also lose Jonathan Niese, who is not only known for mysteriously misplacing the feel of his best pitch and for his patented 6th inning slushies, but for doing stuff like swinging away when he should bunt and responding to his elderly manager’s objections with comments like “f@$# you, take me out.” He’s also yelled at his rookie catcher for “poor pitch calling” after getting lit up, which honestly would be hard to believe if it weren’t for the video. I mean the guy clearly crossed the line from hotheadedness to douche-baggery with that one. Niese is so uptight he hasn’t passed gas since a bullpen session in May of 2011. Adding insult to injury, Niese takes a parting shot at the Mets’ defense after they carry him to the World Series? I won’t miss him much … Win-Win.

Furthermore, this deal means the Mets are spared from four years of Ben Zobrist who is going to be so done by the end of his contract we’d be calling him Ben Zo-brisket. As good a player as he’s been, the Cubs will not be getting Zobrist circa 2011 or his +5 WAR — which we haven’t seen since his Tampa Bay days. By the end of his contract the Ben-Zocaine would need to be shipped in bulk. I’m convinced the signing is a function of teams continuing to fail in adjusting for the absence of more potent age-defying tonics and liniments. It is what it is, youth is wasted on the young, who continue to be better at hitting baseballs … Win-Win-Win.

This very same deal set off yet another tangent of events sending Starlin Castro to the Yankees in a strange “make space for the Zobrist” move, with Adam Warren and a PTBNL going to the Cubs. Warren is a nice piece, but he’s 28, he doesn’t really address Chicago’s not quite good enough front line pitching, and he has never pitched more than 131 innings. Castro on the other hand may just outproduce Zobrist if he reverts to his .753 OPS 2012 self, which he stands a decent chance of doing since he is almost a decade younger than Zobrist. Ten years — that’s roughly equivalent to a 4th grader for those of you needing a visual. So, thank you Yankees.

You get the sense with Theo Epstein that there’s some overkill here in his pursuit of Zobrist when his whole approach has been to draft strong up-the-middle guys. Perhaps it’s an effort to allay his discomfiture over being blasted spectacularly out of the playoffs by a Mets star-destroyer with four very big ion cannons. Epstein’s fellas didn’t fare well in this face-off of philosophies pitting Sandy’s power-pitching against Theo’s position prospects … So Theo goes after a guy with a big top of the order on-base presence after watching him make contact against the very pitchers who struck his Cubs out in droves, and a guy with a 3.39 ERA from the AL East, oh and John Lackey … This may seem like a nifty haul but could just as easily end up an average down-slope utility guy a spot starter with a straight fastball, and … John Lackey.

The Mets? The Mets still have their fearsome foursome with their fifth gun due back around mid-season, and they get Neil Walker who spits in the face of your “i before e” and who is the sort of versatile bat that can conceivably hit almost anywhere in the order. A former first round pick who improves the Mets defense and who doesn’t miss a step on offense? Who comes from one of the best teams in Baseball and who is known for his positive clubhouse presence? What’s not to like? The only real drawback to not signing Zobrist may be losing out on his versatility when it comes to covering third base, but a little (Twitter) bird tells me the Mets may have already addressed that very concern in one Asdrubal CabreraFrankly I am stunned that the Mets were able to get Walker for the same Jonathan Niese they couldn’t unload in virtually any scenario not too long ago. I guess there are some perks to winning the National League Championship after all.

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Bob Geren Leaves Mets To Become Dodgers Bench Coach http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/bob-geren-leaves-mets-to-become-dodgers-bench-coach.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/bob-geren-leaves-mets-to-become-dodgers-bench-coach.html/#comments Wed, 02 Dec 2015 16:59:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=201412 bob geren

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, bench coach Bob Geren is leaving the Mets to join the Los Angeles Dodgers coaching staff in the same bench coach position.

Geren interviewed with the Dodgers last month for their open managerial position before they settled on Dave Roberts.

He has worked with current Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi in Oakland, where Geren was the manager and Zaidi worked with Billy Beane in the front office.

Geren, 54, managed Oakland from 2007 until 2011, when he was fired mid-season. He posted a 334-376 record in Oakland.

The California native has been with the Mets organization since 2011 and was widely respected by the players.

This could open the door for highly regarded Double-A manager Pedro Lopez to join the major league coaching staff for the Mets. Sorry Wally…

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ESPN: Bob Geren Will Be A Candidate For Dodger Managerial Position http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/espn-bob-geren-will-be-a-candidate-for-dodger-managerial-position.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/espn-bob-geren-will-be-a-candidate-for-dodger-managerial-position.html/#comments Fri, 23 Oct 2015 02:08:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=197671 dickey geren

According to ESPN LA’s Mark Saxon, the Dodgers are reportedly interested in Mets bench coach Bob Geren for their open managerial position.

As Saxon noted, Geren has worked with current GM Farhan Zaidi in Oakland, where Geren was the manager and Zaidi worked with Billy Beane in the front office.

Geren, 54, managed Oakland from 2007 until 2011, when he was fired mid-season. He posted a 334-376 record in Oakland. He has been with the Mets organization since 2011.

Don Mattingly and the Dodgers amicably parted ways in a joint announcement on Thursday.

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Mets Still Have Faith In Matz Despite Game 4 Loss http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/mets-still-have-faith-in-matz-despite-game-4-loss.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/mets-still-have-faith-in-matz-despite-game-4-loss.html/#comments Wed, 14 Oct 2015 11:00:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=196473 steven matz nlds

During his first postseason start of his career, Steven Matz allowed three runs and six hits in five innings pitched. While his night started out promising, the Dodgers suddenly jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead and never looked back.

In the third inning, Matz yielded the first run of the game on a soft single by Adrian Gonzalez. He then allowed two more runs on a RBI double by former Met Justin Turner.

“To sum it up, a couple of mistakes hurt me,” Matz said. “I thought I threw the ball good. I just had a bad inning, but against a guy like Kershaw you have to put up zeroes.”

Despite the loss, Terry Collins still has a lot of faith in the Mets’ rookie left hander.

“He pitched very good,” Collins said, “He was outstanding. If we get to the next round, we have all the confidence in the world in him.”

Matz finished the regular season with a 4-0 record and had an excellent 2.27 ERA during 35 innings pitched. He clearly has ton of talent, but the Mets were really asking a lot of him last night given his inexperience.

He only made six MLB starts prior to yesterday, which is the fewest for any Mets’ postseason starter in franchise history.  He was also tasked with pitching against Clayton Kershaw, who didn’t disappoint this time around.

Kershaw tossed seven dominating innings while allowing only one run and striking out eight. Matz needed an incredible start to match his performance, but he ended up falling short.

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Brandon Nimmo Taking His Promotion In Stride http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/brandon-nimmo-taking-his-promotion-in-stride.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/brandon-nimmo-taking-his-promotion-in-stride.html/#comments Thu, 13 Aug 2015 21:30:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=190180 brandon nimmo

The Metropolitan’s next impact prospect after Michael Conforto is not far down the pipeline.

Brandon Nimmo, the 2011 13th overall pick that drew criticism from many, is letting his play on the field speak for itself. The 22-year old was recently promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas and has impressed thus far. In 12 games, Nimmo has slashed at a .297/.413/.405 clip. Nimmo continues to flash his above-average strike-zone recognition which keeps his on-base-percentage impressively high.

The young outfielder showcased his talents during the Eastern League All-Star Game in July where he spoke about his outlook on making it to the big show with David Laurila of Fangraphs.

“How close am I to playing in the big leagues? I have no clue,” Nimmo answered to reporters. “All I can do is keep working hard. From there, the rest will take care of itself.”

Nimmo participated in big-league spring training this past March and was able to learn more than just baseball skills from some of the Mets’ veterans.

“Those guys are real professionals with the way they go about everything,” Nimmo told reporters. “That’s what I’m trying to do. I want to be a professional who works hard at what he does.”

Nimmo has drawn comparisons to Miami’s Christian Yelich, a tall, lanky outfielder with raw potential. It will be interesting to see if Nimmo is able to break into the majors this season, although it would probably take an injury for him to slot himself into the current logjam in Citi Field’s outfield.

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MMO Fan Shot: Michael Fulmer Watched Syndegaard’s Debut, Hopes To Realize That Dream Too http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mmo-fan-shot-michael-fulmer-watched-syndegaards-debut-hopes-to-realize-that-dream-too.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mmo-fan-shot-michael-fulmer-watched-syndegaards-debut-hopes-to-realize-that-dream-too.html/#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 16:34:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=181871 fulmer talk 1

An MMO Fan Shot by Jim Maggiore

Right-handed starting pitcher Michael Fulmer spent a half hour chatting and answering questions with the Binghamton Mets Booster Club on Thursday afternoon, May 14th before the Mets took on the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in a 6:35 pm contest. Fulmer was a supplemental first-round pick of the Mets in the 2011 draft, and entering the 2015 season Baseball America ranked him as the 14th best prospect in the Mets’ organization.

He was the second overall pick of the Mets in the draft, as the Mets used their first pick in the 13th slot to select teammate Brandon Nimmo. Fulmer was one the third  Oklahoma pitcher taken in that year’s draft, as Archie Bradley was drafted in the 7th slot by the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Baltimore Orioles selected Dylan Bundy with the fourth overall pick.

Ironically, both Brandon Nimmo and Michael Fulmer had signed letters of intent to play baseball for the University of Arkansas after their graduation from high school in 2011. Both, however, wound up signing with the New York Mets instead. When Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn called Fulmer to wish him luck after he signed with the Mets, he told him “Congratulations on being signed, but right now as you can understand, I am not a big fan of the Mets.”

In the 2012 draft, the Mets showed their ongoing respect for the Arkansas program by drafting two of their players in the second round, infielder Matt Reynolds and pitcher Ted Stankiewicz. Paul DePodesta, the vice president of player development for the Mets, praised the work of Van Horn and his staff that year as he told Ethan Asofsky of MLB.COM:

“We love their players. We think they’ve done a great job with their program. Obviously we drafted a couple of their big recruits last year.”

In his spare time Fulmer likes to bowl, fish, golf, and hunt. While training and playing in St. Lucie he has been able to fill his free time with these hobbies so he does not refer to the Florida village as “Port St. Lonely,” an affectionate sobriquet for the town that sits on Florida’s East Coast, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Fulmer does not have to stray far from St. Lucie’s Tradition Field to fulfill his hobbies.

fulmer talks 2Duffy’s, a large restaurant within walking distance of the stadium, has over 40 bowling lanes and is Fulmer’s favorite bowling spot. A creek beyond the right field fence at Tradition Field also serves as s convenient fishing spot for Fulmer and his teammates. When St. Lucie first opened in 1988 that creek was known to be an abode for alligators, but Fulmer says he has not seen any alligators in his time in St. Lucie.

Fulmer has battled a series of nagging injuries in his career thus far, but is hopeful the injury bug is behind him. In 2013 a torn meniscus limited him to nine starts for the season and he has never started more than 21 games in a season.

Two of his teammates from Deer Creek High School are also currently honing their craft in the minors, including infielder and designated hitter Brian Anderson, who is currently playing for the Jupiter Hammerheads, and righty pitcher Cale Coshow, who toils for the Charleston River Dogs.

“Everyone who plays this game in high school dreams of getting signed to play professional ball and all professional players dream of getting to the big leagues,” Fulmer explained as he discussed his career.

“I’m no different, I’m aware of the many guys who have played in Binghamton and gone on to play for the Mets, so I’m just happy to be here to compete and pursue my dream of getting to the big leagues.”

Fulmer went on to state that the success of those who have gone before him provide motivation to work hard and not slack off.

“You’re aware of the success of those around you, but you have to put it in the back of your mind at the same time,” he elaborated. “Nothing is handed to you in this game. You have to earn it.”

IMG_1351A special treat for Fulmer was seeing the debut of Noah Syndergaard against the Chicago Cubs on May 12th. Syndergaard and Fulmer were roommates at St. Lucie in 2013.

Besides looking forward to pitching in the big leagues one day, Fulmer is also looking forward to tying the knot with his longtime girlfriend, Kelsey, in January 2016. Michael and Kelsey have been dating since ninth grade, so she is well aware that when Fulmer tells him “a dinger got him,” she knows he means he gave up a home run!

Earlier this season, on Aril 26th, “dinger” took on a special meaning for Fulmer, as he got a treat when he took the mound for St. Lucie against the Jupiter Hammerheads. Hitting third for the Hammerheads that day was none other than the aforementioned Brian Anderson., who is not only Fulmer’s former high school teammate, but also his best friend and the best man for his upcoming wedding. Fulmer broke with tradition on this night and gave his best man his thank you gift a full eight months before the wedding.

When Anderson came up to hit in the first inning, after the first two runners reached base safely, he took a fastball from Fulmer and hit it for a three-run home run!

Fulmer settled down after the Anderson homer, retiring 21 of the next 22 hitters he faced, while striking out nine, including Anderson.

However, the best man got the better of the overall duel on this night, as Anderson also hit a walk-off home run off of St. Lucie reliever Kevin McGowan in the ninth inning with one out, as Jupiter defeated St. Lucie 4-3.  

On the mound Fulmer’s tools of operation include a fastball that sits in the 92-94 mph range, a slider, changeup, and a curveball.

“I have been staying away from the curveball lately,” stated Fulmer. “I think throwing the curve may have caused some problems with my elbow in the past, so I have been relying on the slider more now.”

Fulmer is appreciative of all the work the boosters do to make the players feel comfortable.

“I tell you, the road trip snacks really come in handy,” he says with a smile. “During the last bus trip back here we were all starving and had to stop at a Sheetz to load up with snacks. And for entertainment we had seven guys trying to solve a Rubik’s cube. In the end, we solved it, but those road trip packages we get when we leave town are greatly appreciated!”

In response to a question concerning how he and his teammates spend off days, Fulmer noted he had never been to the Baseball Hall of Fame and during one of the few off days the team has during the season, he may take a trip to Cooperstown.   

Note: Maggiore is president of the Binghamton Mets Booster Club. His recent book, “Six More Wins: A Team, A Town, A Rebound, and a Championship” chronicles the 2014 championship season of the Binghamton Mets and is available on BN.com and Amazon.com.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader Jim Maggiore. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Met fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to us at  FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Due To Huge Demand, Mets Announce Second Foo Fighters Performance At Citi Field http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/due-to-huge-demand-mets-announce-second-foo-fighters-performance-at-citi-field.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/due-to-huge-demand-mets-announce-second-foo-fighters-performance-at-citi-field.html/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 13:07:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=173972 foo fighters david grohl

Due to overwhelming demand, the New York Mets and Live Nation have announced that the Foo Fighters will perform a second show at Citi Field, Wednesday, July 15.

Tickets will go on sale at Mets.com/FooFighters and by phone at (718) 507-TIXX this Friday, January 30 at 10:00 a.m.

The July 15th performance by the multi-platinum and Grammy Award-winning American rockers was added after the Thursday, July 16 show sold out.

Over the course of the band’s career, four of its albums have won Grammy Awards for Best Rock Album. The band’s seventh studio album, Wasting Light, was released in 2011 and as of May 2014, the band’s seven albums have sold a combined 11.1 million copies. The band’s eighth studio album, Sonic Highways, was released in November 2014.

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Nationals Sign Former Blue Jays Closer Casey Janssen http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/nationals-sign-former-blue-jays-closer-casey-janssen.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/nationals-sign-former-blue-jays-closer-casey-janssen.html/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 19:34:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=173932 casey janssen

The Washington Nationals and free agent right-hander Casey Janssen have agreed to a one-year contract worth $3.5 million with a mutual option that will guarantee him a total of $5 million, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

Janssen, 33, has served as the Blue Jays closer the past three seasons, and while he’s been outstanding in that role he’s coming off a poor second half in 2014 brought on by a severe case of food poisoning.

He finished last season with a 3.94 ERA and 1.18 WHIP while saving 25 games. In his last four seasons going back to 2011, Janssen has posted a 2.77 ERA, 1.034 WHIP, 8.2 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in 223 appearances.

It’s not clear if Janssen will assume the closer role or if the Nats go with Drew Storen who was outstanding for them last season.

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MMO Mailbag: Where Are All Of Sandy’s Draft Picks? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/mmo-mailbag-where-are-all-of-sandys-draft-picks.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/mmo-mailbag-where-are-all-of-sandys-draft-picks.html/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 12:59:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=173898 Sandy Alderson and Paul DePodesta visited MCU Park Wednesday night, likely to check out first-round pick Michael Conforto. (Photo by Jim Mancari)

Devin asks…

Isn’t anyone the least bit concerned that as Sandy Alderson enters his fifth season as GM not one of his draft selections has made it to the majors yet and none are expected to be on the 2015 Opening Day roster? In the MLB Preview they pick Noah Syndergaard, Dilson Herrera and Steven Matz as three Mets prospects to watch in 2015, and neither of them are Sandy’s draft picks either. We’re all hoping to see Wilmer Flores, Zack Wheeler and Travis d’Arnaud have breakthrough seasons in 2015, but again, none are Sandy’s draft picks. Take a look at the AL and NL and there are dozens of players from the 2011, 2012 and even the 2013 draft. 38 major leaguers have already come out of the 2011 draft from 28 different teams, none of course from the Mets. This obsession with drafting high risk, high school players in the top rounds hasn’t really worked out for us, has it?

Andre replies…

The upside with high school prospects usually is that they can still be taught and trained in a way that the organization feels confident about. And in general, the majority of drafted impact players in the majors have come from high school and not the college ranks in the past 15+ years or so.

While, the risk may be higher, the upside often is also higher than with college picks. Of course, the aspect of player DEVELOPMENT is far more important with HS or young IFA talent than it is with advanced college players.

Now, the downside is that it generally takes longer to develop HS talent than college players for obvious reasons. So, if you have to be willing and able to give HS picks 4-5 years to develop in general before they reach the majors and probably another year before they have an impact.

A team that´s not able to sport a “large market” high payroll may be more inclined to go after college talent early in a draft during a window of contention than a team with a large market payroll OR during a rebuilding. That of course, is besides taking the best player available early in a draft.

The Mets have – rightfully – focused on HS talent and getting IFA signed that they´re now trying to develop – hopefully with better success than in the two previous decades. The problems of finding a legit young middle infielder ever since Jose Reyes was signed as an IFA in 2000 can directly be traced to both having a sub par development system in place AND not really drafting many – if any – players with a middle infield upside defensively in over a decade (from 2001 through 2011). We have since brought in some high upside talent led by top shortstop prospect Amed Rosario.

And while it remains to be seen if and how successful the “Alderson” drafts have been – and pretty sure Alderson hasn’t really been actively involved in these but at best listened with interest – the fact that none of “his” picks has appeared in the majors isn’t a problem at all. Besides the focus on HS talent, several college players such as Kevin Plawecki, Matt Reynolds, Cory Mazzoni or Daniel Muno could easily have appeared in the majors already. But mainly due to 40-man roster management and perhaps financial issues, they have been held back so far.

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Ryan Vogelsong Re-Signs with Giants http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/ryan-vogelsong-re-signs-with-giants.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/ryan-vogelsong-re-signs-with-giants.html/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:57:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=173721 imgresAccording to Aaron Gleeman of NBC Sports, free agent starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong and the San Fransisco Giants have agreed to a one-year deal.

Vogelsong had been reportedly close to a deal with the Houston Astros in recent days, but ultimately decided to re-sign with the team he’s been with since 2011.

Last season, Vogelsong went 8-13 with a 4.00 ERA in 184.2 innings while striking out 151 batters. More details on the deal to follow.

This basically eliminates the Giants as a potential trade partner for Dillon Gee or any of the other Mets’ backend starters.

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Jon Niese: Damaged Goods or Different Goods? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/jon-niese-damaged-goods-or-different-goods.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/jon-niese-damaged-goods-or-different-goods.html/#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 16:02:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171103 jon niese

An MMO Fan Shot by Chris Malia (CJM)

Regarding fan opinion, Jon Niese is perhaps the most divisive player on the Mets. Scrolling through a comment thread about Niese, you can find opinions ranging from soft and overrated to gritty and extremely valuable. While value can be measured in terms of his stats and contract, his toughness or lack thereof is harder to determine. While heated arguments will produce opinions layered with stats and anecdotes, there is something yet to be explored regarding Jon Niese, happening beneath the surface of these stat and anecdote laden arguments. Jon Niese is evolving rapidly and substantially as a pitcher.

The secret is out—the Mets are concerned about Niese’s health. Nobody should be surprised. What is surprising—however—is that nobody’s really picked up on how significantly Jon Niese’s shoulder has actually affected his throwing. Not his performance, just his throwing. Take a look at the pictures.

jon niese

All three of these pictures are screenshots of Niese throwing a fastball. The first picture is from 2010. Niese is delivering the ball almost directly over the top. The second picture is from 2012. You can see an obvious drop in arm slot as he’s gone to a more comfortable three-quarter release. The final picture is from 2014, and his arm slot has dropped even lower than in 2012. He seems to be getting closer and closer to a sidearm delivery.

Why is the arm slot dropping? His shoulder hurts. Obviously, anyone who’s played baseball or has been a fan of baseball understands that throwing over the top is unnatural. Three-quarter and sidearm deliveries put less stress on the arm, especially the shoulder. It’s not unusual to see pitchers’ arm slots drop as they age. Years and years of abuse will do that. When Pedro was with the Mets, his arm slot was significantly lower than it was during his glory years. In Niese’s case, we know with certainty that he’s dealt with shoulder issues. What we don’t know is whether the drop in arm slot has been implemented by Niese intentionally to try to preserve his shoulder’s health, or whether it’s been done because Niese simply can’t throw over the top without pain anymore. The reason behind the drop in arm slot—intentional or not—doesn’t have much bearing on the analysis to follow.

For Jon Niese, a drop in arm slot has forced him to change the way he pitches. When he came up, his most talked about weapon was the 12-6 curve. And it was a good pitch, unquestionably. However, the 12-6 curve relies on an over-the-top delivery. The over-the-top release allows the curve to have its sharp, off the table drop. Releasing the same pitch from the three-quarter slot will not produce as sharp a break. So if Niese is unable to produce the necessary over-the-top release, it stands to reason that he’d be less inclined to use his curveball and that his curveball would lose effectiveness. The numbers support that hypothesis. Here’s a look at his pitch selection from 2011 (his peak curve usage year) through 2014.

Fastball Curveball Cutter Changeup
2011 54.9 22.7 17.2 5.1
2012 49 19.4 27.8 3.8
2013 48.6 17.5 25.2 8.8
2014 49.6 16.9 24.2 9.2

The curveball column has been marked in bold. The data coincides with the drop in arm slot—Jon Niese has been using his curveball less and less over time, as usage has dropped nearly 6 percent since 2011. Jon Niese’s well documented shoulder issues seem likely to have caused this drop in arm slot, and subsequently a drop in curveball use.

Is it just pain that has caused Niese to use the curveball less? Earlier in the article, I mentioned 12-6 curveball effectiveness pertaining to arm slot. Not surprisingly, Niese’s effectiveness with the curve also appears to be waning. Here is a look at his groundball, line drive, and flyball rates using the curve from 2011 through 2014.

Groundball % Line Drive % Flyball %
2011 66.7 19.2 14.1
2012 63.4 16.1 20.5
2013 56.3 18.4 25.3
2014 46.3 28.8 25

In 2011, two thirds of the curveballs put in play against Jon Niese were hit on the ground. Groundball rate has dropped 20% over 4 years. What was once a pitch Niese could pretty safely throw for a groundball is now a pitch that results in line drives and flyballs over half the time. I/t doesn’t take a Sandy Alderson computer manipulation to understand that grounders are preferable to line drives and flyballs.

What we’re left with is a pitcher who has lost his most effective weapon—perhaps his only true weapon as a pitcher. Niese has been forced to evolve. When looking at the pitch selection table, we see that fastball and cutter use have remained pretty consistent. But neither pitch is particularly fear-inducing. Niese was previously a pitcher who could rely on his curveball’s effectiveness to throw batters off-balance. Without that pitch, he has begun to turn to the changeup as an off-speed offering. His changeup usage has jumped from 3.8% in 2012 to 9.2% in 2014. The problem is, his changeup has failed to be as effective as his curveball once was. In 2013, his curveball produced grounders at a 55.9% rate and in 2014, that rate dropped to 47.4%–over half his changeups put in play in 2014 resulted in line drives or flyballs. Jon Niese is still searching for a way to throw batters off-balance without his curve.

Where does Niese go from here? A quick glance at Niese’s arm-slot drop and his curveball usage makes one think Niese is damaged goods. I’m not so sure that’s a fair assessment. Niese’s 2014 season was by no means bad. It was actually good. He threw 187 innings with a 3.40 ERA and a 3.67 FIP. Those are fine numbers for a mid-rotation starter, especially one getting paid what Niese is receiving. Somehow Niese managed to remain effective as a starter in 2014 with both his off-speed offerings producing the most ineffective results in his career. I don’t want to delve too much into Niese’s psyche, but it’s not a stretch to believe that this forced evolution in his pitching style has made pitching games more mentally rigorous than it once was.

Jon Niese is battling his way through the fire right now. To be successful, he needs to be a different pitcher than he was when he first came up. From that perspective, his 2014 season could be looked at as promising, because he was able to pitch effectively while adapting to new tools. Instead of lingering on what could’ve been with Niese and his curveball, lamenting the fact that he’s now damaged goods, I think I prefer to look at Niese as different goods. He’s not the same pitcher he was, but he has the potential to be as effective or more effective as he adjusts.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader Chris Malia (CJM). Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Met fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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Mets Discussing Bringing Back Reliever Buddy Carlyle http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mets-discussing-bringing-back-reliever-buddy-carlyle.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mets-discussing-bringing-back-reliever-buddy-carlyle.html/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 12:56:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170366 buddy carlyle

Marc Carig of Newsday reports that the Mets have discussed bringing back reliever Buddy Carlyle, who was outrighted by the team two weeks ago.

For a reliever who hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2011, the 36-year old righthander stepped right into the Mets bullpen and delivered the best performance of his career.

In 27 appearances, Carlyle posted a pristine 1.45 ERA with an equally impressive 0.904 WHIP to match, both career bests.

General manager Sandy Alderson commended Carlyle at the end of the season while discussing the second half success of the bullpen.

“The bullpen has come around,” Alderson said.”I can’t say enough, not only about Familia and Mejia but all the other guys who performed so well in the bullpen this year including guys like Buddy Carlyle.”

Carlye came on strong during the final two months of the season, using a four-seamer, sinker, and cutter with great effectiveness and posting a 8.1 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 in 31.0 innings pitched. He’s definitely someone worth bringing back.

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Mets Have Michael Morse On Their Radar http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mets-have-michael-morse-on-their-radar.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mets-have-michael-morse-on-their-radar.html/#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 10:40:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=169374 Michael+Morse

Now that Michael Cuddyer has been crossed out from the Mets” list of potential free-agent targets, a new name has emerged according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.

Michael Morse is one such name who fits the Mets’ criteria, according to a person with knowledge of the club’s internal discussions.”

Morse, 32, gave the Giants a nice return on their investment this season, batting .279/.336/.475 with 16 homers and 61 RBI in 438 at-bats, while becoming a positive clubhouse influence and a significant part of San Francisco’s postseason run.

A right-handed slugger, Morse is not far removed from his best season in 2011 when he batted .303/.360/.550 with 31 homers and 95 RBI for the Washington Nationals.

Puma spoke to one major league talent evaluator who pointed out the big concern with Morse, his health history. He hasn’t played a full season since 2011 and there are questions if he can handle the grind of playing the outfield on a regular basis. “You worry about his legs,” the evaluator said.

Morse was bothered by a nagging oblique injury which cut into his playing time during the final two months of the season and limited him in the postseason.

The Giants did not extend Morse a qualifying offer, so the fact that the Mets won’t have to forfeit a first round pick to sign him will have some added appeal for Sandy Alderson.

Another thing you could put in the plus column is that he can do some damage versus left-handed pitchers. He slugged .511 against them in the regular season and owns a .485 career slugging percentage against southpaws.

He also likes to get his swings in at the plate, “I just put it in play,” Morse said. “You never know what can happen.”

Big thing to remember is that he can play left field and first base, though not particularly well, so that versatility may come in handy for the Mets especially if Lucas Duda continues to struggle against LHP.

The Mets would prefer Morse on a one-year deal, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if a couple of teams offered him two years at around $10-12 million annually.

So there you have it, thumbs up or thumbs down?

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MMO Fair or Foul: Alderson Is Executing His Strategy http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mmo-fair-or-foul-alderson-is-executing-his-strategy.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mmo-fair-or-foul-alderson-is-executing-his-strategy.html/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 14:30:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=167861 fairorfoul

Joel Sherman of the New York Post shared some thoughts on Sandy Alderson’s draft strategy and believes that his picks fits into the current philosophy for the team moving forward. Here’s what he had to say about two players making a big impact this year who were available when the Mets selected Brandon Nimmo in the 2011 draft:

If you are wondering where Daniel Murphy’s successor at second base is for the Mets, try the NLCS.

Both Kolten Wong and Joe Panik were available when the Mets used the 13th pick in 2011, Sandy Alderson’s first draft as general manager, to take Brandon Nimmo. Wong went 17th to the Cardinals, Panik — who had been playing in the Mets’ backyard at St. John’s — went 29th to the Giants.

Now, a sensitive Mets fan just might note the Mets will be happy to go with Dilson Herrera or Wilmer Flores at second if Murphy is moved, and the Mets still might be rewarded for taking Nimmo, who had a blossoming year in the minors this season.

But that is the point. Nimmo played at Single- and Double-A this year. In fact, no one from any of Alderson’s four draft classes has thrown a single pitch or taken a single at-bat in a major league game while the past two postseasons have been littered with players who have.

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As Sherman explains, Alderson was never playing for 2013 and 2014 but now the time has arrived. The front office has to begin to see those drafts picks pan-out.

During last postseason, the Mets had to explain their strategy about going after high-school positional assets to take Nimmo rather than Oakland’s Sonny Gray (who went seven picks later) — not to mention Miami’s Jose Fernandez (who was taken 14th) — and then Gavin Cecchini with the 12th selection in 2012 rather than Michael Wacha, who went 19th to the Cardinals (Marcus Stroman, who grew up in the Mets’ backyard in Long Island, went 22nd to the Blue Jays).

In 2013, the Mets again emphasized a high-school position player, taking first baseman Dominic Smith. He is just 19 and viewed as a legitimate prospect, despite hitting problems at Low-A. But it is Low-A. The Cardinals took Marco Gonzales 19th and his role appears to be expanding, as he so far has four shutout appearances and two wins in his transition from starter to reliever for this postseason.

kolten wong

It’s all about emphasizing the idea that when you pick high, you have to hit on those picks. As he points out, the Giants have done just that and have done a lot of winning during their current stretch:

But it highlights how vital it is to hit on picks when drafting as high as the Mets have during Alderson’s reign — it is the gift for being a bad team. The Giants, for example, have drafted well, not great. However, in the last 16 years, they have had four top-10 picks and haven’t missed: Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey and Zack Wheeler.

Sherman concludes that while we watch guys like Wong and Panik in the postseason, Nimmo, Cecchini, Smith and Conforto are all waiting in the wings for the Mets. His question is, will we ever see those four in the playoffs?

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