Mets Merized Online » 2014 Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:46:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Beyoncé To Perform At Citi Field On June 7 Mon, 08 Feb 2016 04:18:24 +0000 beyonce-performs-during-the-half-time-show-of-the-nfl-super-bowl-xlvii-football-game-in-new-orleans-louisiana-february-3-2013

The New York Mets and Live Nation tonight announced that the multiple-Grammy winning artist Beyoncé will perform at Citi Field Tuesday, June 7.

Tickets go on sale to the general public Tuesday, February 16 at 10:00 a.m. online at and by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000.

Billboard named her the Top Female Artist of the 2000s after she cultivated a catalog of hits that transcend chart achievements.

Her songs “Crazy in Love,” “Irreplaceable,” and “Single Ladies” all topped the Hot 100 and helped Beyoncé become the queen of pop-culture pantheon.


On stage, her dynamic, highly-choreographed performances have critics likening her to the best entertainers of the past and hailing her as one of the best entertainers in contemporary popular music.

Beyoncé will be performing at Citi Field for the first time, bringing her talent to the ballpark after her hugely successful On the Run Tour in 2014 and her appearance in tonight’s Super Bowl 50 halftime show.

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Mets Back Among Top 15 MLB Payrolls Fri, 29 Jan 2016 02:06:31 +0000 wilpon pepsi mets

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, Mets payroll – which he calculates to be $134 million – currently ranks 13th in Major League Baseball. That puts them ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays and the Kansas City Royals.

It´s nice that ownership finally appears willing and able to sport a competitive payroll. Assuming the payroll is actually closer to the $139 million as calculated by Joe D. of Metsmerized Online for Opening Day, it will probably rank closer to 9th or 10th highest in MLB. Still, not what you´d expect from a NYC MLB franchise that just went to the World Series, but certainly not ridiculous anymore. Progress.

That said, this is still a very low risk payroll for ownership – even if the 2016 Mets have a disappointing season (an unlikely event) and fail to even contend for the playoffs deep into the season, let alone get there and advance.

Thanks to the national TV deal that kicked in back in 2014, each MLB franchise gets an additional $30 million per year in revenue that doesn’t cost them an extra cent. So, looking at the cost side, a $140 million payroll in 2016 basically equals a $110 million payroll for 2013 (when Mets opened the year at $93.6 million).

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Of course, attendance in 2016 figures to be somewhere in the 2.8 to 3.0 million range – up by well over 600,000 and compared to the 2012 through 2014 range. Even using conservative estimates that´s an extra $30 million in revenue right there. In reality, odds are that luxury seating sales are way up too, so the actual bump figures to be significantly higher.

Still, essentially, the Mets as an isolated entity figure to have roughly $60 million more in revenue (at the very least) compared to the 2013 or 2012 Mets which reportedly generated operating losses of $10 and $20 million with payrolls in the $95 million range. Do the math, and this pretty much is the “break-even” range for ownership.

And in case the Mets do make the playoffs again in 2016, they can generate a nice eight-figure profit again, which they reportedly did in 2015 and which they also managed to do in 2014 when payroll was at a 10-year-low of $85 million. Yet the extra TV money had already kicked in, which led to a reported operating profit of about $25 million – which fits right in with the reported losses in 2013 and 2012 if you do the math. And those profits can go right into ownership´s pockets.

And, most of all, SNY remains the group´s big cash cow. Reports had them generating an EBITDA of over $150 million last year. And that mainly due to getting the Mets local right at a bargain rate of $80 to $100 million below the actual market value. These profits entirely can be used for debt management or can be distributed among owners, assuming some money is left after debt and interest payments.

So, yes, on surface, Mets payroll finally looks fine again. Yet, digging deeper, this remains a rather conservative and low risk figure. SNY is basically a legal money-printing machine that can ultimately help ownership to restore its Mets related wealth – by keeping and not selling the team and the majority shares of SNY which are closely linked together. The Mets are relevant again and can afford to compete in their market which should appease even their harshest payroll critics over the years.

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MMO Season Preview: Neil Walker, 2B Tue, 05 Jan 2016 16:00:24 +0000 walker neil

Neil Walker, 2B
Bats/Throws: S/R
DOB: September 10, 1985 (30 on Opening Day)
Contract: 3rd-year arbitration eligible (Projected $10.7 million)

2015 Recap

After a career year in 2014, Neil Walker saw a big drop in offensive production with the Pirates. In 2014, Walker slashed .271/.341/.467 with 23 home runs in 137 games. He saw his power go up significantly with a career-high .195 ISO and 51 extra base hits.

However, Walker saw his batting line dip to .269/.328/.427 with 16 home runs in 151 games. Overall, his offensive production boiled down to a 108 wRC+, still very good for his position. Even in his down year, his 108 wRC+ was very close to Daniel Murphy‘s 109 career mark.

Defensively, Walker was a bit below average at second base, coming in at -2 Defensive Runs Saved and -6.8 UZR. All of that comes from a simple lack of range. However, he generally makes the play on anything he gets to, which we can’t really say about Murphy.

Take a look at how Murphy and Walker compare with Inside Edge Fielding. Put together by Baseball Info Solutions, Inside Edge Fielding rates each play as either Impossible (0%), Remote (1-10%), Unlikely (10-40%), About Even (40-60%), Likely (60-90%), or Certain (90-100%) and tracks the successes. Here’s how Murphy and Walker compare over the last four years at second base:

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This is obviously far from the perfect way to analyze a fielder, but it gives you a sense of what kind of second baseman Walker has been in comparison to Murphy. He is a definite upgrade.

It’s not all rosy for Walker. This past season, he struggled against left-handed pitching, slashing just .237/.284/.290 in 102 plate appearances. Walker has typically not hit lefties well despite being a switch hitter, owning a .656 OPS against the,. But even for him, 2015 was a bad year against the southpaws. I would expect Wilmer Flores to get some at-bats in these spots.

2016 Projections

Steamer – 526 PAs, .258/.329/.427, 17 HR

Steamer600 – 600 PAs, .258/.329/.427, 19 HR

Marcel – 559 PAs, .263/.330/.436, 18 HR

Unlike with Duda’s projections yesterday, I think these are right on the money. Walker will be hurt by the move to Citi Field, which is still arguably the toughest place in baseball to hit. Considering he hit 23 home runs in 2014, the possibility of a 20 home run season from Walker is very possible, which can’t really be said for Murphy. Despite a much lower batting average, a season like any of the three above would be more productive than a typical year from Murphy.

A .260/.330/.430 year would be a fine season for any second baseman. Combined with Walker’s average defense, we can expect an fWAR in the 2.5 to 3.5 range, a sure bargain at less than $11 million.


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Free Agent OF/1B Steve Pearce Wants Two-Year Deal Tue, 05 Jan 2016 02:25:02 +0000 MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles

Rich Dubroff of Comcast Sportsnet, reports that free agent Steve Pearce is hoping to land a two-year deal.

The Mets reportedly view Pearce as a candidate to fill their fifth outfield spot according to a report by Jon Heyman of MLB Network last week.

Like fellow free agent Ryan Raburn, the appeal for the Mets is that Pearce bats right-handed and can also play some first base.

Pearce, who turns 33 in April, has a career .262/.343/.481 slash line against left-handed pitching with 38 doubles and 24 home runs in 594 plate appearances. However, he batted just .218 in 2015, albeit with 15 home runs in 325 PA.

The Tigers, Indians, and Rangers have all been linked to Pearce this winter.

Previous Report – 12/30

While any hope of the Mets bringing back free agent Yoenis Cespedes now dead in the water, the team remains in the market for a right-handed hitting outfielder, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.

The front office is looking for a right-hander to complement Michael Conforto, Curtis Granderson, and Lucas Duda. And sources have told Heyman that Steve Pearce could be a candidate to fill that role.

Pearce, 32, has shown legitimate power for the Orioles the past two seasons. In 2015, he hit 15 home runs and slashed .218/.289/.422 in 325 plate appearances. However, in 2014 he produced an excellent .293/.373/.556 batting line with 21 home runs in 383 plate appearances, so the upside is certainly there.

Pearce has also hit lefties extremely well throughout his career, slashing .262/.343/.481 with 24 home runs in a season’s worth of plate appearances. He also would give the Mets some versatility, as he’s spent time in left field, right field, first base, second base, and third base.

There are other options out there, such as Ryan Raburn, who provide both the ability to hit left-handed pitching and the ability to play first base and the outfield. With the heavy hitters in the Mets lineup consisting mostly of lefties, they will need some right-handed, versatile power off the bench going into next season.

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MMO Season Preview: Lucas Duda, 1B Mon, 04 Jan 2016 17:12:31 +0000 Lucas  Duda

Lucas Duda, 1B
Bats/Throws: L/R
DOB: February 3, 1986 (30 on Opening Day)
Contract: 2nd-year arbitration eligible (Projected $6.8 million)

2015 Recap

Lucas Duda’s 2014 season earned him almost universal acclaim among Mets fans, yet when he did virtually the same thing in 2015, he became one of the more criticized players on the team.

Duda ended the 2015 season with a fantastic .244/.352/.486 slash line, good for a 133 wRC+. In 135 games, Duda slugged 27 homers and a career-high 33 doubles. However, he also saw his strikeout rate rise from 22.7 percent in 2014 to 24.9 percent.

Defensively, it was more of the same for Duda. Defensive Runs Saved pegged Duda a few runs above average while UZR rated him around average. For such a big guy, Duda plays a good first base and continued to do so this year, even with his infamous throw in the World Series.

However, Duda’s season was overshadowed in many Mets’ fans minds by a long slump that lasted from around the beginning of June until the All-Star break in mid-July. In that span, Duda hit just .163/.278/.279 with three home runs over those 36 games. This was easily the worst slump of Duda’s career. Outside of those five weeks or so, however, Duda was unquestionably outstanding. Many Mets fans will complain (as they always do) about his home runs coming in bunches, but Duda brought a lot more to the table than just home runs.

Overall, Duda posted a very solid 3.1 fWAR in 2014 compared to 3.2 in 2015. Considering he also had a DL stint in there, his season was in many ways a repeat of 2014.

2016 Projections

Steamer – 581 PA, .238/.341/.435, 24 HR

Marcel – 537 PA, .245/.344/.466, 25 HR

I think both of these projections are unfair to Duda and how he’s been able to transform himself as a hitter over the past two seasons. Remember, most projection systems take into account the last three seasons. That would include 2013 which, for Duda, was ugly. In fact, it was so horrific at one point that he was sent down to Triple-A for a while. He hit .224/.352/.415 for the season which I think we can all agree will likely not happen again. Duda is a completely different hitter than he was back then, so 2013′s numbers are just an unnecessary weight.

Looking at his indicators, there is nothing glaring to be found. His BABIP last year was .285, compared to .283 in 2014. His home run per fly ball rate of 15.9 percent was virtually the same as his 16.0 percent rate in 2014. He’s hitting the ball hard at basically the same rates. His plate disciplined has remained as well. Mechanically speaking, there doesn’t appear to be anything that sticks out.

To me, all signs point to another season of 25 to 30 home runs and a batting line in the range of .245/.350/.480. If we get that, we should all be very happy.

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Mets To Attend Denard Span Workout After New Year Sat, 19 Dec 2015 12:40:30 +0000 denatd span

Ken Davidoff of the New York Post has confirmed that the New York Mets are among the teams that will be on hand for the special workout Denard Span has planned  in Tampa after the New Year.

The free agent center fielder says he fully recovered from his hip surgery and his agent Scott Boras says Span is running at full speed. Boras planned the workout so that teams won’t be apprehensive about offering a 3-4 year deal.

Previous Report – 12/17

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that free agent Denard Span will hold a workout for interested teams in early January according to his agent Scott Boras. During the Winter Meetings, Boras said that Span was running at full speed with no ill-effects from the hip surgery that ended his season.

“Leadoff hitters are in demand, they’re hard to find, and a guy who plays center field on top of it,” Boras said of his client while in Nashville. “He offers teams a very unique skill set. And I think the only thing they need to see is just the fact that he’s back at 100 percent.”

Span had an injury plagued 2015, playing in only 61 games for the Nationals. However, he was effective when healthy and batted .301 with a .365 OBP and .431 slugging in 275 plate appearances with five home runs and 22 RBI in the leadoff spot. He also stole 11 bases without being caught.

A former first-rounder, Span has a career .293 average and .760 OPS against right-handed pitching and he certainly would make a strong platoon with Juan Lagares in center field.

However, it doesn’t sound like Boras is looking for anything less than a situation where Span will continue to be an everyday center fielder.

Averaging 119 games a year, Span is a .287/.352/.395 career hitter. He has stolen 152 bases, averaging 19 a year. His best year was 2014, in which he hit .302/.355/.416 with 39 doubles, eight triples, five home runs, and 31 stolen bases. He was tied with Ben Revere for most hits in the National League with 184.

Span’s career .352 on base percentage, as well as his speed, make him a great option for the leadoff spot if he’s healthy. The Mets lacked a legitimate stolen base threat last season, and Span could give them a weapon they haven’t really had in a few years.  But are they willing to give Span more than a one or two year deal?

FanGraphs projects Span to get a three year deal valued at $36 million, paying him through his age 34 season. How would you like to see the Mets approach this?


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Nationals Are Discussing Brandon Phillips Trade Wed, 16 Dec 2015 13:00:03 +0000 brandon-phillips

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Nationals and Reds are discussing a deal for second baseman Brandon Phillips. Phillips has a no trade clause in his contract, but he could waive it to join Washington if a trade were to go through.

He is owed $13 million dollars in 2016 and $14 million in 2017, which are the two finals years of his contract.

With the Nationals looking for upgrades at second, Phillips is a certainly an appealing target. Phillips, 34, remains a solid player at his position despite being in the later stages of his career.  He batted .294/.328/.395 with 12 homeruns and 70 RBI in 623 plate appearances this year, and had a 2.6 WAR according to Fangraphs. He is also still a good defender on defense as his +2 UZR rating shows.

Rosenthal also reports that another possibility for the Nationals is former Met Kelly Johnson. Johnson slashed .250/,304/.414 in 138 plate appearances with the Mets in 2015, and posted a .750 OPS in 335 plate appearances overall.


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Josh Edgin Progressing, Could Return Around Opening Day Tue, 08 Dec 2015 12:00:47 +0000 josh edgin

According to Assistant General Manager John Ricco, left handed reliever Josh Edgin is making progress from Tommy John surgery and could be ready around opening day. Edgin has not had any setbacks in his recovery, and could be an effective weapon out of the bullpen next season if he returns to full health.

“It’ll be about a year out right around Opening Day, and he’s progressing, hasn’t had any setbacks to this point,” Ricco said. “So you got to remember Billy Wagner was ready right around a year — in maybe even less than a year — but Bobby Parnell last year took a little bit longer.”

“It’s too early for me to give you a timeframe other than it’ll be a year right around Opening Day. I think he’s throwing off the slope here shortly or he might have already started that.” (Maria Guardado,

Edgin, 28, had an excellent 1.32 ERA during 27.1 innings pitched in 2014. He also struck out 28 batters, had a 0,91 WHIP, 4.67 K/BB and  266 ERA+ in 47 appearances.  For his career, he’s dominated left handed hitters as he’s held them to a .198 average and .627 OPS.

However, Ricco cautions that the Mets can’t rely on him too much since he’s still working his way back from a serious injury.

“I just think because of the nature of the injury, you can’t put all your eggs in one basket with a guy who’s coming off Tommy John,” Ricco said, “That being said, we think he’s going to contribute to us and be a part of 2016.”

This means that free agent lefties Tony Sipp and Antonio Bastardo are still potential targets for New York. Sipp posted a 1.99 ERA in 54 innings for the Astros last season with 62 strikeouts. Meanwhile, Bastardo had a 2.98 ERA and held lefties to a .138 average.

Reuniting with Jerry Blevins is another possibility. Blevins appeared in only seven games last year because of injury, but made a strong impression as he did not allow a single baserunner in five innings.


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12 Teams Have Checked In On RHP Steve Cishek Including Mets Tue, 08 Dec 2015 02:38:28 +0000 MLB: SEP 14 Marlins at Phillies

Latest Update

Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 Radio is reporting that as many as a dozen teams have checked in with former Marlins closer Steve Cishek.

Cishek, 29, has been getting a lot of attention and generating a lot of buzz since he was non-tendered by the St. Louis Cardinals last week.

The New York Mets are reportedly one of the teams that have expressed interest. This is a player I’d love to see the Mets get.

December 5

The Mets “will cast a wide net” in searching for relief help, according to Marc Carig of Newsday, and one option they are now focusing on is former Marlin closer Steve Cishek.

Cishek, 29, was non-tendered by the Cardinals on Wednesday as he was due to earn close to $7 million dollars in arbitration – an amount that was driven by his dominant years as a closer in 2012 to 2014. During that span, he saved 88 games, pitching 198.2 innings and striking out 226 with a 2.72 ERA.

We recommended Cishek as a potential target for the Mets after he was non-tendered. He had a down year in 2015 and lost his closer role to A.J. Ramos before the Marlins traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals, but he finished the season very strong.

Cishek posted  a 2.31 ERA in 27 appearances for the Cards with one save, salvaging his season somewhat and finishing with a 3.58 ERA.

He could be a solid buy-low candidate for the Mets with a good chance to return to his previous form. He’d give our bullpen three relievers along with Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia that are experienced closers.

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Mets Sign RHP Jim Henderson To Minor League Deal Thu, 03 Dec 2015 21:56:22 +0000 jim henderson

The New York Mets announced that they have signed RHP Jim Henderson to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training.

Henderson, 33, has made 111 career relief appearances with the Milwaukee Brewers between 2012 and 2014 with a 3.44 ERA and 1.125 WHIP.

In 2013, his first full season in the major leagues, Henderson saved 28 games and posted a 2.70 ERA in 61 appearances.

However, Henderson had right shoulder surgery in August of 2014 to repair his labrum and rotator cuff. He spent the 2015 season in the minors where he posted a 4.04 ERA and 1.534 WHIP in 35 appearances spanning 35.2 innings with a 8.3 K/9 and 5.0 BB/9.


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Yunel Escobar Is Not A Good Fit For Mets Thu, 03 Dec 2015 17:36:03 +0000 yunel escobar

The Nationals are expected to make third baseman/shortstop Yunel Escobar available during next week’s Winter Meetings, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Escobar, 33, saw some big improvement at the plate in 2015 after being acquired by the Nationals, easily eclipsing his 93 wRC+ with the Rays in 2014 and posting a 120 wRC+ with the Nats.

A former second-round pick of the Atlanta Braves, Escobar batted .314 with a .375 on-base percentage to go with 25 doubles, nine home runs, 56 RBI and 75 runs scored in 591 plate appearances.

Escobar, was once considered a superior defensive shortstop with great range, soft hands and a solid arm, but he has regressed dramatically at shortstop where he committed 16 errors for the Rays in 2014 and finished last among all qualified shortstops in Defensive Runs Scored (DRS) with -24.

The Nationals opted to keep Escobar exclusively at third base last season, but the results were very poor as he looked uncomfortable, lacked range, and finished the year with -11 DRS and a -7.7 Ultimate Zone Rating.

So if you’re looking for a defensive upgrade at shortstop and a player who could backup David Wright at third base, Escobar probably isn’t that guy.

As I pointed out, Escobar had a solid season offensively for the Nats and his .375 OBP was a huge improvement over his .300, .332, and .324 OBP’s over the previous three seasons. Averaging a 3.0 WAR over his first seven seasons, Escobar posted a -0.2 WAR last season and a 1.9 in 2015.

Yunel is set to earn $7 million in 2016 and he has a $7 million team option ($1M buyout) for 2017.

When Escobar is happy within his working environment – as he was in DC – he is a productive player who can help your team offensively if not defensively. But he’s been a handful throughout his career.

He garnered himself a bad reputation before he landed with the Nats that included confrontations with several teammates, coaches, and managers. He was once slapped with a three-game suspension after wearing eye black during a Red Sox game with the words, “Tu Ere Maricon,” (You are a faggot) written in white.

To Escobar’s credit however, he vowed that he was a “changed man” after joining the Nats, and by all accounts he was a model teammate.

Bur regardless, he doesn’t fit what the Mets are looking for as they look to upgrade defensively up the middle. So I’m not sure that Sandy Alderson is going to deal what it would take to get him and risk improving our NL East rival at the expense of sabotaging our defense. At least that’s my opinion, what’s yours?


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Top Prospect Jose Miguel Fernandez Defects From Cuba Thu, 03 Dec 2015 12:30:53 +0000 Jose Miguel Fernandez

According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, Jose Miguel Fernandez has defected from Cuba in hopes of pursuing a MLB contract. Fernandez was rated as the number three overall Cuban prospect by Badler prior to the season, and he’s expected to be in high demand around the league.

While he’s not a huge homerun threat, Badler says he’s a major league ready infielder with a quick bat and has outstanding plate discipline. Fernandez hit .326/.482/.456  in 2014 with only ten strikeouts and 65 walks during 315 plate appearances.

The 27 year old second baseman did not play during the entire 2015 season due to a suspension for trying to leave the country. However, his upside is clearly there and he always hits whenever he’s on the field. In the World Baseball Classic in 2013, he hit over .500 with a .545 OBP and had no strikeouts in 21 at bats.

Scouts have considered him as a respectable fielder at second base, but Balder says his speed and range have declined as he’s filled out over the years.

Given his skill set, I wonder if he’s a player the Mets will look at closely over the next several months. His tremendous approach at the plate makes him a perfect fit for the team’s hitting philosophy, and he would also give the team some talent and depth in the infield.

It’s going to be interesting to see what type of contract he’ll receive on the open market, but the Mets and the rest of the league will have to wait before finding out. Badler says that it’s unlikely that he’ll be ready to sign prior to opening day since he still needs to establish residence in another country and be declared a free agent before being eligible to sign.


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Yankees and Cubs Discussing Gardner For Castro Swap Fri, 20 Nov 2015 17:11:02 +0000 Castro Starlin

According to Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News, the Yankees have discussed swapping Brett Gardner for Starlin Castro with the Chicago Cubs.

Gardner has been drawing a lot of interest this offseason and could eventually be traded for the right price. He hit .259 this year with 16 homeruns and 20 steals in 151 games, and is owed $38 million over the the next three years.

If Gardner is moved, the Yankees will presumably start Aaron Hicks in left field, who they acquired last week.

Castro provides a potential upgrade for the Yankees at second they currently have a platoon of Dustin Ackley and Rob Refsnyder. Castro transitioned to the position this season and is a three time All-Star.

However, he disappointed this year with a .265 average and .671 OPS in 151 games.

Castro has been a trade target for the Mets for years, but the two teams could never work something out. The Cubs wanted the one of the Mets’ top young pitching prospects in return, which is something that Sandy Alderson and the front office refused to do.

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MMO Fan Shot: My Dream Came True Sat, 17 Oct 2015 15:38:35 +0000 cespedes

An MMO Fan Shot by By Matt Stephens

I’d like to think that by this point my 2014 post on Yoenis Cespedes has become somewhat famous as far as the site is concerned. For those that don’t know, I’ll explain briefly: In October of 2014, Joe D. posted a fan shot in which I plead for the Mets to trade for Yoenis Cespedes by dealing from our arsenal of young pitching weapons. I made bold claims that the stadium would be full once again, that he would single-handedly power the lineup, and more. They were claims that seemed too big and extravagant to come to fruition. Of course, as is the case with most of the phantom trade proposals made on blogs, it was just a hope. It was a shot in the dark, a dream that I would get to watch my favorite player in the game play for the team I loved.

Cespedes has been a guy I’ve followed since his introduction to Major League Baseball by Billy Beane. I watched with awe as he slammed the ball over the fence, or as he flung the ball towards home with ease. He was simply an incredible player. At the 2013 Home Run Derby, I had a fantastic seat, just 10 rows behind home plate. It was a once in a lifetime experience, and it provided my first live view of the home runs that Yoenis Cespedes was capable of hitting. Round after round, pitch after pitch flew over the fence, some reaching that second level, one even going to the third if I recall. It was at that point where I truly became star-struck. Yoenis Cespedes was one of the great power hitters in the game and he could hit at Citi Field. He belonged here, with us Mets fans, in our city. It was destiny.

The off-season passed with few moves of note. Cuddyer and Mayberry were Sandy Alderson’s outfielders of choice, and to me, it was typical Sandy. Going with the low-risk move to try and fill the hole with the most cost-effective player. I moaned along with the rest of you when we surrendered a pick but was also glad that we took action of some sort. Then we had the Winter Meetings, where Yoenis Cespedes was given to the Detroit Tigers for Rick Porcello, a move that came seemingly out of nowhere. At that point it seemed like that was the end of the line. He’d become a free agent after the season and would go to the highest bidder, and that would be that. I would forever be rooting from afar. Thank goodness that was not the case.

Of course as the season went on, I found myself more and more frustrated over the Mets’ futile offense. We bickered constantly on the site about how to repair it, with me of course toting my pro-Cespedes line, day in and day out, but many agreed that one bat would no longer be enough. The trades for Uribe and Johnson came, and the focus was shifted towards my dream, towards the big bat. Reporters continued to write that it was unlikely that Cespedes would be traded, let alone to the Mets. As we crept closer and closer to the deadline, I allowed myself to believe, for just a little bit, that my inevitable hope would become reality. On that fateful Friday afternoon, I was on a train, and sat obliviously as Alderson fulfilled my wish.

yoenis cespedes

When of course it was confirmed by every source, by the team, and by Cespedes himself that he was a New York Met, I was ecstatic, I was beaming, I knew that the season had been turned around in an instant, even though we were 52-50 at that point. Like a kid on Christmas Eve, I could hardly contain myself waiting to see my favorite player in the threads of my favorite team. Of course, he lived up to and even succeeded my wildest hopes with his wild run of homers and enormous hits. I enjoyed it just as you all did, but there was a little something extra there for me, a small sense of ‘I knew it’, ‘I promised them he was the one’, with every hit he had. The Mets clinched and confirmed what I’d said along. He was the type of player that could change a team and a season, and getting to watch it unfold with my player leading the charge was better than anything I could have possibly imagined.

Now with the Mets in the middle of the playoffs, this seems like a somewhat odd time for this article, but I assure you, the time was chosen with care. I attended Game 3 and watched in awe as this heroic figure absolutely demolished a ball, drilling it over 430 feet into the second deck to all but guarantee a Mets win. As he circled the bases, the Mets shot blue and orange fireworks into the air, and beneath the crowd noise, the theme from “The Natural” could be heard. It was an absolutely unforgettable scene, and one I will cherish, no matter how this Mets season ends. I of course dream that the story ends with a Mets World Series ring and a big contract for Cespedes, but each is just another dream. In this season of magic though, no dream seems too big.

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This Fan Shot was written by MMO community member Matt Stephens. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 30,000 Met fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.


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Dilson Herrera Flexes Some Muscle, Shows Why He’s Mets Future At 2B Mon, 28 Sep 2015 17:24:09 +0000 dilson hererra hr

On Sunday, the Mets put out their post-clinching lineup and the biggest star to shine was that of Dilson Herrera who went 3-for-4 with a double and a two-run homer, coming a triple short of the cycle.

mmo feature original footerIt was Dilson’s first start since June 27th and he gave Mets fans a good glimpse of what he is capable of as a hitter. He has now hit six home runs in just 146 Major League at-bats despite currently being the 4th youngest player (21) in the National League.

Herrera came to the Mets on August 27th, 2013, when Sandy Alderson shipped out veterans Marlon Byrd and John Buck for Dilson and Vic Black. At the time Herrera was a 19-year old prospect who batted .265/.330/.421 in the South Atlantic League for the Priates and he was deemed a “offense oriented second baseman” by Baseball America’s Matt Eddy.

It didn’t take long for Herrera to impress the his new team, hitting .323/.379/.479 with 33 doubles, five triples, 13 homeruns, 71 RBI and 23 stolen bases combined for the St. Lucie and Binghamton Mets in his first full season with the organization. He showed enough (combined with Daniel Murphy injury) to get a shocking promotion on August 29th, 2014 to make his debut as the youngest player in the National League.

Herrera was able to hold his own in his first 66 MLB plate appearances hitting .220/.303/.407 with three homeruns, a triple, eleven RBI and a 7/17 BB/SO. Not bad for a 20-year old kid considering the average for a MLB second baseman in 2014 was .250/.307/.352 with a .113 ISO compared to Herrera’s isolated slugging of .186.

Herrera was sent to Las Vegas to start the 2015 season and picked up right where he left off hitting .327/.381/.511 for the 51′s in 327 at-bats. However, he has struggled with the bat this year in the big leagues with a slash line of .218/.320/.379 in 87 AB that covers three different stints.

It was not all bad for Herrera who lowered his K% from 25.8% last year in the bigs to 22% this year and raised in BB% from 10.6% to 11.0% this year.

He has also looked more comfortable in the field this year while turning some great double plays and proving to be more sure-handed at second. According to FanGraphs last year he made 92% of routine plays and this year he has made 97%.

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He received some glowing compliments from Keith Hernandez during the game yesterday who said this about Dilson:

“He is a little guy that is very strong, and I like this guy alot. He has had his struggles at the big league level but he’s got some pop, he is a scrappy little player who is a excellent second base who can turn an excellent double play.”

The second base position has been somewhat of a revolving door this year for the Mets because of injuries and playing match-ups. Kelly Johnson, Juan Uribe, Wilmer Flores, Ruben Tejada, Daniel Muno, Murphy, and Herrera have all seen time at second base this year for the Mets.

I don’t expect Murphy to be back next year and they’ve shown no inclination to give him a contract extension . I like both Johnson and Uribe, but I would be surprised if they weren’t offered more money and playing time elsewhere. Which really brings us to Flores and Herrera as the two most likely candidates to play second base for the Mets next season.

Personally, I think it will be Herrera who wins the job next Spring, mostly because he is a better defender and also has the potential to hit at the top of the order. Meanwhile, Flores could get plenty of playing time filling a super utility role with the team.

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Cespedes Will Seek Six-Year Deal, But Will It Be With Mets? Sat, 19 Sep 2015 12:42:36 +0000 yoenis Cespedes

Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes told Marly Rivera of ESPN Deportes  that he will be seeking at least a six-year deal this Winter when he becomes a free agent.

“My only hope is to stay healthy,” Cespedes said. “I’m not thinking about a contract, but I do know that I will be looking for a contract that is six years or more, has to be six years or more. We’ll see what happens.”

Cespedes, 29, is hitting .295 with 17 homers and 42 RBIs in 43 games since being acquired from the Detroit Tigers on July 31 for pitching prospects Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa.

Cespedes has made it no secret that he loves playing in New York and that he enjoys the passion that Mets fans have for their team. He recently told the New York Post that these last six weeks with the Mets have been the best time of his four year career in major-league baseball.

It was also Cespedes himself, who called his agent and told him to get rid of the clause that would’ve limited the Mets to an exclusive five day window to sign him. He said he enjoys playing for the Mets and he wanted to be sure that they had as much time as they needed to decide whether or not they wanted to bring him back.

It will be interesting to see how the Mets handle this after the season. Will the Wilpons give Sandy Alderson the go-ahead if he decides that he wants Cespedes back?

More importantly, with attendance and revenue reportedly up over 50 percent this year, will the Wilpons increase payroll accordingly as they’ve been promising once fans flocked back to Citi Field? Or will they continue to operate right under their $100 million Mendoza Line?

Joe D.

September 18

On Monday night, Yoenis Cespedes hit his 35th home run of the season and 17th since being acquired by the Mets. After not homering in his first 10 games with the Mets, all 17 of Cespedes home runs have come since August 12, which is the most in the majors since that date.

Jeff Passan put up a wordy treatise yesterday on why the Mets won’t sign Cespedes, while a chorus of others continue to harp on how Yoenis won’t be worth what he gets because he’s never played like this before.

This is true in a sense, he’s never been a 6+ WAR player before, but he’s also never really had a real chance to stick anywhere. So before you go wagering against Cespedes at a sportsbook online betting site, hear me out.

His first year with Oakland he was new not just to MLB but to the U.S. Given the circumstances I think he did great as a rookie. Then came 2013, his sophomore campaign, which was an off-year of sorts but even then there were two (one .800+ and one 900+) high OPS months sandwiched around a hamstring injury and a wrist issue. The first half of 2014 saw him hit 14 homers, 21 doubles, 53 runs, 57 RBI, and even 27 walks thrown in for good measure — starting to sound more like the Cespedes we know?

Then came the 2014 trade deadline with one of the biggest examples in recent memory of a trade that somehow managed to hurt both teams. Cespedes gets traded to Boston for Jon Lester, where Yoenis never quite gains his footing in the logjam of Boston’s outfield. Now as this was his third year, I think you have to cut the guy some slack. Boston, like New York, can be a notoriously fickle landing spot … full of oddities and idiosyncrasies, some players do well while others struggle. A lot of people out there saw a right-handed power hitter who would thrive at Fenway when in actuality many a Cespedes frozen-rope that would have gone out in just about any other park bounced off the Green Monster.

So he gets traded again before the start of the 2015 season, this time to Detroit for Rick Porcello where he crushes it to the tune of 13 homers, 27 doubles and an .821 OPS in the first half (remember, he also had an .861 OPS in 2012).

Cespedes has only been in major league baseball for four years having arrived relatively late as a Cuban defector. In 2013 after only one year some wondered whether he’d already peaked — they saw a nice player with a great arm, some pop and some speed, but not the beast that many had projected given his tools.

But the monstrous power, the bat speed, the decent contact rate, it was all still present (still is) … and there was that first half in 2014 as well which landed him third in All-Star voting behind Jose Bautista and Mike Trout.

Cespedes not only made the leap from Cuba to the U.S. successfully, he managed to put up decent (if not occasionally gaudy) numbers over the course of a four year stretch that saw him play for four different teams. It should be no surprise that Yoenis wants to stay with the Mets. Perhaps it’s comfort level, perhaps he really loves the city, or perhaps he’s just tired of bouncing around. Whatever the case, he is obviously a good fit.

In an article by Tim Rohan of the New York TimesAriel Prieto, Cespedes’s interpreter in Oakland said:

“A team like the Mets, if they give him a good offer, he’s going to stay,” Prieto said . “He wants to compete; that’s what’s most important to this kid. He wants to be a part of that. That’s why he’s doing good over there, because he knows they have a good chance to go to the playoffs or even go all the way through.”

The notion that his current two month stretch is a total aberration is problematic on several levels. He was having a tremendous season even before he came to NY, and he’s had torrid streaks before. To imply that this is somehow an outlier because his career numbers don’t support it is disingenuous given the fact that he’s had stretches of doing pretty close to what we’re seeing, not to mention the dampening impact of his tumultuous history.

This isn’t a flash in the pan “out of nowhere” hot streak. This is a sustained six week bombardment of National League pitching the likes of which hasn’t been seen in quite some time, by a guy who many felt would be just this sort of player when he first came on the scene.

You either have the ability to do this or you don’t. You can count the players with the ability to do what Cespedes is doing on one hand. Even if this is an anomaly, the fact that Cespedes is even capable of this sort of thing makes him immensely valuable — clearly there’s some off the charts God-given talent here.

At worst Cespedes might be a .260 – .270 hitting, 20 something home run, 70-80 RBI guy … in other words Curtis Granderson without the walks.  But in my estimation that is Cespedes’ baseline (the numbers support this) … So he is at least this sort of player with some very potent indicators that he might be something quite a bit more.

Signing Cespedes is simply a risk the Mets have to take. Sure they might get Curtis Granderson 2.0, or, they might get a .900 – 1.000 OPS monster who can readily put a team on his shoulders and carry them into the playoffs year after year … hard to put a price tag on that.

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Scott Boras Goes Into Full-On Damage Control Mode Sun, 06 Sep 2015 17:18:20 +0000 boras_scott

After igniting a firestorm and then hanging his client Matt Harvey out to dry to deal with the aftermath all on his own, Scott Boras is now in full-on damage control mode.

Tyler Kepner of the New York Times, spoke to Boras,who is now trying to diffuse the situation after a shell-shocked Matt Harvey expressed anger and concern over how he is being portrayed as the villain.

“One thing is clear: The Mets want him to pitch, and Matt Harvey wants to pitch,” Boras said.

“All I care about is that the medical experts are involved in the process of determining what Matt Harvey can do. Matt is calling me every day and telling me, ‘I want to pitch.’ I got on the phone with Dr. Andrews and said, ‘We need to get together again and develop a plan so he can pitch.’ I made sure that door was not closed.”

Still, Boras insisted that Dr. James Andrews, who performed Harvey’s Tommy John surgery in October 2013, had set that 180 innings cap, not him and certainly not Matt Harvey.

However, Andrews, who could clear this whole thing up, said Friday he would keep his recommendation confidential. It’s led to speculation that he gave the Mets one message and his patient another. Remember that Harvey chose not to use Dr. Altcheck, the Mets team doctor.

Boras was bothered by Alderson’s comment in The New York Times suggesting that he had imposed his agenda on doctors to sway their recommendations. Boras said he did not have such influence and said his only agenda was to serve his client, and he repeated that his client wanted to pitch.

Boras continued to point to data and a recent study conducted of pitchers who had Tommy John surgery within the last decade without having previously thrown 200 innings.

“The pitchers with heavier workloads in their first full season back — Josh Johnson, Shaun Marcum, Kris Medlen and Jarrod Parker — have had subsequent elbow problems, while Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann, who were brought along more conservatively, have not.”

“In the last 10 years, no pitcher who has never thrown 200 innings in a season has gone from 0 innings to 190 innings following surgery,” the study said. “Matt Harvey would be a test case.”

Ultimately, the final decision will come down to Matt Harvey and how comfortable he is with continuing to pitch in light of the doctor’s recommendation, and the data that has been presented to him by Scott Boras.

On Monday, Harvey will have a face-to-face with Mets GM Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins with the hope that situation will be completely resolved to everybody’s satisfaction.

September 5

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports touched base with Scott Boras an hour ago, and he had several points he wanted to make on the Matt Harvey issue:

Boras said he spoke today with Harvey’s surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, and that he plans to meet with Andrews this week.

“Matt Harvey wants to pitch,” Boras said. “We’re trying to work out a plan that the doctor approves of.”

Boras said the issue only became a potential problem when the Mets’ chances of reaching the postseason improved significantly in August, and that is when he reached out to Alderson again.

“My assumption was that is where we were headed. When the playoffs came up, I called in August and said, ‘The playoffs are coming. Where are we on this?’”

Boras said he did a study of pitchers who had never thrown 200 innings in a season and then had Tommy John surgery and then ramped up to approximately the 200-inning level in their second full season after returning.

The four pitchers that Boras cited were Shaun Marcum, Josh Johnson, Jarrod Parker and Kris Medlen. All experienced complications, Boras said. All but Marcum had a second Tommy John.

In contrast, Boras said, the Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann built their innings in a steadier progression, reaching 200 innings only in their fourth full season after Tommy John.

“This is the thing the doctors are most scared about,” Boras said. “Matt Harvey threw zero innings in 2014. He will be the only player in history ever to go from 0 to 200 innings.

“If you exceed your (career-high innings total) and you do it in your second season after Tommy John . . . all of those guys had complications. All of those guys had problems.”

Boras and to some degree Harvey, are really going out of their way to say that there has been a complete lack of communication between them and the front office.

Jonah Schwartz of SNY said it appears that Alderson is too old school and thought he could ignore Scott Boras, and give him the brush which is something you should never do because Boras is more involved with his players than any other agent in sports.

Additionally, it was Sandy Alderson during a press conference on February 21 who first brought up the 180 innings pitch limit for Harvey  this season according to a few reports.

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MMO Game Thread: Red Sox vs Mets, 4:05 PM Sat, 29 Aug 2015 17:12:21 +0000 jacob deGrom

The New York Mets (71-57) look to bounce back on Saturday afternoon after having their seven game winning streak snapped by the Boston Red Sox (59-69) in last night’s series opener.

Getting the start for the Mets is right-hander Jacob deGrom (12-6, 2.26) who will oppose right-hander Joe Kelly (7-6, 5.18) for the Red Sox in a 4:05 PM matchup at Citi Field.

New York is tied for fourth in the NL with 132 home runs this season. The Mets have hit 70 home runs in 64 home games this year establishing a club record at Citi Field. New
York has hit 22 home runs in its last 14 home games.

Daniel Murphy is making a huge push as he gets set to enter free agency. He has five multi-hit games in his last eight starts, going 14-37 (.378) during that span. Murphy is batting .337 (32-95) with 17 runs scored, 11 doubles, four home runs and 20 RBI in 22 games this month. He leads the majors in doubles and extra-base hits, is tied for seventh in the NL in RBI and eighth in batting average in August.

Mets Starting Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson – RF
  2. Yoenis Cespdes – CF
  3. Daniel Murphy – 1B
  4. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  5. Kelly Johnson – 2B
  6. Juan Uribe – 3B
  7. Michael Conforto – LF
  8. Wilmer Flores – SS
  9. Jacob deGrom – RHP

Jacob deGrom is 12-6 over 24 starts and 157.0 innings with a 2.29 ERA. He is coming off of his worst start of the season as he allowed 7 runs, 6 earned over 2.2 innings, comparable slightly to a start he made against the Yankees back in April. Luckily the Mets had his back, hit 8 homers, and the Mets still won the game in his last start. Jacob has never faced the Red Sox before but has seen a few of their hitters:

  • De Aza 1-3
  • Ramirez 1-2, HR
  • Rutledge 1-3
  • Sandoval 1-3, 2B

The Mets bats will get a look at Joe Kelly who was acquired by the Sox around the 2014 trade deadline. For Boston this year he has posted a 5.18 ERA over 21 games and 113.0 innings with a 7-6 record. That being said, he’s been better recently. In his last four starts he has tossed 24.2 innings with a 1.82 ERA while striking out 20. The last time he faced the Mets was in 2013 where logged 2.0 innings over 2 relief outings allowing 2 hits, 1 walk and striking out 3. The Mets have the following number against Kelly:

  • Uribe 5-13
  • Cuddyer 2-4
  • Murphy 2-3
  • Wright 1-4
  • Cespedes 0-3
  • Tejada 0-3
  • K Johnson 0-2

Let’s Go Mets!

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Eric Young Jr. Excited To Be Back With Mets Thu, 27 Aug 2015 14:28:44 +0000 USATSI eric young jr

The Mets brought back Eric Young Jr. from the Braves last Saturday for cash and assigned him temporarily to Triple-A Las Vegas.

He was hitting .248 with 23 steals in 67 games for Triple-A Gwinnett when he was with Atlanta.

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, once rosters expand next Tuesday, Young is expected to be called up and he is looking forward to rejoining the Mets, who he played for in 2013 and 2014.

“I always say that it’s important to treat people with respect and leave on a good note, because you just never know what could happen in the future, and you have to keep those lines open,” Young wrote on his blog.

“And here I am returning to the Mets. It’s a reminder about why it’s important to leave on a good note. I knew I had good relationships with my Mets teammates before I left, but now that I’m coming back, and everybody is excited, it feels great.”

“I always knew the Mets had the arms, and that whenever they could put it together and figure it out that this team would be something to deal with. Obviously they put it together this season, and it was just a matter of getting those pieces here and there to complete the team.”

Young may not be expected to do much at the plate but what he could definitely provide, is speed on the basepaths, whicn is something the Mets have lacked all season long.

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Conforto Understands That He Will Likely Be Demoted When Wright Returns Fri, 21 Aug 2015 13:01:21 +0000 michael Conforto

Mike Puma of the NY Post says that Michael Conforto‘s luck is running out with David Wright nearing a return. Puma reports that Conforto already knows there’s a strong chance he’s the one the Mets send down when the team’s captain makes his expected return on Monday.

“I understand the situation and I know that is a big possibility when David comes back,” Conforto said. “But I’m here now and I can learn as much as I can and try to improve as much as I can and then hopefully I come back for September if they do send me down.”

Even though he’s battling through a 4-for-22 slump at the moment, Conforto has more than held his own in the majors. He’s has a .222/.328/.407 slash line with two home runs and 10 RBI in 54 at-bats, which is a lot better than some expected for a player advancing straight from Double-A.

Perhaps the most impressive part about Conforto’s performance is how he handled himself with such maturity and poise for a 22-year old rookie.

“He has carried himself extremely well on the field, in the clubhouse and with the media and fans,” said Alderson, who selected Conforto from Oregon State with the Mets’ top draft pick in 2014. “The experience now is invaluable.”

Conforto says that he’s gained a lot of confidence from the experience, but he won’t be down for long. He will definitely be back in the majors for the stretch run in September when the rosters expand.

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