Mets Merized Online » Angel Pagan http://metsmerizedonline.com Sun, 19 Feb 2017 23:34:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.18 The All-Free Agent Team http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/the-all-free-agent-team.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/the-all-free-agent-team.html/#comments Fri, 27 Jan 2017 18:00:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=230142 matt-wieters

The offseason is coming to a close as February is right around the corner. While most free agents have found homes on new teams, there are still many who are looking for teams. Some of these players can still give a boost to teams from their respective positions. The following are some of the best at their positions who are remaining.

The All-Free Agent Team

Starting Pitcher – Jason Hammel

Starting pitching is one of the stronger positions for teams who have needs. Doug Fister and Jorge De La Rosa aren’t terrible options. However, Jason Hammel leads this pack. The 34-year old was behind some of the top pitchers in baseball on the World Champion Cubs team. He contributed to the effort by going 15-10 with a 3.83 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 166.2 innings.

Catcher – Matt Wieters

Matt Wieters is one of the most valuable free agents remaining. This is mostly because he is leaps-and-bounds better than most free agent catchers. With competition from players like A.J. Pierzynski, Dioner Navarro, and Steve Clevenger, it wouldn’t be surprising for Wieters to get a decent deal even now.

First Base – Mike Napoli

Mike Napoli hit 34 home runs, scored 92 runs, and drove in 101 RBI with a .239/.335/.465 slash line. Those stats stand for themselves.

Second Base – Chase Utley

Second base is another weak position. Kelly Johnson and Aaron Hill are very similar to each other in production, but Chase Utley is better than both, as painful as that may sound to Mets fans. Also he is primarily a second baseman while the other two play around the field more. After a terrible 2015, he bounced back with a better season as he hit .252/.319/.396 with 14 home runs, 52 RBI, and 79 runs scored.

Third Baseman – Aaron Hill

Luis Valbuena would have made this position, but he just signed with the Angels recently. Both Johnson and Hill play this position as well and as already mentioned, they are similar players. Hill had 297 at bats as a third basemen in 2016 while Johnson only had 60. It’d only be fair to give the edge to Hill.

Shortstop – Alexei Ramirez

This is the weakest position by far. Ramirez slashed just .241/.277/.333 for the season albeit a little better in his time towards the end of the season with the Tampa Bay Rays. The only other Major League free agent at shortstop is veteran Erick Aybar who struggled mightily in 2016 as well.

angel pagan

Outfield – Angel Pagan

There are very few remaining outfielders of value left on the market especially after Mark Trumbo agreed to a deal to stay with the Orioles. Angel Pagan is still a solid player nonetheless. While he may not be a difference-making, his speed, defense, and offense are all serviceable. His 15 stolen bases show he still has some speed on the basepaths. His 12 home runs were actually a career-high. He is all-around one of the better outfielders on the market.

Outfield – Brandon Moss

Brandon Moss fits better at first base, but since Napoli is still on the market he can’t really be considered the best at that position. Since the outfield is so weak and Moss does play outfield, he can definitely be considered one of the best outfielders left. He paces the competition when he comes to power as his 28 home runs pack a powerful punch.

Outfield – Coco Crisp

Coco Crisp leads both the previous outfielders in a category most players don’t want to: age. The 37-year old is at a point where many players see a big decline or retire. Instead he was actually traded to the American League Champion Indians during the season. He has the weaker qualities of the other two outfielders, as in the on-base skills of Moss and the power of Pagan. His 2016 could still arguably be considered his best season since 2013, however.

Designated Hitter – Pedro Alvarez

Since Napoli took the first-base spot, that leaves few top remaining designated hitters. Pedro Alvarez and his 22 home runs in 2016 lead the way here. He also had career best .255 isolated slugging and was a 1.1 fWAR player. Chris Carter deserves mention for his 41 home runs, but also struck out 32% of the time and is a butcher in the field.

Left-Handed Relief Pitcher – Jerry Blevins

This is a tough one between Jerry Blevins and Travis Wood. In 2016 Blevins had a 2.79 ERA with 52 strikeouts in 42 innings. Wood, on the other hand, had a 2.95 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 61 innings. You can’t compare much else of their careers as Wood really only converted to a relief pitcher in 2015, while Blevins never made a MLB start. Since strikeouts are big for relief pitchers, Blevin’s 8.7 career strikeouts per nine innings edges out Wood’s 7.4.

Right-Handed Relief Pitcher – Joe Blanton

Right-handed relief pitchers are still abundantly on the market at this time. Joe Blanton is the best on the market especially after he struck out 80 batters in 80 innings to the tune of a 2.48 ERA. Sergio Romo is another big name, but for relievers of similar ERA production, it would be hard to rank him and his 30.2 innings pitched above Blanton and his 80 innings pitched.

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It’s Over. Bumgarner, Gillaspie Defeat Mets 3-0 Despite Gem from Thor http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/its-over-bumgarner-gillaspie-defeat-mets-3-0-despite-gem-from-thor.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/its-over-bumgarner-gillaspie-defeat-mets-3-0-despite-gem-from-thor.html/#comments Thu, 06 Oct 2016 03:37:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224493 connor-gillaspie

The New York Mets were defeated by the San Francisco Giants by a score of 3-0 Wednesday night at Citi Field. The Mets season is over, and the Giants will advance and face the Chicago Cubs in the NLDS.

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Pitching:

Unhittable. Incredible. Norse god-like. Phenomenal. All are words that describe Noah Syndergaard‘s outing tonight. Thor tossed 7.0 dominant innings, allowing only 2 hits while walking 3 and striking out 10. He had a no-hitter going until two outs in the 6th when Denard Span knocked a slider to center field to break it up. The only other hit was an inconsequential infield single by Angel Pagan in the 7th.

Addison Reed stepped up in the top of the 8th inning. Conor Gillaspie led off the inning with a seeing-eye base hit to right. MadBum bunted him over to second for the first out, then Denard Span popped up to the second baseman. Brandon Belt walked, then the first pitch to Buster Posey got away from Rene Rivera, moving the runners to second and third with two outs. Terry put up four fingers so they loaded the bases to face Hunter Pence, who Reed blew away on four pitches, striking him out on four pitches to end the inning.

jeurys-familia

Jeurys Familia came in for the 9th with the score tied and was greeted rudely by Brandon Crawford who doubled to left center. Angel Pagan was up to bunt, but Familia worked the count full and struck him out with a 97-mph four-seamer up in the zone for the first out. He worked the count full to Joe Panik as well, but ended up walking him to put runners on first and second with one out. Then Conor Gillaspie broke our hearts and hit a three run home run to right field off a 97 mph sinker that didn’t sink.

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Offense:

I wish I could write more in this section. Asdrubal Cabrera, T.J. Rivera, Rene Rivera, and Ty Kelly had hits. Madison Bumgarner lived up to the hype throwing a 4-hit shutout, striking out 6 and walking two. In 25 career innings in win-or-go-home games, he has yet to give up a run. That is the most all-time by far.

This really sucks. It was a pleasure writing for you all this summer and I look forward to working my way onto your computer screens next season. Let’s Go Mets.

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Sandy Alderson Dials Up Winning Code in Offseason (643) (463) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/sandy-alderson-dials-up-winning-code-in-offseason-643-463.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/sandy-alderson-dials-up-winning-code-in-offseason-643-463.html/#comments Mon, 02 May 2016 14:04:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=210895 neil walker asdrubal cabrera

The lead had dwindled to one.

Closer Jeurys Familia yielded a leadoff single to the pesky Denard Span and was staring at the stern, focused face of former Met Angel Pagan. The speedy Pagan has flourished since his departure from Flushing for two forgettable experiments in Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez, netting a World Series ring in 2012 and about 40 million dollars in contract money from the Giants. He stood in the batters box as an unlikely candidate to record an out, let alone two. Familia dealt his signature sinker at 96 MPH on the outer half which Pagan rolled over to the right side.

The record breaking regular season crowd of 44,466, two-thirds of them Gnome-less and agitated, fell silent on contact.

In years past, particularly 2015, this was a cue for Mets fans to hide their eyes. Countless times the middle infield of the Mets botched tailor-made twin killings and extended innings. The Mets ranked 26th in executed DP’s last year, ahead of only four clubs. Giving teams extra outs is a classic recipe for disaster.

And of course, look at any game log in the World Series vs the Royals if you need further evidence of their defensive woes up the middle.

Even more significant, but often under-discussed, the defense failing to execute induced double play ground balls can needlessly extend the Mets’ young pitchers who were subject to innings limits in 2015 and pitch counts in 2016.

But, Alas Met fans! Do not avert your eyes! The newly constructed middle infield of Asdrubal Cabrera and Neil Walker are on the case!

Walker fielded Pagan’s grounder on the short hop and adroitly executed his back hand push-flip toss to Cabrera who was in an athletic shuffle transition over the second base bag that would make past Met shortstops ankles hurt. Cabrera fired to first to a splitting Lucas Duda to nail the busting Pagan by an eye lash.

The threat was thwarted. And silly you! You missed it, understandably so, because you had covered your eyes.

While the Mets are on pace to turn almost exactly the same number of double plays this year than in 2015, many variables can account for that. The turnover in the rotation to include more strikeout pitchers and the elimination of contact guys like Neise and Gee now make double play chances few and far between.

Converting these chances is tantamount to any team’s success.

Sandy Alderson acquired Walker and Cabrera to shore up the middle infield defense. With all the talk about the potent bats of the newly acquired double play combination, little has been said about the defense.

But the most basic defensive stat pretty much tells the story about the middle infield.

Last year, Mets shortstops and second baseman combined to make 27 errors. This year, through the first month, the Mets have had TWO errors at those spots. What a difference two players not known for their defense can make.

Countless balls that you are used to seeing squirt through the middle of the diamond have been snagged, some in fancy fashion. Throws have been made from knees, from mid-air, and from posteriors to nail base runners.

So, next time the Mets have an opportunity to roll one up, feel free to watch hopefully instead of hopelessly.

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

Michael  Conforto (Photo by Jim Mancari)

Michael Conforto (Photo by Jim Mancari)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Gee Feels Fine After Rehab Start, Cyclones Drop Rubber Game To Staten Island http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/dillon-gee-makes-rehab-start-cyclones-drop-rubber-game-to-staten-island.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/dillon-gee-makes-rehab-start-cyclones-drop-rubber-game-to-staten-island.html/#comments Mon, 30 Jun 2014 12:00:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=159470 Dillon Gee warming up in the bullpen (Photo by Diana Colapietro)

Dillon Gee warming up in the bullpen (Photo by Diana Colapietro)

BROOKYLN, N.Y. – On Sunday afternoon at MCU Park in Coney Island, Mets’ starting pitcher Dillon Gee returned to his old stomping grounds as he made a rehab start for the Brooklyn Cyclones.

Gee settled in nicely after a rough first inning and tossed 2.2 innings, but he was tagged with the loss after giving up a run on four hits. He also walked one and struck out six.

The Cyclones (11-6) dropped the rubber game 5-4 Sunday against the Staten Island Yankees in the “Battle of the Bridge” series.

Gee threw 55 pitches – which was the exact number he was slated to throw – in addition to a 30-pitch warm-up session. He has been on the disabled list with a strained lat muscle in his right side since May 14.

This was Gee’s second rehab start, as he also started a game last Tuesday in the Gulf Coast League. In that outing, he pitched two scoreless innings and allowed only one hit with two strikeouts.

“I feel good right now, but the big test is always the next day. So hopefully everything goes the way that it’s been going, and hopefully I’ll be out there for the next one.”

It took Gee 24 pitches to get through the first inning Sunday. Yankees’ center fielder Daniel Lopez led off with a bloop double to right. Gee proceeded to walk right fielder Austin Aune before an RBI single up the middle by second baseman Ty McFarland on an 0-2 pitch up in the zone that gave the Yankees their only run off Gee.

He then gave up a single to Yankees’ catcher Isaias Tejeda before striking out two and getting a fielder’s choice grounder to end the inning.

Gee minimized the damage in the first inning, allowing only one run. (Photo by Diana Colapietro)

Gee minimized the damage in the first inning, allowing only one run. (Photo by Diana Colapietro)

“It took me a few batters that first inning to get under control,” Gee said. “I’m not going to lie, I had a little adrenaline going into this game. But I felt fine physically and that’s the goal.”

Gee’s second inning started with an error by Cyclones’ second baseman Anthony Chavez. Gee struck out the next batter but then gave up a single to Lopez before retiring the next two.

With 46 pitches through two innings, Gee returned for the top of the third and struck out both men he faced before being relieved by Josh Prevost. Of Gee’s 55 pitches, 36 went for strikes.

He said he would like to improve upon his fastball command in his next start, which the team will determine sometime after reevaluating him Monday to see how he feels.

“The change-up was pretty good, and the slider was actually pretty good,” Gee said. “The off-speed stuff was pretty good for the most part. I just have to get ahead of hitters better. No matter which level you’re at, you have to pitch ahead.”

At age 21, Gee was a member of the 2007 Brooklyn Cyclones. He was mostly a reliever until being called upon to make 11 starts later in the season. He finished that campaign 3-1 with a 2.28 ERA as a starter.

“It’s pretty special this being the place that I started,” he said. “It’s changed so much. It’s a great place to play, it’s a great place to start your pro career, and to come back and make a rehab start here was a lot of fun. It’s good to come back to the place where you start your career.”

Gee is the first Cyclone to be named an Opening Day starter for the Mets. His outing Sunday was the 19th time in Cyclones’ franchise history that a Met played a rehab game in Brooklyn. Gee also became the second player to play for the Cyclones as a minor leaguer and Major Leaguer, joining Angel Pagan who played on the inaugural Cyclones team in 2001 and then with Brooklyn in a rehab game in 2008.

The game remained 1-0 until the top of the sixth inning when the Yankees tagged Brooklyn righty Corey Oswalt – who had been working on a 13.0-inning scoreless streak through his first two starts – for four runs as they batted around in the frame.

But the Cyclones immediately responded in the bottom of the inning by batting around themselves and plating four runs.

With the bases loaded and none out, third baseman Jhoan Ureña drove in the first run on what would have been an RBI ground out, but Yankees’ pitcher David Palladino dropped the ball covering the bag. Michael Bernal, Tyler Moore and Jeff Diehl each followed with RBI’s.

In the final three innings, the Cyclones only managed two hits against the Yankees’ bullpen and struck out five times. They wound up getting the tying and winning run in scoring position with two outs in the ninth, but catcher Tomas Nido went down swinging to end the threat.

On a positive note, Brooklyn reliever Scarlyn Reyes continues to shine as he threw 3.1 innings of hitless relief.

Meanwhile, Ureña doubled to left field in the first inning to increase his hitting streak to 10 games, becoming only the second Cyclone teenager (19 years old) to have a double-digit hitting streak joining outfielder Alhaji Turay who hit in 12 straight games in 2012.

The Cyclones have Monday off and open a three-game series with the Hudson Valley Renegades, the Single-A short season affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, Tuesday upstate. Lefty Alberto Baldonado will bid for his first win of the season in the 7:05 p.m. start.

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

Gee addresses the media after his start. (Photo by Jim Mancari)

Gee addresses the media after his start. (Photo by Jim Mancari)

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Rubin: Criticism Should Be Directed At Alderson Not Collins http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/rubin-criticism-should-be-directed-at-alderson-not-collins.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/rubin-criticism-should-be-directed-at-alderson-not-collins.html/#comments Mon, 12 May 2014 13:30:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=155405 sandy alderson

In a response to all the criticism of Terry Collins in the past two weeks – and in particular this weekend – Adam Rubin of ESPN New York responded by saying the blame for the current state of the Mets belongs to Sandy Alderson and not the manager.

This regime has been peddling the future for four years now…

There ought to have been more competitiveness, at least by now, while fans await the future faces of the organization. And that requires better identification of talent by the front office.

Rubin contends that there should have been more competitiveness by now and the reason there hasn’t been a lack of identifying better talent by the front office.

He writes:

The painfully slow rebuilding, which eats at the fans, has to gnaw at the Wilpons, too, because their financial lifeblood is derived from revenue from attendance. I’ve covered this team for a dozen seasons as the beat writer, and I have never seen this level of combined anger, distrust, frustration and dismay directed collectively at the organization by its fans. By now, even if the Mets weren’t challenging the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves for the division, there ought to have been positive energy in the ballpark, like there was in 2005 with the “New Mets” — a palpable feeling something bigger was looming.

Rubin also took issue with Alderson’s “Moneyball” pedigree, which was supposed to identify low-cost players to keep the team competitive until the farm system started producing players.

With rare exceptions such as LaTroy Hawkins, there have been swings and misses and more swings and misses, particularly in the bullpen. To name a few: D.J. Carrasco, Frank Francisco, Ramon Ramirez (in a trade for Angel Pagan), Scott Atchison, Brandon Lyon and now Jose Valverde

The Mets seem to always need to win the trade, or there is inaction.

He concludes:

There may come a day in the next few seasons that the Mets realize that 90-win goal. And then people might praise Alderson for leaving the organization in such good shape. But if the price was, say, six losing seasons under his watch first — plus the two from Minaya that preceded it — was that really great front-office work? Or if you fail enough seasons, is it simply inevitable that at some point you’ll accrue enough young talent to be competitive again?

As I wrote in a post last week, expect more heat for Alderson from the media who by and large have given him a free pass during until now.

Sandy went into this offseason with three years of his own acquisitions under his belt, plenty of time to evaluate the players and prospects he inherited, and $50 million to spend this Winter.

This current team and their results are finally all on Sandy, and this was the year he promised transformation when he took the job in the fall of 2010.

Still, it’s hard for me to be too critical of him or the previous GM as long as this current ownership remains in place. That’s where the real issue is.

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This Day In Mets Infamy: Shouts From Shea Interview With Joe DeMayo http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/this-day-in-mets-infamy-shouts-from-shea-interview-with-joe-demayo.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/this-day-in-mets-infamy-shouts-from-shea-interview-with-joe-demayo.html/#comments Sat, 25 Jan 2014 16:05:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=140741 infamy

On this past Wednesday’s edition of the “Shouts From Shea” podcast featuring Stephen Keane from “The Kranepool Society” and myself we had Mets prospect expert, Joe DeMayo of PSL To Flushing, on to discuss everything from the Yankees signing of Masahiro Tanaka, the prospect of Stephen Drew wearing a Mets cap come Opening Day, as well as his opinions on many of the Mets minor league prospects and how he feels they will pan out.

And with that said…. HERE COMES THE INFAMY!!!!!

Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today include:

Mets pitching coach from the ’03 season, Vern Ruhle would have been 67  (1951).

Other notables include:

Sadly on this date in 2010, Jane Jarvis, the longtime Shea Stadium organist passed away.  I remember as a child in the ’70′s sitting in my seat before every first pitch just to listen to Ms. Jarvis serenading myself along with the rest of the crowd to her rendition of Meet The Mets.

The New York Mets traded reserve outfielder, Damon Buford to the Texas Rangers for minor league outfielder, Terrell Lowery on January 25, 1996.

The New York Mets sold Angel Pagan to the Chicago Cubs on January 25, 2006. The Mets would reacquire him just before the start of the ’08 season. He would prove to be a decent hitter and defender when he was focused – which wasn’t all the time.

The New York Mets signed free agent middle reliever, Aaron Sele of the Los Angeles Dodgers on January 25, 2007. Sele went 3-2 with an ERA of 5.37 in his lone season with the Mets.

Mo Vaughn will be rooting for the Seattle Seahawks for next Sundays Super Bowl because he prefers a good craft beer to Rocky Mountain Oysters!!!

Mo

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Upon Further Review: The Mets Coaching Staff http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/upon-further-review-the-mets-coaching-staff.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/upon-further-review-the-mets-coaching-staff.html/#comments Mon, 25 Nov 2013 17:54:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133393 terry collins 2

When the Mets renewed Terry Collins‘ contract at the end of September once the season had concluded, it was also announced that the entire coaching staff would return as well. This announcement didn’t come as a huge shock, but it was conceivable due to the fact that the crew has been the same since the start of the 2012 campaign. There has been criticism, praise, doubt, hopefulness, hopelessness, and devotion to the staff, but it still raises the question, Does the Coaching Staff Deserve to be Here? Let’s find out.

Bob Geren, Bench Coach

Bench coach Bob Geren was hired back in October in 2011, coming off a five year tenure as manager of the Oakland Athletics and replacing Ken Oberkfell. Although not completely favored among his players, Geren finished with a winning percentage just under .500 in over 700 games managed. As bench coach, he is responsible for assisting the manager in making late game decisions and serving as his right-hand-man, if you will. In my opinion, I don’t see anyone more certified than a former manager to fill that position. So I say Geren is fine in that role going forward. Another plus to his resume is Geren’s 289 games played at catcher in his major league career, coming up with a fielding percentage of .992 for the Yankees and Padres. I believe that is an extreme upside for Travis d’Arnaud and others going forward. And also, before every game this past year (home and away, including Spring Training), Geren and that day’s starting catcher, whether it be John Buck, Anthony Recker or others, would go out to the bullpen and practice blocking balls in the dirt and other catching tactics. I think that relationship between player and coach is absolutely invaluable.

Dan Warthen, Pitching Coach

Longtime pitching coach Dan Warthen was hired in 2008 when the managerial position changed hands from Willie Randolph to Jerry Manuel, replacing Rick Peterson. Warthen is well liked around the clubhouse and in the front office, always a plus. Pitchers say that he prepares them well for starts and he is one of the best coaches they have worked with. Obviously something has to be going well if Warthen is about to begin his sixth full season on the job, and the numbers don’t tell much different. From 2007 to 2008, the Mets pitching staff improved in ERA, strikeouts, complete games, SO/BB ratio, and H/9. Although Peterson was well liked by players and fans, Warthen was a nice improvement. I say Dan Warthen deserves to be here, and possibly for the long term, as his contract runs through the 2015 season.

Dave Hudgens, Hitting Coach

The 2011 signing of Dave Hudgens as hitting coach was, to say the least, surprising, considering he played in just six major league games, connecting on one base hit in seven at bats. It is obvious that the Mets offensive production has been down over the past few years, but is Hudgens really to blame? Although Marlon Byrd says that he deserves credit for reconstructing his swing, David Wright‘s production went down from 2010 to 2011, as did Angel Pagan and (although there may have been other reasons) Jason Bay. Hudgens is well liked by players, and he is the lone Mets staff member that participates on social media (@dmhudgens), but I think the Mets could do better when it comes to their hitting coach; there has even been talk of the Mets adding an assistant hitting coach.

Tim Teufel, Third Base Coach

Longtime fan favorite Tim Teufel rejoined the Mets in 2012, when he replaced Chip Hale as the third base coach. Teufel had been around the organization since 2001, but had not been with the big league club since his playing days from 1986 to 1991. Teufel brings with him eight years of minor league managing experience, compiling a 464-562 record in that span. His best year came in 2003 with the Brooklyn Cyclones, when they finished with a 47-28 record, winning the New York-Penn League. Personally, I love how aggressive Teufel is in the third base coaching box. He is never reluctant to send runners, and even when you think he made a bad decision, the runner is usually safe at home plate. Like I said before, Teufel is well liked by the fans, so I don’t believe his position will be in jeopardy any time soon. I’m looking forward to seeing Teufel in the coaching box on March 31st.

Tom Goodwin, First Base Coach

Tom Goodwin was only six years removed from his professional playing career when the Mets signed him in 2012 as the first base coach. Goodwin played 13 years in the major leagues with the Dodgers, Royals, Rangers, Rockies, Giants, and Cubs. His duties as a coach include “handling the outfielders and baserunning instruction,” according to the Mets media guide. Goodwin committed only 22 errors in 1,288 career games and went 369 for 487 on stolen base attempts, so he passes that test. Goodwin also frequently communicates with runners at first base (unlike Ricky Henderson, who I once saw talk to only a single runner during a nine inning game — that runner was Ramon Castro), so he passes that test too. So Tom Goodwin can stay for now. Any objections? Okay, let’s move on.

Ricky Bones, Bullpen Coach

What are the duties of the bullpen coach? To chart pitches and pick up the phone in the ‘pen? Who couldn’t do that? All kidding aside, Bones brings with him 11 years of big league experience split between seven teams. During this time, he posted an ERA just south of 5 and finished with 19 more losses than wins. Can we bring Guy Conti back?

Who doesn’t love a ‘stache like that? And a name like Ricardo Bones? Priceless.

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Collins Wants Tejada To Reclaim The Shortstop Job In 2014 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/collins-wants-tejada-to-work-hard-and-reclaim-the-shortstop-job-in-2014.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/collins-wants-tejada-to-work-hard-and-reclaim-the-shortstop-job-in-2014.html/#comments Fri, 20 Sep 2013 03:20:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=129586 tejada

(Updated) One day after Terry Collins announced that Ruben Tejada suffered a broken right fibula and would miss the remainder of the season, he challenged his shortstop to comeback next Spring focused and with some fire in his belly.

“My message is real simple: this job is his,” Collins said of next year’s starting shortstop gig. “But he’s got to show everybody that he wants it desperately.”

“You’ve got to say, ‘Hey look, I’m going to dedicate this offseason to show up next spring to be the best player that I can possibly be,’” Collins said. “He’s good enough to be that guy. But as this year showed, no job’s that secure. You’ve got to come in and say, ‘This is my job. I’m taking it. Nobody else is going to get it.’”

This is not the first time that Collins felt the need to stress the importance of Tejada showing up to camp early, in shape and ready to compete.

Tejada’s work ethic came under fire when general manager Sandy Alderson said that getting him to do anything extra was “like pulling teeth.”

For now, the Mets have activated Wilfredo Tovar, who will join the Mets in Philadelphia in time for Friday nights game against the Phillies. Collins said he would platoon ‘Tovar with Omar Quintanilla for the rest of the season.

Our Binghamton beat writer John Bernhardt shared some insight on Tovar after watching him play all year for the B-Mets.

Tovar’s .263 batting average in 2013 is a bit deceiving. The B-Met shortstop got off to a horrid start in the batting box, but battled back by hitting just under .300 after the All-Star break to raise his average over 35 points in the second half of the year.

Tovar, 22, is tough out, a kid who is difficult to strike out. Tovar fanned 53 times in High-A ball in 2011, 39 times in 2012 and 49 times in Binghamton this summer. Of the 49 Eastern League players who had 400 at-bats or higher, only two had fewer strike-outs than Tovar.

Collins did go onto say that for now, he considers Tejada his primary option to be the Opening Day shortstop next season..

“I don’t ever worry about who’s not here,” Collins said. “The guys that are here right now, that should be his job. But he’s got to go get it. It’s not going to be handed to him.”

Tejada broke his leg while hustling to catch an Angel Pagan pop-up in shallow left field and colliding with outfielder Andrew Brown on Wednesday

The 23-year old shortstop ends the season batting .200/.258/.259 in 57 games. He has endured a very frustrating season, but hopefully he can comeback next Spring fully healed and with a bright outlook.

That said, I think Sandy will look to fill the shortstop position with one of several options that are expected to be available in the free agent market and via trades.

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Wheeler Struggles Against Former Team, Pagan Has Big Night In 8-5 Giants Win http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/wheeler-struggles-against-former-team-pagan-has-big-night-in-8-5-giants-win.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/wheeler-struggles-against-former-team-pagan-has-big-night-in-8-5-giants-win.html/#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:42:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=129509 zack wheeler

The Mets (67-83) lost 8-5 to the Giants (70-81) on Tuesday Night

Zack Wheeler took the ball for the Mets, but struggled with his command against the team that traded him back in 2011. Wheeler managed to work around a leadoff walk in the 1st, but 4 walks in the 2nd (including one to the pitcher with the bases loaded) allowed the Giants to put up 3 runs in the 2nd inning.

New York fought back against former Met Yusmeiro Petit, getting a run in the 3rd before taking the lead in the 4th behind RBI hits from rookies Wilmer Flores and Matt den Dekker. MdD ran himself off of the basepaths by taking a reckless turn around 1st after his single, but the ensuing rundown ultimately allowed the go-ahead run to score.

The next inning, Wheeler’s 6th walk of the game helped Buster Posey drive in the tying run with a grounder to Murphy. In the 7th, Angel Pagan  gave the Giants a lead they would never relinquish with a long homer to left. San Francisco tacked on 2 more in the 8th and 1 in the 9th.

wilmer flores lucas dudaThe Mets tried to put together a rally in the bottom of the 9th, but after Daniel Murphy‘s RBI single made it a 3-run game, Lucas Duda and Andrew Brown both flied out to end it, giving the Mets yet another loss.

Wheeler was very disappointing today. He ended up going 5 innings and throwing 107 pitches, giving up 4 runs on only 3 hits thanks to a whopping 6 walks.

In case you’re wondering why Yusmeiro Petit left the Mets, we traded him for Carlos Delgado during the 2005 offseason. Remember when we used to make moves for impact players? According to our front office, “significant steps to improve the roster” are on the way, but given the track record of the Wilpons and Sandy Alderson when it comes to being honest, I am quite skeptical.

Speaking of Sandy, Angel Pagan really killed us tonight, driving in three, walking twice, and leaving the yard in the 5th. I guess the Andres Torres experiment didn’t work out. And whatever happened to Ramon Ramirez?

Travis d’Arnaud left the game early with a sore shoulder after being hit by a foul ball. His propensity for injuries is quite frustrating given that he is seen as our teams “future”, but hopefully he’ll be back tomorrow or Thursday. We have to hope that these injuries truly are all freak injuries— injuries that are not an indicator of an injury-riddled future for the young catcher.

Wilmer Flores also left the game early. Terry Collins said that it was mostly a lineup move, but Flores did seem to be having trouble with his ankle again. On the bright side, he swung the bat well today, as did his fellow rookie Matt den Dekker.

How great was Jerry Seinfeld tonight? The handful of innings he spent in the booth with Gary, Keith, and Ron were gold… the Mets might want to try to get him on the air a bit more often.

The year is winding down, and it’s really getting pretty ugly. Again, each loss helps us in terms of our draft pick, and it looks like we will be able to sign a top free agent without losing that pick this offseason… if Sandy is so inclined. Let’s see what “The Plan” has in store for us. Sandy has been talking about 2014 for so long that he must improve the team this winter… or else.

The biggest Mets news of the day? Matt Harvey might be able to avoid Tommy John, which is great, assuming that they are responsible and don’t let him pitch if it will put his long-term health at risk.

The Mets will try to even their series against the defending champions tomorrow. Aaron Harang (0-1, 4.50 ERA) will take the mound against Matt Cain (8-9, 4.24 ERA) at 7:10 PM in Flushing.

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The 2009 Mets: Where Are They Now? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/the-2009-mets-where-are-they-now-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/the-2009-mets-where-are-they-now-2.html/#comments Mon, 09 Sep 2013 03:23:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=128581 Welcome to the second installment of Where Are They Now?, where we take a Mets roster and check in on what the players have done since last playing in Queens. Last week, we looked at the 2010 Mets, so this week we go back a year and look at the 2009 team, the first year the Mets played their home games at Citi Field. That season, Jerry Manuel led his squad to a 70-92 record, good for a fourth place NL East finish. Let’s look at the players.

Right off the bat, 21 players also played for the Mets in 2010, who I covered covered in my previous article. If you wish to learn about what happened to Luis Castillo, Alex Cora, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Jeff Francoeur, Fernando Tatis, Angel Pagan, Jose Reyes, Nick Evans, Josh Thole, Mike Pelfrey, John Maine, Oliver Perez, Francisco Rodriguez, Bobby Parnell, Pedro Feliciano, Sean Green, Fernando Nieve, Elmer Dessens, Jon Niese, and Tobi Stoner, check out The 2010 Mets: Where Are They Now?

Only one player (who hasn’t already been covered) that played for the Mets in 2009 is still playing for the Mets, Daniel Murphy who is now one of the top hitters in the Mets lineup. Murphy currently ranks second on the team in batting average and third highest with a 2.7 WAR. Not only does Murphy provide a presence in the top of the lineup, but he may give the Mets strong trade bait going forward.

Only two other players from the 2009 are still in the majors albeit with another franchise: J.J. Putz and Darren O’Day.

Putz, who amazingly only played in 29 games with the Mets, played with the Chicago White Sox in 2010, before heading to Arizona where he played for the Diamondbacks in 2011. He still plays for them now. Side-armer Darren O’Day was claimed off waivers by the Rangers in April of 2009 and played in Arlington until 2011. After that season, the Baltimore Orioles claimed him off waivers. He is currently in his second year with them.

Five players from that team are currently in the Minor Leagues with other organizations and include Omir Santos, Jeremy Reed, Fernando Martinez, Argenis Reyes, and Nelson Figueroa.

Omir Santos did the bulk of the catching for the 2009 Mets, and he now sits behind the plate for the Rockies’ Triple A affiliate in Colorado Springs. He also played for the Toledo Mud Hens in the Detroit Tigers system in 2011, before spending some time with the big league team for the Tigers in  2010. He’s also played with the Indians Triple-A team this season.

Jeremy Reed signed with the Blue Jays in January of 2010 and was called up on April 12th. On July 12th he was sent down, released, and signed with the White Sox. He played the rest of the season with their Triple A team, the Charlotte Knights. The Brewers signed him in 2011 and he made the opening day roster. He was sent down to make room for Jonathan Lucroy, which led to him being traded to the Twins, where he finished the year. He is now in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, but is not currently assigned to a team.

fernando martinez

Fernando Martinez was claimed off waivers by the Astros in January of 2012 and played in Houston until he was traded to the Yankees this past June, knowing there was a chance that he could be suspended for steroids. He was among those named in the Biogenesis scandal and is currently serving a 50-game suspension.

Argenis Reyes played in the Red Sox system in 2010 and was then traded to the Cleveland Indians where he played the rest of the season. He spent time with the New Jersey Jackals of the Independent Leagues in 2011 before returning to the Indians system. He is currently not playing with an Indians team although he unassigned.

Nelson Figueroa saw time in the Phillies and Astros systems in 2010, and played in the majors with the Astros in 2011. He also played in the Pirates system that year. 2012 saw him spend time with the Yankees and Red Sox minor league systems, and now plays for the Diamondbacks Triple-A affiliate.

One 2009 Met is officially a free agent and that is Casey Fossum who played all of three games for the Amazins that season. Fossum was released at the end of April in 2009 and soon after signed with the Yankees. He played the rest of the year with their Triple A affiliate and then moved onto the Chicago Cubs system. His 2010 season was spent with the Hanshin Tigers in Japan, where he went 2-5 with a 5.72 ERA. Fossum signed with the Mets again in January of 2011 and played nine games, before being released a year later. He eventually signed with the Orioles but was soon released and has not resurfaced ever since.

13 players have retired. They are Gary Sheffield, Ryan Church, Brian Schneider, Cory Sullivan, Carlos Delgado, Ramon Martinez, Emil Brown, Marlon Anderson, Brian Stokes, Ken Takahashi, Lance Broadway, Jon Switzer, and Billy Wagner.

Gary Sheffield couldn’t find a team to play with in 2010, so he retired in the spring of 2011. Ryan Church was traded to the Braves for Jeff Francoeur and finished the year in Atlanta. 2010 was spent in Pittsburgh until the Pirates traded him to the Diamondbacks along with future Met D.J. Carrasco. He was non-tendered after the year and retired.

Brian Schneider played with the Phillies from 2010 to 2012 and retired officially on January 29th this year. Cory Sullivan, who is most remembered for being the last player to hit two triples in one inning, played with the Houston Astros for half of 2010. He played with the Phillies for half of 2011, and retired after failing to make the Dodgers opening day roster in 2012.

After being injured for most of the 2009 season, the Mets released Carlos Delgado when the season was over. The Boston Red Sox signed the future Hall of Famer to a Minor League contract. He went 3-for-13, was released and retired on April 13th 2011. He was most recently the hitting coach for the 2013 Puerto Rican team in the World Baseball Classic. Current Mets pitching coach Ricky Bones was the pitching coach for that team (and if you ask me, Delgado and Bones look extremely like each other).

Not much to say about Ramon Martinez here. The infielder who played only 12 games with the 2009 Mets was released after the season and immediately retired. Emil Brown retired after being released on June 22, 2009.

Super utility man Marlon Anderson was released in April and signed with the Newark Bears of the Independent Leagues. He played the rest of the season there and retired when the season was done. He was last seen in professional baseball as the hitting coach for the Potomac Nationals in 2012.

Brian Stokes was traded to the Angels for Gary Matthews Jr. prior to the the 2010 season and made 16 appearances for the Halos that year. In 2011 he played in the Arizona D-Back’s system, and then moved onto the Camden RIversharks of the Independent League. Ken Takahashi became the third oldest player to make his Major League debut at the age of 40 on May 2nd 2009. He was released by the Mets in October of that year and went back to his homeland of Japan and played with the Hiroshima Carp in 2010. He retired after that year.

Lance “Best Name in Baseball” Broadway has not played in the Majors since his time with the Mets. He spent time with the Blue Jays organization in 2010 and played with their Triple A team, the Las Vegas 51′s. He has since retired and done what I believe no other Met has done in their lifetime. Lance played Agent O’Neil in the 2013 movie, Olympus Has Fallen. We should keep an eye out for other movies that feature Mr. Broadway.

Jon Switzer only got into four games as a New York Met, which led to a 8.10 ERA. He signed with the Astros and played in their Minor League system in 2010. He retired after 2010 and went back to school. He is now a business manager.

billy wagner

Billy Wagner, who is probably the greatest Mets closer of the last 10 years, was traded at the end of the year to the Red Sox for Chris Carter and minor leaguer Eddie Lora. Wagner played two games for Boston and then signed with the Atlanta Braves for the 2010 season. He was injured in the NLDS, but instead of going on the disabled list, he retired. Billy is currently the Head Coach for Miller High School in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Two players are currently in the Independent Leagues. Wilson Valdez played for the Phillies in 2010 and 2011 and was then traded to the Cincinnati Reds before the 2012 season. The Reds traded Valdez to the Giants in December of 2012 but he was released this past March. He signed with the Miami Marlins the next day and was released on May 19th. He is now with the Camden River Sharks. Longtime Mets backup catcher Ramon Castro was traded to the White Sox for Lance Broadway in 2009, but I don’t think it mattered to Ramon, because later in the season he was behind the plate when Mark Buehrle tossed a perfect game. He was released by Chicago after 2011, and did not play baseball in 2012. He signed a Minor League contract with the Dodgers this March but was released after failing to make the roster. He now plays for the Long Island Ducks.

anderson hernandez

Three players are playing in foreign countries, and they all play in Mexico. They are Anderson Hernandez, Angel Berroa, and Robinson Cancel. Hernandez, who was traded from the Tigers to the Mets back in 2004 for Vance Wilson, was claimed off waivers by the Indians in 2010 but was claimed by the Astros in July. 2011 was spent in Triple A with the Astros franchise. In 2012, Hernandez played with the Pirates Triple A team. This year he has been playing with the Piratas de Campeche, where he is hitting five points south of .300 with 11 home runs.

The 2003 American League Rookie of the Year (I still think Rocco Baldelli should have won) Angel Berroa, who before LaTroy Hawkins and David Aardsma was the last player to play for both the Mets and Yankees, played in the San Francisco Giants organization in 2010. In 2011 he played with the Arizona Diamondbacks Triple A team and the Bridgeport BlueFish of the Independent Leagues. 2012 saw Berroa play with the New Jersey Jackals. He now plays for Leones de Yucantan in Mexico. He is hitting .293 with 12 homers.

Robinson Cancel made his first big league appearance since 1999 in 2008 with the Mets. He spent 2010 with the Long Island Ducks, 2011 with the Astros Triple A team (and a few games in the Majors), 2012 with Monterrey in Mexico, and is still playing in Mexico with Minatilan.

One player is coaching. Andy Green went 1-4 with the Mets in 2009. He spent 2010 in Buffalo playing for the Bisons at the Mets Triple A level. He is now managing the Diamondbacks Double A team, the Mobile Bay Bears. He is managing former Met Nick Evans.

So there are your 2009 New York Mets. What were some of your best and worst memories of that season? Next week we’ll take a look at the 2008 team and the last year of Mets baseball at Shea Stadium.

addicted to mets button

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The 2010 Mets: Where Are They Now? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/the-2010-mets-where-are-they-now.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/the-2010-mets-where-are-they-now.html/#comments Thu, 29 Aug 2013 23:58:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=128129 jose-reyes-mets-2012

If you are a Mets fan, you know that David Wright is still with team, or that Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran are in Toronto and St. Louis, respectively. But what happened to guys like Nick Evans or Rod Barajas? We have the answers.

11 Players who made it into a game in 2010 with the Mets, are still employed by the team. That would be the aforementioned David Wright, Ike Davis, Ruben Tejada (Although he is currently with Triple-A Las Vegas, he is still on the Mets payroll), Lucas Duda, Justin Turner, Jon Niese, Pedro Feliciano (Although he made another stop in the Bronx, he is with the Mets once again), Bobby Parnell, Dillon Gee, Johan Santana, and Jenrry Mejia.

10 players are employed by another Major League team. That would be Jose Reyes, Angel Pagan, Beltran, Josh Thole, Henry Blanco, Joaquin Arias, Mike Pelfrey, R.A. Dickey, Francisco Rodriguez, and Oliver Perez.

MLB: SEP 22 Mets v Marlins

As you may know, Jose Reyes was traded from the Miami Marlins to the Toronto Blue Jays this past offseason in a blockbuster deal involving Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, and now former Met, John Buck. Reyes now puts on his uniform in the same locker room as R.A. Dickey and Josh Thole, who were traded together this past offseason from the Mets for Travis d’Arnaud, Buck, and Noah Syndergaard (don’t forget Wuilmer Beccera!). Angel Pagan was traded to the San Francisco Giants prior to the 2012 season for outfielder Andres Torres and pitcher Ramon Ramirez who have both since played again for the team they were traded from.

Carlos Beltran was traded at the deadline in 2011 to the Giants for Zack Wheeler, but has since made his home in St. Louis playing for the Cardinals, where he has enjoyed a couple of very nice seasons, including an All Star appearance this summer. Henry Blanco, who served as the Mets backup catcher in 2010, beat out Josh Thole for the same position on this year’s Toronto Blue Jays team, but was released and then signed by the Seattle Mariners who made the corresponding move by releasing 2012 Met alumni, Kelly Shoppach. Blanco played in Arizona for the Diamondbacks in 2011 and 2012.

Joaquin Arias, of whom the Mets received for Jeff Francoeur late in the 2010 season, played for the Kansas City Royals in 2011, and was then given a championship ring after serving as Pablo Sandoval‘s ninth inning defensive replacement in 2012 for the San Francisco Giants. He has been a key hitter off the bench for the Giants in 2013. Mike Pelfrey, after failing to play a month in the 2012 season, was signed by the Minnesota Twins, where his 5-10 record and 5.06 ERA is good enough to keep him in the starting rotation.

Francisco Rodriguez was traded to the Brewers in 2011 for Daniel Herrera (yes the 5-6 guy) and a minor leaguer, but was traded to the Baltimore Orioles at the deadline this year, downgrading from a closer to a setup man. Finally, Oliver Perez signed a two-year deal with the Seattle Mariners in 2012 and is proving to be an effective arm out of their bullpen. You would think that Perez’s ERA of 9.72 with Henry Blanco behind the plate would be the highest among catchers who have caught the Mexican native, but no. That award goes to Josh Thole, who provides Ollie with a sparkling 16.20 ERA.

Eight players are in the minor leagues with another organization. They are Mike Nickeas, Mike Hessman, Luis Hernandez, Mike Jacobs, Nick Evans, Hisanori Takahashi, Fernando Nieve, and Pat Misch.

Mike Nickeas, who was in the same deal that sent R.A. Dickey north of the border, is currently with the Blue Jays Triple-A team, the Buffalo Bisons, a team Nickeas has played for many times when they were the Mets affiliate. Nickeas has failed to make the Majors this season, playing 55 games in Buffalo. Mike Hessman, who is seven home runs shy of 400 for his minor league career and one shy of 15 for his Major League career, is currently a member of the Louisville Bats, the Triple-A team of the Cincinnati Reds, where he is teammates with base stealing extraordinaire, Billy Hamilton. Hessman played in Japan in 2011 for the Orix Buffaloes, and was with the Astros Triple A team in 2012.

Luis Hernandez, who played all of 17 games for the Mets, is with the Indians Triple-A team, after playing in the Texas Rangers organization in 2012. Nick Evans is the only 2010 Met alumni playing in Double-A. Evans, who is a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks affiliated Mobile Baybears, was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization in 2012. Mike Jacobs was the placeholder at first base until Ike Davis came up in 2010 but he is now with the Diamondbacks Triple-A team. Jacobs also stopped in Colorado Springs, Toronto, and Mexico. Hisanori Takahashi, who has 12 games started and 21 games finished as a Met, has played in the Majors with the Angels, Pirates, and Cubs. He is now a member of the Colorado Rockies Triple-A team. Fernando Nieve hasn’t played in the Majors since 2010, but he has played with the Astros, Dodgers, Indians, and currently the Athletics, all in Triple-A. Finally, Pat MIsch has seen time with the Phillies and Tigers Triple-A teams.

Five players are not currently with a Major League organization. The names are Jeff Francoeur, Rod Barajas, Jason Bay, John Maine, and Sean Green.

Francoeur was traded to the Rangers for Joaquin Arias in August of 2010. He spent the rest of the year there. Frenchy played in Kansas City during 2011 and 2012, but was released midway through the 2013 season. The Giants picked him up, where he played 22 games. Francouer was designated for assignment of August 20th, and released two days later. Barajas played with the Pirates in 2011 and 2012, before being signed by the Diamondbacks. He ultimately lost the bid to be Miguel Montero‘s backup, as the DBacks went with Wil Nieves instead.

Jason Bay, who was released after the 2012 season much to the delight of Mets fans, was signed by the Mariners for the 2013 season. He hit a home run in his first spring training at bat, but after a disapointing season, was released of August 6th to make room for Mike Morse. John Maine spent 2011 in the Colorado Rockies minor league system, and pitched for the Scranton/Wilkes-Bare Yankees for all of 2012. He played for the Miami Marlins in April of this year, but was released on April 22. The sidearmer, Sean Green pitched with the Brewers in 2011, before playing with the Texas Rangers’ Triple A team in 2012. He also pitched with the Somerset Patriots in 2012 of the Independent Leagues but has not found a team since.

Six players have officially retired. They are Luis Castillo, Alex Cora, Fernando Tatis, Gary Matthews Jr., Frank Catalanotto, and Tobi Stoner.

Luis Castillo was released by the Mets at the same time they released Oliver Perez. Castillo signed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, but after a disappointing spring training, he was released, at which time he retired. Alex Cora was released by the Mets in August of 2010, and he played the rest of the year with the Rangers. He played with the Washington Nationals in 2011, and was signed by the Cardinals in the spring of 2012, which didn’t work out. He is now a baseball analyst for ESPN (his brother Joey does the same work for MLB Network). Fernando Tatis was injured of July 4th of 2010. He was placed on the DL the next day and was transferred to the 60-day DL 10 days later. That turned out to be his last major league game as he retired after the season.

The “Son of the Sarge”, Gary Matthews Jr., was released by the Mets on June 15th, 2010. He signed with the Reds on June 24th and played the rest of the year with their Triple-A team, before retiring. Frank Catalanotto was designated for assignment of May 10th, when the Mets brought up Chris Carter. After failing to sign with another team, he retired in March of 2011. Finally, the German-born Tobi Stoner was released by the Mets in March of 2012. During that season, he played in the Independent Leagues with the Bridgeport Blue Fish and the Somerset Patriots. He retired before the 2013 season.

manny acosta

Four players are currently playing in foreign countries. Chris Carter, Manny Acosta, and Ryota Igarashi are playing in Japan, and Jesus Feliciano is playing in Mexico.

Carter (no not the former A’s prospect) played in the Tampa Bay Rays and Atlanta Braves Minor League system in 2011 before moving to Japan to play with the Seibu Lions in 2012 and 2013. Carter is 3-26 (.115) with three RBI in nine games this year. He is teammates with Kazuhisa Ishii. Manny Acosta pitched for the Mets through 2012 but signed with the Yomuri Giants in 2013 after being released. In 14 games he has an ERA of 5.54. His teammates include former major leaguers Scott Mathieson and John Bowker.

Ryota Igarashi played with the Mets until 2011. He then played in the minor leagues with the Yankees and the Blue Jays in 2012 though he pitched in the majors with both teams. He is now pitching with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks where he sports a 2.15 ERA in 36 games. He is teammates with with Vicente Padilla and former Mets minor leaguer Wily Mo Pena. Jesus Feliciano, who has signed with the Mets four different times in his career, played in all of his 54 career games with the Mets in 2010. He played with the Buffalo Bisons in 2011, the Durham Bulls in 2012, and he is now playing in Mexico with the Rojos del Aguila de Veracruz. He has only played in three games with one hit.

One player is currently a coach. Elmer Dessens is the assistant pitching coach for the AZL Reds in the Arizona League (The Arizona equivalent to Florida’s Gulf Coast League). And here’s a fun piece of information. The manager of that AZL Reds team is former Met, Eli Marrero who the Mets received in 2006 when they traded Kazuo Matsui to the Rockies.

Well, now you know what happened to the 2010 Mets. Next week we’ll look at the players from Citi Field’s inaugural year, 2009.

LGM

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2012 Mets Castoffs Have Not Had Much Success In ’13 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/2012-mets-castoffs-have-not-had-much-success-in-13.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/2012-mets-castoffs-have-not-had-much-success-in-13.html/#comments Thu, 11 Jul 2013 16:48:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=124363 Scott Hairston

Former-Met Scott Hairston was dealt on Monday to the Washington Nationals after struggling mightily with the Cubs in 2013. While in hot pursuit of free agent outfielder Michael Bourn, Chicago swept Hairston out from under the feet of the Amazin’s front office, forcing Sandy’s “What Outfield?” Mets into the spotlight. Many, myself included, criticized Alderson for allowing the veteran to walk, especially on such an inexpensive deal. However once spring arrived and a new season was underway, it became quite clear that the Hairston that produced 20 home runs for the Mets in 2012 was unable to do the same in Wrigley.

Scott Hairston represents just the tip of the iceberg in a laundry list of now-former Mets who have struggled in their respective new homes after parting ways with New York this past winter. In fact, outside of Jason Bay who has 11 homers with the Mariners, almost every 2012 Met no longer with the team has found themselves in less than desirable spots since their departure from Queens.

r.a. dickey

When R.A. Dickey was traded to the Toronto just before Christmas, he was widely regarded as the final piece that put the new-look Jays over the top as the favorite in the AL East, yet to this point, he has failed to put up numbers even close to his 2012 Cy Young Award winning season. Going 8-9 with a 4.77 ERA, Dickey has become one of the many top-tier acquisitions that has yet to live up to expectations in 2013.

Also coming over in the Blue Jays deal was the catching duo of Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas. A pair known for a combined sub-par performance in their respective Met careers, leading many to believed they truly belonged in Buffalo rather than Flushing. Ironically, that is exactly where they ended up in 2013, pairing up once again behind the plate, only this time with the now Toronto-affiliated Buffalo Bisons.

St Louis Cardinals v New York Mets

Mike Pelfrey‘s roller coaster Met career came to a conclusion this past winter when he was non-tendered rather than going to arbitration. The 2005 first-round pick was signed by the Minnesota Twins to a one-year, $4 million deal; a bargain. Pelfrey, coming back from Tommy John surgery, has since struggled to regain any sort of command, pitching to the tune of a 5.36 ERA over 15 starts.

ramirez032113

Angel Pagan was dealt to the San Francisco Giants on the night of December 7th in return for RHP Ramon Ramirez and outfielder Andres Torres. Both were expected to play prominent roles in the 2012 season for the Mets, however as both were unable to rise to the occasion, they were let go by the Amazin’s and promptly re-signed by the club that traded them just one year ago. After posting an ERA north of 11, Ramirez was granted his unconditional release and is currently in the Rays minor league system. Torres, although not exactly swinging the bat well with a .661 OPS, has managed to find himself regular time in San Francisco, starting in place of Pagan, who is out for the year with a hamstring injury.

jon rauch mets

Jon Rauch was one one of the more reliable arms for the Amazin’s out of the ‘pen in 2012, however took his talents to South Beach for the 2013 season. His tenure with the Marlins was not long lived as he was released after posting a 7.56 ERA in just 15 outings.

Starter Chris Young signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals, and after going 1-2 with a 7.88 ERA in Triple-A Syracuse, found himself out of a job.

A number of the Mets core performers of 2012 were not renewed for this year, and now at halfway through this season, it appears that Sandy Alderson made the right move in choosing to let them walk. While purging what turned out to be the right players, Alderson has also brought back guys like Jeremy Hefner who have contributed positively to the 2013 squad. Now if only he could get an outfielder…

Alderson

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Emotional Trade: Torres 2012 for Pagan 2013-2016 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/emotional-trade-torres-2012-for-pagan-2013-2016.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/emotional-trade-torres-2012-for-pagan-2013-2016.html/#comments Wed, 03 Jul 2013 14:00:55 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=123501 Last year, the Mets whiffed on a trade that brought Ramon Ramirez and Andres Torres to New York in exchange for Angel Pagan.

The deal was supposed to deal one of the Mets many outfielders, for a need which was middle relief and also bring in a veteran outfielder to fill the gap. Ramirez never lived up to the expectation of being a quality reliever, but was the trade really a whiff when you look back on it?

Pagan was set to be a free agent and he was coming off of his worst season as a big leaguer. The deal is what it is right? We all saw Pagan celebrate a World Series championship, and of course that created short term memory loss for many. As though having Angel Pagan on the 2012 Mets would have made that much of a difference.

Fast forward to the winter, and Pagan cashes in on a 4 year deal with the Giants worth $45 million while the Mets cut ties with both Ramirez and Torres. The contract was reminiscent of the Aubrey Huff contract the Giants signed after their 2010 championship. Why the Giants didn’t offer Pagan a qualifying offer first, I have no idea.

After Pagan signed his deal, many Mets fans thought of what could have been. Maybe they should have brought Pagan back in after the terrible year Torres had?

In case you had not noticed, Angel Pagan just had surgery on his hamstring following a tear and is out for at least 12 weeks following an injury he sustained during a rehab game. Pagan played his last big league game on May 25th when he strained his hamstring.

What’s interesting to note here is that Pagan earned himself a 4 year deal worth millions of dollars, meanwhile Andres Torres was brought back to San Francisco on a 1 year deal worth $2million and Torres is not only on the field, but he’s performing equally as poor as Pagan did prior to his injury.

In Pagan’s 46 games with 204 plate appearances he is shockingly similar to Torres’ 67 games with 207 appearances at the plate.

NAME RUNS HR RBI BB K AVG OBP SLG OPS
Pagan 30 3 24 15 25 .262 .314 .374 .688
Torres 23 2 18 14 46 .268 .314 .379 .693

I’m glad we get to see players like Juan Lagares patrolling the outfield rather than Torres, but the truth of the matter is – if Pagan had his same 2012 season in New York, there would have been a public outcry to offer him an extension similar to what the Giants offered.

At the end of the day, it looks like Pagan had a career year at the right time.

Since they appear to be awfully similar players both offensively and defensively, I can comfortably say I’d rather suffer through Andres Torres in 2012, than Angel Pagan from 2013-2016.

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Mets Rally In 13th To Beat D-Backs 5-4 On Brown’s Walk-off http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/mets-rally-in-13th-to-beat-d-backs-5-4-on-browns-walk-off.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/mets-rally-in-13th-to-beat-d-backs-5-4-on-browns-walk-off.html/#comments Tue, 02 Jul 2013 04:59:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=123554 eric young points

The Mets won the first round of their 4-game series with the Diamondbacks at Citi Field on Monday night, beating Arizona 5-4 in 13 innings.

Shaun Marcum got off to a poor start, hitting a batter and giving up a 2-run shot to Paul Goldschmidt in the first. However, after giving up another run via an Aaron Hill RBI single in the 2nd, Marcum settled in and put up a few zeroes before departing after the sixth.

The Mets’ offense continued to struggle early in this matchup. They were stifled by Arizona’s Wade Miley, and went scoreless until David Wright drove in Eric Young with a 7th-inning single to make it 3-1.

A scary play in the 8th led to another run for the Mets. Gerardo Parra dived for an Omar Quintanilla shot into the gap, but was unable to hold onto the ball. Parra hit the ground hard and was on the field for several minutes before being taken out of the game. Quintanilla reached third on the play and scored on Young’s 2-out double. However, Daniel Murphy stranded Young at third by popping up to left with 2 out.

The Mets rallied in the 9th against their former pitcher JJ Putz. Josh Satin drove in Marlon Byrd (who narrowly missed a game-tying homer) with a one-out single. The Mets could have won the game in the 9th if not for John Buck’s baserunning blunder. The slow-footed catcher tried to take second base on a wild pitch, despite the fact that his run meant nothing. He was gunned down by Miguel Montero.

The Mets had several chances to win the game in extra innings, but repeatedly left the winning run in scoring position, ending up with a woeful 20 men left on base.

The 2 teams traded zeroes in the extra frames until Cody Ross hit a solo shot off of David Aardsma to lead off the 13th. In the bottom half, the Mets staged one final rally. Josh Satin hit a 1-out double, and after a John Buck walk, Matt Harvey was brought in to grace the Mets with his holy abilities. Harvey laid down the finest bunt in all the land, moving the winning run into scoring position. 2 batters later, Andrew Brown ripped a 2-out, 2-strike pitch into the left field gap to win it for New York.

Thoughts:

John Buck should feel bad for the thousands of Mets fans who have to watch him struggle like this. Buck struck out three more times on Monday, as he continues to draw closer and closer to the dreaded Mendoza Line. He also made a baserunning mistake that might have cost us the game. He did score the winning run, though. Baby steps.

Eric Young has been fun to watch these last couple of weeks, and I am starting to think he could be a useful piece going forward. Hopefully he can fill the role Angel Pagan used to play: a fast outfielder who plays good defense and puts the ball in play.

Byrd has been great, but he is 35. Sandy should probably start exploring the trade market for Marlon, if he hasn’t done so already.

Daniel Murphy came up short in a few huge situations tonight, and seems to be struggling a bit at the plate of late.

Omar Quintanilla has been hitting the ball much better of late. Even his outs have been hard-hit. Ruben Tejada will have to earn the job if he wants it back.

Josh Satin has made the most of his opportunity to play every day at first base. The man has been raking ever since he was called up. He has earned a long, hard look from the front office, and Ike Davis has his work cut out for him if he wants to return to the lineup soon.

Lastly, the Mets’ bullpen must be acknowledged. It has been stellar of late, aside from the Washington series. The pen kept the D-Backs at bay for 6 innings tonight before giving up Ross’s solo shot in the 13th.

Overall, there were many positive signs to take from tonight’s game. The team showed their resilience, the new guys continued to hit, and the bullpen was solid. And hey, we even got some extra Harvey.

The Mets will attempt to take a 2-0 lead in their series with Arizona Tuesday night at Citi Field. Jeremy Hefner (2-6, 3.72 ERA) will take the hill at 7:10 PM against Patrick Corbin (9-0, 2.22 ERA). Hopefully, the Mets can rough up Corbin’s stats a bit and help Harvey solidify his grasp on the starting pitcher spot for the All-Star Game later this month.

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Summer Clearance: Possible Trade Strategies For The Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/summer-clearance-possible-trade-strategies-for-the-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/summer-clearance-possible-trade-strategies-for-the-mets.html/#comments Sat, 25 May 2013 13:00:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=119777 Although many months remain in what has thus far been a troubling season, it is not too early to consider trade strategies that could best leverage the assets presently on the Met roster. Not that a white flag has officially been flown, but barring a near- miraculous leap in the level of offense from the current roster along with the cloning of a certain pitcher with the initials “MH,” it would seem a safe bet that there isn’t going to be a fight for playoff tickets in Flushing this fall. Not that I don’t expect an improved level of play from this team at some point this summer. After all, the 2001 team that has been referenced lately as the last one to tumble to 10 games under the .500 as early as this year’s version managed to reverse course strongly enough to finish 2 games over. Still, the team as presently comprised is clearly out-gunned in most phases of the game not only by their primary competitors for the division crown, but by most of the league.

 Fielding a team that can win enough to hold back the onset of apathy in the fan base is a standard goal for a front office engaged in rebuild mode. Failing that, constructing a roster that features young, exciting players that provide the promise of greatness to come can compensate to a degree, an approach that has been used before during the “Bring Your Kids to See Our Kids” campaign of 1979 and again in 1983 when the slogan “Catch Our Rising Stars” was employed to communicate the same enticement.  It is possible that the law of averages alone will dictate a better level of performance by certain key players (guess who) and the team overall as the season progresses, but it will likely coincide with the arrival of Messrs. Wheeler and D’Arnaud. At that point, we may be looking at a roster that has undergone some significant changes.

In the last piece in which I speculated about Met trade possibilities, I concentrated on potential targets for the team to pursue by leveraging their apparent surplus of pitching prospects. Today I intend to look more closely at trade chips on the major league roster, probable suitors for their services, and some possible acquisition candidates. Some of this may represent examples of wishful thinking, but I have striven to keep things realistic.

latroy hawkinsBULLPEN: Seriously? Other than Bobby Parnell is anyone really going to want these guys? Well, contending teams are typically looking to shore up their relief corps with veteran arms, and capable left-handers are always a desirable commodity, so yes, I expect some interest to be shown in the Met Fire Brigade by at least a few teams. With “veteran” being a key word here, one should assume that the more senior members of the bullpen staff will be shopped and will generate a goodly amount of interest as long as they remain reasonably effective. LaTroy Hawkins, Brandon Lyon, Greg Burke, Scott Rice and the rehabbing Tim Byrdak all fit the bill of future marketable trade fodder, Rice’s “older rookie” status notwithstanding. Just about any contending team qualifies as a possible destination for these players, but those with the most obvious need at this point include Tampa Bay, whose bullpen is ranked one notch from the bottom in all of MLB despite their being only 4 games out of first at the time of this writing, and St. Louis, currently in first place in the NL Central but with a bullpen ranked fourth from last and only one tick higher than that of the Mets.

Relievers  are among the more transient assets in baseball (as Met fans can attest), so the payoff in trade is generally a prospect or two of less than stellar quality, with quantity often compensating for the relative lack of star potential. These players often come from AA and below, so I don’t foresee much in the way of quick fix material arriving in any hypothetical deal that could materialize. However, with the philosophy and track record of the Alderson team being what it is, we can expect that any return package obtained by New York will include at least one prospect that merits a flyer.

shaun marcumSTARTING ROTATION: Not that the Mets have any to spare, but as starters  are at a premium at all times, you can’t rule out the possibility of someone making a good enough offer to pique the Sandman’s interest. The only candidates I can truly envision going in a deal of this nature would be Shaun Marcum, who would probably have at least a couple wins by now on a team with a decent offense, and  Jon Niese, whose youth, left-handedness, experience, highly affordable contract, and relatively successful track record make him a highly marketable chip. Clearly the team will not be looking to deal Harvey, and Gee’s inconsistency and injury history are not likely to interest many looking to arm up for a stretch drive.

Teams with the greatest need in this area include Baltimore, Oakland, San Francisco, and Colorado, all of which are either leading their divisions or in contention despite having starting staffs that rank lower than that of the Mets (thanks largely to Mr. Harvey), and other than the Rockies (who barely escape this distinction) are firmly in the lower 33% of MLB rotations. Trades of this type usually involve pitching going in both directions, where one team swaps inexperienced, often erratic arms full of promise for the hoped-for consistency and veteran mound presence that can help carry them to glory. Of course, teams also deal from strength, so, recognizing the Mets’ shortage of viable outfield options, it is probable that trade partners with a surplus in this area will come calling.

Baltimore’s highest rated prospect is pitcher Dylan Bundy, but both his injury status and outrageous potential pretty much exclude him from the picture. Their best AA pitcher, Kevin Gausman has already been promoted to the big club due to their desperation for starters. He’s a big hard-throwing righthander with a terrific K/BB ratio and any deal involving Niese would have to include him in my opinion. After the whole Wheeler/Beltran thing, Brian Sabean might not be as anxious to do a deal with the Mets so soon after, but outfielder Gary Brown is pretty well blocked by in their system by Angel Pagan so there appears to be a fit. Oakland’s top outfield prospect is Michael Choice, a corner outfielder with the kind of power bat the Mets crave. Colorado has Kyle Parker at AA, an outfielder who profiles similarly to Choice, but is probably at least two years away.

rick ankielPOSITION PLAYERS: Before you start, even if there were any takers on Ike now, which is questionable, I’m not inclined to sell low on anyone. Anyway, I’m still looking for him to snap out of it. No, the real potential trade chips here are the veteran outfield bats of Marlon Byrd and the surprising Rick Ankiel (provided he keeps it up), along with the soon-to-be superfluous John Buck and the versatile Daniel Murphy. Of this group, Murph is probably the most valuable, being able to adequately man three infield positions and going through the occasional unconscious period at the plate where line drives materialize out of his bat seemingly at will. Speculation has already arisen that the Nationals could look to acquire him to replace the ineffective Danny Espinosa.  Knowing the Alderson approach, he would likely ask for Washington’s top outfield prospect Brian Goodwin, a five-tool CF currently at AA Harrisburg, but trades between division rivals are tricky and I’m not sure even Sandy could pry him away. A more realistic target would be AAA CF Eury Perez, a speedy leadoff type whose slot in the big club is held down by recent acquisition Denard Span.

Buck is attractive to teams for his veteran presence, defensive prowess, and occasional power, but I wouldn’t expect him to command a big return. Byrd and Ankiel profile as the type of players teams acquire to strengthen their benches for the stretch run, but again, the return on trades of this type are not likely to include anything of top-tier value. We will have to put our faith in the scouting ability of Alderson, DePodesta, et al to help insure that something useful comes back on this end of any deal.

The Mets are clearly in transition mode and changes are to be expected. Hopefully we can all glean some excitement from those shifts even if we have to wait longer for the eventual payoff. I just hope the wait isn’t too much longer.

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Jordany Valdespin: Just Let The Kid Freaking Play http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/jordany-valdespin-just-let-the-kid-freaking-play.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/jordany-valdespin-just-let-the-kid-freaking-play.html/#comments Tue, 23 Apr 2013 12:00:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=115935 jordany-valdespin

I came across this post by Matt Myers on ESNY New York, that was about outfielder (or infielder) Jordany Valdespin. It really had little to do with Valdespin’s performance, well maybe just a tiny bit. but ventured more into Spn’s personality, cockiness and how it drives some fans crazy.

Whether it’s hitting a game-winning homer off Jonathan Papelbon, getting hit in the groin by a Justin Verlander fastball while not wearing a cup, or getting blamed for Daniel Murphy’s baserunning blunder, Jordany Valdespin is always in the middle of something, good and bad.

Unlike Woody Allen’s Zelig, this isn’t by accident. Valdespin plays with a flair typically associated with pro wrestlers, and his Instagram account suggests a man who is sure of himself. Baseball culture has always discouraged individualism, and it seems like Valdespin’s histrionics have made him a lightning rod.

I love Valdespin… I love everything about him. He makes the game fun to watch and as I’ve said before there is a catalyst-like quality to his performance that reminds me of Jose Reyes. He’s electric.

When I hear or see some of the fans and bloggers go off on him, I think they’re either overreacting of or just a bunch of prudes. There’s even one blogger who’s on a mission to prove to his readers that “Valdespin is a cancer.” (His words, not mine.)

Baseball is just a game, and it’s supposed to be fun. Valdespin makes it fun. I only wish we had a few more like him rather than some of the dull personalities we’ve had that never brought anything to the field or to the team’s chemistry.

Myers refers to a recent road game against the Phillies, when Valdespin earned a hearty round of boos from the Philly faithful when, after hitting a fifth-inning triple while the Mets were trailing 8-2, he pounded his chest and pointed to the sky.

Newsflash: Valdespin is not the only player that does that and there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s his way of thanking the man upstairs for his God-given talent and just a cultural thing. Even the great Roberto Clemente would do something like that, albeit a little less flashier, whenever he hit a homerun.

So did Ruben Sierra, Juan Gonzalez, Sammy Sosa and even our own Angel Pagan and  Carlos Beltran. Their not doing it to show anyone up, it’s a gesture that’s part gratitude and part excitement. So as for the Phillies and their fans, get over it.

The article concludes that Valdespin could have a 10-year career or be out of the majors in August; neither would be surprising. But while he’s around, it’s important to embrace what he represents, which is a history that makes the Mets lovable and unique.

Like him or not, Valdespin is a Met in their grand tradition of colorful characters, which should make him a fan favorite. As a bonus, he may even turn out to be a decent player, too.

Sooner or later it will dawn on Terry Collins that Jordany deserves to play everyday and that there’s more to his game than just an occasional start to rest any of the other outfielders. Who knows, maybe Collins will take a look at his team’s stats and see that no Met outfielder has a higher batting average than Spin. Maybe he’ll even dig a little deeper and see that he is equally effective against left-handed and right-handed pitching.

Until those facts sink into his head, I’ll continue to enjoy Valdespin’s occasional starts and all the energy and excitement he brings to the lineup and the team.

jordany-valdespin

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Mets Matters: What About “That” Guy? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/02/mets-matters-what-about-that-guy.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/02/mets-matters-what-about-that-guy.html/#comments Tue, 12 Feb 2013 22:05:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=107885 that Guy

For better or worse, Michael Bourn fell off the New York Mets radar Monday when he agreed to a four-year, $48 million deal with the Cleveland Indians.

Mets/MLB beat writer Anthony DiComo suggests, if history is any indication, Sandy Alderson committed an error.  DiComo wrote:

The 11th overall Draft pick has a bizarre history of busts relative to the picks around it. Of the 48 players in history taken 11th overall, only five have amassed more than 10 Wins Above Replacement (WAR), according to Baseball Reference … 17 of the 48 players never made the Majors …

Couldn’t that be said about the eighth pick? How about the six pick? Or, the 12th pick? DiComo’s logic is founded on coincidence, not any legitimate connection that the 11th pick is cursed. If there is truth in this logic, there is legitimacy in black cats, walking under ladders and idea that a Billy goat holds the key that unlocks the Cubs future hopes of winning a World Series.

Nonsense.

Metsmerized Online writer Connor O’Brien takes a more common sense approach, claiming the Mets suffered from “lack of preparedness.” Alderson was “too passive,” he wrote. The Mets GM needs to be “more aggressive.”

To those three claims: Maybe. OK. I guess.

Doesn’t Alderson’s inaction reflect a consistency in his approach? Since 2010 the Mets GM has systematically dismantled and rebuilt the organizational infrastructure. In are: J.P. Ricciardi and Paul DePodesta. On the field, Ruben Tejada, Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Matt Harvey, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Jenrry Mejia, Josh Edgin, Jordany Valdespin, Zack Wheeler (eventually), Travis d’Arnaud (soon). Out are: Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Francisco Rodriguez, Angel Pagan, R.A. Dickey, Scott Hairston, Mike Pelfrey. (these lists are not exhaustive)

Younger, talented, building success from within, or as the Mets GM said, “We’re going to strive for consistency, but above all, excellence.”

This was the promise, right?

“I’ve always had a preference for holding on to our own talent and seeing how far it can go,” Alderson told the media at Citi Field in November 2010. “If it succeeds and realizes its full potential, we benefit. If it doesn’t, I think we’ve still made the right decision in terms of our fan base.”

Instead of analyzing decisions we can’t control, how about we ask a really intriguing question: Who will the Mets select as the 11th overall pick in the June 2013 MLB Draft? Imagine being that guy!?

The good news: That guy will be fresh out of high school (or college) and he will have the distinct honor of calling himself a first round pick in the MLB June Draft. There’s a story for your grandchildren one day.

The bad news: Will that guy have to live in the shadow of Alderson’s decision to keep the draft pick instead of signing a legitimate MLB center fielder? Will he feel pressure? New York alone has wilted the careers of both young and established veteran ballplayers, but this scenario will create a new level of expectation for No. 11.

The jury is out – and will be for a couple years – on whether or not Sandy Alderson made the right call on letting Bourn slip away for the price of a first-round draft pick.

Still, I wouldn’t want to be that guy. Would you?

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MMO Fair or Foul: December 6, 2011 – A Day That Will Live In Mets Infamy? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/04/mmo-fair-or-foul-december-6-2011-a-day-that-will-live-in-mets-infamy.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/04/mmo-fair-or-foul-december-6-2011-a-day-that-will-live-in-mets-infamy.html/#comments Tue, 10 Apr 2012 15:35:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=76936

Here’s an interesting take on why the Mets are off to a 4-0 start as written by our friends at SprungOnSports. Read on and then tell us whether you agree or disagree.

On December 6, 2011, Mets GM Sandy Alderson signed relievers Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch and acquired Ramon Ramirez along with CF Andres Torres from the Giants for Angel Pagan. Alderson is one of the smartest men in baseball. He knew he would not be able to have an advantage over other teams with a juggernaut offense or a dominant rotation. But with so many relievers available last season, Alderson realized he could assemble a quality bullpen for a bargain basement price.

What difference has the new bullpen made so far? In games decided by two runs or fewer last season, the Mets went 34-40. When over 45 percent of your games are that close, a couple of key bullpen acquisitions could go a long way. New York went 4-7 in those tightly contested games last April. They’ve won the first four thus far. An immense amount of credit should be given to Alderson for big time moves that were considered an afterthought at the time.

So how is the trio of Francisco, Rauch and Ramirez doing so far? In 9 1/3 innings, they are 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA, three saves, two holds, four hits and two walks allowed to go with six strikeouts. They have been crucial components of all four wins thus far, all close wins. – Read the entire post at SprungOnSports.com.

I was one of those who was very critical of the Jon Rauch signing for $3.5 million. He looked excellent last night – dominating actually. Francisco has already racked up three saves in three opportunities.

Of course there’s two sides to every story…

December 6th was also the day the Mets lost Jose Reyes for good. In fact the timing of these other moves for relievers came less than two hours after Jose Reyes officially became a Marlin. To the second. Both the Rauch and Francisco signings, as well as the Angel Pagan trade, all happened within a 15 minute window and seemed concocted and orchestrated to deflect the incoming fire from the Reyes aftermath. So were these signings just a happy coincidence? A pleasurable little side effect nobody was really counting on?

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Angel Pagan Traded To Giants For Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/12/angel-pagan-traded-to-giants-for-andres-torres-and-ramon-ramirez.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/12/angel-pagan-traded-to-giants-for-andres-torres-and-ramon-ramirez.html/#comments Wed, 07 Dec 2011 06:23:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=67071 24 hours after the bittersweet news that Jose Reyes had signed a six-year, $106 million dollar deal with the Marlins, Sandy Alderson decided to get Mets fans minds off of Reyes and back to baseball, by orchestrating a flurry of moves climaxed by a trade that sent center fielder Angel Pagan to the San Francisco Giants for reliever Ramon Ramirez and outfielder Andres Torres.

Torres is coming off a disappointing season after a breakthrough season in 2010, and at 33 years old he’ll be hard-pressed to rediscover that form at the plate. Defensively he is above average at all three outfield spots and also has good speed which will come in handy at Citi Field.

The steal of the deal for Alderson might be Ramirez who may now be the leading contendor for the Mets setup role in the bullpen, and he can also close if the need arises. The 30-year-old righthander had a 2.66 ERA in 66 appearances for the Giants last season.

Both Torres and Ramirez are in their final year of arbitration and will become free agents after next season. On the surface the deal looks like a good one for the Mets and even if Torres ends up becoming a fourth outfielder, I still like the deal because of how badly the Mets needed a reliever like Ramirez in the bullpen.

As for Angel Pagan, he got his shot and lets face it, he blew it. He regressed in the field, at the plate and on the base paths. Pagan, 30, hit .262 with 32 steals and a .322 on-base percentage in 2011 after having a career year in 2010 with a .290 average, .340 OBP, 11 home runs, 69 RBIs and 37 steals. He also became a problem in the clubhouse and had become a loner who was always pouting.

All in all, a good deal.

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Reliever Frank Francisco Signs Two-Year, $12M Deal With Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/12/reliever-frank-francisco-signs-two-year-12m-deal-with-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/12/reliever-frank-francisco-signs-two-year-12m-deal-with-mets.html/#comments Wed, 07 Dec 2011 03:17:14 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=67082

Busy evening for Mets as they also signed reliever Frank Francisco to a two-year deal, according to Ken Davidoff of Newsday.

The right-handed reliever will get $12 million dollars for two years according to reports.

Francisco went 1-4 with a 3.55 ERA with 17 saves in 54 games with the Blue Jays last season. He also allowed seven home runs, 18 walks and 49 hits in 50 2/3 innings.

So to recap, the Mets acquired Francisco, Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez and Andres Torres, and lose Angel Pagan.

If that $10-$15 million dollar spending budget was true, the Mets hot stove season will end after the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday.

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