Mets Merized Online » Arizona http://metsmerizedonline.com Fri, 25 Jul 2014 22:06:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 My “Piazza” Like Proposal http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/my-piazza-like-proposal.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/my-piazza-like-proposal.html/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 15:30:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161155 The All-Star break tends to bring about random optimistic thoughts as well as trade discussions that most likely can’t or won’t happen.

So before any baseball gets started today, let me jump on the “why can’t we do this” train and propose a thought to everybody. I mean, heck, Ron Darling is even thinking we need to make a big blockbuster deal!

I think everybody who wants to see the Mets succeed is on board with the idea that they need an impact offensive player, right?

We’ve already beaten to death the idea of Troy Tulowitzki and Giancarlo Stanton. Yeah, I’d really like to acquire both players – Giancarlo in a heartbeat, Tulo with hesitation – but I’d do it.

You have to first think about the type of deal you’re offering to teams. So my package to acquire a true impact player includes Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero as the main components.

noah Syndergaard

I think both could be legitimate big league arms, but I’m starting to think their value may be in decline and truthfully – I don’t see a big need for them right now.

I am perfectly fine with a rotation that consists of Matt Harvey, Jon Niese, Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler and Dillon Gee. I’d put that rotation up against almost anybody in the sport.

So I look at Syndergaard and Montero as pitchers who I’d love to see crack the Mets, but I also think they are the ones we do not really “know” what they can do at the big league level yet, and I think they might net the biggest piece without impacting the current rotation.

If you’re trying to acquire an elite offensive player, you can’t be cheap with your prospects. To me, if you trade a player like Wheeler or deGrom – you’re getting less back while also impacting your 2015 and beyond rotation. Sure, we can all HOPE Syndergaard is what we think he is, but we know what we have in deGrom and Wheeler. We have mid-rotation guys that every team would love to have, but with Syndergaard you have the hope and uncertainty of a potential #1. I want to sell teams on hope.

So let’s just say the Marlins are not trading Giancarlo – fine. I’m not totally sure if I would offer my two main chips for Tulo, but I could be convinced.

I wanted to look elsewhere and find an impact player that nobody seems to be talking about, but would make a huge difference.

I landed on Paul Goldschmidt. If the Mets offered a package that included Syndergaard, Montero and Lucas Duda to Arizona, would the Diamondbacks consider dealing the 26 year old first basemen?

I think they would – in fact, I think they’d probably be fools not to consider it.

0321130917cwp PNI0905-spt DiamondbacksThe Mets could even ask for a player like Didi Gregorius or Chris Owings back if they included another minor league chip.

Thus killing two birds with one trade, acquiring a high impact elite offensive player and giving the Mets a solid SS option.

Some may say we do not need to upgrade 1B, but I disagree. Lucas Duda has done an alright job over the last 2 months– but he’s already three years OLDER than Goldschmidt and isn’t even close to as good of a player.

At 26, Goldschmidt is signed through 2018 with a 2019 team option. He will make 3.1 million next year and top out at 11.1 million in 2018 (team option for just over $14 million). That is a contract the Mets have got to love.

Goldschmidt has spent his entire career in hitter friendly Arizona, but that has not impacted his numbers in any way. He is a lifetime .302 hitter in Arizona, with .547 SLG and .947 OPS and a .315 hitter on the road with a .551 SLG and .951 OPS, and oh by the way he won the gold glove last year. If you have a gold glove 1B, it makes having one of the best hitting 2B with below average defensive talent a whole lot easier to digest.

I have no doubt that Arizona is in love with Goldschmidt, but I do think my offer is very fair and if that team wants to build around pitching – we’d be giving them two significant prospects back – both who could crack their club within a year.

No matter where you go for an elite offensive talent, you’re giving up prospects we’ve all been reading about and hyping up. You cannot expect to rob somebody of their best young player, so you have to be willing to give something up.

To me, this deal accomplishes several things, all of which are needed when proposing a blockbuster deal.

It gives the Mets an elite, no doubt about it type of player for the next SEVERAL years. It keeps the Mets current rotation in tact (Swap Harvey for Colon), and it also allows the Mets to keep Daniel Murphy, which I also think is very important.

For the Diamondbacks, sure losing Goldschmidt isn’t ideal, but they net two projected 2015 starting pitchers whom they can control for 5+ years, they also net back a guy who isn’t as good as Goldschmidt but will do just fine at 1B for the time being – and they possibly net back another quality minor leaguer to clean out their SS clog.

Will it happen? I doubt it, but at this point – if you told me the Mets have a shot at acquiring Paul Goldschmidt, I think they’d be fools to not approach Arizona aggressively.

MMO footer

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MMO Doubleheader Thread: Diamondbacks vs Mets, 1:10 PM (SNY) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mmo-doubleheader-thread-diamondbacks-vs-mets-110-pm-sny.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mmo-doubleheader-thread-diamondbacks-vs-mets-110-pm-sny.html/#comments Sun, 25 May 2014 16:16:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=156708 dice-k montero

Lets play two…

The Mets play a Banner Day doubleheader today with Rafael Montero (0-2, 6.97 ERA) opposing Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Bronson Arroyo (4-3, 4.45) in the first game at 1:10 PM.

The single-admission doubleheader then continues with Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-0, 2.14) opposing right-hander Zeke Spruill (2-1, 4.72 at Triple-A Reno) in Game 2.

Daisuke Matsuzaka has a 1.71 ERA since September 8 of last season, the fourth best mark in the majors in that span (minimum 40 innings). Among pitchers with at least 20 innings pitched this season, Dice-K’s .130 opponent batting average is tied with Wade Davis for second best in the majors.

On the injury front, Travis d’Arnaud, who suffered a concussion on May 13 at Yankee Stadium, will begin a rehab assignment Sunday with Binghamton.

Meanwhile Dillon Gee looks like he will miss more than three turns in the rotation as he would have needed to make a rehab start today or Monday, if he were going to return next week.

David Wright has hit in seven straight games, going 13-29 (.448) with four multi-hit games, including three straight. He has 33 hits this month, the second-most in the NL, two behind Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers.

Game 2 Lineup

  1. Juan Lagares – CF
  2. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Curtis Granderson – LF
  5. Bobby Abreu – RF
  6. Eric Campbell – 1B
  7. Wilmer Flores – SS
  8. Anthony Recker – C
  9. Daisuke Matsuzaka – RHP

The Mets dropped Saturday’s game against the Diamondbacks, but have the chance to take the entire series on Sunday as they play two to make up for Friday Night’s game. Both Arizona and New York are making roster changes for the day with the Diamondbacks adding Spruill to the roster in game two as a starter and Vic Black  coming in for the Mets.

The first starter for the Mets, Rafael Montero, is 0-2 in his first two starts as a major leaguer. Overall he has allowed 8 ER over 10.1 innings with his last start being a tough one allowed 4 ER over 4.1 innings, mainly due to walks. If he can come in today and get ahead of his control, he should be fine today. This will be the first time he faces hitters from Arizona’s lineup in a major league game.

The Mets bats in the first game get to face Bronson Arroyo, who is 4-3 this year over 9 starts and 54.2 innings with a 4.45 ERA. He started off May on a roll allowing one earned run, two runs total, over 23.1 innings over three games. In his last outing he allowed 5 ER over 7.0 innings. His worst start of the season by far was against the Mets were he allowed 9 ER over 10 hits and 3.1 innings. The Mets have the following stats against Bronson:

  • Wright 11-41, HR
  • C Young 4-21, 2 2B
  • Abreu 3-14, 3B
  • Murphy 8-16, 2 2B
  • E Young 4-11

Daisuke Matsuzaka gets the start for the Mets in game two. He is ready to go about 100 pitches in his first start of the season. Over 14 games this year and 21.0 innings, he as a 2.14 ERA. Last year he had a 4.42 ERA over 7 starts and 38.2 innings. He did not play against the Diamondbacks earlier this year and the only three members of the Arizona club that have faced him are HIll (5-28, 2B, 2 HR), Pennington (2-7) and Chavez (2-3, HR).

In game two the Mets bats will get the first 2014 look at Zeke Spruill. He had limited time in the majors last season with a 0-2 record over 11.1 innings with a 5.56 ERA. The Mets have some stats against him:

  • Flores 0-1
  • Lagares 1-2
  • Murphy 0-2
  • Recker 1-2, 2B
  • E Young 0-1
  • Niese 1-1

Lets Go Mets!

banner day 2014

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It’s Time for Sandy to Upgrade Shortstop http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/its-time-for-sandy-to-upgrade-shortstop.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/its-time-for-sandy-to-upgrade-shortstop.html/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 17:09:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153921 nick franklin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thoughts On Davis, Thornton and the PTBNL http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/thoughts-on-davis-thornton-and-the-ptbnl.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/thoughts-on-davis-thornton-and-the-ptbnl.html/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2014 17:21:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153667 zack thorntonOn Friday, the Mets announced that they traded first baseman Ike Davis to the Pittsburgh Pirates for righthanded reliever Zack Thornton and a player to be named later.

Thornton, who turns 26 next month, was a 23rd round pick of the Oakland A’s in the 2010 draft, who was traded to the Pirates in 2012 for RHP Chris Resop

He has a solid strikeout rate, induces a lot of groundballs, and throws a fastball which sits in the 90-93 mph range.

Sandy Alderson said he considered selecting Thornton in the Rule 5 Draft in December, but he went unselected.

For now he’s been assigned to Triple-A Las Vegas, but we could see him sooner rather than later in the Mets bullpen. Thornton was 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA in four games with Indianapolis (AAA) of the International League this season.

In regards to the player to be named later, there’s plenty of wild speculation running rampant ranging from the Mets getting someone “as good or better than Thornton” to the Mets getting someone “fairly significant.”

That second and more appealing scenario, has some bloggers and Twitter folks believing the Mets may be getting Austin Meadows, who was the ninth overall pick in the 2013 draft for the Pirates. To put Meadows in some more context, he was selected ahead of our top pick in the same draft, first baseman Dominic Smith.

My question is this… Why would the Pirates GM trade someone of that caliber for a player who they only intend to use in a first base platoon?

We may not know who the PTBNL is for another two days, two weeks or two months. So why don’t we just wait and see what happens rather than drumming up these wild and unrealistic scenarios that may be so far removed from the truth you could drive a truck through it?

Here’s what we do know.

  • We got a 26-year old reliever who could be useful, for what was currently a bench player for the Mets that could also be useful for the Pirates.
  • Lucas Duda is now the undisputed starting first baseman for the New York Mets. Hopefully, this gives Duda the confidence to have a solid season for us moving forward, and that he can realize his full offensive potential.
  • The Mets payroll now stands at about $84 million or approximately $10 million less than iast season.

Those are the facts.

mmo

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Diamondbacks, 9:40 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-diamondbacks-940-pm-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-diamondbacks-940-pm-2.html/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 23:20:56 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153334 USATSI jenrry mejia Credit Brad Bar

The Mets (6-7) will attempt to improve their record to .500 on Tuesday night as they play the second game of their series with the Diamondbacks at Chase Field in Arizona.

Jenrry Mejia (1-0, 4.09 ERA) opposes right-hander Bronson Arroyo (1-0, 4.82) for the D’Backs. First pitch is at 9:40 PM.

Over his last six starts, Mejia is 2-2 with a 2.82 ERA (12 earned runs/38.1 innings). Mejia surrendered two homers to Justin Upton in his last start against the Braves, allowing four runs on six hits and four walks in five innings of work. He was very upset with himself afterward and I’m looking forward to see him come back with a strong effort.

Eric Young Jr. picked up his seventh stolen base of the year last night. Young is tied for second in the majors in stolen bases, two behind the Dodgers’ Dee Gordon. He has all seven of his stolen bases on this road trip. He’s also hitting .296 (8-27) with nine runs scored on this current road trip.

Lucas Duda went 4-5 with two RBI last night and tied his career-high with the four hits. It was his fourth four-hit game of his career and first since June 17, 2013 at Atlanta. Duda is hitting .409 (9-22) with one home run and three RBI with a .435 on-base  percentage during this road trip. Overall, Duda is hitting .306 (11-36) with a team-leading three home runs and seven RBI in 13 games this season.

Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young Jr., LF
  2. Daniel Murphy, 2B
  3. David Wright, 3B
  4. Lucas Duda, 1B
  5. Andrew Brown, RF
  6. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, CF
  7. Travis d’Arnaud, C
  8. Omar Quintanilla, SS
  9. Jenrry Mejia, RHP

Game Preview

Jenrry Mejia squares off against Bronson Arroyo tonight in Arizona. Mejia will be making his third start of the year. So far he is 1-0 over 11.0 innings with a 4.09 ERA while walking 9 and striking out 15 batters. Mejia has never faced the Diamondbacks in his career, which makes sense given his career trajectory so far and the infrequent pace the Mets and Diamondbacks play each other. Only one player for Arizona has faced Mejia, Martin Prado, who is 0-4.

The Mets batters will deal with Bronson Arroyo, who was linked to the Mets a little this offseason. Arroyo is 1-0 over two games with a 4.82 ERA and 9.1 innings this year. He has allowed 11 hits and 3 walks while striking out five. Last year for the Reds he went 14-12 over 32 games and 202.0 innings with a 3.79 ERA. The last time he faced the Mets was in 2012 where he allowed 3 ER and 4 hits over 6 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against Bronson:

  • Wright 9-38, HR
  • Murphy 6-13, 2 2B
  • Davis 2-7
  • Granderson 3-9
  • E Young 2-8
  • Duda 1-4, HR
  • Tejada 2-3

Lets Go Mets!

believe mr met button

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MMO Game Recap: Angels 14, Mets 2 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-game-recap-angels-14-mets-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-game-recap-angels-14-mets-2.html/#comments Sun, 13 Apr 2014 22:58:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153236 albert pujols raul ibanez

The New York Mets were trounced by the Los Angeles Angels by the score of 14-2 on Sunday in a 17 hit barrage.

Bartolo Colon started for the Mets and wasn’t fooling anyone as the Angels punished him for nine earned runs on 11 hits including four homeruns (Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Raul Ibanez and Hank Conger) and three doubles. Colon walked two batters and was done after five innings. He saw his ERA climb from 2.40 coming into the game to 6.00 for the season.

Scott Rice, Jeurys Familia and John Lannan worked an inning each and faltered out of the bullpen allowing a combined six hits, four walks, two wild pitches. Lannan was charged with three runs, and Rice gave up a pair.

Juan Lagares had two more hits and a run scored to raise his average to .319 for the season. But the Mets had nothing else doing offensively and struck out eleven times in the game although the home plate ump didn’t help matters.

David Wright and Daniel Murphy were both ejected in the seventh by plate umpire Toby Basner for arguing balls and strikes from the dugout. It was Wright’s fourth career ejection.

The Angels battered Mets pitching for eleven extra-base hits in the game including five home runs, five doubles and one triple.

This was brutal to watch my friends…

Note: During the game, the Mets announced they traded minor-league catcher Blake Forsythe to the Oakland Athletics for future considerations. Forsythe hit .192 with 10 homers and 33 RBIs in 307 at-bats with Double-A Binghamton last season.

Up Next: The Mets now head to Arizona for a three game set with the D’backs beginning on Monday. Zack Wheeler (0-2, 5.73 ERA) will go for the Mets in an 9:40 PM start.

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Featured Post: An In-Depth Look at Potential Trade Targets for SS http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/featured-post-an-in-depth-look-at-potential-trade-targets-for-ss.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/featured-post-an-in-depth-look-at-potential-trade-targets-for-ss.html/#comments Sat, 21 Dec 2013 02:44:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=135859 Arizona Diamondbacks v New York Mets

It’s no secret that shortstop was the worst position for the Mets during the 2013 season.  Ruben Tejada fell out of favor early by showing up to camp out of shape resulting in a very disappointing season both defensively and offensively.  In 57 games, Tejada produced a slash line of .202/.259/.260 and eventually broke his fibula; miserable numbers compared to the season before when he produced a promising .289/.333/.351 line in 114 games.  Tejada clearly did not seize the opportunity he was given and, as a result, may lose the job in 2014.

Recently, Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Mets may be looking to trade for a young shortstop to replace Tejada, mentioning two prospects in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization and two prospects in the Seattle Mariners organization.  Let’s take a closer look at these prospects as well as a few other names the Mets could potentially add before the offseason comes to an end.

Ken Rosenthal’s suggestions:

Didi Gregorius, Arizona Diamondbacks

Some people are saying Gregorius is Sandy’s most realistic option to add a shortstop through trade and if that’s the case, I think they should stick with Tejada.  Didi is a defensive first shortstop showing great range and instincts as well as a strong arm.  His hitting leaves something to be desired, however, batting just .271/.333/.371 in 1,909 career minor league plate appearances.  When Didi made his debut for the Diamondbacks last season, he came out of the gates hot but eventually settled down with an ultimate line of .252/.332/.373 with 7 home runs and 0 stolen bases in 357 AB’s.  He has never really displayed much power, base-stealing ability or a propensity to reach base in general.  Since the Mets would like whoever they may acquire to bat leadoff, I don’t think Gregorius is the right guy for them because he would only be a marginal upgrade to Tejada offensively.

Didi Gregorius 2013 Top Prospect Video (MLB.com)

Chris Owings, Arizona Diamondbacks

Chris Owings is perhaps the most intriguing option Ken Rosenthal mentioned because of his ceiling.  Owings still needs quite a bit of polish offensively, showing an overly aggressive approach and a tendency to swing through changeups and breaking pitches.  However, each of his tools has the potential to rate as solid average which doesn’t sound too exciting but when a player at a premium position can do everything well, he’s a keeper.  He advertises a rare power and speed combination that, at its peak, could yield around 10-15 home runs and 15-20 stolen bases per season.  Like Gregorius, Owings is solid defensively as well.  He has good instincts with decent range and an average arm so scouts say he will be a capable shortstop for the long term.  To acquire Owings from Arizona, the Mets would likely have to part with a top pitching prospect and more (probably not Syndergaard but the next best thing) or an established pitcher such as Jon Niese, which is probably not the best idea considering he’s the only lefty in the rotation.  If the Mets were to expect Owings to lead off for them he would likely need a little more time in the minors to work on a more patient approach which is why he may not be the best option for them either.  The Mets need a solution now, not mid-season or in 2015.

Chris Owings 2013 Top Prospect Video (MLB.com)

Nick Franklin, Seattle Mariners

Nick Franklin has a good chance to be one of the best players on this list offensively.  Like Owings, Franklin has the coveted power and speed combination but maybe even more so.  Franklin struggled in his first taste of the major leagues last season with a line of .225/.303/.382 in 369 AB’s but he did show the ability to draw some walks with a 10.2% BB rate.  He also needs to cut down on his strikeouts, whiffing 113 times last season in that span. With more major league experience, Franklin has the potential to hit 15-20 home runs and swipe 20-25 bases per season.  There is a drawback to Franklin, however, as he does not play the kind of defense Gregorious or Owings does.  Franklin has a fringe average arm at best.  That combined with mediocre range makes it look like he is destined to be a second basemen, which is perfectly fine, but not for the Mets.

Nick Franklin 2013 Top Prospect Video (MLB.com)

Brad Miller, Seattle Mariners

From what I’ve read about Brad Miller, he has plus makeup and plays the game the right way.  He hustles, wears his socks high, and doesn’t wear batting gloves.  These are the kinds of players I love.  To me, one of the most bad-ass things in baseball is not wearing batting gloves.  Ask Wil Myers.  Anyway, Miller shows a good approach at the plate with a solid average hit tool.  His power is below average but could become league average if his 6’2”, 185 pound frame adds some bulk.  He is a quick runner, however, and with his intensity I wouldn’t be surprised if he could steal 30 bases at his peak.  Miller shows the tool set to stick at shortstop with good range and instincts but could end up at second base because of his shaky hands.  He will never be a star but he could become a league average, reliable shortstop or utility man that coaches will love if all goes well.

Brad Miller 2013 Top Prospect Video (MLB.com)

Other names to keep an eye on:

Jed Lowrie, Oakland Athletics

I’ve always been a huge fan of Lowrie but he has never really shown the ability to stay healthy until last year with Oakland.  He played in 154 games last year which is great but before that he never played in more than 97 during any particular season.  Lowrie is an above average hitter with decent pop.  Last year with the A’s he had a slash line of .290/.344/.446 with 15 home runs.  He will only steal you a handful of bases but his defense is solid average and when you can get that kind of offensive output out of the shortstop position, you’re golden.  Lowrie possesses the necessary traits to lead off except the ability to steal bases but his power more than makes up for that.  Billy Beane has made it known that he will not deal Lowrie this offseason.  I’ll believe that when he’s still on the A’s on opening day.  Addison Russell is breathing down his neck and Lowrie is a free agent after the season so my best guess is if he’s not dealt this offseason he’s dealt at the trade deadline.  If Oakland does not try and get a hefty return for him and his $2.5 million salary, they’re insane.  Because the Mets would be buying high on Lowrie, they might be better inclined to wait until the offseason to sign him and see if he can stay healthy for a second straight year, while sticking with Tejada this season.  However, if Lowrie becomes available at the right price, he may be the answer the Mets are looking for.

Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland Indians

This is probably not very likely to happen.  Asdrubal Cabrera is coming off one of the worst years of his career and like Lowrie, Cabrera is a free agent after the season.  He’s making around $7 million in 2014 so he’s not cheap.  Cabrera has made his fair share of web gems which probably exaggerates his value as a defensive shortstop as well.  He did hit 25 home runs and steal 17 bases in 2011 but it could be that he is starting to hit his decline phase a bit early.  Rumor is Cleveland is asking way too much for him anyway so the Mets are better off seeing how he performs this season with the consideration to sign him in the offseason.

J.J. Hardy, Baltimore Orioles

There is no chance that JJ Hardy could lead off if he were acquired by the Mets so I don’t see this one happening either.  He’s a career .260 hitter with a career .312 OBP who doesn’t steal very many bases.  He does have quite a bit of pop for the position but the Mets have already added enough power to the lineup with Curtis Granderson and Chris Young.  Now it’s time to find players who can get on base so these guys can drive them in.  Hardy does play fantastic defense and I would love to have him on my team but I just don’t think he fits into the current lineup that is shaping up for the Mets next season.

Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers

I posted a whole article the other day on why I think it’s a great idea to acquire Elvis Andrus.  If you want to know why I think he would be a perfect fit to bat leadoff for the Mets and play shortstop for years to come, then read my piece.  However, I only think the Mets should acquire him if they can get him at the right price which I don’t think is very likely.  Texas no longer has an inclination to move any more middle infielders so they would most likely have to be blown away to move him.  I definitely would not move Syndergaard or d’Arnaud for him if I’m Sandy Alderson.  He had a down year last year and although I think it was a fluke and he’s capable of much more, the risk is still there.  And then there’s that contract…

Jurickson Profar, Texas Rangers

This is perhaps my favorite option for shortstop next season and beyond but, unfortunately, it may be the most unrealistic.  Profar was the best prospect in baseball a year ago so he would probably be even more expensive than Andrus.  He has been described as a natural leader having plus makeup.  He does not have one particular tool that is elite but scouts say that every single one of them is at least solid average.  Profar is a switch hitter which is a talent that is becoming more and more rare.  He has good speed and can probably steal 20-25 bases at his peak, maybe even more.  He is projected to hit for average as well as some power (maybe 12-17 home runs at Citi).  He has great instincts and range at shortstop with a plus arm so there is no doubt he could stick there long term.  The tools are certainly there for Profar to be an All Star and possibly an MVP candidate but the big question is whether or not those tools can translate to the field.  He had trouble last year in limited playing time producing a slash line of .234/.308/.336 but he was blocked by Kinsler and Andrus so he was not able to take the field every day.  He is still just 20 years old and I think we see significant improvement from Profar this year since he’ll be playing daily regardless of what team he’s on.  If Texas agreed to a Noah Syndergaard for Jurickson Profar swap, I wouldn’t even think twice about it.  At the moment, they are both prospects and we don’t know how either will end up producing.  I would, however, think twice about giving up Syndergaard AND d’Arnaud for him but I would still entertain the idea.  I like his potential that much.

Jurickson Profar 2013 Top Prospect Video (MLB.com)

Many of the prospects who could potentially be available may very well depend on whoever ends up with David Price if and when he gets moved.  I’ve heard rumors that Arizona, Seattle, and Texas are all interested which could lead to a bidding war.  I’m fairly certain if any of these teams ended up acquiring him at least one (maybe both for Arizona and Seattle) of the shortstops mentioned for each team would be involved.  It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out.

I still believe the Mets will end up with Tejada manning the position on opening day which I am somewhat okay with.  I think trading for any of the shortstops Ken Rosenthal mentioned would be a haphazard decision.  If you’re taking a chance on a young shortstop, why not let it be Tejada and not give up any prospects or established major leaguers?  Although he’ll never be an exciting player, he showed some promise in 2012 where he looked like he could be an average regular.  I don’t think he is the shortstop of the future but I am interested to see if he is able to rebound from an atrocious 2013.  In a perfect world, I would hope Tejada has a successful season to build his trade value going into next offseason during which I think the Mets should sign a reliable free agent shortstop.  His ‘voluntary’ attendance at fitness camp in Michigan this offseason has impressed both Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson so I bet they are willing to give him one last chance with a short leash.  It would certainly be risky because the Mets have literally no other options in-house but, hey, what’s life without taking chances?

With all this on the table, who would you most like to see in orange and blue on opening day from this list?

Presented By Diehards

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Mets Officially Announce Chris Young Signing http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/young-is-exactly-who-we-think-he-is.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/young-is-exactly-who-we-think-he-is.html/#comments Tue, 26 Nov 2013 21:59:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133553 chris-young

After passing his physical, the Mets officially announced the signing of our new rightfielder Chris Young this afternoon.

“Chris has had a distinguished career to this point and we think with regular playing time we think he can return to his all-star caliber performance,” GM Sandy Alderson said.

“He’s a tremendous defensive outfielder, brings some power, the approach we’re looking for offensively and some speed on the bases.”

Alderson said that Young could bat anywhere from 5-7 in the lineup.

Young said he spoke to David Wright multiple times on the phone before signing with the Mets, so credit the Captain for helping the Mets to land this sought after player who was being pursued by the Cubs, Giants, Royals and Red Sox before he decided to sign with the Mets..

Young Is Exactly Who We Think He Is

If you’ve read anything I’ve written here, you know that I try my best to support this organization in their decisions. I’m a fan of the team – I supported Minaya to the end, I will support Alderson to the end. Why? Because if I’m gonna be a fan of a team, I’m doing it with the mindset that in order for me to be happy – I need the men who make decisions to succeed.

Ever since Chris Young signed, there seems to be an onslaught of opinions being tossed around. I tried to look at them all, and come up with as informed a decision as I could as to whether or not I liked the acquisition.

This move brought to the forefront the one thing I cannot stand about sabermetrics. At times, people use it as a way to polish a turd. It’s not used to say “let’s look at just how good this guy is,” but merely “let’s look to see if it’s as bad as people really think?” It’s almost at times used in a way a publicist might react in a crisis situation.

“Oh no! The Mets just signed a borderline terrible outfielder, quick – find some numbers that will divert everybody’s eyes!”

That is what is happening, and that is why I cannot stand sabermetrics sometimes.

byrd  hr 2Chris Young is often being compared to the 2013 Marlon Byrd. I find this comical because what NOBODY could have predicted would happen in Byrd – everybody is seemingly predicting will happen for Young. We saw one fluke season from a corner outfielder, so hey why can’t it happen twice in a row? Because if you know anything about flukes – they are often consistent, right?

This isn’t to say Young has no positive attributes. I recognize he has some speed, some defensive ability and what I’d consider borderline power. That isn’t the problem.

The problem is, this signing says two things to your average Mets fans.

#1 Chris Young is our starting corner outfielder that we desperately needed. Oh by the way, he is a center fielder.

#2 This contract was done with the “just in case” mindset of, “If we’re terrible in 2014 but he bounces back – we can always trade him.”

This idea that they are finding “undervalued” talent to me is exhausting. $7.5million for a below average outfielder is overpaying for his talent – so calling him undervalued is ridiculous.

I’ve also heard conspiracy theories that this signing was done because of potential bad press for the Mets lack of signings so far this off-season. I don’t buy into that at all. Can’t they just make a poor decision without some other motives for that decision? No GM is ever going to be right about every player – they aren’t signing Chris Young because some fans are calling up WFAN complaining – they signed him because they think he’s going to be better than he has been for years.

What really grinds my gears about this move is that I would bet the majority of people who are in favor of Chris Young, are the same people who were against Jeff Francoeur. Francoeur had a great 2009 with the Mets, had his detractors but they really unleashed the fury in 2010. Francoeur in 2010 is very comparable to Chris Young in 2013.

I do not need a bunch of charts to tell me that Chris Young as a starting outfielder is a bad idea. That doesn’t mean it won’t work – bad ideas work at times.

But, that doesn’t mean we should be happy when a bad idea is put into place. For starters, many Arizona fans believe Chris Young hasn’t been the same player (which isn’t saying a lot) since a shoulder injury in 2012 when he crashed into the wall. Great, because if there is one thing Mets fans know all too well it’s that players who have declined due to injury always bounce back for the Mets (right?).

Chris Young is terrible against right handed pitching, he benefited from playing in Arizona, and he’s had 2 good years and five below average years. As Bill Parcells once famously said, “you are what your record says you are.”

We can use whatever advanced stats we want to make ourselves feel better about the fact that Chris Young, as of now is one of our starting outfielders – but sometimes the eye test is valid too. Young has been a below average hitter for the majority of his career – and right now he is a starting outfielder for the 2014 Mets. That’s all you need to know.

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Mets Get Bargain With Chris Young http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mets-get-bargain-with-chris-young.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mets-get-bargain-with-chris-young.html/#comments Sat, 23 Nov 2013 01:41:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133501

The Mets got a low-risk, high reward outfielder in Chris Young.

The Mets surprised the baseball world by making their first major league free agent signing of the offseason, inking outfielder Chris Young to a one-year, $7.25 million contract. The Mets now get a right (or left, depending on who else they acquire) fielder for Opening Day. While $7.25 million may seem to some like an overpay, especially considering Young batted a career-worst .200 this season with Oakland, this deal may actually be looked at, when it’s all set and done, as a steal for the Mets.

Young, 30, was sent to the Athletics before this season in the three-team deal that sent him to Oakland, Heath Bell and Cliff Pennington to Arizona, and Yordy Cabrera to the Marlins. Young’s numbers had been boosted slightly by the hitter-friendly Chase Field, adding roughly 70 points to his OPS away from Arizona. Nonetheless, he was a threat no matter where he went. From 2007 through 2012, Young averaged 22 home runs, 18 stolen bases, and a .239/.318/.438 slash line, coming out to a 95 OPS+. His stolen base threat and baserunning skills made him an above average offensive player. In fact, Young provided Gold Glove-caliber defense in center field, and although he will likely play a corner outfield spot with the Mets, it i believed that his defensive skills will transfer over to wherever he plays.

This season, hampered by injuries and getting inconsistent playing time, Young badly struggled. He finished the year with a meager .200/.280/.379 slash line with 12 home runs and ten stolen bases in 375 plate appearances. It’s easy to get down on the Young signing for this season, but there is even more to be optimistic about. Young’s BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play) dropped to .239, 39 points below the .278 mark he had up until last year. This probably wasn’t due to any major mechanical changes in his swing. Young’s batted ball breakdown, walk, and strikeout numbers indicate that he is the same hitter he always was. Take a look:

chris young hitter profile

There are a few minor changes, but that’s what you’d have to expect. He isn’t all of a sudden striking out seven or eight percent more than ever before.

Young’s projections for next season look promising, and have him pinned as someone who will be well worth his $7.25 million salary. The Steamer projections have him hitting 14 home runs, stealing ten bases, and hitting .228/.315/.408 in only 434 games. Project the home run and stolen base totals out to 550 plate appearances and he has totals of 18 and 13. Spread out his projected 1.8 fWAR over 550 plate appearances and his value is up to 2.3 wins, worth more like $11 or $12 million as opposed to $7.25. Keep in mind he is 30, not 35, so this kind of season is more than possible. In fact, with Young’s track record, he is more likely to bounce back than to flop.

In comparison to other deals being signed, this one is a bargain. Marlon Byrd signed with the Phillies for two-years and $16 million, with a third year vesting option. Keep in mind that Byrd turned 36 in August and put together what was likely somewhat of a fluke. His .847 OPS was the highest of his career. That’s not sustainable for a 36 year-old, even in the bandbox that is Citizens Bank Park. Cody Ross signed a three-year, $24 million deal with the Diamondbacks last offseason going into his age 32 season. Keep in mind that Ross has a career OPS+ of just 105 (and a 106 wRC+), meaning he is only five percent above average at the plate.While Young is slightly below average for his career in terms of wRC+ and OPS+, he brings so much more to the table on the basepaths and with his glove than Ross. In his best season, Ross had a 3.5 fWAR, while Young’s best is 4.5. Even Ryan Ludwick, in the middle of a rapid decline, got two years and $15 million before his age 34 season. Both of these players were older than Young and got more money, despite being as good at best as Chris Young.

Hypothetically, if Young had a similar season to the one he had in 2011, or even the one he had in 2012 going into a free agency year, he would certainly get close to what Nelson Cruz or Curtis Granderson will get this offseason. And the one-year commitment, although I would have liked to see an option year attached, doesn’t commit too much to Young who, despite the great case for him, is a risk. You can’t pay under $10 million for a starting outfielder and not expect some kind of flaw and with Young it’s the risk that he brings. He will bring as much, if not more to the table than Marlon Byrd would and at worst case, the Mets feel they won’t be able to re-sign him and they trade him at the trade deadline to a team desperate for outfield help. If the signing does work out, Young could be a contributing piece to a surprisingly-decent 2014 Mets team.

Follow me on Twitter @UpAlongFirst and visit my blog at UpAlongFirst.com.

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Mets Sign Chris Young To One-Year Deal For $7.25 Million Guaranteed http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mets-sign-chris-young-to-one-year-deal-for-7-5-million-guaranteed.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mets-sign-chris-young-to-one-year-deal-for-7-5-million-guaranteed.html/#comments Fri, 22 Nov 2013 15:07:27 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133452 130504124516-chris-young-dl-athletics-single-image-cut

Update – Buster Olney of ESPN is reporting that the one year deal is worth a whopping $7.25 million dollars…

Wow, here’s your opening day left fielder…

Original Post

Outfielder Chris Young has agreed to a one-year deal with the Mets pending a physical, according to multiple reports. Jon Heyman first reported the news.

The Mets plan to use Young in a corner-outfield position, according to Heyman.

Juan Lagares “will remain the starter” in center, according to him

Ken Rosenthal reports that a rival executive involved in Chris Young talks believes deal with Mets will be for about $6 million with incentives.

Wow, this is your starting, everyday corner outfielder!!!

Young, 30, is coming off two straight disappointing seasons…

He batted just .200/.280/.379 with 12 homers and 10 steals in 2013 with the A’s who declined his option last week.

Young has batted .235 with a .315 on-base percentage and .746 on-base plus slugging percentage during an eight-year career with Arizona and Oakland.

Four Year (2010-2013) Decline Of Chris Young…

  • OBP:  .341  .331  .311  .280 
  • OPS:  .793  .751  .745  .659
  • SLG:  .452  .434  .420  .379
  • AVG:  .257  .236  .231  .228
  • UZR:  4.0   15.9  10.0   0.2
  • WAR:  4.1   4.5   2.5    0.5

Players don’t improve at age 30, they are already in their decline. Young in particular has seen his offense, defense and speed steadily fall off a cliff.

Young’s strikeout rate is over 25 percent and MLBTR writes that his 17.5 percent infield flyball rate was the ninth highest in baseball among players with 350 plate appearances.

That’s worse than Luis Castillo during his time with the Mets only Castillo never whiffed at such a high rate…

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Mets Interested In Outfielder Chris Young http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mets-interested-in-outfielder-chris-young.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mets-interested-in-outfielder-chris-young.html/#comments Tue, 12 Nov 2013 19:33:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132783 130504124516-chris-young-dl-athletics-single-image-cut

Marc Carig tweeted out that a source tells him the Mets have shown interest in the outfielder Chris Young. Young, who turned 30 in September, hit just .200/.280/.379 with 12 homers and 10 steals in 2013 after coming over from the D-Backs in the three-team deal that sent Heath Bell and Cliff Pennington to Arizona and prospects to the Marlins. He had his $11 MM option declined earlier this offseason.

Young has never hit more than .257 over a full season of baseball, but he has posted three seasons of 20+ steals and four seasons of 20+ home runs. He’s totaled three 20/20 seasons overall. He does play a pretty good center field defensively, however, and has a solid arm. Considering his high strikeout total and the fact that he isn’t too patient at the plate, I’m a little surprised to hear of this news. He is, however, likely to be a bargain outfielder for a team willing to take a flier on him.

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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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Wheeler’s Command Is Improving; Only One Walk Over His Last Two Starts http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/wheelers-command-is-improving-only-one-walk-over-his-last-two-starts.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/wheelers-command-is-improving-only-one-walk-over-his-last-two-starts.html/#comments Fri, 16 Aug 2013 20:19:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=127293 wheeler sf

The legend of Zack Wheeler continues to grow as last night he joined some pretty impressive company…

Wheeler set career highs Thursday with 12 strikeouts and 115 pitches, taking a no-decision after allowing one run in six innings. The Mets went on to beat the Padres 4-1.

Over his past two starts, the rookie is 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA, 16 strikeouts and one walk.

“Early, I was keeping my pitch count pretty low,” Wheeler said of Thursday’s outing. “But after the second or third inning, I got a little carried away and I was trying to strike some people out and I lost a little command of my fastball. It didn’t help. My pitch count went up, and I had to work a lot more.”

Much of Wheeler’s recent improvement has coincided with better command. Before walking no one last weekend in Arizona, Wheeler issued at least three free passes in six of his nine starts. Twice, he walked five batters in a game.

However, he has now walked just one batter over his last two outings, spanning 12 1/3 innings. Perhaps not surprisingly, he has given up a combined two runs in those games.

“I feel like I’m getting better every time out,” Wheeler said. “It’s a learning experience. That’s the biggest thing. Every time out you learn something new.

“I didn’t think I had my best stuff today. I thought I was getting underneath the ball a little bit. That’s when my slider was pretty big instead of straight down. It was effective, yeah, but not how I like it. I want it shorter and sharper. It’s a learning process.”

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Wheeler Edges McCarthy In Pitcher’s Duel, Flores Drives In Three In 4-1 Mets Win http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/wheeler-edges-mccarthy-in-pitchers-duel-flores-drives-in-three-in-4-1-mets-win.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/wheeler-edges-mccarthy-in-pitchers-duel-flores-drives-in-three-in-4-1-mets-win.html/#comments Sun, 11 Aug 2013 04:05:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=126905 metszona

 

Well, well, well… Wheeler had his way with the D-Backs in this one and improved to 4-0 on the road as the Mets went on to slither past Arizona, 4-1. Wheeler didn’t do all the work, however, as he got some offensive support from our resident youth movement: Wilmer Flores and Juan Lagares.

Wilmer Flores chased Ike Davis home with an RBI single in the fourth after Juan Lagares led off the inning with an opposite-field home run. Lagares has been such a hot hitter lately — but I should mention that Ike Davis has looked considerably better at the plate. He hit a sharp liner for a double before Flores drove him in. Flores provided the rest of the offense in the top of the eighth, where he drove in a pair of runs on yet another single. Flores now has eight RBIs in his last four games.

Now, back to Mr. Wheeling and Dealing…

The most important stat for Zack Wheeler in this one? No walks. That’s right, his line was 6.1 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 1 ER, 4 K. I might not have seen the strikeouts from Wheeler that I hoped for — but keeping hitters off balance is just as effective. Honestly, the only blemish was a home run from Aaron Hill all the way in the seventh, but it was still an excellent performance never the less.

LaTroy Hawkins looked impressive again as he picked up his third save while Parnell serves his time on the DL and tries to remember how to sleep normally.

Jon Niese returns from the DL himself tomorrow to take on Arizona as he looks to start a turn-around for his lackluster season to date. The Mets will try to take the rubber game behind him.

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Two More Years! Two More Years! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/two-more-years-two-more-years.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/two-more-years-two-more-years.html/#comments Fri, 02 Aug 2013 17:00:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=126301 It seems that recently, the Mets discussion has centered around the guy who is or isn’t writing out the lineup card.

It’s likely a minority opinion, but I think the Mets need to lock Terry Collins up to a two year deal now, and put the discussion to rest.

Wally Backman was my favorite player growing up. I have nothing against him at all, but I believe that MOST of the people who want him to be the Manager, have likely never seen him manage.

I believe you can take any Manager decision that didn’t work, and use it to build a case toward firing that Manager. Most of the people that do not want Terry Collins back in 2014 have some legitimate arguments. The problem I have is that most of the time it’s based on things like “handling of a bullpen,” or a “late game decision,” and when they reference Backman as the answer – I wonder how do they know he wouldn’t make those same mistakes?

Backman has zero experience at the big league level as a coach. If he was to be hired, he’d make mistakes – does that mean we let him go as well?

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When the managerial search was on, there was a large majority of Mets fans that wanted Backman over both Collins and Melvin. Melvin is on his way to possibly his second straight Manager of the Year Award. Sometimes the answer isn’t always the popular one. I do believe Backman deserves a chance somewhere, and I hope he gets it one day.

I said it before, managing can be summed up by a move that Eric Young Jr. made this week. If when he goes for the delayed steal and is thrown out by a mile – it was a stupid move and people are angry. But, he was safe and so it was a gutsy, and “heady” play that should be applauded.

To me, the Manager is more about what he gets out of the players then what one move out of thousands that they make.

Take the Yankee four game series for example. The Mets came into that series having lost 5 of their last 6 and when you compared each team’s roster you had a clear advantage leaning the Yankees way even with their injuries. The Mets came back to win the first two games, one of which was against the greatest closer who ever lived, and then went into Yankee stadium and dominated the so called “big brother.”

I look at the July 1st game against Arizona when the Mets were down 3-0 in the 7th inning, chipped away at the lead and blew a tied game in the 13th inning thanks to a Cody Ross HR and then coming back to score 2 runs to win the game.

Even the July 4th game when the Mets lost to Arizona in 15 innings after Arizona took a lead in the 13th and 14th inning, the way the team played that game was a reflection on their manager despite the loss.

To me, the Manager is less about X’s and O’s and more about how he leads the team and whether the team responds to his leadership. Bobby Valentine can be a great X’s and O’s guy, but he was a total bust in Boston because he lost the clubhouse before the season started.

I’ll admit, I didn’t like the idea of throwing Valdespin out there to be beaned, and I even said I thought it was a reflection of Collins being more of a minor league instructor than a big league manager. It was a mistake. valdespin 2

When you look at this team, and try to figure out their future – you see David Wright, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and then a bunch of question marks right now. This franchise needs stability from the top down, they need a leader that the players can count on and Collins has proven to me that he’s that guy.

Heading into the 2009 season, San Francisco Giants Manager Bruce Bochy was heading into his final year of a 3 year deal. Fans in San Francisco were comparing his bullpen management to that of Dusty Baker as a reason why the Giants should look elsewhere for a Manager.

With a 24 year old Tim Lincecum, and a 23 year old Matt Cain the Giants won 72 games in 2008 which was the first year the Giants began their “Bonds-less” path.

Heading into 2009, Bochy was 143-181, and prior to that he was 951-975 with San Diego. The Giants gave Bochy time to see the rebuild through, their franchise was in a transitional/rebuild phase. They trusted that their plan of Lincecum+Cain could work in the future and that after a four long terrible seasons, the franchise needed stability in leadership, and not another change.

Bochy’s Giants won 88 games in 2009, and he was given a two year extension.

The next thing that happened? Well you know the rest. Bochy’s Giants have won two World Series’ in the last 4.

Now I’m not suggesting Collins will win two out of the next four World Series’. From my fingers to God’s eyes right?

But, what I am suggesting is that Collins is in a similar spot with his roster as Bochy was in 2008.

Unfortunately, Collins’ contract expires so he doesn’t have the 2009 season to give everybody an obvious reason as to why he deserves two more years.

I believe Collins deserves two years because I think the next two years are significant for this franchise and the front office. The excuses are gone, the accountability must be present.

The bad contracts are off the books, the young players are finding their way to the big leagues – it’s put up or shut up time for everybody in the Mets organization.

The Mets do not NEED a new manager – they NEED a new 1B, SS and OF.

What they need to do is remain stable in their leadership and provide the best tools possible in 2014 and 2015 to try and finally turn things around.

I believe Collins is the leader they need, and he has shown me enough to suggest he deserves two more years.

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Diamondbacks vs Mets: Gee, What A Great Country Game Preview! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/diamondbacks-vs-mets-gee-what-a-great-country-game-preview.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/diamondbacks-vs-mets-gee-what-a-great-country-game-preview.html/#comments Thu, 04 Jul 2013 04:16:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=123807 Happy Independence Day from all of us at MMO!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!

D’Backs (43-41) at Mets (35-46)

RHP Ian Kennedy (3-4, 5.36) vs RHP Dillon Gee (6-7, 4.60)

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Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young, Jr. – LF
  2. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Marlon Byrd – RF
  5. Josh Satin – 1B
  6. Anthony Recker – C
  7. Omar Quintanilla – SS
  8. Juan Lagares – CF
  9. Dillon Gee – RHP

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Game Notes

The Mets are 28-33 all-time on July 4th and have won two of its last three Independence Day match-ups. They have never faced the Diamondbacks on July 4th.

Master Sergeant Mary Kay Messenger of the US Army will sing both today’s National Anthem and God Bless America (mid-seventh inning)…For the sixth consecutive year, the Mets and Major League Baseball will wear specially designed “Stars & Stripes” caps from New Era, as part of an ongoing fundraising and awareness initiative for Welcome Back Veterans, which addresses the needs of returning veterans and their families. MLB will once again donate 100% of its net proceeds from sales of the caps to Welcome Back Veterans.

Josh Satin hit his first major league home run, a solo shot, in the fourth inning last night. Satin has reached safely in 14 straight games and has hit in a career-best nine straight games. He is batting .412 (14-34) during that stretch, which dates back to June 25. Satin has collected at least one extra-base hit in four straight games. He has seven extra-base hits in his last six games dating back to June 28, which leads the majors over that span.

The Mets had three or more home runs in a game at home for the fourth time this year and first since June 12 vs. St. Louis last night. They hit a season-high four home runs at Citi Field on April 19 vs. Washington.

Over his last 14 games, Juan Lagares has hit .292 (14-48) with seven doubles and five RBI. Since June 20, Lagares has seven doubles, tied for the most in the majors.

Dillon Gee has posted a 2.45 ERA (11 earned runs/40.1 innings) over his last six starts, going 4-1 dating back to May 30. His 2.45 ERA is tied for the 12th-lowest in the NL over that stretch. Five of the six starts have been quality starts. Gee also has 40 strikeouts during that span, the 12th most in the NL. In addition, Gee has only issued seven walks over his last six starts.

Since June 5, David Wright is hitting .375 (39-104) with 15 runs scored, 11 doubles, six home runs and 13 RBI over a span of 25 games. His on-base percentage is .435 during that span.

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Game Preview

The Mets and the Diamondbacks finish their four game set on the fourth (Happy Fourth Everyone!) as the Mets look for a series victory and the Dbacks look for a series split. On the Mets rubber, Dillon Gee gets the start. On the season he is 6-7 pitching 90.0 innings with a 4.60 ERA. In June he made 3 great starts in a row, had a hiccup where he allowed 5 over 5 but came back strong in his last game allowing 1 over 6. Last year in one start against Arizona he pitched 6.0 innings allowing 2 ER. The Diamondbacks have the following numbers against Gee:

Prado 4-20, 2B Montero 2-7, HR Parra 1-7 Goldschmidt 1-4

The Mets draw Ian Kennedy in the series finale. Kennedy is 3-4 on the season pitching in 15 games with a 5.36 ERA. He’s coming off of a June that saw him make two good starts, one mediocre start, one bad start (his last outing, 4 over 4.1) and one horrific start (10 over 4). Last year he allowed 3 ER over 6.1 innings against the Mets and the Mets have the following numbers on him:

Wright 4-11, 2B, 2 HR Buck 2-8 Byrd 2-9, HR Young 2-7 Brown 0-6 Murphy 1-3

Lets Go Mets!

TETRRF-00024113-001

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D’Backs vs Mets: It’s Harvey Day… Take It All Off! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/dbacks-vs-mets-its-harvey-day-take-it-all-off.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/dbacks-vs-mets-its-harvey-day-take-it-all-off.html/#comments Wed, 03 Jul 2013 20:48:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=123713 matt harvey

D’Backs (42-41) at Mets (35-45)

RHP Randall Delgado (0-2, 4.05) vs. RHP Matt Harvey (7-1, 2.00)

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Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young Jr., lf
  2. Daniel Murphy, 2b
  3. David Wright, 3b
  4. Marlon Byrd, rf
  5. Josh Satin, 1b
  6. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, cf
  7. John Buck, c
  8. Omar Quintanilla, ss
  9. Matt Harvey, rhp

Game Notes

The Mets scored a single-inning season-high seven runs in the rain-delayed seventh inning in Tuesday’s 9-1 win over Arizona. They also tied their season-high for hits in an inning with seven. The seven runs scored in that inning were more than the team had scored in a game dating back to June 28, 2011.

The Mets have now won 11 of 17, and are 35-45 on the season — in fourth place in the NL East, 12 1/2 games behind the first-place Braves. The Diamondbacks have lost a season-high five in a row, and are now 42-41 — remaining in first place in the NL West, but only a game ahead of the Rockies. The Mets snapped a streak of 30 consecutive home games without scoring more than five runs, a National League record.

Matt Harvey has the lowest ERA (2.25) among pitchers since 1921, whose first 27 major league appearances were all starts. Mike Mussina is second on that list (2.56 ERA). Harvey also has the best WHIP (0.95) of any pitcher since 1921 through his first 27 career starts. Only four other pitchers had a WHIP under 1.00 in their first 27 starts: Dick Hughes (0.96), Vida Blue (0.97), Orel Hershiser (0.97) and Jim Hardin (0.98).

Shaun Marcum underwent an MRI on his upper back, but refused to discuss his condition with reporters. ”That’s for me and the club, so I’m not going to talk about it. I don’t see why you guys think you need to know everything.” Terry Collins said Marcum experienced tingling in hand, had MRI, but will start Saturday. If he can’t, Carlos Torres would join the rotation.

Ike Davis will not be called back to the big club today, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. A source with direct knowledge of the team’s plans, said he will continue to play in the minor leagues. In 20 games for Las Vegas, Davis is batting .268 with a .409 OBP. He’s hit six home runs including one last night, and has 12 RBI. After a hot start, he’s hitting just .154 and a .267 OBP in his last seven games.

Wilmer Flores will represent Las Vegas and the Pacific Coast League in the Triple-A All-Star Game, which will be held July 17 at Reno. Flores went 5-for-6 Tuesday to up his average to .320 with 10 homers and a league-leading 64 RBIs.

Game Preview

The Mets go for the series victory tonight as they take on the Diamondbacks for game 3 of 4. Last night the Mets had an early one run lead against the surprise ace of the Arizona staff. In the seventh, Arizona was able to tie it but then the Mets happened. The Mets opened up the bottom half of the frame getting the go ahead run and loading the bases before an hour and forty minute rain delay. They then scored 6 more runs in the frame when the action resumed and ended up winning the game 9-1. It was the most the Mets scored in one inning in nearly two years and the most they scored at home since opening day. Tonight Randall Delgado goes for Arizona as he faces MATT HARVEY. HAPPY HARVEY DAY EVERYONE!

Matt Harvey is 7-1 this season with a 2.00 ERA over 17 starts, 117.0 innings and 132 strikeouts. He allowed 3 hits over 7 innings his last time out striking out 11 in the process, before the bullpen blew the game. In his last two starts he has allowed only 1 ER over 13.0 innings of work. He faced the Diamondbacks last year in his major debut pitching 5.1 innings allowing 3 hits, no runs and striking out 11 batters. The Diamondbacks have the following numbers against Matt:

Goldschmidt 0-3, 3 K
Hill 1-3
Kubel 1-2
Parra 0-3, 2 K
Prado 0-3

The Mets draw “old” Braves pitcher Randall Delgado who is 0-2 over 4 games and 3 starts this season pitching 20.0 innings with a 4.05 ERA. The amount of hits he has given up this year has hurt him, 26 so far, which has bumped his WHIP to a 1.5 even. In one start against the Mets last year he allowed 3 ER in 5.1 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against him:

Buck 1-4
Murphy 1-3
Kirk 2-3
Wright 1-3

Lets Go Mets!

]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/dbacks-vs-mets-its-harvey-day-take-it-all-off.html/feed/ 0 Marcum Cops An Attitude When Asked About MRI http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/marcum-cops-an-attitude-when-asked-about-mri.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/marcum-cops-an-attitude-when-asked-about-mri.html/#comments Wed, 03 Jul 2013 13:46:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=123722 marcum

This from ESPN New York:

Mets starter Shaun Marcum visited the team doctor on Tuesday, according to a source.

Marcum started Monday against Arizona, and was seen in the dugout rolling his neck and pointing to his shoulder area. He told reporters after the game that he was fine.

Marcum was evasive following the Mets’ 9-1 win over Arizona on Tuesday when asked whether he underwent an MRI.

“That’s for me and the club,” Marcum said. “I don’t know why you guys think you need to know everything.”

That’s quite the ‘tude for the team’s highest paid pitcher who is a disappointing 1-9 with a 5.03 ERA this season. I wonder what he told Sandy Alderson last January when he asked him how his shoulder was?

By the way… ESPN also reminds us that Jon Niese (shoulder), who has a partial tear in his left rotator cuff. Niese is scheduled to undergo a follow-up MRI on Thursday. I can think of a million other things I’d rather be doing on the 4th of July then going for an MRI….

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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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Memorable Mets Moments: Joe McEwing Takes On The Big Unit http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/memorable-mets-moments-joe-mcewing-takes-on-the-big-unit.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/memorable-mets-moments-joe-mcewing-takes-on-the-big-unit.html/#comments Mon, 03 Jun 2013 14:48:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=120649 Diamondbacks v Mets

JOE (DAVID) McEWING VS. RANDY (GOLIATH) JOHNSON

Deserved or not, certain players earn a reputation for “owning” certain opponents. Long in the tooth Met fans (like myself) will recall how Tom Seaver was able to dominate many of his era’s greatest hitters but would look like he was throwing batting practice to an otherwise unremarkable infielder by the name of Woody Woodward. Woodward bounced around the league for parts of nine seasons in the ‘60’s and 70’s playing for the Expo’s, Braves, and Reds,  logging a lifetime batting average of .236, hitting exactly one home run, and generally failing to strike fear into the heart of most opposition moundsmen. But if Tom Terrific was toeing the rubber that day, the Wood-man would morph into a line drive machine and rattle number 41’s offerings around from line to line.  For his career, Woodward tattooed Seaver to the tune of a .387 average by going 12-for-31 and threw in 3 walks for good measure to record an OBP against the Met ace of .441. Seaver did manage to strike him out-just once-to salvage a shred of dignity.

Although his overall numbers are not as compelling, erstwhile Met utility man (and current White Sox coach) Joe McEwing did score some remarkable successes against one of the most intimidating pitchers of his time: the towering lefthander Randy Johnson. The Big Unit was still active just four seasons ago, so most remember him well, a 6’10” behemoth with a fastball that regularly reached the upper 90’s (and occasionally hit the 100-mph mark) and a biting slider that ate otherwise proficient hitters for breakfast, bruch, lunch, dinner, supper, and a midnight snack. He holds the career mark for highest K/9 innings pitched among all starters (10.67), recorded 4,875 strikeouts-good for second all-time behind Nolan Ryan and the most of any left-hander in baseball history, pitched two no-hitters including a perfect game and- oh yeah- hit 188 batters, the third most ever. In one particularly memorable instance in the 1993 All Star Game, Johnson brought all of his knee-buckling powers to bear against the lefty-swinging John Kruk and deliberately fired a pitch well over Kruk’s head to the backstop. Kruk flinched big-time and stepped out of the box to collect himself before half-heartedly flailing away at three pitches to end the inning.

So stepping in to face the Diamondbacks ace was a matchup that few hitters likely relished.  Yet during the 2000 season, the diminutive (by baseball standards) McEwing  raked against Johnson like he was facing a mop-up reliever instead of many a batter’s worst nightmare.

“Super Joe” had come to the Mets in a trade for Jesse Orosco, by then a 43-year old elder statesman who had been obtained from Baltimore a few months earlier and was poised for  a second go-round with the club he had helped lead to a championship 14 years earlier. The deal, consummated during the ’00 Spring Training, had happened much to the chagrin of Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa who requested a pair of spikes from his departing player as a memento.  Following his major league debut in September of 1998, McEwing had made the St. Louis squad to begin the next season and endeared himself to Cardinal fans and management alike with his versatility. Appearing primarily as a second baseman, Joe managed to log time at every defensive position on the field save catcher, providing LaRussa with an ultra-flexible roster component that he was loath to surrender. At the plate he was reliable, if not spectacular, batting .275 with a modicum of pop (28 2B, 4 3B, 9 HR’s) which, combined with his defensive versatility, was good enough to secure him a fifth-place finish in the Rookie-of-the-Year voting.

In 2000, Randy Johnson was on his way to the second of four consecutive Cy Young awards (he would finish with five total), and at age 36 was as dominant a starter as baseball had seen in decades. He would finish that year with 19 wins, 347 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.64., but had still more flashes of historic greatness to come the following season when he would record such mind-bending pitching feats as a 20-strikeout performance against the Reds and an “immaculate inning” (3 strikeouts on 9 pitches) in a game against the Pirates.

The Diamondbacks arrived at Shea for a three-game set on May 19, 2000, a season removed from their startling run to a division championship in only their second year of existence.  Under the guidance of manager Buck Showalter, the Snakes had pulled off a “worst to first,” rising from a 65-win, dead-last finish in 1998 to the rarified air of a 100-game winner in ’99, thanks in no small part to the contribution of free-agent signee Johnson who won 17 games while racking up 364 K’s. Johnson took the hill to start the final game of the series on Sunday, May 21. The Mets had won the first two games by scores of 4-3 and 8-7 and were sending Rick Reed, the so-called “poor man’s Greg Maddux” to the mound to try for a sweep.

Johnson was coming off his first loss of the season, winding up on the short end of a 2-0 score in a contest against the Expos where he had nonetheless recorded a complete game while allowing only one earned run and striking out 12. The New Yorkers knew that they had their work cut out for them that day, and manager Bobby Valentine opted for an all-right-handed hitting lineup, sparing stalwart third-sacker Robin Ventura the daunting task of facing Johnson’s pitching arsenal and instead trotting out Kurt Abbott to man the hot corner. Leading off and playing LF he had slotted Joe McEwing. Joe had faced Johnson twice the previous season, nicking him for just one hit in 8 at-bats (a double) and striking out three times. He would find greater success that afternoon.

After the Diamondbacks had gotten to Reed for three singles and a run to grab a quick lead in the top of the first, McEwing led off the bottom of the frame with the first of three consecutive doubles by the Mets that shifted the advantage back to New York by a score of 2-1. After an uneventful second for both teams that included a groundout to short by McEwing, Arizona put together three more singles and a groundout in the third frame to score twice and reclaim the lead. The Mets tied things back up in the bottom of the inning on a homer by Mike Piazza- an omen of things to come.

After a scoreless 4th and 5th, the latter inning featuring another McEwing double down the left field line, the teams exchanged longball salvos beginning with Travis Lee’s 2-run shot off Reed in the top of the sixth that gave the ‘Backs a temporary 5-3 lead. In the bottom of the seventh, following a strikeout by Benny Agbayani leading off, McEwing cracked a shot to left that cleared the fence and drew the Mets within one. After Derek Bell struck out, second baseman Edgardo Alfonzo followed with another round-tripper, the Mets’ third of the day off Johnson, tying the score and knocking the Unit out of the game.  Steve Finley homered off Mets lefty Dennis Cook in the top of the eighth to skew things back in the visitor’s favor once more, but Robin Ventura came off the bench in the Mets’ half of the inning to knot things back up with a blast of his own off Mike Morgan who had come in to relieve Johnson in the previous frame. After Turk Wendell (he of the bear claw necklace and dugout toothbrush) retired the Arizona squad in the top of the 9th, McEwing opened the bottom of the frame with a walk, stole second, and scored the winning run on a single by Bell. For the day, “Super Joe” had reached Johnson for a homer and two doubles, a not-so-shabby performance against even a pedestrian pitcher, much less a world-beater like Johnson.

Joe would make his mark against Johnson a second time that season when the Mets traveled to Phoenix for a series in the first week of August. In the first game of that set, the same two pitchers faced off but Reed fared considerably better than in his previous outing, notching the victory in a 6-1 win for New York. McEwing knocked in two of the runs against Johnson via another double and a sacrifice fly which contributed to an early 4th inning exit for the pitcher generally regarded as a nemesis by the rest of the league.

Regarding his performance against Johnson in the first matchup, McEwing was characteristically professional, stating “I think it’s the ultimate challenge for us to face a guy like him.” Clearly it was a challenge that Joe was up to.

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