Mets Merized Online » Bats http://metsmerizedonline.com Sat, 25 Feb 2017 11:00:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.18 MMO Free Agent Profile: Ian Desmond, OF http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-ian-desmond-of.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-ian-desmond-of.html/#comments Fri, 25 Nov 2016 15:00:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=226286 usatsi_9592759_154511658_lowres

Ian Desmond
Position: Outfield/SS
Bats: Right – Throws: Right
Born: September, 1985 (Age 31)

For the second straight year Ian Desmond hits free agency after getting the qualifying offer and rejecting it. Unlike last offseason though, he is coming off a solid overall year at the plate. He also improved his value by showing he can play in the outfield.

Desmond, 31, had a hard time finding a deal last offseason that he felt was market value after rejecting the qualifying offer. He was also coming off a 2015 season in which he hit just .233/.290/.384 and struck out 187 times in 156 games. Ultimately, he had to settle for a one-year, $8 million deal from the Texas Rangers in late February.

Desmond had what was seemingly a bounce back season offensively in 2016 hitting .285/.335/.446 with 29 doubles, three triples, 22 home runs, 86 RBI, 21 stolen bases and a career high 107 runs scored. He struck out 160 times and walked 44 in a career high 677 plate appearances.

The numbers away from Globe Life Park in 2016 were ugly for Desmond with a .241/.305/.398 slash line in 351 plate appearances. His offense fell off the map in the second half with just a .630 OPS and 66 strikeouts in 294 plate appearances. Desmond was 1 of 4 players that were among the top 30 of qualified hitters in worst K% (23.6%) and in worst BB% (6.5%) during the 2016 season.

Coming into the 2016 season, Desmond had played a grand total of 7.1 major league innings in the outfield (all in RF in 2009/2010). That changed drastically this year when played 130 games in center field and 29 in left field. He graded out poorly in center (-6 DRS, -4.9 UZR), but good in left (2 DRS, 3.5 UZR). He did commit 12 errors in the outfield which is the most for a major league outfielder in the last five seasons.

Contract:

Desmond is likely to get the multi-year deal he was seeking last offseason. The added versatility will surely help him on the open market while the qualifying offer will hurt yet again. I would expect to see him get a 3 or 4 year deal worth $14-16 million per year, probably slightly more than Josh Reddick recently got from the Houston Astros. The Texas Rangers have already shown interest in bringing him back and he could receive interest from teams that miss out on Yoenis Cespedes and/or Dexter Fowler.

Recommendation:

While the Mets could certainly a right-handed hitting outfielder I believe that Desmond would be at best plan C and hopefully it doesn’t come to that. Desmond would have more value if he ended up playing left field with whatever team he signed with because he’s stretched in center. I would stay away from Desmond given his lack of experience and success in the outfield, having no success offensively away from a hitter’s park in 2016 (little at all in 2015), and his high strikeout/low walk numbers.

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MMO Free Agent Profile: Matt Holliday, 1B/OF http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-matt-holliday-1bof.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-matt-holliday-1bof.html/#comments Tue, 22 Nov 2016 15:40:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=226891 matt-holliday

Matt Holliday
Position: 1B/OF
Bats: Right – Throws: Right
Born: January 15, 1980 (36 years old)

With the St. Louis Cardinals not picking up his 2017 option, Matt Holliday finds himself a free agent this offseason.  It was an easy choice for the Cardinals to turn down the $17.2 million option because Holliday has been injury prone the past few seasons, including a broken thumb this year, and he is not the same player he was seven years ago.

Despite his thumb not being fully healed, the Cardinals activated Holliday for the last series of the season so he could get the standing ovation he so richly deserved.  Despite his aching thumb, Holliday would hit a pinch hit home run allowing the fans to cheer him one last time.  It was the best Holliday and the Cardinals could hope for at the conclusion of a seven year deal.  In his Cardinals career, Holliday hit .293/.380/.494 while averaging 20 homers and 80 RBI a season.  He was a four time All Star, and he was a member of the 2011 World Series Champions.

Despite that fairy tale ending, Holliday still wants to play, and with good reason as he can still hit.  Despite Holliday being somewhat injury prone the past few seasons, he still hit .259/.350/.442 with 36 doubles, two triples, 24 homers, and 97 RBI in 183 games.  In his last healthy season, 2014, Holliday hit .272/.370/.441 with 22 homers and 94 RBI.  Overall, we know that when Holliday is healthy enough to play, he will be a solid bat in the lineup.

However, that might be all Holliday is at this point in his career – a bat.  The age and injuries have taken their toll on him, and it has shown in the field.  Since 2014, Holliday has averaged a -4 DRS and a -2.8 UZR in left field.  While a team could live with the subpar defense in 2014 and 2015, especially with the way he hit, Holliday really regressed in 2016.  It was arguably his worst year defensively with him posting a -8 DRS and a -5.1 UZR in 644.0 innings.  These numbers are a big reason why the Cardinals asked Holliday to transition to first base during last offseason and Spring Training.

Holliday would be the Opening Day first baseman for the Cardinals, but due to a number of issues, including his injuries, he would only play 61.2 innings there in 2016.  While it was a small sample size, Holliday did post a 1 DRS and a 1.1 UZR at the position suggesting that with another offseason of work at the position, he could be relied upon to play first base for a team.  At a minimum, Holliday’s ability to play first base will increase the number of teams that could be interested in him this offseason.

Contract:

There have been reports Holliday could command a deal around $10 million per season.  At his age and with his injury history, it is likely Holliday could command no more than a one year deal for that amount.  If enough teams become interested it is possible Holliday could receive a vesting option or a second year all together.  At the moment, the only known suitor for Holliday is the budget conscious Colorado Rockies.  However, after the bigger free agents like Yoenis Cespedes, Jose Bautista, and Edwin Encarnacion sign, we will likely see more teams become interested in Holliday.

Recommendation:

Holliday could very well play the role the Mets envisioned when they signed Michael Cuddyer back in 2014.  He could be the right-handed bat the Mets need.  As we stand today, the Mets outfield is Michael Conforto, Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce.  Holliday could break up this trio a bit by platooning with Granderson, who hits lefties poorly, out there.  It would also permit the Mets to keep both Holliday and Granderson fresh for the season.

When there is a left-handed pitcher on the mound, Juan Lagares could play center field, and Holliday could move to first base to give Lucas Duda a day off.  Remember, not only is Duda coming off a stress fracture in his lower back, he has also hit .224/.295/.364 off left-handed pitching in his career.  A bat like Holliday’s would be a good platoon option for Duda.

What we don’t know about Holliday is what he wants this offseason.  Does he want to go to a contending team like the Mets to get semi-regular playing time in the hopes of chasing another World Series ring?  Or does Holliday want to go to a place like Colorado and put up some big numbers to help him get another contract next offseason?

Ultimately, the Mets will likely only be interested in Holliday if they are unable to sign Cespedes.  It’s possible the Mets may first turn to Jose Bautista, or possibly Dexter Fowler.  If the Mets are unable to acquire either of them, they could then set their sights on someone like Holliday – who will not only provide some offense, but he will also permit some ideal platoon advantages and flexibility next season.

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MMO Free Agent Profile: Steve Pearce, UT http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-steve-pearce-ut.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-steve-pearce-ut.html/#comments Thu, 10 Nov 2016 20:31:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=226263 MLB: Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees

Steve Pearce
Position: Utility
Bats: Right – Throws: Right
Born: April 13, 1983 (Age 33)

Last offseason the New York Mets failed to bring in a veteran that could play multiple spots off the bench and instead Eric Campbell was on the opening day roster. Pearce will be a free agent for the second straight offseason. He bats right-handed and can play multiple positions including first base, second base and both corner outfield spots. Does that sound like someone that could help the Mets in 2017?

The versatile Pearce is coming off a season combined with the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays in which he slashed .288/.374/.492 in 85 games. He hit 13 doubles, one triple, 13 home runs, and knocked in 35 runs.

The Mets current corner outfield options are dominated by left-handed hitters with Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Jay Bruce, and Curtis Granderson. Pearce hit .309/.411/.617 with seven of his 13 home runs coming off lefty pitching in 2016 and his career splits (.728 OPS vs RHP, .852 OPS vs LHP) shows he likes to face lefties. The Mets also have Lucas Duda currently penciled in at first base who has struggled against left-handed pitching during his career.

Pearce began his career in the minor leagues strictly playing first base but has played five different positions in the majors. In 2016, he played 40 games at first, 15 at second, seven in left field, six in right field and two at third base. His best defensive position remains first (2 DRS in 2016), however he has graded out positively in left (6 DRS) and right (3 DRS) for his career.

Contract:

Pearce signed a one-year, $4.750 million deal last offseason with the Rays and made $3.7 million in 2015 coming off a career year. Seems reasonable that he could get a deal for two years in the $5-6 million per range.

Recommendation:

Definitely think the Mets should show interest and even more so if they’re unable to re-sign Yoenis Cespedes. In that case, Pearce could play in a corner outfield spot against lefties. He would also be insurance for first base if something were to happen to Lucas Duda, which they didn’t really have in 2016. His versatility makes him a valuable commodity off the bench as well, which is a spot the Mets have had to trade to improve during the last two seasons.

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MMO Free Agent Profile: Jae-Gyun Hwang, 3B http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-jae-gyun-hwang-3b.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-jae-gyun-hwang-3b.html/#comments Wed, 09 Nov 2016 15:00:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=226170 Photo Credit: Sung Min Kim

Photo Credit: Sung Min Kim

Jae-Gyn Hwang
Position: Third Base
Bats: Right – Throws: Right
Born: July 28, 1987 (Age 29)

The last two offseasons saw the signings of three very talented players out of South Korea: Jung Ho Kang (Pirates), Hyun Soo Kim (Orioles) and Byung Ho Park (Twins). This year, another talented KBO slugger will become an unrestricted free agent, and that is 6-time All Star third baseman Jae-Gyn Hwang.

Hwang played for the Lotte Giants since 2010, when he was traded from the Nexen Heroes. This season he became only the second Giant to have a 20-20 season, accomplishing the feat in only 118 games. In those games, he slashed an impressive .330/.391/.558 (.949 OPS) with 26 home runs, 104 RBIs, and 24 stolen bases. He missed the first part of the year with a minor toe injury, accounting for his shortened season. Before missing those games, though, he had a running streak of 618 games played, which was good for third all-time in the KBO.

The Giants posted him in the 2015 offseason, however he didn’t receive any bids for his services. Before he hit 26 home runs in 2015, he was not a power hitter by any means. He hit 18 home runs in 2009, but he didn’t hit more than 12 in a season between 2010 and 2014, slugging at just a .401 clip during that span. However, knowing he needed to have some power to be an impactful corner infielder, he hired a personal trainer in the 2014 offseason to increase said power.

The work paid off as he hit 26 home runs, a career high, increasing his SLG% to .521. He did, however, strike out a career high 122 times in 534 at bats. During that 2015 season, MLB scouts described his swing as “long” and “sweeping.” Critical scouts, as well as not receiving any bids when posted in the 2015 offseason, drove him to improve even more; and improve he did.

In 118 games in 2016, he posted career highs in batting average (.330), on-base percentage (.391), slugging percentage (.558), OPS (.949), and RBIs (104), while tying his career high in home runs (26) which he had set in 2015. However, most importantly, he struck out only 64 times, around half his total from the previous season. He certainly shortened his swing from the season before, while maintaining his home run power. A shorter swing is especially important because pitchers in the Major Leagues throw vastly harder than those in the KBO.

Scouts told Knuckleball‘s Sung Min Kim they believe Hwang has more raw power than the Pirates’ Jung Ho Kang, who has 36 home runs and a .483 SLG% in 229 games since he joined the MLB in 2015. Below is a gif of Hwang crushing a 96-mph fastball 476 ft to center field over the 122m (400 ft) sign, the longest home run ever hit at Eagles Park. It’s hard to see, but the ball hits high off the scoreboard:

Jae-gyun Hwang Home Run

Hwang has average speed, but is a very aggressive baserunner. He has stolen as many as 30 bases in a season, and has stolen 172 bases in 258 tries (.667%) in his career. It’s logical to assume his stealing numbers would decrease because of higher pitching velocities and quicker catchers, but expecting 15 stolen bases shouldn’t be too much of a stretch.

At third base, Hwang has been described as an average defender who needs work on his footwork. By the same token, a scout told Kim, “He probably has the strongest arm out of any infielder coming out of Korea.” As for his footwork, in the United States, fielders are taught to come in on ground balls, while in Asia, they are generally taught to sit back on them. It is possible that this different philosophy would be beneficial to his development.

A source close to Hwang told Kim that “His work ethic is second to none, he has the drive and discipline, but more importantly the desire. He wants to get better. He even hired a private English tutor and takes lessons once a week, because he knows he will have to make an adjustment once he gets to the States.”

According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network on Twitter, Hwang will be holding a showcase in Florida on November 21st. It is still unclear which teams will be attending the showcase, but there should prove to be very few teams not in attendance.

On all accounts, Jae-gyun Hwang seems like a good guy who has worked very hard to get to where he is now. He is becoming a free agent at a good time, too. Other than Justin Turner, there are very few appetizing free agent third basemen this offseason. The other notables are Casey McGehee, Yunel Escobar, and Luis Valbuena. His newfound power, shortened swing, stealing ability, and vastly lowered strikeout rate should help him succeed at the Major League level.

Contract:

His contract should prove similar to that of recent KBO free agent signing Jung Ho Kang (4 years, $11 million). However, once Justin Turner is off the market, Hwang will remain as the best free agent third baseman. At 29 years old, I see him fetching a 4 year deal with an annual salary of around $3-6 million.

Recommendation:

At the very least, the Mets should send a scout to his showcase on the 21st. It’ll cost them only hotel and airfare, and if they like what they see, they could lock up a solid right handed bat for a cheap price. He could play third base if David Wright’s injuries force him to miss extended time again. The Mets could also see about teaching him how to play first base, or possibly right field where his decent speed and plus plus arm would play well.

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MMO Free Agent Profile: Edwin Encarnacion, 1B http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-edwin-encarnacion-1b.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-edwin-encarnacion-1b.html/#comments Mon, 07 Nov 2016 17:02:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=226072 edwin-encarnacion

Edwin Encarnacion
Position: First Base
Bats: Right – Throws: Right
Born: January 7, 1983 (Age 33)

The Mets have a few needs going into this offseason, but one in particular is a right-handed power bat to put right in the middle of the lineup. Veteran Edwin Encarnacion is certainly a right-handed power bat, but is he a good fit for the Mets?

The 3-time All Star has been one of the premier power hitters in the game for a while now. Since 2012, he hasn’t hit less than 34 home runs, and that year he only played in 128 games. In those 5 seasons, he has hit .272/.367/.544 with 193 home runs, 553 RBIs, and 27 stolen bases. The former Cincinnati Reds third baseman played 160 games for the Blue Jays in 2016, belting 42 home runs and leading the American League with 127 RBIs.

While he hasn’t played at third base in a while, he has logged 5752.2 innings at the hot corner in his career, giving him a little more value as he could play there in a pinch. This signing would undoubtedly affect the playing time of Lucas Duda, however there is little doubt that Encarnacion’s offensive output would be superior to Duda’s in most ways.

The Blue Jays have extended a qualifying offer to Encarnacion, so if the Mets were to sign him, they would forfeit their first round pick (22nd overall) in the 2017 draft. However, the Mets have extended qualifying offers to Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker, so it is possible that even if the Mets were to surrender their 22nd overall pick, they might gain one or two first round picks if Cespedes and/or Walker sign elsewhere. That being said, Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins has made it publicly known that he wants to retain both Encarnacion and Jose Bautista, both of which have qualifying offers in hand.

Contract:

Though he will turn 34 before the start of the 2017 season, his status as a power-hitting DH could increase his chances of getting a longer-term contract. It is reasonable to think he will fetch a four-or-five-year contract with an annual salary around $20-$25M which would take him through his age 37 or 38 season.

Reccomendation:

No, but thank you anyway. Encarnacion is arguably the second best free-agent hitter on the market (after Yoenis Cespedes), so he will probably get a good deal for a sizeable amount of money. Due to that fact, as well as knowing Sandy Alderson’s aversion to long-term contracts for aging players, the Mets will probably sit this one out. New York already has Lucas Duda for now, but signing Encarnacion to a long term deal would block the way for prospect Dominic Smith. While Encarnacion is a great player with a great home run trot, I don’t see him playing for the Mets next season.

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MMO Free Agent Profile: Steve Cishek, RHP http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/mmo-free-agent-profile-steve-cishek-rhp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/mmo-free-agent-profile-steve-cishek-rhp.html/#comments Fri, 04 Dec 2015 14:00:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=201520 MLB: Miami Marlins at St. Louis Cardinals

Steve Cishek
Bats: Right — Throws: Right
Position: Relief Pitcher
Born: June 18th, 1986 (Age 29)

After the Cardinals non-tendered Steve Cishek Wednesday night, it gave the Mets another option to consider for the bullpen. Right now, the only truly reliable arm behind Jeurys Familia is Addison Reed, leaving the Mets with a clear need to upgrade.

Mets fans know what he is capable of as he was a closer for the Marlins from 2012-2014. During that time, he saved 88 games, pitching 198.2 innings and striking out 226 with a 2.72 ERA. He was not an elite closer, but he was effective.

Overall, he is 17-20 with 95 saves, a 2.82 ERA, 2.81 FIP, and 3.33 xFIP. He uses a funky sidearm mechanics, featuring a fastball (90-94 mph), sinker (89-92 mph), slider (82-84 mph), and change up (83-86 mph).

Cishek had a down year in 2015, however. In 32 games with the Marlins, he went 2-6 with a 4.50 ERA and only three saves. After losing his closer role to A.J. Ramos, he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. He pitched well for them, posting a 2.31 ERA in 27 games and recording one save. He ended up posting a 3.58 ERA for the season as a whole, and for the worst season in his career, that’s not terrible.

He is historically effective against both right and left handed batters. In his career, righties have slashed .216/.283/.305 and lefties are at .234/.330/.350.

Contract: Tough to say, but one report had Cishek probably fetching a 2-3 year deal at $3-6 million per season. There are plenty of more appealing relievers on the market, such as Darren O’Day (MMO Profile) and Joakim Soria (MMO Profile). However, Cishek could be one of those risk/reward guys ans someone will probably look at him as a potential setup man. It remains to be seen how much his down year affects his price tag, but there should be quite a few interested teams.

Recommendation: Take a shot. He was ineffective with the Marlins, however once he went to the Cardinals he was very good, posting that 2.31 ERA. He and Addison Reed would form a solid combination for the 7th and 8th innings in front of Familia. Both of those men have closing experience so they would be able to fill that need in a pinch. He shouldn’t be too expensive, and at 29, a two-year deal isn’t particularly daunting.

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MMO Free Agent Profile: Howie Kendrick, 2B http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-howie-kendrick-2b.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-howie-kendrick-2b.html/#comments Sat, 28 Nov 2015 18:29:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=201130 061115-MLB-LA-Dodgers-Howie-Kendrick-PI-JE.vresize.1200.675.high.49

Howie Kendrick
Bats: Right — Throws: Right
Position: Second Base
Born: July 12, 1983 (Age 32)

I have heard many people say that former Angels and Dodgers second baseman Howie Kendrick is the right-handed Daniel Murphy. While I disagree on some levels, I can absolutely see where they are coming from.

Kendrick has been one of the most consistent hitters in the majors, and at second base, that is a very valuable commodity.  In 10 years (2006-2015), he has a solid  .293/.333/.423 slash line, as well as a .329 wOBA and 108 wRC+.

This past season was more of the same form the 32 year old, as he slashed .295/.336/.409 with nine home runs, 22 doubles, six stolen bases, and 54 RBI. He produced a 2.4 fWAR playing second for the Dodgers this season and is projected for the same production by Steamer in 2016.

Once a top tier defender at second base, he’s regressed over the years and in 2015 he had an appalling -12 DRS and -4.5 UZR, his worst season ever.

There’s not much else to say about this guy, what you see is what you get. He rarely gets injured and often gets on base. Of course, the question is, “Do the Mets need him?” That depends on the shortstop situation.

If the Mets opt to go with Wilmer Flores at short and Murphy walks, that leaves Dilson Herrera as the in-house solution at second base. Whether or not the Mets go after Kendrick depends on how invested they are in Herrera.

However, if the Mets pursue an outside solution at shortstop, Flores will probably slide over to second base and share some playing time with Herrera, leaving no room for Kendrick.

Contract: Kendrick will probably receive something in the range of a four-year deal worth $48 million. He will be 32 for the entirety of next season, so this contract would take him through his age 35 campaign. He turned down a qualifying offer earlier in November, so the Mets would need to forfeit their first round draft pick for the second consecutive year.

Recommendation: Pass. We have plenty of other options that satisfy our infield needs that won’t cost $12M per year plus a pick. He is a great player, but I don’t want to be paying a 35-year old Kendrick when current organizational top prospects will be ready.

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MMO Free Agent Profile: Tony Sipp, LHP http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-tony-sipp-lhp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-tony-sipp-lhp.html/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2015 17:24:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=200950 tony-sipp-211dbb559ada997b

Tony Sipp
Position: Relief Pitcher
Bats: Left — Throws: Left
Born: July 12, 1983 (Age 32)

A I’ve mentioned in many of my recent articles, I believe the most glaring and pressing need for the New York Mets this offseason is bolstering the bullpen – and more specifically – acquiring a left-handed reliever. The two best lefty relievers on the free agent market this Winter are Antonio Bastardo (MMO Profile) and Tony Sipp.

Sipp has long been an effective major league reliever, pitching for the Cleveland Indians and Arizona Diamondbacks, before really coming into his own in the last two seasons for the Houston Astros. Pitching since 2009, he has a career 21-16 record with a 3.50 ERA and 1.201 WHIP in 363.0 innings, striking out 392 batters and walking 165 (9.7 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9).

Last season, was by far his best, posting a 3-4 record with a pristine 1.99 ERA and 1.010 WHIP. Sipp exhibited an improved K/9 (10.3) and a much improved BB/9 (2.5) in 54.1 innings, sporting a 2.93 FIP.

While he is very effective against left-handed hitters, he is arguably a little better against righties:

RHH: .190/.245/.374,  4 HR, 6 2B, 38 K, 7 BB

LHH: .220/.287/.306 , 1 HR, 5 2B, 24 K, 8 BB

As you can see, left-handed hitters manage to get on base more often, right-handed hitters tend to display a little more power. Basically, Sipp is exceptional and effective against both, making him a nice commodity to have.

Sipp could provide the Mets with the effective reliever they need against lefty batters, while still being very effective against righties. Depending on who else the Mets sign, he could be a solid 7th or 8th inning man in front of closer Jeurys Familia.

Contract: Sipp is projected to fetch a two-year deal for roughly $10 million dollars.

Recommendation: Sign Him. There are other options I think the Mets should pursue before him, such as Antonio Bastardo, however I would be very happy if they acquired Sipp. He is effective against righties, but more importantly, he can get lefties out.

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MMO Free Agent Profile: Antonio Bastardo, LHP http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-antonio-bastardo-lhp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-antonio-bastardo-lhp.html/#comments Mon, 23 Nov 2015 18:08:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=200741 Baltimore+Orioles+v+Pittsburgh+Pirates+PIZTrtKpCGEl

Antonio Bastardo
Position: Relief Pitcher
Bats: Right — Throws: Left
Born: September 21st, 1985 (Age 30)

The Mets need a lefty in the bullpen, that much is certain. Sure they have other needs as well, but with top left-handed sluggers like Freddie Freeman and Bryce Harper in our division, being able to get dangerous hitters like them out is absolutely imperative.

The two highest profile left-handed relievers on the free agent market are Tony Sipp and Antonio Bastardo. Sipp is a very good pitcher, however he has opposite splits and he is more effective against right handed batters. Bastardo, on the other hand, is absolutely a lefty specialist and someone the Mets should be interested in acquiring.

Bastardo had a great year for the Pirates, going 4-1 with a 2.98 ERA, 1.134 WHIP and a 10.0 K/9 rate. He appeared in 66 games and pitched 57.1 innings, striking out 64 and walking 26. He did an incredible job as the Bucs’ setup man this season for closer Mark Melancon.

The Pirates used Tony Watson as their lefty specialist last season, but mostly because Bastardo was so good as a crossover reliever. But make no mistake that Bastardo is one of the game’s most filthiest relievers against left-handed batters.

Lefties batted a mere .138 (9-65) against Bastardo in 2015, with one home run and three RBIs (righties batted .207). In his career, lefties have batted .176 against him, so this season was not an outlier. When it comes to relievers on the free agent market, there are no surer bets than Bastardo in terms of getting left-handed sluggers out.

Contract: MLB Trade Rumors projects him to sign a three-year $15 million contract, while FanGraphs projects a two-year deal worth $8 million. With those contracts giving him annual salaries of $5 million and $4 million respectively, he is definitely affordable.

My Recommendation: SIGN HIM! The Mets should absolutely go and sign this guy, I don’t see any real reason not to. The Mets need a lefty specialist and he would perform admirably as one. However, Bastardo is more than just a one trick pony, he can also be used effectively against right-handers, making him a great 7th or 8th inning reliever as well.

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MMO Free Agent Profile: Jason Heyward, RF http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-jason-heyward-rf.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-jason-heyward-rf.html/#comments Sun, 22 Nov 2015 00:42:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=200555 Jason - Heyward

Jason Heyward
Position: Right Field
Bats: Left — Throws: Left
Born: August 9th, 1989 (Age 26)

Because of the Mets stellar starting rotation, having a good defense behind them is imperative. There is one free agent that provides consistently stellar defense, and that is right fielder Jason Heyward.

At just 26 years old, Heyward has already won three Gold Glove awards (2012, 2014, 2015). He played for the Atlanta Braves until 2014, so many Mets fans are well aware of his defensive exploits. Last year he played for the St. Louis Cardinals, and he continued his fantastic play in right.

And while his glove is one of his best attributes, Heyward can also impact a game with his huge bat. He is a career .268/.353/.431 hitter, and has stolen at least 20 bases and homered 20+ times, three times already in his young career.

Heyward had a tremendous offensive campaign in 2015. He batted .293 with a .359 OBP and .439 SLG in 610 plate appearances with a .346 wOBA, 121 wRC+ and a career high 6.5 WAR. The raw numbers included 33 doubles, 13 home runs, 60 RBI, 79 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases in 154 games for the Cards.

He finished 15th in MVP voting, two spots behind Yoenis Cespedes (13th) and three ahead of Curtis Granderson (18th).

Last year, he was vastly more effective against right-handed pitching, hitting .301/.364/.470 with 11 home runs against them, as opposed to .272/.344/.364 with two home runs against southpaws.

What makes Heyward so enticing is that he still has a lot of room to improve and his best is yet to come. Many scouts believe he has yet to reach his ceiling, so the team that scoops him up this offseason might get more than they hoped for.

Contract: According to MLB Trade Rumors, one GM thinks Heyward could sign an eight-year, $175 million deal with an opt-out clause after four years. This way Heyward could hit free agency again when he’s only 30 years old and in good position for another major contract.

Recommendation: Sadly, pass. While he is definitely a great young player, and extreme cost aside, the Mets have nowhere to put him. They already have promising Michael Conforto in left, Juan Lagares in center, and Granderson for two more seasons in right. The Mets are reportedly shopping for a center fielder to platoon with Lagares and will not make any big-splash signings like Heyward or Yoenis Cespedes. My guess is he either goes back to St. Louis, or heads north to the Cubs.

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2014 Mets Top Prospects: No. 1 Noah Syndergaard, RHP http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-1-noah-syndergaard-rhp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-1-noah-syndergaard-rhp.html/#comments Wed, 12 Feb 2014 16:00:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=139663 Top 25 Prospects syndergaard 1

1. Noah Syndergaard

Height: 6’6”
Weight: 240 lbs.
Age: 21
Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Noah Syndergaard has topped every 2014 Mets prospect list I’ve seen and mine is no different. At the time, Travis d’Arnaud was the main piece that convinced the Mets to deal R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays and Syndergaard was just an added prospect. At the time, scouts wondered if he would be able to stick as a starter or have to be moved to the bullpen. It turns out that Syndergaard might be the most valuable piece the Mets got in that deal.

With a rare combination of plus velocity and quality control, Syndergaard has the potential to top a rotation for years to come. Last season across St. Lucie and Binghamton, Thor posted a 3.06 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and a 133:28 K:BB ratio. It’s hard to say he’ll be as good as Matt Harvey was last season. It’s hard to say anyone will be as good as Matt Harvey was last season but I do think he will ultimately be better than Zack Wheeler. Wheeler has the better curveball right now but I think Syndergaard’s command will take him a very long way. He throws an easy 96 mph with a fastball that tends to run in on right handers and has the ability to consistently reach 98. His motion and delivery look effortless and he uses his height to induce a good amount of groundballs. Although his curveball is a little inconsistent at the moment, it has the chance to be an above average pitch at the major league level. His changeup has the potential to be an above average offering as well. With above average command, a plus fastball and two potential above average secondary pitches, it’s scary to think what Syndergaard can do at his peak.

Outlook: Ranked the number 3 RHP prospect for 2014 by MLB.com, Syndergaard’s future is brighter than Zack Wheeler’s shaved head. He is poised to make his debut around midseason; the same time that Matt Harvey made his in 2012 and the same time Zack Wheeler made his last season. With a little more seasoning in AAA Las Vegas, Syndergaard will look to refine his curveball and changeup, while continuing to locate his pitches effectively. The more he can, the more effective his devastating fastball will be. If he were to start the season with the Mets, I think he could easily get by in the middle or back end of the rotation with the stuff he has now. With more development, he has the potential to be an ace or number 2 starter at his peak. When Matt Harvey returns next season, he’ll be the ace of course but that does not mean Syndergaard can’t attain the status of one. Every Mets fan in the world is looking forward to Syndergaard’s debut this upcoming season and looking forward to him, Harvey, and Wheeler, pitching in the rotation at the same time even more. The future for Mets pitching is certainly promising and hopefully we catch an extended glimpse of it this season when Syndergaard is called up.

MMO TOP 25 PROSPECTS

1. Noah Syndergaard, RHP

2. Travis d’Arnaud, C

3. Rafael Montero, RHP

4. Dominic Smith, 1B

5. Kevin Plawecki, C

6. Wilmer Flores, 2B

7. Cesar Puello, OF

8. Amed Rosario, SS

9. Brandon Nimmo, CF

10. Steven Matz, LHP

11. Gavin Cecchini, SS

12. Jake deGrom, RHP

13. Dilson Herrera, 2B

14. Jeurys Familia, RHP

15. Michael Fulmer, RHP

16. Vic Black, RHP

17. Gabriel Ynoa, RHP

18. Domingo Tapia, RHP

19. Jayce Boyd, 1B

20. Luis Mateo, RHP

21. Jack Leathersich, LHP

22. Jeff Walters, RHP

23. Cory Mazzoni, RHP

24. Juan Centeno, C

25. Wilfredo Tovar, SS

Presented By Diehards

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Prospect Pulse: Jayce Boyd Will Be In The Mix In 2015 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/prospect-pulse-jayce-boyd-will-be-in-the-mix-in-2015.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/prospect-pulse-jayce-boyd-will-be-in-the-mix-in-2015.html/#comments Fri, 03 Jan 2014 21:10:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=113648 Jayce Boyd Photo by Petey Pete

Jayce Boyd, First Base

Bats: R Throws: R
Height: 6’3″ Weight: 185 lb.
Position: First Base
Age: 23 (Happy Birthday, Jayce!)
ETA: 2015
2013 MMO Top Prospect Rank: NR

Boyd was selected in the sixth round of the 2012 draft out of Florida State University. He played both third and first base while attending FSU, and put up very impressive college numbers. He ended his career at FSU with a .349 average, 20 home runs, and 160 RBI. He was a second team All-American in 2012, and after deciding to forego his senior season at FSU, he signed with a Mets and received a $150,000 signing bonus.

“I don’t see any problem with Jayce handling the minor leagues,” said the Mets area scout. “… I honestly see him in the big leagues in three, three and a half years.”

That quote should really be resonating with fans right now, as Boyd hammered the ball all season in 2013, and is showing no signs of struggling in the minor leagues up to this point. Not at Single-A, anyway. Boyd put up video game numbers in 2013 across Savannah and St. Lucie, but the true test comes in 2014 with Binghamton.

Year Age Tm Lg Lev G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG
2013 22 2 Teams 2 Lgs A-A+ 123 458 68 151 29 2 9 83 61 61 .330 .410 .461
2013 22 Savannah SALL A 65 249 40 90 16 1 5 46 35 32 .361 .441 .494
2013 22 St. Lucie FLOR A+ 58 209 28 61 13 1 4 37 26 29 .292 .372 .421
2 Seasons 177 659 86 199 38 3 14 102 86 91 .302 .383 .432
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/3/2014.

Boyd is a plus-defender at first base—he has soft hands, a strong arm, excellent footwork, and good range. Offensively, he makes good contact, and will profile as a guy that will hit a ton of doubles and always have a solid batting average. He is armed with a smooth, effortless swing and the barrel of the bat always seems to find the ball.

The biggest knock on Boyd seems to be his inability to produce the deep fly, and when you stand 6-feet 3-inches tall, the scouts have a certain expectation when it comes to homerun numbers. It doesn’t mean that the power isn’t there. Boyd has excellent power, but it is reserved for the gaps as of this point.

It will be interesting to see how the Mets handle Boyd going forward. Ike Davis was another guy that came out of college and had a similar offensive profile to Boyd. Davis was known for a high batting average, and not really for the long ball in college. The power was there, but he wasn’t a big homerun hitter. The homerun power didn’t start to manifest for Davis until Double-A.

While Davis is known more for his power, through their age 22 season in the minor leagues, Boyd and Davis were very close in OPS as shown in the chart below. It’s also interesting to see how the past two regimes handled their prospects differently—while the previous regime recognized Davis had an advanced college bat, he skipped over Savannah and was already completed with Double-A by the end of his second professional season—the current regime had Boyd stop off in Savannah, and end the season in St. Lucie (his domination of Savannah shows he should have been on a similar path as Davis, as it was an unneccessary stop).

Davis_Boyd

Boyd has the potential to be a twenty plus home run guy at the big league level. Hopefully the Mets will not look at his size and see that as a disappointment, and let Boyd continue making noise with his bat at the plate. Power is the last thing to develop, and with Boyd’s frame, there is potential.

Boyd is definitely a player that Mets fans will want to keep an eye on as he develops over the next couple of years. He could be at Citi Field by 2015, and should be climbing up everyone’s top prospect charts in the meantime.

prospect pulse mitch petanick

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Flashback: Prospect Pulse On Outfielder Juan Lagares http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/flashback-prospect-pulse-on-outfielder-juan-lagares.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/flashback-prospect-pulse-on-outfielder-juan-lagares.html/#comments Thu, 02 Jan 2014 19:30:55 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=106350 juan lagares

I thought it would be cool to look back at one of my very first Prospect Pulse pieces that I did here on MMO from about a year ago. It was on the Mets’ current centerfielder Juan Lagares.

I remember when I first wrote this, I didn’t think Lagares had a shot at getting to the big leagues until 2014 at the earliest. Matt den Dekker seemed to be all the talk headed into spring training for 2013, and I was definitely down with MDD at the time. Juan Lagares surprised many, and has become the perfect example of how you don’t always find guys that contribute to major league ball clubs ranked in the top five or ten prospects in an organization.

Enjoy.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Player Name: Juan Lagares
Bats: R  Throws: R
Height: 6’1”  Weight: 175 lb.
Position: Outfield
Age: 23 (turns 24 in March)
MMO Top Prospect Ranking: 21
ETA: 2014

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be taking an in-depth look at the prospects that will be joining the Mets in spring training as members of the 40-man roster. We are starting it off with Juan Lagares.

Background:

Lagares is what most would consider an under-the-radar type of prospect. You won’t find him on any top prospect lists, but after a very solid 2011 season, Lagares put himself on the map in the Mets organization. He split time in 2011 between Binghamton and St. Lucie and put up some pretty impressive numbers. In 470 at bats, he compiled a .338 batting average, hit 9 home runs, added 71 RBI, swiped 15 bases and finished with a .383 OBP. Yeah, that will turn some heads. His 2012 season took a bit of a dip, but he still put up some solid numbers.

Most analysts project Lagares as a left fielder, although he could probably play any of the three outfield positions. He has a nice athletic build, but seeing as he is turning 24, he probably won’t fill out much more (current weight is 175 lb.). That will limit his power numbers, but he still probably has the potential to be a 10-15 home run type of guy. Most believe his power numbers will limit him to a fourth outfielder role some day.

Analysis:

I’ve come across some scouting reports on Lagares’ hitting mechanics that have said he is ultra-aggressive at the plate. This is a cause of concern considering he isn’t much of a power guy. Lagares is a guy that has the potential to steal 20-25 bases in a season, so his goal should be to get on base as much as possible and to be ultra-patient at the plate.

After viewing the video on Lagares batting practice session above, a couple of things jumped out at me. Lagares opens his hips up slightly early, which is a tell-tale sign of over-aggressiveness at the plate. When I slowed down the video, it was very evident (not so easy to pick up during live speed). He should work on keeping his hips closed and allow the pitch to get closer to him which will make him a better overall hitter. If I were I pitcher I would pepper him with off-speed stuff on the outside half of the plate because that is probably his “cold zone.” You can actually see on the fourth or fifth pitch in his BP session how off-balance he was on an outside pitch. That is a pitch he should be driving to right-centerfield. By keeping his hips closed longer, it will allow him to drive the outside pitch, instead of taking defensive swings and fighting them off.

It also seemed like the bat head dragged through the zone. Lagares should be throwing his hands through the zone straight to the ball. Imagine a lumberjack chopping at a tree, which we don’t see with Lagares’ swing. This may not necessarily be an issue, and could just be the fact that he was trying to generate more power to put on a little show during batting practice. But his swing didn’t look very crisp in this particular BP session.

SNY took a look at Lagares last September on their Mets Minor League Report. Here is what Lagares’ coaches said about him:

It was nice to hear Binghamton manager Pedro Lopez say that Lagares can go as far as he wants to go. He also added that he believed Lagares was the best defensive centerfielder in the league last season. Lopez also stated that 2011 was a “Cinderella Season” for Lagares, and he had to live up to very lofty expectations in 2012. He may have fallen a tad short of expectation in 2012, but Lagares has a bright future. If he continues to work hard, maybe he can surpass the expectations that he will just be a fourth outfielder someday. Pedro Lopez seems to think he can. Depending on how he performs this spring, expect Lagares to begin 2013 with Triple-A Las Vegas.

PROSPECT PULSE

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Wright Goes Deep, Bats Come Alive In Mets 6-4 Victory http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/wright-goes-deep-bats-come-alive-in-mets-6-4-victory.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/wright-goes-deep-bats-come-alive-in-mets-6-4-victory.html/#comments Sat, 21 Sep 2013 02:27:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=129731 wright 221 homers

The Mets wasted no time getting things going in the top of the first. Eric Young doubled to lead off the game. Young stole third and was driven in by Daniel Murphy, and before Cole Hamels had recorded an out it was 1-0. David Wright then clubbed a homer to the opposite field and it was 3-0 before the Phillies had an at bat.

After a quiet second, the Amazins struck again in the third when Andrew Brown singled in Murphy to expand the lead to four.

Dice-K looked strong through three, but returned to familiar form in the fourth. Darin Ruf doubled down the line, clearing the bases and cutting the Mets’ lead to two. Hamels then helped himself out, grounding out to first base and bringing in Ruf.

After six, Dice-K was done. He actually had an okay line: 6 IP, 4H, 2ER, 3BB, 6K. He was relieved by Scott Atchison, who tossed a scoreless seventh.

The Mets added one more in the seventh off a Josh Satin single.

Vic Black and Pedro Feliciano combined for a perfect eighth and LaTroy Hawkins earned his eleventh save of the season in the Mets’ 6-4 victory, their 69th of the year.

For Wright it was his 221st career home run, passing Mike Piazza for second on the Mets’ all-time homer list behind Darryl Strawberry, who has 252.

The series continues tomorrow at 7:05. Dillon Gee will take the bump and face off against Tyler Cloyd.

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MMO Fan Shot: Impact Bats and Changing Fan Perception Are Top Priorities This Offseason http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mmo-fan-shot-impact-bats-and-changing-fan-perception-are-top-priorities-this-offseason.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mmo-fan-shot-impact-bats-and-changing-fan-perception-are-top-priorities-this-offseason.html/#comments Sun, 01 Sep 2013 16:07:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=128318 mets logo neon shake shack

Call me crazy, but…

I’ve been thinking about the Mets upcoming offseason and wondering what the team will do to improve. They have two problems to address:

1. Not enough impact position players on the team, particularly in the power department.

2. Recapturing the interest of fans, or in other words, convincing fans that the team isn’t “all talk and no action.”

Most of the free agent options discussed have drawbacks:

Jacoby Ellsbury has an injury history, varied production with not much power except for one year, plays a position that we actually have a decent option at, and Boras as an agent.

Shin-Soo Choo isn´t as high profile, but has great OBP skills and had decent speed. He is a strong defender in the outfield corners, but has Boras as an agent too.

Both of those players may involve the loss of the first round pick if the Mets don’t have one of the Top 10 protected picks. Other players, like Cody Ross, Carlos Beltran, and Curtis Granderson, have bigger questions.

robinson-cano

One player who I haven’t heard discussed in connection with the Mets, however, is Robinson Cano. Before you go crazy, let’s agree to put aside the cheap Wilpons won’t do it” and the “not Sandy’s style” comments for a moment.

Cano is the same age as Choo, and one year older than Ellsbury. He consistently plays 150+ games per year,and his career slash line is a very healthy .308/.355/.503. He’s good for 20-30 homers and around 40 doubles per year.

Cano is represented by CAA and JayZ, so the agent dynamic is an unknown. Recent speculation has suggested that the Dodgers may not jump into the Cano sweepstakes, given their existing salary commitments, upcoming Clayton Kershaw negotiations, and successful play on the field.

Who has the money to play this poker game? I don’t see a lot of teams with positional need and financial resources out there.
So close your eyes and imagine the following scenario:

  • Mets sign Cano to a 7 year $160 million deal, with a team option for an 8th year. His consistency, power (2B and HR), and OBP in the middle of the lineup would have a huge effect on Wright hitting behind him.
  • Mets sign Choo to a 3 year $45 million deal. His speed and OBP at the top of the order would be a huge improvement. If Choo didn’t sign, I’d go with either Eric Young Jr. until Cesar Puello arrives or a younger player is obtained via trade.) Assuming that the Mets release or trade Ike Davis and Daniel Murphy, who together would probably make $8.5 million next year in arbitration, this would give the team some money to help.
  • The Mets trade Wilmer Flores to a team that needs him at 3B or DH, perhaps in a package with Davis and/or Murphy, targeting high upside prospects or perhaps a young left-handed starting pitcher. The alternative would be to put him at first base and trade Lucas Duda.

Shin-Soo Choo

My Mets lineup would be:

1. Shin-Soo Choo - L
2. Ruben Tejada / Juan Lagares - R
3. Robinson Cano - L
4. David Wright - R
5. Lucas Duda - L
6. Travis d’Arnaud - R
7. Matt den Dekker - L
8. Juan Lagares / Ruben Tejada - R

Bench: Anthony Recker (or Juan Centeno), Josh Satin, Omar Quintanilla, Eric Young Jr ., Justin Turner.

Bullpen: Bobby Parnell, Vic Black, Gonzalez Germen, Scott Rice, Josh Edgin, Jacob deGrom, Carlos Torres

Rotation: Zack Wheeler, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, Rafael Montero, (Jacob deGrom, Carlos Torres, Jenrry Mejia, or new acquired player.)

The bench would allow for some platoons or substitutions when facing a particularly tough pitcher. Puello could slip in later in 2014 or in 2015, and compete with den Dekker.

Payroll Ramifications:

The projected payroll for the 25-man roster would be below $80 million (not counting Bonilla and Bay, etc payments).

With many young pre-arbitration players on the roster, the crunch years would be 2018-2020, when Matt Harvey, Wheeler, and Noah Syndergaard reach their free agent years. But Choo would be gone by then, likely replaced with young in-house talent. Interestingly, Wright’s salary decreases in those years, to $15MM in 2019 and $12MM in 2020, so that offsets the other salaries a little bit.

To me, adding Choo improves the top of the order with speed and consistent OBP, but without a long-term commitment. Adding Cano provides power and OBP from a non-traditional power position, and allows us to focus on outfield defense in Choo, Lagares and den Dekker; leaving room for Puello in the near future.

Yes, it’s a long commitment to a 30 year old, but most other options will be the same age and require the same commitment in years… unless you can trade for Stanton, but that would have an extremely high cost too, in terms of prospects.

It hasn’t been Sandy’s M.O. in the past, but maybe now that the bad contracts are gone he’d be willing to invest in a proven, consistent player who would improve the team for the long-term. And shake up the fanbase at the same time…

* * * * * * * *

This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader, Dave In Spain. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 22,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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Royals vs Mets: Slumping Young Bats Leadoff, 6-8 Hitters Batting Under .200 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/royals-vs-mets-slumping-young-bats-leadoff-6-8-hitters-batting-under-200.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/royals-vs-mets-slumping-young-bats-leadoff-6-8-hitters-batting-under-200.html/#comments Fri, 02 Aug 2013 19:36:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=126239 dillon gee

Royals Wade Davis (5-9, 5.50) at Mets RHP Dillon Gee (7-8, 4.13)

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Starting Lineup

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

Mets Notes

  • As the Mets enter August they look to build off the momentum from July. They finished the month 15-12 which was the third best winning percentage (.556) in the NL. They scored 128 runs, the fourth-most in the majors and their .339 on-base percentage was the fifth highest. The Mets look to continue the July momentum in August beginning with a 3-game weekend series against the Royals tonight at Citi Field.
  • RHP Dillon Gee, who has never faced the Royals before, will get his chance at Kansas City on Friday. Gee had gone a career-long 35 innings without allowing a home run until he gave up two in a row in his last start, a 4-1 loss to the Nationals.
  • LF Eric Young is batting .189 in his last ten games and .232 in his last 30 days as his numbers all continue to recede to his career norms that prompted the Colorado Rockies to DFA him and trade him to the Mets..
  • RHP Matt Harvey has yet to beat the Marlins in four starts. On Thursday, the All-Star struck out eight and walked none in 5 2/3 innings. But he also allowed five hits and three runs. He had allowed just one hit—a single by the opposing pitcher—and no walks through five innings. But the Marlins scored three runs off him in the sixth. The key play was Donovan Solano‘s two-run single on a nine-pitch at-bat that included six foul balls.
  • 1B Ike Davis continues to struggle. He struck out with two runners on in the first inning and fouled out with the bases loaded in the third.
  • 1B Lucas Duda, who is rehabbing an intercostal strain on his left side, went 0-for-4 in a high Class A game Wednesday. Duda could win the Mets’ first base job—currently a platoon with Ike Davis on the left and Josh Satin on the right side—but he has been slow to regain his form in the minors.
  • 3B David Wright, who tweaked a hamstring while stealing second base Wednesday night, started Thursday. He went 1-for-3 with a walk.
  • Travis d’Arnaud caught for the Binghamton Mets and went 1-for-5 last night. He is 8-for-31 since starting his rehab assignment for the GCL Mets and two games for Double-A Binghamton.
  • 2B Daniel Murphy did not start Thursday—it was a rest day for him, although he did strike out as a pinch-hitter. He is hitting .337 with 19 RBIs in his last 23 games. For the season, entering Thursday, he ranked sixth in the NL in hits (122) and ninth in doubles (26).
  • 2B Justin Turner started in place of resting Daniel Murphy Thursday against the Marlins. He doubled to left in his first at-bat and finished 2-for-4 with a walk. He is batting .381 with four doubles against the Marlins this year.
  • LHP Jon Niese (partially torn rotator cuff) made his second minor league rehab start Thursday. He pitched four shutout innings for Class A St. Lucie, giving up two hits while striking out four and walking one.

Game Preview

The Mets return to Queens tonight and open an interleague series against Kansas City Royals. Dillon Gee will take the mound for the Amazin’s. On the season Dillon is 7-8 with a 4.13 ERA over 124.1 innings of work. Overall in the month of July, 5 starts, he posted a 2.88 ERA over 34.1 innings of work. Not really surprisingly, Dillon hasn’t faced the Royals in his career but does have some official numbers against a few Kansas City batters:

Tejada 0-1
Cain 1-3, 2B
Escobar 2-3

The Mets bats draw Wade Davis tonight who was traded along with James Shields at the beginning of the season for Wil Myers along with other players from KC. Davis is 5-9 over 20 starts with a 5.59 ERA while pitching 104.2 innings this season. He is currently coming off of his best start in July where he threw 7 innings of scoreless baseball. Overall in July he threw four games totaling 22.0 innings with a 5.32 ERA. He has only pitched 1 inning against the Mets in his career (where he didn’t allow any runs) but he has faced a few Mets on record:

Buck 3-9, HR
Omar 0-2
Byrd 0-1
Davis 0-1
Recker 0-1

Lets Go Mets!

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Mets vs. Nationals: Wright Sits This One Out As Satin Plays 3B And Bats Second http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/mets-vs-nationals-wright-sits-this-one-out-as-satin-plays-3b-and-bats-second.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/mets-vs-nationals-wright-sits-this-one-out-as-satin-plays-3b-and-bats-second.html/#comments Sun, 28 Jul 2013 16:14:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=125954 carlos torres 2

New York Mets at Washington Nationals

Carlos Torres(1-1, 0.94 ERA) vs. Taylor Jordan (0-3, 3.68)

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Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young, Jr. – LF
  2. Josh Satin – 3B
  3. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  4. Marlon Byrd – RF
  5. Ike Davis – 1B
  6. John Buck – C
  7. Juan Lagares – CF
  8. Omar Quintanilla – SS
  9. Carlos Torres – RHP

Game Notes

Though he still remains a ways off from active duty, left-hander Jon Niese made his first Minor League rehab appearance Saturday for the Rookie-level Gulf Coast Mets. Niese, who has been on the disabled list since June 21 with a partial tear of his left rotator cuff, allowed three hits and four runs (two earned) in two innings against the Nationals’ affiliate, striking out one.

Despite Saturday’s loss, the Mets already have more wins over the Nationals than they had all of last season with five. The 2013 series stands at 6-5 in Washington’s favor, and the Nationals took the ’12 series, 14-4.

The Mets have officially set up their new six-man starting rotation, which they hope will allow both Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler to continue pitching through September. The six-man rotation requires a four-man bench, at least with seven relievers. The Mets currently have an all-righty bench with Justin TurnerJosh SatinAndrew Brown and Anthony Recker, although Collins said Satin and Turner can hit righty pitching. Collins added the Mets are prepared to be shorthanded in position players for at least a little while.

After sitting out a game and a half with a sore right knee, Eric Young Jr. was back in the Mets’ starting lineup Saturday, batting leadoff and playing left field. Young originally injured his knee Wednesday on the play that broke Braves pitcher Tim Hudson‘s right ankle.

Infielder Justin Turner, who left Game 2 of Friday’s doubleheader with soreness in his right shoulder and knee, was “still sore” Saturday, according to manager Terry Collins, but “able to play” if needed.

Collins said Saturday that there is “a possibility” reliever Jeurys Familia, who underwent surgery last month to remove bone spurs and loose bodies from his right elbow, could pitch again this season. But Collins also cautioned that he has “heard that before.” The Mets assumed at the time of Familia’s surgery that he would be done for the year.

Rehabbing prospect Travis d’Arnaud drove in three runs Saturday for the Class A Gulf Coast Mets, catching a full game for the second straight day. Outfielder Lucas Duda, who is also rehabbing an injury for the GCL Mets, went 0-for-4 Saturday and is hitless in 13 at-bats since joining that team.

MetsBlog reports that Terry Collins doesn’t think Mets will make any moves at trade deadline. Yawn…

Game Preview

The Mets wrap up their current series today looking for the series split against the Nationals after dropping yesterday’s game. Today Carlos Torres will take the mound in what is becoming an interesting discussion about the future of the rotation once Niese returns. Do the Mets go to a 6-man rotation with Torres and Mejia? Does Mejia stay a starter and Torres go back to the bullpen? Such questions are more in the hypothetical realm right now with Niese’s return more of a mysterious “soon” rather than a firm date. Torres will be facing Taylor Jordan.

Carlos Torres is 1-1 this season pitching in 12 games making 2 starts while pitching 28.2 innings with a 0.94 ERA. He has pitched 11.0 innings in his last two starts allowing 2 ER, one in each, and striking out 11 batters. He has pitched 2.0 innings against the Nationals this season allowing only 1 hit, no runs, 1 walk and striking out 3. The Nationals have the following numbers against him:

Hairston 1-3, 2B
Suzuki 1-1, 2B
Bernadina 0-1
LaRoche 0-1
Lombardozzi 0-1
Rendon 0-1

Taylor Jordan is 0-3 over 5 starts this season pitching 29.1 innings with a 3.68 ERA. In his last two starts he has pitched 13.0 innings allowing 7 runs, 6 earned while striking out 8. He made his major league debut against the Mets this season where he allowed 3 runs, 1 earned in 4.1 innings of work. The Mets have the following numbers against him:

Byrd 0-2
Murphy 2-3
Satin 1-2
Wright 0-2
Young 0-3
Buck 1-2

Lets Go Mets!

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Mets Stay Hot As Bats Come Alive Late In 9-1 Win http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/mets-stay-hot-as-bats-come-alive-late-in-9-1-win.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/mets-stay-hot-as-bats-come-alive-late-in-9-1-win.html/#comments Wed, 03 Jul 2013 04:02:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=123648 brown satin

The Mets defeated the Diamondbacks at Citi Field on Tuesday night by a score of 9-1. Jeremy Hefner earned his third win of the season with another solid start, and New York handed Patrick Corbin his first loss.

The game started slowly for both teams, with both Hefner and Corbin dealing out of the gate. Anthony Recker broke a scoreless tie with a solo shot to left in the bottom of the fifth, giving the Mets the lead until Martin Prado tied it with a bomb of his own in the seventh. In the bottom half of the seventh, Josh Satin (who else?!) gave the Mets the lead with a double, and after Andrew Brown walked, the Mets had the bases loaded with none out. Naturally, mother nature would have none of it, and the tarp came on the field.

A couple hours later, the game resumed and the Mets promptly blew the game open behind RBI hits from Recker, Omar Quintanilla, Eric Young, and Juan Lagares. The Mets would have had another run if not for a terrible call at home plate, but the game had been decided nonetheless. LaTroy Hawkins and Brandon Lyon tossed scoreless frames to finish off the D-Backs (but not before Quintanilla could tack on another RBI in the eighth), and the Mets sealed their second straight win over Arizona.

anthiny recker

Thoughts:

As I said last night (or rather this morning, after yesterday’s midnight finish), Satin is absolutely raking. He had another huge hit tonight, delivering the decisive RBI in the seventh. Eric Young is producing as well; these new guys are fun to watch.

Anthony Recker has a pitiful average, but he seems to have a knack for driving in runs. It feels like he gets a hit a lot more often than 15% of the time…

jeremy hefner

Another great start from Hefner tonight. The rotation is starting to step up, and with Wheeler in the big leagues and Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard not far behind, fans have to be excited about the state of our pitching. Hopefully, Jon Niese comes back healthy soon (although the pessimistic Mets fan in me fully expects disastrous results from his MRI scheduled for later this week). If the pitching can establish itself as a great strength, the team will be able to trade for bats (as well as spend a little on bats, if the Wilpons are being truthful when they say they are not broke) and become a contender at some point in the near future.

Lastly, can anybody remember a season where it has rained more often than in 2013? It feels like every game has had at least a drizzle, it was really coming down out there during the seventh.

The Mets will attempt to clinch a series victory tomorrow when they face the Diamondbacks in the third game of their four-game series a Citi Field. Matt Harvey (7-1, 2.00 ERA), our second best hitting-pitcher after Anthony Recker, will take on Randall Delgado (0-2, 4.05 ERA) at 7:10 PM.

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Gee Brilliant, Mets Bats Power 5-1 Win Over The Cards http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/gee-brilliant-mets-bats-power-5-1-win-over-the-cards.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/gee-brilliant-mets-bats-power-5-1-win-over-the-cards.html/#comments Thu, 13 Jun 2013 02:17:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=121862 marlon byrd

Dillon Gee was dominant for the Mets as they beat the St. Louis Cardinals by the score of 5-1 tonight at Citi Field to even the series at one game apiece.

It was the third consecutive solid outing for Gee who is 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA in that span. The righthander held one of the most potent offenses in the game to just one earned run tonight in 6.2 innings pitched, scattering just six hits and two walks while striking out seven. Just a tremendous effort from Gee who improves to 5-6 for the season.

The Mets roughed up highly touted pitching phenom Shelby Miller for three home runs tonight. Lucas Duda went deep in the fourth inning to put the Mets up 3-0, David Wright launched a towering drive in the sixth, and Marlon Byrd blasted his ninth homer of the season in the seventh to complete the trifecta. All three homers were solo shots.

Jordany Valdespin and Omar Quintanilla went 0-for-8 at the top of the order, but Mets 3-4-5 hitters saved the day going 5-for-11 with four RBIs and four runs scored.

The bullpen did the job with 2.1 perfect innings of relief from Scott Rice, Brandon Lyon and Bobby Parnell.

Breaking News: We cannot confirm or deny reports that Josh Satin was abducted by aliens en route from Las Vegas on Sunday. However we do believe that Satin may have become the victim of foul play at the hands of a menacing manager who goes by the name of Terry Collins and is known to prey on rookies.

With the win the Mets improve their record to 24-36. Weather permitting (there’s a wicked storm brewing) dueling aces square off with Matt Harvey (5-0, 2.10 ERA) opposing Adam Wainwright (9-3, 2.34) at 1:10 PM.

Lets Go Mets!

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Mets vs Cardinals: Spin Bats Leadoff As Niese Looks To Avoid The Sweep http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/mets-vs-cardinals-spin-bats-leadoff-as-niese-looks-to-avoid-the-sweep.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/mets-vs-cardinals-spin-bats-leadoff-as-niese-looks-to-avoid-the-sweep.html/#comments Thu, 16 May 2013 14:38:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=119044 jon niese

Starting Lineup

  1. Jordany Valdespin – RF
  2. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Ike Davis – 1B
  5. Lucas Duda – LF
  6. John Buck – C
  7. Rick Ankiel – CF
  8. Ruben Tejada – SS
  9. Jonathon Niese – LHP

Game Notes

The Mets (14-23) now have a season-high six-game losing streak for the second time in 2013. They have lost 14 of 18 to drop nine games under .500 this early in a season for the first time since May 13, 2001, under Bobby Valentine (also 14-23).

Terry Collins is frustrated, but remains hopeful. “It’s no secret. I mean, I don’t have a lot to say. We beat this horse to death here all week. Outside of a few innings, we’ve been in every game in the last week. We just can’t finish them. We cannot get a big hit. We cannot get a big out. We cannot make a big play when we need to. It’s a combination of things that has just happened. And that’s what happens when you’re going bad. And we’re going bad. And we’re going to get out of it.”

Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy has eight hits in his last 13 at-bats, quickly putting behind him a dreadful 0-for-17 slump. ”It’s tough to explain,” Murphy said. “Once you start feeling good and then you have some success for it, it just lends to more peace and less anxiety.” Murphy is hitting .280 on the year, with two homers and 16 RBIs. He is batting .358 on the road this season, the fourth- best mark in the National League.

Game Preview

The Mets and Cardinals play the final game of the series this afternoon where the Mets try to avoid losing 7 games in a row, a 4 game sweep and try to break out of this terrible offense funk. Last night Marcum wasn’t bad. He allowed 3 runs, 2 earned over 6.2 innings but the only run support the Mets had came from a 2 run homer by Ankiel. Besides that the Mets were completely flat again. Niese will try to play stopper as he goes up against Wainwright.

Jon Niese is 2-4 over 8 games this season with a 5.93 ERA over 41.0 innings of work. His last two starts have been some of the worse in his career as he allowed 7 ER over 4.1 innings and followed that by 4.0 innings 8 ER in his last outing. Last year he had one start against the Cardinals and it was quite good as he pitched 6.0 innings of shutout ball striking out 10 batters. The Cards have the following numbers against Jon:

Wigginton 4-10, 2 2B
Holliday 2-10
Molina 2-8
Jon Jay 3-7, 2B
Freese 0-6
Beltran 1-3

The Mets will finish off this series against one of the figures of lore in Mets nemesis history: Adam Wainwright. Wainwright is 5-2 this season over 8 games with a 2.30 ERA while pitching 58.2 innings and a Major League leading 2 complete game shutouts, including his last outing. That last stunning performance was the follow up to a weak 5.1 innings, 5 ER outing. Last season he was not effective against the Mets going 0-2 in as many games allowing 12 ER over 11.1 innings the Mets have the following numbers against Adam:

Wright 1-9, 2B
Byrd 3-11, 2B
Buck 1-8, HR
Davis 2-7, HR
Baxter 2-6
Duda 2-4, 2B, HR
Murphy 3-6, 3B

Let’s Go Mets!

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Bullpen Falters, Bats Silenced, Mets Dealt 6-3 Loss By Cards http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/bullpen-falters-bats-silenced-mets-dealt-6-3-loss-by-cards.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/bullpen-falters-bats-silenced-mets-dealt-6-3-loss-by-cards.html/#comments Tue, 14 May 2013 11:30:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=118722 daniel - murphy 2

The newest Met, Rick Ankiel, couldn’t hold onto Ty Wigginton’s sinking line drive for a double. Wigginton then scored from second on an infield hit off pitcher Scott Rice. Matt Holliday followed with a two-run homer, and just like that it was over and the Mets had their fourth straight loss, 6-3, at St. Louis to fall seven games below .500.

ON THE MOUND: Jeremy Hefner had his third straight quality start, giving up three runs in six innings. Hefner retired the last ten hitters he faced. Even so, the Mets are now 0-7 when he starts. … Rice and Scott Atchison combined to give up three runs on five hits.

AT THE PLATE: The Mets had four hits, three from Daniel Murphy. … Ten more strikeouts by Mets hitters, surprisingly, none by Ike Davis or Lucas Duda.

METS MATTERS: Reliever Frank Francisco has a mild strain of the flexor pronator in his right elbow. He will be shut down for 72 hours before he resumes throwing. … Outfielder Andrew Brown was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Ankiel.

THEY SAID IT:  “We aren’t scoring. I told him he got us to where we needed to be.’’ – Manager Terry Collins on Hefner’s performance.

BY THE NUMBERS: 12: Number of times in their last 16 games the Mets scored three runs or less.

ON DECK: Dillon Gee (2-4), Shaun Marcum (0-3) and Jonathan Niese (2-4) will be the Mets’ next three starters in this series against John Gast (0-0), Shelby Miller (5-2) and Adam Wainwright (5-2) for the Cardinals.

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