Mets Merized Online » Brandon Phillips Mon, 16 Jan 2017 11:00:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mets-Reds Matchup Suspended At 1-1 After Six Innings Sat, 27 Jun 2015 23:23:04 +0000 mets rain delay tarp

Saturday’s Mets-Reds game was suspended due to rain after six innings with the teams tied at 1. The teams will resume play tomorrow at 1:10 PM and finish the first game, before playing their scheduled game. The Steve Miller Band concert, scheduled for Saturday, will be held after the second game on Sunday.

Matt Harvey pitched well for the Mets, going six innings and allowing one run on five hits (it should have been no runs on four hits), striking out three and walking two.

The Mets had Reds starter Michael Lorenzen on the ropes early and often, but failed to do much damage, wasting doubles in three separate innings and leaving the bases loaded in another. Their lone run came on a solo shot from Curtis Granderson in the third.

Granderson Curtis

Granderson, however, failed to make a fairly easy catch in the fifth inning (the play was unfairly scored as a double), and the Reds ultimately tied the game on an RBI double by Brandon Phillips.

Harvey was done for the day regardless of the weather, having been pulled for a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning. Carlos Torres was introduced as the new pitcher before the game was called, so he will have to throw at least one pitch when the game resumes. The action picks up again tomorrow at 1:10 PM.

After the suspended game is done, Steven Matz (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his MLB debut and face Josh Smith (0-0, 12.00 ERA). Good Luck, Steven!

]]> 0
Efficiency From The Mets Bullpen Mon, 07 Apr 2014 12:00:52 +0000 USATSI jose valverde

Despite the Mets 2-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday, there was one bright spot worth noting, and surprisingly it came from the bullpen.

After a solid start by Jon Niese who tossed 6.2 innings in his return to the mound, the Mets bullpen took over with Gonzalez Germen, Kyle Farnsworth, and Jose Valverde combining to throw 3.1 scoreless innings.

Gonzalez Germen came on in the 6th inning with two outs and men on 2nd and 3rd. He walked the first batter on four pitches, but after that he was perfect. Germen got a groundout from Zack Cozart with the bases loaded to get out of the jam, and then stayed in for the 7th. He coaxed a pop out and two strikeouts, and his stat line for the day: 1.1 IP, 0 R, 0 Hits, 1 BB, 2 Ks.

Kyle Farnsworth came in to pitch the 8th inning and while he did give up a hit to Ryan Ludwick and a walk to Jay Bruce, he also got three big outs from some threatening Reds. He struck out Brandon Phillips, got Joey Votto to fly out and finally Todd Frazier to ground out. Farnsworth, who was called up when Bobby Parnell went on the DL, ended up with the following stat line for the day: 1 IP, 0 R, 1 Hit, 1 BB, 1 K.

Jose Valverde was the third Mets reliever to deliver the goods, and he has yet to allow a run in three appearances this season spanning 3.1 innings pitched. Valverde, like Farnsworth, assumed a new role when Parnell got injured, taking over as the team’s closer. His only blunder was a harmless single to Brayan Pena. Other than that, Papa Grande got Cozart to fly out, and then struck out Chris Heisey and Roger Bernadina. His stat line for the day: 1 IP, 0 R, 1 Hits, 0 BB, 2 Ks.

With the way the Mets bullpen has been struggling to begin the season, it was nice to see some solid performances as the Mets closed out their homestand. Just taking a positive out of a Mets loss.

Presented By Diehards

]]> 0
MMO Players of the Week: The Unlikely Heroes Mon, 07 Apr 2014 11:00:51 +0000 Opening week for the New York Mets certainly did not go as planned: bullpen woes, absent offense, game-changing injuries, silly defensive blunders and questionable managerial decisions all contributed to a rather frustrating 2-4 start. As most of the team becomes acclimated to their new teammates, however, some players are taking it upon themselves to rise above expectations early on in the season. To some fans, these early signs of life do not mean much to them, but here at MetsMerized we see differently; we like to call these three players our Players of the Week!

USATSI juan lagares


For a guy who was questionable to even make the major league roster, Juan Lagares is certainly the most surprising (and delightful!) person to see take this title in the first week. During the offseason, it was clear that the biggest question mark surrounding the Mets was Lagares’ ability to be a productive offensive force, but with his extraordinary work ethic and determination, he has made major improvements to his game at the plate. So far this season, he has drawn three walks while only striking out four times. While this is only a small sample size, anybody who has been watching the games can see the huge progress Juan has made with his plate discipline; he has been chasing far less pitches and is consistently working the count each at bat; not to mention he has shown early signs of power as well. If he can keep this up in addition to his established astonishing defense, it is not too far fetched to consider Juan a serious contender for the All-Star Team.

eric young jr


With all the drama surrounding whether this guy would be an everyday outfielder, the sudden injury to Chris Young thrust Eric Young Jr. into the leadoff and left field spot. He clearly did not do anything at the plate, but he did make some nice grabs in the field. Considering that there were little overwhelming defensive plays this week, EYJ gets the title due to his leaping grab to rob Brandon Phillips of a home run on April 4th, which was undeniably fantastic. EYJ was a pleasant product in the field last season, but his pitiful start and underwhelming arm really highlights his true nature as nothing more than a fourth outfielder. With Chris Young sitting on the DL, though, it is critical that EY keeps the great defense consistent for a few more weeks.

USATSI jenrry mejia Credit Brad Bar


There is no question now that Jenrry Mejia belongs in this rotation! I had the pleasure of experiencing Mejia’s start in person Friday night and I can sincerely say that a great amount of his off-speed stuff made the Reds hitters look absolutely silly. His slider was a fierce killer and his rising fastball in the misty rain was a harsh combination for any man at the plate. He went six innings strong, letting up a mere 4 hits and 1 run in a lineup featuring a 2-3-4 of Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. Although his 5 walks were a blemish that he will continue to hone, his 8 strikeouts were the most he has ever recorded in his young career. With pitchers like Wheeler, who has had exposure to the major league atmosphere, and Syndergaard and Montero not too far from Flushing, Mejia will have some fantastic company in a starting rotation that displays much promise for the Mets’ future.


Anthony Recker is a great guy to have as a backup to d’Arnaud, but nothing says this more than throwing out guys who are really, really fast. Recker is deserving for an honorable mention solely for his on-the-money throw to nail the overhyped rookie Billy Hamilton at second base during Friday’s game. This proved to be a huge moment in the game, as Hamilton being safe would have put the fastest runner in the league in scoring position with only one out.

Dillon Gee also gets a very worthy mention in this category for his very positive starts on Opening Day and Saturday’s come from behind win. Gee seems to be susceptible to the long ball early on, but his pitch count has stayed relatively low in conjunction to the innings he has pitched (averaging more than six so far). The interesting trend of Gee’s ERA climbing as the game goes on has been prominent in enough of his starts to render it logical to remove him after six innings and still considering his day a success. I do not doubt that Gee can work to close out his starts strong, but for now it may be safe to pull him if the strings start to fray late in the game. Otherwise, we can all enjoy watching him pitch gems for the first half of the game– if only the bullpen could hold down the lead for him!

Presented By Diehards

]]> 0
Yankees Have No Intentions Of Trading Gardner Sun, 15 Dec 2013 21:46:16 +0000 brett gardnerThe Yankees have “absolutely no intention” of trading Brett Gardner to clear room in center field for Jacoby Ellsbury or to fill a need elsewhere, according to team president Randy Levine.

Appearing Sunday morning on ESPN Radio’s “The Ian O’Connor Show,” Levine declined to comment on reports the Yankees rejected a Gardner-for-Brandon Phillips trade offer from Cincinnati but did say he fully expected Gardner to be in the Opening Day lineup.

“One will play left, one will play center, and it’s a tremendous defensive situation. So no there’s absolutely no intention to move Brett Gardner. We get inquiries about every single one of our players all the time, [GM Brian Cashman] listens, but there’s no attempt here to trade or move Brett Gardner.”

Last week, there were a few rumors circulating about a proposed Daniel Murphy for Gardner swap. But it was mostly non mainstream speculation with no factual basis.

Presented By Diehards

]]> 1
Mets Will Likely Keep Murphy Unless They Are Overwhelmed Thu, 12 Dec 2013 03:53:14 +0000 MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies

In a quick update to this post from yesterday, a team that likes Daniel Murphy and checked in on him told ESPN New York that the Mets’ asking price was “substantial.” That led the source to speculate that the Mets ultimately may hold onto the second baseman.

“The team that approached the Mets, by the way, had no interest in using Murphy as a second baseman. They would have restored him to a corner infield spot.”

I feel the same way and “I believe the Mets have no real interest in moving Murphy unless they are overwhelmed.”

That’s what I tweeted yesterday and I’ve had that hunch for about a week now…

Keeping Murphy for me is good news… I’ve always been with 28…

Original Post

One rival GM who we spoke to this morning, would not deny or confirm this morning’s report by Jim Duquette of Sirius Radio that the Mets asked the Baltimore Orioles for top prospect Dylan Bundy in exchange for Daniel Murphy.

However he did say,”If that’s true, there’s no chance they trade Murphy…Murphy is a nice little player, but I can’t see any team willing to part with a young live arm like that for his particular skill set.”

To add a little context here, going into the 2013 season, Bundy was the No. 2 ranked prospect by MLB’s Jonathan Mayo, ahead of Zack Wheeler, Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard.

More context. Would you trade Noah Syndergaard for Brett Gardner or Brandon Phillips?

That’s what I thought too…

That said, neither our guy or the exec believed there was any truth to the rumor…

Original Post 12/9

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York says that Alderson acknowledged the Mets won’t add another free agent of a Stephen Drew caliber and price tag unless a contract is subtracted from payroll.

Rubin also added that Alderson made it sound like Eric Young Jr. is not necessarily a reserve. Which seems to indicate that Daniel Murphy still could get traded.

Today the Mets have gone from passive to aggressive in their pursuit to trade Murphy. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Sandy Alderson is pushing very hard to deal heir doubles-machine Daniel Murphy.

MMO’s John Delcos spoke to one rival executive who said “it’s not a matter of if, but when” they’ll trade the popular Mets second baseman.

“There is certainly a market for him,” another team beat writer said, but Andy Martino of the Daily News disputes that writing that there’s “some skepticism among team execs that they will find many takers for Murphy.”

So there’s some mixed reactions to dealing Murphy, but nothing concrete other than an overriding sentiment that the Mets are anxious to move him.

Presented By Diehards

]]> 0
Hot Stove Report: Rangers Will Consider Trading Profar, Nats Looking For Another Ace Thu, 07 Nov 2013 01:37:53 +0000 jurickson profar

The Rangers are letting teams know they will consider trading infielders Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus and highly regarded shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar, according to major league sources. They have also made it clear to other teams they are not trying to dump salary and are adamantly opposed to picking up any part of a contract in order to facilitate a trade.

They have been in touch with other clubs, and general manager Jon Daniels is looking for offensive help at left field, catcher, and first base.

Profar, who turns 21 in February, is hitting .328 in 16 games in the Dominican Winter League.

Nats Want Another Ace

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Washington Nationals want to add an elite starting pitcher via a trade, according to major league sources. While Rays lefthander David Price is one obvious possibility, he says that Tigers righthander Max Scherzer would be an even better fit.

Rosenthal lists several reasons why Scherzer matches up well with the Nats:

• Scherzer and Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo have a history — Scherzer was Rizzo’s last first-round pick as Diamondbacks scouting director, going No. 11 in 2006.

• The Nationals are deep in young power arms and veteran late-inning relievers, both of which surely are on Tigers GM David Dombrowski’s wish list.

• The price in prospects for Scherzer, a free agent at the end of next season, would be lower than it is for Price, who is under club control for two more years.

• And, finally, the Nats maintain a strong relationship with Scherzer’s agent, Scott Boras, and might stand a better chance of signing the pitcher long term than most clubs.

I’m shocked to hear that the Tigers would trade Scherzer in the right deal, but apparently they are desperate for payroll relief and he’s due to make close to $14 million in arbitration before becoming a free agent after the season.

Scherzer, 29, led all of baseball with a 21-3 record with a 2.90 ERA and 0.910 WHIP, and finished second in the majors with 240 strikeouts. He’s expected to with the AL Cy Young Award.

The Nationals’ rotation, meanwhile, is fronted by right-handers Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann and left-hander Gio Gonzalez — and Strasburg is coming off surgery to remove bone chips from his surgically repaired right elbow.

Phillies Under Pressure

Rosenthal also reports that Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is feeling the heat and is encouraging his staff to seek creative, innovative solutions to turn the franchise around, and that they’ve  gone so far as to kick around a trade for David Price, according to major league sources.

Not only do they seem willing to part with top pitching prospect Jesse Biddle but even outfielder Domonic Brown could be part of a package. However, Rosenthal believes that the Phillies would likely get outbid by teams who have better younger players they would move for Price.

That said, Amaro has already made offers on “several” free agent players, according to Todd Zolecki of Zolecki believes the Phils have reached out to Nelson CruzCarlos Beltran, and Mike Morse.

One thing about the other teams in the NL East… They don’t wait for the market to develop like the Mets always do. In most instances the Nats, Phils and Braves attack the market early and aggressively.

Other Hot Stove News…

The Yankees are making provisions in case second baseman Robinson Cano signs elsewhere, writes Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. According to sources, they have already checked in with the Reds on Brandon Phillips who is said to be available in the right trade. The Reds won’t give away their gold glove, run-producer – who has a very affordable $50 million and four years left on his deal. The Yanks may also check in on Howie Kendrick of the Angels and Dan Uggla of the Braves.

The Rays and outfielder David DeJesus have agreed to a two-year, $10.5 million contract that includes a club option for 2016. The contract replaces the $6.5 million 2014 club option the Rays picked up on Sunday. DeJesus, who turns 34 in December, was acquired from the Nationals on Aug. 23 after beginning the season with the Cubs. He batted .341 at Tropicana Field after joining Tampa Bay and holds a .279 career average with a .353 on-base percentage.

The Colorado Rockies have interest in reliever Joe Smith who is now a free agent. The Rockies look to improve a bullpen that owned the National League’s worst ERA last season. Smith, a sidearm right-hander, fits the Rockies’ profile, inducing groundballs with efficiency while posting a 2.42 ERA over the last three seasons. The former Met reliever held hitters to a .235 average last year.

]]> 0
MMO Mailbag Tackles Brandon Phillips, Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury Mon, 21 Oct 2013 15:27:58 +0000 brandon-phillips

Brandon Phillips A Met? Don’t Bet On It…

Why is it that every quality player who becomes available or is on the block is suddenly looked at as the perfect fit for the Mets? Is it because it’s in our nature as Met fans to be dreamers like John Lennon?

Let me put a few MMO Mailbag pieces to rest in this one post. These questions were submitted to us this weekend and I’m going to combine them simply because the answers are short even if they are not sweet.

Brandon (appropriately) asks…

I read on MLBTR that Brandon Phillips will be traded this season by the Reds. I always liked Phillips and I still think he would add a lot of punch to the middle of the Mets lineup. What do you think we’d need to give up for him?

Joe D. replies…

We can speculate all we want as to what it would take to land Brandon Phillips, but the truth is that the Mets do not have an identified need at second base so any discussion is rather moot. Can we bring him on and then start shuffling players from one position to another just to force him into the equation and create a good fit? Yes, anything is possible. But the question remains why? Instead of jamming a round peg into a square hole, why not simply go after a square peg? The Mets have Daniel Murphy at second base, and while he is not perfect, second base is not a Mets area of focus right now. Additionally, if you are one of those who think Murphy’s offense at second base is not that great, how much worse will it look at first base? Thanks for the question.

Glen asks…

Being we didn’t sign Jose Abreu, why don’t we go after Brian McCann instead? I read that he is going to move to first base like Mike Napoli. Even if he gets a qualifying offer, all it costs us is a second round pick and not a first.

Joe D. replies…

Glen, I’m not sure where this McCann to first base narrative has been coming from, but he’s never played a game at first base in his career. I’d further add that most of his value comes from the fact that he’s one of the best offensive catchers in the majors. There are no plans in Atlanta to move him to first base, and even if that were to be the case, do you really believe the Mets would shell out $75 million dollars on the premise that McCann can play first base for them – sight unseen? What if he ends up like Mike Piazza? The fact is that McCann has averaged .250 – 20 – 60 over the last three seasons, do you want to overpay for that?

Original Met Fan asks…

What are your thoughts on Jacoby Ellsbury?

Joe D. replies…

Solid player who will cash in this offseason, but not one the Mets can afford despite the need. Someone will give him $100 million this Winter, but it won’t be Sandy Alderson.

]]> 0
NL Wildcard Preview: Reds at Pirates Tue, 01 Oct 2013 12:56:07 +0000 pnc

Last night was just the opening act, tonight the playoffs officially begin!

This year’s playoffs (minus not having the Mets) to me look to be very enjoyable on paper. I don’t think there is a team that I legitimately can say I have a strong feeling “should” win it all.

Tonight, the Pittsburgh Pirates welcome the Cincinnati Reds to beautiful PNC Park.

This is a tough game for me to predict because I do not think there is a baseball fan in the world rooting against Pittsburgh, unless of course your team is still alive. That stadium better be rocking tonight because those fans have waited way too long for this moment.

Francisco Liriano (16-8 3.02 ERA) will get handed the ball tonight, and it’s fitting that a guy who needed to revive his career is pitching for the Pirates in their first postseason game in 21 years.

Liriano will be opposed by Johnny Cueto who in just 11 starts is 5-2 with a 2.82 ERA. Cueto just returned from an injury on September 16th. So the big question for Cueto will be whether he can be the reliable/consistent starter the Reds have been used to or will the fact he’s only thrown 13 big league innings since June 29th be an issue?

Pittsburgh Pirates v Cincinnati Reds

The Pirates lineup got a makeover during the summer. What looked like a weakness didn’t necessarily become a “strength,” it just isn’t a weakness anymore. Adding Marlon Byrd and Justin Morneau brought a lot to this team, not only in performance but inside the clubhouse as well. It showed players like Andrew McCutchen that the organization believes in them.

The Reds lineup is definitely more explosive than Pittsburgh’s – but less consistent. When you get passed Shin-Soo Choo, Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, and Brandon Phillips – you’re not really too concerned.

The x-factor of course will be Billy Hamilton. Hamilton likely will not start, but he will be called on to pinch run late in the game if necessary. You can bet that Dusty Baker will be aggressive with Hamilton if the situation comes up. His speed is game changing, there’s no way around that.

With regards to the bullpen, I have to give the edge to the Reds. Don’t get me wrong, both bullpens are actually pretty solid. In fact, picking between the two is like debating between two borderline Hall of Famer’s – everybody can be right or wrong. The reason I go with the Reds is, I trust Aroldis Chapman in a big spot more than anybody coming out of the pen for Pittsburgh. This doesn’t mean he can’t be beat, it’s just me playing the odds.

I am probably in a minority when it comes to the manager’s. I like both of them, while many seem to use Dusty Baker as a dartboard. Say whatever you want about Dusty Baker, in 20 years he’s a .526 manager – that’s not easy to do.

When the Mets were looking for a Manager pre-Collins, I wanted Clint Hurdle (hooray for me?). I think he’s a great fit for this Pirates team and I think when you see both of these guys managing their clubs and getting the most out of their players, you see just how important a good manager really is.

So it’s time for a prediction. This is a tough one for me, because my heart is with Pittsburgh (my favorite ballpark) and I think it’d be amazing to see them make a serious run. However, my pre-season pick (and the team I laid money on this summer) was the Reds.

As much as I want to pick the Pirates, I am taking the Reds. I think this will be a 2-1 type game, and just for giggles I will take Billy Hamilton for the winning run with Chapman getting the save.

I would volunteer happily to be dead wrong here though. Who you got tonight?

]]> 0
Is Daniel Murphy Worth $4 Million Dollars? Thu, 22 Aug 2013 15:00:06 +0000 daniel murphy

I couldn’t help but notice something that was written on MetsBlog yesterday that suggested that Daniel Murphy was not worth $4 million dollars.

Murphy is eligible for arbitration each of the next two seasons, and I expect he’ll earn around $4 million in 2014. It’s plausible to think Alderson views Murphy as not worth his price tag, at that point.

It struck me as odd because I never viewed Murphy as being anything but a valued player on the Mets and by that I mean the relationship between his performances and what he gets paid. Even at $4 million I’d view him as a nice value.

Now this is not about whether or not we should trade Murphy or move him to the bench. Lets not pretend that once David Wright comes back, Sandy Alderson will have a decision to make regarding Murphy, Wilmer Flores and Ike Davis. You can’t play all three at the same time and something’s gotta give. I get that.

But lets limit this solely to whether or not Murphy is worth $4 million dollars. I decided to ask a few of our writers and this is what they had to say on the matter:


There is a stat that tells you what he was worth, but it’s based on WAR. It basically takes the total amount that every single free agent signed for this season, takes the three-year win value of those players and produces a cost per win. The reason free agents are used is because they are the only players that are for sale. Those specific players are the only players you can buy, and by nature, younger players’ value is artificially depressed due to the CBA requiring six years of service before free agency. Matt Harvey would be worth far more than $450,000 on the FA market.

I have absolutely no problem at all with the calculation. I actually think it’s a rather intuitive way to place value on ballplayers. The very crux of value is cost/benefit, so to take the value of each win is a great way to do it. The “wins” (WAR) is where I have an issue. Besides WAR, the nature of free agency is what bothers me about it. The very nature of FA is constituted of old, declining, barely useful players. I looked at the FA tracker for this season, and here’s the top ten contracts given to position players before this season based on AAV:

Hamilton $25
Upton $15
Swisher $14
Bourn $12
Victorino $13
Hunter $13
Laroche $12
Youkilis $12
Berkman $11
Pagan $10

That’s about $137 million this season on those ten guys. Their combined WAR? 10.8 Maybe by the end of the year you can get a 13 WAR from these guys. So that is going to severely skew the “worth” of a player starting next year. And with contracts like Pujols, Werth and A-Rod on the board, the numbers for this season were skewed, as well. I mean, using this year as a standalone, would you pay $10+ million for a one-win player? Because that’s what it cost on this year’s FA market. And it’s only going to get worse as fewer and fewer real good players hit FA, thus driving their price up. It is a real, real concern to Yankee fans that Cano is going to cost $200 million. And I can sort of justify it based on all these other contracts. But after Cano, who’s left? So if a team desperately needs to buy a bat, they have to pay what? 18 mil for Ellsbury or Choo? $15 mil for Beltran, Pence and Nelson Cruz? $12 mil per for Mike Morse? Granderson?

Yes there is a stat. I think it’s a good stat, even a great calculation, but it’s components are severely flawed. Back to Murphy. His “value” this season thus far is $10.6 based on his 2.1 WAR. While I do think Murphy is worth $4 million, if the contingency plan makes the Mets a better team, then his dollar value is moot. If the Mets are convinced that the best infield they have for 2014 doesn’t include Murphy, (and I think we can all make a case that it doesn’t) then that $4 million could be better served paying someone else. Even as a reserve/bench player, that’s a lot to pay a backup. All that’s the long answer. The short answer is, probably yes.

Jacob Resnick

Wow this is kinda crazy. Daniel Murphy is basically the prototypical two hitter who gets hits over 30% of the time and is a potential 35+ doubles guy, so he sets up RBI opportunities for David Wright. Yes he’s not a Brandon Phillips or a Chase Utley, but he sure is going to hit and play defense. And if you ask me, Daniel is having a career year! There’s no telling that can get better.

Ed Marcus

Yes, he is definitely worth $4 million, but I think That Sandy may be inclined to trade Murph this offseason for either a outfield power bat, shortstop or middle relief help . My feeling is that he may be slotting Wilmer as his second baseman next season – just a theory though

Connor O’Brien

Without a doubt he’s worth $4 million. This is a very crude way of looking at it, but it proves the point nonetheless. One Win Above Replacement on the open market right now is going for about $5 million, and the cost is only rising by the year. Teams are spending more per WAR of production. Murphy has put up fWAR marks of 0.9, 1.0, 2.8, 1.3, and 2.1. Every year he’s played for the Mets, he’s been worth over $4 million, even in his 49 games in 2008.

Last year, the metrics and what I saw from Murphy put him at a well-below average fielder. He had a -11 DRS and -10.2 UZR at second base alone last year. Even with those horrible defensive marks, he had a 1.3 fWAR, worth almost $6 million. This year, the metrics like him much better on defense (and we’ve seen some improvement out there), giving him an fWAR of 2.1, which would cost roughly $10.6 million on the open market. He has seen his production at the plate go from slightly above average to slightly below, but he has been worth well over $4 million. Even if he reverts back to last year with the glove, the $4 million is still a bargain.

The real question is whether you want him as your long-term second baseman. It’s important not to get the two confused. He is worth the money, but whether you want him as your everyday second baseman going forward is still up for debate.

* * * * * * * *

As I said, there’s no telling whether Murphy will still be here and playing second base next season. I still think he could be a valuable reserve player who can give the Mets 350 at-bats easily over the course of a season. He can play three infield positions and would render Justin Turner as the odd man out. I’m not ready to let Murphy go, but based on what he’s done and what he’s capable of, he’s certainly worth every penny of that $4 million dollars if that’s what he gets in arbitration.

]]> 0
AL Defeats NL 3-0 In Mid-Summer Classic Amid Some Memorable Moments Wed, 17 Jul 2013 04:29:11 +0000

Well the 2013 All-Star Game has come to a close as the American League defeated the National League by the score of 3-0. It was the lowest-scoring All-Star Game since 1990, when the AL earned a 2-0 victory.

I loved the Opening Ceremonies and it was great to see Carlos Beltran and Mariano Rivera get some nice ovations, but not nearly as loud and boisterous as the ovations for the Mets All-Stars David Wright and Matt Harvey.

USP-MLB_-All-Star-Game matt harvey

Matt Harvey was greeted by a first pitch double by leadoff hitter Mike Trout, but then went on to pitch two scoreless innings and facing eight batters while striking out three.

Things got a little scary when he hit the Yankees’ Robinson Cano just above the knee and he was removed from the game. Harvey apologized to Cano afterward and it looks like the All Star second baseman will be fine.

“The last thing I wanted to do was go out there and possibly injure somebody,” Harvey said.

david wright

David Wright, who has now made more All-Star Game appearances than any other Met in franchise history (7), went 1-for-3 with a single. This will end a whirlwind three days for Wright who was running around all over the city as the face of the Mets and the face of this All-Star Game, acting as the unofficial ambassador and saying all the right things.

“I’m glad that I could help promote this game,” said Wright. “I’m glad that I could help represent the New York Mets. I look at is as trying to be a good host. I think I’m trying to be a good ambassador for the game and then obviously trying to be an ambassador for the New York Mets. That’s kind of the responsibility that I feel.”

Some of the in-game entertainment included was Candice Glover singing the National Anthem, Marc Anthony singing God Bless America, and Neil Diamond singing Sweet Caroline. When I first heard Diamond would be appearing I thought it was silly, but then I learned it was to honor the bombings in Boston. Both Diamond and Anthony absolutely energized the crowd.

mariano rivera

Then Mariano Rivera came out to pitch the eighth inning and it was the highlight of the evening for me. That’s what I will remember most about this All-Star Game. Citi Field blasted Metallica’s Enter Sandman while players and coaches in both dugouts came out and applauded him while the crowd gave him a 4-minute standing ovation. It was quite a moment and everyone was on their feet.

Rivera was named the All-Star Game MVP for his 1-2-3 inning. Afterward, he was to emotional to speak, but eventually got out a few choice humble comments. Classy as always.

All in all it was a great Mid-Summer Classic and the largest crowd in Citi Field history nearing close to 42,000 fans including standing room only.

harvey wright

Original Post 3:30 PM

The starting lineups for tonight are…

American League

  1. CF: Mike Trout, Angels
  2. 2B: Robinson Cano, Yankees
  3. 3B: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
  4. 1B: Chris Davis, Orioles
  5. LF: Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
  6. DH: David Ortiz, Red Sox
  7. RF: Adam Jones, Orioles
  8. C: Joe Mauer, Twins
  9. SS: J.J. Hardy, Orioles

Starting pitcher: Max Scherzer, Tigers

National League:

  1. 2B Brandon Phillips, Reds
  2. RF: Carlos Beltran, Cardinals
  3. 1B: Joey Votto, Reds
  4. 3B: David Wright, Mets
  5. LF: Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
  6. C Yadier Molina, Cardinals
  7. SS: Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
  8. DH: Michael Cuddyer, Rockies
  9. CF: Bryce Harper, Nationals

Starting pitcher: Matt Harvey, Mets

]]> 0
Making The Case For A Daniel Murphy All-Star Bid Tue, 04 Jun 2013 12:00:40 +0000 daniel - murphy 2

Amid a season that has been for the most part filled with disappointment and under-performance, a bright spot shines bright on this 22-32 New York Mets ballclub, and that beacon of light is named Daniel Murphy.

Murphy has emerged alongside David Wright as a primary source of offensive production on the year. Batting a cool .291/.323/.441 clip, his first two months of the season have put him on a pace for a total of 186 hits, 12 homers, 76 RBIs, 102 runs and 54 doubles.

The 28-year old has bounced all over the diamond with the Mets, and as we discussed in my interview with Murphy last month, he has found himself at home at second base. After a transition period that has taken now several seasons, Murphy has finally taken hold of his new position.

His emergence could not have come at a better time, as offensive production out of second in the National League has been hard to come by in 2013. Murphy is in the top three of nearly every offensive category for NL second baseman and is tied with Jay Bruce for the league-lead in doubles with 18.

His success has not only been limited to his turns at-bat as he also has helped to turn a league leading 40 double plays for second baseman.

Presuming Brandon Phillips gets an all-star nod, Daniel Murphy should without a doubt be on the roster at least as a reserve. His primary competition will be Marco Scutaro, who leads NL second baseman with a .329 batting average and is second only to Phillips in OPS with .808. With Giant’s skipper Bruce Bochy making the reserves selections, odds are he could go with his guy in Scutaro over Murphy, putting Murph in a situation where he may have to win the starting nod outright in the fan voting.

Wright will likely have his annual battle with Pablo Sandoval again, while Murphy could be in a three-way dog fight with Phillips and Scutaro for the job.

With the All-Star Game in Flushing for the first time in nearly 50 years, one can assume both Wright as well as Matt Harvey will be selected, however given the year Murphy has had, he deserves to be included as one the Mets to represent the host team on July 16th.

]]> 0
Some Observations During The Mets’ Four-Game Winning Streak Thu, 30 May 2013 16:11:37 +0000 wright davis

After a brief hiatus taking finals, I’m back to subject myself to more repetitive anxiety by watching Mets games.

It’s been interesting to step away for a week and come back with a fresh perspective. Things have changed a bit. The Mets have a four-game winning streak for one.

There are some things that haven’t changed—or they’ve gotten worse. Here are a few observations I’ve made over the last week:

Lucas Duda is improving

I like what Duda has been doing at the plate lately. In the last seven days he’s batted .320 with eight hits, one home run and five RBIs. His OBP is also .346 in that stretch. His numbers aren’t sexy, but they’re solid. He’s not taking the first pitch every time anymore. If it’s a first pitch fastball, you’ll usually see a healthy cut from Duda. That’s a promising sight for an RBI guy like him. If he can improve on his already successful plate discipline, he could be poised for a productive year. He should be a lock in the three or four spot. I almost like him better batting third because it gives David Wright, a better hitter, more chances to hit with more runners on base similar to the Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips tandem in Cincinnati.

Ike Davis is appalling

I know. We’ve all heard it so much, but it bears repeating as long as he stays in the lineup. You know a guy’s going badly when the nicknames for him on Twitter start getting creative.

  • Strike Davis
  • Ikkke
  • Ike Vegas

The list goes on. Don’t be deceived by his recent 2-for-4 performance Mets fans. His approach at the plate still needs a lot of work. His hands are so low when the pitch comes in it’s amazing he can even make contact. He’s doing a lot of flailing during at-bats even when he winds up with a hit. His multi-hit game might even make things worse for the team. He could get enough slack to start another horrendous slump.

Matt Harvey is putrid

Okay, maybe putrid isn’t a good word. I just like classifying his pitches in words like “filthy” or “disgusting.” That’s what Harvey’s been even on off days. He now holds a tidy 1.83 ERA with 84 strike outs and 17 walks in 78 innings pitched, but is only 5-0. I’ve expressed my fears about this situation. Onus isn’t put on the win-loss record so much, but you can see Harvey getting visibly frustrated during these games. When Brett Gardner scored the Yankees only run in Tuesday’s win, Harvey’s rage was too much to contain. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but mark my words; he’s going to wear himself out mentally and physically if he doesn’t get more run support.

Daniel Murphy is the model of consistency

Remember when Murphy was in a 9-for-61 slump? Me either. Double Dan is back to his old ways with four doubles in the last seven games and batting over .300 again. So far, this is the third season in a row where Murphy has been putting up these kinds of numbers and it looks like he’ll end up around .300 for the third-straight year.

What are your thoughts during the current streak?

]]> 0
Choo Could Be Impact Outfielder For Mets In 2014, But Would Cost A Pick Tue, 21 May 2013 17:49:54 +0000 Shin-Soo Choo

Updated Post 1:44 PM

MLB Trade Rumors just posted something that would add to the debate on Choo as a potential acquisition for the Mets in 2014. I also updated the original post to indicate that Choo’s best position is right-field.

Of course, as with most free agents, Choo’s next contract will cover post-prime years, perhaps age 31-35.  With Boras doing the negotiating, we can’t rule out a sixth year or a salary in the $18-20MM range, plus the loss of a draft pick.

Are you guys ready for another Winter of debating the loss of a pick, even if in the Mets case it’s a second round pick based on where this season is heading?

Original Post 12:44

Tyler Kepner of the New York Times, had an article this morning suggesting the Mets should make a strong attempt at signing Reds center fielder Shin-Soo Choo if they are serious about contending in 2014. Choo is a free agent at the end of this season.

Choo, 30, was acquired by the Reds in the offseason for highly regarded shortstop prospect Didi Gregorious and outfielder Drew Stubbs. According to Kepner, Cincinnati Choo was charged targeted Choo to fix their problems in the leadoff spot, which produced a .254 on-base percentage last season. So far, Choo has delivered in a big way, ranking second in the National League with a .455 on-base percentage.

The Scott Boras client has always been able to hit for average and get on base as his career .386 OBP would attest. Going into this season, he has averaged 38 doubles and 90 runs per season in his career. He also can give the Mets power and speed while providing solid range and defense in center field, though right field is his best position. The left-handed batter has averaged 15 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a typical season for him and is on a pace to smash both of those marks in his walk year with the Reds.

“He’s the big reason why we are where we are right now,” said Brandon Phillips of the Reds, who hold the second-best record in the National League. “Playing against him when he was with the Indians, I always told everybody he’s one of the best all-around players in baseball — underrated. Right now he’s just being himself. It’s a blessing to have him over here.”

Kepner also adds that the South Korean native, might be a sensation in New York, whose metropolitan area has the second-largest Korean population in the United States, behind Los Angeles.

Obviously, I love Choo and had wanted the Mets to go after him last offseason, and even though he’ll be a year older I would still have no problem bringing him on board for the 2014 season and beyond. I’m assuming it would require at least a four-year commitment and the bidding from other teams will be aggressive. That’s the part that frightens me – or should I say frightens Sandy Alderson. You see, I’ll maintain what I’ve been saying all along about him and that is that he doesn’t have the stomach for these types of negotiations. To quote myself from last October, “Alderson doesn’t have the ability to go after a desirable and marketable free-agent, it sin’t in his DNA.”

There will be other outfield options out there next offseason, assuming they are not re-signed. Jacoby Ellsbury and  Carlos Beltran are among them.

The problem is will Alderson be willing to spend and come out strong?

Or will it be another Winter of waiting for the market to settle to his liking, which of course never happens leaving him to scamper and pick the bones of whatever carcass he can find on the scrap heap?

]]> 0
Byrd Homers, Marcum Still Winless, Mets Fall To Reds 4-3 Tue, 21 May 2013 09:38:39 +0000 For a while, it looked like Terry Collin’s weird lineup choice going into the evening would actually work when Marlon Byrd ripped a three-run home run in the bottom of third. Perhaps unsurprisingly, however, the Mets would fail to score again the rest of the night and could not stage a comeback after Jay Bruce hit a go-ahead home run off Shaun Marcum in the sixth. To be fair to Marcum, he handled the Reds lineup pretty decently considering all things. His tough inning was in the first, where he allowed three runs off RBI hits from Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce. He did strike out seven over six innings, and did retire ten straight at one point in the ball game.

Ike sad

The issues of the night were compounded, however, by some bad work on the field from Ike Davis – who was really struggling in every aspect of the game tonight. Davis was called for an interference error in the first that moved Votto up a base into scoring position. In addition to that, he grounded out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the first when he had a chance to redeem himself. Davis entered the game in a 1-for-30 slump and finished 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. He was actually double switched out in the sixth inning.

The Mets never really showed much life after the three-run home run, allowing opposing starter Johnny Cueto to retire the last eight batters he faced. Latroy Hawkins did some dancing out of trouble in the seventh and shared some words with HP Umpire Tom Hallion, who incorrectly awarded a HBP to Brandon Phillips. Terry Collins left the dugout to argue three times over the game, and was ejected alongside Hawkins.

The Mets continue their series at 7:10 tomorrow when Jon Niese takes the mound for the Amazins’ against Mike Leake.


]]> 0
Rod Barajas Seizing The Moment Thu, 06 May 2010 13:14:06 +0000 Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. 
When Omar Minaya’s failed dalliance with Bengie Molina culminated in the late February signing of veteran backstop Rod Barajas, he hit on Black Jack, Number 21.
Barajas has not only provided long-distance service, from a previously power starved position, he should also be credited (and Henry Blanco) with gaining the trust of the young pitchers on the staff.
For a catcher, it’s all about the relationship he shares with the hurler.  Can he motivate him-kick him or cajole him, and execute the game plan?  Can he bring out the best and guide him through the many bumps in the road?
Conversely, can the pitcher have absolute confidence, in not only his pitch-calling, but receiving abilities? ”If I bounce the breaking ball can he block it?” That swirls often in the pitcher’s head. 
(The less that runs through a pitcher’s mind the better chance at winning-its called, ”The “uncluttered mind”. Remove the road block named doubt and success follows.)
If you don’t think the new catching tandem hasn’t helped John Maine, Oliver Perez, and Mike Pelfrey immensely, you have been watching the American League too much.  Think about the aforementioned trio in terms of personality; Maine’s bark (at himself) is harder than Mike Tyson bites on an ear of corn or flesh. 
Perez is a pitch-by-pitch adventure, but when he can get in a groove and commands his repertoire, is capable of Monday night’s line: 6 innings, 6 hits, and 2 earned runs.  The Mets will gleefully sign for that every fifth day.
Finally, his last start not withstanding (because the Phillies also torched Johan Santana) Big Pelf has been the Mets best starter this season, hands down.
By the way, Maine’s performance Tuesday night was his best of the year.  The only noise maker a Brandon Phillips (love to have him at second base) first inning bomb.  Nevertheless, the rest of his performance virtuoso; a four-hitter over six innings, and one earned run (and still kicking himself afterwords no doubt).
Getting back to the backstops.  They have all nurtured the Mets pitchers, and don’t forget the lefty with the most upside-Jon Niese.  Barajas’ lethal stick is a bonus.
His latest 9th inning blast was his team leading 7th, and kept the Mets out the extra frames that the Reds excel in.  The drama was even kept to a dull roar when K-Rod greased the Little Red Machine to close shop.
After losing three straight, Hot Rod seized the moment and morphed into the catching version of the “stopper.”  Say what you want about Minaya’s stewardship, signing Barajas was a stroke of blind luck.
So a season that looked to be dashed and trashed (sorry Clyde) two weeks ago has a modicum of optimism attached.  The Phillies may be a powerhouse over the long haul, but the Mets can-and should contend for a Wild Card.
Barajas won a big pot on this road trip, but Minaya is the proverbial blind squirrel who found an acorn this winter, and 21 beats the house every time.

]]> 0
Like It Or Not, Castillo Is As Good As Gone Thu, 12 Nov 2009 18:19:43 +0000 Deal with it Mets fans. They say where there’s smoke there’s fire, and right now there is an inferno raging where Luis Castillo is concerned.

Debating whether Luis Castillo should stay or go has been a fun and interesting exercise for Mets fans lately, but the fact of the matter is we have no say in determining Castillo’s home field next season. Those who do have a say have made it perfectly clear by their actions and the information they are intentionally leaking to the press.

Since last week, the buzz from the rumor mill has been that the Mets have their sights set on free agents Orlando Hudson and Chone Figgins.

Regarding Figgins, Joel Sherman of the NY Post wrote,

Though they are fixated on adding a power bat such as Matt Holliday or Jason Bay, the Mets are in the words of an involved party “absolutely in” on free agent Chone Figgins.

Jerry Manuel is a huge supporter of going after Figgins. He sees Figgins’ speed as a huge asset, specifically at big Citi Field. He thinks Figgins’ versatility would help the Mets if they had another spate of injuries. And he believes that Figgins could serve as a top-of-the-order influence on Reyes.

Today, Adam Rubin of the Daily News adds more clarity to the matter of trading Luis Castillo.

Trying to rid themselves of an ill-advised contract, the Mets shopped Luis Castillo during the GM Meetings that concluded Wednesday. Still, despite the veteran second baseman hitting .302 this season and staying healthy, GM Omar Minaya may have a difficult time moving Castillo.

The Chicago Tribune reported the Cubs are interested in Castillo and are attempting to rope in a third team such as Tampa Bay or Texas as a way of finding a landing spot for Milton Bradley. Moving Castillo would open second base to Hudson, who again is a free agent. The Mets also have expressed interest in Chone Figgins, who is represented by the same agents as Castillo and David Wright. Figgins would provide solid defense in left field, although he wouldn’t address the team’s power deficiency. The Mets reportedly may be interested in using Figgins at second base.

The talk about who the Mets should get to replace Luis Castillo is valid. Last off season, Omar Minaya on several occasions adamantly stated that Luis Castillo would not be traded. This offseason however, he has made no such assurances to his second baseman. The fact that Castillo was nearly close to becoming a Cub is now no surprise, and there’s still a chance that it may get done sooner rather than later.

The question now becomes who will play second base for the New York Mets in 2010?

We now know that Orlando Hudson and Chone Figgins are clearly in the mix, and yesterday fellow MMO writer Phil Hoops, mentioned the Reds’ Brandon Phillips who could be part of a major housecleaning and payroll trimming in Cincinnati. Another option could include Detroit’s Placido Polanco. Interestingly, both Polanco and Hudson won gold gloves for their stellar defense at second base.

What I find to be most curious about this entire situation is this,

With all the other areas of concern this team needs to address, isn’t it peculiar that they would begin the off season by focusing on the one area that was actually pretty good in 2009? In fact, another of our writers, Jessep, wrote an appropriately titled post, “Quit Focusing on 2B!” Unfortunately, Omar Minaya has never looked to a blog for advice, and he’ll go on doing whatever he and his trimmed down posse of advisers want to do.

All we can do is debate the merits of it.

If I had to rank the options in my order of preference, I would do so like this:

1. Chone Figgins  2. Brandon Phillips  3. Placido Polanco  4. Orlando Hudson

It’s not that I don’t like Orlando Hudson, it’s that I no longer see him as that much of an upgrade to Castillo. As for my first three choices, they would appear to be major weapons in their own right and significant upgrades to Castillo. Figgins plays a several different defensive positions and his offense is unquestioned. He led the league in walks last season, batted .298 with a .398 OBP, scored 114 runs, and stole 42 bases.

]]> 0
Forget The O-Dog, Mets Should Pursue Brandon Phillips Wed, 11 Nov 2009 14:52:33 +0000 With the Winter Meetings already underway, Mets GM Omar Minaya (or according to some, Jeff Wilpon in disguise) is faced with the daunting task of building a World Series contending team for 2010.

Aside from the obvious needs of a left fielder and a top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher, Minaya has made it clear that the team will be looking to upgrade at second base.

This past week there have already been rumblings about a potential deal that would send the incumbent, Luis Castillo, to the Chicago Cubs.

If Minaya is able to move Castillo, the talk is that the team will pursue the guy they let get away last season, Orlando Hudson.

Hudson seems to be a pretty good fit for the team. He is noted as being a good clubhouse guy, has produced consistently over the past five years or so, and according to numerous sources, wants to play in New York. However, what if the Mets could do even better than Hudson?

According to Ed Price and Jeff Fletcher of AOL Fanhouse [Hat tip to MLB Trade Rumors for the link], the Cincinnati Reds are in cost cutting mode after a large drop off in fan attendance. As a result, in an effort to remain financially sound, the team is looking to unload some of their pricey veterans.

At the top of the list is All-Star second baseman, Brandon Phillips, who has two years and $17.75 million left on his contract along with a $12 million club option for 2012.

To a struggling small market team, like the Reds this contract looks horrendous. However, to the Mets the contract doesn’t nearly look so bad, especially when you consider that they owe Castillo $12 million for his two remaining years of service.

The question that still looms is that if the Mets can trade Castillo, which second baseman should they pursue?

To answer this let’s take a look at how both Phillips and Hudson performed last season.

Both players totaled roughly the same amount of at-bats last year. Both of their averages are similar, with Hudson having slightly better numbers.

However, the power numbers are where Phillips really shines. Last season alone, Phillips hit more than double the amount of homers that Hudson hit and drove in nearly one third more runners.

Phillips is also a speedster, which would compliment lead-off hitter, Jose Reyes nicely.

Acquiring Phillips, would give the Mets a legitimate power threat in the number two hole, which is something they haven’t had in quite some time.

It would also compensate the lack of power at first base, assuming that they stick with Daniel Murphy, as they are interested in doing.

The only downside to taking Phillips over Hudson is that a deal involving Phillips will require the Mets to give up prospects, whereas Hudson would only cost the team cash. However, you’d have to think that due to this potential trade being a salary dump that the return would not include any elite prospects if the Mets agreed to take on all of Phillips’s salary.

It should be interesting to see which direction the Mets go throughout the next few months, but if do, in fact, look for a new second baseman, Brandon Phillips should be their guy.

]]> 0