Mets Merized Online » Carlos Delgado Mon, 28 Jul 2014 03:53:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 MMO Fair or Foul: When Do Mets Stop Stockpiling and Start Winning? Wed, 05 Mar 2014 17:10:13 +0000 fairorfoul

Joel Sherman of the New York Post says that it’s time for Sandy Alderson and the Mets to stop stockpiling and start winning.

Sherman says that when a top player becomes available, we need to have the wherewithal in prospects, capital and aggression to get him.

Many of the great phases in Mets history have elite pitching as a backbone — notably 1969, 1973 and 1986. But all of the best Mets teams were finished off by a willingness to trade for a significant hitter, often at the cost of big prospects and/or big money:

1969 — Donn Clendenon

1973 — Rusty Staub

1986 — Keith Hernandez/Gary Carter

2000 — Mike Piazza

2006 — Carlos Delgado

He goes onto saying that Alderson has shown that he could flip star caliber talent for minor leaguers, but hasn’t shown he can go the other way like other Met GMs have done. He sees that as a potential problem for the Mets.

The solutions are harder than ever to find in free agency, with teams proactively locking up their best players, particularly for prime years. I believe this will stimulate the trade market, specifically in the hunt for position players. In fact, I think the new free agency will see more teams than ever trading players under long-term contracts.

Here is why: A flush baseball economy combined with the enticement of a second wild card have moved many teams to boldly stretch budgets. I can’t remember a time when more front offices were convinced their teams could make the playoffs.

Jeff Wilpon says that bringing a big chip like that is all on Sandy and that he hasn’t been held back by ownership. “When it is prudent, I am sure Sandy will bring it up,” Wilpon said. “We usually say yes to what the baseball department says it wants.”

But we have yet to see Alderson’s tolerance for dealing from his youthful stockpile, Sherman writes. 

If, for example, the Blue Jays continue not to contend, will they want the three years at $70 million still owed Reyes after 2014? The Mets didn’t want to do a six-year deal with Reyes, but would they go after him in his 30s should they still need a leadoff man/shortstop? How about Troy Tulowitzki or Matt Kemp? How about if Giancarlo Stanton doesn’t want to go long-term and Miami makes him available (the Mets did get Piazza and Delgado in deals with the Marlins). How about if the Orioles don’t believe they can do a long-term deal with the Scott Boras-repped Chris Davis?

Are we there yet? Is Sherman right? I’d have to say yes. Wright isn’t getting any younger. If not now, when?

Presented By Diehards

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The Folly In Comparing General Managers Wed, 22 Jan 2014 23:33:35 +0000 Earlier today, our friend Matthew Cerrone at MetsBlog responded to a mailbag question from a reader who basically wanted to know why Omar Minaya gets so little credit for a team and farm system that is still essentially comprised of a majority of his players.

omar minayaIt actually led to a few emails steered in my direction asking me what my thoughts were on the subject and who was better between Sandy and Omar.

On the surface, it’s difficult to just look at historical results and then use them to compare Minaya’s six-year tenure with Sandy Alderson’s first three years. Just as it is difficult to compare baseball players from different eras, the same can be said about comparing general managers, even when they are only separated by three years.

For one thing, the circumstances and dynamics were incredibly different and you can arguably say they were diametrically opposed to each other. It is nearly impossible to draw similarities between a team that is rebuilding and one that considers itself to be one or two players away from the post season, and that’s essentially what you are doing by comparing our current and former GMs.

The hope is that Sandy will soon be in the same exact position that Omar was, and only then can we begin to draw comparisons.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at New York MetsYou’ve seen me write on many occasions that I have yet to see Sandy trade for an All Star caliber player, and it’s true, he hasn’t done that yet. We’ve only seen Sandy trade away talented players for top prospects and he’s been remarkably good at it, netting such big names as Zack Wheeler, Travis d’Arnaud and more recently, Dilson Herrera and Vic Black.

On the flip-side, we’ve seen Omar go out and make trades for All Star caliber players like Johan Santana and Carlos Delgado, two players who were considered the best available at their positions at the time. But what we never got to see, was Omar trading a star player for a top prospect or prospects. You see the two dynamics, windows and short-term goals were completely different.

When Omar was the GM, the Wilpons had a brand new ballpark coming that they thought was going to sell-out everyday for the next 5-6 years. They demanded star attractions no matter what the cost, and Minaya was the perfect man for the job. The fans wanted stars too, and he was there to provide them. Within one year of the Phillips/Duquette era – a rock-bottom era with a farm system in shambles that had just traded away their only top ranked prospect in Scott Kazmir – the Mets were back in business. The winning business.

madoffOf course that ballpark never became the cash cow the Wilpons thought, and then soon after, all hell broke loose when the images of Bernie Madoff being led away in handcuffs were splattered on front pages everywhere. Now we had a win-now team that had no money and no way out. What happened next was inevitable.

Enter Sandy Alderson who was brought here to help free up some money by trading away his best assets, and lets give him credit for getting top value for what we traded. I’m not so sure any other GM could have gotten more. But Sandy was here to slash payroll, and slash he did.

Because of all the financial turmoil and an impending one-billion dollar lawsuit, Sandy had no flexibility for three of his first four offseasons. But he stayed true to his vision and his patient approach and rode out the storm. As fans, we rode out that storm with him.

It has now brought us to this point where we are today, and we’re now seeing Sandy try his hand at spending in free agency for the first time since he arrived. He’s spent close to $100 million already with his biggest acquisitions; Curtis Granderson, Bartolo Colon and Chris Young, all brought here to supplement a young core that this front office believes will contend for a wild card in 2014. We all hope they’re right.

confused bruceBut getting back to the point of this post – which was comparing Sandy to Omar – I hope you are intelligent enough to see the futility of such an endeavor.

I hope you can understand that just like you can’t compare hitters from the Deadball Era to those of the Steroids Era, the same holds true when comparing general managers. It’s a fruitless task that in the end only proves to be a considerable waste of time.

Instead, understand that every GM, good or bad, had nothing but the best interests of their teams at heart. Everything they did was because they truly believed it was best for their teams. And all of them desperately wanted to win – regardless if their teams ultimately did win or not.

Omar Minaya and Sandy Alderson were the perfect GM’s for the tasks that were given to them. Both GMs were good tonics for the team at the time and for the fan base as well.

Anyway, that’s the way I see it.


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Who do YOU think are the best Mets First Basemen? Sat, 21 Dec 2013 16:59:59 +0000 Over the Mets 52 seasons, there have been 23 different players who could be classified as “primary” starting First Baseman. With first base being a big question mark going into the upcoming season, it’s hard to believe that Ike Davis has already played more games (426) at first than all but four other men in the history of the franchise.


Some of these starters didn’t play a tremendous amount of games at the position – the 5 starters with the fewest games played at first base as a Met were:

1 – Mike Piazza – the primary first baseman in 2004. 69 games at first, 68 in 2004 with 66 starts.

2 – Doug Mientkiewicz – our 2005 starter. 83 games at first with 79 starts.

3 – David Segui – our 1994 starter. 85 games at first. In 1994, he appeared in 78 games at first with 70 starts.

4 – Butch Huskey – our 1996 first baseman. 97 games at first. 75 in 2004 with 69 starts.

5 – Marv Throneberry – Marvelous Marv was the 1962 first bagger. 100 games at first with the Mets. 97 were in 1962 with 89 starts.

But who were the best First Basemen in the history of the Mets? I’ve assembled a list of the top 10 contenders – they were all starters in at least two seasons and appeared in the most games at first base for the Mets.

I thought it would be fun to throw the vote out to you, the fans – and see how we’d rank the Best of the Mets.

ed kranepool

The contenders – the years they were the primary starter are in parenthesis:

10 – Eddie Murray – (1992-1993). He played in 308 games at first with 306 starts. In 1993, the Hall of Famer hit .285 with 27 HR and 100 RBI.

9 – Dave Kingman – (1981-1982). He played 340 games at first with 314 starts. 191 of his starts came in 1981-1982. In 1982, Kingman led the NL with 37 HR to go with 99 RBI while batting .204.

8 – John Milner – (1973-74, 1977). He played in 366 games at first with 342 starts (305 in 1973-74 & 1977). In 1973 for the Ya Gotta Believe! team, he hit .239 with 23 HR and 72 RBI.

7 – Todd Zeile – (2000-2001). Todd played in 367 games at first with 327 starts (293 coming in 2000-01). For the 2000 World Series team, Todd hit .268 with 22 HR and 79 RBI and 36 doubles.

6 – Dave Magadan (1989-91). Dave played in 417 games at first with 354 starts (288 coming in 1989-91). For the 1990 team, he hit .328 with 6 HR, 72 RBI and a .417 OBP. In 1990, he was 3rd in the NL in hitting and 2nd in OBP.

5 – Ike Davis (2010, 2012-13). Ike has played in 426 games at first with 401 starts (365 in 2010, 2012-13). In 2012, he hit .227 with 32 HR and 90 RBI.

4 – Carlos Delgado (2006-08) Carlos played 458 games at first – all starts (433 in 2006-08). In 2006, he hit 265 with 38 HR and 114 RBI.

3 – John Olerud (1997-99) John played 463 games at first with 449 starts. In 1998, he hit .354 with 22 HR, 93 RBI, 36 doubles and a .447 OBP. In 1998, he was 2nd in the NL in hitting and 2nd on OBP.

2 – Keith Hernandez (1983-1988). Keith played 854 games at first with 835 starts (780 from 1983-88). In 1986, Keith hit .310 with 13 HR, 83 RBI, 34 doubles, 94 walks, and an OBP of .413. Keith won 6 consecutive gold gloves as a Met from 1983-1988.

1 – Ed Kranepool (1964-69, 71-72, 75-76). Ed played 1,302 games at first with 1,165 starts (1,019 in his 10 seasons as the primary first baseman). He had a career high 138 starts in 1965 when he hit .253 with 10 HR and 53 RBI.

So how would you rank these top 10 First Basemen in Mets History? Email me your votes at and we’ll see how the fan base decides Who’s on First?

Presented By Diehards

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Trading with the Enemy Sun, 15 Dec 2013 04:10:52 +0000 Trading with the enemy is pretty rare – and when I mean the enemy, I’m referring to trading within the division – and the Yankees.  You don’t want to be on the bad end of a trade and be burned for years to come when trading with your chief rivals.

So what trades have the Mets made with the Enemy over the last 15 years?  It’s only happened 19 times and remarkably, it hasn’t happened in four years…

February 6, 1998 – Robert Stratton, A.J. Burnett, and Jesus Sanchez were traded to the Marlins for Al Leiter and Ralph Millard.

March 20, 1998Brandon Villafuerte and a Player to be named later (Cesar Crespo) were traded to the Marlins for Robert Stratton.

May 22, 1998 – Geoff Goetz, Preston Wilson, and Ed Yarnall were traded to the Marlins for Mike Piazza.

November 20, 1998Jorge Fabregas was traded to the Marlins for Oscar Henriquez.

July 23, 2001Todd Pratt was traded to the Phillies for Gary Bennett.

July 27, 2001Dennis Cook and Turk Wendell were traded to the Phillies for Adam Walker and Bruce Chen.

robin-ventura blackDecember 7, 2001Robin Ventura was traded to the Yankees for David Justice.

March 24, 2002Lou Collier was traded to the Expos for Jason Bay and Jimmy Serrano

April 5, 2002Bruce Chen, Luis Figueroa, Dickey Gonzalez, and a PTBNL (Saul Rivera) were traded to the Expos for Phil Seibel, Scott Strickland, and Matt Watson.

July 16, 2003Armando Benitez was traded to the Yankees for Ryan Biconda, Jason Anderson, and Anderson Garcia.

December 3, 2004Mike Stanton was traded to the Yankees for Felix Heredia.

November 24, 2005 – Grant Psomas, Mike Jacobs, and Yusmeiro Petit were traded to the Marlins for Carlos Delgado and cash.

gallery_loducaDecember 5, 2005 – Dante Brinkley and Gaby Hernandez were traded to the Marlins for Paul Lo Duca.

November 20, 2006Matt Lindstrom and Henry Owens were traded to the Marlins for Adam Bostick and Jason Vargas.

August 6, 2007 – Player to be named later to the Marlins for Chad Hermansen. (Baseball Reference does not reflect if the PTBNL was later sent).

November 30, 2007Lastings Milledge was traded to the Nationals for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider.

August 17, 2008 – PTBNL (Anderson Hernandez) was traded to the Nationals for Luis Ayala.

July 10, 2009Ryan Church was traded to the Braves for Jeff Francoeur.

August 6, 2009  - Greg Veloz was traded to the Nationals for Anderson Hernandez.

Presented By Diehards

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MMO Exclusive: David Wright Can Deal With The Pressure Thu, 12 Dec 2013 13:57:51 +0000 david wright

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – David Wright told me yesterday how much Curtis Granderson will mean to the New York Mets on the field and in the clubhouse.

One thing Wright will never admit is, as team captain, whether he ever felt he was drained by being “the man’’ and if Granderson would alleviate pressure. Doing so would admit feeling the pressure. That’s something he’s never done, and won’t ever. It isn’t in his professional DNA.

Manager Terry Collins can read a player by looking into his eyes and watching body language. He was asked if he ever sees a sign of mental fatigue from Wright.

“The answer is no, I don’t,’’ Collins said.  “David Wright is the consummate pro.  He knows exactly what’s expected, deals with it, and he deals with it with a smile.’’

There are times when he tries to carry the Mets on his shoulders. He’s done that for years, but team leaders always fall into that trap. That’s what team leaders do.

“Does he once in a while try to be the guy?  Yes,’’ Collins said.  “But he’s supposed to because he is the guy.  That’s why I think he’s a great player.’’

When the Mets need a key hit, Wright often delivers. He has a .375 average and 1.123 OPS when the Mets win and .243 average and .700 OPS when they lose. He hits .295 with men on base and .284 with runners in scoring position. His .407 on-base percentage with runners in scoring position is indicative of teams pitching around him.

Since Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado left, Wright has been the go-to guy for the Mets in critical situations. He’s always said he relishes those situations.

“You know, when the game is on the line, you look and guys are turning to David Wright to be the guy that comes through,’’ Collins said.  “I think he handles it great.’’

Granderson, despite his propensity for striking out, hit over 80 homers in 2011-2012. When he hit 41 homers in 2011, his home-road breakdown was 21-20, so he can hit outside of Yankee Stadium. Granderson is not an easy out, so pitchers might be less reluctant to pitch around Wright, at least in theory.

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The Twelve Percent Solution? The 2005 Edition Sat, 30 Nov 2013 15:58:26 +0000 12 percentI previously posed the question if a player can develop plate discipline at the minor league level to lay off bad pitches, does that translate into major league success?  Let’s do a little rewind to see how a 12% walk rate translated over time, shall we?

Over the course of 502 plate appearances, a 12% walk rate (the minimum number of appearances needed to qualify for a MLB batting title) would yield 60 walks.  550 appearances – 66 walks.  600 plate appearances – 72 walks.  72 walks would place a batter into the top 25 of that particular category in the majors in 2013.

After hopping in my DeLorean, firing up the flux capacitor, and speeding up to 88 miles per hour, I found myself back in 2005.  The faithful knew that this would be Mike Piazza’s last season in Queens.  Pedro Martinez was throwing 200+ innings with an ERA under 3.00.  Kris Benson would be traded in the offseason and along with him we were rid of the wild Anna.  And there were 13 Mets prospects that walked at a 12% rate.

Why 2005?  Because this upcoming season will be the 10th since that magical year.  Surely that plate discipline produced many productive Major Leaguers, even if not outright superstars, right?

Survey says…. X

So who were these 12 percenters?

Jon Schemmel – 21.3% rate.  Jon was a rookie in 2005 who signed as an undrafted free agent and spent that season in Rookie ball with Gulf Coast League Mets.  He didn’t hit for power, but he hit for a high average that year to go along with his walks.  While the sample size was small and he only appeared in 34 games, he hit .347 with 0 HR, 20 RBI, 5 doubles, 2 triples and 35 base hits to go with a sparkling .504 OBP.  Jon played 4 seasons of professional ball in the Mets and Padres organization (2005-2008), reaching as high as AAA and played in 248 games, collecting 215 career hits, batting .272 with 3 HR and 83 RBI.  His career OBP was .381 with a career walk rate of 12.1%.

Jon Malo – 19.0% rate.  Jon was drafted twice by the Mets, first in the 40th round of the 2002 draft and again in the 48th round pick of the 2003 draft. He played for 7 years in the Mets (2005-2011) organization beginning in 2005 (yes, 2005), making it as high as AAA Buffalo.   In 2005, Jon played with the Brooklyn Cyclones (A-) and the St. Lucie Mets (A+) batting .222 with 2 HR and 17 RBI in 51 games with 32 hits.  With the Mets, he played in 639 games, hitting .233 with 26 HR and 195 RBI to go with 436 base hits.  In his 7 seasons in the organization, he had a career walk rate of 7.3%.  After 2011, Jon moved onto Indy ball where he played 2012-2013 with the Quebec Capitales of the Can-Am League.

Ivan Naccarata – 17% rate.  Ivan played two seasons in the Mets organization (2005-2006), reaching as high as the St. Lucie Mets.  He briefly played in the Dodgers organization in 2007 before continuing his playing days in Indy ball with the Quebec Capitales of the Can-Am League (2007, 2009-2012).  Ivan played 2005 with the Brooklyn Cyclones, appearing in 55 games and batting .234 with 5 HR and 20 RBI.  In 119 minor league games, Ivan hit .262 with 10 HR and 42 RBI.  In an additional 259 games in the Indy Leagues, he hit .316 with 16 HR and 158 RBI.

Greg Cain – 16.4% rate.  Greg was a 6th round pick of the Mets in 2005 and played two seasons in the organization, both with the Gulf Coast League Mets.  In 58 career games, Greg hit .194 with 1 HR and 23 RBI.  He had 35 professional hits to go with 36 professional walks and a 15.7% career walk rate.


Josh Thole – 15.4% rate.  Ah… finally someone who made it to the Major Leagues.  In 2005, Josh was in his rookie season with the Gulf Coast League Mets where he hit .269 with 1 HR and 12 RBI.  Josh made it to the Mets in 2009 and has played 5 seasons in the majors (2009-2012 with the Mets, 2013 with the Blue Jays).  In 353 career MLB games, Josh has hit .251 with 8 HR and 95 RBI with 260 hits.  Josh’s walk rate in the majors has bee 9.0%.

Junior Contreras – 14.7%.  Junior was an undrafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic who spent 2005 with the Gulf Coast League Mets and played in 46 games, hitting .291 with 8 HR and 31 RBI.  He spent 1 more year in professional ball and played 100 career games, batting .287 with 11 HR and 56 RBI to go with 100 professional hits.

Caleb Stewart – 14.0%.  Caleb was picked by the Mets in the 22nd round of the 2004 MLB draft and played 8 professional seasons from 2004-2011 (6 seasons in the Mets organization, reaching as high as AAA, and two additional seasons in the Can-Am League with the Sussex Skyhawks and the Newark Bears.  As a professional, he played in 644 games with a career batting average of .268 with 84 HR and 370 RBI.

Grant Psomas – 13.8% rate.  Grant was a 15th round pick of the Mets in 2004 and spent the 2005 season with the Hagerstown Suns (A) and the St. Lucie Mets (A+).  In 2005, he played in 133 games, batting .301 with 20 HR and 69 RBI with 141 hits, 77 walks and a .399 batting average.   As a third baseman in the Mets organization that was stuck behind David Wright, he was expendable and after the 2005 season, he was traded to the Florida Marlins along with Yusmeiro Petit and Mike Jacobs in the trade that brought Carlos Delgado to Queens.  He lasted in the Marlins system through 2008, reaching as high as AAA before playing one more season in the independent Frontier League with the Washington WildThings in 2009.  In 6 professional seasons, Grant played in 592 games batting .258 with 79 HR, 306 RBI, 532 base hits, 137 doubles and 12 triples.

Yunir Garcia – 13.4% rate.  Yunir was an undrafted free agent out of Venezuela that spent 5 seasons in the organization (2002-2006), reaching as high as AAA.   The catcher spent 2005 with St. Lucie (A+) and Binghamton (AA).  In 292 career games, he hit .200 with 20 HR and 91 RBI to go with 162 professional hits.

Jose Mateo – 13.1% rate.  Jose was an undrafted free agent from the Dominican Republic that played two seasons in the organization (2005-2006) and never rose above Rookie ball.  In 84 career games, he hit .262 with 8 HR and 36 RBI to go with 60 hits, 13 doubles, a career .372 OBP and a 13.4% career walk rate.

Matthew Spath – 12.9% rate.  Matthew was a 12th round pick of the Mets that played two professional seasons in the Mets and Astros organizations, never rising above the Rookie level.  In 71 career professional games, he hit .229 with 1 HR and 27 RBI and 50 professional hits.

Dante Brinkley – 12.6% rate.  Dante was a 23rd round selection of the Mets in 2003 and spent 6 seasons in the Mets and Marlins organizations, reaching as high as AAA.   After the 2005 season, Dante was traded to the Florida Marlins along with Gabriel Hernandez to complete the trade that brought Paul LoDuca to the Mets.  In 579 career games, Dante hit .272 with 54 HR and 253 RBI to go with 529 professional hits.

Sean Henry – 12.3% rate.  In 2005, Sean spent the season with the Kingsport Mets (Rookie) after being selected in the 20th round of the 2004 draft.  Sean played 8 professional seasons in the Mets, Reds and Braves organizations before playing one more season in the Independent American Association, playing his last game in 2012.  In 790 games over 9 seasons, he hit .283 with 62 HR and 378 RBI with 798 hits.

So there you have it.  Unequivocal proof that a 12% walk rate isn’t an indicator that a player will have Major League success.  The proof is in the pudding.  Just ask Matthew Spath.

Presented By Diehards

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This Day In Mets Infamy with Rusty: 5 Songs That Describes Mets Hot Stove So Far Sun, 24 Nov 2013 13:24:35 +0000 infamy

Ah it’s that time of year again…  A time for new beginnings, a time for change, and for most it is a time for optimism. Yes, it’s time for that kooky year end ritual otherwise known as the Hot Stove Season – or as many Mets fans in the past five years like to say - PURGATORY!!!

Once again, many Met fans have bought in to ownership’s promises of the team spending more money than it did last season and guess what, they have. With the signing of our new left fielder Chris Young they have surpassed their $5 million dollar spending spree from a year ago.

All I know is that at this juncture I don’t have the warm and fuzzy feelings I used to get around this time of the year – but I’ll hold the right to reserve my total venom until I see how this Mets roster shakes out by the start of Spring Training.

But anyway, here are my five songs that best describe the Mets Hot Stove so far:

5. State of Shock by the Jackson’s  - Because we now know when Jeff Wilpon saw how much money even the middle-tiered free agents were asking for, they all needed smelling salts to revive them!

4. Bringing On The Heartache by Def Leppard – Pass me the Rolaids.

3. Money Changes Everything by Cindi Lauper – Because when it comes to this teams finances it seems like Sandy Alderson always has to do more with less.

2: Slip Slidin’ Away by Simon and Garfunkel – Because if this team doesn’t even remotely try to improve itself the fan base will keep slipping away until Citi Field has less life in it than the city morgue.

1. Death On Two Legs by Queen - Because if the Mets ownership doesn’t show that it has the willingness or discretionary spending to try to field a competitive team this upcoming season, fans’ sentiments will mirror the lyrics to this song.

So do you agree with my choices ? Are there songs that you feel summarize the Mets Hot Stove better than the ones I listed? Feel free to post your lists in the comment section.

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

Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:

One time Mets minority owner, G. Herbert Walker would have been 108 today (1905). Walker was not only the grandfather of president George W Bush, but he was also the Mets Executive Vice President from 1962 until his death in 1977.

Spot Starter/middle reliever from the ’66 season, Bob Friend is 83 (1930).

Starting pitcher from ’94-’95, Jason Jacome turns 43 (1970). In his 2 seasons with the Mets, Jacome started 13 games, going 4-7 with an E.R.A of 4.80.

Some other notables include:

Sadly on this date the Mets lost two members of their extended family. Hall of Fame (not as a Met) left-handed pitcher Warren Spahn in 2003, and third base coach from the ’77 season, Tom Burgess  in 2008.

The New York Mets traded reserve first baseman, Dave Gallagher to the Atlanta Braves for starting pitcher, Pete Smith on November 24, 1993.

The New York Mets traded  first baseman/catcher, Mike Jacobs, along with pitching prospects Yusmiero Petit and Grant Psomas to the Florida Marlins for power hitting first baseman, Carlos Delgado in 2005. This in my opinion was one of the best trades from the Omar Minaya era.

Mo Vaughn has been so distraught by the Mets hot stove so far that he lost his appetite….. That lasted all of a half hour!!!

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Angels Ready To Deal Trumbo, Bourjos, Kendrick For Pitching Fri, 01 Nov 2013 13:51:44 +0000 Early Tuesday morning, Buster Olney reported that the Los Angeles Angels would be willing to trade Mark Trumbo or Peter Bourjos in exchange for pitching. Angels beat writer Alden Gonzalez also includes infielders Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar as pieces the Halos would deal for pitching.

This is a road that the Mets have been down before and an actively debated one among Mets fans. While I’m not an advocate for trading any of the team’s valuable arms for anything short of a certified impact player, it is an issue worth bringing to the forefront again.

Peter Bourjos is a nice player, especially on defense but he is what he is and that’s a glorified fourth outfielder. The Mets essentially have a younger, more appealing version of Bourjos in Juan Lagares so there is no sense in pursuing that angle.


The player that has been on the Mets radar for some time is Mark Trumbo. Say what you want about his high strikeout rate and low on-base percentage but at the end of the day, Trumbo is a power hitting 1B/OF that would go a long way toward protecting David Wright in the lineup. It’s no secret that Wright’s best numbers were produced with the likes of Carlos Delgado and Cliff Floyd hitting behind him. It’s a scary thought but their golden boy isn’t getting any younger and the club cannot continue to wait around while David stands alone in the lineup.

Trumbo would fill two voids: a first baseman that provides an adequate glove (think Ike Davis) and a power-hitting clean-up man (think the opposite of Ike Davis). He is set to receive approximately $4.7 million in arbitration but this makes him an affordable option with three years of team control remaining.

The market has been fairly quiet for Trumbo throughout the Angels efforts to trade him. Teams are hesitant to meet the Angels demands for a player who consistently ranks among the leaders in strikeout percentage. Added to that, Trumbo finished behind only Pedro Alvarez with the second lowest BB% among the top-10 qualifiers in K%. As a result, the interest in Trumbo seems to be at an all-time low.

The Angels are far from an advantageous negotiating position with an excess of expensive hitters that haven’t met expectations and the league’s 24th best team ERA. Their roster suggests that they would seek an established MLB pitcher or at worst a pitcher that can contribute in 2014. That points toward Dillon Gee.

If the trade would be Trumbo for Gee straight-up or even Trumbo and Howie Kendrick for Gee and Rafael Montero, I would have to take a good, long look.

The Mets inevitably need to field a more legitimate lineup than the product on the field in recent years. Trumbo is capable of producing .240/.300/.475 with 30 home runs and 95 RBIs, which goes a long way toward shoring things up and protecting Wright in the middle of the order.

The Mets will eventually need to pull the trigger on some trades/signings because the answers are not all coming internally.

(Updated 11/1)

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2013 Season Review: David Wright, 3B Mon, 07 Oct 2013 12:03:08 +0000 david wright homers



As they always are, expectations were high for David Wright, especially after a strong 2012 season, one in which he hit .306 with 21 homers and 93 RBI. And, those were numbers compiled with little protection in the line-up, at least in the first half of the season. They were also lofty because he signed a monster eight-year, $138-million deal through 2020 and was named team captain. Whenever a player signs a long-term contract, expectations are high. Staying healthy is always an issue, and if that happened Wright should have been able to meet his 162-game average of .301 with 26 homers and 103 RBI. If protected in a line-up surrounded by supposed sluggers Ike Davis and Lucas Duda, why couldn’t Wright hit 30 homers with over 100 RBI? Wright was expected to be among the league leaders in run production, and, of course, start in the All-Star Game at Citi Field.


Wright got off to a hot start, played in the All-Star Game, and despite little support was on a 30-homer, 100-RBI pace. However, as usual it was about staying healthy, and a strained hamstring sliced seven weeks from his season and limited him to 111 games. Nonetheless, Wright posted impressive numbers, such as a .393 on-base percentage and .909 OPS. Wright’s run-production numbers of 17 homers and 57 were paltry, but could have come close to expectations had he played a complete season. Remember, after Marlon Byrd was traded there was no protection. Wright lived up to his captaincy throughout the season. He was the go-to guy when reporters needed a comment, such as during the Jordany Valdespin fiasco. Perhaps most impressive, is with the competitive part of the season over for the Mets, Wright worked hard to get himself back to the lineup. He said he wanted to be an example for his young teammates. It is what leaders do.




John Delcos Says:

A healthy Wright is an offensive force. His best years were when he was complemented in the line-up with sluggers Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado. This is why it is important for Davis and/or Duda live up to their expectations and offer protection. When there was nothing to play for, Wright said it was important to return so he could get a gauge on his health. Wright might have taken a risk, but wanted to know where he stood physically as to prepare for the off-season. So, what happens? He was beaned and jammed his thumb when he fell. The hamstring does not appear to be an issue. The Mets need to surround him with productive bats, and if they do that, there’s no reason Wright can’t play up to his 162-game average and have a big year.

Joe D. Says:

This team has a lot of problems, but David Wright isn’t one of them. That said, the Mets continue to squander the prime years of his career without affording him any protection or other big bats in the lineup. Apparently, he gave the Mets an $8 million dollar, interest-free loan last Winter to help get that big bat, but it never happened. And even when they backed into some unexpected production from Marlon Byrd, the plan was to ship him off as soon possible once any value was established. I feel bad for Wright, who still believes that there’s a plan in place for this team to contend for a championship as soon as 2014. I’d love to see if Wright could ever duplicate the numbers he posted back in 2007 and 2008 when Carlos Beltran and other big-league bats complimented him. But listening to some of the names being bandied about so far, it looks like the Mets captain will have to do most of the heavy lifting himself again next season. Hopefully, when the front office does decide they are a championship caliber ballclub, Wright will still be as productive as he is now and not slipping into his career decline.

button No 5 wright

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Wheeler Struggles Against Former Team, Pagan Has Big Night In 8-5 Giants Win Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:42:07 +0000 zack wheeler

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Giants vs Mets: Wright Won’t Play In This Series, Wheeler Faces Former ‘Mates Tue, 17 Sep 2013 20:14:09 +0000

GIANTS (69-81) at METS (67-82)

RHP Yusmeiro Petit (3-0, 2.53) vs. RHP Zack Wheeler (7-5, 3.22)

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Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young, Jr. – LF
  2. Juan Lagares – CF
  3. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  4. Lucas Duda – 1B
  5. Wilmer Flores – 3B
  6. Matt den Dekker – RF
  7. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  8. Ruben Tejada – SS
  9. Zack Wheeler – RHP

David Wright will not play in this series according to Jared Diamond… His status for the weekend in Philadelphia remains unknown at this point.

Flores is at third and batting fifth tonight…

Big thing is that Collins has Lagares and Den Dekker both playing, but it’s Lagares who’s in centerfield… That’s a first…

Game Preview

The Mets open up a series with San Francisco in New York tonight. The Mets had a good month back in July, and a lot of that was due to a fantastic trip to San Francisco, so hopefully the Mets can recreate that in Queens. Outside of Jerry Seinfeld broadcasting tonight, the Mets will have an odd homecoming of sorts as Yusmeiro Petit comes back to New York, the team that traded him away for Carlos Delgado a long time ago.

Wheeler will be pitching for the Mets tonight. He is 7-5 over 16 games with 95.0 innings of work and a 3.22 ERA. He is 3-3 in his last 7 starts pitching 44.1 innings with an ERA of 2.44. He faced the Giants earlier this year pitching 7.0 innings allowing 1 ER. The Giants have the following numbers against Wheeler:

Abreu 0-3
Belt 0-1
Blanco 0-3
Crawford 1-3
Pence 0-3
Posey 0-3

Petit is 3-0 over 5 games and 4 starts this season pitching 32.0 innings with a 2.53 ERA. In his career he has pitched against the Mets once totaling 2.0 innings allowing 2 hits and nothing else. The only Met who has faced Petit in a game is Harang who is 0-2.

Lets Go Mets!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

fernando martinez

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

billy wagner

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

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

anderson hernandez

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

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

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

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

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

addicted to mets button

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Baseball’s All-Time Underachievers: 2006-2008 Mets? Fri, 28 Jun 2013 17:23:22 +0000 2006 mets

Ken Davidoff of the NY Post ranked his Top 5 All-Time MLB Underachievers and listed the 2006-2008 Mets second behind the 1980s Expos.

About why he chose the Mets, he writes:

2000s Mets. Carlos Beltran would be a Hall of Famer if he retired today. David Wright is on a Cooperstown track. Carlos Delgado probably will miss out, but he has 473 homers on his resume. Jose Reyes will go down as one of the most dynamic, if health-challenged players of his time.

And yet even with these four for 2006 through 2008, with varying contributions from future Hall of Famers Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez and then two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana, the Mets managed one playoff appearance, 2006, that is remembered most for its jaw-dropping conclusion and then blew postseason appearances by losing their final games in both 2007 and 2008. They just never had the roster depth to supplement the stars.

The Mets rank very high because that, unlike some of the teams further down on this list, the Beltran-Delgado-Reyes-Wright run is recalled with pretty much zero positivity. The exceptions being Adam Wainwright, Jimmy Rollins and Wes Helms.

The only player that remains from that 2006 NL East championship team is David Wright, who signed an eight-year extension with the Mets worth $142 million this past offseason.

There was no doubt some heartbreak and disappointment during those years, but lets not pretend it wasn’t also the most exciting run of Mets baseball in a quarter-century.

Second worst underachievers in baseball history?

I doubt it.


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Is Ike Davis Really Mike Jacobs Reincarnated? Wed, 22 May 2013 12:11:04 +0000 ike-davisIt always is interesting how people automatically call a hitter that hits homers, strikes out a lot and has a low average “Dave Kingman.” Kong certainly had his issues, but regardless of what you think he still had a 16-year career in which he hit 442 homers. To say that Ike Davis is Kingman would be an insult since that would be an improvement over what he’s producing today. As a matter of fact, a caller to Evan Roberts and Joe Benigno on WFAN actually may have uncovered who Davis really is: a reincarnation of Mike Jacobs.

A year ago Davis was coming off the valley fever scare and ankle injury. His .156/.212/.290 slash line could be intellectualized. Similar numbers (.149/.229/.248) this year are reason for concern. There are many players that are slow starters, but are the Mets’ doomed to Davis not showing up the first ten weeks of the season? Has reality set in that he might be a 4-A hitter with flawed mechanics at the plate?

Davis and Jacobs are not exactly apples to apples comparison. Ike was a highly touted first round pick in 2008. His struggles in Brooklyn during his rookie year in pro ball were well documented. Jacobs was a 38th round pick that nobody talked about when he had a breakout 2005 season in Binghamton. He was supposed to be an injury replacement at the big league level, but If not for Pedro Martinez‘s lobbying after a Sunday afternoon home run, we never would have been treated to Jacobs’ September to remember. It’s also possible that Carlos Delgado would never have been acquired that offseason.

As a full-time first baseman from 2006-2008, Mike Jacobs averaged 23 homers, 75 RBI and a .258 batting average. In his two full seasons of work (2010, 2012) Davis has produced 25 homers and 75 RBI with a similar average. Both produce about the same level of strikeouts, although Davis has the penchant to walk a bit more- although probably not enough for the organization’s liking. Both struggle against left handers. Defensively, there is no comparison. Even when he’s struggled Davis has gold glove potential. Jacobs was only plugged-in at first after failing behind the plate. Still, a first baseman needs to hit at an elite level to be considered valuable. If Jacobs is the best that Davis has to offer, then it’s probably time to question if the Mets have a cornerstone at first base for years to come. Should they package Davis if and when he heats up again? Will a trip to the minors help? Is Lucas Duda the answer? Can they afford to pay for a first baseman on the free agent market?

Many scouts have expressed concern over Davis’ mechanics at the plate. It’s complicated, awkward looking and appears difficult to replicate. The more “noise” a player has in the box the harder it will be to hit a baseball, an already difficult task. Can this be fixed? That is hard to predict, but Davis wouldn’t be the first hot-shot hitting prospect to fizzle at the big league level. At the very least a trip to Triple-A Las Vegas should be on the table.

The Mets got lucky when both Jose Reyes and David Wright developed best case scenarios upon their call-up a decade ago. Prospects are an inexact science and, to date, none of the current group of homegrown players has shown to be consistent everyday big leaguers, much less stars.

WFAN callers rarely provide for intelligent or even interesting commentary. Comedy is more how I would describe my experience. Ironically, a caller to the midday show just might have uncovered a hard reality: Ike Davis is no better than a former flash in the pan prospect. I doubt even a productive final four months of 2013 will net a player any close to Delgado’s capabilities. Remember, lightening doesn’t strike twice.

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Is Collins The Blame For Team’s Poor Performance, Or Is He Just The Patsy? Sun, 19 May 2013 14:21:30 +0000 Terry CollinsWhile all the talk lately has been about whether or not it’s time to end the Terry Collins era as manager of the Mets, how much of the blame for the team’s poor performance should be equally shared with the architect and general manager, Sandy Alderson?

Joel Sherman of the New York Post, pops the question and defends Collins, saying:

“It is relatively easy to argue his second-year team had worse talent than his first and this, his third team, has worse talent than his second…That is why I have no idea if Collins is a good manager or not. Showalter would lose big with this team, and so would Tony La Russa and Joe McCarthy and Casey Stengel. Or some cloned combo of all of them.”

Sherman draws a comparison between what Collins has been given to work with as compared to the last Mets manager to succeed, Willie Randolph.

“He was given Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado and Billy Wagner to team with the young Jose Reyes and David Wright and the still-succeeding Tom Glavine. Collins has had the opposite, pretty much — the removal of anything approaching veteran talent from this roster and a bunch of booby prizes put in their place.”

This is about lack of talent, not Collins, he goes onto write. And as I’ve been maintaining since the offseason, Collins will indeed be the sacrificial lamb – that much was true when he was allowed to go into this season as a lame duck manager.

But as Sherman concludes, no Mets manager ever will get a truly fair judgment if Sandy Alderson never figures out how to enrich the talent level of the 25-man roster.

Last week, I wrote how the most frustrating thing about Alderson’s first three years as the Mets’ GM, is that there is not one keeper he brought in on the MLB squad – not one major league player in three seasons.

While we hope the farm is as good and improved as we think it is, ultimately those determinations are only made in the major leagues and not from a prospect ranking list. That’s how it’s always been in the ol’ ball game…

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Can Ike Davis Still Save His Career? Wed, 15 May 2013 15:52:34 +0000 ike-davis

One of the more frustrating things so far about the 2013 season for the Mets, has to be the ongoing struggles of first baseman Ike Davis. Many of us including myself, were simply salivating of the thought of a breakout season for Davis this year, especially after the way he ended the 2013 season leading the National League in home runs and RBIs.

With the exodus of Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols to the American League, some even envisioned a possible All Star berth along side Joey Votto at Citi Field for the Mid-Summer Classic.

All those glossy expectations are now out the window and instead of celebrating a great season for our first baseman of the future, we are left wondering if Ike Davis will be a part of the solution or the future at all. Trade rumors and speculation are already abounding.

Manager Terry Collins can’t make up his mind what to do with his struggling power hitter and after vowing to leave him in the cleanup spot for as long as it takes, he was dropped to the seven spot of the order two days later.

Andrew Kahn, who has written for the Wall Street Journal, Newsday and ESPN, sheds some light on the matter in a comprehensive article today which you can read here.

Using Baseball-Reference’s “Similarity Scores,” he gathers a list of players who compared with David through their age 25 seasons. Among them you will find Carlos Delgado, Mo Vaughn, Eric Karros and David Ortiz to name a few.

However, the key difference between Davis and the other players in the chart, he writes, is that they had a breakout season. “A year in which they performed close to how they’d perform over the rest of their career at age 25 or 26.”

He tackles the question I posed in the title, and does a good job of concluding that if Ike Davis is ever going to be the player we all thought he would be and thus save his career, then this is the year to prove it. Read Andrew’s full article here.

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Featured Post: Dickey Deal Keeps Looking Better And Better For The Mets Sun, 05 May 2013 15:49:08 +0000 r.a. dickey

As the title says, the R.A. Dickey deal just keeps looking better and better for Sandy Alderson and the Mets – and that’s with the signature piece to the deal, Travis d’Arnaud, idling on the disabled list for nearly a month.

A post by Josh Chapdelaine of Around Citi brought to my attention just how bad things are going for the reigning Cy Young this season.

“The knuckleballer racked up his fifth loss of the year”, writes Chapdelaine. “Dickey allowed seven earned runs on six hits while allowing a staggering three home runs – including a leadoff home run to Michael Saunders and a Dustin Ackley grand slam – to balloon his ERA to 5.36 in 2013.”

That’s too bad for Dickey, but it just makes the decision to trade him one of the best moves this front office has made since taking over.

buck tejada

Making the deal even sweeter for the Mets has been the incredible production from catcher John Buck who hit his 10th homer of the season last night. That tied Buck with Carlos Delgado (2006) and Dave Kingman (1982) for the second-fastest (25 games) to double digits in franchise history to start a season. Kingman also holds the franchise record when he clouted 10 homers in his 23 games in 1976. Buck now leads the National League with 29 RBI.

“I can’t begin to tell you where we would be if Buck did not get off to the start he got off to,” manager Terry Collins said. “We could be five-and-whatever.”

What’s most remarkable about Buck, is that he was looked upon as the throw-in when the Mets initially acquired Travis D’Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard and Wuilmer Becerra in exchange for Dickey, Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas. Buck only came the Mets way because the Jays wanted him and his $6 million dollar contract included in the deal. I bet they regret that decision now.

Meanwhile, while D’Arnaud is still out with a foot injury, Syndergaard is having a sensational season so far for Advanced-A St. Lucie. The young right-hander now has 2.90 ERA in six starts, but has really turned it on lately posting a 0.47 ERA and allowing just one earned run in his last three starts while striking out 16 and walking 5 in 19.0 innings pitched.

No word yet on when D’Arnaud will begin baseball activities, but there’s no need to rush as Buck has got things well under control and may just be on his way to an All Star Game berth later this season at Citi Field.

“You spend all spring thinking you’re only going to be here a little while until d’Arnaud is ready,” Collins said. “Maybe Buck is saying, I will show everybody that I’m going to be here a little longer than that!”

This is so incredibly wild…

addicted to mets button

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Phillies vs Mets Open Thread: Niese In Good Positioning To Salvage Series Sun, 28 Apr 2013 16:58:19 +0000

Starting Lineup

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

Game Notes

John Buck’s eight April homers tied the club record for a catcher in the month (Mike Piazza in 2001, Todd Hundley in 1996), and are one shy of the team record shared by Carlos Delgado (2006) and Dave Kingman (1976). Buck leads the NL and is tied for fourth in the majors with 23 RBI…Buck is also tied for third in the majors with eight home runs.

Shaun Marcum surrendered three runs in four innings and was dissatisfied with his Mets debut. The Mets dropped their second straight home series after winning their first three, and have lost eight of their last nine games to the Phillies dating back to last year.

Robert Carson served up homers to Domonic Brown and John Mayberry Jr. in the fifth as the Met lost to the Phillies, 9-4, Saturday at Citi Field. The Mets’ bullpen came into the game with a 5.02 ERA, tied for last in the majors, and got worse, rising to 5.28. This bullpen needs to turn it around immediately or this is going to be another long season for the Mets.

Tim Byrdak continues to progress from surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder. Byrdak has reached 180 feet in his long-tossing on flat ground and should be on a mound during the upcoming week for the first time since the surgery.

Game Preview

The Mets try to salvage one game of the Phillies series this afternoon after dropping the first two. The Mets are also on their first three game losing streak of the season. Yesterday Marcum only lasted 4 innings allowing 3 earned runs and then Carson allowed 5 runs the inning after. At that point, things looked pretty bleak for the Mets. Hopefully Niese will be able to pull the Mets out of this rut as he squares up against Hamels.

Jon Niese is 2-1 on the season over 5 games and 26.0 innings with a 3.81 ERA. Over those 26 innings he has walked 12 batters and struck out 14 batters. Last year Niese faced the Phillies 5 times with a 2-1 record and a 2.93 ERA over 30.2 innings. The Phillies have the following numbers against Jon Niese:

Rollins 7-33, 2 2B
Mayberry 9-28, 2 2B, 3 HR
Utley 2-15
Howard 1-15
Young 2-3

The Mets draw the ace of the Phillies staff this afternoon in Cole Hamels. So far this series the Mets bats have not been able to figure out the back of the rotation, maybe because the universe makes very little sense when it comes to Mets baseball, they’ll be able to figure out Hamels. Hamels is 0-3 this season with a 5.40 ERA over the 5 starts and in his last three starts he has a 2.57 ERA. He was 2-0 against the Mets last year over 4 starts with a 3.86 ERA. The Mets have the following numbers against Cole:

Wright 17-55, 3 2B, 3B, 4 HR
Tejada 5-22
Buck 2-22, 2 HR
Murphy 6-20, 2B, HR
Davis 6-19, HR
Byrd 3-11

Let’s Go Mets!

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The Correlation Between Mets Organizational Depth and Late Season Collapses Sat, 06 Apr 2013 20:00:36 +0000 Since 2006 the Mets have been plagued by a recurrent theme, the second half collapse. The extent to which organizational depth, or a lack thereof, has contributed to these collapses has been the subject of more than a few discussions in Met circles. I would argue, however, that the problem goes back even before the disastrous 2007 stretch run.

2005 was a pivotal year because at it’s conclusion the focus of management shifted to obtaining those perceived few pieces that they needed to become a championship team, but the 2005 team was already showing the effects of a broader organizational depth problem. Willie Randolph, then manager, said of that team:

“We’ve matured and grown, and we’ve learned a lot of things about ourselves as a team, and the bottom line is we played hard all year. We didn’t stop playing, and that’s something I’m most proud of. When you have young players who are some of the core of your team, you can look to the future. When you add some pieces, that can be really special.”

The 2005 Mets were by most accounts contenders and stayed in the thick of the playoff picture until a second half stretch from August  27th to September 17th when they lost 16 of 20. In spite of a wealth of talent, the bullpen wore down, lacking the depth to sustain a playoff drive. 2006 saw the addition of Carlos Delgado and Billy Wagner instantly bolstering expectations, but even that team slumped in September, having lost a key bullpen cog to a taxi-cab accident, and then saw both it’s ace and his replacement go down to calf injuries in the run-up to the playoffs. While they were able to steamroll the Dodgers in the opening round, they were beaten in the NLCS by a Cardinal team that came in with a bullpen that hadn’t allowed a run in 13 1/3 post-season innings and which featured a young Adam Wainwright.

The pattern of the late season fade was already in place by 2007 when it became clear that the penny-wise pound-foolish approach to building a contender created a top heavy roster that neglected to address the dearth of quality replacements. To be fair, the 2006 Mets were a different team, a team that was tantalizingly close, so the temptation to focus on select free agent acquisitions rather than fortifying the minor leagues was not without precedent, it is the standard approach when you are on the brink of the post season. What went unnoticed however was that like a great boulder eroding at it’s foundation from the repeated crashing of waves, the  2006 and 2007 Mets were aging and eventually crumbled not just from the weight of their veteran presence, but from the organization’s failure to develop supplemental, even league average replacements, particularly in the bullpen.

As recently as 2012 the Mets were still featuring a version of their late season collapse with their second half record looking about as gruesome as day-old roadkill on a desert highway. Remarkably they were still in the pennant race leading up to the All-Star break, which is half a season of good baseball, so you can’t really argue sample size … no, the Mets in actuality were pretty darned competitive up until that point. The popular perception was that they stopped scoring runs, but initially in July this was not the case at all — it was the pitching that went south with a whopping 5.25 team ERA for the month, and as in every previous collapse, it was the bullpen that shouldered a hefty portion of the blame. The failure to stock and restock an effective bullpen has plagued this organization for almost a decade now.

Fast forward to 2013 with the Mets trouncing the Padres on opening day. The Mets look like the better team, but the 2012 Padres didn’t suffer a second half collapse. Quite the contrary they were 2 wins better on the season and enjoyed something of a second half surge going 42 and 33. Now there are two things that come to mind when you think Padres, their farm system and their bullpen. The Braves? Again, terrific farm, excellent bullpen. Oakland? Tampa Bay? Arizona? Do we see a pattern? Below is a chart detailing bullpen ranking by ERA, Minor League System Rankings, and win totals.

bullpen era

In looking at the above, the positive correlation between bullpen era and minor league system rankings (MLSR) stands out — 6 of the top 11 teams in bullpen ERA also feature minor league systems ranked in the top third. Clearly teams with strong farm systems seem to have a better shot at building strong bullpens. There also appears to be a broader correlation between MLSR and bullpen performance in general. Lower quadrant teams (the Cubs, Rockies and Astros) more or less track a parallel trajectory across bullpen ERA and MLSR (and win totals for that matter).

There are a few exceptions, the Orioles had a relatively depleted farm system yet were able to construct an upper echelon bullpen, while the Cardinals and the Blue Jays, with relatively strong farm systems, featured ineffective relief pitching in 2012. But notably, no team that placed in the top ten for wins appeared in the bottom third for either bullpen ERA or MLSR. The takeaway?  There is indeed a correlation between a good farm system and an effective bullpen, and there is a very strong negative correlation between placing in the bottom third for bullpen ERA or MLSR and a winning record. In simpler terms, if you want to win you need a good bullpen, and if you want a good bullpen you need a good farm.


The positive slope of the spread in the above graph demonstrates the aforementioned correlation between MLSR and Bullpen ERA. The data points are the intersections of bullpen ERA and MLSR for all 30 MLB teams. Of the outliers, Toronto (the lone data point in the bottom left corner) was perhaps the biggest with the second best farm system in baseball for 2012 and one of the worst Bullpen ERA’s. The Mets themselves were an outlier, next to last in bullpen ERA with a farm system ranked 16th … based on the above, the Mets should have had a better bullpen in 2012. Nevertheless it is clear that as your farm system improves, your bullpen’s ERA declines.

If there was one constant in the “collapse” years, it was the propensity to focus on the 25 man roster without making provisions for the naturally occurring attrition that unfolds over a 162 game schedule. Below are three organizational depth charts for the 2013 Mets showing position players, bullpen, and starting rotation. There is some solid infield depth with Justin Turner, Jordany Valdespin, Zach Lutz, and Omar Quintanilla  and passable outfield depth — largely the result of a somewhat successful cattle-call of outfield candidates during spring training. Mike Baxter, Valdespin, Nieuwenhuis,  Den Dekker, and Brown, can certainly step up in a pinch. I particularly like Lutz and Brown who look like they can hold their own with the bat. The bullpen looks improved as well with three home grown relievers (four when Mejia returns) which is an encouraging indicator in light of  the notable correlation above.

Depth on the other hand, for both the Met bullpen the rotation is worrisome. Outside of Carson and a (hopefully) healthy Mejia there isn’t much else in reserve. The Met rotation, already down to four starters with Santana gone and Marcum suffering another setback, is also thin. After Wheeler, the Mets are looking at Laffey, McHugh and Schwinden. Granted, by mid season Wheeler, Harvey, and Niese may be enough to keep the ship afloat, but bullpen depth is another story — one that has historically been far more horrific.

This lack of depth may be the unfortunate artifact of a minor league farm that is not yet up to the task of acting as a true feeder system. The 2013 Mets will need some luck, and a good dose of health. They are better to be sure, they are generally deeper and more balanced than they’ve been in a while, and they are poised to bolster their roster with two prospects that have the look of impact players in D’Arnaud and Wheeler, but the Mets have yet to establish the sort of organizational pitching depth that a top 5 farm system might provide.

It is a tall and expensive order to rebuild a bullpen from free agency alone. Relievers are notoriously fickle and good ones are increasingly more scarce. The bulk of Met pitching talent — the capybara moving through the python — will begin reaching AA Binghampton sometime this season. That perk is at least another year away. The Mets may surprise if things break right, but until the critical mass of pitching talent they’ve been carefully accumulating reaches maturity they will continue to be vulnerable to the second half fade.


*Players in bold are on the 40 man roster.

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Enjoy The Spectacle of Captain America, But Don’t Forget Reality Sets In On April 1 Thu, 14 Mar 2013 17:01:59 +0000 david wright roars and scores wbc

Isn’t it amazing what kind of a player David Wright can be when he’s actually surrounded by some legitimate major league talent?

Currently, Wright is enjoying some of the most spectacular baseball he’s ever played in his career, and why not? We’ve all seen what the Mets All Star third baseman could do before when he had great protection in the lineup.

It was no coincidence that Wright had his best two seasons as a Met when both Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran were lethal weapons for the Mets, before each of them got hurt and became less effective.

Back then, we saw what “Captain America” was capable of, and things haven’t been the same since Dos Carlos were last seen together in a Mets lineup with David Wright.

It’s been a grind for Wright since the 2009 season. Sure, he’s had his moments and even a couple of tremendous halves on two occasions. But not nearly the kind of consistent seasons we saw from Wright during the three year stretch spanning 2006-2008.

I believe that on Omar Minaya’s part, he understood that Wright needed that protection and while Jason Bay ended up being a complete and colossal bust, nobody could have predicted the AL’s leading home run and RBI man would collapse the way that he did once he joined the New York Mets. Then the money ran out.

Wright now enters the 2013 season with way too many question marks in the lineup. Lucas Duda is 27 and is still a project just as he was two years ago. Ike Davis has yet to put together two good halves and form one solid season. And it looks like Collin Cowgill and Marlon Byrd may log a lot of playing time this season if we are to believe the daily reports from the Mets’ beat writers and some of the things Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins have said.

That’s a far cry from the likes of Eric Hosmer, Ryan Braun, Joe Mauer and Giancarlo Stanton, who are some of the players that are sandwiching Wright on Team USA’s power-packed, star-studded lineup.

So while some of us look upon what Wright is doing with astonishment and excitement, lets understand what we are really seeing here. These amazing moments are most likely not a portent of things to come during the Mets 2013 regular season. I urge and caution all of my fellow Met fans to reign in any gaudy expectations your mind may have already conjured up and dial it back a few notches.

Go ahead and savor what David Wright is currently doing in the World Baseball Classic and relish every moment. Be proud of what Wright accomplishes with every mighty swing of his bat. But don’t forget that it’s only March 14, and that the real baseball season begins on April 1. That is when reality will sink in for most of us, but mostly for David Wright as well. He returns to a lineup devoid of the type of talent he surrounds himself with now.

So enjoy the spectacle we have before us while it lasts, and Go Team USA!

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This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader, KMaxx.

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