Mets Merized Online » Carlos Ruiz http://metsmerizedonline.com Thu, 12 Jan 2017 01:57:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.17 Dilson Herrera Helps Colombia Beat Spain In WBC Qualifier http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/dilson-herrera-helps-colombia-beat-spain-in-wbc-qualifier.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/dilson-herrera-helps-colombia-beat-spain-in-wbc-qualifier.html/#comments Fri, 18 Mar 2016 14:30:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=207969 CdyGQg-WEAQp8JM

In game one of the World Baseball Classic qualifier taking place at Rod Carew Stadium in Panama, Team Colombia took down Team Spain by a 9-2 score.

Mets second baseman of the future Dilson Herrera is looked at like a veteran for Colombia because of his Major League playing experience and they are considered the favorite to win the group.

Colombia got off to a fast start against Spain scoring a run in the first and third innings before opening up a 5-0 lead with three more in the 5th. Spain made a game of it with a two spot in the bottom of the 6th inning only to see it turn into a blowout after allowing Colombia to get four runs in the 8th.

Herrera got the start at second and hit in the number two spot in the lineup. He went o for 2 but walked three times (one intentional), scored a run and knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly. He also had a good day in the field, making a nice diving play and looked very quick turning two different double plays. The announcers were gushing over his talent throughout the entire broadcast, calling him a “stop and watch” type player.

Mets prospect Luis Guillorme got the start at shortstop for Spain and also hit second in the order. He had a rough day at the plate, going 0 for 5 with five ground outs including two at Herrera. He had a good game in the field though making one great play in the hole to get a force out and another on a tough hop he had to back up on. He really is fun to watch play defense, has great instincts and his hands are lightning fast. Here you can watch one of his good plays.

Colombia will now move on to play Panama on Friday at 9 p.m. and Spain will play France at 2 p.m. in an elimination game. Team Panama blew out France 9-2 on Thursday with Mets pitching prospect Alberto Baldonado pitching a scoreless 8th inning with two strikeouts.Carlos Ruiz (Phillies) had a monster game for Panama with two homeruns and four RBI.

In the Mexicali bracket last night, Mexico defeated the Czech Republic by a 2-1 score with former Met Oliver Perez getting the save. Mets catching prospect Xorge Carrillo didn’t start but got came in as a pinch hitter and struck out. Mexico will take on Nicaragua, who beat Germany on a walk-off two-run double by Reds prospect Alex Blandino, tonight at 10:30 p.m. Germany and the Czech Republic will play the elimination game Fridat at 3:30 p.m.

Be sure to check out MetsMinors.net, your #1 source for Mets prospect news! We are now at #2 in our Top 80 Mets Prospect Countdown, click here to find out who it is.

TOP 80 MMN 400 footer

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Carlos Ruiz Deal Is Not As Bad As You Think http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/carlos-ruiz-deal-is-not-as-bad-as-you-think.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/carlos-ruiz-deal-is-not-as-bad-as-you-think.html/#comments Thu, 21 Nov 2013 13:00:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133268 carlos ruiz

If you thought the Phillies were nuts for re-signing catcher Carlos Ruiz for three years and $26 million, I would disagree. At first I thought it was a bad deal too, but the more I thought about it, the more I warmed up to it.

Ruiz, who turns 35 in January, has spent his entire career with the Phillies. He played a key role in helping them win five straight NL East titles from 2007-11 and the 2008 World Series title. The deal will pay him trough his age 37 season, but that’s hardly a reason for concern for a catcher with his defensive and offensive makeup.

Last season, one in which a banned substance suspension for amphetamines limited him to just 94 games, Ruiz hit .288 with a .343 on-base and has become a consistent part of the Phillies’ offense.

An All-Star in 2012, Ruiz batted .325 with a .394 on-base and a .935 OPS. Over the last four seasons Ruiz has compiled a 13.6 fWAR - an average of 3.4 per season – and the 34-year old backstop has shown no signs of slowing down.

Always a solid contact hitter, in his eight seasons with the Phillies, Ruiz struck out more than 50 times only one time in 2010 when he whiffed just 54 times in 433 plate appearances while drawing 55 walks.

Even with a little regression over the next three years, the deal will likely be the least of the Phillies problems. And at least he’s not Miguel Montero who still has four years and $50 million coming to him from the Arizona Diamondbacks. You want bad, I give you bad.

So I’ll have to disagree with Keith Law on this one.

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Phillies Re-Sign Carlos Ruiz To Three Year, $26 Million Deal http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/phillies-re-sign-carlos-ruiz-to-three-year-26-million-deal.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/phillies-re-sign-carlos-ruiz-to-three-year-26-million-deal.html/#comments Mon, 18 Nov 2013 17:17:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133164 Carlos - Ruiz suspension

According to the Philadelphia Enquirer, free agent catcher Carlos Ruiz will remain with the only team he’s ever played for as the Phillies inked him to a three-year, $26 million deal.

Ruiz will turn 35 in January, batted .268/.320/.368 with five homers and 37 RBI this past season.

In 2012, Ruiz hit .325/.394/.540 with 32 doubles, 16 homers and 68 RBI, making his first All-Star team and garnering some MVP votes.

Wow, the rich keep getting richer the old keep getting older.

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Hot Stove Report: Phillies Have Made Some Offers, Mets Have Made Some Phonecalls http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/hot-stove-report-phillies-have-made-some-offers-mets-have-made-some-phonecalls.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/hot-stove-report-phillies-have-made-some-offers-mets-have-made-some-phonecalls.html/#comments Fri, 08 Nov 2013 13:39:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132486 nelson-cruz-texas-rangers

“We’ve already made offers on several players,” Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said from Arizona, where he is watching some of the organization’s top young talent participate in the Arizona Fall League.

Todd Knowing that there is a lack of power hitters available, Amaro is perhaps making a push to sign one, as the team needs right-handed hitters, reports Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.

Some of the names being linked to the Phillies include Nelson CruzCarlos Beltran and Michael Morse. Top tier free agents Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo have also been mentioned, but both are expected to sign elsewhere.

Re-signing catcher Carlos Ruiz is a top priority, but Amaro won’t wait for him to stall the Phillies’ offseason plans.

“We’re fortunate now that the free-agent market has kind of opened up,” Amaro said. “There are several candidates that could be our catcher next year. We’ll see what happens. We’re in the open season.”

While the Phillies also are trying to upgrade their pitching staff, the main focus will be on upgrading what was a very disappointing offense.

Meanwhile, a team source told Mike Puma of the New York Post that the Mets have made a few phone calls. One such call was to inquire about Shin-Soo Choo, but no “parameters” were discussed.

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Hawkins Earns Career Save No. 100 In 4-3 Mets Win Over Philly http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/hawkins-earns-career-save-no-100-in-4-3-mets-win-over-philly.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/hawkins-earns-career-save-no-100-in-4-3-mets-win-over-philly.html/#comments Sun, 22 Sep 2013 20:40:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=129824 latroy hawkins

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Carlos Torres turned in yet another strong start for the Mets today, going six innings and allowing just two runs, en route to a 4-3 victory over the Phillies. Hell, it’s always a good feeling when we sweep the Phillies. Dominic Brown had a hand in both Philadelphia runs off Torres, scoring the first one on a Kevin Frandsen double and driving in the second one with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth.

Scott Atchison pitched a strong inning behind him with two strikeouts, and Vic Black had a troublesome eighth inning, but managed to get out of it with only one run crossing the plate. A wild pitch by Black went behind Recker after he did not set himself correctly, which set up second and third with one out for the Phillies. A foul pop-up by Darin Ruf was hit towards Lucas Duda, who showed shades of Ike Davis by making a catch and nearly flipping over the railing, but Carlos Ruiz was smart enough to tag and score on that ball.

LaTroy Hawkins had to deal with a runner on second in his inning, but he struck out the final two batters to end the game and earn career save No. 100 for him.

The Mets managed to scratch out just enough runs to win this game, and yet again it was the youth movement doing the damage. Wilfredo Tovar ripped a single into left field in the top of the seventh to score Juan Lagares, and a misplay by Brown in left allowed a second run (Anthony Recker) to cross the plate. Lagares went ahead to plate an insurance run in the eighth with a double to score Daniel Murphy. The 6-7-8 hitters really did the damage out there today, with Juan Lagares going 3-for-4 and Recker and Tovar each banging out two hits.

All in all, this was a good game on a Sunday afternoon. The Mets pick up the sweep, Tovar has a solid debut, and Hawkins gets his feel-good moment. Aaron Harang will take on his former team, the Reds, when the Mets swing around to start a series in Cincy tomorrow evening.

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Mets Edge Phillies 5-4 With Help from Wright & Weather http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mets-edge-phillies-5-4-with-help-from-wright-weather.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mets-edge-phillies-5-4-with-help-from-wright-weather.html/#comments Sun, 22 Sep 2013 03:35:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=129780 wright murphy

The Mets (70-84) defeated the Phillies (71-83) by a score of 5-4 in a rain-shortened game on Saturday night in Philadelphia.

Dillon Gee got the win, tossing 6+ decent innings (4 runs, 7 hits, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts) before the game was called off in the bottom of the seventh.

The Phillies struck first on a sac fly in the 2nd inning, but the Mets were able to tie it thanks to David Wright‘s 2nd home run in 2 games since returning from a 7-week stint on the disable list.

The Mets got 4 more in the 6th. Daniel Murphy led off with his 12th homer of the year, and Juan Lagares made it 4-1 with a 2-run triple to center. Travis d’Arnaud capped off the big inning with an RBI double off the right field wall.

The Phillies got 3 runs off of Gee in the 6th after Jimmy Rollins drove in 2 with a double and Carlos Ruiz cut the gap to 1 with an RBI groundout, but Mother Nature squashed their momentum, ending the game in the 7th before the Phillies could tie the score.

Another win for the Mets, who have managed to string together a couple victories in a row to move within 1 game of the Phillies for 3rd place. Obviously, this means nothing in the long run (in fact, having a better record hurts us in the draft), but there is something to be said for confidence and bragging rights, and finishing ahead of the Phillies for the first time in 7 years is the least the Mets could do after making us suffer all year.

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Fun Fact: Dillon Gee has 3 career complete games, yet he has never thrown 9 innings in a game. He has 2 rain-shortened victories and his other complete game was an 8.1 inning loss earlier this year (remember the Freddie Freeman walkoff?).

Don’t look now, but Travis d’Arnaud is finally starting to put some hits together. Given the fact that our entire future rests on his shoulders, it is a relief to see signs of competence from the promising rookie.

It’s nice to see that David Wright has not let a long layoff prevent him from being the best 3rd baseman in the world. It’s also nice to see Lagares’ bat begin to come around a bit more, because with his fielding and speed, even an average bat would make him a solid Center Fielder.

Overall, it’s important that the Mets continue to get a look at their younger players as they wrap up the season over the next couple weeks. We definitely have some useful pieces on the fold, but the onus is on the front office to turn a nice foundation into a contender with some major moves… soon.

Quick Note: Terry Collins plans to sit Wright on Sunday, play again Monday and Tuesday in Cincinnati and then sit again on Wednesday. Despite homering for a second straight game and having no issues with his right hamstring, Wright said he is not fully back yet.

“I mean, I feel OK. I’ve been lucky getting in some hitters’ counts. But still, defensively, I’m not really reacting the way I want to. It’s going to take more than two games. I feel about how I expected to — a little sore, a little stiff — but for the most part pretty good,” Wright said.

The Mets will look to bring out the brooms tomorrow in Philly. Carlos Torres (3-5, 3.39 ERA) will take on Cliff Lee (14-6, 2.95 ERA) at 1:35 PM.

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Matsuzaka Wild And Ineffective, Mets Lose To Phillies, 6-2 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/matsuzaka-wild-and-ineffective-mets-lose-to-phillies-6-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/matsuzaka-wild-and-ineffective-mets-lose-to-phillies-6-2.html/#comments Thu, 29 Aug 2013 02:52:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=128164  Daisuke - Matsuzaka

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Although Daisuke Matsuzaka started the game effectively with only one run through four innings, he racked up 90 pitches and burned out in the fifth inning where he was tagged for three runs before his departure. Matsuzaka was removed after 110 pitches, but only 66 of them were strikes. He walked four batters over his short time on the mound, contributing to his high pitch count and overall struggles Matsuzaka actually hit John Mayberry with the bases loaded to allow a run and Cole Hamels drove in two runs off Carson after him…yeesh. Matsuzaka is the first Mets pitcher to fire 110 pitches without finishing five innings since…Oliver Perez.

Robert Carson allowed a home run to Carlos Ruiz to put the Phillies up 5-1 at the time and they would never look back. They scored another run in the ninth when the Mets made two errors, but that really doesn’t need mentioning…

On the positive side of things, Ike Davis ripped an RBI single off Cole Hamels early in the game to put the Mets up 1-0 early. He was 1-for-4 and struck out in his other three at-bats, however. Andrew Brown, who has been flashing some power recently off the bench for the Mets, doubled home a run in the seventh to make the score 5-2, the closest the Mets would get. Justin Turner, of all players, was the only man to pick up multiple hits for the Mets on this evening.

Hey, at least John Gant of the Brooklyn Cyclones dominated…

Tough loss, but we’ll see what happens tomorrow when we send Carlos Torres to the mound against Ethan Martin. The Mets received some good news today in the shape of Victor Black, who will likely be a nice bullpen piece for the Mets next year. Let’s go get em tomorrow…

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Featured Post: Is Juan Lagares The Mets’ Center Fielder Of The Future? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/featured-post-is-juan-lagares-the-mets-center-fielder-of-the-future.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/featured-post-is-juan-lagares-the-mets-center-fielder-of-the-future.html/#comments Sun, 23 Jun 2013 19:05:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=122818 Juan Lagares

For a majority of you who visit this site, you watch too much baseball. How else would you describe watching the Mets day-after-day? The more you watch, the more you become desensitized. Most plays start to seem ordinary. That tends to happen to me.

I got a chance to watch yesterday’s 4-3 win against the Phillies with a friend of mine. She hardly watches baseball. She couldn’t tell you the difference between the leadoff and cleanup hitter, but she did make some interesting comments.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Carlos Ruiz smoked a ball to deep center. Naturally, Juan Lagares broke back and flagged the ball down for the third out—bailing Jeremy Hefner out of a bases-loaded jam. It was a play he made look easy enough for me to not give a second thought. When it happened, my friend said, “Wow. That guy’s fast.” It was a simple statement. Most athletes are fast. The more I thought about it, the more intuitive I thought it was.

Lagares is a pretty good center fielder. Being fast doesn’t always translate to being a good outfielder. He takes good routes to balls as well. As I thought about my friend’s statement after the play, I thought about how hard Ruiz hit the ball. Ruiz got himself into a hitter’s count and knew he might get something to drive. That’s exactly what happened. They say the hardest ball to judge is the line drive right to you. Right off the bat, Lagares broke back, caught the ball and kept the score tied 3-3. It was a pivotal moment in the game. Lagares has continued to make those kinds of plays in center field.

The problem has been Lagares at the plate. He hasn’t shown a lot of patience, but that’s beginning to change. That’s what enough playing time will do for a player. It’s the argument I kept making for Jordany Valdespin. If you get enough reps instead of getting one at bat every three nights, you’re going to improve no matter who you are.

Lagares is batting just .234 this season with 24 strike outs, two walks and a .250 OBP, but in the month of June, he’s improved. This month he’s batting .319—148 more points than the previous month. His strike outs are still high, but that comes with being a rookie. More importantly, he’s getting hits when they matter. His double in the top of the sixth drove in the deciding run and was his second double of the game (props to Lucas Duda for chugging around those bases).

Lagares has been able to translate his speed to offense and stretch singles into doubles. He shows the kind of spirit Mets coaches have failed to inspire in the team this season.

My friend might not know much about baseball, but talent is recognized universally. Lagares could be the Mets’ future center fielder. He could also be the latest bust in an otherwise throwaway season. Either way, I’ll be watching him a little more closely in games to come. You should too.

What do you think about Juan Lagares so far?

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NL East Report: Stanton and Freeman Return, Zimmerman Out, Rendon Promoted http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/nl-east-report-stanton-and-freeman-return-zimmerman-out-rendon-promoted.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/nl-east-report-stanton-and-freeman-return-zimmerman-out-rendon-promoted.html/#comments Tue, 23 Apr 2013 17:30:27 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=115366 KEEP YOUR ENEMIES CLOSER!

KEEP YOUR ENEMIES CLOSER!

Team News and Notes

Atlanta Braves (13-5)

After starting the season 12-1, the Braves have dropped four of their last five games, including three in a row to the Pittsburgh Pirates. On Monday, the Braves joined the Mets as the next team to have their games in Colorado postponed due to snow, and will play a doubleheader on Tuesday. Freddie Freeman returns to the lineup after missing time with an oblique injury. Jason Heyward was hitting just .121 before his appendectomy last night, and B.J. Upton is still batting .167. The pitching staff has three starters with ERA’s of 2.16 or lower starting with Kris Medlen, Paul Maholm at 1.03, and Mike Minor leads the club at 0.95. The Braves lead the majors in home runs with 29, mainly due to their new stud outfielder Justin Upton, who has nine. The Braves also lead the majors with a WHIP of 1.09 and a team ERA of 2.36.

Washington Nationals (10-9)

The Nationals promoted top prospect Anthony Rendon after learning that they would have to place Ryan Zimmerman on the DL. Stephen Strasburg‘s numbers look good, but he has a record of 1-3 to start the season, including being out-dueled by Matt Harvey on Friday night.  Gio Gonzalez has pitched poorly to start the year with a 5.85 ERA, while Ross Detwiler leads the team at 0.90. Bryce Harper continues to lead the charge offensively, leading the team in home runs with seven, and RBI with 14.

Philadelphia Phillies (9-11)

The Phillies continue to struggle as they remain under .500 after 20 games to start the season. Chase Utley is the only player producing right now, and he leads the team with three home runs and 15 RBI. Ryan Howard has struggled, and has just one home run in 18 games, while Michael Young has been a nice addition leading the team with a .333 batting average. On the mound, the Phils called up their fourth overall prospect, RHP Jonathan Pettibone, to replace the injured John Lannan in the rotation. After giving up 13 earned runs in his first two starts on the year, Cole Hamels has allowed just four earned runs over 13 innings in his last two starts. Roy Halladay appears to have gotten back on track, allowing just three earned runs in 17 innings over his last two outings.

Miami Marlins (4-15)

Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton returned to the Marlins lineup last Thursday after missing a week with a shoulder injury. He is just 4-for-18 since returning and remains homerless, but did get his first RBI of the season on Monday. Stanton is batting an unsightly .188/.316/.229 with no home runs, one RBI, two doubles, and has struck out 20 times in 38 at-bats. Jose Fernandez got his first real taste of the majors in his last start, when he lasted just four innings, giving up five runs on six hits, while walking three and striking out four. The Marlins offense continues to sputter, as they have just six home runs and only 41 RBI as a team, which are the lowest totals in the majors. Miami also had their game against the Minnesota Twins postponed Monday, and will play a doubleheader on Tuesday.

Injury Report

Nationals: Ryan Zimmerman was placed on the DL with a strain of his left hamstring. Wilson Ramos, who is also dealing with a strain of his left hamstring, is improving after being placed on the DL on April 14. He is expected to return when he is eligible to come off at the end of the month. Reliever Christian Garcia remains on the DL with partial tear in his forearm.

Braves: Jason Heyward is out indefinitely after having an appendectomy on MondayBrian McCann (offseason shoulder surgery) remains on the DL, and the veteran backstop felt some tenderness in his wrist last week right before he was set to begin a rehab assignment. Jonny Venters (elbow) remains shut down for four weeks as of April 2, and may be out for the first two months. Brandon Beachy (Tommy John surgery) is still recovering and could return by midseason.

Phillies: Delmon Young (ankle) is progressing nicely and may be able to start a rehab stint as early as next week. His May return still remains on target. John Lannan was placed on the DL, could miss 6-8 weeks due to a strained quad.

Marlins:  Adeiny Hechavarria was placed on the DL with a bruised elbow, and should return in two weeks. Casey Kotchman who was placed on the DL, retroactive to April 4, with a strained hamstring is nearing his return. Logan Morrison is currently on the 60-day DL, as he recovers from a torn patella tendon that required surgery last September. Henderson Alvarez is throwing and could return by early May, while Nathan Eovaldi remains out indefinitely, and was transferred to the 60-day DL.

Upcoming Schedules (4/12-4/28) 

Nationals: (STL, 4/22-4/24), (CIN, 4/25-4/28)

Braves: (@COL, 4/22-4/24), (@DET, 4/26-4/28)

Phillies: (PIT, 4/22-4/25), (@NYM, 4/26-4/28)

Marlins: (@MIN, 4/22-4-23) (@CHC, 4/25-4/28)

Suspensions

Carlos Ruiz: The Phillies backstop is due to return from his 25-game amphetamine suspension this coming Sunday.

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NL East Report: Stanton Homerless, Halladay Rocked, Upton and Harper Blasting Off http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/nl-east-report-stanton-homerless-halladay-rocked-upton-and-harper-blasting-off.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/nl-east-report-stanton-homerless-halladay-rocked-upton-and-harper-blasting-off.html/#comments Tue, 09 Apr 2013 15:00:37 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=113312 KEEP YOUR ENEMIES CLOSER!

KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE AND YOUR ENEMIES CLOSER!

Team News and Notes

Atlanta Braves (6-1)

The Braves currently sit in first place in the NL East, and new addition Justin Upton is a major reason why. The 25-year-old has batted .423/.448/1.192 to start the season, with six bombs and eight RBI. The other half of the Upton brothers, B.J., has struggled to hit himself out of a barn batting just .120 to date. On the mound, the wily veteran Tim Hudson is back to work with a record of 1-0, and a 3.27 ERA to start the year. Paul Maholm hasn’t given up a run in 12 2/3 innings, and Mike Minor was solid in his first start as well, while youngster Julio Teheran struggled.   

Washington Nationals (4-2)

Bryce Harper was the story during the opening week as he belted three home runs, including two on Opening Day. Stephen Strasburg fired seven shutout innings on Opening Day, but got roughed up for six earned runs in his second start. Gio Gonzalez, Ross Detwiler, and Jordan Zimmerman all went six innings in their starts and allowed just one earned run combined. 

Philadelphia Phillies (2-5)

Opening Day starter Cole Hamels got pounded over his first two starts of the season, giving up an astounding 13 earned runs over his 10 innings of work. Conversely, Cliff Lee twirled an eight inning gem, allowing just two hits and striking out eight in his first start. Ryan Howard has started out slow, batting .148 with 10 punch-outs in just 27 at-bats. Chase Utley, on the other hand has burst out of the gate on fire. The second baseman is batting .370/.400/.630, with one home run, seven RBI and two doubles. Lastly, are we seeing the beginning of the end for Roy Halladay? The righty has seen a drop in his velocity, and has an unsightly ERA of 14.73 over his first two starts of 2013. 

Miami Marlins (1-6)

The Marlins have stumbled out of the gate, and did not score a run until the second inning of their third game of the season. Giancarlo Stanton has struggled with little support around him, and is batting .174/.367/.261 with no home runs or RBI, and just one run scored. Jose Fernandez made his debut against the Mets on Sunday, and dazzled for the first five innings, striking out eight, but received a no-decision.

Injury Report

Nationals: Adam LaRoche is currently day-to-day with a stiff back. Reliever Christian Garcia is on the DL with partial tear in his forearm tendon.

Braves: Jonny Venters (elbow) was shut down for four weeks on April 2, and may be out for the first two months. Brandon Beachy (Tommy John surgery) and Brian McCann (offseason shoulder surgery) were placed on the DL on March 29, both retroactive to March 22.  McCann may start a possible rehab assignment by mid-April, and could be activated by late April, while Beachy could return by midseason. Freddie Freeman was placed on the DL with a strained oblique on April 7, and may need 2-3 weeks to recover.

Phillies: Delmon Young (ankle) played the outfield for the first time this spring on April 1, with the hope that he returns sometime in May.

Marlins: Casey Kotchman was placed on the DL, retroactive to April 4, with a strained hamstring. Logan Morrison is currently on the 60-day DL, as he recovers from a torn patella tendon that required surgery last September. Henderson Alvarez and Nathan Eovaldi are both on the DL with right shoulder inflammation. Alvarez has resumed a throwing program, and could return by early May, while Eovaldi is out indefinitely.

Upcoming Schedules (4/8-4/14) 

Nationals: (CWS, 4/9-4/11), (ATL, 4/12-4/14)

Braves: (@FLA, 4/8-4/10), (@WSH, 4/12-4/14)

Phillies: (NYM, 4/8-4/10), (@MIA, 4/12-4/14)

Marlins: (ATL, 4/8-4-10) (PHI, 4/12-4/14)

Suspensions

Carlos Ruiz: The Phillies backstop will continue to serve his 25-game suspension to start the season.

Is Justin Upton the heir apparent to Chipper "Larry" Jones?

Is Justin Upton the heir apparent to Chipper “Larry” Jones?

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Series Preview: Mets Head To Philly After Solid Homestand http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/series-preview-mets-head-to-philadelphia-after-promising-homestand.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/series-preview-mets-head-to-philadelphia-after-promising-homestand.html/#comments Mon, 08 Apr 2013 12:00:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=113584

Ryan Howard is not the player he used to be.

The Mets begin a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies tonight at Citizens Bank Park, their first road series of the year and their first against a decent team.

Tha Phillies are currently at a crossroads. Where health and age meet talent. The Phillies are getting older, and this may be their last year to make a run at the World Series, although it’s very unlikely. The Phillies went 81-81 last season, spending half the year without Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. They have both back this year, but neither is the same player they used to be. Howard struck out in a career-high 33.9% of his plate appearances, while batting just .219. 57.1% of the balls he hit last year were ground balls. That’s significantly higher than his 39.4% career average, and a bad sign for a slugger. Utley has been slowly losing his power. His Isolated Slugging Percentage (ISO) was just .173 last season, compared to a .213 career average. A healthy spring training does not necessarily mean a better year for those two either, as they are both another year older and another year slower.

The pitching staff isn’t looking much better, either. After losing Joe Blanton and Vance Worley, the Phillies’ once-great rotation is lacking depth. And although it appears Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels are as good as ever, Roy Halladay is showing signs of age. He had a 4.49 ERA in 25 starts last year, and hasn’t looked much better this year.

While there is an outside chance the Phillies make the playoffs, it’s unlikely. They are only a shell of the group that dominated the division a few years ago, and they will only be getting worse from here as their expensive assets become less tradeable with age. Nonetheless, they are probably about on-par with the Mets right now, which will make this series a fun one to watch.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Matt Harvey (2012: 59.1 IP, 141 ERA+, 2.69 K/BB) vs. Roy Halladay (2012: 156.1 IP, 89 ERA+, 3.67 K/BB)

Halladay hasn’t been himself lately, struggling this spring and in his first start, in which he went 3.1 innings, allowing five runs and two home runs. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com talked to a scout about Hallday. Here is some of what he said:

“If you didn’t know it was Roy Halladay out there,” he said, “you would say, ‘This guy looks like a journeyman.’”

A journeyman. For more than a decade, that would have been the last word anyone ever would have attached to a description of Roy Halladay. But now he finds himself a few weeks from his 36th birthday with more than 33,000 pitches on the odometer. And all of a sudden, the same scout said, “he looks like a guy who doesn’t have a whole lot left in his tank.”

“I didn’t see anything alarming,” the scout went on. “Nothing where you’d say he’s doing this or doing that, and that’s what was wrong. I just think he’s thrown a lot of pitches over the years. He’s always kept himself in great shape, so it isn’t that. But you’ve only got so many throws in that arm.”

He may be right: this may be the end for Halladay

Game 2: Dillon Gee (2012: 109.2 IP, 94 ERA+,3.34 K/BB) vs. Cliff Lee (2012: 211 IP, 127 ERA+, 7.39 K/BB)

Lee was horribly unlucky last season. Despite posting a 3.16 ERA and 3.06 xFIP (first in baseball), the Phillies lost most of the games Lee started. His win-loss record from last year is completely misleading. He is still one of the best in the game, walking only 1.219 batters per nine while striking out 8.8. In his last outing, Lee tossed eight shutout innings, allowing just two hits and striking out eight.

Game 3: Jeremy Hefner (2012: 93.2 IP, 76 ERA+, 3.44 K/BB) vs. Kyle Kendrick (2012: 159.1 IP, 103 ERA+, 2.37 K/BB)

Kendrick has proven himself to be a solid option at the back of the rotation with an occasional stint as a long man. With a career 4.7 K/9 rate, he doesn’t dominate, but he doesn’t walk too many hitters either, with a 2.61 BB/9 ratio. Kendrick allowed five runs on eight hits in 5.2 innings in his last start against Kansas City.

Series News & Notes

  • Carlos Ruiz, who batted .325 with a career-high of 16 home runs is still serving a 25-game suspension for violation of Major League Baseball’s drug policy.
  • The Mets have hit at least one home run in each of their first six games, the longest such stretch to open a season since New York hit a home run in six straight games to begin the 1987 campaign. That team went on to hit home runs in their first eight games.
  • David Wright played his 61st consecutive game without an error yesterday, extending the franchise record for third basemen. Lenny Randle is second on the list with 54 consecutive errorless games.
  • In his final start in 2012, Harvey allowed a leadoff home run to Jimmy Rollins on September 19…That was the only hit and run allowed by Harvey over seven innings as he racked up seven strikeouts in a no-decision…the Mets lost, 3-2.
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Carlos Ruiz Suspended 25 Games http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/11/carlos-ruiz-suspended-25-games.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/11/carlos-ruiz-suspended-25-games.html/#comments Wed, 28 Nov 2012 00:47:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=101627

Major League Baseball announced via Twitter this afternoon that Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz has been suspended 25 games after testing positive for an Amphetamine. The 33 year-old Ruiz had the best season of his career this year, hitting .325 with a career-high 16 home runs and 68 RBI.

Ruiz had never, before this year, had an OPS higher than .850 and only once in his career has he hit over .300. His career batting average is .275. Ruiz was leading the league in batting for quite a while, and would have finished third in the NL in hitting had he gotten 28 more plate appearances. He missed major time late in the season with an injury, but was the biggest threat in the Philadelphia offense before he went down.

Here are the rest of his career stats:

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Mets Fans Seeing Red On Their All-Star Ballots http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/06/mets-fans-seeing-red-on-their-all-star-ballots.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/06/mets-fans-seeing-red-on-their-all-star-ballots.html/#comments Fri, 18 Jun 2010 03:22:27 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=29155 Have you seen the updated vote totals for the National League All-Stars?  Apparently, Phillies fans have been stuffing the ballot boxes en masse.  According to mlb.com, as of June 15, seven of their eight starters rank in the top five in receiving votes at their respective positions.  Only Raul Ibanez (who was hitting .250 with 4 HR and 28 RBI entering last night’s game) failed to rank in the top five, coming in at #8 among National League outfielders.

Here is where each Phillies’ position player ranks among his peers in the voting for the 2010 All-Star Game, along with each player’s vote tally and stats through Tuesday night’s games:

First base:

1. Albert Pujols, Cardinals (2,093,649 votes)
2. Ryan Howard, Phillies (941,134 votes)
3. Prince Fielder, Brewers (614,703 votes)
4. Troy Glaus, Braves (559,290 votes)

Second base:

1. Chase Utley, Phillies (1,992,180 votes)
2. Martin Prado, Braves (895,458 votes)
3. Dan Uggla, Marlins (603,822 votes)
4. Rickie Weeks, Brewers (507,187 votes)

Third base:

1. Placido Polanco, Phillies (933,229 votes)
2. David Wright, Mets (754,455 votes)
3. Chipper Jones, Braves (702,702 votes)
4. Casey McGehee, Brewers (657,982 votes)

Shortstop:

1. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins (1,190,685 votes)
2. Jimmy Rollins, Phillies (992,887 votes)
3. Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies (702,165 votes)
4. Jose Reyes, Mets (493,913 votes)

Catcher:

1. Yadier Molina, Cardinals (1,047,411 votes)
2. Brian McCann, Braves (959,033 votes)
3. Ivan Rodriguez, Nationals (805,089 votes)
4. Carlos Ruiz, Phillies (745,844 votes)

Outfield:

1. Ryan Braun, Brewers (1,422,598 votes)
2. Jason Heyward, Braves (1,419,753 votes)
3. Andre Ethier, Dodgers (1,348,662 votes)
4. Jayson Werth, Phillies (1,124,831 votes)
5. Shane Victorino, Phillies (1,029,700 votes)
6. Matt Holliday, Cardinals (955,411 votes)
7. Matt Kemp, Dodgers (770,145 votes)
8. Raul Ibanez, Phillies (694,911 votes)

There are 14 players in the National League who have received at least 900,000 votes.  Six of them are Phillies.

Chase Utley deserves his spot at second base and Ryan Howard deserves to be second behind Albert Pujols.  But how can you explain Jimmy Rollins being second in the shortstop voting with almost one million votes when he has only played in 12 games this season?  Are the fans related to the voters who gave Rafael Palmeiro the 1999 Gold Glove Award at first base despite the fact that he was the Rangers’ designated hitter for all but 28 games that year?  Troy Tulowitzki (.305, 17 doubles, 9 HR, 33 RBI, leads all major league shortstops with 45 runs scored) is a far more deserving candidate at shotstop than Rollins.

Mets fans should be up in arms at the vote leader for third basemen.  Apparently, baseball fans believe Placido Polanco is having more of an All-Star season than David Wright.  This is the same Placido Polanco that is hitting .311, with 5 HR, 23 RBI and three stolen bases.  David Wright is hitting .291, with 12 HR and an NL-leading 52 RBI.  He also leads all NL third basemen in stolen bases with 11.  No other National League third baseman has more than five.

Also, how does Carlos Ruiz have more votes at the catcher position than Rod Barajas?  These are Ruiz’s numbers (.267, six doubles, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 14 runs scored) compared to Barajas’ numbers (.257, 10 doubles, 11 HR, 30 RBI, 26 runs scored).  Barajas leads all National League catchers in homers and RBI and is in the top five in doubles and runs scored.  Ruiz isn’t even in the top ten in homers, RBI, doubles and runs scored.

Here’s one final argument for Barajas that should open some eyes among voters.  As noted above, Ruiz’s stats for the entire season, regardless of opponent are as follows: (.267, six doubles, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 14 runs scored).  These are Barajas’ numbers against ONLY divisional rivals: (.341, nine doubles, 6 HR, 19 RBI, 17 runs scored).  Barajas’ cumulative numbers against the teams in his own division are better than Ruiz’s numbers against EVERY TEAM on the Phillies’ schedule.  Yet somehow, Ruiz appears to be the more worthy candidate if you look solely at the All-Star voting.

The way fans have stuffed the ballot boxes and online voting is reminiscent of something that happened more than half a century ago.

In 1957, fans of the Cincinnati Reds went on an All-Star voting frenzy.  Seven of the eight position players voted by fans to start the All-Star Game were members of the Reds.  Major League Baseball conducted an investigation of where the votes were being cast and found out that more than half the votes came from Cincinnati.

Commissioner Ford Frick decided to replace two of Cincinnati’s players who were voted to start the All-Star Game with the more worthy Willie Mays and Henry Aaron.  In addition to replacing Cincinnati’s players, Frick decided that fans were no longer going to vote for who they wanted to start in the Midsummer Classic.  That privilege was given to managers, coaches and players.  This rule stayed in effect until voting privileges were given back to the fans in 1970.

Should Bud Selig step in whenever fans of one particular team stuff the ballot boxes and online voting?  I’m not sure that should happen.  But something must be done to prevent scenarios that would send players to the All-Star Game who have spent the majority of the season on the DL (see Jimmy Rollins) or players who are barely registering on the radar (see Carlos Ruiz).

The Midsummer Classic should be about the best players in baseball, not whose fans can click on their mouse the fastest.  Let’s send the right players to the All-Star Game!

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Starting Off a Critical Stretch the Right Way http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/06/starting-off-a-critical-stretch-the-right-way.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/06/starting-off-a-critical-stretch-the-right-way.html/#comments Wed, 10 Jun 2009 17:48:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=6578 Okay, I wasn’t at Citi Field last night, but I could feel the energy in the park all the way from New York to Nashville.  It was a playoff game in June, and the Mets continued their dominance of Philly when they absolutely had to have a win against them.  It also kick-started a stretch of tough games against the Phillies, Yankees, Orioles, Rays, Cards, Yankees again, Brewers, Phillies, Dodgers and Reds before the all-star break. 

 

Quite frankly, the next month of games is going to make or break this Mets’ team, and show us all what they are made of.  I like how it started last night, with Johan absolutely fierce despite not having his best stuff.  Wright, Beltran and Church delivered homers when there had been a power drought.  And as for Johan, he ignored a bunt sign and drove in the tying run with a double down the right field line, and he also made a stunning catch of a wicked liner off the bat of Shane Victorino, doubling Eric Bruntlett off first to end the Phillies’ half of the 7th.  He was pissed when Jerry Manuel yanked him in the 8th—he was saying “I’m a Man!” and I could also make this out: “I’ll give you the ball, but I don’t agree with you.”  Good for him….who would want our ace to have any other attitude?

 

There was also a horrible call in the bottom of the sixth when Ryan Church hit a rocket that was fielded by Ryan Howard as Fernando Tatis broke for the plate (with no outs, mind you) and Howard threw him out at the plate.  But wait…..umpire Lance Barksdale blew that call about as bad as you can blow a call.  Tatis slid under the tag of catcher Carlos Ruiz, but not only that, Ruiz was bobbling the ball!  I have no idea why Tatis, nor Jerry Manuel, didn’t get in Barksdale’s face.  Even David Wright could be seen in the dugout trying to convince Manuel to do that.  Luckily, that was the same inning Santana doubled home the tying run, so it didn’t decide the game.  But still…..I’m pissed about that call, and the Mets and their fans should be too.

 

So Game 1 goes to the Mets, and it brought them to within two games of the Phillies.  We need at least one more win in the series to make a statement, but wouldn’t a sweep really be nice?  I won’t get greedy, and I’m just excited for more playoff-style baseball for the next month.  Let’s go Mets!

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