Mets Merized Online » center field Sat, 25 Feb 2017 14:09:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How Should Granderson Be Utilized in Center Field? Fri, 17 Feb 2017 15:30:15 +0000 curtis granderson

In the past three seasons Juan Lagares has been the New York Mets center fielder on Opening Day, but that will most likely change in 2017 with Curtis Granderson getting the start.

Granderson, now the Mets elder statesman at 35, is in the final year of his four-year contract and could be playing a majority of his time in his old home, center field. Grandy has been the Mets Opening Day starter in right field the past three seasons and has played 401 of his 471 defensive games for the Mets in right.

Grandy has played 53 games in three seasons with the Mets in center field including 36 in 2016, the most since 2012 for the New York Yankees at 31 years old.

The veteran Granderson told Mike Puma of the NY Post this about playing center field daily, “It is doable definitely, but we also have a lot of great guys who at any time, if needed, can go out there.”

Indeed, the Mets have former Gold Glove center fielder Juan Lagares that will give Granderson rest against lefties (assuming he stays healthy). The 27-year old Lagares played in only 79 last season due to thumb surgery in August. Lagares has hit lefties better in his career (.276/.322/.412) than Granderson (.224/.297/.401).

Lagares bounced back defensively last season with eight defensive runs saved in just 325.2 innings in center field. He also posted a 5.2 UZR and showed off a better arm than we saw in 2015.

Granderson himself put up respectable numbers defensively in center last year (albeit in small sample size/250 innings) with one defensive run saved, 0.3 UZR and that tremendous catch in the Wild Card game. If he could repeat that performance in 2017 the Mets will certainly be very happy given that in the previous five seasons in center he had -9 defensive runs saved.

The Mets also have Michael Conforto as a center field option, whom was better than expected in center last year, in a very small sample size of 39 innings. Conforto is likely to start the season in Triple-A given the presence of Jay Bruce and his offensive struggles in 2016 with a disappointing .220/.310/.414 slash line.

One thing the Mets have made pretty clear is that Yoenis Cespedes is left fielder and that’s where he will stay this year. Cespedes played a career high 63 games in center last season, but had trouble keeping his legs healthy and his offense is too important to worry about stretching him in center.

With Cespedes locked into left and Jay Bruce (currently) locked into right field, one question is how many games will Grandy play in center? Collins said this to the NY Post, “Yeah, I have got to get Grandy out of there a little more than I have in the past. I think he’s got to be smart, and he certainly is, that you have got to make sure he can have some days off so you can maintain that quality of play you are going to need in that position.”

Granderson is coming off a solid offensive season in which he hit .237/.335/.464 with 24 doubles, five triples, 30 home runs, 59 RBI and a 114 wRC+.

He proved he can still be an important part of the offense, however, it would probably be best for him and the team if they used Lagares as much as possible for defense late in games and against most lefties. But is that how Terry Collins will use the soon-to-be 36-year old that hasn’t played center field regularly in the past four seasons?

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Bruce Expects To Be Everyday Right Fielder Thu, 16 Feb 2017 16:00:47 +0000 jay bruce

New York Mets outfielder Jay Bruce spoke to the media in Port St. Lucie on today and one of the things he said was that the front office told him to be ready to be the everyday right fielder.

The Mets seem intent on keeping the veteran outfielder (for now) after having shopped him most of the offseason which would clear up the outfield logjam and presumably shed some of his $13 million salary for this season.

Instead, the Mets didn’t find any offers they liked and will head into spring training action with left-handed hitting corner outfielders Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto vying for playing time alongside Bruce.

Yesterday, manager Terry Collins mentioned that Bruce could also get some reps at first base this spring and here is what Bruce said about that, “If they want me to do it I will bust my ass to do it the best I can.” He went on to mention that the team has yet to approach him about playing at first.

Bruce, who’s no stranger to trade rumors, “I refuse to be a distraction in the clubhouse.” The Reds had put him on the trading block for the past few seasons before actually trading him to the Mets in August of last year for Dilson Herrera and Max Wotell.

Right now the Mets starting outfield looks like Yoenis Cespedes in left field, Granderson in center field (with Juan Lagares against lefties) and Bruce in right field. Which could mean that Conforto goes back to Triple-A and awaits his chance.

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Jose Reyes Looking Forward To Playing Outfield Wed, 01 Feb 2017 23:50:16 +0000 jose reyes

Speaking to Matt Ehalt of, Jose Reyes spoke about the prospect of playing some outfield for the Mets in 2017.

“I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a new experience. I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Reyes said. “I’m healthy right now, my body feels good, I’m in great shape. I don’t see why not.”

Reyes can already play shortstop, second base and third base, so adding the outfield to his repertoire only increases his value. He certainly has the tools to make the transition, namely his plus speed and strong, accurate arm.

“If they really want to work me there, we’ll work a lot during spring training. It’s going to be fine,” Reyes said. “I didn’t have any problems taking fly balls but we’ll see what happens. There is still a long way to go. I’m ready for the challenge and whatever Terry needs me to do to help this ballclub I’m going to be open to doing it.”

Working out in center field might have to do with a plan that Reyes will start in center field against lefties and sitting Curtis Granderson. This also points to the Mets continuing not to trust Juan Lagares, who would seem to be the logical choice to start in center field against lefties due to his stellar glove and solid splits.

Reyes will probably start at third base whenever David Wright needs a day off, but he could also see time at shortstop and second base. “We just want David on the ballclub and to be healthy,” Reyes said of his longtime teammate.

“I know if he’s healthy he’s going to help this ballclub and contribute. I’m looking forward to seeing him in spring training and hopefully he’s ready to go. He’s the third baseman for the New York Mets. I’m here to do whatever the manager asks me to do, whatever Terry asks me to do I’m going to be open to doing it.”

It is tough to determine exactly what Reyes’ role will be in 2017, but he will surely play a major role in the Mets path to the playoffs. Whatever that role will be, Reyes will do what needs to be done and, hopefully, produce along the way.

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Should The Mets Pursue Charlie Blackmon? Tue, 20 Dec 2016 22:20:34 +0000 charlie-blackmon

Ken Rosenthal recently reported for Fox Sports that the Mets are interested in pursuing a center field upgrade for the 2017 season. At this point in the offseason, we have a general idea of the center fielders that are available in trades. The Pittsburgh Pirates are known to be willing to move Andrew McCutchen for a king’s ransom, the Kansas City Royals are willing to move both Lorenzo Cain and Jarrod Dyson, and while the Colorado Rockies have steadfastly maintained he is not available, reports say that Charlie Blackmon available.

There are debates to be had on each of the aforementioned players. McCutchen is coming off a career worst season and he has grades as one of the worst center fielders in baseball over the past three seasons. Dyson may be nothing more than a left-handed hitting Juan Lagares. Cain has his injury issues. Then there is Blackmon.

The 2016 Blackmon was one of the best center fielders in all of baseball. In 143 games, Blackmon hit .324/.381/.552 with 111 runs, 35 doubles, five triples, 29 homers, 82 RBI, and 17 stolen bases. His oWAR was the highest of any outfielder in the National League. That is all the more impressive when you consider that means he rated better than bona fide superstars like Yoenis Cespedes and Bryce Harper. He had the highest wRC+ out of any center fielder in baseball not named Mike Trout. With stats like these, Blackmon quite justifiably won his first ever Silver Slugger.

With the Nationals giving up a massive haul of prospects to acquire Adam Eaton from the Chicago White Sox, you could imagine what teams would be willing to offer for Blackmon. Offering up such a haul could be a very costly mistake.

The 2016 season was Blackmon’s third season as a starter for the Rockies. In the prior two seasons combined, he was a .287/.341/.445 hitter who averaged 88 runs, 29 doubles, six triples, 18 homers, 65 RBI, and 36 stolen bases. Putting the sometimes overstated Coors Field effect aside, that’s a pretty good player. Still, is that the type of player that is worth giving up a massive haul of prospects? Maybe, if he brings real value to a team as a defensive center fielder.


He doesn’t. Over the past three seasons, Blackmon has averaged a -3 DRS and a -6.6 UZR in center field. In essence, Blackmon is below average in center field. Now, it is difficult to play center field in Coors Field. However, the same could be said for playing center field at Citi Field. Since the ballpark has been opened, Lagares is the only center fielder who has played over a thousand innings in a season that has posted a positive DRS and UZR for the Mets. Therefore, expecting an improvement in center for Blackmon due to a change in ballpark would be folly.

Even assuming Blackmon would be a better fielder in a smaller outfield, would his improvement as a defender offset what would likely be a sizable reduction in his offensive numbers?

Over time, there has been a noted Coors Field effect on players where we see drastic home/road splits. Blackmon is no different. In his career, he has been a .334/.389/.511 hitter at home and a .261/.305/.422 hitter on the road. That should give any team pause, especially the Mets with Blackmon hitting .219/.254/.375 in 18 career games at Citi Field. The obvious caveat there is the sample size and his having to face some superior Mets pitching. Despite that, there is every reason to believe Blackmon would regress offensively away from Coors Field, especially when we see most hitters regress after leaving Coors Field.

For example, in Matt Holliday‘s career he is a .361/.427/.656 hitter at Coors Field. In his last three years as a Rookie, he hit .329/.400/.579 while averaging 44 doubles, four triples, 32 homers, and 113 RBI a season. In his three seasons after leaving the Rockies, Holliday became a .308/.391/.524 hitter who averaged 40 doubles, one triple, 25 homers, and 96 RBI a season. While Holliday was still a very good hitter after leaving the Rockies, he was no longer the same offensive player.

The obvious counter-point to Holliday is Dexter Fowler, who is a career .298/.396/.490 hitter at Coors Field. As a Rockie, Fowler was a .270/.365/.423 hitter who averaged 24 homers, 11 triples, eight homers, and 42 RBI as a regular. Since leaving the Rockies, Fowler has been a .266/.369/.419 hitter who averaged 25 doubles, six triples, 13 homers, and 43 RBI. Arguably, Fowler has not experienced a drop off in his offensive production since leaving the Rockies. However, it should be noted that unlike Holliday, Fowler has played in Minute Maid Park and Wrigley Field, two ballparks that traditionally favors hitters.

Even with the outfield walls being reconfigured, Citi Field is still not a hitter’s park. In that respect, it is likely Blackmon sees a regression similar to the one Holliday experienced playing in Coliseum and Busch Stadium. In addition to the Coors Field regression, we may likely see a regression in Blackmon’s numbers from the 2016 season because much of his production was fueled by a .350 BABIP. That is is 27 points higher than his career mark entering this year. It is also hard to believe Blackmon will build off his 2016 season with him turning 31 next July.

Ultimately, it is quite likely he regresses at the plate next season whether or not he is playing in Coors Field. Moreover, given the advanced defensive data and his age, how much longer can Blackmon continue to play in center field? With these red flags, and what a potential prospect haul it would take to get him, the Mets should probably stay clear of Blackmon.

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Sifting Through All The Bruce and Granderson Noise Sun, 04 Dec 2016 03:56:59 +0000 jay-bruce-2

Greetings, it’s me Captain Howdy, coming to you from the bowels of the Mets blogosphere where nothing is ever as it seems and every beat writer’s sources contradict each other at every turn. But that’s the fun part for me, trying to decipher the logical from the utterly improbable and staying ahead of the game. I’m fairly certain the great majority of you do the same exact thing, using your common sense to sift through all the BS which tends to pile up pretty high at this time of the year.

Last week we had three different beat writers cite a team source that said the Mets will trade Curtis Granderson or Jay Bruce, another reported that the Mets could trade both of them, and yet another even reported keeping both of them. Pretty funny, huh? I had my own source tell me that unless they are blown away, that the Mets will not trade Granderson and that Bruce was as good as gone.

Now even if that weren’t conveyed to me, I kind of figured that’s the likelihood of how things are going to go down next week at the Winter Meetings. It’s the only one of the three options that makes the most sense.

Right off the bat, keeping both Bruce and Granderson is about as ridiculous a strategy as one could concoct, so sorry Mr. Martino I’m not buying that one for a minute.

I have it on pretty good authority that the front office is 100 percent committed to giving Michael Conforto a full shot next season, playing against both RHP and LHP. Sorry, Terry. Additionally, keeping both and still trying to add two quality bullpen pieces will put payroll way over $150 million and pushing $160 million. No way do I see that happening.

Trading both of them, while not as preposterous as keeping both, still makes no sense unless the Mets were planning to then make a strong push for Andrew McCutchen or some other proven, high caliber player for center field. Possible, yes, but still very unlikely. Also unlikely is the front office going full throttle on a Brandon Nimmo and Juan Lagares platoon in center field, especially when your team is in win-now mode and your window for retaining your Fab 5 pitching staff is getting smaller and smaller.

So when you’re done applying all your logic and a dash of common sense, it leaves you with the only likely outcome that makes the most sense; the Mets will trade Jay Bruce for a quality reliever or a pretty damn good prospect. And guess what, my friends? You don’t really need any sources to figure that one out.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, while we get ready to bring you all the Winter Meetings coverage straight from Washington D.C. – it should be a lot of fun this year. LGM

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White Sox Likely To Deal Adam Eaton Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:09:40 +0000 adam eaton

According to Jon Morosi on Twitter, the White Sox could be dealing center fielder Adam Eaton during the Winter Meetings. The tweet was in the context that he was more likely to be dealt than 1B/DH Jose Abreu, however both have been said to be on the trade block.

Eaton, 27, has been a very consistent player in his career. After being a backup outfielder in Arizona from 2012 to 2013, he went to Chicago and hit the ground running. In his three years with the White Sox, he has hit .290/.362/.422 with 29 home runs, 28 triples, and 47 stolen bases.

He finished 19th in MVP voting this season, after he hit .284/.362/.428 with 14 home runs, nine triples (most in the AL), and 91 runs scored while providing solid defense in the outfield. This season he played mostly right field, but still logged over 300 innings in center.

He is a left handed hitter, however the handedness of the pitcher doesn’t make much of a difference to him. Since 2014, he has hit .282/.354/.343 against lefties and .293/.364/.450 against righties. His batting average and on-base percentage are very comparable, but he clearly has more power against righties as you can see in his slugging percentage.

Eaton is owed $4 million in 2017, $6 million in 2018, and $8.4 million in 2019. He has options of $9.5 and $10.5 million in 2020 and 2021 respectively, each with $1.5 million buyouts.

The Mets currently have an overflowing outfield, but that is destined to change once the Mets trade Jay Bruce and/or Curtis Granderson. They have Gold Glovers Yoenis Cespedes in left field and Juan Lagares in center field, however the addition of Eaton couldn’t hurt, especially if they trade both Bruce and Granderson.

Adam Eaton is a remarkably consistent player who would improve any team he plays for. His acquisition, though, would further curtail the playing time of both Juan Lagares, who is a vastly better player when he gets consistent playing time, and Michael Conforto.

Acquiring Eaton would take a fair number of prospects as well, and knowing how Sandy Alderson operates, I don’t see him coughing up young talent when he already has the option for a solid center field platoon with Lagares and Conforto. If both Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson get dealt, Eaton would give Terry Collins some good flexibility in the outfield.

Against righties, Adam Eaton could play center field and Michael Conforto would play in right. Conversely, against lefties, Juan Lagares would play center field and Eaton could play in right.

We will, of course, keep you posted on any developments.

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Michael Conforto To Get Time In Center Field And First Base Wed, 09 Nov 2016 16:00:28 +0000 michael-conforto

The New York Mets have an interesting situation named Michael Conforto. While he has shown that he can produce at an elite level for extended periods of time, he has far from proven he can be defined as an elite hitter. Despite his ambiguity, his potential remains, and the Mets want to give him every opportunity to blossom into the slugger we know he can be. At the GM meetings, Sandy Alderson spoke about how Conforto could get more playing time.

To give him more opportunities, the Mets will be exposing him to first base in the spring, as well as revisiting the idea of him playing center field. He has only ever played the outfield during his professional career, so he would have to completely learn first base. On the other hand, he showed that he can play a decent center field, and would only get better with more innings there.

Specifically, when speaking about the 23 year-old Conforto, Alderson said, “Conceivably, he could fit in center field. He played there both at the major league level and the minor league level. I think we were pleasantly surprised at how he adapted to the position. He’s an outstanding athlete.” That outstanding athleticism should aid him in his transition to first base as well.

Much of this depends on whether or not the Mets bring back Yoenis Cespedes. If Cespedes is in left field every day, with Curtis Granderson in center field and Jay Bruce in right, Conforto’s role would likely be reduced to a fourth outfielder/occasional first baseman. If Cespedes were to leave, he would likely play a lot of left field while splitting some time with Juan Lagares in center.

Keith Hernandez, who certainly knows a thing or two about hitting, diagnosed at least some of Conforto’s issues when talking to the Wall Street Journal: “He wanted to be quick, but that led to swinging at breaking balls out of the strike zone, and then worrying about the breaking ball led to him getting busted inside with the fastball,” Hernandez added. “Going the other way is his strength.”

In 109 games in 2016, Conforto slashed .220/.310/.414 with 12 home runs, 42 RBIs, and 89 strikeouts. He hit .337 with 15 extra base hits and 18 RBI during his first 23 games this season, but then he faced Madison Bumgarner and it was all downhill from there. He went 20-for-133(.150) after that game and was demoted to the Minor Leagues. He was back and forth a few times during the rest of the season but couldn’t put it together. Here’s to hoping his bat comes back around.

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Nationals GM Doesn’t Rule Out Pursuit Of Yoenis Cespedes Wed, 09 Nov 2016 12:00:36 +0000 yoenis cespedes walkoff

Yoenis Cespedes is clearly the biggest free agent this offseason, and the team we all least want to see him go to is probably going to make a big push to sign him. The Nationals didn’t come out and say they would pursue Cespedes, but they certainly did not rule out the possibility.

“When [Cespedes] played for the Mets, the guy scared me,” Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo said, according to Joel Sherman of the NY Post. “He’s a really good offensive player. He’s a really good two-way player. He is a middle-of-the-lineup bat. He improves any team he plays for.”

Cespedes, 31, slashed .280/.354/.530 with 31 home runs and 86 RBIs in 2016. He would immediately upgrade the Nationals’ lineup, but it’s not that easy. If he were to be signed by the Nationals, they would have to remove payroll in another area, according to Rizzo.

Other moving pieces would be rookie Trea Turner, who would go back to his natural position at shortstop, and former MVP Bryce Harper, who would play center field with Jayson Werth in right field and Cespedes in left.

Harper’s cannon for an arm and decent speed make him a stellar right fielder, however he has played a decent center field in his career. “Harper is very capable of playing center field,” Rizzo said. “He is all about winning and if it helps us win, I know he will be all-in.”

This could all be a bluff; a ploy to scare the Mets into possibly overspending to bring back Cespedes. If the Nationals made no other offensive moves besides signing Cespedes, it would end up being a straight lineup swap between him and Danny Espinosa.

Espinosa was the starting shortstop in 2016, however Turner would almost certainly move back to shortstop, pushing Espinosa into a utility role. While that is an upgrade, it doesn’t seem like it would be worth the amount of money it would take to sign Cespedes.

Yoenis Cespedes will surely be an expensive upgrade for any team that signs him. The worst case scenario would be him being the 2017 starting left fielder for the Washington Nationals, and unfortunately, that is a distinct possibility.

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Would Fowler Fit With Mets if Cespedes Leaves? Sat, 29 Oct 2016 18:52:38 +0000 dexter fowler

In a recent article by Joel Sherman of the New York Post he suggest that Chicago Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler could be a fit for the Mets should Yoenis Cespedes sign elsewhere.

Last offseason, Fowler was met with an underwhelming free agent market after receiving a qualifying offer from the Cubs. He ended up signing what is essentially a one year, $13 million contract once a deal with the Baltimore Orioles fell through in the final stages.

Fowler is coming off a great regular season in which he posted a career high 4.2 bWAR. He hit .276/.393/.447 with 25 doubles, seven triples, 13 home runs, 48 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 551 plate appearances. He had a career best 14.3 BB% but also struck out 124 times in 125 games.

A big part of the career year for Fowler was his bounce back on defense with one defensive run saved after combining for -32 in the previous two seasons. He also had a 1.0 UZR, which was the highest of his nine year major league career. He’s played all but one of his major league defensive innings in center field.

Fowler would give the Mets an everyday option in center field while allowing some combination of Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto to stay in the corners.

Yesterday, we took a look at other possible solutions for the Mets if Cespedes was to leave.

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Cespedes Will Opt Out, Seek Five Year Deal Thu, 27 Oct 2016 15:01:02 +0000 yoenis-cespedes-550

According Jon Heyman of Todays Knuckleball, Yoenis Cespedes plans on exercising his opt-out clause as expected. He states that the Mets have kept “open dialogue” with Cespedes but doesn’t get the sense they are making a push for a deal prior to the opt-out.

Two GMs that Heyman talked to said they could see Cespedes getting in the range of at least four years and $100 million. Multiple reports say that Cespedes will seek a five-year deal after opting out of the two years, $47.5 million he has left with the Mets.

Original Report – Oct 26

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN, not only do the New York Mets anticipate Yoenis Cespedes will opt out of the remaining two years of his contract, they are skeptical he will re-sign with them, although they believed the same thing a year ago.

Last year, the Mets had put contingency plans for Cespedes leaving in place when Alejandro De Aza was signed to platoon with Juan Lagares in center field.

When Cespedes did not receive the contract offer he wanted on the free agent market both he and the Mets agreed to a three year $75 million contract that included an opt out after the first year. Cespedes has until three days after the World Series has ended to exercise that option.

Rubin says that Mets officials expect Cespedes will seek a five-year deal as a free agent and are pessimistic about their chances of re-signing him.

“In fact, one reason for acquiring outfielder Jay Bruce from the Cincinnati Reds on Aug. 1 was to serve as a hedge in case Cespedes bolted this offseason”, he adds.

In Cespedes’ time with the Mets, he has played in 189 games hitting .282/.348/.554 with 48 homers and 130 RBI. While Cespedes began his Mets career predominantly playing center field, leg injuries limited him to left field in the second half of 2016.

Should Cespedes depart, the Mets need to assess whether internal options like Jay Bruce and Michael Conforto can replicate that type of production or if they need to go on the free agent market and sign a player like Jose Bautista

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Should The Mets Trade Curtis Granderson? Mon, 24 Oct 2016 16:17:49 +0000 curtis-granderson

I want to start off by saying that I love Curtis Granderson. He plays with hustle and his off-field endeavors are admirable and laudable. He’s willing to do whatever is necessary to help the team, and is seen as a leader in the clubhouse. That being said, the Mets might want to consider the possibility of trading him this offseason.

Grandy is entering the fourth and final year of a 4 year, $60 million contract, and will make $15 million in 2017. Granderson hit .237/.335/.464 with 30 home runs and 59 RBIs in 2017, so his trade value is pretty high right now. That home run total and solid on-base percentage would surely catch some interest, however he greatly increased his value in another way this season as well. When Juan Lagares went down with a thumb injury, Granderson slid over to play center field in his absence.

He played a more than adequate center field, culminating in that brilliant catch against the wall in the Wild Card game. He made no errors this season while tallying 8 outfield assists in 1209.2 innings (905 in RF, 251 in CF, 53.2 in LF). Even at age 35, he has shown that he can still put up good power numbers while playing a solid outfield. Pair that with his leadership skills and his $15M salary seems to be reasonable.


So, why trade him? Assuming the Mets keep Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce, the outfield would most likely consist of those two All Stars at the corners with Juan Lagares patrolling center field. That would be a phenomenal defensive outfield. Yoenis Cespedes is a Gold-Glover with easily one of the best arms in the game.

Jay Bruce makes up for his slight lack of range with a plus arm, accounting for an impressive 86 outfield assists in only 9 seasons. Lastly, Juan Lagares is, well, the best. He’s worthy of a 1(-5) rating in Strat-O-Matic (If you’re under the age of 30, ask your father).

If Michael Conforto returns to his 2015 and early 2016 form, he would be an incredibly valuable asset as well that will certainly figure into the outfield equation.  $15 million is a lot to be paying a 4th or 5th outfielder if Curtis Granderson remains on the team. There are many teams that would love to add a player like Curtis Granderson, too many to name. He can play any of the outfield positions and put up decent offensive numbers.

One of the most important reasons the Mets could trade him, though, can not be quantified. Every inning he would play in the outfield, every at-bat in 2017, he takes an inning or an at bat away from Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, or Brandon Nimmo. These guys have tremendous upside, but they need consistent innings. From a developmental standpoint, trading Granderson could certainly be a viable choice.

The Mets need upgrades in many areas this offseason, including but not limited to the bullpen, catcher, and second base. Creating a package including Curtis Granderson might help fill those needs, and the Mets would still be left with a very good outfield. I’d hate to see him go, but that $15M could be spent on one or two difference-makers that can get the Mets back to the World Series.

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]]> 0 D’Backs Complete Sweep With 9-0 Win Over Sinking Mets Thu, 11 Aug 2016 19:26:54 +0000 noah syndergaard

The New York Mets (57-57) were swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks (48-66) by a score of 9-0 at Citi Field Thursday afternoon.   The Mets will fall to .500 for the first time since April 20th.


Noah Syndergaard was on the mound for the Mets today and he struggled. Syndergaard was only able to last five innings giving up three runs while walking one and striking out six.  Syndergaard once again saw his pitch count rise early and he was unable to last deep into the game.

The Diamondbacks got things started in the top of the fourth inning today.  Chris Owings lead off the inning with a double to center field.  Brandon Drury followed with a sacrifice fly to move Owings to third.  Socrates Brito cashed in by hitting a ground rule double down the left field line to give the Diamondbacks the early 1-0 lead.  Tuffy Gosewisch then tripled to score Brito and give the Diamondbacks a 2-0 lead.  The D’Backs weren’t done just yet as pitcher Braden Shipley singled to center field to bring in the third run of the inning and give the Diamondbacks an early 3-0 lead.

In the top of the sixth inning with Jon Niese brought in, the Diamondbacks went to town and just blew the doors off him.  Tuffy Gosewisch lead off the inning with his second home run of the year to make the score 4-0.  After a Jean Segura single and a Michael Bourn walk, Niese intentionally walked Paul Goldschmidt to load the bases.  Rene Rivera then allowed a passed ball to make the score 5-0.  Niese then also walked Jake Lamb to load the bases again before giving up a triple to Chris Owings to make the score 8-0.  Brandon Drury then brought him home as well with a sacrifice fly to make the game 9-0.  What a disaster!  Niese appears cooked.

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Offense?  What offense?  The Mets are working with a short deck currently but the team appears to have given up.  Terry Collins one redeeming quality was that the team generally played hard for him.  This team appears lost.   Today was a complete embarrassment.  If I’m the Mets, I start calling up Gsellman, Smoker, Sewald, and others with an eye towards 2017.

On Deck:

The Mets will open a three game set tomorrow with the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. The game has a start time of 7:10 PM.  Logan Verrett (3-7, 4.66 ERA) will look to get the Mets back on track against Paul Clemens (1-2, 4.61 ERA).

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The Mets Center Field Dilemma Wed, 03 Aug 2016 15:19:28 +0000 jay bruce

The Mets acquisition of Jay Bruce was designed to solve the Mets’ offensive woes, and more importantly, their difficulty with hitting with runners in scoring position. However, the move coupled with Yoenis Cespedes‘ injury, only exacerbates the team’s center field problem.

As Barry Bloom reports for, Sandy Alderson admits it’s not an ideal situation. “As people will comment, it’s not an absolute perfect fit for us. You start with the need for offense and go from there.”

The Mets are unsure what Cespedes is capable of doing after a game where he said he can no longer go “full speed” anymore without experiencing pain. There is real fear amongst the Mets Terry Collins said,

“To be honest, he could go out there. Could he aggravate it?  Maybe. And if he aggravates it more, we’re looking at three or four weeks. I’m not going to do that.”

Fortunately, the Mets will be able to use Cespedes at DH for the next five games with the Yankees playing two in the Bronx followed by a three game set in Detroit. After an off day Monday, it’s still unclear what the Mets can get out of Cespedes, or what the regular outfield alignment will be.

This is a Mets roster without a true center field option. Juan Lagares had thumb surgery and will be out for at least six weeks. Imported replacement Justin Ruggiano just landed on the disabled list with a hamstring issue. Michael Conforto has only played five games there, and Collins doesn’t appear to be eager to let him start against left-handed pitching.

With these injuries, Terry Collins admits, “We’re asking now for three guys to play a position they’re not comfortable playing.”

curtis granderson catch 2

Curtis Granderson has more center field experience than anyone on the roster, but he hadn’t played there regularly since 2012. For what it’s worth, Collins doesn’t appear eager to play Granderson in center either as he believes it “is going to tax him a lot.”

Given Collins’ reluctance to play Granderson or Conforto in center, and his other options being injured, he had gone so far as inquiring about newly acquired Met Jay Bruce‘s willingness to play center.

“Collins asked me if I played any center and I told him that I had. But it sounds like the plan is for me to play a lot of right field. I told him I’d be more than willing and happy to play anywhere he needed me. I don’t think there’s a clear cut center fielder on the team. I’m ready for wherever he puts me. I’m ready for anything.”

Despite the temptation, Collins still intends to keep Bruce where he’s played all season.

“I’m going to play him in right field for now. I’m scheduled to talk to Grandy in a little while about moving him in the outfield situation. Bruce told me he hasn’t played center field since 2008, so that’s quite a while.”

Just like Bruce, Granderson has taken a team-first stance on the issue. “Wherever they put me at – Catch, short, pitch, outfield – I’ll play all of them.”  (Wall Street Journal)

The best bet for now might just be Alejandro De Aza who has been the team’s best hitter since July 1st. With yesterday’s performance, he is hitting .342/.500/.553 with two doubles, two homers, and four RBI in that stretch. Each and every game he hits, it becomes harder and harder for the Mets to sit him. It should also be noted that before Cespedes was re-signed, he was brought in by the Mets to be the long side of a platoon with Lagares in center.

Overall, like it did when he joined the Mets a year ago, everything revolves around Cespedes.

“A lot of this is about Cespedes’ availability. We’re still trying to figure out what path to take as we get down the road a little bit. Health is going to be a big thing for them all.”

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Yankees Rally Late; Defeat Mets 6-5 In Extras Tue, 02 Aug 2016 03:00:45 +0000 logan verrett

The New York Mets (54-51) were defeated by the New York Yankees (53-52) by a score of tonight at Citi Field.


Logan Verrett got the ball for the first game of the Subway Series tonight, and had a pretty pedestrian start, going five innings, allowing three runs on four hits, while striking out two and walking three.

The first batter Verrett faced was Brett Gardner, who hit a ball that ricocheted off the center field wall. Gardner tried to stretch a triple into an inside the park homer, but was gunned down at the plate.

The three runs against Verrett all came in the third inning, as Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury chipped in back-to-back hits to go up 3-1.

addison reed

Erik Goeddel and Hansel Robles each pitched a scoreless inning in relief of Verrett, but in the eighth inning, the Yankees tied the game up at five against Addison Reed. The usually reliable Reed sees his 16.1 inning scoreless streak end and gets his third blown save.

Jeurys Familia pitched a shaky ninth, but luckily kept the Yanks at bay, due in part to a tremendous catch by Curtis Granderson.

Seth Lugo, the last man in the bullpen for the Mets, pitched the tenth and surrendered the go ahead run, and would end up as the losing pitcher.

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Wilmer Flores launched his eleventh homer of the year, a solo shot in the first inning to get the Mets on the scorecard first.

After the Yankees took the lead in the fifth, the Mets got one back after Brandon Nimmo got on base and Michael Conforto drove him in with a double.

The biggest hit of the game perhaps, came in the sixth inning when Matt Reynolds launched his second home run of the season to left center field, a three-run shot to give the Mets a 5-3 lead at the time.

The Mets had the tying and winning runs on base in the bottom of the tenth, but could not score, and drop game one of the Subway Series.

On deck:

The Subway Series continues tomorrow night, with Jacob deGrom (6-5, 2.56 ERA) taking on Masahiro Tanaka (7-3, 3.16 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM.

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Ruggiano Leaves Game With Strained Left Hamstring Tue, 02 Aug 2016 01:09:57 +0000 justin ruggiano

New York Mets center fielder Justin Ruggiano left Monday night’s game against the New York Yankees after the third inning with a mild left hamstring strain.

Ruggiano, who was just acquired on Saturday, had grounded into a double play in the third inning and came up lame.

Michael Conforto replaced him in the lineup while Alejandro De Aza moved from left field over to center field.

The Mets already had Asdrubal Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes active and unavailable for tonight’s game.

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Conforto, Cespedes and the Center Field Conundrum Tue, 19 Jul 2016 15:51:12 +0000 cespedes conforto

With the reluctance of Yoenis Cespedes to play center field citing the wear and tear on his legs and more specifically his strained quad, Terry Collins and the Mets find themselves in a bit of a conundrum.

The issue is that versus a right-handed pitcher, Collins prefers to have Cespedes, Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson in the lineup and of the three, the team views Cespedes as their most optimal center fielder. That’s not to say he’s a great center fielder, he’s not.

As was reported yesterday, Michael Conforto practiced fielding fly-balls in center field before Monday’s game. Conforto has never played center during his three-year professional career, but Collins is willing to roll the dice.

“I think he’s a better outfielder than people give him credit for,” Collins said of Conforto. “And, we’ve got two veteran guys who are alongside him. I think they can help him.”

That said, Collins was initially planning on having Cespedes back in center field for tonight’s game against the Cubs. However, because Cespedes looked a bit sluggish in left field on Monday night, the Mets skipper may be scrapping that idea.

“I would say he’s probably being cautious a little bit,” Collins said. “I’m certainly going to talk to him in the morning when he gets here tomorrow.”

“We’re taxing his body pretty heavily by putting him in center field, and we need him to hit,” Collins explained. “I just think, if he’s in left field where he’s comfortable, and there’s not so much emphasis on the defensive side, that he’ll go back to being a big production guy.”

Additionally and way out of left field, David Lennon of Newsday reported that Jose Reyes got some pregame drills in center field this weekend and will continue getting more practice in center for the time being. Reyes has never played outfield in his major or minor league career.

However, when Adam Rubin asked Collins about it, he joked that Jose Reyes in CF is not an active consideration because “then I’ve got to have Michael take groundballs at third.”

According to one reporter’s speculation, all of this maneuvering could be signalling that the Mets are willing to let Cespedes play wherever he wants to facilitate a possible extension deal.

Cespedes did win a gold glove for his play in left field, and it wasn’t that long ago that GM Sandy Alderson referred to playing Cespedes in center field as trying to jam a square peg into a round hole. So if the Mets were to reach an agreement with Cespedes, it’s very likely he plays strictly in left. He’s in the midst of the best offensive season in his career.

Here’s what we do know… when Cespedes signed his deal with the Mets he said he would play wherever Collins wanted him. He now seems to be backing off that, telling reporters on a few occasions he wants to play in left for the rest of the season.

Conforto, on the other hand, genuinely wants to help anyway he can including playing in center – a position that is completely foreign to him.

Juan Lagares is the only true center fielder the Mets have on their roster and he’ll certainly be patrolling center whenever a left hander starts. The issue is when the Mets go up against a right-handed starter like Jake Arrieta tonight.

I suspect we’ll see Conforto making his professional debut in center field tonight when the Mets take the field… And I think the kid will be alright.

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Mets Hoping Cespedes Can Avoid DL With Strained Right Quad Sat, 09 Jul 2016 13:28:00 +0000 yoenis-cespedes10

All Star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes strained his right quadriceps muscle on Friday after chasing down a Daniel Murphy double in the third inning.

“Hopefully it doesn’t translate into me going on the 15-day DL,” Cespedes said through his interpreter. He said he suffered a similar injury with the Detroit Tigers and it forced him to miss four or five days.

Cespedes, 30, will be checked out by team doctors on Saturday and manager Terry Collins doesn’t expect him to be available to play in Tuesday’s All Star Game in San Diego.

“When you’ve got strains, that’s an issue, especially when you’re as strong as he is,” Collins explained after the game.

Additionally, Collins said the team will play out the last two games of the first half with a short bench rather than promote another outfielder from Triple-A.

“We’re just going to have to keep going. I’ve told you before that no one in baseball feels sorry for us. And so we’ll just have to suck it up and come in tomorrow and get ready to play with the bodies we have available.” 

Original Report – July 8

The New York Mets announced that center fielder Yoenis Cespedes left the game with a strained right quad.

It appeared that Cespedes injured his leg after playing a Daniel Murphy double off the center field wall in the top of the third. After he threw the ball back into the infield, he was seen pounding and rubbing his quad area. Juan Lagares replaced Cespedes him in center in the top of the fourth.

After the Mets announcement, Adam Rubin tweeted out the following:

“Mets didn’t even use the term “mild” for Cespedes’ strain, which is usually their default terminology. Guess All-Star Game out for Cespedes.”

Hopefully he’s just being the typical alarmist that he is. We’ll know more after the game when Terry Collins speaks to reporters.

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Cespedes Likely To Miss Two Games With Sprained Wrist Thu, 23 Jun 2016 11:46:00 +0000 yoenis cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes was diagnosed with a mild sprain of his left wrist after meeting with team orthopedist Dr. Altchek.

Cespedes received a cortisone injection that is expected to sideline him for at least the first two games of Braves series which begins tonight in Atlanta.

Manager Terry Collins shared his concern with reporters on Wednesday. “If you remember last fall he had a similar problem with that left hand.” 

“I don’t know what the issue is, but I am certainly concerned about it. Any time you are a hitter and a big hitter and your hands and your wrists have problems, it’s a concern.”

The good news is that Cespedes is expected to avoid the disabled list.

Original Report – June 22

Mets center fielder Yoenis Cespedes left Wednesday’s game against the Kansas City Royals with discomfort in his left wrist, the team announced.

Cespedes could be seen grimacing in obvious pain after taking a swing in the bottom of the fifth inning.

After meeting with trainer Ray Ramirez, Cespedes left the game and was replaced in center field by Alejandro De Aza.

He is now off to meet with the doctor and will remain behind in New York while the team takes a flight to Atlanta. He is expected to rejoin the team tomorrow.

Cespedes had been 2-for-2 with a double and a walk before his departure.

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MMO Game Recap: Pirates Blank Mets 4-0 Wed, 15 Jun 2016 01:59:04 +0000 jacob degrom 2

The New York Mets (34-29) were defeated by the Pittsburgh Pirates (33-31) by a score of 4-0 at Citi Field Tuesday evening.


Jacob deGrom was on the mound tonight and he was very good.  He went six innings allowing two runs, walking one, and striking out nine.  deGrom made one crucial mistake to Jung Ho Kang with a runner on first in the top of the sixth.  Kang launched a two run home run to left center field and that would be more than enough for the Pirates offense tonight.

Jim Henderson came on and pitched a scoreless seventh.  Collins tried to squeeze a little more juice out of Henderson in the eighth and the plan backfired.  After a Gregory Polanco walk, Starling Marte hit a home run of his own to center field, doubling the Pirates lead to 4-0.

Erik Goeddel came in and pitched a 1-2-3 scoreless ninth.

Jung ho Kang


The Mets offense surely was not doing themselves any favors tonight but Jameson Taillon was simply incredible and had a no-hitter going into the seventh inning.  Taillon pitched eight innings allowing only two hits while walking one.

The Mets simply have too many players either out of the lineup or not performing at the moment.

Jameson - TaillonNotes:

Michael Conforto and Neil Walker were both held out today due to injuries.

Juan Lagares asked out the game tonight due to a toothache

Travis d’Arnaud is expected to return to the Mets next Tuesday

David Wright and team doctors are considering season-ending neck surgery

Zack Wheeler is expected to start a rehab assignment next week

On Deck: 

The Mets will play their second game of a three game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates tomorrow night at Citi Field. The game has a start time of 7:10 PM.  Noah Syndergaard (6-2, 2.00 ERA) will look to get the Mets going against lefty Jeff Locke (5-4, 5.38 ERA).


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2016 Season Preview: Alejandro De Aza, OF Wed, 23 Mar 2016 13:02:17 +0000 alejandro de aza

Alejandro De Aza, OF
DOB – April 11, 1984 (31 on Opening Day)
Bats/Throws: L/L
Contract Status: One-year, $5.75 million with $2M incentives

2015 Recap

Alejandro De Aza had his best season at the plate since 2012, posting a .262/.333/.422 line (104 wRC+) between three teams last year. The outfielder had a weak first month with the Orioles, hitting just .214/.277/.359 in 30 games, but had success in both Boston and San Francisco.

As a left-handed hitter, De Aza has had continued success against right-handed pitching throughout his career, and 2015 was no exception. De Aza hit .278/.351/.448 with seven homers in 314 plate appearances against right-handed pitching last year. That .799 OPS against righties was well above the league average of .723.

De Aza had a so-so year defensively, posting a -4 DRS and -1.1 UZR. Overall, he was worth about 1.2 Wins Above Replacement according to Fangraphs and 0.9 according to Baseball-Reference.

2016 Projections

Marcel – 435 PAs, .256/.319/.399, 9 HR

Steamer – 413 PAs, .241/.304/.364, 7 HR

ZiPS – 479 PAs, .257/.319/.401, 9 HR, 103 OPS+

The Mets signed Alejandro De Aza purely to face right-handed pitching which should immediately boost his numbers. I think you’ll see Juan Lagares get significant at-bats against right-handed pitching simply to have his glove on the field.

That being said, De Aza has been effective at what the Mets signed him for. Over his career, he has a .274/.338/.418 line against right-handed pitching, which is slightly above average.

In terms of indicators, there is nothing to point to that says De Aza’s 2015 season was a fluke. His BABIP was right around his career average, his line drive rate didn’t change very much, nor did his hard hit ball rate. And keep in mind he is still 31 years old, so he’s not old either.

The real question with De Aza is not how well he is going to hit right-handed pitching, because he is well-established as above average against them. The real question is whether or not he can handle center field. He hasn’t played much center field of late because he’s simply been on rosters with some great center fielders like Jackie Bradley, Adam Jones, and Adam Eaton.

However, the defensive stats are a bit strange for De Aza. UZR pegs him as a tick above average over his career in center while Defensive Runs Saved has him at -18 runs. Still, that DRS number was fueled by just one season. While he certainly isn’t an above average defender De Aza’s awful season in center a few years ago could have very well been a fluke or a flaw with the DRS statistic.

This is certainly not a Yoenis Cespedes situation where all the defensive metrics say the defense is bad. This is just an example of a situation where a defensive metric may not work perfectly for certain players. We’ll have to see how De Aza handles center field this year to know for sure.

If De Aza sticks around and actually gets significant playing time against righties, we can expect a slightly above average hitter (his career slash line against righties is .274/.338/.418). De Aza is by no means a flashy player, but he will do the job. Having Cespedes in center certainly makes the signing more palatable, no matter your opinion of him.

NOTE: This was written before the Cespedes signing, with slight modifications made.


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Trading Places: Collins Considering Playing Lagares In LF, Cespedes In CF Sat, 19 Mar 2016 15:45:50 +0000 juan lagares

In Friday night’s game against the Nationals, Juan Lagares, who has spent a majority of time in center field in his major league career, got the start in left field while Yoenis Cespedes played in center.

Lagares has started 127 games in left field in his professional career. However, most of them came in his time with Double-A Binghamton as well as spending time playing left field in winter ball.

Mets manager Terry Collins said this could be a reoccurring theme going forward according to a report on ESPN New York.

“I want to get him comfortable in other places besides center field,” Collins said in regards to Lagares. ”You never know where he’s going to play and what area’s we’re going to use him in. He’s open to it, but he’s got to play some other spots.”

yoenis cespedes

Collins and his coaching staff are also debating whether or not to have Cespedes play center field almost on a full time basis this season.

“We’ve talked about whether or not moving him around is the best thing,” Collins said about Cespedes. He added that it’s not set in stone yet. “We haven’t decided that.”

In his time with the Tigers, Cespedes spent a majority of his time in left field, but once he was traded to the Mets, Cespedes spent most of the time in center field.

Cespedes recently told ESPN’s Marly Rivera that he is more comfortable playing left field, but is fine with playing center field for the Mets and manning down the position.

“If I had the choice, I would stay in left field. But I will play where the team needs me,” Cespedes told Rivera “If they want me to play center field, I’ll play center field, and I’ll do the best I can.”

Cespedes was widely expected to start in center field against right-handed pitching, with Michael Conforto in left field and Curtis Granderson in right field. But with a lefty on the mound it was believed Cespedes would shift to LF, Lagares plays in CF and Conforto moves to RF.

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