Mets Merized Online » Curtis Granderson http://metsmerizedonline.com Wed, 11 Jan 2017 16:00:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.16 Teams Are Still Asking About Andrew McCutchen http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/teams-are-still-asking-about-andrew-mccutchen.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/teams-are-still-asking-about-andrew-mccutchen.html/#comments Sun, 08 Jan 2017 20:35:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229044 mccutchen

Despite repeated statements by Pirates GM Neal Huntington that Andrew McCutchen is not available, teams continue to ask about the Bucs center fielder, according to what sources are telling Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

Cafardo says the Seattle Mariners could be one of those teams despite recently acquiring Jarrod Dyson after dealing Seth Smith to the Baltimore Orioles.

McCutchen, 30, is a five-time All-Star and finished in the top five of the NL MVP voting every year from 2012-15, while actually winning the award in 2013.

However, last season was not very kind to McCutchen as he endured the worst season of his career, batting .256/.336/.430 with 24 homers and 79 RBI. His defense in center field has also reached an all time low.

McCutchen is owed $14 million in 2017 and he comes with a team option worth $14.5 million for the 2018 season. That’s not too bad for teams that may want to gamble that last year was a fluke and that Cutch will bounce back.

Huntington created a real problem for himself as it was no secret he was aggressively shopping McCutchen at the Winter Meetings. It’s going to tough to see a star like McCutchen, who wears his heart on his sleeve, face all those trade questions in spring training, and that’s why many believe there’s still a chance he will be dealt.

The Mets reportedly checked in on McCutchen last month, but there was never any traction between the two teams and talks never progressed to anything serious. One MLB insider told MMO that the Mets were simply “kicking the tires.”

With GM Sandy Alderson admitting that the team expects payroll to be lower than the current $150 million level by Opening Day, the Mets would have to move both Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson to make room for McCutchen, and quite honestly they are having a problem just moving one of them.

Eventually, the Mets will find a team that will take Bruce off their hands even if they have to eat $5 million dollars. That will leave the Mets with Yoenis Cespedes in left, Michael Conforto in right, and a platoon of Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares in center.

And you know what? I believe the Mets outfield will be one of the top producing outfields in 2017. Cespedes could have his best season yet, Conforto is too good not to bounce back with a breakthrough season, and a Grandy & Lagares platoon in center will be more productive than you think.

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Syndergaard’s Wild Card Gem Leads Top 2016 Performances http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/syndergaards-wild-card-gem-leads-top-2016-performances.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/syndergaards-wild-card-gem-leads-top-2016-performances.html/#comments Fri, 30 Dec 2016 13:30:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=228563 noah-syndergaard-2

The New York Mets 2016 season was chock full of big time performances from a variety of players. The season fell short of our expectations but it sure was a gritty, fun and roller coaster type season to witness. Lets take a look at some of the standout performances from this past season.

Although in just his second season in the bigs, Noah Syndergaard has already found himself in numerous high pressure situations. None though was higher in 2016 than his task of attempting to navigate his team to victory in the win or go home Wild Card game.

The Mets unfortunately were unable to solve Madison Bumgarner, falling to San Francisco by a score of 3-0. Thor though would match Bumgarner for each of his innings pitched, looking purely dominant at times while at others gutting his way out of trouble for a scoreless gem. Take a look below at just some of the purely electrifying stuff that Syndergaard brought to the table on that cold October night.

Syndergaard would pitch seven innings while striking out 10 and taking the no-decision in the final game of the Mets 2016 season. Thor yet again showed New York who is the true ace of this staff.

noah syndergaard hr

Sticking with the “God of Thunder” theme, Thor showed his might yet again on May 11, 2016 at Dodger Stadium as he became the first pitcher in nine years to hit two homers in a game.

Syndergaard would crush a solo jack off of Kenta Maeda in the third inning and then later in the fifth would tag him again, but this time for a three-run bomb. Flexing his muscle in 2016, Thor would end his season with three homers in total.

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The Mets were a team who seemed to either live or die by the home run in 2016. Curtis Granderson showed his might on September 17, 2016. The Grandy-man showed that he still can, hitting two extra-inning homers to propel the Mets to a 3-2 extra inning victory over the Minnesota Twins.

With the Mets trailing by a score of 2-1 in the bottom of the eleventh, Granderson would smash a homer to tie up the game and keep the team alive. The following inning, Granderson would walk off the night with another Grandy splash in what was a crazy see-saw ending to an otherwise uninspiring game.

jacob degrom

Heading back over to the pitching side, Jacob deGrom put on a heck of a performance in Philadelphia on July 17, 2016. The deGrominator navigated his way through a one-hit shutout for the first complete game of his career.

Jacob would strike out seven batters on this day while walking one as the Mets cruised to a 5-0 victory. It is performances like this that truly show just how important deGrom is to this rotation and how dominant he has the ability to be when healthy and on top of his game.

wilmer flores 6 hitsWhat better way to end the top performances of 2016 than the incredible game that Wilmer Flores had on July 3, 2016 against the World Champion Chicago Cubs. Flores would have a monster day at the plate, going 6-for-6 as the Mets completed a four-game sweep of Chicago with a 14-3 drubbing at Citi Field.

Part of those six hits included two homers and four RBI to go along with three runs scored. Flores would become only the second Met in team history to collect six hits in a game. The only other Mets player to ever do so was Edgardo Alfonzo, who accomplished the feat in 1999.

Sure 2016 did not bring another championship to Queens but it was still a hell of a season that was great to watch unfold. It was another drama filled year for a team who fought through a plethora of injuries. Next season is sure to bring great moments and hopefully more playoff excitement as Spring Training is just around the corner.

What was your top Mets performance of 2016?

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Collins: Curtis Granderson is the Mets Center Fielder http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/collins-curtis-granderson-is-the-mets-center-fielder.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/collins-curtis-granderson-is-the-mets-center-fielder.html/#comments Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:30:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227699 curtis granderson

During the Winter Meetings on Tuesday, Mets manager Terry Collins met with the media to discuss the current state of his team. One of the subjects broached was about the outfield and its log-jam of starters.

Collins believes if the outfield were to stay the same as it is today, entering spring training, Curtis Granderson would be the team’s center fielder.

“With the dynamics and the way the club is shaping up at this moment with all we have, I think you’ve got to say Grandy has to move to center field,” Collins said.

“We’ve got to be aware that he has to keep his legs underneath him and do a good job of making sure he has time off. We’ve got a Gold Glove guy [Juan Lagares] sitting on the bench and we can certainly rest him on certain days, but as we sit here today he’s going to have to play center.” (NJ.com)

curtis Granderson

Mets General Manager, Sandy Alderson has been hard at work in attempting to solve the team’s current problem of having too many outfielders on the roster, though he has found it a tough sell in finding a home for Jay Bruce. Thus far, potential trade partners have had more interest in Granderson than Bruce.

The Mets of course though would like to keep the Grandy-man, he just means way too much to this team to let go in what is likely to be his final season in Queens. Granderson has built himself such a great reputation of being a huge plus in the clubhouse as well as a pillar in the community.

It is hard to imagine the Mets going into the 2017 season with both Bruce and Granderson. More than likely it will work itself out via a trade, it may just not come as soon as many had thought it would. If Granderson though must play center field in 2017, his manager is very confident of his skills while doing so.

“I thought he did very well,” Collins said. “I know he didn’t want to, but you know Grandy, he will do whatever you want him to do. And he went out there and I thought he handled himself very, very well out there. If we start the season tomorrow and he’s in center field, we will be fine.”

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Curtis Granderson And Matt Harvey Elected To Serve Highest Positions In MLBPA http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/curtis-granderson-and-matt-harvey-elected-to-serve-highest-positions-in-mlbpa.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/curtis-granderson-and-matt-harvey-elected-to-serve-highest-positions-in-mlbpa.html/#comments Mon, 05 Dec 2016 20:35:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227593 curtis granderson

After all that talk about the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, it was time for the Major League Baseball Players’ Association to elect new leadership.

Per Adam Rubin of ESPN, Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson and journeyman pitcher Carlos Villanueva were elected as Association Player Representatives, the highest elected position in the Union membership. They will serve two-year terms.

The next highest positions, Alternate Association Player Representative, have been filled by Mets starter Matt Harvey and Indians reliever Andrew Miller.

Curtis Granderson, 35, also won the Roberto Clemente Award earlier this fall for his exemplary efforts on and off the field and in his community.

Having two of the four highest elected positions in the MLBPA filled by Grandy and the Dark Knight says a lot about the kind of players the Mets organization attracts. Another reason I am proud to be a Mets fan.

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Alderson: Unlikely They Trade Two Outfielders, Against Two Year Deals For Relievers http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/alderson-unlikely-they-trade-two-outfielders-against-two-year-deals-for-relievers.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/alderson-unlikely-they-trade-two-outfielders-against-two-year-deals-for-relievers.html/#comments Sun, 04 Dec 2016 23:36:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227518 sandy-alderson-2

Here is what Sandy Alderson had to say tonight at the Winter Meetings.

Sandy Alderson reiterated that the Mets would not pursue a higher-end bullpen option such as Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen or Mark Melancon. “I don’t think we’re looking at that top end.” He also explained why giving out a two-year deal to a reliever is generally a bad idea and them mentioned D.J. Carrasco as an example. The Mets could also consider converting Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman and Zack Wheeler for bullpen roles if necessary.

The Mets are reportedly looking for at least two quality relievers to bolster the bullpen including a late inning arm who can take over the seventh inning role, preferably with some closing experience. At least one of those arms will be a left-hander to replace Jerry Blevins.

The Mets could be looking at the following free agents options: LHP Javier Lopez, LHP J.P. Howell, LHP Boone Logan, RHP Brad Ziegler, RHP Joe Smith, RHP Santiago Casilla, RHP Sergio Romo, RHP Koji Uehara, RHP Drew Storen, and RHP Joaquin Benoit.

Another free agent arm that could interest the Mets is right-hander Daniel Hudson, but according to Jon Heyman, 15 other teams have expressed interest in him as well.

* * * * * * * *

Sandy does not see any situation where he would trade both Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson. Alderson added that Granderson’s role as a team leader holds weight for him and his front office. “It would be difficult to trade Curtis Granderson given what he’s meant to the club and how important he is to the fabric of the team.” Where did we hear that before? ;-)

I’ve said this repeatedly, the front office loves Granderson, and if you heard Sandy Alderson last week on WOR Radio, there was a lot of moaning and groaning and sighing when the topic switched to Jay Bruce. If Sandy can get anything of value for him in the form of a reliable arm for the bullpen or a team’s top prospect, the Mets GM will be a very happy camper.

* * * * * * * *

Additionally, Adam Rubin adds that the Mets are fully planning to go with Travis d’Arnaud as the primary catcher in 2017 and don’t foresee going the external route. That’s the case even with a new crop of free agents such as Welington Castillo, who was non-tendered by the Diamondbacks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contract:

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

Recommendation:

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

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

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

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

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MMO Free Agent Profile: Dexter Fowler, CF http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-dexter-fowler-cf-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-dexter-fowler-cf-2.html/#comments Fri, 18 Nov 2016 16:00:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=226662 dexter fowler

Dexter Fowler
Position: Center field
Bats: Both – Throws: Right
Born: March 22, 1986 (Age 30)

Dexter Fowler surprised his Chicago Cubs teammates last spring training, showing up to the Mesa, Arizona training facility in street clothes after agreeing to a one-year $8 million deal to stay in Chicago. It was reported through multiple outlets that Fowler had a three-year $33 million offer from the Baltimore Orioles on the table, however, Fowler’s agent Casey Close scorned the Orioles for irresponsibly spreading rumors about the signing of Fowler before anything was completed, further adding that Fowler never reached an agreement with the Orioles to begin with. Fowler himself said he just wanted to stay in Chicago, where he felt “respected” and “comfortable” there.

Whatever the reason, Fowler had one of his finest seasons of his nine-year career, slashing .276/.393/.447 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI, and 85 runs scored in 125 games played. Fowler set career highs in OBP, BB% (14.3), wRC+ (129), and fWAR (4.7). In terms of National League outfielders, Fowler ranked second on FanGraphs in fWAR behind only teammate Kris Bryant (ranked as both third baseman and outfielder).

Fowler also posted positive numbers in center field this season, the first time he’s done so over a full season, according to FanGraphs. Fowler posted a 1.0 UZR/150 while manning center, with one defensive run saved, and also posted a 2.7 defensive rating on FanGraphs as well, which was a career high.

What Fowler also offers is a premium leadoff hitter, one who will get on-base at a high clip (career .366 OBP), has some speed (has double digit stolen bases the past eight seasons), and has good splits against both righties and lefties. In 2016, the switch-hitter had an OPS of .827 against right-handers, and a .876 OPS against southpaws. Even for his career he’s posted solid splits, with a .770 OPS against righties and .835 against left-handers.

With runners in scoring position, Fowler posted a .253/.395/.418 line with 33 RBI in 91 at-bats in ’16. And how about this for setting the table; in the first inning of games, Fowler hit .382/.479/.706 with seven home runs in 102 at-bats.

Contract:

Fowler did reject the Cubs’ qualifying offer of $17.2 million, so any team that signs him will have to forfeit a draft pick for the soon to be 31-year-old. However, with several teams in the mix to add outfielders this winter, Fowler should be in the mix for at least a three year deal, possibly four. I envision Fowler receiving a four-year, $60 million contract, similar to the one Curtis Granderson signed with the Mets in 2013, with interest from the Blue Jays, Cardinals, Giants, Mets, Phillies, Rangers, and Mariners.

Recommendation: 

Fowler should be viewed as a plan “B” for the Mets, especially if the team is unable to retain Cespedes in the offseason. Fowler offers the Mets a true leadoff hitter with double digit power, speed, average center field defense, and the ability to get on base at a high clip. He presents an intriguing candidate to replace some of the production Cespedes offers, and it would be in the Mets’ best interest to keep tabs on him throughout the winter.

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Talkin’ Mets: Matt Ehalt on Walker, Cespedes and Bruce vs. Granderson http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/talkin-mets-matt-ehalt-on-walker-cespedes-and-bruce-vs-granderson.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/talkin-mets-matt-ehalt-on-walker-cespedes-and-bruce-vs-granderson.html/#comments Sun, 13 Nov 2016 23:00:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=226432 yoenis cespedes neil walker

Today I am joined by Matt Ehalt of the The Record to discuss the latest hot stove news with the New York Mets.

Hear us talk about why letting Bartolo Colon go was the right thing to do, the Yoenis Cespedes market and whether Neil Walker will accept the Qualifying Offer.

We also talk about the Mets lack of right-handed components in the lineup and how this isn’t an easy fix. Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson?

Matt tells me why Bruce will probably be traded. Finally he gives free agent predictions on Jerry Blevins, Kelly Johnson and Fernando Salas.

I wrap up the show talking about how interesting the Veterans Committee ballot is this season, which includes former Mets manager Davey Johnson.

 

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Granderson Willing to Play Center if Cespedes Returns http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/granderson-willing-to-play-center-if-cespedes-returns.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/granderson-willing-to-play-center-if-cespedes-returns.html/#comments Thu, 10 Nov 2016 12:00:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=226246 curtis granderson

New York Mets outfielder, Curtis Granderson is willing to play center field on a more regular basis if it means the return of the team’s slugger, Yoenis Cespedes.

“Wherever Terry (Collins) wants to put me, I’ll be out there, whether it’s left, center or right,” Granderson said. (NYDN)

Granderson, always a great teammate has no qualms when it comes to what position he may play for the team in the future as he heads into his own walk year. The Grandy-man has not spoken to Yoenis since the end of this season but is aware of everything he may be going through as he hits free agency.

“The big thing I’d tell him is to enjoy the process. You get a chance to be a free agent only a few times throughout your career,” Granderson said.

“A lot of people look for that opportunity to be in a position where teams show their interest in you. The Mets are obviously one of those teams that have a lot of interest in him. We’d love to have him back. He’s been a great teammate for the time I’ve gotten to play with him.”

Granderson handled center just fine when placed there this season. He also is aware that there may be a couple of other players competing to play the position, entering the 2017 season as well.

Juan Lagares will be trying to come back and get himself healthy,” Granderson said. “He’s a Gold Glove outfielder and we’d love to have him out there because he’s one of the best in the game. (Michael) Conforto is possibly going to be in the mix and (Brandon) Nimmo.”

Curtis is not just the ultimate teammate but one of the great humanitarians in the game today. Granderson was awarded the 2016 Marvin Miller award on Wednesday. The award is given to the player whose on-field contributions are just as big as those to his community.

There is no secret around New York that we all wait on pins and needles as Cespedes and his agents feel out what his market will be. The team seems to be taking a more proactive stance with Yo this offseason, we can only hope he returns to Queens once more, anchoring the Metropolitans lineup.

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2016 Mets Report Cards: Curtis Granderson, OF http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/2016-mets-report-card-curtis-granderson-of.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/2016-mets-report-card-curtis-granderson-of.html/#comments Mon, 07 Nov 2016 15:00:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=225760 curtis-granderson

CURTIS GRANDERSON, OF

Player Data: Age: 35, B/T: Left/Right, Free Agency: 2018

2016 Primary Stats: .237/.335/.464, 30 HR, 59 RBI, 74 BB, 130 K, 88 R, 150 G

2016 Review: 

Curtis Granderson was coming off one of his finest seasons in years in 2015, recording his highest OPS (.821), OBP (.364), hits (15), and stolen bases (11), since 2011 with the New York Yankees.

Granderson started the 2016 season off at a decent clip, hitting .241/.347/.471 with four homers, nine RBI, and 11 walks in April. But those numbers dropped in May and August, Granderson’s two worst statistical months in regards to his slash line and OPS. Granderson was also not having the same success batting leadoff as he did a year prior, getting on-base at a .317 clip compared to .360 in 140 games out of the leadoff spot in ’15.

When diving into his pre and post All-Star game numbers, many of his pre All-Star stats look similar to his post numbers. However, digging deeper into the stats, Granderson played in 16 less games in the second half of the season, and put up a better OPS (.803 to .796),  drove in more runs (32 to 27), and scored more runs (46 to 42) than in the first half of the season. He also matched his home run output of the first-half, 15, which he hit in 75 fewer at-bats after the Midsummer Classic.

Granderson turned it on in September, where he compiled his best month of the years with a line of .286/.400/.604, with eight homers and 21 RBI. He also enjoyed hitting cleanup for the Amazins, where he hit to the tune of a .321/.440/.605 slash line, with six homers and 18 RBI in 23 games out of the number four spot.

Before Game 3 of this year’s World Series, Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that Granderson was the recipient of the annual Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes the player that best represents baseball through contributions on and off the field and community service, among other things. Granderson has always represented baseball with a high standard, and his contributions outside of the game deserve much praise.

Grade: C+

2017 Outlook:

Granderson enters his final year under contract as a Met, and will be part of their outfield configuration in some way. A lot depends on the re-signing of Yoenis Cespedes, as some in the industry believes a Lagares/Granderson platoon in centerfield would work best, leaving Cespedes in left, and moving Conforto over to play right. In the case Cespedes departs, and with the Mets picking up Jay Bruce‘s ’17 option last week, they’ll have decisions to make on Conforto, Bruce, Lagares, and Granderson, although it would be extremely left-handed.

The Mets could also explore trading Granderson in the offseason, either to fill other holes they have, or shedding salary as a way to sign or trade for another player of need. They could also revisit that option before the trade deadline as well.

If Granderson remains with the Mets for the entirety of 2017, I expect numbers close to his 2015-16 production, meaning he’d be around an .800 OPS, 23-26 home runs, 65-70 RBI, and close to 90 runs scored. Health has been on his side during his tenure as a Met, appearing in 155, 157, and 150 games in his first three seasons. His veteran leadership will be much welcomed on a team ushering in younger and younger talent.

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Curtis Granderson Winner of 2016 Roberto Clemente Award http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/curtis-granderson-winner-of-2016-roberto-clemente-award.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/curtis-granderson-winner-of-2016-roberto-clemente-award.html/#comments Fri, 28 Oct 2016 22:55:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=225488 cv46-ajxeaaf9kg

Congratulations to New York Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson who was just named the recipient of the 2016 Roberto Clemente Award.

Curtis Granderson is an outstanding ambassador for our game and a positive role model for kids,” Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.

“His commitment to the many communities that have touched his life and the great impact of these efforts makes him a very deserving recipient of our most prestigious award. On behalf of Major League Baseball and all of our Clubs, I congratulate Curtis and thank him and all of our nominees this year for everything they do to make a difference in the lives of others.”

The Roberto Clemente Award is given annually to the Major League Baseball (MLB) player who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team”, as voted on by baseball fans and members of the media.

“To be mentioned in same breath with Clemente, even for a little bit of time, is really cool and an honor,” Granderson said when told of the news.

Granderson is the fourth Met to win the award, joining Gary Carter (1989), Al Leiter (2000) and Carlos Delgado (2006).

Congrats Grandy!

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Should The Mets Trade Curtis Granderson? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/should-the-mets-trade-curtis-granderson.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/should-the-mets-trade-curtis-granderson.html/#comments Mon, 24 Oct 2016 16:17:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=225284 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.

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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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]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/should-the-mets-trade-curtis-granderson.html/feed/ 0 The 2016 Mets Are A Team You Can Believe In http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/the-2016-mets-are-a-team-you-can-believe-in.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/the-2016-mets-are-a-team-you-can-believe-in.html/#comments Sat, 01 Oct 2016 17:28:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224158 mets-win-fans-phillies-cbp

Here it is, my friends. Our season-long faith in the Orange & Blue is about to be rewarded as the New York Mets find themselves one win away (or one San Francisco Giants loss away) from clinching a coveted Wild Card spot in this year’s postseason. The Mets can seal the deal as soon as this afternoon with a win at Citizens Bank Park, where a champagne-drenched celebration will ensue after a hard-fought season that truly tested this team unlike any other Mets postseason I can remember – and I can remember them all.

What an amazing group of players the Mets have been blessed with, each with their own compelling story and a remarkable display of determination and purpose. It has truly been a team effort. If you were to stop and think about what the turning point was for this 2016 Mets season, I promise you there’s absolutely no way you can pluck one game or moment that was principally responsible for how they brought themselves within one game of clinching their second consecutive postseason berth. There’s just too many of them to choose from.

Let me tell you something about this unique and impressive team and what they are on the verge of accomplishing. There are no mysterious powers at work here, or as Kieth Hernandez likes to say “divine intervention.”

Rather, what we’ve witnessed all season long – and in particular these last few weeks – have been the embodiment of a true teamwork ethic that has been instilled by manager Terry Collins, and a remarkable resiliency that has left most Mets fans exhilarated with amazement and dripping with pride. If you’re looking for a team to believe in, a team that has overcome so much adversity, a team that has spirit – and heart – and fight – look no further than the 2016 New York Mets.

The trouble I have with today’s sports journalism, is that it focuses so much on all the advanced metrics, the various personal achievements, and all the long-held benchmarks for success, that a remarkable team like the New York Mets and what they’ve accomplished is so easily overlooked.

The Mets won’t have a Cy Young Award winner, or the National League MVP, or this year’s Rookie of the Year. The voters will not name Terry Collins Manager of the Year, and nobody will recognize Sandy Alderson as Executive of the Year for a series of great offseason and in-season moves that have undeniably saved the Mets season and helped them clinch a Wild Card spot.

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But make no mistake when I tell you that this Mets team is in the best position among all NL teams to challenge the American League in the World Series. It’s not how you start a season that defines you, but how you finish. And right now, or should I say for the better part of six weeks, the Mets are the best team in baseball winning an astounding 26 of their last 38 games – the best mark in baseball in that span.

The other day I said you should be proud of this team because of their tremendous character, and I meant every word of it, but you should also take pride in their sense of achievement and accomplishment. Take great pride in their perseverance and a never-say-die attitude that hearkens back to Tug McGraw and the 1973 Ya Gotta believe Mets.

There’s so much to love about this team beginning with what a likable group of players they have in that clubhouse. There’s an underpinning of that working class culture and it fuels our penchant for loving and rooting for the underdog.

This is a team that has had to endure the losses of three of their top young starting pitchers, their starting third baseman, starting first baseman, starting second baseman, while having to field a top performing shortstop with a bad knee and a superstar left fielder with a bad quad. Believe me when I tell you that any other team that had suffer through all these injuries would have been over and done with at the All Star break if not earlier than that.

But remarkably, it was after enduring all these unimaginable hurdles, that these Mets turned in their best baseball of the season… The best baseball in their division… The best baseball in their league…

And they’ve done it mostly with some Scotch Tape, some Krazy Glue, and some unexpected – but very welcomed – contributions from a cast of virtual unknowns who may have been short on the elite level tools that make those prospect experts drool, but immeasurably heavy on lesser known attributes such as guts and guile and plenty of good old-fashioned heart.

That’s the story of the 2016 New York Mets and I can’t wait to celebrate with them when they complete the clinch and pop open the bubbly. It will be a celebration of overcoming all the odds with a never-ending supply of perseverance, while providing us with a huge bounty of memorable thrills along the way. Enjoy the game, everybody, and Let’s Go Mets!

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Mets Set Franchise Record With 17 Run Shutout In Regular Season Finale At Citi http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/mets-set-franchise-record-with-17-run-shutout-in-regular-season-finale-at-citi.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/mets-set-franchise-record-with-17-run-shutout-in-regular-season-finale-at-citi.html/#comments Mon, 26 Sep 2016 14:00:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=223765 robert-gsellman

As Major League Baseball mourned the tragic loss of Marlin’s ace pitcher Jose Fernandez, the #16 jersey bearing his name hung on the back wall of every doleful dugout.

And on this somber Sunday at Citi Field, the Mets muscled their way through their emotions in their final regular season home game with a payback 17-0 pummeling of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Rookie Robert Gsellman got the 6th inning goat off his back by tossing seven strong shutout innings of three-hit ball, striking out a career high eight batters for his third win of the season.

Gsellman had no trouble with his curve and some good fortune with his bat beating out a bunt single for his first big league hit.

For the Mets it was literally a walk in the park as the Phillies’ failure to find the plate resulted in nine walks, four hit batters, and three wild pitches, loading the bases five times, gifting New York with an embarrassment of riches of runs.

The beleaguered Jay Bruce, coming off the high of his Saturday night home run, doubled twice, hopefully a sign that he’s peaking, albeit way past his due date, to help his team pull off a second consecutive playoff spot.

Curtis Granderson belted another jack joining Bruce and Yoenis Cespedes in the 30 HR club, and like the Cincinnati transplant that’s finally producing, Granderson’s bat will be major factor as the Wild Card race nears the finish line.

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin gave starter Jake Thompson the hook in the 4th after the rookie allowed 4 of 5 Mets batters to reach base, but their battered bullpen, not faring much better, allowed 14 runs in the next four innings.

With the Mets cruising 7-0, Asdrubal Cabrera, along with his compromised knees, crushed a grand slam, and the hits and runs kept coming when Terry Collins brought Michael Conforto and Eric Campbell in off the bench.

The usual relief options got some rest. Fernando Salas struck out the side in the 8th, Jerry Blevins had an easy 1,2,3 ninth and the Mets took 3 of 4 from their downtrodden rivals.

On Monday, the Mets travel to Miami to face a shaken Marlins team that surely wants to honor the loss of the beloved and cherished, Jose Fernandez. And as the show must go on, Bartolo Colon will have the unfortunate task of trying to prevent that from happening.

Here are some interesting takeaways from Sunday’s win:

The 17 runs by the Mets are the most in a home game in Citi Field history, passing the 15 runs the Mets scored in a 15-2 victory over the Dodgers on July 25, 2015. The 17 runs are also tied for the most in any home game in Mets history, matching the 17 runs the Mets scored in a 17-3 win over the Florida Marlins in the second game of a doubleheader on July 8, 2006.

The 17 runs are tied for the eighth-most runs scored in a Mets game in team history. It’s the fifth time that the Mets have scored 17 runs in a game (last – June 27, 2012 at Chicago-NL in a 17-1 win).

The 17-0 shutout win is the largest margin of victory in a Mets shutout in team history, passing a pair of 14-0 shutout wins (July 29, 1965 at Chicago-NL and April 19, 1998 at Cincinnati). The shutout is the 13th by Mets pitching this season. The last 17-0 shutout win in the major leagues occurred June 17, 2015 by the Chicago Cubs at Cleveland.

New York’s 17-run margin of victory is the second-largest margin of victory in Mets history. The biggest margin of victory was 18 runs in a 19-1 win at Wrigley Field on May 26, 1964 vs. the Cubs.

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Cabrera and Granderson Continue to Launch Homers with Ease http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/cabrera-and-granderson-continue-to-launch-homers-with-ease.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/cabrera-and-granderson-continue-to-launch-homers-with-ease.html/#comments Mon, 26 Sep 2016 11:11:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=223792 curtis-granderson

Asdrubal Cabrera and Curtis Granderson helped the Mets offense explode for a record setting 17-0 drubbing of the Philadelphia Phillies Sunday afternoon.

The 17 runs were the most scored by the Mets in Citi Field history and was tied for the most in any home game they ever played.

Cabrera launched a grand slam in the seventh inning for his 23rd home run of the season. It was the third grand slam of his career and first since September 30, 2012 while playing for Cleveland vs. Kansas City.

The 23 home runs are the second-most he’s hit in a single season in his career, with the most being 25. Over his last 35 games, Cabrera is batting .360 with 21 extra-base hits, 26 RBI and 22 runs scored. He has truly helped to carry this offense, bad knee and all.

Granderson hit his 30th home run of the season with a solo shot in the fourth inning .It was  Granderson’s fourth season with 30 or more homers.Over his last 23 games, Granderson has 10 home runs, 21 RBI and 22 runs scored.

It has been a heck of a resurgence for the once struggling outfielder. The Grandy-man has gotten hot at just the right time for this team, looking more like the player from 2015 than the one we saw the first few months of 2016.

Having these two players continue their hot streaks into this final six games could be the difference in making the postseason for the second consecutive season.

Both the Cardinals and Giants lost their respective games Sunday, giving the Mets sole possession of the top Wild Card spot. The Giants trail the Mets by one game, while the Cardinals trail by a game and a half.

The Mets head to Miami today to kick off a three-game series with the Miami Marlins in what is sure to be an emotional setting with the tragic passing of Jose Fernandez. Manager, Terry Collins knows it will be a somber environment but one where all must still compete.

“Tomorrow is going to be a rough one for everybody,” Collins said. “I’m sure they’re going to be all fired up to not only beat us, but in honor of Jose.” (ESPN)

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]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/cabrera-and-granderson-continue-to-launch-homers-with-ease.html/feed/ 0 Curtis Granderson has Begun to Produce at the Right Time http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/curtis-granderson-has-begun-to-produce-at-the-right-time.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/curtis-granderson-has-begun-to-produce-at-the-right-time.html/#comments Sun, 18 Sep 2016 12:00:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=223211 curtis-granderson-3

When the Minnesota Twins had taken a 2-1 lead in the top of the eleventh inning, things began to look grim for the Metropolitans. Curtis Granderson though would go on to homer in back-to-back innings to give the Mets a 3-2 victory in the twelfth.

It has been a down year for the most part for Granderson, though he has gotten hot at just the right time. A player who many believed helped to carry the offense in 2015 has come alive when this team needs him most in 2016. Manager, Terry Collins is not surprised at what has transpired.

“It’s very appropriate,” Collins said. “He’s the guy that you to turn to. You just feel he’s going to do some damage when he’s up at home plate, and lately he’s been doing that.”

The homers were his 27th and 28th home runs of the season, the most he’s hit in a single season since joining the Mets. The last time Granderson hit 28 or more home runs was 2012, when he hit 43 with the Yankees.

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Over his last 15 games, the batting average is still low, hitting to a .204/.333/.593 slash line. The production numbers though are up quite dramatically as he has hit 6 homers to go along with 13 RBI in that time period. The Grandy-man has also accumulated 10 walks over those 15 games and helped to produce 13 runs.

“The big thing with this team is continuing to keep pushing forward,” Granderson said.

Saturday’s win brought the Mets to 10 games over .500 for the first time this season. The team has won 10 of its last 13 and is 19-7 over their last 26 games. The Mets are now 32-28 since the All-Star break and have put themselves in a prime position for a Wild Card spot.

The San Francisco Giants had blown a 2-1 lead in the ninth inning Saturday, as the Cardinals picked up a 3-2 victory. The Mets are now tied with the Giants for the top Wild Card spot as the Cardinals trail by two games to both teams.

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Mets Offense Stifled in 1-0 Loss to Nats http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/mets-offense-stifled-in-1-0-loss-to-nats.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/mets-offense-stifled-in-1-0-loss-to-nats.html/#comments Wed, 14 Sep 2016 22:48:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=222920 asdrubal cabrera

The New York Mets (77-69) lost to the Washington Nationals (87-57) by a score of 1-0 Wednesday in Washington. The Giants and Cardinals both lost today, so the Mets remain a half game behind the Giants for the first Wild Card spot, and a half game ahead of the Cardinals for the second.

Offense:

Reyes started the game off by lining Tanner Roark‘s third pitch down the right field line for a base hit. Asdrubal Cabrera then continued his hot hitting with a hot shot up the middle to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Yoenis Cespedes got jammed and popped out to the first baseman before some sort of cross-up between Roark and the catcher Wilson Ramos led to a passed ball, moving the runners to second and third with one out and Curtis Granderson at the dish.

With Reyes getting a comically large lead from third with the infield shifted to the right, Curtis Granderson walked to load the bases. Jay Bruce then struck out on three pitches for the second out of the inning, bringing last night’s hero T.J. Rivera to the box. He hit one in the air down the right field line, on which Bryce Harper made a nice sliding grab on the line to end the inning.

The Mets were kept quiet all day. With the exception of some walks here and there, the only other hit before the 9th inning was a Jay Bruce single.

Mark Melancon came in for the save, his 5th time pitching in the last 6 days. Curtis Granderson greeted him and lined one down the first base line. It would have been an easy double, but Ryan Zimmerman was quite literally playing right on the line and picked it out of the air for the first out. Up came Jay Bruce who coming into today was 6-11 (.545) career against Melancon. He hit one just short of the warning track in center which was run down for the second out of the inning.

Up came T.J. Rivera, a rematch from last night. Melancon got ahead of him 0-2, just as he did last night, however this time he got Rivera to ground out to shortstop to end the game.

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Pitching:

Robert Gsellman was phenomenal today, pitching 5.2 scoreless innings allowing only 5 hits and one walk while striking out 4. He was removed from the game in the 6th inning after throwing 77 pitches.

Josh Smoker came in with a runner on second base to face Daniel Murphy, who he walked intentionally. Bryce Harper then came up with runners on first and second with two outs, and Smoker struck him out looking at a 96 mph fastball on the outside corner to end the inning.

Fernando Salas was tasked with the 7th inning and allowed only one hit. Unfortunately, that one hit was a solo home run off the bat of notorious Met-killer Wilson Ramos who gave the Nationals a late 1-0 lead. He stayed in and pitched a perfect 8th inning.

Notes:

Verizon Trivia Question: Who had the game-winning hit in Game 7 of the 1924 World Series for the Washington Senators?

Daniel Murphy had at least one hit in every single game against the Mets this season.

Verizon Trivia Answer: Earl McNeely (12th inning)

On Deck:

The Mets head home, sending Bartolo Colon (13-7, 3.27 ERA) to the Citi Field mound to face off against Jose Berrios (2-6, 9.27 ERA) and the Twins at 7:10 PM.

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Curtis Granderson is Riding a Key Hot Streak http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/curtis-granderson-is-riding-a-key-hot-streak.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/curtis-granderson-is-riding-a-key-hot-streak.html/#comments Sat, 10 Sep 2016 11:30:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=222585 curtis granderson

In 2015, Curtis Granderson was the catalyst for this Mets offense. Some would say as Curtis went, so did the team in general last season. That same magic from the “Grandy-man” has sorely been missed for the majority of this season, until recently.

With the Mets trailing 4-0 in the house of horrors known as Turner Field, Granderson would begin the comeback for this team on what seemed to be a listless Friday night. He bashed a two-run shot that would put the Mets on the board and on their way to a 6-4 come from behind win. Manager, Terry Collins knew that homer was the spark the team needed Friday.

“It got us right back in the game and the energy in the dugout changed,” Collins said. (NY Post)

Granderson has been hitting home after homer as of late. He has now homered in four straight games, tying a career best. This recent hot streak could not have come at a better time.

“Just a little bit of luck, basically,” Granderson said. “Right now they happen to be going out of the ballpark.”

Over his last 15 games he has hit to a .267/.407/.711 slash line to go with six homers and 14 RBI. He has also drawn 11 walks in those 15 games. When the Mets needed him most as they make this run at the postseason, he has come through big.

Getting Granderson going has lengthened the lineup even more and has been a key to the team’s recent success. They currently hold a half game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot and only trail the San Francisco Giants by a half game for the top spot.

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Mets’ Late Rally Keys Comeback Victory Over Braves http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/mets-late-rally-keys-comeback-victory-over-braves.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/mets-late-rally-keys-comeback-victory-over-braves.html/#comments Sat, 10 Sep 2016 10:00:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=222577 robert gsellman

The New York Mets (75-66) defeated the Atlanta Braves (54-87) by a score of 6-4 at Turner Field Friday evening. With the win, the Mets will stay a half a game ahead of the Cardinals for the second wild-card spot and have a chance at overtaking the Giants for the first wild card spot.  The Giants are currently losing to the Diamondbacks in Arizona. 

Pitching:

Robert Gsellman took the hill for the Mets tonight and it wasn’t his best effort.  Everything started off fairly well for Gsellman tonight.  Through four innings Gsellman had given up only one run and seemed to be able to navigate in and out of some trouble.  Overall, Gsellman went five innings giving up four runs while walking two and striking out six.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, everything seemed to fall apart for Gsellman. Dansby Swanson singled on a ground ball to second baseman Wilmer Flores to lead off the inning.  Julio Teheran followed with a sacrifice bunt to move Swanson to second.

After Ender Inciarte grounded out but successfully moved Swanson to third, Gsellman appeared like he might get out of the jam.  Instead, Adonis Garcia cashed in by hitting a single to centerfield to make the score 2-0.  The Braves weren’t done yet.  Freddie Freeman singled, Matt Kemp walked, and Nick Markakis also singled making the score 4-0 before Gsellman was finally able to get out of the inning.

Jim Henderson took the hill and struggled in the sixth.  Henderson has not been good since returning to the big club.  Luckily, Josh Smoker was able to bail him out and the two were able to pitch a scoreless inning.

Hansel Robles and Addison Reed were able to come in and pitch scoreless frames in the seventh and eighth innings.

Jeurys Familia came on in the ninth to shut the door and worked around a lead-off double to record his major league-leading 48th save.

curtis Granderson

Offense: 

The Mets continue to struggle against Julio Teheran.  Teheran baffled the Mets for the first four innings running his scoreless pitched innings streak against the Mets up to 29 innings.

In the top of the sixth inning with two out, Yoenis Cespedes was able to single on a ball that was deflected off Teheran.  Curtis Granderson followed by blasting his 26th home run of the year.  The home run finally put an end to Teheran’s streak and cut the lead in half 4-2.

In the top of the eighth inning, the Mets offense came to life.  Alejandro De Aza lead-off the inning with a pinch-hit walk to get things started. Jose Reyes followed by reaching on a fielding error by Dansby Swanson to put runners on first and second.  After an Asdrubal Cabrera walk to load the bases, Yoenis Cespedes was able to hit a long sacrifice out to cut the lead to 4-3 and move everyone up.  Curtis Granderson followed by lacing a single to Ender Inciarte to tie the game and move Cabrera to third.

Kelly Johnson then came in off the bench and hit a clutch double to give the Mets the lead and move Granderson to third.  After Jay Bruce was intentionally walked to load the bases, Mauricio Cabrera plunked Michael Conforto to bring in another run and make the score 6-4.

alejandro de aza

Notes:

The Mets have now won 6 straight and 15 of their last 19 games

Curtis Granderson has now hit a home run in four straight games.

Lucas Duda will take live batting practice on Saturday in Port St. Lucie for the first time since his most recent setback with a stress fracture in his back.

Steven Matz will look to throw off a mound tomorrow for the first time since landing on the disabled list on August 15th.

Jacob deGrom has resumed throwing from flat ground

JZ Player of the game: Curtis Granderson. Granderson was 2-2 with 2 walks,  a home run, and three RBIs tonight.  Granderson now has 12 RBIs in his last 27 at-bats.

asdrubal cabrera

On Deck: 

The Mets will play their second game of a three-game set with the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field tomorrow night. The game has a start time of 7:10 PM.  Bartolo Colon (13-7, 3.22 ERA), will look to keep the Mets rolling against John Gant (1-3, 4.70 ERA).

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Curtis Granderson Closing in on Unflattering Record http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/curtis-granderson-closing-in-on-unflattering-record.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/curtis-granderson-closing-in-on-unflattering-record.html/#comments Thu, 08 Sep 2016 14:00:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=222440 curtis granderson

With each solo-shot that Curtis Granderson hits, and there has been many this year, he seems to inch closer and closer to an unflattering MLB record.

Granderson, who has homered in each of his last three starts, now finds himself with 25 homers on the season. To go along with the homers though he has just 45 RBI. Twenty-one of the 25 home runs that the Grandy-man has hit have been with no one on base, incredible to believe.

“It’s still runs being scored,” Granderson said. “I’ve never seen it as a bad thing, so it’s always interesting that people will bring it up, saying, ‘Are you guys going to do something else to score runs?’ Well, you’ve scored runs. … No one is disappointed by it.” (NY Post)

The record in question that he currently flirts with is that of one with the lowest RBI total with 25 or more homers. The current record is held by Ron Gant, the former Atlanta Brave and Joc Pederson of the LA Dodgers who in 2000 and 2015 respectively each had 26 homers to go along with 54 RBI.

It has been a down season for Granderson as he hits to a .225/.317/.445 slash line. He though has seen some recent success as in the last seven games he has hit to a .250/.367/.667 slash to go along with three homers and seven RBI. His recent surge of power has given Terry Collins someone to protect Yoenis Cespedes in the lineup.

“When he starts producing runs, you can’t just keep pitching around [Yoenis] Cespedes,” Collins said. “They’ve got to give Cespedes something to hit. It makes a big difference.”

If Granderson continues his recent upswing, which has come at just the right time for this team, it makes the lineup that much more dangerous. Curtis was the catalyst for this team in 2015 at the top of the batting order and now finds himself in a completely different position this season. He though has finally seemed to find his proper place in the lineup and producing as needed for a team who sorely missed his production.

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Reyes Reclaims Leadoff Home Run Mark and Ignites Team http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/reyes-reclaims-leadoff-home-run-mark-and-ignites-team.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/reyes-reclaims-leadoff-home-run-mark-and-ignites-team.html/#comments Thu, 08 Sep 2016 11:00:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=222400 jose-reyes

Jose Reyes has always been a catalyst for the New York Mets, going back to his rookie year of 2003. He was a heralded prospect, one that had Met fans giddy to see his plus speed, defensive range and cannon of an arm from short, and his larger than life personality, all that were easily welcomed and revered here in New York.

“As Reyes goes, so do the Mets,” was a common phrase uttered by throngs of fans who knew Reyes could offer so much to the club in a variety of ways, and reaped the benefits for his first nine seasons in the majors.

When Reyes became available early this summer, due to the Colorado Rockies designating the 33-year-old for assignment stemming from last October’s arrest in Maui, where Reyes was charged with domestic abuse charges against his wife, Katherine Ramirez, Sandy Alderson and the Mets were instantly linked to their former star.

While the charges were later dropped in late March, Major League Baseball suspended Reyes for the first 52 games of the season, part of their new domestic-violence policy established last year. The Rockies moved on from Reyes, employing rookie Trevor Story to man short, who did an impeccable job through 97 games, swatting 27 home runs and 72 RBIs before succumbing to the disabled list due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.

So there was Reyes, free to sign with any club, and rumors swirling that a potential Met reunion might be plausible. Near the end of June, Reyes was back with the organization that signed him as an amateur free agent in 1999, one that he called home so much he kept his Long Island home even when he signed with the Miami Marlins in the 2011 offseason. This is where Reyes excelled, where he felt most comfortable. This was his home.

Things could not have worked out any better for both the Mets and Reyes. Since making his 2016 Mets debut on July 5, Reyes has flashed signs of his prime, going 48-for-167 (.287), with a .341 on-base-percentage, .485 slugging, scoring 30 runs, swatting six home runs, driving in 15 while swiping eight out of ten bags in 40 games played. If you average those numbers over a full 162-game season, Reyes would be nearing 2006-08 territory, years where he was regularly a 5+ WAR player.

And he’s putting up these fantastic stats all at the reduced price of a bit over $250K, with the Rockies assuming the rest of his salary. Reyes also has a cheap option for 2107, making it a near certainty he’ll be retained, especially with the health of David Wright an ongoing issue, and the vacancy at second base. Reyes can also spell Asdrubal Cabrera at short, as he’s done this year with Cabrera missing time on the disabled list due to a strained patella tendon in his left knee.

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Reyes, ever the spark plug, has brought his trademark smile and happy go lucky attitude back to Queens, at a time the Mets sorely needed any burst of energy to help keep them afloat in a turbulent summer. Injuries, underachievement, odd managerial decisions, and just plain bad luck were all present throughout the 2016 season, as we know all too well.

The return of Reyes has given the Mets a true leadoff hitter that was sorely missed this season, a year removed from the tremendous job Curtis Granderson had done out of that spot, swatting 26 home runs while driving in 70 runs, with an on-base-percentage of .364. Granderson’s struggles have been well documented this year, and the Mets experimented with a few different players out of the leadoff spot, but with the re-emergence of Reyes, Terry Collins has the easiest job penciling the switch-hitter into that leadoff spot in the lineup.

As the Mets swept the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday, a 6-3 win behind Noah Syndergaard‘s 13th victory, Reyes was front and center in the acton once again, and on the very first pitch of the game. Reyes deposited a first pitch fastball into right field for his 6th homer of the year off Anthony DeSclafani. The leadoff homer was his 19th leadoff home run as a Met, reestablishing him as the all-time leader in that category, jumping over teammate Granderson. When told he reclaimed his control on the leaderboard, Reyes had no idea he had accomplished such a feat.

“I didn’t even know that,” Reyes said, when told he had regained the lead. “That’s good.”  But that’s Reyes, the graceful gazelle that hustles on every play and leads by his infectious smile.

Personal accolades are great, but it seems Reyes has learned from 2011, when he was trying to win the batting title in another lost year for the Mets. It rubbed fans the wrong way when Collins lifted Reyes after a bunt single in the first of the season’s last game, something Reyes had asked Collins to do so he can secure the batting crown. Fan’s lasting memory was of number seven walking off the field as Justin Turner pinch ran for him at first base.

Fast forward five years and Reyes is just happy to be back in the majors, with a team and organization that has been a second family to him since he was sixteen-years-old. It’s not about the accolades and individual performances, it’s about helping the team that gave him a second chance get to back-to-back postseasons, something he was unable accomplish in his first stint with the Mets.

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Terry Collins’ job has gotten a little easier, at least when it comes to penciling Reyes into the lineup. The veteran manager has assessed a lot of talent in the four decades he’s been involved in the game, and knows what players can offer at various stages of their careers. But Reyes reestablishing himself as a legitimate force both offensively and defensively has Collins excited for what Reyes can bring to the table.

“I thought he was going to be a guy that could create some runs by getting on base,” Collins said about Reyes. “But he’s gotten big hits — huge hits. … There’s no question there’s a lot of baseball left in that guy.”

And so far Collins has been right. Reyes has collected multi-hits in 13 of the 40 games he’s played, has a base-on-ball percentage of nearly eight, a number he hadn’t reached since an abbreviated 2013 with the Toronto Blue Jays. His 122 wRC+ is also a high since his last year in orange and blue in 2011. Point being, it appears that Reyes playing in an environment he’s comfortable in, and has had success in, is almost turning back the clock and leading to a career renaissance. And hopefully that gives Reyes a second chance at the postseason, one in which he played 10 games in 2006, going a combined 11-for-44 (.250), with seven runs scored, a homer, five RBIs, and three stolen bases.

Even his teammates are in awe of what Reyes has done since his arrival. Yoenis Cespedes sums it up perfectly after a recent game: ““Ever since Reyes arrived, he’s been the engine of the team,” Cespedes said.

Of course, there will be fans who find it hard to forgive Reyes for his horrific act of violence against his wife, and rightly so. But for all intents and purposes, Reyes has always been a friendly figure, and a devout family man. Sandy Alderson saw contrition in Reyes before he signed him, speaking for an hour with him over what had transpired.

“I came away feeling that he had taken responsibility for this mistake on his part, that he was remorseful,” Alderson said during a conference call with reporters. “He obviously has paid a penalty for this, both financially and in terms of his career.” (http://www.nj.com/mets/index.ssf/2016/06/sandy_alderson_explains_why_mets_signed_jose_reyes.html)

Reyes has acted the good soldier since his return with the Mets, and if he can continue to be a force atop of the order, then this might go down as one of Alderson’s greatest signings yet. All we as Met fans can ask is to have meaningful games in September, and thanks in large part to Reyes, we do.

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