Mets Merized Online » DH http://metsmerizedonline.com Mon, 08 Feb 2016 04:41:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.13 NYC Ban On Smokeless Tobacco Won’t Help Without Culture Change http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/02/nyc-ban-on-smokeless-tobacco-wont-help-without-culture-change.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/02/nyc-ban-on-smokeless-tobacco-wont-help-without-culture-change.html/#comments Fri, 05 Feb 2016 21:28:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=205744 smokeless-tobacco juan uribe

This is a whole new generation. When I was growing up, we had candy cigarettes (gone) and Big League Chew (still around). While playing baseball, we used to have the candy cigarettes so we could smoke like Keith Hernandez, or we would shove a ton of Big League Chew in our mouths to look like Lenny Dykstra. Dykstra was such a legendary chewer that he was said to have stained the AstroTurf at the old Vet. Juan Uribe has chewed his entire career.

As kids, we used this stuff because we thought it was cool to act like ballplayers. Did we also try the real stuff?  Well, not as kids. It’s s good thing too because it would’ve been like that scene in The Sandlot:

Personally, I never really had any interest. Part of the reason was my parents. Another part was I was a catcher. I’ve seen catchers who have used chewing tobacco, but to me that was a pain. I tried seeds, which is similar in principle, but it annoyed me. So I went without any of it for most of my baseball life.

smokeless_01Then I got older, got big, and was moved out from behind the plate. Part of “rookie” hazing was getting them to throw in a dip and watch the hilarity ensue. It wasn’t pleasant.

In any event, I found myself playing that dreaded DH position more and more, which means you spend a lot of time on the bench. Many of those guys throw one in, so you usually do as well. You practice that finger motion with your index finger so you can pack it better and tighter. One day, it all becomes second nature.

When I was in college, it was great. There were a couple of nights, it helped me get through the all-nighters. Also, there were some bars in the area where if you didn’t throw one in, you were out of place. Honestly, I wasn’t so much addicted to it as I loved doing it.

A good friend of mine and me used to love dipping while watching baseball games. We would not only watch the games, but we would also keep an eye out for who was dipping. You would see the finger going in the dugout. The circle shape in the player’s uniform pants. That ever so slight bump in the bottom lip. If you ever saw it in the top lip, you knew that guy was having real problems. Looking at the Mets now, I can tell you who does and who doesn’t dip. I can do that for any team if I watch them long enough.

Eventually, I quit. It really is a nasty habit. More importantly, it’s dangerous. We saw Tony Gwynn die too young because of it. We saw Curt Schilling battle cancer. As much as I enjoyed it, it really wasn’t worth it.

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The strange part is I never would’ve started had it not been part of baseball’s culture. No sport is as associated with smokeless tobacco than baseball. I thought about all of this when I saw Tim Rohan’s New York Times article about New York City looking to ban smokeless tobacco from being used in places like Citi Field and Yankee Stadium.

There’s a lively debate to be had here about whether this law is a good idea or not. It’s a debate that should occur. However, at the end of the day, I’m more concerned for that two-year old of mine that loves baseball. I realize that NYC can put every law in place they want, but it won’t matter unless baseball players take it seriously.

Heck, the MLB Players Association itself kills any talk of banning tobacco whenever they negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. The owners and commissioner has wanted to ban it for decades.

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New York City already bans smoking, but we hear about Yoenis Cespedes smoking between innings. We see players using smokeless tobacco all over the field. Baseball players will find a work-around. You should hear how they work around smokeless tobacco bans and stigmas in other sports. Overall, players will always find a way to do it.

If that’s the case, it’ll always be associated with baseball, and that’s not a good thing. Baseball needs to help find a reasonable solution to this because what they have done so far isn’t working. They need to figure it out because one day that Big League Chew becomes Skoal or Red Man. That needs to stop before another generation of players starts using it. I don’t want to see another Tony Gwynn.

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Manfred: DH Not Coming To The National League http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/manfred-dh-not-coming-to-the-national-league.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/manfred-dh-not-coming-to-the-national-league.html/#comments Tue, 26 Jan 2016 01:34:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=205008 rob manfred

In an interview with Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said the National League will not adopt the designated hitter.

“The most likely result on the designated hitter for the foreseeable future is the status quo,” Manfred said. “I think the vast majority of clubs in the National League want to stay where they are.”

\Manfred told Crasnick that he was merely discussing the pros and cons of a possible change and did not mean to create the impression that NL clubs want to adopt the DH. He created a firestorm last week when he said the following:

“Twenty years ago, when you talked to National League owners about the DH, you’d think you were talking some sort of heretical comment. But we have a newer group. There’s been turnover. And I think our owners in general have demonstrated a willingness to change the game in ways that we think would be good for the fans, always respecting the history and traditions of the sport.”

In an attempt to boost sagging run production during the post-steroids era, implementing the designated hitter in the National League has been often discussed as a possible solution.

Personally, I prefer the strategy that is inherent without the DH. I love the intricate complexities that the double-switches, pinch-hitters, bench management, and critical pitching decisions add to the overall tapestry of the game from an intellectual perspective. It’s part of what makes baseball such a cerebral game.

Luckily, logic and sanity prevailed here, and the Senior Circuit will continue to hold tight to a time honored tradition, at least for the foreseeable future.

The American League adopted the DH in 1973. With the advent of inter-league games and during the World Series, National League teams do adopt the DH when playing in American League parks. But for many baseball purists, that’s as close to league wide implementation as they ever want to get.

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Kelly Johnson to DH Game 1 of World Series http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/kelly-johnson-to-dh-game-1-of-world-series.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/kelly-johnson-to-dh-game-1-of-world-series.html/#comments Tue, 27 Oct 2015 13:18:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=198103 kelly Johnson

Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that Mets utility infielder, Kelly Johnson will be the DH for the Game 1 of the 2015 World Series against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Johnson will look to provide some pop to the DH position where the Mets have had trouble finding the right guy.

“Kelly is going to DH tomorrow,” manager Terry Collins said. “We’ll worry about Wednesday when it comes.”

Johnson, who has some history against game one starter, Edinson Volquez could be part of the reason for that decision. He has gone 4-for-14 against the Royals right hander with a double and two RBI’s. Johnson has had sparse postseason play thus far, in a pinch hitting role only appearing six times while hitting one single. Kelly sees no qualms though of getting dialed in for the biggest game of his career.

“I think the adrenaline of this World Series is going to be enough,” Johnson said. “I’ll obviously be able to have an at-bat to build on to the next one, rather than just to pinch-hit where you have to just throw it away. We’ll see what happens. The game will play out, whether there’s guys on when I come up or a situation to be had, I’ll be ready.”

He had had considerable time as a DH in his career as he played for every AL East team sans the Boston Red Sox. He is 19-for-91 with three home-runs as a designated hitter. The experience against Volquez may have contributed a bit to the decision to use him in this spot, but Johnson doesn’t see that as having a huge impact.

“To me, that makes it a little bit irrelevant,” he said. “I guess if there’s anything, there’s going to be some comfort there in having seen him if I look at some video. At least I’ll be able to see how he throws and how he attacked me. It’s been a while, but there will be something there.”

Many had thought that the Mets may look to fortify the outfield defense in a series where errors could mean a ball game by utilizing both Yoenis Cespedes and Juan Lagares. But the Mets and Terry Collins are content with how things shake out with their lineup and defense.

“We’re pretty happy with our outfield defense,” Collins said. “This is a big park, like ours. I think Yoenis has shown that he can play center field. And if we need to make moves, we’ll make moves later in the game.”

Tonight’s the night. Game one of the World Series starts at 8:07 PM EST with Matt Harvey taking the mound for the New York Mets as they look for their first championship since 1986.

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Royals and Mets Will Meet In World Series! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/royals-and-mets-will-meet-in-world-series.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/royals-and-mets-will-meet-in-world-series.html/#comments Sat, 24 Oct 2015 07:27:14 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=197748 USATSI_8879958_154511658_lowres

The Kansas City Royals clinched their second straight American League pennant with a 4-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 6 at Kauffman Stadium on Friday night.

Kansas City shortstop Alcides Escobar was named the ALCS MVP. During the six-game series against Toronto, Escobar batted .478 with six runs scored and five RBI out of the leadoff spot.

The stage is now set for a World Series matchup between the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals that begins with Game 1 on Tuesday at 8:07 PM.

This will be the first World Series featuring two teams from the expansion era.

“Let’s go finish what we didn’t finish last year,” owner David Glass said as he accepted the AL championship trophy from Hall of Famer Frank Robinson.

“They have a great staff but we like our guys, too,” Royals pitching coach Dave Eiland said of the Mets.

“I know the Mets have some left-handed power, some right-handed power and some speed. They’re solid. They’re going to be tough. They’re going to be a handful just like these other two teams were.”

So this it…

The Mets now face one more hurdle before staking claim to the ultimate prize and bring back a World Series title to New York.

Here is the FOX broadcast schedule:

Game 1 at Kansas City – Tuesday, October 27 – 8:07 (ET)
Game 2 at Kansas City – Wednesday, October 28 – 8:07 (ET)
Game 3 at New York – Friday, October 30 – 8:07 (ET)
Game 4 at New York – Saturday, October 31 – 8:07 (ET)
Game 5* at New York – Sunday, November 1 – 8:15 (ET)
Game 6* at Kansas City – Tuesday, November 3 – 8:07 (ET)
Game 7* at Kansas City – Wednesday, November 4 – 8:07 (ET)

* If necessary

Let’s Go Mets!!!

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Back in the Saddle Again: Travis d’Arnaud Batting Fifth Tonight http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/back-in-the-saddle-again-travis-darnaud-batting-fifth-tonight.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/back-in-the-saddle-again-travis-darnaud-batting-fifth-tonight.html/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 21:56:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=188290 travis d'Arnaud

He’s Baaa-aaack…

Travis d’Arnaud is back in the Mets lineup and batting fifth tonight against the Washington Nationals.

Can I get a… Hell Yeah!

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Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud is now in New York and with the team. He will be activated from the disabled list before Friday’s game with the Washington Nationals.

To make room for d’Arnaud the Mets optioned Anthony Recker back to Triple-A Las Vegas after this afternoon’s loss to the Padres.

That leaves Kevin Plawecki as the backup catcher. But he should get plenty of starts at least until TDA is 100 percent ready for a full grind.

D’Arnaud successfully caught the entire game on Wednesday for a second straight day with Double-A Binghamton and proclaims himself ready to go. His addition should provide some boost to the lineup.

July 27

Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who is trying to recover from a left sprained elbow, is getting ever so closer to rejoining the team.

On Sunday, d’Arnaud went 2-for-4 with a run scored as the DH for Double-A Binghamton in an 8-0 win. He also caught five innings on Saturday with the B-Mets after the team shifted his rehab assignment from St. Lucie to Binghamton.

If all goes well, d’Arnaud should be activated from the DL later this week. However, he would likely need to catch a full minor league game before getting back to the majors.

D’Arnaud, 26, was batting .296 with a .873 OPS in 77 plate appearances this season before he was injured.

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MMO Game Thread: Marlins vs Mets, 1:05 PM, (SNY) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mmo-game-thread-marlins-vs-mets-105-pm-sny.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mmo-game-thread-marlins-vs-mets-105-pm-sny.html/#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 15:18:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=176474 jacob degrom

Jacob deGrom takes the mound for the Mets as they take on the Miami Marlins at Tradition Field in Port St m Lucie for a 1:10 matchup. The reigning NL Rookie of the Year will be opposed by left-hander Brad Hand for the Marlins.

It was a tough day for Mets fans yesterday, but looking at the bigger picture, we have the pitching depth to overcome the loss of Wheeler and it doesn’t change my outlook for this season. Lots of great Mets baseball is still coming our way in 2015 so cheer up!

NEW YORK METS

  1. Juan Lagares, CF
  2. Curtis Granderson, RF
  3. Michael Cuddyer, LF
  4. Lucas Duda, 1B
  5. Daniel Murphy, 2B
  6. Wilmer Flores, SS
  7. Travis d’Arnaud, C
  8. Kevin Plawecki, DH
  9. Alex Castellanos, 3B

MIAMI MARLINS

  1. Jordany Valdespin, RF
  2. Martin Prado, 3B
  3. Marcell Ozuna, CF
  4. Michael Morse, 1B
  5. Justin Bour, DH
  6. Adeiny Hechavarria, SS
  7. Reed Johnson, LF
  8. Donovan Solano, 2B
  9. Jeff Mathis, C

Enjoy the game and Let’s Go Mets!

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My Hall of Fame Ballot and the Problems with the Voting Process http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/my-hall-of-fame-ballot-and-the-problems-with-the-voting-process.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/my-hall-of-fame-ballot-and-the-problems-with-the-voting-process.html/#comments Tue, 30 Dec 2014 15:00:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=172407 baseball_hall_fame1

The Hall of Fame debate to me these days is less about who is deserving and more about why they should or shouldn’t be disqualified. For several years now, each new candidate comes with their own set of speculations as opposed to qualifications. Every candidate that played in the steroid era will always have suspicion or doubt cast upon them, warranted or not

This is one of the two things that bug me the most about voting for the Hall of Fame. Not the mistrust per se, but the fact that there are still no firm rules about how to handle it. The Hall of Fame and MLB are shirking their responsibilities as far as I’m concerned. Baseball needs to decide how to handle the statistics of those who either tested positive or admitted to it later in life. Their punishment for active players are doing a decent job deterring players, but there’s been no ruling on how those players should be viewed in the pantheon of the greatest game in history in retrospect. The Hall of Fame doesn’t get a pass, either. They don’t seem to have come forward with their bottom line, either.

The problem I have with this is that they are the respective governing bodies of this process. Their opinion is what it is and I’m not so much concerned with whatever ruling they might make, I just need them to make one. In avoiding the tough questions, they are forcing the BBWAA to make the decisions they should be making and that’s not right or fair. Each member has their own opinions, but in forcing them to make their own determination, you’re creating a subjective platform for enshrinement, and let’s face it, statistics are subjective enough.

Our own John Delcos (he actually has a vote; my ballot is fake as I do not) took his stand on how to handle players linked to steroids in the explanation of his ballot and he has every right to take that stand. The issue I have is that someone else with a vote will have a different stand and for all we know there are 580+ different stances. This is where the inaction of MLB and the Hall of Fame fails the election process.

So I have a stand of my own. My stance is that I’m not taking one. So as long as both the MLB and the Hall of Fame recognizes Barry Bonds as the all-time home run king, then so will I. It’s not fair that they force the voters to make their decisions for them.

The second problem I have is the limit of ten. This is silly and archaic. The rule has been in place since 1936, when there were a total of 16 teams and minorities weren’t allowed to play. To put it mildly, the pool is much larger now. So the biggest issue for me in putting together my fake ballot is not who is deserving, but which ten would get my vote. To help with this, I split the candidates into two categories. The first category is for all time players. The game’s greats who would have dominated in any era they played. The second category is for players who dominated their era. I’m very much in favor of enshrinement for meeting this criterion because the game has changed so drastically over the years.

So with all that said, here’s my fake ballot:

Column One                 Column Two

Barry Bonds                   Tim Raines

Roger Clemens            Edgar Martinez

Mike Piazza                   Craig Biggio

Randy Johnson            Mike Mussina

Pedro Martinez

Jeff Bagwell

I don’t suppose I have to explain Column One. Those guys are the very best to ever play and with my stance that so long as every number they put up are still deemed official by MLB and the HOF, then they warrant enshrinement.

Column Two could be debated, so here goes:

Tim-RainesRaines was an outstanding hitter in an era not known for offense. He was a better base stealer than Rickey Henderson. In point of fact, The Man of Steal would have to come back to baseball and swipe 448 consecutive bases without being thrown out just to achieve Raines’s success rate. Another way to look at it is this: if Raines had attempted as many steals as Henderson did while still maintaining his success rate, he’d steal 1475 bases, eclipsing Rickey’s record. From his 1983-1993, among players who qualified each of those years, Raines had the third best wRC+ in all of baseball. He had the sixth best batting average, third best on base percentage and the 25th best slugging percentage despite being a leadoff hitter for the majority.

Martinez has the DH bias working against him, but the DH has been an official position in the game for over 40 years. So my answer to those who leave DHs off their ballot is: get over it. Not to mention there are some absolute butchers already enshrined because of their offensive prowess. There’s a very real argument to be made that Martinez was more valuable to the Mariners by NOT playing the field than some HOFers were to their teams by costing them runs in the field. Between 1990-2003, among players who qualified each of those years, Martinez ranks third in wRC+, and has the highest batting average, the third highest OBP and the ninth-best SLG%.

Biggio’s detractors say that his best attribute was longevity. True, he didn’t dominate in any one specific facet of the game statistically, but the longevity bit is misleading. Biggio played twenty seasons. That’s not unheard of at all. No one in the 3,000 hit club played fewer than twenty seasons, so why are we penalizing Biggio for it? I also believe there’s a lot of inherent value in doing everything really well for a really long time. I don’t necessarily vote for him because of the magic number of 3,000 hits, but part of his credentials is how he got there. Is a player who potentially had ten great, what we call “Hall of Fame” seasons and ten average ones better or more valuable than Biggio, who played “just” really well for twenty seasons if the final results are the same? Biggio gets my vote.

Lastly, Mussina. Mussina’s numbers are somewhat like Biggio’s in that there wasn’t one thing he did particularly better than anyone else, just a lot of really, really good seasons. For example, from 1992-2008, Mussina’s full time career, he’s seventh in ERA, sixth in FIP and fifth in xFIP among pitchers who qualified each of those years, all while pitching in some homer-friendly parks against some of the game’s best offenses. Two more seasons would have given him the automatic nod because he would have reached the magic totals for wins and strikeouts, but he chose to leave the game on his terms. Personally, one of my favorite stats, which is neither here nor there re: his HOF candidacy, is that since balk records have been kept in 1974, no one with a minimum of 2,500 innings pitched has had fewer balks than Mussina, who has 3,562.2 innings pitched. In his entire career, Mussina balked only one time

Those are my ten, which means I did not vote for Larry Walker, Gary Sheffield, Curt Schilling and John Smoltz, all of whom are worthy of enshrinement. The rule of ten couldn’t be thrown out soon enough.

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Lucas Duda Is Willing To Platoon At First Base http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/lucas-duda-is-willing-to-platoon-at-first-base.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/lucas-duda-is-willing-to-platoon-at-first-base.html/#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 20:56:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168610 lucas duda hr

While Lucas Duda applauded the addition of Michael Cuddyer, he understands that he could lose playing time to him against lefthanded pitching.

And despite struggling against lefties in the last two seasons, batting just .180 off them in 2014, Duda believes he can still be proficient against southpaws. That said, Duda, who is coming off a breakthrough season, is perfectly fine if Terry Collins decides to platoon him.

“I feel like in the past I’ve hit lefties a little bit better than I’ve shown or I’ve had the confidence to,” Duda said. “But again if he has to spell me at first base against lefties then whatever is good for the team. Whatever will help us win, I’m all for. I’ll come off the bench or come in late in the game. Whatever it is. Anything to help us win, I think, that’s our main goal and we’ve got to accomplish it this year.”

First off, I am a huge fan of Lucas Duda.  When considering the question about platooning Duda, I have to ask myself a different question: Do the Mets have a better chance of winning with Duda in the lineup against left-handed pitching?

As much as I want to see him get as many at-bats as possible, the answer to that question is still an overwhelming, NO.  Even if Duda becomes serviceable versus lefties, he will never be the same hitter that he is against righties.

Duda hit 30 home runs this past season, and did virtually nothing against southpaws, just two in 125 plate appearances. It also looked like it negatively impacted his production against right-handed pitching when Terry Collins started to give him more playing time against later in the season. He was so focused on trying to go the other way against LHP, that he went into a month long slump against righties.  Additionally, he seemed to wear down a bit playing everyday and looked like he benefited with those occasional nights off.

What is the advantage of playing Duda against lefties?  So he can hit 32 homers instead of 30 but at the expense of about 130 unproductive at-bats? Wouldn’t the team be much better off having a RH batter that crushes lefties playing those games instead? What if we find a platoon partner that hits 10 or more home runs in those at-bats with a .300 or better batting average?  Suddenly we have 40 homer, 40 double, 125 RBI  production from our first base position. You think that could put more of those one-run losses into our win column?

Having a platoon partner with Duda would not only improve the lineup against guys like Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Mike Minor, but just think of match-up problems it would cause when the opposing manager goes to the bullpen? We have Lucas Duda chomping at the bit to get in the batters box as soon as a right handed reliever enters the game. Even if the opposing manager immediately takes out the righty and brings in a lefty specialist, you still made them burn two relief pitchers to get one guy out. So it’s not like Duda wouldn’t play during most of those games he starts on the bench.

Duda turns 29 in February, at this age you are what you are…

This is not about the name on the back of the jersey, it’s about the name on the front. And all the evidence points to increased production from first base with Lucas Duda in a platoon.

(Updated 12/4)

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Breaking Down the Remaining July Schedule http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/breaking-down-the-remaining-july-schedule.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/breaking-down-the-remaining-july-schedule.html/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 16:26:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161127 The All-Star Break is over and the hunt for the playoffs is just starting to get exciting. The Mets sit at 45-50, but their last ten games (8-2) going into the break has injected confidence into an often pessimistic fan base.

terry collinsIn these ten games, Mets pitching has recorded a 2.74 ERA, while in the Mets eight wins, the ERA has been 2.43. In addition to the terrific pitching efforts, the offense may just be the biggest part of the successful stretch. New York is averaging 5.5 runs and four extra-base hits per game over this period.

There is no reason this hot streak shouldn’t continue, especially given the upcoming opponents. Starting tonight, the Mets are facing off against the San Diego Padres, who are 41-54 and have lost seven of their last 10. These teams met once before this year and New York took two-out-of-three from San Diego. Now, New York is on the road, but this shouldn’t mean they can’t take advantage of a weak team.

Next up is a three-game series in an American League ballpark against the Seattle Mariners, a tough test. The challenge for the Mets will be scoring runs and utilizing the designated hitter. New York has done well with that, going 6-6 in interleague play, including 3-2 while using the DH. It will be easier to do this since the Mets lucked out and will not face Felix Hernandez in this series. However, maybe easier is not the correct word. The M’s are 51-44 and have a team ERA of 3.16.

Following that is another challenging series, this one a four-game set against the first-place Brewers. Despite a 53-43 record, the Brew Crew went into the break losers of eight of their last 10. Prior to the Mets, they play two 51-win teams in the Nationals and Reds. It’s a tough road for Milwaukee coming out of the gates and the Mets may be lucky enough to catch them at a low point. The only other time these teams played, the Brewers took two-out-of-three in Citi Field from the Mets.

That is the end of a 10 game road trip. A 5-5 record is realistic for the road trip, but the Mets are shooting for more. A sweep is possible in San Diego and a split in four games would be a positive result against the Brewers.

To close out July, the Mets finally return home to battle the Phillies. Philadelphia has struggled this year and the Mets have taken advantage. In nine games, the Mets are 6-3, are averaging 5.1 runs per game and are allowing 3.2 runs per game.

In the remaining 13 July games, the Mets play seven games against teams above .500, 10 games on the road and three games against a division rival. In order to play baseball in October, the Mets are going to have to get to work.

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Andrew Brown Optioned To Make Room For Bobby Abreu http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/andrew-brown-optioned-to-make-room-for-bobby-abreu.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/andrew-brown-optioned-to-make-room-for-bobby-abreu.html/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 18:49:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153035 Bobby-Abreu

The Mets have added Bobby Abreu to the 25 man roster and he will be available for tonight’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Andrew Brown was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for him. Brown batted .185 with one home run and five RBI in 30 plate appearances this season.

The 40-year-old Abreu hasn’t played in the big leagues since 2012, when he played eight games for the Los Angeles Angels and then 92 for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Abreu signed a minor-league contract with the Mets, and batted .395 in 15 games for Triple-A Las Vegas with four doubles and six RBI.

The Mets needed to make a decision on Abreu, who could have asked out of his contract if he wasn’t promoted by the end of this month.

It’s still unclear if this decision is just to add a bat to the bench, or a bigger role.

April 12

Mike Puma of the NY Post has learned that Bobby Abreu has an April 30 opt out clause on the deal he signed with the Mets.

“Don’t be surprised if he’s with the Mets by end of month,” Puma says.

April 11

When the Mets signed Bobby Abreu on March 31, I have to admit, I really didn’t understand that move, especially when the Mets have a crop of younger ball players ready to take their turn and become stars on the big club.  The move to bring in a 40 year old ball player past his prime didn’t really sit well with me.  My thinking was maybe they feel he still has something left in the tank, but in reality it could delay a top prospect for a what-if.

But I have to admit, at least for now that I will have to eat my words, because not only has Abreu been hitting, but he has actually solidified himself in the lineup and has started to be a guy to count on to produce.

On the season so far he is 10 for 19, batting .526/.591/684, with three doubles, has only struck out twice and has hit safely in seven of the eight games he has played with the 51′s.  He also has three multi hit games in that stretch.

Wally Backman has seen his share of great hitters and he tells the Las Vegas Journal-Review that Abreu still has it, “He turned on a 98 mph fastball with the bases loaded, so I’d say he can still hit.”

I can’t say that Abreu is the answer to the Mets offensive woes, but if he continues to hit and produce, the Mets may need to make some decisions and possibly see if he is actually someone who can bring something to the table for the team – assuming he continues to smash Triple A pitching. It could make for a good story line.

(Photo Credit: Josh Holmberg/Las Vegas Review Journal)

bleed-orange-blue-button

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Blue Jays, 1:05 PM, (MLBN, WOR) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-blue-jays-105-pm-mlbn-wor.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-blue-jays-105-pm-mlbn-wor.html/#comments Sat, 29 Mar 2014 16:02:14 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=152034 montreal olympic stadium

The Mets play their final 2014 exhibition game on when they take on the Toronto Blue Jays again at Olympic Stadium. Daisuke Matsuzaka opposes Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow in a 1:00 PM start that will be broadcast on MLB Network (damn it) and WOR radio.

Jenrry Mejia departed Friday’s game at Olympic Stadium after taking a line drive off his right forearm in the fifth inning. Terry Collins said the forearm dramatically swelled and that Mejia was sent to the hospital for X-rays. This morning, Mejia told reporters that the x-ray was fine and showed some inflammation. No word yet on who starts April 4 for Mets.

BBO Expos Fans Toronto 20130719

Here are today’s lineups:

Mets

  1. Eric Young Jr., LF
  2. Daniel Murphy, 2B
  3. David Wright, 3B
  4. Curtis Granderson, RF
  5. Chris Young, CF
  6. Lucas Duda, DH
  7. Ike Davis, 1B
  8. Travis d’Arnaud, C
  9. Ruben Tejada, SS

Blue Jays

  1. Jose Reyes, SS
  2. Melky Cabrera, LF
  3. Jose Bautista, DH
  4. Edwin Encarnacion, 1B
  5. Dioner Navarro, C
  6. Brett Lawrie, 3B
  7. Colby Rasmus, CF
  8. Moises Sierra, RF
  9. Ryan Goins, 2B

Terry Collins continues to sit Juan Lagares and trots out what I believe will be the Opening Day outfield for the Mets and the one you’ll see most often. My feel is that Collins views Lagares as merely a defensive substitute late in games.

Collins is also so fearful that he’s been handed a team that that will not score enough runs, that he has foregone defense altogether and is opting to just play what he believes are his best bats. I’ve heard that from two different people working the beat.

Enjoy the game and as always… Lets Go Mets!

(Photos by Canadian Press)

bleed orange & blue  button

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Astros, 6:05 PM (WOR) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-astros-605-pm-wor.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-astros-605-pm-wor.html/#comments Wed, 26 Mar 2014 20:56:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=151754 USATSI dillon gee

The New York Mets head to Kissimmee to take on the Houston Astros tonight a 6:05 PM. Dillon Gee gets his final tune-up of the spring and will oppose Scott Feldman in a game that will be broadcast on WOR 710 AM.

Gee has been tabbed to start on Opening Day for the Mets who was humbled by the news.

“It’s a big honor,” Gee said. “I’m very thankful for that opportunity, but really I’ve just got to take it like any other.  It’s just one of 30-something starts I hope to get this year, but it’s definitely a big honor.”

Gee is 1-0 with 1.69 ERA in three spring training starts with eight strikeouts and no walks.

Here are tonight’s lineups:

Mets

  1. Daniel Murphy, 2B
  2. Juan Lagares, CF
  3. Ike Davis, DH
  4. Lucas Duda, 1B
  5. Andrew Brown, RF
  6. Josh Satin, 3B
  7. Eric Campbell, LF
  8. Anthony Recker, C
  9. Omar Quintanilla, SS

Astros

  1. Dexter Fowler, CF
  2. Robbie Grossman, LF
  3. Jason Castro, DH
  4. Jose Altuve, 2B
  5. Chris Carter, 1b
  6. Carlos Corporan, C
  7. L.J. Hoes, RF
  8. Matt Dominguez, 3B
  9. Jonathan Villar, SS

Scott Feldman, rhp

homer the dog

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Twins, 1:05 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-twins-105-pm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-twins-105-pm.html/#comments Fri, 21 Mar 2014 16:22:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=151313 USATSI dillon gee

The New York Mets are in Fort Myers today to take on the Minnesota Twins at 1:05 PM. Dillon Gee will oppose Ricky Nolasco.

Unfortunately, the game will not be broadcast on TV or radio. But MMO is on site and I asked Dave to jump into our game thread and share any insights, quotes, images, etc.

Here are today’s lineups:

Mets

  1. Juan Lagares, cf
  2. Ruben Tejada, ss
  3. Lucas Duda, 1b
  4. Ike Davis, dh
  5. Andrew Brown, lf
  6. Zach Lutz, 3b
  7. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, rf
  8. Taylor Teagarden, c
  9. Omar Quintanilla, 2b

Twins

  1. Brian Dozier, 2b
  2. Jason Bartlett, ss
  3. Joe Mauer, dh
  4. Jason Kubel, rf
  5. Wilkin Ramirez, lf
  6. Chris Parmelee, 1b
  7. Josmil Pinto, c
  8. Eduardo Escobar, 3b
  9. Alex Presley, cf

Lucas Duda is starting at first base for the first time since injuring his left hamstring March 3. Ike Davis is in the game as well and will DH.

Looks like Juan Lagares is also tough as nails among his many other attributes. He’s in the game after taking a pitch to the shoulder yesterday and having a sizable bruise to show for a memento.

Dillon Gee is currently set to be the Opening Day starter and oppose Stephen Strasburg when the Mets take on the Nationals on March 31 at Citi Field.

Bobby Parnell is starting a minor league game today and will pitch 2 innings. He is expected to throw back to back days next week.

Enjoy the game and Lets Go Mets!

believe mr met button

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Marlins, 1:05 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-marlins-105-pm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-marlins-105-pm.html/#comments Mon, 17 Mar 2014 15:38:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=150798 st. patricks day hats

The New York Mets play the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium at 1:05 PM in Jupiter today. Left-hander John Lannan opposes right-hander Henderson Alvarez. The game will be broadcast on WOR 710 AM.

Lannan is back in contention for a rotation spot after Terry Collins said he would likely open season in the Mets bullpen as the second lefthander.

There’s a good chance that the Mets starting rotation will be Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee, Zack Wheeler, Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lannan to open the season if Jon Niese were to miss considerable time.

Jenrry Mejia is also considered to be in contention but the Mets prefer to keep him in the bullpen to start the season. Same goes for Rafael Montero.

Many of the Mets regulars were given Monday off including David Wright, Travis d’Arnaud, Curtis Granderson and Eric Young Jr. Their flight from Las Vegas didn’t arrive to New York until midnight.

Here is the starting lineup for the Mets:

  1. Matt den Dekker, LF
  2. Ruben Tejada, SS
  3. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, CF
  4. Zach Lutz, 1B
  5. Eric Campbell, 3B
  6. Anthony Recker, DH
  7. Juan Centeno, C
  8. Anthony Seratelli, RF
  9. Omar Quintanilla, 2B

Den Dekker and Nieuwenhuis are two of the hottest players in the Grapefruit League. MDD leads the league in batting and OBP. Tejada needs a two-hit day desperately if only to get the media pressure off his back for a day.

Agree or disagree with this prediction from a veteran scout on Sunday.

“The Mets are out of it at the July 31 trade deadline and they trade Bartolo Colon for Didi Gregorius. That way they keep their young pitching and save some money, too.”

Enjoy the game and Lets Go Mets!

New York Mets owner Joan Payson

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MMO Game Thread: Cardinals vs Mets at 1:00 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-game-thread-cardinals-vs-mets-at-100-pm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-game-thread-cardinals-vs-mets-at-100-pm.html/#comments Wed, 12 Mar 2014 16:47:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=150230 Brad Barr USA TODAY Sports mets bench dugout

The New York Mets host the St. Louis Cardinals at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie at 1:10 PM.

John Lannan gets the start against the Cards a day after Terry Collins admitted he’s likely headed to the bullpen as the team’s second left-hander alongside Scott Rice. Lannan opposes right-hander Carlos Martinez.

Daniel Murphy is in the lineup after missing time with an injured right shin he incurred during an aggressive slide into second base attempting to break up a double play. Lucas Duda could return to the lineup tomorrow, but the status on Ike Davis is still uncertain.

Here are today’s starting lineups:

New York Mets

  1. Eric Young Jr., DH
  2. Daniel Murphy, 2B
  3. David Wright, 3B
  4. Curtis Granderson, RF
  5. Chris Young, LF
  6. Eric Campbell, 1B
  7. Taylor Teagarden, C
  8. Juan Lagares, CF
  9. Ruben Tejada, SS

St. Louis Cardinals

  1. Matt Carpenter, 3B
  2. Peter Bourjos, CF
  3. Shane Robinson, LF
  4. Matt Adams, 1B
  5. Stephen Piscotty, RF
  6. Kolten Wong, 2B
  7. Randal Grichuk, DH
  8. Tony Cruz, C
  9. Pete Kozma, SS

(Photo Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports)

homer the dog

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Matz Was Not Skipped Due To Injury, Mets Capping His Innings http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/matz-was-not-skipped-due-to-injury-mets-capping-his-innings.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/matz-was-not-skipped-due-to-injury-mets-capping-his-innings.html/#comments Wed, 31 Jul 2013 19:12:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=126195 steven matz

Two interesting tidbits of information about some prospects that I haven’t heard too much about myself recently came out in Adam Rubin’s Farm Report this morning. Check it out:

Jayce Boyd, who is hitting a combined .334 between Savannah and St. Lucie this season, exclusively has served as DH since June 29 with the Florida State League club. Boyd, a first baseman drafted in the sixth round last year out of Florida State, has been instructed not to throw by team doctors. He is due to undergo shoulder surgery after the season. The injury does not restrict Boyd’s hitting.

Trying to limit left-hander Steven Matz’s innings, the Mets skipped his last turn with Savannah. Matz has logged 81 innings this season. His previous two seasons were limited because of a prolonged recovery from Tommy John surgery and other injuries.

Rubin told me that he only knows as much as he wrote about the injury to Boyd, which is weird to begin with, but I guess it can’t be that bad if he can still hit. Boyd has been swinging a hot stick throughout the entirety of the 2013 season, but this will likely slow his progress a little bit. We’ll update you on the situation as we find out more, but I’d like to believe this is minor and whatever surgery Boyd needs in the off-season is also minor.

As for Steven Matz, I don’t mind them skipping the start. The Mets are likely to protect him on the 40-man roster this offseason to prevent him from being taken in the Rule V Draft, so they’re looking to protect his future at the same time. Matz has come back looking sharp this season with a lot of life on his fastball.

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Coming Soon To A League Near You: The Designated Hitter http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/coming-soon-to-a-league-near-you-the-designated-hitter.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/coming-soon-to-a-league-near-you-the-designated-hitter.html/#comments Sun, 23 Jun 2013 13:32:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=122889 matt harveyImagine waking up tomorrow morning, checking out MMO and reading that Matt Harvey got injured. Our jaws would drop, our stomachs would sink and our heart would skip a beat. Then, to take it one step further, imagine if our ace and the pitcher we intend to build our future around was injured not by pitching, but while taking a turn at bat. Wouldn’t it be that much worse?

The question I raise is this: Is it time for the NL to adopt the DH?

Let me begin by saying I am a traditionalist when it comes to the grand ol’ game. I think artificial turf is stupid. I’ve never warmed to the idea of three divisions. And yes, even though extra wild card spots add excitement until the very last day, it bothers me that 1 of every 3 teams make the post-season. This is Baseball, not Basketball.

And honestly, I’ve never liked the Designated Hitter. I’ve always thought that to have a guy on your roster who can only do ONE thing—HIT—is lame. I believe that guys who spend the bulk of their career as a DH, like an Edgar Martinez or David Ortiz, should not be considered for the Hall of Fame. If they are Cooperstown-worthy, then why not Jose Oquendo?

What if a guy had no talent other than a strong arm? Should he play right field as a Designated Outfielder? In 1975, the eccentric Charlie Finley included Herb Washington on the A’s roster. Washington had no baseball skills whatsoever. His only attribute was that he was speedy. He was baseball’s one and only Designated Runner. (The experiment lasted one season)

Pitchers get hurt. We, as Mets fans, realize that better than anyone. Approximately one third of our 2013 payroll, $24 million plus, is locked up in a LHP who may never pitch again. So, yes, injuries are a part of the game. Injuries to pitchers are devastating. But when pitchers get hurt doing something they’re not paid to do, it’s that much worse.

If a Buster Posey gets run over blocking the plate and misses 4 months, well, that’s part of the game. If Jose Reyes pulls a hammy running the bases, well, that’s part of the game. But when a pitcher gets injured hitting?  Well, that’s just…different.

Several weeks ago, Ryan Vogelsong of the Giants was having his first solid start of the season. In the fifth inning, he swung at an inside pitch. The ball came in, effectively breaking the pinky finger on his pitching hand in two places. See you in 6-8 weeks, Ryan. From 2006 to 2008, Josh Beckett, Randy Johnson, Bartolo Colon, Pedro Martinez, Carlos Zambrano, Chien-Ming Wang and Scott Downs all missed significant time due to injuries sustained from hitting or running the bases.

Had the DH been around for most of the last century, how different would the history books look? In 1934, Babe Ruth played part time because he was too old to field his position. Yet, he still hit 22 HR’s in 365 AB’s. In 1928, Ty Cobb saw limited playing time due the fact he was 42 and his legs were gone. Yet, he still hit 323. Had Cobb DH’d several more seasons, Pete Rose would not be all our all-time hits leader. And we can only imagine what kind of numbers Mickey Mantle would’ve compiled had he not been relegated to patrolling the expansive outfield of the old Yankee Stadium on bad knees.

Mickey  Mantle Lying on Couch with Covering on Injured KneePerhaps it’s time—and I cant believe I’m actually typing these words—for the NL to adopt the DH.

It was 1973 when, for the first time in history, the AL and NL played under different rules. For the following 3 years, pitchers had to bat in the World Series. Beginning in 1976, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn decided to alternate the DH. One Fall Classic with, one without. In 1986 that rule was changed to the DH allowed when the AL champions played host.

Over the last decade and a half, however, the glamour of interleague play has lost some of its luster. It’s no longer the novelty it once was. Attendance during The Subway Series as well as games between the two teams in southern California, northern California, Chicago, Texas and Missouri have decreased slightly for a few years now.

And with 15 teams in each league and an interleague game every day of the week for the entire season, the NL is at a huge disadvantage. On most AL teams, the DH is usually one of the best hitters on the team and hits in the 3, 4 or 5 hole. By contrast, the NL must resort to inserting someone who would normally be a bench player—a fourth outfielder or a back-up first baseman.

Even in the most recent Subway series where we swept the Yankees (and what a beautiful thing it was), John Buck was used as our DH in one game, allowing Anthony Recker to play. Recker’s batting average was .160. The other game in The Bronx Lucas Duda DH’d and Mike Baxter found a spot. Baxter and his 228 BA batted ninth. Meanwhile, the Yankees DH was Travis Hafner. Big difference.

And of course, it does not balance out when the NL plays host to an AL team. Can anyone say the difference between Hafner to Recker is offset by Matt Harvey batting as opposed to Hiroki Kuroda?

Since the advent of interleague play, the AL has a .525 winning percentage. I believe a large part of this is due to the advantage of a DH as opposed to a fourth outfielder.

Just thinking (or writing) out loud, what about a compromise? A DH is allowed—but he must bat in the #9 spot in the batting order.

Granted, putting the DH in to the NL would indeed take away strategy. And strategy has always been one of baseball’s bright spots. We’d see less double-switches, less pinch hitters, less walking of the #8 hitter forcing the manager to decide if he should pinch hit for his starter. I love that stuff. We all do.

On the flip side, how many times when a pitcher steps to the dish with a man on base and less than two outs, we already KNOW he’s going to bunt. How much strategy is that?

Those in favor of the DH say they don’t come to the ballpark to watch the manager think. I agree. On the flip side, how many come to the ballpark to watch the pitcher hit? We go to games to see pitchers pitch and hitters hit.

As Baseball fans and Mets fans, there are certain stats we have logged in our brain. Cy Young’s 511 wins. Walter Johnson’s 110 shut outs. We all know Seaver won three Cy Young Awards and that Doc was 24-4 in 85. However, does anyone know what their batting averages were? I sure dont.

This week the Mets will face the White Sox and their DH Paul Konerko or Adam Dunn. Do we have anyone on the bench to adequately counter them?

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Matt den Dekker Ready To Start Playing In Games http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/matt-den-dekker-ready-to-start-playing-in-games.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/matt-den-dekker-ready-to-start-playing-in-games.html/#comments Fri, 07 Jun 2013 14:51:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=121038

Center fielder Matt den Dekker, who suffered a fractured right wrist during a March 24 Grapefruit League game, is ready to get into games according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

Den Dekker was scheduled to DH in a back-field game in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Thursday until heavy rains forced a postponement. Den Dekker should be in the lineup today.

Here is a video of Den Dekker who talks about what it was like for him on Draft Day when the Mets selected him.

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David Wright Superstar? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/david-wright-superstar.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/david-wright-superstar.html/#comments Fri, 26 Apr 2013 13:00:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=116329 david wright 1419 hitsYou’ve probably read an article like this before.  Lord knows enough of them have been written.  Is David Wright a superstar?  Its an argument that still rages on an almost daily basis across every social media forum.  On one side, you find a group of super-critical fans who feel Wright can’t possibly live up to his eight year, $138 million dollar contract.  On the other side, you find the “apologists”, the “fan girls”, and a variety of other groups who admire Wright as the captain of the team and face of the franchise.  So where does the truth lie?

First and foremost, how do you define a superstar?  For the purposes of this post, I’m going to say that a superstar has to have been in the league long enough to be compensated like one.  This will provide a “track record” that we can use to see where Wright lies amongst his peers.  Does this leave out the Mike Trouts and Bryce Harpers of the world?  Yes, but its important to consider money because it is always an important dynamic in this argument.

With that said, if there is anything both Wright’s supports and his critics can agree on, its that Wright’s new contract compensates him like a superstar.  Despite making only $11 million dollars this season, he will average $17.5 million over the length of the deal.  So for the purposes of comparison, I will use this $17.5 million dollar figure so Wright goes up against players considered to be the best in the league.  IF Wright were to make $17.5 million dollars this season, he would find himself to be the twenty-third highest paid player in Major League Baseball.   As it turns out, there are eleven higher paid position players in the game under this scenario.  Therefore, for the purposes of this comparison, I will use those eleven players and the first eleven that fall below him.  Each of these players have been productive enough on a consistent basis to be amongst the highest paid position players in the league.  Does Wright belong in this group?

This is how they match up over the course of their careers in the major statistical categories:

Wright Superstar Stats

Click to enlarge. All statistics obtained from www.baseball-reference.com. All statistics are averages over every 162 games played.

I chose these statistics because they are the most commonly known offensive categories for the average/traditional baseball fan.  I included batting average with runners in scoring position as a way to measure “clutchness”, which always seems to come up when discussing Wright.  So what have we learned…

Wright is actually above average when it comes to runs, hits, runs batted in, stolen bases, batting average, OPS, and finally, “clutchness”.  Consequently, he is slightly below average when it comes to power numbers and also averages a few additional strikeouts than his peers, neither of which should come as a surprise to anyone who watches Wright on a daily basis.  Which of these statistics you value most will go a long way in making your determination of whether or not Wright is in fact, a superstar.

I’ll allow you to make that determination for yourself.  What I do take away from all of this is that David Wright has earned his place amongst the highest paid players in the league.  He may never hit the epic home runs that some on this list do.  That alone may be enough for some of you to never deem Wright a superstar, and that’s okay.  However, there are other aspects of his game that help to fill his power void, which may lead others to the exact opposite conclusion.  What do you think?  How does he match up?  Is David Wright a superstar?

Follow me on Twitter at @RobPatterson83.

Disclaimer: I did not include defensive statistics in this comparison because each of these players play different positions, with several serving as a DH who don’t play defense at all.  Salaries were obtained from www.baseballplayersalaries.com/salaries.

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Jim Callis And His Baseball Prospect Dream Team http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/jim-callis-and-his-dream-team.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/jim-callis-and-his-dream-team.html/#comments Mon, 22 Apr 2013 04:37:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=115818 zack-wheeler1

Jim Callis of Baseball America had little fun this morning  with his mailbag piece and fielded the following interesting question:

If you had to make a 25-man roster using at most one player from any farm system, what would it look like? To make it more interesting, let’s say that the team doesn’t have to be competitive this year, so far-away prospects are fine if that’s who you want.

C: Mike Zunino, Mariners.
1B: Christian Yelich, Marlins.
2B: Jurickson Profar, Rangers.
3B: Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox.
SS: Francisco Lindor, Indians.
LF: Yasiel Puig, Dodgers.
CF: Byron Buxton, Twins.
RF: Oscar Taveras, Cardinals.
DH: Wil Myers, Rays.

Reserve C: Gary Sanchez, Yankees.
Reserve INF: Javier Baez, Cubs; Carlos Correa, Astros.
Reserve OF: Billy Hamilton, Reds; Nick Castellanos, Tigers.

No. 1 SP: Dylan Bundy, Orioles.
No. 2 SP: Gerrit Cole, Pirates.
No. 3 SP: Zack Wheeler, Mets.
No. 4 SP: Archie Bradley, Diamondbacks.
No. 5 SP: Kyle Zimmer, Royals.

Reserve P: Max Fried, Padres; Aaron Sanchez, Blue Jays; Kyle Crick, Giants; Lucas Giolito, Nationals; Jesse Biddle, Phillies; J.R. Graham, Braves.

Now that’s what I would call a Dream Team.

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