Mets Merized Online » Dillon Gee http://metsmerizedonline.com Fri, 24 Feb 2017 13:01:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.18 Rangers Sign Dillon Gee To Minor League Deal http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/rangers-sign-dillon-gee-to-minor-league-deal.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/rangers-sign-dillon-gee-to-minor-league-deal.html/#comments Tue, 17 Jan 2017 18:10:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229620 dillon gee kc

The Texas Rangers announced that they have signed right-hander Dillon Gee to a minor league deal.

Gee, 30, is still recovering from thoracic outlet surgery — the same procedure that Matt Harvey is attempting to come back from this Spring.

A former New York Met, Gee is expected to compete for a fifth starter spot with Tyson Ross, A.J. Griffin, Chi Chi Gonzalez, and Nick Martinez. Given his experience in relief, he could also win a job in the Rangers’ bullpen.

Last year, Gee made 33 appearances for the Kansas City Royals, 14 as a starter, and posted a 4.68 ERA, 1.464 WHIP, 5.25 FIP, and a 6.4 K/9 in 125 innings pitched.

In six seasons with the Mets, Gee had a 40-37 record with a 4.03 ERA, 1.310 WHIP, 4.25 FIP and 6.45 K/9 in 110 starts and foure relief appearances.

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Featured Article: Seven Veteran Pitchers Who Could Replace Colon http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/featured-article-seven-veteran-pitchers-who-could-replace-colon.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/featured-article-seven-veteran-pitchers-who-could-replace-colon.html/#comments Mon, 14 Nov 2016 20:16:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=226383 andrew cashner

The Mets world is reeling after the news that Bartolo Colon signed with the Atlanta Braves. This was unexpected, as Colon had passed up on better offers last season to return to the Mets.

Now with the team having most of its rotation coming off of injuries, they are going to probably need to acquire a veteran starter on the cheap who can fill in Colon’s void and be a stop-gap in case of injuries to their core pitchers. The Mets probably won’t go for a higher-end option like a Rich Hill or a Jeremy Hellickson (who are actually considered high end in this awful market), so these are guys they could presumably get on no more than a two-year deal.

Rather than gambling on a reclamation project like Brett Anderson or C.J. Wilson, the Mets will probably want someone who resembles Colon: of a sure thing– at least in respect to injuries– due to pretty much their entire rotation being hurt. There aren’t a whole lot of good options out there, but here are seven veteran pitchers who the Mets could presumably consider to replace Colon:

Andrew Cashner – It’s hard to believe that the Padres traded Anthony Rizzo away for this guy. He’s coming off a 5.25 ERA this year, so that means a big free agent payout may not come. But he’s still just 30, can touch the mid-90s with his fastball and lives in a world where Jeff Samardzija can allow the most home runs in the AL and get a $90 million contract the following winter. So anything is possible here.

If Cashner ends up going the Nelson Cruz route and gambles on a one-year “prove it” deal, this is someone who could really help the Mets. He’s had success in the major leagues and possesses the pure “stuff” to succeed in the majors. But in a weak free agent pitching market, another team could overspend for him. And it’s safe to say that that team won’t be the Mets.

Edinson Volquez – The 34-year-old Volquez is coming off of a year in which he had a 5.37 ERA, but represents very little injury liability, something the Mets really need. He has made at least 30 starts in four straight seasons and posted a 3.30 ERA from 2014-15. This is someone who, if he’s in the market for no more than a two-year deal, the Mets should strongly consider.

Jorge De La Rosa – De La Rosa is 36 years old and has a 4.64 career ERA, which isn’t terrible for a guy who has pitched in Coors Field a ton. He could presumably pitch better in a more favorable pitching environment, like Citi Field. The former Rockie also made at least 24 starts in each of the last four seasons, making him a reliable guy.

Mat Latos – Latos posted a 3.25 ERA from 2010-2014, making him one of the NL’s better starting pitchers in that time frame. Since 2015 though, he’s been with five different teams, and posted a 4.93 ERA. He probably won’t cost anything more than a minor league deal , and he’s still only 28 years old– which is kind of unbelievable considering he’s already pitched for seven teams. This could be a last resort if the Mets can’t afford anyone else.

jered weaver

Jered Weaver – Weaver, 34, was 131-69 with a 3.28 ERA from 2006-2014. Two years ago, he lead the AL in wins. But he has since fallen on hard times. his fastball barely reached over 80 miles per hour at some points last year as his ERA ballooned to 5.06. He has made at least 24 starts, however, in each of the last ten seasons. So Weaver represents a stop-gap option that could benefit from a move to the NL.

Ryan Vogelsong – He is a solid back-of-the-rotation pitcher who mostly stays off of the disabled list. He has a 4.81 lifetime ERA, so he’s not a star and most likely won’t get more than a one-year deal. But again, not too many solid pitchers to chose from here. The 39-year old has average 24 starts over his past

Dillon Gee – He was an ideal No. 5 starter for most of his Mets career; going 40-34 with a 3.91 ERA from 2010-2014. He then proceeded to spend most of 2015 in the minors, and held a 4.68 ERA this year with the Royals. The 30-year pitched mostly out of the bullpen this year, but if the Mets really need a starting pitcher a reunion makes sense on a minor-league deal.

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Mets Promote Tim Stauffer Over Dillon Gee http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mets-promote-tim-stauffer-over-dillon-gee.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mets-promote-tim-stauffer-over-dillon-gee.html/#comments Tue, 08 Sep 2015 04:19:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=192871 Photo by MiLB.com

Photo by MiLB.com

 

The Mets today promoted right-hander Tim Stauffer who was 4-1 with a 2.48 ERA and 1.031 WHIP in eight starts this year for the Las Vegas 51′s. The Mets signed Stauffer on July 30th after he was released on June 17th from the Minnesota Twins.

Stauffer struggled earlier this year for the Twins pitching to a 7.80 ERA in 13 games out of the bullpen. He pitched out of the Padres bullpen last year for the San Diego Padres going 64.1 innings with a 3.50 ERA while striking out 67 batters.

Dillon Gee was said to be passed over because of his lack of experience in the bullpen although I’m sure his comments before departing the Mets earlier this year didn’t help. Gee has gone 8-3 with a 4.58 ERA since being demoted to Las Vegas but has gone 2-0 over his last four starts with a 1.67 ERA holding opponents to .238/.267/.347 slash line.

Terry Collins said Stauffer will pitch in long-relief with Carlos Torres out 1-2 weeks with a strained calf that he suffered during yesterdays big win. Darrell Ceciliani was promoted then placed on the 60-day disabled list to make room for Stauffer.  Looks like this move signals the end of Gee’s career with the Mets.

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Mets Minors: Gee And Nimmo Propel Las Vegas Into First Place http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mets-minors-gee-and-nimmo-propel-las-vegas-into-first-place.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mets-minors-gee-and-nimmo-propel-las-vegas-into-first-place.html/#comments Sat, 05 Sep 2015 15:00:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=192494 dillon gee

 

Las Vegas (76-65) 9, Tacoma 4

After losing three of four to El Paso and moving out of first place the 51′s seemed to be reeling before Brandon Nimmo and Dillon Gee put them on their shoulders carrying them back atop the division by half a game. Nimmo was slid up to the #2 hole in the lineup and responded by going 4-5 with three runs, double, two RBI with a homerun for second straight night. Here is video of the blast.

Nimmo also made a nice running catch in the 9th inning running into the wall and had to leave the game. Said to be a bruised knee that is minor and could be back in the lineup today. Nimmo still recovering from getting hit in the face with a ball last week and is currently playing with two black eyes.

Dillon Gee gave the Las Vegas bullpen some needed rest with a 7 inning gem allowing one run on fours hits and two walks while striking out seven. In his last four starts Gee is 2-0 with a 1.67 ERA with opponents hitting just .238/.267/.347 against him. He is 8-3 overall with 4.58 ERA in 14 starts for the 51′s.

Dilson Herrera was 2-4 with a walk, two runs scored, and his third homerun in five games. Josh Rodriguez was playing in his second game for Las Vegas, he was 2-4 with a run scored and a bases clearing two-out double. He was 1-3 with two walks while playing third base in his first game. He played both right and left field last night. Box Score

Las Vegas host Tacoma again tonight in game two of the four games series that ends the regular season. Darin Gorski (10-8, 5.12) is on the hill for the 51′s.

Altoona 8, Binghamton (75-63) 0

With the B’Mets already clinching a playoff spot and no chances of improving their position manager Pedro Lopez rested some of his regulars last night. Robert Gsellman struggled going 4 innings allowing six runs on ten hits and three walks while striking out two. Jeff McNeil made his first start for Binghamton going 0-4 while playing shortstop and leading off. Victor Cruzado went 1-3 in his first AA start. Box Score

St. Lucie (68-68) 4, Bradenton 1

Mets starter Logan Taylor was dominant allowing one unearned run and just one hit (bunt single) while walking three and striking out six. He evened his record to 8-8 and lowered his ERA to 3.69 in 136.2 innings for St. Lucie. Recently promoted Vinny Siena (1-5) had the big hit for the Mets with a two-run double in a four run 4th inning. Jeffrey Diehl went 0-4 in his second game since being brought up from Brooklyn.

Lefty Kyle Regnault pitched a perfect 9th inning to pick up his 7th save and lower his ERA to 1.94 on the year. He has a 1.08 WHIP while allowing 41 hits and striking out 51 in 55.2 innings. Florida State player of the year Dominic Smith was out of the lineup with a sore should that is not serious but will probably end his season with only two games left. Box Score

Connecticut 4, Brooklyn (33-40) 3

All three Cyclones runs came across in the 6th inning on a bases clearing double by Brandon Brosher (2-4) who raised his average to .179 on the season. Desmond Lindsay was 0-3 with a walk and run scored out of the three spot in the lineup, he has reached base in eight straight games. Box Score

Greeneville 6, Kingsport (1-1) 2 Game Two 

Kingsport dropped game two of the three games series last night and winning 2-1 on Thursday thanks to a 9th inning homerun by Darryl Knight.

Everyone in the Mets lineup reached base at least once with Patrick Mazeika (1-3, 2B, HBP) the only to get on twice. Kevin Kaczmarski was 0-3 with a walk, stolen base, and scored the only run. Luis Carpio was 1-4 and knocked in the only run of the game. Former Met Mike Cameron‘s son Daz Cameron is the Astros center fielder. Box Score

Kingsport hosts the final game of the series tonight at 7:00 ET with 2015 20th round pick Thomas McIlraith (6-1, 1.71) getting the start.

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Mets Minors: Dilson Homers Again, Gee With Another Complete Game http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/mets-minors-dilson-homers-again-gee-with-another-complete-game.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/mets-minors-dilson-homers-again-gee-with-another-complete-game.html/#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 15:00:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=189401 dilson herrera

 

Las Vegas (61-49) 7, Tacoma 2

Dillon Gee pitched his second straight complete game giving up two runs on ten hits (HR) and two walks while striking out four. Gee is now 6-1 with a 4.85 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in eight starts for the 51′s.

Dilson Herrera leadoff the bottom of the first inning with his second homerun in as many days, he finished going 2-4 with three RBI, two runs scored, his 18th double, and 5th homerun. Over his last 10 games Dilson is hitting .351 with three homeruns, 13 RBI, 11 runs scored, and a 7/8 BB/SO ratio. Here is video of the homerun.

Matt Reynolds was 2-4 with two triples, run scored,  his 51st RBI of the season, and is now 8-20 with four RBI since coming off the disabled list. Brandon Nimmo went 2-3 with a walk, stolen base,and scored two runs while starting the game in right field and sliding over to center later in the game. Jayce Boyd played in the DH slot going 1-3 with a walk and a run scored. Anthony Recker was 0-4 with a RBI. Box Score

Savannah (58-48) 7, Rome 4

The Sand Gnats entered the 7th inning trailing 4-2 before scoring three in the inning and two more in the 8th. Vicente Lupo led Savannah with three hits including two doubles and scored two runs. Here is video of one of the doubles.

Jean Rodriguez went 2-4 with a double, two runs scored, and his 12th stolen base of the year. Leadoff hitter Jonathan Johnson was 2-3 with a walk, two runs scored, two RBI, and is now hitting .316 with eight RBI in his last ten games. Shortstop Luis Guillorme was 1-4 with two RBI giving 43 on the season.

Wuilmer Becerra returned to the lineup after missing two games going 1-4 with a walk and a run scored, now has a slash line of .296/.346/.448 for the year. Eudor Garcia went 1-5 knocking in two runs giving him 44 RBI in 77 games this year. John Mora was 2-4 with a walk, he is hitting .278/.366/.441 with 53 RBI and 35 extra base hits including a league leading 12 triples.

Edioglis Villasmil moved to 3-0 with 2.2 scoreless innings of relief issuing just one walk while striking out two. Alberto Baldonado pitched a perfect 9th inning with a strikeout to pick up his 4th save. He now has a 1.70 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP in 47.2 innings while holding opponents to a .178 average. Box Score

Brooklyn (23-19) 7, Lowell 6

The Cyclones scored four runs in the top of the 7th to put them ahead 7-5 with pinch hitter David Thompson walking with the bases loaded to force in the winning run. Kevin Canelon moved to 4-2 with a 4.15 ERA after going 6 innings allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits and a walk while striking out four.

Michael Bernal was 3-4 with run scored, two doubles, and two RBI giving him 18 on the year. Jeffrey Diehl was 2-5 with a run scored, two doubles, and a RBI. Catcher Jose Garcia was 3-3 with a walk and RBI. Vinny Siena went 1-4 with walk, RBI, run scored, and his 5th double of his career. Brandon Brosher was 1-3 with a walk, run scored, double, and is now hitting just .190 for the year.

Corey Taylor picked up his 3rd hold but gave up the first run in his professional career in one inning on three hits. He has pitched 13 innings allowing the lone run on nine hits and only two walks with eleven strikeouts. Alex Palsha secured his 10th save allowing one single and striking out two, extending his scoreless streak to 16.2 innings to start the year. Box Score

GCL Nationals 8, GCL Mets (20-15) 4 Game One F/7

The Mets started this game in a deep whole picking up a suspended trailing 8-1 after Joel Huertas lasted just 0.1 of inning while giving up eight earned runs. Anthony Chavez, Josh Prevost, and Aejandro Castro combined to throw 5.2 scoreless innings of relief with eight strikeouts. Prevost was making his 3rd rehab appearance striking out four over three shutdown innings.

Yeffry De Aza was 2-3 with a RBI while playing shortstop. Ricardo Cespedes was 1-2 with a walk, run, and 10th RBI of the season. Box Score

GCL Nationals 2, GCL Mets (20-16) 1 Game Two Walk-Off

Mets lost on a walk-off single in the bottom of the 9th inning to get swept in the doubleheader with Chavez taking the loss. Huertas pitched 5 scoreless innings in relief allowing four hits and a walk while striking out seven.

Ali Sanchez was 1-4 with a run scored and his 2nd stolen base of the year, he was threw out two of four base stealers. Desmond Lindsay was 0-2 with two walks while playing center field and batting 6th. De Aza went 1-4 extending his hitting streak to ten games, he is hitting .424 over that span. Box Score

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Mets Minors: A’s Front Office At B-Mets Game, Gee Gets Win http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mets-minors-as-front-office-at-bmets-game-gee-gets-win.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mets-minors-as-front-office-at-bmets-game-gee-gets-win.html/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 13:23:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=188039 dillon gee

 

Las Vegas (57-42) 9, Fresno 4

Dillon Gee enjoyed some run support as the the 51′s offense hit three homeruns pushing him to his 4th win in five AAA starts. Gee went 5.1 innings allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk while striking out nine hitters. He threw 102 pitches (65 strikes) while lowering his Las Vegas ERA to 6.35.

Chase Huchingson, Zack Thornton, and Vic Black combined to throw 3.2 scoreless out of the bullpen. Black pitched the 9th inning giving up a double to start the inning but stranded the runner there getting flyout, popout, and then groundout to 2B to end the game. He threw only 13 pitches with 8 of them going for strikes.

Johnny Monell was 3-5 with his 6th homerun, four RBI, and two runs scored to lead the offensive charge. Here is video of the Monell homerun. Cory Vaughn was 1-3 with a walk and his 5th homerun of the season. Brandon Allen went 1-4 with his 11th homerun of the season, a two-run shot in the 5th inning. Allen was mentioned yesterday as someone the Mets would possibly call-up assuming Cuddyer goes on the disable list.

Dilson Herrera had a good game going 2-4 with a double, walk, RBI, and a run scored. T.J. Rivera was 2-4 with his 15th double and scored a run to break out of his mini 0-10 slump. Travis Taijeron was the only 51 without a hit going 0-2 with two walks and two strikeouts. Box Score

Trenton 7, Binghamton (53-44) 3

With the hot stove heating up yesterday and the Oakland A’s already making one deal they had their Director of Player Personnel Billy Owens in attendance at the game. Both the Mets and Yankees have shown interest in Ben Zobrist but Trenton is really void of prospects outside of outfielder Jake Cave. Leading me to believe Billy was there to watch some of the Binghamton bats.

In what some think will be Michael Conforto‘s last game in the minors possibly this year he struggled going 0-5 with a strikeout, groundout, two popouts, and a deep fly to the center fielder. Gavin Cecchini went 0-5 with a strikeout as well, also hit into a double play.

L.J. Mazzilli was a perfect 4-4 with a walk, run scored, and his 13th double of the season. Mazzilli is hitting .409 (18-44) with five RBI and six runs scored in his last ten games. Here is video of the double. Brandon Nimmo was 1-3 with a walk and a strikeout as he continues to play center field everyday.

John Gant struggled going 5.1 innings allowing seven runs (six earned) on nine hits and a walk, he moves to 4-5 with 4.70 ERA in AA. Dario Alvarez let 1-2 inherited runners score but struck out two hitters in his 0.2 innings of work and gave up a hit snapping his 8-inning hitless streak. Akeel Morris pitched the last two innings, having a much needed positive outing giving up just one single while striking out one and hitting 96 MPH on the gun. Box Score

St. Lucie tried to start their doubleheader but it lasted only a half inning as the first game was suspended. Travis d’Arnaud was scheduled to play in Game two and will now have plenty of at bats available as St. Lucie will play a two games today with another two tomorrow.

Savannah (50-46) 10, Hagerstown 9

The Sand Gnats looked like they were headed to an easy victory until recently promoted Christian Montgomery gave up five runs in the bottom of the 9th inning. James Duff picked up his 11th save despite allowing all three inherited runners score. Scarlyn Reyes picked up his 10th win of the season pitching an uneven 5 innings giving up four runs on six hits and five walks. Alberto Baldonado pitched two scoreless innings of relief with three strikeouts lowering his ERA to 1.90 and WHIP to 1.05.

John Mora was 2-3 with his 14th double, his league leading 11th double, two walks, scored once, and knocked in three runs giving him 46 RBI for the year. Eudor Garcia was 2-5 with his 13th double and scored three times, he is now hitting .278/.311/.430 on the season. Tomas Nido was 2-4 with his 13th double while driving in two runs. Wuilmer Becerra was 0-4 with a walk and run scored. Box Score

 

West Virginia 8, Brooklyn (18-14) 3

The Brooklyn defense didn’t not help its pitchers committing three errors that lead to four unearned runs and the offense managed only one hit with runners in scoring position, any of this sounds familiar?

Manuel Hilario had the big hit launching a three-run homerun in the 5th inning pulling the Cyclones within two runs. Hengelbert Rojas was 2-3, he is 8-20 since being promoted from Kingsport. David Thompson and Vinny Siena were both 1-4 with two strikeouts.

Kevin Canelon got the loss moving him to 2-2 with a 4.33 ERA on the year after lasting just 4 innings giving up five runs (two runs) on six hits and two walks. Alex Palsha came in with two runners on in the 7th but retired the two hitters he face, he still has not given up a run in 13 innings to start the season. Box Score

Kingsport (14-14) 5, Pulaski 2

Thomas McIlraith got his 2nd straight start after making three relief appearances to start his career and his moved to 2-0 with a 1.72 ERA on the season. He pitched 5 innings allowing a run on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts. Erik Manoah piggybacked him pitching the final four innings giving up just a solo homerun to pick up his 2nd save of the year. He walked nobody and struck out four.

Dash Winningham went 1-4 with two RBI giving him 21 for the season. Patrick Mazeika was 1-3 with a walk, he has now reached base in 11 straight games. Kevin Kaczmarski was 1-4 with his 7th double that extended his hitting streak to 14 games. Box Score

GCL Mets had their game suspended in the 4th inning trailing 4-3, they will resume that game today and play another after.

 

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Bombs Away: Dillon Gee Roughed Up PCL-Style http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/bombs-away-dillon-gee-roughed-up-pcl-style.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/bombs-away-dillon-gee-roughed-up-pcl-style.html/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 05:38:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=185573 dillon gee

What an inauspicious return to the mound for Dillon Gee, who made his first start for Triple-A Las Vegas tonight.

Gee, who came so close to being a former Met this past week, tossed five innings and gave up six runs, all earned, on seven hits including two doubles and two homers.

The veteran right-hander walked one and struck out six in his 86 pitch effort. And despite the pedestrian performance, Gee shockingly came away with the win.

The Las Vegas 51s lambasted Salt Lake City by a score of 20-8 in a 24-hit barrage. You gotta love PCL baseball.

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Mets Give Another Sign Gee’s Days Are Numbered http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/mets-give-another-sign-gees-days-are-numbered.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/mets-give-another-sign-gees-days-are-numbered.html/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 10:00:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=184921 dillon gee

The Mets gave away Dillon Gee’s number to Logan Verrett on Thursday, the latest in a series of indications that Sandy Alderson’s endgame is to eventually give away Dillon Gee.

mmo feature original footerGee, who has posted a miserable 5.90 ERA this season, was designated for assignment earlier this week, removing him from the 40-man roster and giving the Mets 10 days to trade him, release him (and pay his full salary), or send him to the minor leagues (with the hopes that the 29 year-old will find his form and enable them to find a taker— or a place for him on the MLB roster).

Rookie Logan Verrett made his Mets debut in Thursday’s 7-1 loss to Toronto and pitched well, tossing two scoreless innings. Verrett’s number? No. 35, the same one Gee wore in Flushing.

Now, the Mets by no means went out of their way to insult Dillon. Verrett wore #35 in the minors, and he requested to wear it upon being called up to the MLB team. But if the Mets planned on keeping Gee in the equation going forward, they certainly could have asked the rookie to pick another number (unlike the Yankees, the Mets still have plenty of jerseys left). Instead they simply obliged Verrett’s request.

Some still might view this as a low blow. Gee certainly didn’t endear himself to the team with his comments about “wasting bullets” in the minors during a rehab stint or his less-metaphorical gun remarks after a team photo in which the organization took a stand against gun violence. In light of this, the Mets were probably less willing to deny Verrett’s request out of respect for Gee than they might have been.

This isn’t like the Mets giving Mike Piazza’s inexplicably-unretired #31 to some mediocre fourth-string catcher. But it’s another strange turn in the increasingly strange and surprisingly unresolved downfall of Dillon Gee.

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Recker and Muno Optioned To Make Room For Tejada and Gee http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/recker-and-muno-optioned-to-make-room-for-tejada-and-gee.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/recker-and-muno-optioned-to-make-room-for-tejada-and-gee.html/#comments Sun, 14 Jun 2015 14:37:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=184424 anthony recker

The Mets announced that RHP Dillon Gee was activated from the Bereavement List and Infielder Ruben Tejada was activated from the Paternity Leave List.

Catcher Anthony Recker and infielder Danny Muno were optioned to Las Vegas (AAA) to make room for them.

Gee will start this afternoon’s game against the Braves while Tejada is expected to play third base.

Terry Collins says right now the plan is to play Ruben Tejada at third until Daniel Murphy returns from the DL.

Collins also said there will be playing time for Kevin Plawecki because Travis d’Arnaud will be eased back. Once d’Arnaud is back in a groove, he will reevaluate.

Anthony Recker was batting .143 in 19 games for the Mets this season with seven hits including two home runs in 49 at-bats.

Danny Muno batted .083 (2-for-24) in 13 games. On Saturday, he tied a Mets record with three errors in one game while playing third base.

The Mets will have to make another move once Kirk Nieuwenhuis arrives to New York. The Mets claimed him off waivers on Saturday.

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As Their Value Hits Rock-Bottom, Mets Shopping Gee, Niese, And Montero http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/as-their-value-hits-rock-bottom-mets-shopping-gee-niese-and-montero.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/as-their-value-hits-rock-bottom-mets-shopping-gee-niese-and-montero.html/#comments Mon, 08 Jun 2015 17:27:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=183815 dillon geeTrade speculation is heating up among Mets fans and reporters as the team faces a crunch in the starting rotation. Steven Matz is knocking on the door from Triple-A while Jon Niese and Dillon Gee struggle in the big leagues. Meanwhile, Rafael Montero is returning from a rotator cuff injury.

With the Mets currently having eight pitchers for five spots, naturally, they are trying to trade some of them. As Andy Martino of the Daily News reported recently, the Mets aren’t just trying to trade Dillon Gee, who is probably the worst of the eight, but also Jon Niese. Getting rid of both would likely open up a spot in the rotation for Matz.

However, in that scenario, Rafael Montero, who has certainly earned a shot at being a starter, is still left out. But as Mike Puma of the New York Post reported this morning, even he is viewed as a trade chip once he returns from the DL.

There is no doubt that trading two or three of Gee, Niese, and Montero would clear up the logjam that has become the Mets’ rotation, but another, more important question remains: How much are they really worth?

Right now, it seems the value of all three of those pitchers is at rock-bottom. Niese has a 4.43 ERA this season and is giving up 11.3 hits per nine innings, both career-worsts. He has also failed to go further than five innings in five of his 11 starts. Dillon Gee has been about the same, posting a 4.46 ERA and a 10.7 H/9 rate. Those are career-worsts as well. In addition, Gee has missed time due to injury, been very vocal about his disapproval of how the Mets are using him, and has even stirred up political controversy.

In the same vein, Montero has hardly pitched this season, missing time due to soreness in his rotator cuff. He hasn’t made an appearance in a game since April, although he may be coming back this week.

If the Mets are really trying to get a big bat to boost the struggling offense, they will definitely need to give up more now than they would have in the offseason. To get one of the biggest bats on the market, they will likely not only have to give up at least two of the pitchers, but also give up top prospects. The way Niese and Gee have been pitching may also limit potential trade partners, at least if the Mets are intent on using them in a deal. How many teams are not only looking to trade a big bat, but also willing to take on slumping, low-ceiling pitchers with sizable salaries?

Trading Niese and Gee makes sense at this point (and perhaps trading Montero does in the right situation), seeing as how well Matz is pitching in the minor leagues and how much the team needs a bat. At the same time, their values are also lower than they have ever been. So while it’s necessary to make a deal in the next few weeks, any deal will probably appear to most Mets fans as unfair.

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What Dillon Gee’s Move To The Pen Means For Jon Niese http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/what-dillon-gees-move-to-the-pen-means-for-jon-niese.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/what-dillon-gees-move-to-the-pen-means-for-jon-niese.html/#comments Mon, 08 Jun 2015 13:23:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=183794 The Mets have several obvious problems that need to be addressed. They are weak defensively, have a horrendous bench and have a hole in their lineup at the hot corner. However, their pitching seems to be problematic as well depending on the angle you look at it.

In general, having a surplus of pitching nowadays is considered a good problem. The Mets have five young guns and three veterans that can all justifiably compete for a rotation shot at this point. Considering their are four locked spots right now (Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Bartolo Colon), that leaves one remaining spot. The contenders for that spot are Jon Niese, Dillon Gee and Steven Matz, the left-handed prospect waiting at the slot machines in Vegas.

steve matz

The Metropolitans realistically have two pitchers to clear out of the rotation. One of those pitchers, Dillon Gee, has been unwillingly moved to the bullpen where he will probably lose whatever trade-value he might have left.

The other, Jon Niese, will remain in the rotation as the 5th starter. However, the Mets are stlil in a position where they need to call up Steven Matz if they want to remain competitive while reinforcing that point to their fan-base. Matz has nothing left to prove in Vegas and has more-or-less dominated that Pacific Coast League this year.

This leads me to believe that Dillon Gee might have punched his ticket to stay in New York a bit longer than his lefty counterpart. The choice to move Dillon Gee to the bullpen has several implications. First, the Mets believe that Jon Niese is a stronger starting pitcher then he is, especially being a lefty. He has a team friendly contract and although he has struggled this year, remains an intriguing trade chip for a playoff contender.

Dillon Gee is far less valuable. He isn’t a lefty and doesn’t throw very hard. He has back-end of the rotation stuff at best and would not be worth much in a trade (unless he started performing better).

The final conclusion I’ve drawn from this is that the Mets believe Jon Niese has the best chance at turning his season around and is ultimately the more attractive trade chip. The Mets need to clear a path for Matz to join the club. It looks like Niese is the only thing stopping him at this point.

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Dillon Gee Fires Back After Claiming He Was Tricked By Team Into Supporting Gun Control http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/dillon-gee-fires-back-after-being-tricked-by-team-into-supporting-gun-control.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/dillon-gee-fires-back-after-being-tricked-by-team-into-supporting-gun-control.html/#comments Fri, 05 Jun 2015 14:30:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=183466 dillon gee

The Mets recently took a team picture with everyone wearing orange in support of the “Everytown for Gun Safety” organization, which was founded by Michael Bloomberg and Piers Morgan last year.

Dillon Gee then fired back on Twitter after reading a news story about the team’s support for gun control:

He then tweeted that he wasn’t told the photo was in support of gun control:

Bloomberg and Morgan have been very clear about the purpose of their organization. They envision it as an organization to rival the National Rifle Association, a conservative, anti-gun control organization. Both Bloomberg and Morgan have been very outspoken about their opinions on gun control.

For what it’s worth, Gee grew up and went to college in Texas, where support for gun control is much weaker than in the rest of the country.

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Breaking Down Dillon Gee vs San Diego Padres http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/breaking-down-dillon-gee-vs-san-diego-padres.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/breaking-down-dillon-gee-vs-san-diego-padres.html/#comments Thu, 04 Jun 2015 11:28:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=183443 dillon gee

Stat Line:  4 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 1 K, 1 BB

Dillon Gee made his return to the New York Mets last night against the San Diego Padres to mark the beginning of the much anticipated six man rotation.  Gee showed inconsistent command in all four pitches and the stat line further reiterates Gees struggles.  There were three positive attributes and points to consider when grading Gee’s outing such as his pitch movement, lack of hard contact by opposing hitters and the Padres offensive execution.

Pitch Movement

There was no hiding that Gee lacked command in all four pitches but given his two year MLB history in commanding his repertoire of pitches, his lack of command can be attributed in part to this being his first MLB start in a month.  However, Gee did show strong 10 to 4 movement on his two-seam fastball which resulted in Padres hitters swinging over the baseball which induced many groundballs.  Additionally, Gee was throwing a nice 12 to 7 curveball as well as a sharp breaking slider.

Gee didn’t have much sharp movement on this changeup but that has always been an average pitch that he can throw against lefties to induce strikeouts and pop-ups.

Lack of Hard Contact by Padres Hitters

The Padres scored seven runs off of the following eight hits:

First Inning – Matt Kemp – Groundball single up the middle

Third Inning – Yonder Alonso – Line-drive single to right field for a single

Fourth Inning – Cory Spangenberg – Decent contact made on single up the middle to center field

Fourth Inning – Alexi Amarista – Decent contact made on single up the middle to center field

Fourth Inning – Will Venable – Broken bat poorly hit single to right field

Fifth Inning – Justin Upton – Bloop single to center field

Fifth Inning – Matt Kemp – Line-drive single to left field for a single

Fifth Inning – Yonder Alonso – Hard groundball back to Gee

Notice that only two of the eight hits were line-drives and none were extra-base hits.  Gee did hurt himself with the first inning walk to Upton and hit-by-pitch to Alonso but Ruben Tejada’s two fielding errors also contributed to Gee’s unsuccessful outing.  Not very often do teams score seven runs off of eight singles.

Padres Hitting Approach and Execution

The Padres offense does deserve credit as well.  The Padres were coming off of a strong hitting performance against Noah Syndergaard on Tuesday night which helped boost their confidence coming into last night’s game.  This was evident as the Padres hitters were more aggressive and in turn took advantage of nearly all of Gee’s mistakes over the plate.

Additionally, James Shields executed a perfect sacrifice bunt in the fourth inning to move two runners into scoring position which allowed them to score on the timely broken bat single by Venable.

Closing Thought

This article is not to suggest that Gee will be a front line starter or perform close to our plethora of aces.  Whether or not you believe in the six man rotation, the Mets did place Gee in the correct spot within the rotation.  After the opposing team gears up to face deGrom and/or Syndergaard during a three four game series throwing 97 mph, Gee’s finesse repertoire of pitches will help produce opposing hitters that are ahead of his pitches at least once through the batting order.

Based on the above details and Gee’s past resume of MLB success, he should be able to contribute six to seven innings while giving up one to four runs on a consistent basis.

Stat of the Night

Dillon Gee threw 32 of his 43 fastballs for strikes (74% strike rate).

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Piggy-Backing Niese and Gee Could Be Solution To Mets Rotation http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/piggy-backing-niese-and-gee-could-be-solution-to-mets-rotation.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/piggy-backing-niese-and-gee-could-be-solution-to-mets-rotation.html/#comments Sat, 23 May 2015 13:23:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182336 dillon gee jonathon niese

Piggy-backing is a practice employed primarily in the low minors where teams will pair 8 starting pitchers into 4 tandems that alternate starting and relieving duties from one start to the next. The games are usually split into 5 and 4 inning increments.

mmo feature original footerThe idea behind it involves limiting pitch counts while helping to gradually stretch out innings limits without putting an inordinate amount of stress on arms and shoulders. More and more research is showing that most of what damage an arm incurs seems to happen in the late innings when pitchers are already tired. Piggy-backing limits how often pitchers reach dangerous 90 and 100 pitch exhaustion thresholds.

Jon Niese and Dillon Gee aren’t young or inexperienced, but both have significant injury histories, and both have struggled in the late innings in 2015, particularly the third time through an opposing lineup. I can’t think of a better way to keep both these guys in the rotation while improving their performance and preserving their arms.

Jon Niese will often seem to cruise through 4 or 5 innings and then out of the blue he implodes with a runner or two on base. His batting average against (BAA) in the 6th inning is .433.  Simply put, piggy-backing him with Gee would allow the Mets to avoid a situation where the opposition is hitting .433. You’d bring Gee in for innings 6 through 9. On the following week, flip-flop start assignments and let Gee begin the game.

And it’s not like Dillon Gee has been great in the late innings either. Innings 1 through 3 the opposition has hit .200 against Gee, while in innings 4 – 6 they’ve hit him at .365. Gee has been hit to the tune of .409 and .400 in innings 5 and 6 respectively, so he’s good for about 4 innings but when that third time in the order comes around he tends to fall apart. Also, Gee has pitched past the sixth inning twice this year and only once has he pitched past the 7th. His 8th inning ERA is 13.50.

Opponents are hitting .390 against Niese on their 3rd PA in game, .364 on their 4th (with a 1.189 OPS!). On pitches 1 – 25 Niese’s BAA is .234, on pitches 25 – 50 it rises to .276, on pitches 51 – 75 it jumps to .339 and on pitches 76 – 100 it is .343. Opponents are hitting .500 against Niese when he is over 100 pitches.

Dillon Gee also struggles the more times a batter sees him, with batters hitting .367 against him their third in-game PA, and a whopping .667 on their 4th. His BAA through about 4 innings isn’t bad, but after about the 50 pitch mark he struggles. His BAA for pitches 50 – 75 is .368, for pitches 76 – 100 the opposition is hitting .462 against him.

Now you do have to also consider that moving from 4 days rest to 5 will be an adjustment, and pitchers tend to be creatures of habit. Matt Harvey’s ERA goes from a really good 2.33 on 4 days rest to an unreal .115 on 5 days, and back to a a still tremendous .225 on 6 or more days rest. Which tells me he’s simply great all the time and was only slightly off with his fastball command on one of his starts where he had that extra day (his Yankee stadium start I believe), but you wouldn’t know it from looking at his stat line. deGrom on the other hand has a 1.39 ERA on 4 days rest and a 5.19 ERA on 5 days. deGrom does seem to do better with 4 days rest.

And to be fair, most starters are used to 4 days of rest because they’ve been doing it throughout their careers. It’s hard enough to know you can only effect the outcome of a game every 5 days, let alone every 6, especially for a competitor like Harvey. The team would also lose quite a few quality starts from its better pitchers if they’re stretched out in a 6 man rotation.

Ultimately this may have less to do with keeping Gee and Niese in the rotation (to boost trade value) and more to do with limiting Harvey’s innings. He is currently on pace to pitch somewhere north of 220 innings and that’s not going to fly in his post-Tommy John year.

If the Mets are dead set on limiting Harvey’s innings by going to a 6 man rotation, then bring up Matz, but they should nevertheless move ahead with piggy-backing Gee and Niese based on the merits of limiting their late inning exposure, preserving the bullpen every fifth day, and reducing injury risk … It’s a no-brainer.

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With Gee Rejoining Team On Saturday, Mets Leaning Toward Six-Man Rotation http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/with-gee-rejoining-team-on-saturday-mets-leaning-toward-six-man-rotation.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/with-gee-rejoining-team-on-saturday-mets-leaning-toward-six-man-rotation.html/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 20:24:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182206 dillon gee

Manager Terry Collins left reporters at PNC Park with a strong impression that when Dillon Gee returns to the Mets tomorrow, that he will become part of a six-man rotation.

It will allow the Mets to hold off making an immediate decision on what to do with rookie right-hander Noah Syndergaard.

Additionally, it could provide an extra day of rest for Matt Harvey, who is having his innings workload closely monitored.

The team may also consider giving Bartolo Colon a breather either with an extra day off, or skipping a turn in the rotation.

Gee will arrive tomorrow in Pittsburgh, and Collins said a decision already has been made.

May 21

In his second rehab start for the St. Lucie Mets, Dillon Gee was excellent. He did not allow any runs, and he gave up only three hits in 6.1 solid innings.

Gee now has a 0.87 ERA in two outings with Advanced-A St. Lucie, as he works his way back from a groin strain.

While Gee has established himself as solid back of the rotation starter, the Mets still have not decided on what his role will be once he’s activated.

Sandy Alderson indicated on Tuesday that the decision will depend on how top prospect Noah Syndergaard performs in his next start. (Dave Lennon, Newsday)

“Every new data point is useful,” Alderson said. “We’ll see how Dillon throws. We’ll see how Noah throws. This isn’t a competition, but it’s new information. So rather than speculating on what will happen, we’ll let things unfold and make decisions accordingly.”

Syndergaard was extremely impressive during his last start. He struck out five and allowed just one run in six innings.

“We’ve got to decide what makes us the best team,” Collins said. “We’ve got to decide in the big picture what our best options are. So when you start laying those things on the table, there’s always little obstacles that pop up.”

Collins hinted that Syndergaard could remain with the team and pitch out of the bullpen, but this scenario appears unlikely when the Mets GM was asked about it.

“Not yet,” Alderson said. “It’s always something you could consider doing, but we don’t anticipate that at this point.”

One thing that now remains certain is that Syndergaard has earned his place on the roster. There had been speculation he’d be sent back to the minors once Gee returned from the DL, but that no longer seems to be the plan. Thankfully so.

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Featured Post: Sandy’s Next Move Should Be Trading Quantity For Quality http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/featured-post-sandys-next-move-should-be-trading-quantity-for-quality.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/featured-post-sandys-next-move-should-be-trading-quantity-for-quality.html/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 12:45:55 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=181297 sandy alderson

While having too much pitching is deemed a myth by many baseball fans, I believe the New York Mets have officially reached this paradox. Rare as it is to have so much depth, the Mets are crossing the point from developing their prospects to perhaps hindering them by keeping them in the minor leagues.

When Zack Wheeler went down in the offseason, some fans pointed to injuries as a reason to keep all of our starting pitching, including the often rumored trade candidates Bartolo Colon and Dillon Gee. However, I believe the Mets had enough depth to deal with multiple extensive injuries and that they could have easily shifted Rafael Montero into that 5th slot with Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz on notice to be called up in Triple-A.

All three of these prospects are major league ready. Montero was deemed ready by most scouts last offseason while Thor has taken the steps he needed in order to dominate in Vegas and work his way to the big-league team while Matz has advanced much faster than anyone had expected.

The depth at Triple-A is not limited to our pitching staff. Matt Reynolds continues to exceed expectations and Dilson Herrera has made Triple-A pitching look silly. We have spent years languishing in the big leagues to plant these seeds, now it is time to harvest the crops either by playing them or by trading them for useful pieces that will address the urgent needs of the team.

Here are some possible trade ideas and please remember that this is pure conjecture and not based on any actual rumors. Let’s have a little fun and look at a few hypothetical possibilities, and please feel free to share your own ideas and trade suggestions.

Trading Gee To The Giants

dillon geeWe know that GM Brian Sabean was at Citi Field to watch the Mets vs Marlins series during the previous home stand and there is speculation that the Giants may be interested in Daniel Murphy or Dillon Gee. I personally believe we should keep Murphy to balance our RHH lineup so I will focus on San Francisco being a possible destination for Gee, who is earning $5.3M this season. He will not net any top prospects, but I believe a minor league reliever such as Steven Okert could be a possible return.

SFG receives – Dillon Gee

NYM receives – Steven Okert

Okert is a lefty reliever with a low to mid 90s fastball and a wipeout slider, a pitcher who has the floor of a lefty specialist and the ceiling of a closer. He was ranked 10th on the Giants prospect list and graded as a C+/B- prospect by John Sickels prior to the season. If the Mets do not eat any of Gee’s salary in a trade, I believe Okert would be a fair swap straight up and if the Mets do take on some money, they may be able to net an additional lower level prospect.

Purpose For Each Team

The biggest motivator for the Mets is to open up a rotation slot for one of their prospects. It is very reasonable to believe that Thor or Matz can provide the same value that Gee does this season and provide much better value for the future. Okert comes with one tool that no Met reliever currently has and that is power pitching from the left side. He is available to contribute immediately but will more likely be counted on as depth for 2016.

The Giants on the other hand appear to be shopping for a reliable starter that will not cost them a significant prospect and Dillon Gee could fit that bill. With a spacious ballpark to work with, Gee can reasonably be expected to be at least a serviceable backend rotation pitcher.

Trading For Aroldis Chapman

aroldis_chapman_reds_0This idea originated from an MMO user jokingly suggesting a Dilson Herrera for Aroldis Chapman trade. While I believe a Chapman for Herrera deal is reasonable, I think there are a number of other combinations that would be more beneficial to both teams. A package that makes sense to me would be based off the following:

CIN receives – Rafael Montero, Matt Reynolds/Gavin Cecchini, Jenrry Mejia/two prospects on Ynoa/Lara/Robles level.

NYM receives – Aroldis Chapman

To clarify, the Mets send Montero, Reynolds OR Cecchini, and either Mejia or two B-Level prospects to the Reds.

Purpose For Each Team

Jeurys Familia has been lights out for the Mets but who else besides Familia do you really trust in the back of that bullpen? Additionally, I do not have confidence in Terry to keep Familia’s innings low. If an injury should happen to him, at least the Mets would have another strong and reliable option to close games as I do not believe anyone wants to count on Parnell, Mejia or Robles to for that role come September or October.

As for the other pieces involved, Montero and Reynolds deserve to be on a major league roster somewhere and keeping them in the minors is counterproductive for them and the Mets. Gavin Cecchini is a higher ceiling but a less established option for the Reds to choose from and trading him will open up the path for Amed Rosario to advance through the Mets system.

There are two significant concerns with acquiring Chapman for the Mets. The first is his salary for 2016 (estimated $11-12M earnings in arbitration) and his potential price tag as an impending free agent the year after that. The second is the ever growing concern of a potential elbow injury for someone who throws as hard as Chapman. It may be a difficult decision to fork over $60-$75M over 5 years for a closer when 25% of active MLB pitchers have had Tommy John surgery and Chapman has yet to undergo this procedure.

From the Reds perspective, the team receives three young players who can contribute immediately as they look to capitalize on a quick rebuild before Joey Votto‘s prime years are up. Mejia is the wildcard in this proposal and while he has shown the potential to be a closer, he is not eligible to return from his suspension until early July and may not have enough time to re-establish himself to be a trade candidate for the Reds to be interested. Perhaps they’d prefer the two lower level prospects instead of him.

Three Way Trade Between Mets, Reds, Giants

SFG receives – Dillon Gee

CIN receives – Rafael Montero, Steven Okert, Matt Reynolds/Gavin Cecchini

NYM receives – Aroldis Chapman

In this combined trade scenario, the Mets hold onto Mejia or their two prospects while still moving Dillon Gee. The Reds receive a young starter, a potential closer and a shortstop who can all contribute immediately. The Giants deal away LHRP depth for the most consistent starter in baseball (51 consecutive starts of 5 innings) who should perform very well in their spacious ballpark.

Any time a player as elite as Chapman is discussed in a trade scenario, there will be differing opinions on his value. He is a closer that not only looks dominating, his numbers back it up (average 2.6 fWAR in past 3 seasons) and his peripherals show that his excellence is not a result of luck. However, he is set to earn a high salary in 2016 and with no closers being traded in recent memory other than Jim Johnson, it is difficult to draw a baseline of what his trade value should be.

Be Prepared For The Rumors

Trade rumors in the next two months should prove to be interesting for the New York Mets. Could the surprising division leaders Houston Astros be a buyer for Texas native Dillon Gee? If their top prospect Carlos Correa rips up Triple A, would Jed Lowrie be available? How about if the Cleveland Indians bring up Francisco Lindor? Does that make Jose Ramirez available?

Regardless who the Mets deal with, their depth will allow them to negotiate from a position of strength. I am hopeful that Alderson will be able to take his excess pieces and turn them into improvements for the major league roster. It is time we trade our quantity for quality.

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Trending Up and Down: Familia, Lagares Doing It All For Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/trending-up-and-down-familia-lagares-doing-it-all-for-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/trending-up-and-down-familia-lagares-doing-it-all-for-mets.html/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 10:00:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=180739 jeurys familia

Trending Up

#1 A Perfect 10 For 10

Jeurys Familia has 10 saves (T- 1st in MLB) in as many opportunities this year. He is striking out 10.80 batters per nine innings with a sparkling 1.35 ERA. The NY Mets have one of the hottest closers in the game right now and if the offense, along with the starting pitching, can put the team on top by the ninth inning- Familia is a sure fire bet to lock in the W.

#2 Red Hot Bat Of Lagares

At only 26 years old, Juan Lagares is emerging as an impact player on both sides of the ball. With the offense staggering over the last few weeks, the one constant that has held true has been the starting pitching. They’ve been the one element that has been a reliably stabilizing force in each and every game. The amount of confidence the pitching staff has pitching to contact is a direct result of them knowing Lagares will turn a routine double into a fly out.

Now, he’s yet again found himself batting at the top of the order and like last year, he’s flourishing. In 2014, Lagares went 12-32 out of the two hole (.375) with two doubles and a home run. He is batting .314 out of the two hole this year and once again experiencing success. In the four game series against Washington, he batted .467 (7-16) with a .500 on base percentage ahead of Lucas Duda.

Kevin Long has been working extensively with Lagares to wait for pitches inside that he can pull for extra base hits. Pay close attention to the center fielder’s at bats in the upcoming Baltimore series, Lagares may find the stroke to start going yard with the way he’s seeing the ball.

#3 Gee, Ain’t It Nice Having This Guy Back?

He took a loss but Dillon Gee has two incredible streaks running parallel to each other that are worth noting. Over his last three starts, Gee has pitched 19.2 innings, allowed only four runs, struck out 11 and posted a 1.83 ERA. He left the game Sunday with the bases loaded, but was picked up by teammate Alex Torres who pitched a spectacular inning of scoreless relief.

As of Sunday’s outing, Gee also continued his streak of 5+ innings of work for the 51st time, surpassing Doc Gooden on the Mets all-time list. Admittedly, there’s nothing flashy about Gee, but man I respect how well this guy pitches every time it seems his back is up against the wall.

#4 Dark Knight Shines Brighter Than Ever

Matt Harvey stands alone as the ace of this Mets staff. Jacob deGrom will right the ship, he’s too talented and too intelligent to stay down for longer than a couple bad starts, but Harvey seemingly wills himself to a level of mental fortitude that is impermeable to the opposition.

Harvey is also developing as a pitcher, not just a flamethrower. He credits teammate Bartolo Colon for introducing him to the value of pitch location, above velocity, which has unintentionally introduced a ’3-speed’ fastball effect for the Real Deal. Instead of always trying to throw hard on every two and four seam fastball, Harvey now changes speeds within those pitches.

In 2015, he has routinely started hitters off at 93 mph and finished them off later in the count at 97-98 mph, or vice versa. The point is, he presents his fastball as two different speeds, except to the hitters, there’s no visible difference.

In between the counts, he utilizes a change up that he can throw for a strike or bounce in the dirt, and that pitch has averaged 86.9 mph on the gun in 2015. To an opposing batter, 86, 93 and 98 mph all look the same coming out of Harvey’s hand and the effect is flat-out crippling.

It’s all fascinating when you consider that Colon has been an effective pitcher in the majors for many years now with basically one pitch, his fastball. He’s developed a list of effects that he uses to build a particular pitch, ranging from fastball type (two seam, four seam, sinker) to location (in/away, up/down), but he’s managed to be effective throwing no faster than 93 mph.

What’s scary is that this knowledge has been passed on to Harvey, who now possesses the same qualities that make Colon effective, except the former is capable of throwing near triple digits with an arsenal that also includes a knee buckling curve ball and a power slider. Damn.

We as fans have been so impressed with Harvey’s sheer dominance that it is easy to look past the fact that he may still be growing and learning as a player. We’ve witnessed his potential based on physical attributes alone, but a major factor to his successful return (aside from the extended recovery period) has been his attention to location over velocity.

That isn’t to say he won’t dial it up to speeds equivalent to a hitter’s nightmare, but it’s inspiring to know we’ve only witnessed the beginning of the Dark Knight’s development.

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Trending Down

#1 Where’s Cuddyer

Michael Cuddyer is a valuable hitter, but in a shallow lineup, it’s clear he’s not getting the type of pitches he needs in order to be a serious threat at the plate. In all fairness, he did belt the game winning home run in Friday’s Harvey v Max Scherzer showdown, but the difference in his production since David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud hit the DL is startling.

Through his first 12 games, when the Mets boasted a much deeper lineup, Cuddyer produced an astounding .333/.388/.511 slashline out of the cleanup spot. His run production was as hot as his stat line (8 runs scored/7 RBI’s), but since d’Arnaud’s injury, Cuddyer has posted a lowly .130/.216/.283 slashline.

#2 Crashing Back to Earth

Since their 11 game winning streak, the Mets have come crashing back down to earth going 3-7 in their last 10 games. Everyone in the NL East not named the Phillies has gained ground on the 1st place Mets as every game between now and the Captain’s return becomes more and more crucial.

#3 DeGrom Paying Heavily For Mistakes

It’s easy to look at Jacob deGrom’s sophomore campaign and start wondering if he can repeat what he did last season. But his last two starts and even parts of his whole season can be attributed to a combination of bad luck – and good hitting.

Errors plagued his most recent start in Washington where he gave up three earned runs, five total over 5.1 innings pitched. A noticeable difference from his previously success starts is his pitches landing higher in the strike zone, compared to his rookie campaign and the beginning of 2015, when he consistently hammered the bottom of the strike zone.

DeGrom has also given up a much higher rate of home runs this year as a result of his pitches creeping up and missing their original target. Hopefully, he can make the necessary adjustments and regain the consistency he had in 2014 because the Mets need a second ace in order to stay atop the NL East.

#4 Orioles Pitching Versus Mets Offense

The Orioles starting pitchers are on a downward trend to start the season. They own a 4.51 ERA on the season, averaging 3.98 walks and 1.22 home runs per nine innings of baseball. The Mets are desperately trying to generate some offense and the O’s pitching may prove to be the relief the Amazins are looking for.

Lets! Go! Mets!

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 3, Marlins 1 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/mmo-game-recap-mets-3-marlins-1.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/mmo-game-recap-mets-3-marlins-1.html/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 01:59:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=180121 daniel Murphy

The Mets (15-5) pulled off a thrilling 3-1 road victory on Monday night against the Marlins (8-12), snapping Miami’s five-game winning streak. The game took one hour and 58 minutes.

Dillon Gee gave the Mets a terrific effort, tossing 7.2 innings of 1-run ball, allowing six hits while striking out three and walking none. Gee is extremely efficient, needing just 70 pitches (57 of which were strikes) to get through his outing.

Unfortunately for Gee, his counterpart was fantastic as well. Jarred Cosart held the Mets scoreless for eight innings, allowing just two hits (although he did walk three) and striking out two.

The majority of the game was uneventful, although the Mets might have had a chance in the sixth had a poor bunt attempt from Juan Lagares not turned into a double-play thanks to a great play by Marlins catcher JT Realmuto.

Gee cruised along until the bottom of the eighth. After getting the first two Marlins out, Gee surrendered a single to pinch-hitter Justin Bour. The lineup turned over for the third time around the batting order, and like clockwork, the Fish figured Gee out. Dee Gordon singled, putting the go-ahead run on second and prompting a visit from Dan Warthen, whose advice wasn’t good enough to stop Martin Prado from lining one into right-center for a base-hit that gave Miami a 1-0 lead and suddenly put Gee in position to lose the game. Looking to limit the damage, Terry Collins pulled Gee and brought in Carlos Torres. Torres threw one pitch, getting Giancarlo Stanton to pop out, and would eventually be named the winning pitcher for his efforts.

The Mets came up to bat against Steve Cishek in the top of the ninth with their backs against the wall. But as they have done many times in the past, the Mets rallied against the Marlins’ side-arming closer. Juan Lagares led off the inning and quickly fell behind 0-2, but fought his way back into the at-bat and eventually sent a hard shot to deep center. Marcell Ozuna took a terrible route to the ball and was unable to flag it down, allowing Lagares to coast into second with a leadoff double. Lucas Duda came up next and worked a walk, setting the table for Michael Cuddyer. But Cuddyer popped one up to right for the first out, bringing up Daniel Murphy, whose RBI double early in Sunday’s game had accounted for the most recent Mets run.

The 2014 All-Star came through, connecting for a three-run shot to right-center to put the Mets up 3-1 and give him a team-leading 14 RBI. Eric Campbell added to Cishek’s woes by doubling and sneakily swiping third, but the righty bounced back to fan Wilmer Flores and Kevin Plawecki to put out the fire.

Jeurys Familia came on to preserve the win for Gee Torres and got the job done, with some help from his always-reliable middle-infield defense. After Familia struck out Ozuna to begin the frame, Michael Morse sent one towards the whole on the right side. Murphy channeled his inner Dilson Herrera and made a phenomenal play, racing to cut the ball off and firing a spinning throw to nab the slow-footed Morse at first. With the Fish down to their last out, Realmuto grounded one up the middle, but Flores showed good range and cut the ball off before making the throw to end the ballgame.

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Daniel Murphy is a good player who belongs in the lineup. But if you’ve been listening to me, you already knew that.

On a serious note, I must say I was shocked by Murph’s homer. I’m confident in his abilities as a hitter, but he’s certainly not a power hitter. This wasn’t exactly a moonshot, it was an example of a line-drive-hitting approach paying off in spades. Murphy wasn’t swinging for the fences, but he picked a great time to really connect on one. And my suspicions that the Mets sit in a circle and read MMO aloud in the clubhouse before every game are growing stronger by the day. Murphy’s great play in the field at the end of the game was clearly made with you commenters in mind.

Gee was in rare form tonight. Not just for him— when was the last time a pitcher threw his 60th pitch in the eighth inning? He was absolutely motoring through the Marlins lineup in this one, pounding the zone, mixing his pitches, and avoiding mistakes. Unfortunately, his opposite number was outstanding as well, so Gee could not pick up a win. Torres really led us to victory though… what a great stat the Win is.

Are Gee’s late-outing struggles tied to fatigue or batter familiarity? It’s an interesting question, and as he certainly couldn’t have been tired with only 60-odd pitches in the eighth, today’s results seem to suggest the latter. But if that’s the case, how does he manage to give 5 or 6 solid innings a game? These hitters have all him before… do they forget what facing him is like between games?

That would have been a really tough one to lose, but the Mets hung in there and punched right back after falling behind. That is not a game we win in 2014. But this year is different. At least, it’s really starting to feel that way.

Up Next: The Mets will continue their series with the Marlins on Tuesday at 7:10 PM. Rafael Montero will make his first start of the season for the Mets, and he will be going up against David Phelps at Marlins Park.

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 3, Braves 2 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/mmo-game-recap-mets-3-braves-2-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/mmo-game-recap-mets-3-braves-2-2.html/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 02:43:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=179753 wilmer flores

The Mets (12-3) won their tenth game in a row on Wednesday night, beating the Braves (8-6) at Citi Field by a score of 3-2.

Dillon Gee pitched for the Mets and tightroped his way through seven innings of two-run ball, working around eight hits and a walk, striking out three.

After the Mets squandered John Mayberry‘s leadoff triple in the bottom of the first against Eric Stults, the Braves scored when AJ Pierzynski slid in just ahead of the tag from his counterpart Kevin Plawecki on Andrelton Simmons‘ RBI single. The Mets got the run back in the bottom of the inning when Flores singled in Eric Campbell, who had doubled.

Dillon Gee helped himself out of a jam with his glove in the top of the fourth, making an athletic play to start a 1-6-3 double-play and escape a jam. But Gee couldn’t work around Eric Young‘s triple in the fifth, as EY scored on a sacrifice fly from Alberto Callaspo to give the Braves a 2-1 lead.

The best #5 starter in baseball got through the next two innings with the help of a double-play and an absolutely ludicrous catch from Juan Lagares, taking his handshakes in the dugout after seven strong frames on the hill. In the bottom of the seventh, the Mets took their pitcher off the hook when Flores lined a solo shot to left-center, making it a 2-2 ballgame.

Sean Gilmartin came in for Gee to pitch the top of the eighth, and got two quick outs. The lefty then got into trouble with two straight walks, one of which came on a VERY questionable (read: bad) call on a 3-2 pitch to Freddie Freeman. Buddy Carlyle came in to face the pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes and got the job done, inducing a pop-up to end the threat.

The Mets took the lead in the bottom of the eighth with some first-place baseball. Curtis Granderson worked a leadoff walk after falling behind 0-2. A hit-and-run with Lagares at the plate paid off for Terry Collins‘ club, as Juan rolled one right to the spot the second baseman had just vacated, giving the Mets runners on the corners. Lucas Duda drove in the go-ahead run with a base-hit, putting the hosts up 3-2.

The Mets were unable to add any insurance despite loading the bases, but Jeurys Familia breezed to his seventh save in the top of the ninth, wrapping up a win for the Amazin’s.

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Yes, we can call them the Amazin’s. We can also call them “The best team in baseball,” now that they have a league-high 12 wins. The Mets won’t go 159-3 (I think, but I also thought the Knicks would go 42-40, so take that with a grain of salt) but they’ve looked very good over the past couple weeks and it has led to results. They need to try to ride this wave as long as possible, because even the best teams will hit some rough patches, and the teams behind us in the standings (every other MLB team, in other words) will go on hot streaks of their own (well, except for the Phillies). We’re up 3.5 on the Braves and, more importantly, 5 on the Nationals. The wider we can make that gap early, the better prepared we can be to take some body punches later in the season. So while it’s too early to “scoreboard watch” in earnest, games played in April count just as much as games played in September when all is said and done.

Gee wasn’t dominant tonight. He was never in control of the game. But he got through seven (and five, for the MLB-high umpteenth time in a row). And the Braves only got two guys across the plate. So what more can you ask for from your #5 guy?

Flores came up big today, tying the game with aa base-hit early and again with a homer late. He also looked OK in the field. And if he stays in the groove he’s settled into at the plate, “OK” is more than enough.

Especially when other guys on the diamond are committing outright robbery. To the Braves fans on Twitter mocking Juan Lagares’ Gold Glove credibility after he “failed” to throw out the fastest runner in the game on a deep fly ball with his momentum going away from the plate… that catch in the seventh was for you. Tejada also made a great leaping snowcone grab earlier in the game, although I got a bit greedy and hoped that he had dropped it to start a cheap double-play.

Buddy Carlyle got the win tonight. I’m willing to bet that at least 30% of people who watched the game didn’t notice Buddy Carlyle was on the mound tonight. Reminder #373: Wins are a stupid stat with which to judge a pitcher. But the MMO community is a smart one, so I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here.

Duda’s game-winning hit came about 35 seconds after Kevin Hayes scored a game-winner in overtime for the Rangers. As far as minutes ago, 9:53 was a pretty solid one. Meanwhile, Duda’s ex-rival Ike Davis tossed a scoreless inning for Oakland last night, so give it up for Ike, making Sandy look bad again!

There’s nothing better than a ten-game winning streak. Except for an eleven-game winning streak. Let’s hope the Wise One can deliver tomorrow (and not just with the bat!)

Up Next: The Mets will go for a sweep of the Braves and a perfect homestand when they take on Atlanta at 1:10 PM tomorrow. Bartolo Colon (3-0, 2.25 ERA) will face Julio Teheran (2-0, 3.71 ERA) at Citi Field.

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MMO Game Recap: Braves 5, Mets 3 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/mmo-game-recap-braves-5-mets-3-3.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/mmo-game-recap-braves-5-mets-3-3.html/#comments Sun, 12 Apr 2015 02:44:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=178741 Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 10.43.07 PM

The Mets (2-3) were unable to stop the  Braves (5-0) on Saturday night, losing 5-3 in the house of horrors that is Turner Field.

Dillon Gee got his first start of the year and was ineffective, allowing five runs on eight hits, striking out two while walking none. Gee got off to a good start, but struggled after the first time through the order, which is something we have certainly seen before.

Julio Teheran pitched for undefeated Kentucky Atlanta and had an interesting outing. The Mets, who have had their moments against Teheran in the past, made a lot of fruitless solid contact. Curtis Granderson and David Wright each put good wood on the ball to start the game, but Eric Young was there to catch it each time. Lucas Duda was more fortunate, as his liner found the gap for a double, but Cuddyer whiffed to strand the big lefty.

Gee had an easy inning in the bottom of the first, but Met Killer Freddie Freeman led off the home half of the second with a homer which gave the Braves a lead they would never relinquish. Gee got through the rest of the frame with the help of a double-play, but the Mets would get a taste of their own medicine when Wilmer Flores— on second after a walk and a nice sacrifice bunt from Gee— was doubled off on a liner from Granderson.

Gee very nearly became the latest Met pitcher to be done in by his defense in the bottom of the fourth, but worked around a pair of mental lapses from his not-so-golden-gloved middle-infield combo of Wilmer Flores and Daniel Murphy.

Determined not to leave Turner Field without a series loss, Gee would do himself in with his implosion in the next inning. The Braves abused the right field line like their fans abuse that insufferable chop song, to the tune of four runs. Alberto Callaspo led off with a blooper that dropped just inside the line for a double. Christian Bethancourt grounded one down the line for a double of his own to score Callaspo, and Andrelton Simmons ripped one for a double that sent Granderson scrambling to the corner once more as Bethancourt raced home. Teheran laid down a bunt to put Simmons on third, and Eric Young tripled down the aforementioned right field line to put Atlanta up 4-0. Gee got Jace Peterson to ground out on a ball too soft and shallow for EY to score, but the former Met would race home moments later, scoring on Nick Markakis‘ single to— you guessed it— right field.  Gee finally escaped the inning (and extended his streak of 5+ inning outings to an MLB-high 47) by retiring Freeman (of all people).

Alex Torres worked a scoreless bottom of the sixth, so the Mets came up against Teheran in the top of the seventh still down 5-0. Duda singled for his (and the team’s) second hit of the day, and the game was halted briefly as Teheran appeared to injure his leg. Teheran stayed in, but did not retire another batter. Cuddyer and Murphy each worked walks to load the bases, and Juan Lagares reached on an error as Callaspo got ahead of himself while trying to make a play on Duda, who scored to make it 5-1. Teheran then plunked Travis d’Arnaud in the back before being pulled for reliever Brandon Cunniff with a 5-2 lead and the tying run on first.

Wilmer Flores was the first to face Cunniff, and the polarizing youngster’s tough season continued when he grounded into a double-play on the first pitch, taking the air out of what had been a very promising rally. Murphy scored on the play to make it 5-3 as Lagares moved to third, but the Mets would do no more damage. Kirk Nieuwenhuis came into pinch-hit and was promptly replaced by Ruben Tejada when Braves manager Fredi González countered with lefty Luis Avilan. Tejada made solid contact in his first at-bat of the year, but sent it right to Kelly Johnson at third, and the versatile veteran fired it to Freeman at first to retire the side.

Sean Gilmartin came in to pitch after the Stretch and did well, getting five outs before Erik Goeddel entered for the final out of the eighth. The Mets got a baserunner in the top of the ninth when Lagares reached on an infield single, but with the tying run at the plate, d’Arnaud grounded out to Simmons to end the ballgame.

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The last two games have been frustrating, and have each ended with the same 5-3 score (of course, nothing will ever match the four consecutive 2-1 losses we had several years ago). The offense woke up late to get us back in the ballgame, but it wasn’t enough. I won’t rip on Flores here because he’s been talked about ad nauseam (and everywhere), but that double-play was a huge letdown. I liked how he was aggressive, going after the first pitch from the new pitcher, but it just didn’t work out.

Once again, the Mets had a lot of well-hit balls turn into outs. Nothing you can do about that. Lucas Duda, who had 2 of the Mets’ 3 hits (the third was a cheapie from Juan), has been swinging the bat well, and others such as d’Arnaud and Wright are looking good at the plate, but for the most part, they aren’t getting results (Of course, 3 runs on 3 hits is a pretty solid ratio).

The defense wasn’t disastrous in this one, but it wasn’t pretty, either. If the Mets want to use the Royals model of “pitching and defense,” they’ll need to actually be competent when it comes to the latter. And the starting pitching, while good (although not tonight, of course), won’t be good enough to sustain a weak offense (I plan to discuss this at further length at some point in the next few days). But that has been the storyline for years, hasn’t it? The Mets need to hit to win. And they need to hit it “where they ain’t,” as the saying goes.

The bullpen was good today, as it has been all season. This game was not without its positives.

But we need wins. And contrary to popular belief, the Braves are not going to provide us with 19 wins— or the 17 possible wins remaining. Neither are the Phillies, as hard as they might try. There are as many games played out of the division as there are in it, so all this math where people predict the Mets’ record against each of their four divisional rivals is pointless. The Braves won’t go 162-0, and while they certainly haven’t looked like pushovers in the early going, there’s a good chance they’ll lose more games than they win. What matters is how many the Mets have won after they’ve played 162. If they routinely win 2 out of 3 like they did against the Nationals, they’ll be elite. If they lose 2 (or 3) out of 3 the rest of the way, we’ll be running the entire franchise out of Queens with pitchforks.

The Mets are 2-3. The Braves are 5-0. I honestly couldn’t tell you what the rest of the standings look like, because I haven’t checked. Because it doesn’t matter. It’s early. Too early to panic. So this was a frustrating loss (as all losses are), but if you try to extract too much meaning from it, you’ll end up with false conclusions. Let’s salvage one and head home with a 500 record.

Up Next: The Mets will wrap up their series with the Braves on Sunday at 1:35 PM. Bartolo Colon (1-0, 1.50 ERA) will face Alex Wood (1-0, 3.60 ERA) at Turner Field.

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Photo Credit: John Amis, AP

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 4, Rangers 4 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/mmo-game-recap-mets-4-rangers-4.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/mmo-game-recap-mets-4-rangers-4.html/#comments Sat, 04 Apr 2015 21:41:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=178198 anthony recker

The Mets snatched a tie from the jaws of defeat in their preseason finale, playing the Rangers to a 4-4 draw at Globe Life Park on Saturday afternoon.

Dillon Gee got the start against the Rangers (not for them, as a certain blog seemed certain would happen) and was decent at best, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks in 4.2 innings, striking out 4. 

Ross Detwiler took the hill for Texas to begin the game, and worked around a single from David Wright to put up a goose egg in his lone inning of work.

Gee got himself into a bit of two-out trouble in the home half of the first, hitting Mitch Moreland to put runners on first and second after Shin-Soo Choo had bunted to beat a shift. But the Mets’  recently confirmed #5 starter struck out Ryan Rua to escape the jam.

Nick Martinez came in for Texas to pitch the top of the second and worked a perfect inning, as did Gee in the bottom half. Chi Chi Gonzalez entered as the Rangers’ third pitcher in as many innings, but he would remain on the mound for far longer than his teammates. Gonzalez retired the side in order for the first of his five scoreless frames. Gee again got into trouble with two outs, walking Elvis Andrus and giving up a single to Choo, but retired Moreland to once again emerge unscathed.

Curtis Granderson started off the top of the fourth with a single, but the Mets failed to take advantage of the leadoff baserunner, setting the tone for the next few innings. Texas finally got to Gee (the operative word being “to”) in the bottom of the fourth when Rua hit a leadoff double and scored on a two-out single from Adam Rosales.

John Mayberry  was hit by a pitch to begin the fifth, but was erased when Wilmer Flores‘ failed bunt turned into a force-out at second. Danny Muno worked a two-out walk, but Darrell Ceciliani struck out looking to strand the runners.

Gee was again rocky in the bottom of the fifth. Delino DeShields drew a leadoff walk, stole second, and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. Gee then nailed Jake Smolinski with a pitch before a hard-hit ball off the bat of Trever Adams couldn’t be handled by Muno at second, allowing DeShields to score on what was ruled an infield single. Gee bounced back and caught Nick Williams looking for the second out, but Terry Collins decided to pull the plug on the righty and call upon the newly acquired Alex Torres, who retired Nomar Mazara to close the book on Gee and keep it a 2-0 game.

Alex Castellanos led off the sixth with a base-hit, but Gonzalez got Eric Campbell to hit into a double-play and kept the Mets off the board once more.

Torres got the first Ranger out in the bottom of the sixth, but things soon took a rough turn for the lefty. After Tyler Pastornicky walked, Guilder Rodriguez reached on an error by Muno, putting runners on first and second. DeShields hit into a fielder’s choice to put runners at the corners with two away. A wild pitch and a walk brought the third Texas run home and put runners on first and second. Sean Gilmartin came into the game to face Smolinski, who hit a slow grounder which Muno was inexplicably unable to reach, capping off a rough day in the field for Daniel. Garia scored to make it 4-0 Texas, before Gilmartin induced a groundout from Adams to end the inning.

Johnny Monell began the seventh with a single, but the Mets could not bring him home, wasting a leadoff baserunner for the fourth consecutive inning. Gilmartin pitched a scoreless bottom half, with some help from Anthony Recker, who caught Nick Williams stealing.

Andrew Faulkner came on to pitch the eighth for Texas and retired the side in order. Zach Thornton took care of the hosts in the bottom of the inning, and the Mets came up to the plate for their final chance in the top of the ninth.

Faulkner got the first two Mets out to put Texas on the cusp of victory, but then the wheels fell off. Monell worked a walk, Maryberry singled, and Matt Reynolds drew a free pass to load the bases and bring Recker to the plate as the tying run. Jesus Pirela was called upon to get the final out and failed miserably. Recker grabbed ahold of a fat pitch and sent it over the wall in center for a grand slam, evening the game at 4. Muno and Ceciliani then walked to put the go-ahead run in scoring position, but Castellanos’ deep fly to left died at the warning track, and the game moved to the home half of the ninth.

Thornton got two quick outs in the ninth before allowing a single to Drew Robinson (Muno made a great diving play to keep the ball in the infield and redeem himself to a small extent). But there would be no more two-out magic in this one, as Williams struck out to end the inning, at which point the game was ruled a tie.

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The final game of Spring Training ended in a tie, which is a great way to underscore the fact that, from a results standpoint, Spring Training really doesn’t matter. It’s not real.

But confidence is real. And the fun is real. And the lone tear that probably rolled down the cheek of Monell as Recker trotted around the bases was real. The Mets had a fantastic spring, going 19-12, and they did better with the bats than anybody could have hoped for.

The Mets had a frustrating day offensively, but Recker eased their woes with his clutch blast in the ninth (he seems to have a knack for timely homers, doesn’t he?). The pitchers weren’t particularly convincing, but allowing 4 runs isn’t all that bad, and the Rangers got some cheap hits and runs along the way.

To be honest, I’m not convinced that the Mets’ pitching is going to be amazing. Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom are studs, Jon Niese should be a solid #3 if healthy (a big if), and Bartolo Colon and Gee are solid #4 guys who could each be a #3 on a few teams. We have some young (but unknown) depth in the wings with Rafael Montero, Noah Syndergaard, and Steven Matz. Our pitching is good. But without Wheeler, it doesn’t have that 3-ace upside (unless Niese finally has that real breakout year), and our bullpen looks shaky, so it’s really not going to get us into the playoffs if the team isn’t hitting.

But that’s why it’s so great that the team is hitting. Granderson, Wright, Lagares, Duda, Cuddyer… the guys that we need to hit are hitting. Flores looked pretty good. Mayberry was awesome. Recker and Monell each showed pop. Tejada looked competent. Murphy is expected to be back for Opening Day, and we all know what a pro he is at the dish. Travis d’Arnaud still needs to get it going, but that’s nothing that five seconds with Kevin Long won’t fix, apparently.

The Mets were fun to watch this past month. They were one of the best teams in the league. Now it’s time for the real games. Let’s see if they can carry over all these positives, stay healthy, have some luck, and make it a year to remember.

Up Next: The Mets will open up their 2015 campaign on Monday against the Nationals in Washington D.C. Matt Harvey Bartolo Colon will face Max Scherzer at 4:05 PM.

I’ll see you all then. LGM!

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