Mets Merized Online » Edwin Jackson Sat, 06 Feb 2016 23:29:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Zack Wheeler And Why Hype Can Be A B**ch Sun, 30 Jun 2013 16:13:48 +0000 wheeler harvey

Andy Martino of the Daily News weighs in on the problem with hype, projection, unrealised expectations, and something about Mike Pelfrey being the devil.

It is dehumanizing, what happens to phenoms like Zack Wheeler over the long arc of a professional baseball career. In the minor leagues, you are an abstraction, a blank screen onto which fans and media project hopes that have little to do with who you actually are.

Then you arrive in the big city and, as any person would, reveal your normal imperfections. You are not a savior, but a human, and the public can grow bitter.  Ask Mike Pelfrey, a first-round pick who became a solid pitcher, and was seen by many fans as the devil by the middle of his Mets years. Or even better, ask the guy whose debut brought more hype than perhaps any pitcher in history, Stephen Strasburg.

“What happens is, that they build you up just to bring you down,” Strasburg said Saturday. “They never get it. Unfortunately, that’s people who never played the game.  You really can’t control what people write or say.”

This reminds me of an article by Danny Knobler of CBS Sports a couple of weeks ago, where he surveyed some scouts who all seemed to be bailing on Zack Wheeler after his major league debut.

Both scouts who watched Tuesday’s day-night doubleheader in person listed Harvey as perhaps the most impressive pitcher they’ve seen this season. But neither came away raving about Wheeler, despite six shutout innings in his major-league debut.

One of the scouts suggested that Wheeler should still be in Triple-A, and in any case might still need a trip back to the minor leagues before he comes back for good. The other scout was even less impressed. ”He’s going to be a middle-of-the-rotation guy,” the second scout said. “Edwin Jackson, maybe.”

Edwin Jackson? Really?

Martino correctly asserts that a rare set of circumstances created the frenzied Wheeler buildup: He was acquired for Carlos Beltran, one of the greatest players in franchise history; he arrived at a time when the organization was marketing its future over its present, and became a symbol of that trend; he dazzled scouts in the minor leagues with raw talent, and copy-hungry writers like me relayed their quotes to the public without context; he followed Matt Harvey, who has worn the phenom crown as well as anyone could, convincing some fans that it can happen again.

Because of those factors, Wheeler’s major league debut generated an absurd volume of attention — and that buzz drowned reality. Wheeler is a high-ceiling talent with flaws in his delivery, who might not even be ready for the major leagues. But he is here, and he is working to improve, which is all we should ask of a young player.

Yes, yes and yes…

You may remember how often I would say over the last 18 months how sorry I felt for Zack Wheeler. This was why. I knew he would be over-hyped, and that in most fans’ minds his uniform number would always be No. 15. Throw in the fact that this whole “Plan” thing was built mostly upon Wheeler’s back as soon as he became Sandy Alderson’s signature move.

I still feel bad for the kid… The all-out nonsense to make him out to be more than what he really was, will have a heavy toll on Wheeler. And unless he ends up his career with a room full of major league awards and hardware, there will be an unfortunate minority who will see him as a disappointment.

We do love our mythological heroes in baseball, but like Strasburg says, we love tearing them down as well. I like this summation from Martino:

Hype is fiction, and it is actually cruel: Building a man up is just as wrong as tearing him down, because neither honors who he really is.  Maybe we could just watch, and appreciate the complexity of Wheeler’s learning process.

Yes, yes and yes…

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Scouts Say Harvey’s Better Fri, 21 Jun 2013 21:07:38 +0000 matt harvey zack wheeler

Danny Knobler of CBS Sports spoke to two scouts who were on hand for Super Tuesday, when Matt Harvey stymied the Braves and Zack Wheeler made his long anticipated debut with six scoreless innings for a Mets doubleheader sweep in Atlanta.

“I don’t know if you’re doing a survey, but put me down for Harvey over Strasburg, and it’s not even close,” said one scout who watched the Mets right-hander’s latest great performance, Tuesday in Atlanta.

“Not even close,” another scout agreed. “He’s tougher to pick up. His stuff is more dynamic. And his slider is unhittable.”

Mets fans can say they were ahead of the curve on this one, but they won’t like the next thing both scouts said.

Matt Harvey or Zack Wheeler? Again, not even close.

Both scouts who watched Tuesday’s day-night doubleheader in person listed Harvey as perhaps the most impressive pitcher they’ve seen this season. But neither came away raving about Wheeler, despite six shutout innings in his major-league debut.

One of the scouts suggested that Wheeler should still be in Triple-A, and in any case might still need a trip back to the minor leagues before he comes back for good. The other scout was even less impressed. ”He’s going to be a middle-of-the-rotation guy,” the second scout said. “Edwin Jackson, maybe.”

Knobler took the debate to a scouting panel who all concurred with the first two scouts and concluded the following:

Matt Harvey: “He’s the real deal, no doubt. We all got excited about Strasburg, but you come to realize that the other guy’s just better. Harvey seems possessed. You watch him and you can tell he wants to be the best, not just on his team, not just in the National League but in all of baseball. Even Stephen Strasburg at his best wasn’t like the stuff Harvey showed Tuesday. High 90s and even 100 mph, kept it into the late innings, a slider at 91-92 that’s unhittable, and then a changeup at 85 where you just say, ‘Good luck.’ And it has late finish to it.”

Zack Wheeler: ”He’s a good-looking kid with a good arm, but he looked to me like he should still be in Triple-A. It’s not all about lighting up the gun. The boxscore line looks better than how he pitched. … Even when he gets where he’s going to be, he’s not as good as Harvey. My guy feeling is that he’s always going to have to throw a lot of pitches. And everything’s hard. It’s fastball-slider, and the curve is a hard curve. And the fastball is fairly straight. He’s a nice, good piece of a rotation, but he’s not Harvey.”

Here’s the thing about these types of comparisons, and you could be sure there will be plenty more in the coming weeks, nobody really knows or has all the answers. There’s a lot of guesswork and speculation at work here. Yes, they are making these assessments based on what they do for a living, but even the best scouts are wrong 50% of the time.

Yes, we’ve all seen enough of Harvey to know he truly is the real deal. But is it really fair to Wheeler to make a judgement based on just one start?

Sure, these are scouts and most scouts make their opinions based on one glimpse of a player all the time. They know what to look for and are paid well to analyze players and report their assessments to their team’s player development and scouting departments.

But aren’t these the same scouts who had Wheeler ranked as one of the top three pitching prospects in the game six months ago?

Can their opinion of him change that drastically after just one major league start?

I’m still hoping that Harvey and Wheeler end up becoming 1A and 1B rather than 1 and 2.

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Cubs vs Mets Preview: Marcum Still Searching For First Win, Murphy Back In Two Spot Fri, 14 Jun 2013 20:14:55 +0000

Chicago Cubs (26-38) vs New York Mets (24-37)

Citi Field, Flushing  • 7:10 PM  

Edwin Jackson, RHP vs Shaun Marcum, RHP

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Starting Lineup

  1. Jordany Valdespin, 2b
  2. Daniel Murphy, 1b
  3. David Wright, 3b
  4. Lucas Duda, lf
  5. Marlon Byrd, rf
  6. John Buck, c
  7. Omar Quintanilla, ss
  8. Juan Lagares, cf
  9. Shaun Marcum, rhp

Game Notes

The Mets have a 2-7 record in June and the Cubs are 3-8, and the teams will begin a three-game series at Citi Field on Friday.

Mets Manager Terry Collins was named to this year’s National League All-Star coaching staff yesterday by NL All-Star manager Bruce Bochy of the San Francisco Giants. It will be the second straight year Collins has served on the All-Star coaching staff after working under Tony La Russa last year in Kansas City. Collins also was a coach for the NL team at the 1995 All-Star Game in Texas.

Major League Baseball also announced yesterday that Mets head trainer Ray Ramirez will serve on the National League training staff for the 84th All-Star Game this year. Ramirez was a trainer for the American League All-Star team in 2004 in Houston.

The Mets have hit 12 home runs over their last eight games, including six home runs in their last four contests. New York has hit 31 home runs in 34 home games this year…The Mets had 67 home runs in 82 home games last year.

Marlon Byrd hit his 10th home run of the year yesterday, marking the fifth time he’s reached double-digit home runs in his career. It’s the first time he’s reach double-digit home runs since 2010 when he had 12. Byrd also hit 10 home runs in 2007 and 2008 and had a career-high 20 home runs in 2009 with Texas.

Mets starting pitchers have collected eight consecutive quality starts at home, compiling a 1.63 ERA (10 earned runs/55.1 innings) over this run, which began on May 26. The Mets are 4-4 in those games. Over the team’s last 17 games, Mets starters have compiled a 2.88 ERA (35 earned runs/109.1 innings) with 104 strikeouts.

Since June 5, David Wright is hitting .393 (11-28) with five runs scored, two doubles, two home runs and five RBI over a span of six games. His on-base percentage during that span is .433. He has multi-hit games in four of those six contests. Wright trails the Giants’ Pablo Sandoval by 200,776 votes at third base after the latest All-Star starting player fan voting was released on Sunday. Fans can vote online at

Zack Wheeler allowed one hit and one run over 5.2 innings last night for Las Vegas (AAA) vs. Tacoma. He struck out seven and issued two walks, but suffered the loss in the 11-0 setback. Wheeler is 4-2 with a 3.93 ERA (30 earned runs/68.2 innings) and ranks fifth in the Pacific Coast League with 73 strikeouts and ninth with a 1.28 WHIP.

Rafael Montero was promoted to Las Vegas (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League where he will start tomorrow vs. Colorado Springs. Montero was 7-3 with a 2.43 ERA (18 earned runs/66.2 innings) with 72 strikeouts in 11 starts with Binghamton (AA). He was third in the Eastern League in ERA, first with a 0.92 WHIP and sixth in strikeouts…Montero had a 23.2 Eastern League scoreless innings streak.

Game Preview

The Mets and Cubs start a series in New York tonight as the Mets continue to look for a reliable source of offense. Yesterday Harvey allowed one run, and that was enough to lose the game as the Mets bats did nothing for him, even with David Wright going 3-4. Anyway tonight Edwin Jackson gets the nod for Cubs as he goes up against Shaun Marcum.

Marcum was the definition of hard luck in his last outing. After the the Mets / Marlins game went into extras, Marcum took the hill and tossed 7 scorless frames. In his 8th inning, the 20th in the game, he allowed one run, which saddled him with the loss. It was one of the longest relief outings in major league baseball since the late 80′s and an impressive outing for Shaun forcing his season ERA down to 4.96. However, the Mets bats struggled and he is now 0-7 on the season. The Cubs have the following numbers against Marcum:

DeJesus 3-23, 2B
Navarro 5-19, HR
Castro 2-16, 3B, HR
Barney 4-14, 3 2B, HR
Soriano 2-11, 2B

Edwin Jackson is 2-8 this season over 12 games and 65.2 innings while posting an ERA of 5.76. He picked up the loss against the Mets earlier this season allowing 3 ER over 6.2 innings of work. The Mets have the following numbers against Edwin:

Byrd 6-21, 4 2B, HR
Buck 3-16, HR
Wright 4-13, HR
Murphy 2-12, HR
Valdespin 0-6

Lets Go Mets!

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Mets vs Cubs: Hefner Looks To Extend Amazins’ Win Streak To Three Sat, 18 May 2013 16:30:59 +0000

Starting Lineup

  1. Mike Baxter – RF
  2. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Ike Davis – 1B
  5. Lucas Duda – LF
  6. John Buck – C
  7. Rick Ankiel – CF
  8. Ruben Tejada – SS
  9. Jeremy Hefner – RHP

Game Notes

Jeremy Hefner has posted a 3.33 ERA (10 earned runs/27.0 innings) over his last four starts, including three quality starts. Hefner has issued eight walks and struck out 19 during that span.

Matt Harvey drove in the go-ahead run for in the seventh inning, breaking a 2-2 tie with an RBI single. Harvey is the first Mets starting pitcher to earn a win and drive in a go-ahead run in the seventh inning or later since Sid Fernandez on August 16, 1993 at Cincinnati.

Harvey is 5-0 with a 1.55 ERA in nine starts. Only two other major league pitchers over the last 30 seasons remained undefeated through as many starts with as low an ERA: Kris Medlen last season (7-0, 0.86 ERA) and Pedro Martinez in 2001 (6-0, 1.52). Harvey is fifth in the majors with a 1.55 ERA and
second in the N L with 68 strikeouts. He leads the majors with a 0.72 WHIP, a .149 opponents batting average against and 6.64 baserunners per nine innings.

Bobby Parnell has three wins and three saves this month. Parnell has hurled 7.0 scoreless frames in May. He is tied for the major league lead among all relievers with four wins and is sixth in the NL with a 0.98 ERA (min. 16.0 innings).

John Buck is fifth in the NL with 31 RBI. Buck’s 31 RBI lead all catchers. San Francisco’s Buster Posey is second with 24 RBI. He is also tied for the home run lead among catchers with 10 with Toronto’s J.P. Arencibia. His 10 home runs are tied for fourth in the National League.

Game Preview

The Mets now have won two games in a row and they are looking to do more this afternoon in Chicago as they play game two of this series. Yesterday the Mets got limited, but strong hits from David Wright and Daniel Murphy, good pitching from Matt Harvey and surprising defense from Byrd. Today Jeremy Hefner tries to keep it going against Scott Feldman.

Jeremy Hefner is 0-4 this season over 41.0 innings of work with a 4.61 ERA. His last start was average, contract definition of quality, as he allowed 3 ER over 6 innings of work and in that game he allowed 5 hits, 4 walks and 2 strikeouts. Last year he pitched only 1.1 innings against the Cubs and they were quiet: no hits, no runs, no walks and one strikeout. The Cubs have the following numbers against Hefner:

Schierholtz 1-4, 3B
Edwin Jackson, 0-3 (Yes, I know he’s a pitcher and he went yesterday but whatever)
Castro 0-1
DeJesus 0-1
Rizzo 0-1
Russel 0-1

Scott Feldman is 3-3 this season with a 2.53 ERA over 7 games and 42.2 innings of work. He has been fantastic in the month of May pitching 22.0 innings with a 1.23 ERA while walking 5 and striking out 21 batters. He has made one start in his career against the Mets where he picked up the loss after 5 innings with 8 hits, 7 runs, 6 earned. The Mets have the following numbers against Scott:

Buck 3-13, 2 2B
Wright 0-2
(It’s been a while since Feldman has faced the Mets)

Lets Go Mets!

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Series Preview: New York Mets at Chicago Cubs Fri, 17 May 2013 16:57:05 +0000

Mets at Cubs Series Preview

The Mets are playing terribly, and they need a team to beat up on. They have played three out of their last four series against teams above .500 and have suffered badly, losing six of their last seven games. Luckily, they play the Cubs this weekend, who, even though they might be better than the Mets, they are certainly easier to beat than the Pirates and Braves.

The Cubs are rebuilding. That’s very, very clear. Theo Epstein and the rest of Chicago’s front office is trying to build a team from the talented young core they have in place. So far, their plan seems to be working out well. Anthony Rizzo looks like he is a future star and Starlin Castro is shaping up to be a cornerstone piece at shortstop.

The Cubbie pitching staff is getting younger and with Jeff Samardzjia and Jackson to build their rotation around, they have a solid foundation for a playoff team. However, while the Cubs are building, they are still far off from being a playoff contender. They are currently 22nd in runs scored, and don’t have too many offensive threats. They have been carried almost exclusively by Rizzo and David DeJesus this season, rak=nking 24th in On-Base Percentage as a club. If it weren’t for those two, the offense would be one of, if not the worst in baseball. On the pitching side, their starting rotation has been solid, even without Matt Garza, but the bullpen has been awful. Aside from Kevin Gregg, who has been fantastic as Chicago’s closer as of late, they have received almost no consistent production out of the bullpen. Carlos Marmol has been himself (and therefore awful) and Kyuji Fujikawa has been unable to take his place. The Cubs as a team rank 22nd in baseball in bullpen ERA, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to get any better.

Long-term, while the Cubs are on the rise, they are still a very weak offensive team and have a long way to go before they become contenders. While two of the three pitching matchups this series don’t look great for the Mets, the series should be rather close.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Matt Harvey, RHP (56.1 IP, 256 ERA+, 4.43 K/BB) vs. Edwin Jackson, RHP (43.1 IP, 66 ERA+, 2.10 K/BB)

Jackson has failed to live up to expectations after signing a four-year, $52 million deal with the Cubs this winter. His 6.02 ERA is the worst on the Cubs among starters. He has been uncharacteristically wild, walking 4.2 batters per nine innings. Although some of his walk numbers from early on in his career are ugly, he has kept them largely under control the past few seasons. At least until now. He has failed to go more than six innings in a start this season. In his last start on May 11, he gave up two runs on four hits in 5.1 innings against the Nationals, walking two and striking out three.

Game 2:  Jeremy Hefner, RHP (41 IP, 80 ERA+, 1.69 K/BB) vs. Scott Feldman RHP (42.2 IP, 156 ERA+, 1.94 K/BB)

Feldman, 30, is your typical journey man starting pitcher. He pitched with Texas for eight years, in which he had a 4.81 ERA in 204 appearances. He has been much better since coming to the Cubs. He has put together a string of four outstanding starts, including his outing on April 26 against the Padres in which he gave up only two runs on three hits in nine innings, striking out 12 and walking a single batter. In his last start on May 12, he allowed one run on three hits in five innings against the Nationals.

Game 3: Dillon Gee, RHP (39.2 IP, 60 ERA+, 1.69 K/BB) vs. Travis Wood, LHP (53.1 IP, 195 ERA+, 2.12 K/BB)

Despite posting mediocre numbers from 2010 through 2012, Wood has been incredible this season. He leads the team with a 2.03 ERA in eight starts and has given up only 5.4 hits per nine innings. What has been the key to his success? Most likely luck. Wood hasn’t changed anything significant in terms of his approach and none of his pitches have gotten significantly better. However, his .193 BABIP makes it seem like he might come down to Earth soon. Wood shut out the Rockies over seven innings in his last start, allowing just two hits.

Series Notes

The Mets snapped their six-game losing streak with a 5-2 win at St. Louis yesterday…New York is 3-7 in its last 10 games…The Mets are 6-11 on the road this year.

In addition to this three-game series vs. the Cubs, the Mets will return to Chicago later this year to play the White Sox in a two-game series (June 25-26).

The Mets will play four straight day games (yesterday in St. Louis and three in Chicago) for the first time since September 3-6, 2010 (three in Chicago and one in Washington)…New York is 7-10 in day games…David Wright is batting .379 during day games, the fourth-highest average in the National League.

Daniel Murphy went 4-4 with two doubles and a walk on Thursday…The four hits tied his career-high…It was the eighth time he’s collected four hits in a game, last on April 12 at Minnesota…Murphy is 10-for-his-last-16 (.625) over his last four games and currently has a five-game hitting streak (11-20, .550) …Murphy is batting .394 on the road this season, the best mark in the NL and is second in the majors.

The Mets scored five runs yesterday but have scored three or fewer runs in eight of their last 10 games and in 13 of their last 19 games…New York is averaging 4.34 runs per game, the fifth-most in the NL and the 14th-most in the majors.

New York is hitting .238 (15-63) with runners in scoring position over its last 10 games…The Mets are fifth in the NL and 12th in the majors with a .266 (76-286) batting average with RISP…The club has 11 home runs in such situations, tied for the fifth most in the majors…John Buck has four of those home runs, tied for second in the majors…

David Wright is hitting .441 (15-34) with RISP, the fifth-best mark in the National League…As a team the Mets have stranded 256 runners, including eight yesterday, tied for 25th in the majors.

John Buck had one RBI yesterday and is tied for third in the NL with 31 RBI…Buck’s 31 RBI lead all catchers…San Francisco’s Buster Posey is second with 22 RBI.

Marlon Byrd is 4-for-his-last 8 (.500)…He is seven hits shy of 1,100 for his career…Byrd has at least one hit in seven of eight games this month (10-27, .370) with two home runs and six RBI.

Bobby Parnell has three wins and two saves this month…Parnell has hurled 6.0 scoreless frames in May…He leads all relievers with four wins and is eighth in the NL with a 1.04 ERA (min. 17.0 innings).

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Mets vs Cubs: Harvey Still Looking For No. 5, Collins Is Sticking With Davis At Cleanup Fri, 17 May 2013 16:44:36 +0000 matt harvey

Starting Lineup

  1. Jordany Valdespin – RF
  2. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Ike Davis – 1B
  5. Lucas Duda – LF
  6. John Buck – C
  7. Rick Ankiel – CF
  8. Ruben Tejada – SS
  9. Matt Harvey – RHP

Game Notes

The Mets’ 5-2 win against the Cardinals on Thursday was only the second time in their past 10 games they topped three runs. But when it’s rained, it’s poured for the Mets. They’ve scored seven or more runs in a game 10 times this season, tied for second in the National League with the Giants and Braves.

The Mets went 4-for-9 with runners in scoring position in the victory against St. Louis after going 11-for-53 (.208) in those situations over its previous nine contests.

Terry Collins told reporters he will continue to use Ike Davis in the cleanup spot through their weekend series with the Cubs. The team has not discussed sending Davis to the minor leagues, according to reporters. Davis is hitless in his last 22 at-bats and is batting .157 with 4 home runs this season.

David Wright is batting .379 during day games, the fourth-highest average in the National League. Also, Daniel Murphy is batting .394 on the road this season, the best mark in the NL. Murphy has hit safely in five straight games, with three multi-hit efforts, including Thursday’s four-hit outburst.

Game Preview

The Mets stopped the losing yesterday afternoon as they beat the Cardinals by the score of 5-2 and avoided the sweep. This afternoon, the Mets look to repair their season by building off of yesterday’s win. Murphy was a big reason for success yesterday with a 4-4 day at the plate with 2 doubles and going an overall 11 for his last 17 (after going 0-17). In addition to Murphy yesterday, the Mets got some good starting pitching from someone not named Matt Harvey. Speaking of Matt Harvey, happy Harvey Day!

Matt is still 4-0 this season thanks to the Mets bullpen and really the Mets offense in his last several starts. It speaks to the season Harvey is having that we were disappointed with 7 inning, 2 ER, 4 K performance his last time out that actually raised his ERA to 1.44. This afternoon will be Harvey’s first time pitching in Chicago, pitching against Chicago and facing any batter on the Chicago roster.

The Mets bats will square off with Edwin Jackson who is 1-5 over the first 8 starts of the year with a 6.02 ERA over 43.1 innings of work. His last start wasn’t bad as he allowed 2 ER over 5.1 innings but in his previous two starts he has allowed 12 ER in 9.2 innings of work. Last season he was 1-1 against the Mets in three starts with a 3.32 ERA in 19.0 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against Edwin:

Byrd 6-21, 4 2B, HR
Buck 3-13, HR
Wright 2-10
Murphy 1-9
Tejada 0-7
Davis 2-6, 2B, HR
Duda 1-6, 2B

Lets Go Mets!

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Murphy Rips Four Hits, Niese Solid, Mets End Skid With 5-2 Win Over Cards Thu, 16 May 2013 22:10:38 +0000 daniel murphy lucas duda

Daniel Murphy had four hits and Jon Niese pitched a gem as the New York Mets beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-2 to salvage the final game of the series and avoid the four-game sweep.

The Mets got on the board in the third when Jordany Valdespin ignited a two-run rally with a perfect drag bunt in the third and then scored when the red-hot Murphy lined double to score Spin and then came around to put the Mets up 2-1 after David Wright drove him home with a single to right.

After another double by Murphy in the sixth, the Mets would score two more runs on an RBI-double by Wright and a sac-fly by Lucas Duda. Catcher John Buck broke out of slump with an RBI-single in the eighth for the Mets’ fifth run.

jon niese

Meanwhile on the mound, the Niese we used to know was back and he was dealing. After allowing 15 runs in his last two starts, Niese worked on his mechanics and rediscovered his fastball and curve, using both pitches to great effect to silence the Cardinals offense. The southpaw tossed 7.1 innings, allowing just two runs on six hits while walking two and striking out three. It was great to see him bounce back and hopefully this is the beginning of something good for Niese.

Niese gave way with two on and one out in the eighth inning, but in came Brandon Lyon, who induced an inning-ending double play to escape any damage. Bobby Parnell closed it out in the ninth to earn his fourth save of the season.

Ike Davis continues to struggle and went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts to earn the golden sombrero. Davis is hitless in his last 22 at-bats and his batting average is at a four-week low of .157 for the season. Terry Collins says he’s sticking with him.

The Mets now head to Chicago for a weekend series with the Cubs. Matt Harvey will oppose Edwin Jackson in a 2:20 PM matinee. Lets Go Mets!

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Marcum To Pitch A Couple Of Simulated Innings Today or Tomorrow Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:00:57 +0000 Updated on 4/11 by HoJo

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Shaun Marcum is expected to throw two innings of a simulated game before the weekend as he attempts to get ready to comeback from a neck injury and bicep tendinitis.

If all goes well without any setbacks, Marcum could appear in a rehab game with Single-A St. Lucie one day next week. Depending on how that goes, Marcum could then be activated from the disabled list and make his Mets debut in the rotation.

Marcum was acquired to replace R.A. Dickey’s 200 innings in the rotation, however he’s been plagued with assorted injuries and missed most of spring training and started the season on the DL.

Original Post 4/7

If Shaun Marcum’s eight-year Major League Baseball pitching career should end sooner than later, no worries, he could always get work playing Cavity Sam.

His medical record is morphing into the legendary patient profile of Hasbro’s Operation board game. With each passing season new ailments  – and new body parts — pile up and pile on Marcum’s resume. Google Marcum and you can also read about his arm, elbow, shoulder, bicep, calf and, as of last Tuesday, neck. His career has been interrupted by a series of pulls, strains, stiffness, tears, inflammations, impingements and tendinitis.

If you can find Marcum’s medical history via Google, his chronic health issues certainly came as no surprise to the New York Mets, but it is frustrating to a team in desperate need of healthy arms. Johan Santana is gone for the season, and probably forever as far as the Mets are concerned. Frank Francisco is on the disabled list; so is Jenrry Mejia. The Mets have $35.5 million in pitching payroll unable to perform. Jeremy Hefner started Friday against the Miami Marlins, despite suffering a bruised elbow on his pitching arm. Sunday afternoon the Mets will hand the ball to Santana’s replacement, Aaron Laffey, who was bound for Las Vegas just three weeks ago. To make room for him, prospect Jeurys Familia was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Marcum missed the entire 2009 season after having Tommy John surgery. He spent the most of the May, June and July 2012 on the sideline too. Marcum has been DL’d for a variety of injuries during his career.  Milwaukee Brewers blogger Jim Breen fired a warning shot in May 2011 when he stated:

(1) Marcum utilizes stressful mechanics on the mound, which suggests arm/shoulder injuries are likely in the future.

(2) Marcum relies upon a repertoire that does not profile well for success as he reaches his mid-30s.

The Brewers are consciously limiting the pitch-counts for Marcum … because the organization understands the health risk and are attempting to protect their asset for the entire season. Am I about to offer a three-to-five year contract extension at market value to a pitcher that has all the warning signs of another major injury around the corner? Not a chance. That would be foolish.

Then, on the day the Mets signed Marcum, an MLB executive told the Bergen Record, “He’s a blue-collar gamer, but he’s hard to count on for any length of time.”

Not much has changed since Marcum signed with New York. He’s been fighting injuries since he arrived in Port St. Lucie for Spring Training six weeks ago. On March 20, Marcum flew from Florida to New York for an MRI on his shoulder. Doctors reported the Mets pitcher suffered an “impingement” and was given a cortisone shot for inflammation. The team, and Marcum, shrugged it off. On March 31, the Mets officially placed Marcum on the 15-day disabled list with “bicep tendinitis.” The team reported it was not a new injury. On April 2, Marcum cut short a bullpen session, complaining of neck pain. He returned to New York for another MRI which revealed “inflamed nerves” in his neck. The Mets medical team treated Marcum with “trigger-point injections,” but there is still concern whether or not the treatment will remedy what ails the Mets pitcher.

In hindsight, Marcum’s entire career has been a chronic pain in the neck.

The Mets signed Marcum to a one-year, $4 million deal, a modest payroll investment for a major league middle-of-the-rotation starting pitcher — unless your the New York Mets — whose payroll has been shrinking since Bernie Madoff. The Mets, under the direction of Sandy Alderson, have been cutting payroll, trading veterans and stockpiling young talent for more than three years now. The organization has been extremely conservative in the free agent market so why sign Marcum, a pitcher with chronic health problems? They had nearly four million reasons to not sign Marcum.

It’s not as if there was a shortage of free agent starting pitchers available. Kyle Lohse, Edwin Jackson, Anibal Sanchez, Joe Blanton, Jason Marquis were all available assuming, based on their choice, the Mets were looking for a right-handed, veteran starting pitcher not asking for Zack Grienke money. All are durable and innings eaters. Instead, Alderson waited until the end of January before finally committing to Marcum — and all the baggage that comes with him. It just doesn’t make sense.

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Is Roy Oswalt An Option For The Mets? Tue, 21 Feb 2012 18:30:54 +0000 With Roy Oswalt still on the market, seemingly holding out for either the Rangers or Cardinals to make a decision, will the right-hander be left with an ultimatum similar to the Manny Ramirez situation a few years ago and sign with a willing team or will he sit the year out in hopes of getting signed to a contender for the late-summer push. I feel as if with Oswalt’s options running down, his ability to be selective in this market is going to lead him to pitch for an unexpected team. Can that team be the Mets?

1. Yes

Oswalt wants to win, and is such a competitor that the thought of missing part or all of the year because he did not wind up on his preferred team seem foolish. While the Mets are apparently hamstrung financially, Sandy Alderson is adept at knowing the values and has thus far in his brief stint shown he will strike when the iron is hot. If the Mets could offer Oswalt a 1 yr/6-8 million contract with some incentives, then maybe the Texas native would debate coming to pitch against his former team, who decided against resigning him and instead splurged on closer Johnathan Papelbon. Oswalt could be a mentor to the younger pitchers, and would give the Mets a substantially better rotation. In terms of capitalizing on the investment, Oswalt could be easily flipped to a team in the playoff push looking for a starter. While it may not net the same caliber player as Zach Wheeler, a franchise looking for an established starter may be willing to part with something that could be a part of the Mets future

2. Maybe

Roy is still unsigned, and as spring-training approaches has been steadfast in his wishes to pitch for a select number of teams. With the Mets possibly being a year or two away from true contention, would Oswalt want to go into a situation that is in limbo just to be able to pitch? Oswalt could just utilize the 1 year deal angle to rebuild his value for what may amount to his last big contract in the majors. Edwin Jackson, many years his junior was forced to take a one-year deal, and in this market many players have used it as a launching-pad. Maybe a healthy year of Roy will get a team to give him a 3 year/36 million dollar deal to ride off into the sunset.

3. No

The Mets aren’t going to win this year, so Roy would essentially be rehashing the role he wanted out of on the Astros. Though the Mets are nowhere near as bad as the Astros, they are going through financial troubles, have an offense with more questions than answers and although may be willing to pay, will probably look to move the starter. Winning is the name of the game, and the Mets just don’t have it.

While all three of these ideas make logical sense, the biggest question remains the finances. If the Mets made the offer, meaning they’d be around the 100 million dollar mark, would Roy even accept it? Sandy knows not to throw good money at bad money, but one-year deals are the new rentals in the MLB and Chris Capuano, a much lesser pitcher with a much spottier injury history used his average year on the Mets to land a 2 year/10 million dollar deal. If Roy could turn in a year similar to last year, keep the ERA below 4 and pitch 27-28 games, then it wouldn’t seem out of line for a team in the offseason looking to pick up Mr. Oswalt.

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Game Preview: Diamondbacks vs Mets Sun, 01 Aug 2010 04:01:15 +0000 It’s a big day for the Amazin’s on and off the field. Off the field the Mets will be honoring Frank Cashen, Johnson, Strawberry and Gooden by inducting these heroes of 86 into the Mets Hall of Fame. On the field, the Mets will try to win another series and go 4-2 on the road trip by buidling off last night’s walk-off win against the Diamondbacks. Jon Niese will get the nod today and he will get go against Hudson in his first start for Arizona.

Niese starts the rubber game. On the season he is 7-4 with a 3.43 ERA in his last start he was terrific as he picked up the win in 6.0 innings allowing only one earned run. In five starts in July, Niese threw 32.2 innings with a 2-2 record and a 2.48 ERA and 27 K. His only really bad start in the month was against Arizona when he allowed 3 ER over 5 innings. The Diamondbacks have these numbers on Niese:

Johnson 2-4, 2B
LaRoche 1-3
Montero 0-3
Ojeda 0-3
Upton 2-3, 2B
Young 1-2, HR

The Mets get to see Hudson make his first start for Dbacks since he was traded from the White Sox for Edwin Jackson. Hudson 23-year old right-handed pitcher who has struggled so far this season since his call-up with his control. In 15.2 innings this season Hudson is 1-1 with a 6.32 ERA (a far cry from his 3.38 ERA over 18.2 innings last year). As you can probably guess, Hudson has not seen any Met batter over his career.

Lets Go Mets!

Check 213 Miles From Shea!

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Twitter Hot Stove Update: Ryan Doumit, John Lackey, Nick Johnson Mon, 07 Dec 2009 23:39:45 +0000 According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Mets are expected to meet with the agent for John Lackey tonight, among many other meetings.  Olney adds that he doesn’t know if the Mets would be able to meet his financial demands which are reportedly expected to exceed $100 million dollars according to one report.

Joel Sherman reported via Twitter that the Mets are one of several teams that are looking at Kelvim Escobar who might pitch in Venezuela later this month to prove he is healthy. Escobar had labrum surgery in August of 2008.

Jon Morosi tweeted that there are currently four unknown teams interested in Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit. Ventures a guess that it could be the Giants, Blue Jays and Mariners, but as long as we are venturing guesses would it be okay if I were to speculate, or better yet hope, that the Mets are one of those four teams?

Jerry Crasnick tweeted that Elmer Dessens could still re-sign with the Mets, though the pitcher has talked to the Dodgers and Padres.Apparently the Mets like Dessens because he could be a great influence on Oliver Perez and could help Ollie elevate his game. Wow, what a reach.

You may have heard that rising star Edwin Jackson of the Detroit Tigers, was a a New York Met for about one two minutes today as a comment overheard in the hotel lobby went viral. It wasn’t long until it was officially ruled dead and buried. Now it seems the Yankees could be in on him and Curtis Granderson too for that matter. Bob Nightengale of USA Today said the Tigers are very close to a deal.

According to another tweet from Jayson Stark, the Mets are in a group of seven teams that are all kicking the tires on first baseman Nick Johnson, 31, who is seeking a two-year deal. I believe Johnson is the last thing the Mets need right now, especially coming off a season in which their players logged a record number of days on the Disabled List.  

It looks like the St. Louis Cardinals are on the verge of signing pitcher Brad Penny and that only a scheduled physical stands in the way.

Here is a recap of some of the things Mets GM Omar Minaya had to say to reporters this afternoon in Indianapolis.

Brian Costa – Minaya said he believes Mets have trade chips, but, “You don’t always want to trade your prospects to fill your major-league needs.” The Mets plan to check in on Roy Halladay, but that’s kind of like me planning to check in with my local Porsche dealer. Fun to look, but… Ya gotta love Brian who does a bang up job!

Bart Hubbuch – Omar Minaya told reporters in Indy that he will meet with representatives of Pineiro and Wolf tonight. Interest in Marquis, too. Additionally, Minaya says he has “advanced” in trade talks but obviously wouldn’t specify. Doubtful it’s a blockbuster, though. Hubbuch is another great resource to follow on Twitter.

Regarding Twitter, it’s an excellent resource for quick information that can be turned over quickly, but because of it’s 140 character limitation, much of the information is usually choppy and not as detailed as one would like. Still, I love it and would be lost without it.

Don’t forget to tune into SNY’s Mets Hot Stove Tonight at 7 PM where Kevin Burkhardt will provide a full recap of today’s activity at the Baseball Winter Meetings.

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