Mets Merized Online » Eric Campbell http://metsmerizedonline.com Mon, 05 Dec 2016 20:35:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.16 Mets Set Franchise Record With 17 Run Shutout In Regular Season Finale At Citi http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/mets-set-franchise-record-with-17-run-shutout-in-regular-season-finale-at-citi.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/mets-set-franchise-record-with-17-run-shutout-in-regular-season-finale-at-citi.html/#comments Mon, 26 Sep 2016 14:00:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=223765 robert-gsellman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are some interesting takeaways from Sunday’s win:

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

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

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

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

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T.J. Rivera Named Player of the Month http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/t-j-rivera-named-player-of-the-month.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/t-j-rivera-named-player-of-the-month.html/#comments Tue, 07 Jun 2016 22:06:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=213795 t.j. rivera

And of course the Pacific Coast League has named Las Vegas 51s infielder T.J. Rivera Player of the Month for May. Because, why not?

Rivera, 27,  batted .373 in May with five home runs and 31 RBI, and currently leads the Pacific Coast League with 48 RBI.

He is batting a team leading .358 with a .398 on-base and .912 OPS for the season, and is a career .322 hitter in six minor league seasons.

Original Article – June 2

Maybe it’s time for the Mets to try on an unconventional hat. For many individuals and even for some sports teams, success comes as a result of taking a risk, of thinking out of the box, of being true to themselves. How else would you explain R.A. Dickey’s Cy Young success for the Mets several years ago?

It’s human nature sometimes to be cautious to overly analyze all the reasons something may not work choosing to stay with the original plan without taking the risk of making changes. Yet history shows when people find the courage to dare, the ability to take a “leap in faith” and pursue an unconventional path, great things sometimes happen.

Our New York Mets have reached a challenging juncture in the current baseball campaign. The Mets team was built around solid pitching and the home run power to score runs. That plan has worked admirably throughout the first quarter of the baseball campaign, but injuries shelving three of the eight original position players threaten to derail the Mets baseball train. It’s not time for “Panic City” but to steady a rocking ship. The Mets need some offensive support.

Is it possible that help already exists in the Mets system? What would be the harm of finally giving T.J. Rivera a chance to prove that he can hit at the major league level? The kid has hit at every level he’s played in professional baseball, and he’s simply ripping it up in Las Vegas. Concerns about his lack of defense range are secondary if Rivera is given a shot to prove his worth at third base.

But let’s not pretend that spinal stenosis has not already reduced David Wright to a shell of his former self on the defensive side of the field in the first place. It’s Rivera’s bat that we could use at the moment.

I am aware that if Rivera is elevated to the big squad, someone currently on the 40-man roster becomes vulnerable. There is an old saying that growth and comfort do not coexist. Sticking with the plan as originally devised is not the answer when aggressive risk-taking behaviors positioned us for success in the first place.

The Mets could easily make room on the 40 by removing Akeel Morris, Eric Campbell or if the news on Wright is true, put him on the 60 day DL or Lucas Duda for that matter. The point is the 40 is a weak excuse for not bringing up Rivera.

In just under 200 at-bats this spring in Las Vegas, T.J. Rivera has a .365/.399/.531 slash line. A proven contact hitter, Rivera has 12 doubles, 6 home runs and leads the team with 45 RBI’s, the top RBI total in the Pacific Coast League.

A recent PCL Player of the Week, Rivera recently led the conference in batting average although currently he has dipped to second in the batting title race. The Las Vegas infielder might provide the Mets with some small ball run production during a time when their HR production is lagging.

In an ESPN story on Rivera Adam Rubin wondered if there might be something in Rivera’s swing that is blocking his final step to the big leagues.

But, a National League scout threw water on that fire quickly:

“No there is not,” the scout told Rubin in reference to a possible flaw in his swing. “He just needs and opportunity. The kid hits and keeps hitting.”

In the spring it was Kevin Plawecki who marveled at Rivera’s work in the batter’s box and wondered out loud what it would take for someone to recognize that this kid could hit in the major leagues.

Even Ty Kelly, who recently got his major league shot with the Mets, heaped praise on Rivera to Rubin and was shocked he was promoted over Rivera.

“He swings at everything and hits everything, basically. One of the first basemen in the last series asked if there was a magnet on his barrel. He’s one of those guys. He doesn’t ever have to take pitches. He’s going to get hits because he can hit from his eyes to his ankles.”

For his part, Rivera keeps a bulldog mentality confident that if he continues to do what he always does – hit – his dream of becoming a major leaguer will come true.

When you look at the batting average numbers over other 51’s who got at least a cup of coffee at Citi Field over the past two seasons, you have to scratch your head at why TJ hasd’t received a shot.

T.J. Rivera .322
Dilson Herrera .301
Eric Campbell .288
Darrell Ceciliani .287
Ty Kelly .280
Kirk Nieuwenhuis .276
Matt Reynolds .275
Danny Muno .274
Johnny Monell .270

But, it’s not just about T.J. Rivera earning his shot. It’s more about the Mets utilizing a tool available in their own system to combat a troubling offensive drought.

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Eric Campbell to Join Mets for Doubleheader http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/eric-campbell-to-join-mets-for-doubleheader.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/eric-campbell-to-join-mets-for-doubleheader.html/#comments Tue, 07 Jun 2016 15:19:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=214261 eric campbell

Soup’s up! Just when we thought that Eric Campbell had left for good, he’s back.

The 29 year old utility man will join the Mets for their doubleheader against Pittsburgh tonight.

However a stipulation in the current Collective Bargaining Agreement only makes him eligible for the second game of the doubleheader as the team’s 26th man.

In his first go around with the big league club, Campbell slashed a dismal .159/.270/.222 over 63 at-bats while playing mostly first base.

Still a true utility man, he also made appearances at second base, third base and left field.

He’ll likely see action as a pinch hitter or defensive replacement later tonight.

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Should Mets Bring Back Ruben Tejada For Bench Role http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/should-mets-bring-back-ruben-tejada-for-bench-role.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/should-mets-bring-back-ruben-tejada-for-bench-role.html/#comments Sat, 28 May 2016 18:18:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=213197 ruben Tejada

In what was presumably a cost-cutting measure, the New York Mets released Ruben Tejada during Spring Training. As a result, the Mets started the season with Eric Campbell on the Opening Day roster and suspect organizational depth behind him.

When Lucas Duda went down with a stress fracture in his lower back, the team’s depth issues were exposed. Campbell has started in 14 of the last 18 games for the Mets and is hitting just .182/.303/.255 on the season with 20 strikeouts in 55 at-bats. The only reason why Campbell is playing every day is because Wilmer Flores is still on the DL and the team’s other two options, Matt Reynolds and Ty Kelly, are even more underwhelming than Campbell. The Mets need to get better on the bench and soon.

The obvious and most likely answer, is Flores, once he comes off the DL. That’s assuming he turns around his thus far disappointing season when he takes over the first base job in Duda’s absence. But the Mets still need to replace Flo’s role as the utility infielder. The Mets still need someone who can play semi-regularly at third when David Wright sits, and Campbell, Reynolds and Kelly are not the answer. Neither of them are proven major league commodities, nor are they as good – and proven – as Tejada is.

As per ESPN’s Mark Saxson, Tejada has been designated for assignment by the St. Louis Cardinals.  This gives the Cards 10 days to either trade him, release him, put him on waivers, or outright him to the minors (which Tejada could refuse). If you ask me, the Mets should be interested.

If Tejada were to come back, the Mets’ bench would be instantly improved. In his last two seasons with the Mets, Tejada averaged 118 games while batting .249/.340/.330. Not earth-shattering I know, but certainly a considerable improvement over the production the Mets are getting now.

Plus it’s worth noting that while working with hitting coach Kevin Long last season, Tejada produced a .287/.362/.362 batting line in the second half. He eventually wrestled the starting shortstop position away from Wilmer Flores, the same Flores whom the Mets are relying upon heavily this year. Tejada plays an above average second, third, and short.

This year, the Mets don’t need Tejada to take over the shortstop position. Instead, the Mets need to strengthen their bench with capable major league players. The only obstacle to adding Tejada would be the money. But at the prorated portion of $1.5 million, which was half of the contract the Mets had tendered him in the first place, the dollars shouldn’t be an obstacle.

This isn’t about adding a big bat to replace Lucas Duda, it’s about improving on the poor production the Mets have been getting from the utility infielders on the bench.

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Jonathan Lucroy Should Be A Priority http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/jonathan-lucroy-should-be-a-priority.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/jonathan-lucroy-should-be-a-priority.html/#comments Tue, 24 May 2016 17:20:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=212728 b99206715z.1_20140216213914_000_g0a4sbon.1-0

With the unfortunate developments on first baseman Lucas Duda not looking rosy for the New York Mets for the next several weeks, the talk has been on whom among the in-house options could fill in during his absence.

The usual suspects have been mentioned, Eric Campbell, Wilmer Flores upon his return from his own DL stint later this week, recent call-up Ty Kelly, and the potential for even Michael Conforto and or David Wright to get reps there as well.

It makes some sense to see how Wright would fare at first base, given his spinal stenosis and how long it takes him to prepare each game he plays. Maybe shifting to the opposite corner would help with his back, not having to make those long throws across the field. With Conforto, I’d rather the 23-year-old continue to focus his attention at the plate, and play in left-field, at least for the remainder of 2016.

With that being said, it looks like the Mets are in some agreement with me, as David Lennon of Newsday tweeted out a quote from assistant GM John Ricco before the Mets got underway in Washington to face the Nationals.

“We are not going to be able to replace Lucas Duda internally”. The Mets could look to trade for Lucas Duda’s replacement at first base, Ricco told reporters.

This could also mean that the Mets wont be able to duplicate what Duda offers the club, but I think the Mets realize that their in-house options aren’t so great. So where does this leave the team going forward?

One possible solution is Milwaukee Brewers’ catcher/first baseman Jonathan Lucroy, who’s in his final year of the 5-year $11 million contract he signed back in 2012. The good news is, he wouldn’t be a rental player, as he has a team option for 2017 at $5.25 million, a bargain for an All-Star caliber player still in his prime.

The Mets and Brewers talked last summer before the trade deadline about a blockbuster trade involving Wilmer Flores and Zack Wheeler for center-fielder Carlos Gomez, however the framework fell apart when the Mets didn’t like what they saw from Gomez’s medical reports. So needless to say, these two teams might need to let bygones be bygones, and work towards a new deal involving Lucroy.

USP MLB: MILWAUKEE BREWERS AT MIAMI MARLINS S BBN USA FL

Lucroy, 29, has been a solid catcher for the Brew Crew for the past several seasons. From 2011 to 2015, he’s put up a solid line of .286/.345/.443, which amounts to an OPS of .788. He’s amassed 68 home runs during that five-year period, with 311 runs batted in and averaging an OPS+ of 114 in that stretch.

And so far in 2016, Lucroy’s enjoyed a solid bounce back season after a down year in 2015. To date, Lucroy has put up a stat line of .287/.352/.473 for an OPS of .825. He’s hit 6 home runs, with 17 runs batted in, putting up an OPS+ of 120. As of Monday night, Lucroy ranked second among Major League catchers in OPS, slugging, home runs, and extra base hits.

His defensive abilities have also been highly praised throughout his 7-year career, notably for his pitch framing and his improving arm behind the dish. In 2012, he had a caught stealing rate of 21%, well below the league average of 27%. In 2013 he went up one percentage point to 22%, followed by 26%, 28% last season, and now is up to 36% this year.

Of course, Lucroy would be brought here to be the permanent stopgap at first base while Duda is recovering from his stress fracture in his lower back. Lucroy has seen a little time at first base during his Major League career, manning the position in 43 games in his career, posting a .988 fielding percentage.

Before the Brewers asked Lucroy to play first back in 2013 for a few games, he last played the position during a stint in a college summer league back in 2006. But he looks like he’s been able to handle first in the limited time he’s been there, and would be a better option than moving Neil Walker over, whose never played first before professionally, or sticking with Eric Campbell, who has done a good job defensively, but provides little at the plate.

Two questions arise if the Mets were to trade for Lucroy: 1. What would the Brewers want in return for him? 2. What would happen to Travis d’Arnaud?

In trying to answer the first question, teams this past off-season repeatedly asked the Brewers about Lucroy and his availability, but held off due to the “high cost” the Brewers were asking for in return. Teams that were reportedly interested in trading for Lucroy were the Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals, Oakland Athletics, and Houston Astros.

Considering that the Brewers don’t have a viable option to replace Lucroy at catcher in the Majors, they do however have 28-year-old Manny Pina in Triple A Colorado, who currently has a .960 OPS. But he’s more of a journeyman minor leaguer, amassing over 750 minor league games since 2005. Could a swap with the Brewers include a Met catcher and young pitcher? Could the Mets swing a deal that would include d’Arnaud? This would also answer the second question on what would happen to the 27-year-old right-handed catcher upon his return from the disabled list.

While fans have been split on d’Arnaud for years, loving the potential he offers with his bat, yet unable to play a full season due to injuries, it seems we might never see d’Arnaud live up to his full potential due to what seems to be a perennial injury or two. In d’Arnaud, the Brewers are buying high on a young, affordable, under contract player while they rebuild their club. His earliest arbitration year would be in 2017, and the earliest he could be a free agent would not be until 2020, so the Brewers would be gaining several years of control, compared to the year and a half left on Lucroy’s deal. And of course there would be additional pieces added to such a trade, but d’Arnaud would be a major centerpiece.

The Mets could keep playing Kevin Plawecki and Rene Rivera at catcher, while Lucroy plays first. Once Duda is cleared to play and ready to return, the Mets could slide Lucroy back at catcher, and keep Plawecki as his backup.

All of this is obviously just posture at this point, and the Brewers might be asking for a heck of a lot more than what the Mets are willing to give up in a trade. However, Sandy Alderson should make a note of dialing Brewers’ GM David Stearns, and initiating some dialogue that might prove to be an upgrade offensively, and health wise for the immediate future for the Mets.

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The Mets Bench Has Been Underwhelming Thus Far http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/the-mets-bench-has-been-underwhelming-thus-far.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/the-mets-bench-has-been-underwhelming-thus-far.html/#comments Sat, 07 May 2016 14:58:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=211253 wilmer flores

It’s only a little over a month into the season, but as the Mets head into the one-quarter pole of 2016, it hasn’t all been peaches and cream for our hometown team. Matt Harvey has been a shell of the pitcher who returned in such indomitable style a season ago – this when all of us were expecting even more dominance in his second year removed from Tommy John surgery.

It’s been well established by team brass and management that the Mets offense is one that will pummel the opposition with home runs – as their league leading total will tell you. We all know this isn’t a small ball team – and while there’s nothing wrong with a lineup featuring a one through eight who can pop one out at any time – it comes with the typical feast or famine streakiness that usually plagues all such teams.

There are a few other minor concerns or hiccups, but the one area of this team that has performed glaringly ugly so far this season, has been the woeful production off the bench – a bench which I called the strongest we’ve had in many years in my 2016 season preview.

alejandro de aza

Wilmer Flores is batting .179 with a .564 OPS and 56 wRC+ in 49 plate appearances, and his -0.2 fWAR would be the worst on the team if not for Alejandro De Aza who is batting .188 with a .568 OPS and a 57 wRC+ in 35 plate appearances. And while you could make a case that both of these players are victims of inconsistent playing time, the fact is that landscape is not going to change for either of them unless the Mets get socked with a few devastating injuries to their regular starters.

And while inconsistency may explain the underwhelming performances of Flores and De Aza, it provides no such safe haven for backup catcher Kevin Plawecki - who has looked absolutely overmatched by MLB pitching. Plawecki is batting .189 with a team low .522 OPS in 45 plate appearances.

Then there’s old reliable, Eric Campbell, who hasn’t accrued nearly the playing time of the other three, but is certainly veering into ugly terrain as his 35.7 strikeout rate and his .182 slugging percentage would attest.

What makes things worse is when Terry Collins decides to give 2-3 of his regulars the same game off, and then plops 2-3 of these guys into the starting lineup at the same time.

As I prefaced in the beginning of this post, this could all be an anomaly or just a really awful looking small sample size – but what if it isn’t? What if Wilmer Flores and Alejandro De Aza can’t adjust to their reduced roles? What if Kevin Plawecki really isn’t major league ready? What if Eric Campbell is just… well… Eric Campbell?

On the plus side, Juan Lagares has totally embraced his limited role and has provided the team with some timely hits and sparkling defense. Now if only the other four can get with the program.

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Eric Campbell Making Most Of Opportunity To Win Roster Spot http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/eric-campbell-making-the-most-of-opportunity-to-win-roster-spot.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/eric-campbell-making-the-most-of-opportunity-to-win-roster-spot.html/#comments Sat, 26 Mar 2016 11:00:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=208361 eric campbell

As you know, the New York Mets released infielder Ruben Tejada last week, and with his departure it opened up an important bench spot that will go to either Matt Reynolds or Eric Campbell.

Campbell, who was part of the Mets bench on and off last season, has the best chance of getting that spot according to some reports, but middle infield prospect Matt Reynolds could also mount a significant challenge.

These last few days of spring training will be huge in determining who gets that last roster spot and Campbell knows this is his time to make some noise.

“All I want is an opportunity,” Campbell told NJ Advanced Media. “I come here to compete every day, try to play to win. If they decide that I’m the best guy for that bench spot, then that’s great.”

Campbell, 28, batted only .197 with three home runs and 19 RBI in 71 games with the Mets last season. But many in the organization feel he was the victim of bad luch, pointing to his hard hit ball rate and BABIP.

His versatility provides insurance at both corner infield spots and also in the outfield. Campbell has also proven to be a solid pinch hitter with a career .293 batting average over 41 at-bats in that role.

He’s had a pretty good spring training overall, yielding a .290 average with a .476 on-base percentage that ranks 4th best in the NL. Campbell is tied for first place in walks with 10 and runs scored with nine. While spring training numbers won’t mean much overall, it could be big for someone like Campbell, who’s trying to win a roster spot.

“I’m not really worried so much about the stats in spring,” Campbell said. “It’s more about having good at-bats and really getting locked in for the season.”

“You’ve kind of got to do two things. You’ve got to get yourself ready for the season, but you also have to play well to try to win a spot. It really comes down to how you hit and how you defend. If the next two weeks go well, then I should have a pretty good shot.”

There’s also a chance that both Campbell and Reynolds head north with the team if the Mets decide to go with 11 pitchers rather than 12 being they have three days off in the first week of the season.

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Who Gets Final Bench Spot: Eric Campbell Or Matt Reynolds http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/who-gets-final-bench-spot-eric-campbell-or-matt-reynolds.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/who-gets-final-bench-spot-eric-campbell-or-matt-reynolds.html/#comments Sun, 20 Mar 2016 13:21:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=208050 eric campbell

With the recent news that shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera looks to be ready for opening day in Kansas City, the Mets will have to decide on who they’re bringing north with them, and who’s heading back to Vegas to start the year.

That final roster spot seems to be narrowed down to Matt Reynolds and Eric Campbell, both names Mets fans are familiar with over the past few years. Although I believe that infielder T.J. Rivera should be in the mix for this final spot as well, we’ll stick with Reynolds and Campbell, since they’re both already on the 40-Man Roster. While both players come with flaws and inexperience, I believe that one of them has a clearer shot of making this roster, and being of some value in the upcoming 2016 season.

Let’s examine Eric Campbell and some of his statistics the past few seasons. Campbell, 28, was called up in May 2014 when the Mets demoted Josh Satin, and proved to be a useful fill-in at the corner infield spots. Campbell was an efficient pinch-hitter, going 8-28 in such spots, with a .814 OPS. While his splits won’t overly impress, Campbell was consistent with both righties and lefties, garnering almost identical SLG, OBP, and OPS numbers against the two. Campbell also seemed to thrive in medium to high leverage situations of the game. On Baseball Reference, they had Campbell batting in 48 high leverage situations, normally when the game is late and its close, and he contributed a line of .286/.354/.405 with 10 of his 16 RBIs coming in those spots. His OPS rose to .801 in 88 plate appearances in medium leverage situations, and in lower leverage opportunities his OPS fell to .535. He provided some offense at a time when the Mets were struggling, and created an opportunity for himself.

However, 2015 wasn’t kind to Campbell. In 71 games he slashed .197/.312/.295 for an OPS of .607. He registered well below average OPS+ numbers, 72, compared to his rookie campaign of 96, about league average. Campbell also represented a symbol of Mets futility in the middle of the season, when on July 23rd, Collins ran John Mayberry Jr. and Eric Campbell in the number four and five spots in the order. Some critics would say that Collins wrote that order as a sign to ownership that he needed reinforcements on his roster. Needless to say, the Mets were shut out 3-0 at home, and Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw had a perfect game going into the seventh inning. Campbell was later optioned back to Triple A Las Vegas in August, and was recalled when rosters expanded in September.

Defensively, first base is a much stronger position for Campbell, as he registered a 1.2 UZR in 2014, compared to a -2.2 UZR at third that same year. The 2015 campaign was identical to his rookie year, as he posted a 0.9 UZR at first base, and -2.0 UZR at third. Campbell played some corner outfield both years, and held his own to a tune of a 2.3 UZR combined. Much of the critique holds true for his minor league fielding stats, as Campbell posted far stronger numbers at first throughout his minor league career.

Campbell would be best served backing up Duda against LHP, however, Duda had somewhat of a renaissance last year, hitting .285/.333/.545 against southpaws, all career highs. This news is extremely encouraging, as it allows our cleanup hitter to remain in the lineup without Terry Collins having to shuffle the deck to play the matchups. And if Duda’s 2015 splits weren’t just a flash in the pan, then Campbell doesn’t offer a ton of versatility to this current team.

matt reynolds

Which brings us to Matt Reynolds. Drafted in the second round in 2012, Reynolds was a third baseman in college, but shifted to short by the Mets who were lacking viable options in their system at the time. Reynolds, 25, has progressed through the Mets minor leagues, posting high averages, BABIP, and WRC+ in the process. Reynolds would struggle with pulling the ball and striking out a high rate in 2013, and sought the aid of hitting instructor and part-time Mets scout Rick Strickland to help his mechanics. Reynolds put together his strongest campaign in 2014, slashing .343/.405/.454 along with 20 stolen bases between Binghamton and Las Vegas.

Reynolds has been viewed as an average defender at short, making the routine plays and going to his right well. He doesn’t offer a ton of range, and scouts have mostly concurred that Reynolds won’t wow with any particular skill set in his game. Errors have also been an issue with Reynolds, however, he did cut them down to 12 last year in 94 games at short, an improvement from the 16 he had in 104 games in 2014, and the 21 he had in 2013.

However, the Mets need to make a decision based on their current needs. With uncertainly surrounding the number of games David Wright will be able to play this year due to spinal stenosis, I’d foresee Collins using Flores in that role, where his bat can produce and he can hold his own at third. Collins knows the importance of getting Flores comfortable at third again, especially with the frailty of Wright’s back.

“We’re trying to get him as comfortable as we can at third base,” Collins said. “Should anything unforeseen happen to David, we’ve just got to get him ready to play there.”

With the prospects of Flores potentially playing a big role at third for long stretches of the year, the Mets would be in dire need of a backup shortstop to spell Cabrera. Which is why my roster choice would go to Reynolds. He can adequately fill in for Cabrera, and also shift to second to spell Walker against tough lefties, considering Walker had a .575 OPS against LHP as a right-handed hitter last year. Reynolds allows Collins the flexibility of utilizing Flores as a jack of all trades type player, but can also place him at one position for a long period in case of injury. This is why Reynolds makes more sense than Campbell, for the middle infield depth that Campbell cannot provide. Not to mention that Flores’ splits against LHP last year was terrific, posting a .955 OPS in 57 games. Compared to Campbell who posted a .683 and .588 OPS in ’14 and ’15 and it makes the decision a bit clearer.

While Reynolds couldn’t become the answer to a trivia question last year, as to who was the first player to make his debut in the World Series, he can play a vital role in providing solid up the middle defense this year, along with his “grinder” approach as Las Vegas manager Wally Backman describes him as. Reynolds deserves a shot for this Mets roster, just as Campbell deserved his when Satin was demoted and Duda was recovering from food poisoning. The flexibility Reynolds provides up the middle is crucial, but it also allows for Collins to utilize Flores in spots where he can succeed for the short and long term, makes Reynolds my run away choice for the backup infield spot.

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Mets Players And Staff Host Clinic For St. Lucie Special Olympics http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/mets-players-and-staff-host-clinic-for-st-lucie-special-olympics.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/mets-players-and-staff-host-clinic-for-st-lucie-special-olympics.html/#comments Tue, 01 Mar 2016 16:48:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=207092 tmp3plVur

On Sunday, the New York Mets hosted a clinic for the St. Lucie Special Olympics at Tradition Field.

The feel of the event can be summed up with a quote from Special Olympics regional director Jeff Hancock, who said, “This is beyond amazing. The opportunities that our athletes in the Special Olympics have because of the New York Mets bringing this clinic in is unbelievable.”

“This is once-in-a-lifetime for anybody, let alone an athlete with the Special Olympics. I cannot say it enough: Thank you, New York Mets, for allowing us out here today.”

The group consisted of over 100 athletes, ranging from as young as four years old to adults. The clinic lasted longer than two hours, as over a dozen Mets players taught and played with the special Olympians.

When the athletes got to the stadium entrance, they were greeted by David Wright, Curtis Granderson, and Hall-of-Famer Mike Piazza. They all then went onto the field where the rest of the players were waiting to meet them.

Many players were there helping out giving the athletes the times of their lives, including the likes of Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Jacob deGrom, Neil Walker, Buddy Carlyle, Wilmer Flores, Eric Campbell, and Brandon Nimmo.

MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo spoke to Granderson who said, “It’s every kid’s dream, and these kids are no different than anybody else. They all enjoy watching the game. They enjoy being out on the field and they enjoy playing. They get a chance to do all of that today, so it’s a great moment and experience. Hopefully we just get a chance to put smiles on their faces and bring some joy.”

Thor was speaking to the TC Palm’s Jon Santucci, and said, “It’s a great cause. This allows them to come out, participate with us and be part of the team. Just being able to hang out is great.” There are some more wonderful photos here at TC Palm.

“We take great pride in being an active member in the St. Lucie community during the spring training months and throughout the year,” Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said in a statement. “Our players and coaches have always been willing to give their time to local community and charitable efforts, including our players and coaches hosting Special Olympic athletes from all over the state.”

My brother has Down’s Syndrome so this is, to me, extra awesome. The Mets keep doing amazin’ things, being a fantastic organization both on and off the field. I am so very proud to be a Mets fan.

Follow me on Twitter @LBarer32! LET’S GO METS!

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Official NLDS Roster For The NL East Champion Mets! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/official-nlds-roster-for-the-nl-east-champion-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/official-nlds-roster-for-the-nl-east-champion-mets.html/#comments Fri, 09 Oct 2015 18:05:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=195692 nlds

It’s official, Steven Matz will be added to the New York Mets roster for the National League Division Series which begins tonight a 9:45 PM EST in Los Angeles. He will be our Game 4 starter.

So here is the official roster for your 2015 National League East Champs who will take it to the Los Angeles Dodgers with everything they’ve got. Get your game faces on!

travis d'Arnaud

Catchers (2)

Travis d’Arnaud

Kevin Plawecki

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Infielders (6)

Lucas Duda

Daniel Murphy

Wilmer Flores

David Wright

Ruben Tejada

Kelly Johnson

yoenis cespedes

Outfielders (6)

Michael Conforto

Yoenis Cespedes

Curtis Granderson

Michael Cuddyer

Juan Lagares

Kirk Nieuwenhuis

noah syndergaard 2

Starting Pitchers (4)

Jacob deGrom

Noah Syndergaard

Matt Harvey

Steven Matz

jeurys familia

Bullpen (7)

Jeurys Familia

Tyler Clippard

Addison Reed

Hansel Robles

Jon Niese

Erik Goeddel

Bartolo Colon

I’m so proud of this team. Tonight is going to be an emotional culmination of a season’s worth of believing in this team and fighting for them against all haters and detractors over the last six months. Yeah, we did it!

They’ve shown me such tremendous perseverance in overcoming the many injuries, media-driven distractions, losing streaks, and basically any obstacle they were forced to deal with. They came into this with confidence and pride and now here they are – only a few hours away from their first postseason in nine years.

I tip my cap to all the true Orange & Blue die-hard Mets fans who believed in this team from day one and stuck with them through thick and thin. Tonight is your reward… Enjoy it and relish it. And to every Mets fan out there, big and tall, young or old, guys and gals… Here’s to a great NL Division Series that has our New York Mets coming out on top like we all believe they can… Mets Baby!

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NLDS Roster Taking Form: Parnell, Campbell, Recker, Young, Verrett Are Out http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/nlds-roster-taking-form-parnell-campbell-recker-young-verrett-are-out.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/nlds-roster-taking-form-parnell-campbell-recker-young-verrett-are-out.html/#comments Sun, 04 Oct 2015 23:04:27 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=195491 bobby Parnell

The Mets announced that C Anthony Recker, RHP Bobby Parnell, OF Eric Young, RHP Logan Verrett, and IF Eric Campbell are heading to Port St. Lucie and have not made the postseason roster.

All five players were told to stay in shape and be ready in case they are needed.

This means that outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis has made the cut along with catcher Kevin Plawecki who will back up Travis d’Arnaud.

The Mets are still holding out hope for Juan Uribe who continues to be plagued by a sore chest muscle. The Mets will make a final decision on him by Tuesday.

Ruben Tejada will be the Mets starting shortstop for the NLDS according to Collins, but Wilmer Flores who is battling the lingering effects of strep throat will be on the postseason roster and possibly see a start or two.

In the bullpen, Erik Goeddel was told he’s on the NLDS roster. No official word on who else is rounding up the pen as of yet, but there’s some buzz at Citi that Sean Gilmartin will be left off and Hansel Robles has made the cut.

In the next 48 hours we will have a clearer picture of what the final 25 man roster will be before they board a flight on Wednesday for Los Angeles. But officially, the Mets have until Friday before game time.

By the way… Mets in four…Mets Baby!!!

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Jacob deGrom Dominates As Mets Sweep Reds 8-1 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/jacob-degrom-dominates-as-mets-sweep-reds-8-1.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/jacob-degrom-dominates-as-mets-sweep-reds-8-1.html/#comments Sun, 27 Sep 2015 20:20:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=194828 jacob degrom reds

The Mets (89-67) completed the sweep of the Cincinnati Reds (63-92) today at Great American Ballpark by a score of 8-1.

Pitching:

Jacob deGrom dominated the Reds this afternoon, as he allowed just one run on five hits, while striking out nine, and didn’t walk a batter. With the win, deGrom improves to 14-8 on the season.

Erik Goeddel, who is quietly having a very nice season out of the bullpen for the Mets, pitched a clean seventh inning in relief of deGrom.

Sean Gilmartin and Bobby Parnell combined to pitch the eighth and ninth innings, and shut the door, as they kept the Reds at bay and secured the sweep.

dilson herrera

Offense:

For the series finale, Terry Collins ran out what many fans called a “hangover lineup.” All the regulars got the day off except for Michael Conforto, but it wouldn’t make a difference, as the Mets exploded for eight runs in rout of the Reds.

The Mets practiced the well known baseball formula of “score early and score often,” as they put up eight runs, and got contributions from every one.

In the first inning, Kelly Johnson reached base on an infield single, then came around to score on a double from Michael Conforto.

Then in the second inning, Eric Campbell singled and was promptly driven in on a two-run shot from Dilson Herrera.

In the third inning, Jacob deGrom helped his own cause as he came to the plate with the bases juiced, and dunked a ball into left field to plate two, and put the Mets up 5-0.

In the fifth inning, Jacob deGrom was able to put across another run, as he reached on an error, which allowed Eric Campbell to score.

The Mets tacked on another run the very next at bat, as Juan Lagares drove in a run with a single.

Kevin Plawecki then put the icing on the cake, as he slammed a solo shot in the sixth inning, which would be more than enough to complete the sweep of the Reds.

On deck:

The Mets are off tomorrow, but will travel to Philadelphia for a three game series with the Phillies starting Tuesday. Bartolo Colon (14-12, 4.15 ERA) gets the ball for the opener, and will take on David Buchanan (2-9, 7.96 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.

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Juan Uribe’s Second Homer As A Met Proves Crucial http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/juan-uribes-second-homer-as-a-met-proves-crucial.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/juan-uribes-second-homer-as-a-met-proves-crucial.html/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 14:27:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=189650 juan uribe

After crushing a fifth inning, three-run homer to left field off Miami’s starter David Phelps, Juan Uribe turned last night’s game against the Marlins into a laugher.

However, those three runs Uribe produced proved to be critical in holding off a late ninth inning charge by the Marlins as the Mets prevailed by a score of 8-6.

Uribe has impressed in the field and especially at the plate since joining the team just over a week ago. He has hit two homers and driven in five with the Mets in 27 at-bats.

The veteran third baseman also made few spectacular plays in the field since being acquired, including Wednesday when he made a nifty bare-handed grab, firing and nailing the runner at first.

His time at third base will all but vanish once David Wright is activated hopefully at the end of this month, but what an improvement for now over Eric Campbell and Daniel Muno, and his instincts defensively are also better than Daniel Murphy and Ruben Tejada.

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Mets Nearly Traded Jacob deGrom For Kelly Shoppach http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mets-nearly-traded-jacob-degrom-for-kelly-shoppach.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mets-nearly-traded-jacob-degrom-for-kelly-shoppach.html/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 13:42:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=187769 jacob deGrom

In his first start since striking out the side on 10 pitches in an electric All-Star Game performance, Jacob deGrom delivered a gem against the first place Nationals en route to a huge 7-2 win for the Mets.

Despite one bad pitch that catcher Wilson Ramos turned on for a two-run homer, deGrom went six solid innings allowing two just three hits with eight strikeouts and one walk.

“I would say I was a little amped up tonight to get out there,” deGrom said. “But I take every game the same. I want to put us in position to win and put up zeroes.”

However, despite tossing just 82 pitches, Terry Collins decided to pinch-hit for the Mets ace in the top of the seventh inning with the team down by a run and needing a critical hit with the tying and winning runs on base.

While the move was met with shock and awe, it worked brilliantly as pinch hitter Eric Campbell came through with a two-run single to put the Mets up 3-2.

“This is a baseball game. It’s not about one guy. It’s not about Jake deGrom giving us two more innings,” Collins said afterward.

“In a game you’re behind by a run and you have runners at second and third and the pitcher’s up, you’ve got to pinch hit. You’ve got to trust your bullpen. You’ve got to trust your guy off the bench. But that’s how you play the game.”

DeGrom didn’t question the move and was thrilled that it paid off and resulted in his 10th win of the season. “This was a huge win for us.”

His strong effort resulted in a 2.18 ERA and 0.903 WHIP for the young righty with 120 strike outs and only 21 walks in 119.2 innings pitched this season.

I will leave you with this last little tidbit on Jacob deGrom by way of veteran baseball guru, Peter Gammons.

“In May, 2012, the Red Sox were working on a deal with the Mets for catcher Kelly Shoppach. Ben Cherington asked Sandy Alderson for a soon-to-be 24-year-old righthanded pitcher in the Florida State League who had missed the 2011 season after surgery.”

“The name? Jacob deGrom. Alderson seemed comfortable with the original idea, but checking with his minor league people caused him to tell Cherington he had second thoughts. So, finally, Boston received Pedro Beato.”

Hahaha…Have a great day Mets fans!

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Why Didn’t Mets DL Cuddyer When His Knee First Swelled Up? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/why-didnt-mets-dl-cuddyer-when-his-knee-first-swelled-up.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/why-didnt-mets-dl-cuddyer-when-his-knee-first-swelled-up.html/#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2015 22:53:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=186584 michael cuddyer

New York Mets left fielder Michael Cuddyer was out of the lineup again on Wednesday. It was the sixth game he’s missed in the team’s last eight, because of his sore and swollen left knee.

Cuddyer received cortisone and lubricant injections in his knee last Wednesday, but apparently to no avail.

According to manager Terry Collins, the Mets left fielder will have his knee examined by team doctors either today or on Friday.

Some have questioned why the team didn’t opt to place Cuddyer on the disabled list when the issue first arose. Had he gone to the DL at that time, he would’ve been eligible to come back on the first day after the All Star break.

Taking that out a little further, many on Mets social media felt that with Cuddyer on the DL, the team could have gotten a two week look at top prospect Michael Conforto.

At best, the arguments go, Conforto comes up and sparks the sluggish Mets offense, and at worst he shows he’s not ready and goes back to Double-A.  But some say that promoting him to the majors before he’s ready would ruin him.

On the bright side, Eric Campbell who started in Cuddy’s place on Wednesday,  contributed in a big way, going 2-for-4 with a ninth inning, two-run homer in the Mets 4-1 victory over the defending World Series champion Giants.

Cuddyer, who signed a two year $ 21 million dollar contract in the offseason, has been a major disappointment so far. He’s batting just .243 with six home runs and 28 RBI in 72 games.

His .662 OPS ranks as the worst among all starting left fielders in the majors, and he is batting .120 in his last 25 at-bats.

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 7, Reds 2 (Game 2) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/mmo-game-recap-mets-7-reds-2-game-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/mmo-game-recap-mets-7-reds-2-game-2.html/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 00:24:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=185757 MLB: Cincinnati Reds at New York Mets

The Mets (39-37) completed the sweep of the Cincinnati Reds (34-39) this evening at Citi Field by a score of 7-2.

Brandon Phillips hit a lead off home run for the Reds off of Steven Matz, who was making his major league debut for the Mets today. It would turn out to be just a small blemish on what was otherwise a very successful day for Steven.

After the solo shot, Matz settled down and pitched very well, allowing just one more run, a solo home run to Todd Frazier in the fourth inning. His final line has him going 7.2 innings, allowing just the two runs on five hits, while walking three and striking out six. He also earned his first major league victory.

Steve Matz

Other than his pitching which was very impressive, Matz dazzled at the plate, and made history in the process. He went 3-3 with 4 RBI’s. No Mets player has ever had a more successful debut at the plate.

In the second inning, Darrell Ceciliani reached on an error, and advanced to third on two ground outs. The Reds then intentionally walked Eric Campbell to get to Matz.

Steven surely made them play, hitting a long double to center field, much to the pleasure of his parents and other family members and friends who were in attendance to see the young lefty and Long Island native make his major league debut.

In the fifth inning, Eric Campbell walked to lead off the inning, and went first to third on Steven Matz’s second hit of the day, a single up the middle.

Curtis Granderson put the Mets up 3-2 with a double to score Campbell and put runners at 2nd and 3rd with still nobody out.

Two batters later, Lucas Duda was intentionally walked to load the bases, as the Reds decided to pitch to Wilmer Flores with one out.

However, Flores flew out and Darrell Ceciliani struck out, as the Mets were unable to add on to their lead.

In the sixth inning, the Mets started the inning with John Mayberry and Johnny Monell singling, and Eric Campbell being hit by a pitch. Guess what that means? The bases were loaded for the second straight inning. And for who? None else than Steven Matz.

matz debut

And what did Matz do? He drove in two more runs with a single to right center field. He also contributed to the Mets scoring their third run of the inning when Ruben Tejada hit into a potential double play and Matz took out the second baseman, who throw wildly to first, causing Eric Campbell to score.

In the seventh inning, Matz let up a pair of singles, but got a big double play to erase the threat. He then struck out Jason Bourgeois to end the inning.

In a surprising move, Collins sent Matz, who already had a high pitch count and left on a high note in the seventh, back out for the eighth. He quickly recorded two outs, but then walked Joey Votto, and was pulled.

Carlos Torres got the last out of the inning, inducing a ground out from Todd Frazier.

In the eighth inning, Eric Campbell walked again, but was erased at second on a ground out from Michael Cuddyer.

Cuddyer stole second base with Curtis Granderson at the plate, and Curtis subsequently drove him in with a single to right field, giving the Mets a 7-2 lead.

Hansel Robles pitched the ninth inning, and shut the door for the Mets, topping off the sweep of the Reds and a brilliant debut from Steven Matz.

Thoughts:

There’s not much more to say about the Mets pitching staff other than they’ve been simply brilliant. With Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler coming back next year, and Rafael Montero also in the shuffle, this pitching staff is a force to be reckoned with. If we can get a few bats, this rotation is very capable of competing with the best of them.

What a debut. Definitely one of the most exciting and interesting games I’ve seen all season. I might just have to invest in a Steven Matz jersey now. :)

On deck:

The Mets are off tomorrow, but start a three game series with the Chicago Cubs Tuesday night. Jon Niese (3-7, 4.12 ERA) takes on Kyle Hendricks (2-4, 4.46 ERA) in the series opener. First pitch is at 7:10 PM.

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Mets Eye Tuesday For Daniel Murphy’s Return http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/mets-eye-tuesday-for-daniel-murphys-return.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/mets-eye-tuesday-for-daniel-murphys-return.html/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 23:08:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=183479 Murphy Daniel

Daniel Murphy will not be activated from the disabled list when eligible on Saturday as was expected.

General manager Sandy Alderson said the Mets are now eyeing Tuesday’s series opener at Milwaukee for Murphy’s return. (ESPN New York)

Murphy has been playing in extended spring training games at Port St. Lucie since Friday, and has yet to begin a rehab assignment.

But Alderson expects that will happen soon and that Murphy will play a few rehab games at Double-A or Triple-A before being activated.

Murphy is expected to take over at third base upon his return while Dilson Herrera stays put at second base.

June 11

Daniel Murphy, who is out with a strained left quadriceps, will play in an extended spring training game on Friday, Sandy Alderson told reporters today

Murphy will not run the bases on Friday, but just take at-bats and play in the field.

He is expected to miss the minimum 15 days and barring any setbacks, should be activated from the DL when his time is up. Murphy has been out since June 5.

This is good news for the Mets as Murphy was the team’s hottest hitter before pulling up lame, batting .341 with two HR and 15 RBI in 32 games.

June 6

As was feared, infielder Daniel Murphy has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left quadriceps muscle.

Murphy suffered the injury while running the bases on Thursday night. He was pulled from the game and sent for an MRI this morning.

“I felt it tighten up, that’s about all I felt,” Murphy said after the game. “It is frustrating, but we’re not the only team in the big leagues dealing with injuries right now.”

Triple-A infielder Danny Muno will be activated to take Murphy’s place on the 25-man roster.

Muno, 26, has already had two short stints with the Mets, and has just one hit in 17 plate appearances with the team.

A 2014 All-Star for the Mets, Murphy has been one of the team’s hottest hitters of late and is hitting .283/.335/.433 with four home runs and a team high 29 RBI this season.

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 5, Braves 3 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/mmo-game-recap-mets-5-braves-3.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/mmo-game-recap-mets-5-braves-3.html/#comments Sat, 13 Jun 2015 03:10:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=184344 wilmer flores

The Mets (33-29) defeated the Atlanta Braves (29-32) by a score of 5-3 tonight at Citi Field.

Wilmer Flores gave the Mets an early lead, hitting his tenth home run of the season batting out of the cleanup spot in the second inning.

In the fourth inning, John Mayberry played a little long ball himself, taking Alex Wood deep for a two-run home run after Wilmer Flores drew a walk. Wood had allowed two home runs all season before matching that total tonight.

Bartolo Colon got himself into immediate trouble in the fifth inning, surrendering three straight singles to start the frame. He managed to get his opposition Alex Wood to ground out to Wilmer Flores, who bobbled the ball, but got the force out at second, allowing Wood to reach first safe and forcing in a run.

The next batter, Jace Peterson, doubled to cut the Mets lead to 3-2, and putting runners at the corners with only one out.

Colon got Cameron Maybin to strike out, and then intentionally walked Freddie Freeman to load the bases, choosing to face Nick Markakis instead.

On a 2-0 count, Markakis hit a comebacker to Colon, who tossed it over to first to end the inning and get himself out of the jam.

Bartolo, Colon

In the sixth inning, the first batter to face Colon was Juan Uribe, who hit a rocket to right center field which just missed clearing the wall for a home run. He did end up with a double, but Colon buckled down, getting A.J. Pierzynski to pop out, and Jonny Gomes to strike out.

He then intentionally walked Andrelton Simmons to pitch to Alex Wood.

Wood dropped down a bunt, which just managed to roll foul, which was a huge sigh of relief. Colon then got him to ground out and end the inning.

In the bottom half of the sixth, John Mayberry lead off the inning with a single. Dilson Herrera then drew a walk, working his way back from an 0-2 count.

With Eric Campbell up next, Alex Wood attempted to pick off Mayberry at second, but threw it wildly into the outfield, advancing the runners to second and third with one out.

Campbell was able to drive in the run from third with a groundout after a long battle, and gave the Mets a 4-2 cushion.

Alex Torres replaced Colon in the seventh inning, and loaded the bases, letting up a single to Jace Peterson and walking Cameron Maybin and Freddie Freeman.

Torres thankfully got Nick Markakis to ground into a huge double play, even though the Mets conceded a run on the play.

Carlos Torres then came in to finish off the inning, getting Juan Uribe to ground out.

Darrell Ceciliani, who replaced John Mayberry in a double switch, lead off the seventh and drilled a single to left field. He then stole second, and advanced to third on a fly out.

Cuddyer Michael

Michael Cuddyer then doubled to score Ceciliani. Cuddyer seems to be progressing towards the player the Mets brass hoped they were getting when they signed him this offseason. If the Mets are going to have any success this year, they are going to need production from Cuddyer, and he is showing it as of late.

Carlos Torres set the side down in order in the eighth, and handed the ball of to Jeurys Familia in the ninth.

Familia, who is expecting a child, was available to pitch tonight, and was amped up. Unfortunately, his command struggled, as he loaded the bases after setting down the lead off hitter in the inning.

Nick Markakis then came up with the tying and go ahead runs on base, and the third time on the evening that he was hitting with the bases loaded, and Familia induced a tailor made 4-6-3 double play to seal the win for the Mets, and earn his 18th save of the campaign.

Boy, it always feels good to beat the Braves! Also, Colon is now tied for the major league lead in wins with Felix Hernandez and Gerrit Cole. :)

Game ball:

John Mayberry gets the ball tonight, as he hit a big two-run home run, and scored a run later in the game to add to the Mets lead.

On deck: 

The Mets will look for the series victory tomorrow, as Jacob deGrom (7-4, 2.42 ERA) takes on Shelby Miller (5-2, 1.84 ERA). First pitch is at 4:10 PM.

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Eric Campbell Ends Slump, Helps Mets Get Back Into First Place http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/eric-campbell-ends-slump-helps-mets-get-back-into-first-place.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/eric-campbell-ends-slump-helps-mets-get-back-into-first-place.html/#comments Mon, 08 Jun 2015 15:27:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=183800 eric campbell

Utility man Eric Campbell went into the Arizona Diamondbacks series buried in 0-for-28 slump at the plate, nine at-bats short of matching Rey Ordonez’s franchise record for futility by a position player.

But Campbell finally got a hit on Friday to end that skid, and then in Sunday’s game while starting at third base, he hit a two-run homer to help lead the Mets to a 6-3 victory over the D’backs.

With the win, the Mets lept past the Nationals for first place in the NL East.

When asked about the hitless streak, Campbell said:

“A lot of thoughts go through your head. You just try to remind yourself it’s never as bad as it seems – tomorrow is always a new day no matter how much you struggle.” (ESPN New York)

Early in the game, Campbell committed a throwing error in the first inning that led to an Arizona run. But he atoned for that with his two-run shot.

“The home run doesn’t take the error away. I’ve always been more pissed when I make an error defensively than when I strike out or anything like that because you’re making the pitch count rise, you’re hurting the starting pitcher.”

Overall, Campbell went 2-for-4 with the home run, 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored on Sunday. This was also Campbell’s second straight 2-hit game.

“I feel good as I’ve felt in my career right now,” Campbell said. “I’m just going to try to ride it out and see how it goes.”

With injuries to David Wright and now Daniel Murphy, bench players like Campbell have had to carry a big load this season, perhaps unfairly so. It was good to see him contribute this weekend. Hopefully there will be more games like this when Terry Collins calls his number.

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Eric Campbell: Soup’s Too Cold http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/eric-campbell-soups-too-cold.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/eric-campbell-soups-too-cold.html/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 13:11:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182406 Eric Campbell Strikeout

David Wright has been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, which varies in its severity. While doctors are hoping it can be alleviated with rest in David’s case, it has also been known to be more severe, as it caused Lenny Dykstra to end his career at the age of 35. Whatever the case may be, oh Captain our Captain will be out for a while longer, leaving the Mets weighing their options at third base.

When Wright went down with his initial hamstring injury, the Mets recalled utility player Eric Campbell to play third base in his absence until he started slumping and was sent back to the minors.

For a while they put Daniel Murphy at third base and Dilson Herrera at second, however once Herrera went down with a broken finger, Campbell was recalled from Triple-A and back at third.

In yesterday’s 8-2 loss to the Pirates, Campbell went 0-for-4 with a strikeout, lowering his batting average on the season to an abysmal .188 with only 1 home run and 7 RBIs.

While his ability to play most every position is valuable (he even learned to catch in spring training), Campbell is not producing enough to be a viable solution at third base in Wright’s absence. Campbell has shown he can hit in a reserve role, but as an everyday player it’s a totally different story and his current 0-for-20 skid is too big to look over.

In 15 games at AAA Las Vegas this season, Campbell slashed .440/.569/.820 with 4 home runs and 13 RBIs. He’s a career .288 hitter in the minors and he hit .263 off the bench last season playing in 85 games, so his .188 average is an outlying data point. Nevertheless, he is not hitting and with the Mets starving for offense, they can’t afford to have him at third base because his defense is not good enough to merit continued playing time.

So what internal options do the Mets have at third base?

  1. Daniel Murphy - It seems like the most logical option, as third base is arguably Murphy’s best position. If Murph moves to third base, middle infield prospect Matt Reynolds could theoretically be called up to play second base. At AAA Las Vegas this season, Reynolds is hitting .282 with 2 home runs and 26 RBIs. He has 46 hits in 41 games to go with 30 runs scored and 7 steals, and is proving the impressive show he put on in spring training was not a fluke. He is playing shortstop but some scouts think he profiles more as a second baseman.
  2. Ruben Tejada or Wilmer Flores - Tejada has already played some third base this season and didn’t look half bad, however with the Mets offense gasping for runs, giving Tejada more playing time would most likely not help the cause. If Wilmer Flores were to move to third base, Tejada would take over at short and the same principle applies.
  3. Michael Cuddyer - Cuddyer has played 174 major league games at third base, accruing a lot of experience. His strong arm would fit well at the hot corner, and would give the Mets an opportunity to bring up a prospect that improves defense in the outfield, where Cuddyer is somewhat of a liability. We signed him to hit and he is starting to do that, and he absolutely has the track record to show he can. His bat needs to stay in the lineup.
  4. Travis d’Arnaud - With Kevin Plawecki impressing a lot of people behind the plate, speculation is rampant about what will happen when d’Arnaud comes back from his finger injury. Because of Travis’ athleticism, some scouts have suggested he could move out of the catcher’s position, and even GM Sandy Alderson mentioned this as an option during Spring Training. Without a timetable for Wright’s return in sight, it could be prudent to have d’Arnaud take some ground balls at third base and see if he’s truly as athletic as everyone seems to think. This would enable the team to keep both d’Arnaud and Plawecki in the lineup to generate some additional offense, which the Mets are currently struggling to do.

The Mets need to score runs, and at least right now, Eric Campbell is not helping. In my opinion, whatever option the Mets pursue, the primary issue that needs to be addressed must be the offense. The Mets currently have a .657 OPS as a team which ranks 29th in baseball.

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Mets Dealt A Serious Blow As Wright Is Diagnosed With Spinal Stenosis http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mets-dealt-a-serious-blow-as-wright-is-diagnosed-with-spinal-stenosis.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mets-dealt-a-serious-blow-as-wright-is-diagnosed-with-spinal-stenosis.html/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 02:47:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182419 wright

Assistant GM John Ricco told reporters on Saturday that David Wright has suffered another setback and has been shutdown for the second time in 15 days due to a serious back issue.

Wright has been diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis – a narrowing of the spinal column.

“He’s still experiencing some lower-back tightness,” Ricco said.

“It’s at the point where we’re going to stop the on-field stuff for a week, continue with a program of core strengthening and basically back-stabilization exercises. They hope that will alleviate what he’s feeling.”

According to Record columnist Bob Klapisch, it’s the same condition that forced Lenny Dykstra to retire at age 35, and also wreaked havoc with the career of Don Mattingly who was never the same afterward.

While the Mets seem to be downplaying the severity of the diagnosis, spinal stenosis can be a very painful and debilitating condition that varies in severity from day to day.

There are two types of spinal stenosis, and while lumbar is the less serious of the two, it can worsen and degenerate with exertion or too much physical activity.

According to the medical website Spine Health, in lumbar spinal stenosis, the spinal nerve roots in the lower back are compressed, or choked, and this can produce symptoms of sciatica — tingling, weakness or numbness that radiates from the lower back and into the buttocks and legs – especially with activity.

Doctors have made it clear that only rest will help, and Wright could make the injury worse if he tries to push and play through it.

For now the Mets captain will be shutdown for at least one week and then he’ll be re-examined and evaluated.

There is absolutely no timetable for his return as the team will play this one very slowly and much will depend on Wright’s threshold for pain.

It’s a significant setback for Wright and the team. The Mets have been using Eric Campbell at third base, but he has been mired in an 0-for-20 slump at the plate, is batting .189 for the season, and has also made a pair of costly throwing errors this week.

The front office may have to reconsider their stance of waiting out Wright’s return before considering trading for a bat, but the timing works against them in my opinion.

It’s still early in the season and not many teams have come out as sellers yet. Plus the situation gives the Mets little in the way of leverage, in fact I’d say they have none.

For the time being the team will have to consider all their internal options, and if that means promoting Matt Reynolds then so be it. Ruben Tejada will man third base on Sunday, but the reality is that the Mets have been dealt a serious blow, and it comes at a very bad time with the team struggling for offense.

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