Mets Merized Online » ESPN Tue, 17 Jan 2017 22:12:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Ten Things We Learned From Sandy Alderson Today Thu, 12 Jan 2017 18:34:31 +0000 sandy-alderson

At Citi Field today, New York Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson met with team beat writers to discuss the state of the team.

Here is what Sandy had to say courtesy of Adam Rubin of ESPN:

1. Sandy feels fairly comfortable with the right-handed options for the bullpen as he mentioned Rafael Montero, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman and Gabriel Ynoa as candidates for relief.

2. He called the current Mets payroll tolerable and that the Mets signing a reliever didn’t hinge on trading Jay Bruce.

3. He is unaware of when MLB will make a decision regarding a possible suspension for Jeurys Familia, but the team is planning for the possibility that they will be without his services for some period of time.

4. The Mets aren’t prepared to sever ties with pitcher Jenrry Mejia just yet, because he’s still under team control but they don’t have to pay him while he’s suspended.

5. Even though Tim Tebow was not among the minor leaguers invited to major league spring training, Alderson said he’ll be around, too frequently for some and not frequently enough for others.

6. Alderson disputed what Wally Backman said about him being blackballed by the Mets GM.

7. He doesn’t foresee the Mets adding a position player to the roster before spring training unless it’s on a minor league deal. (I guess we’ll see an in-season trade for Kelly Johnson again).

8. The Mets have put a hard deadline of 1 p.m. ET on Friday for negotiations with arbitration eligible players. This is a change from the past with the Mets now becoming a file-and-trial team.

9. T.J. Rivera should get exposure to the outfield (more, played nine games there in Triple-A last year) and Michael Conforto could see time at first base during spring training.

10. It would be difficult to trade Curtis Granderson in part because he can play center field.

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Alderson Expects Decreased Payroll By Opening Day Wed, 07 Dec 2016 23:45:57 +0000 sandy-alderson-2

According to ESPN‘s Adam Rubin, Sandy Alderson “all but acknowledged” that the Opening Day payroll will be lower than it is at this point in the offseason.

Currently, the payroll is estimated to be around $150 million. Once the Mets trade Jay Bruce ($13M) or Curtis Granderson ($15M), that payroll will shrink by an amount dependent on who the Mets get in return.

Those huge contracts probably will not be completely reinvested in the bullpen, ruling out an expensive reliever such as David Robertson (2 years, $25M remaining).

You can expect one or two solid, cheaper additions to the bullpen in the near future, whether it be in a trade with the Rangers or someone else.

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Mets Extend Qualifying Offers to Cespedes and Walker Mon, 07 Nov 2016 23:17:10 +0000 yoenis cespedes neil walker

The New York Mets have made it official and extended qualifying offers worth $17.2 million dollars to both Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker.

The Mets will receive a compensatory draft pick for each player in next year’s MLB Draft if they end up signing with a new team.

Each player has until November 14 to accept or decline their qualifying offers.

Original Report – Nov 4

According to ESPN‘s Adam Rubin, the New York Mets are leaning towards extending the $17.2 million qualifying offer to free agent second baseman Neil Walker by Monday’s deadline.

Walker is coming off a terrific season for the Mets that saw him hit .282/.347/.476 with 23 homers and 55 RBI. The 23 homers tied a career high for Walker. Walker’s season was helped by his becoming a much better hitter from the right-hand side of the plate.

In addition to his tremendous offensive year, advanced metrics indicate Walker had one of the best years of his career defensively.

Walker’s 2016 season was cut short due to season ending back surgery. It had been reported that Walker could not feel his feet at times during the season.

At this time, it is unknown what Walker’s intentions will be once he receives the qualifying offer from the Mets. Should Walker decline the offer and sign elsewhere the Mets would get a compensation pick.

In that case the Mets have plenty of in-house options for second base next season. T.J. Rivera handled the position well down the stretch, and he was the Mets second baseman in the Wild Card Game.

Depending on David Wright‘s back, Jose Reyes, who had his 2017 option picked up today, could slide over there. Based upon how he was used in 2016, Wilmer Flores should expect to see time over at second no matter who is ultimately slated for the job.  

If Walker does not return and depending how the aforementioned players handle the position, the Mets could also turn to Gavin Cecchini at some point during the 2017 to take over the position.

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Kelly Johnson Interested In Returning to Mets Fri, 04 Nov 2016 11:00:51 +0000 kelly-johnson

According to ESPN‘s Adam Rubin, Kelly Johnson is amenable to re-signing with the Mets this offseason.

Johnson first became a Met in a 2015 July trade that brought him and Juan Uribe from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for minor league pitchers John Gant and Robert Whalen.

Last offseason, the Mets made the decision to go forward with Eric Campbell on the bench. Johnson signed a one year, $2 million deal with the Braves.

After injuries to Lucas Duda and David Wright, and with Campbell proving he could not handle playing everyday, the Mets re-acquired Johnson in exchange for minor league reliever Akeel Morris this June. 

In parts of two seasons with the Mets, Johnson has appeared in 131 games playing every position except catcher and center field. Johnson has been a .260/.319/.441 hitter with 14 doubles, 14 homers, and 37 RBI.

At this time, it is unknown what the Mets interest in Johnson will be. Currently, the internal bench options are Wilmer FloresJose Reyes, T.J. Rivera, and Matt Reynolds

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James Loney Delivers Decisive Homer and Memorable Bat Flip! Sun, 02 Oct 2016 11:05:28 +0000 james-loney

James Loney delivered the decisive homer in Saturday’s 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies that helped the Mets clinch the top Wild Card spot.

For the second consecutive season, the Mets are heading to the postseason. In what was another thrilling victory, Loney crushed a 426-foot bomb to put the Mets ahead for good after the Phillies had tied the game at two a piece in the previous inning.

As soon as he hit it, Loney and his teammates all knew it was leaving the park. Uncharacteristically, Loney performed one of the better bat flips you may see as he dropped the bat as if it were a microphone, looked into the dugout at his teammates before trotting around the bases.

“My emotions just took over,” Loney said. “I was in the moment. You know how big the game is. This is what you play for.” (ESPN)

The Mets first-basemen has had a couple of key hits as of late and has performed quite well over his last 15 games, providing a .292/.320/.563 batting line in 48 plate appearances.


The homer on Saturday was his biggest yet as a Met, helping the team to clinch a Wild Card spot that they scratched and clawed their way back to this season after seemingly being left for dead. Mets fans were all over Citizens Bank Park to witness their team clinch, Loney could say nothing but great things about the fans following the game.

“We have a great fan base,” Loney said. “You can see their excitement and their passion, and we play off that.”

With his recent prowess at the plate and his above average defense, it begs to ask the question if Loney would get the start over Lucas Duda in Wednesday’s Wild Card game. He is not the same threat Duda is in the lineup but has shown to be clutch as of late.

As Terry Collins ponders who will man first base, we will just leave this right here.

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Houston Astros Sign Yulieski Gurriel Fri, 15 Jul 2016 19:30:39 +0000 gourriel

Update: According to Rolando Napoles and later confirmed by Jesse Sanchez of the Astros have signed Cuban infielder Yulieski Gurriel to a five year deal worth $47.5 million.

Original Report

Yulieski Gurriel, the latest cuban defector who had been on the Mets radar is not believed to be on his way to New York anytime soon. Adam Rubin of ESPN reports that the team is unlikely to sign Gourriel.

On top of the expected multi-year deal required to obtain his services, it is believed he may need some time at the minor league level to ready himself to help a big league club. Rubin advised that Mets brass came away less than enamored with the 32 year-old Cuban star from his June 27 workout for the team.

With a possible resurgence of Jose Reyes, who has been off to a solid start in his first six games back as a Met, the team does not seem to believe that Gourriel would be worth the contract. Reyes has started his season with a .250/.308/.708 slash to go with three homers, three RBI and five runs scored. He though of course is not looked at as a long term solution.

Reyes though is not the only player the Mets have to help man the infield as Wilmer Flores had been on a mission prior to the All-Star break. Over his last 30 games, Flores has hit unbelievably to a .293/.337/.565 slash. In that same time period he has seven homers with 21 RBI and 11 runs scored. Anytime Flores has a threat of losing his job, he seems to excel as he has done here.

Yoenis Cespedes has spoke very highly of his good friend, Gourriel, calling him the best player in Cuba. It is always hard to tell how a player’s game though may translate when making their way to the States. Weeks prior it seemed there was a hot pursuit for Gourriel’s services, but talk has died down and we have yet to hear anything of where he may be leaning. It does not seem though the Mets will be a part of that decision.

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Matt Harvey to Undergo Season Ending Surgery Fri, 08 Jul 2016 16:59:16 +0000 matt-harvey

In an expected move, Matt Harvey has opted for surgery to remedy his Thoracic Outlet Syndrome symptoms, agent Scott Boras tells ESPN.

The procedure will be performed in St. Louis by TOS specialist Robert Thompson, who also operated on former Met Dillon Gee to remove a blood clot in his shoulder.

“The doctors clearly recommended that he have this done, mainly so that he can be ready for ’17,” Boras said. “The rehab on this is six months. Now, if there was a small window of a season, you might be able to take a shot. It’s actually Botox, which relaxes the muscles. That’s not a long-term solution.”

General manager Sandy Alderson told reporters on Thursday that Harvey was deciding between the two options that doctors in St. Louis presented to him, the shoulder surgery or a nerve block injection. But cautioned surgery would be needed eventually.

The team only became aware of Harvey’s shoulder discomfort after his last start. Terry Collins told reporters that after his last start Harvey told him he had no feeling and no energy in his right arm. “His arm just felt like he was dead,” Collins said.  “I don’t want to sound like woe is me, but woe is us.”

Boras said that Harvey has had trouble commanding the baseball due to loss of feeling in his fingertips since Spring Training.

“He just didn’t feel he had the command and feeling,” Boras said. “He just didn’t really feel he was himself mechanically. He couldn’t stay behind the ball. …He’s felt this way since spring training, but he wanted to gut it out, try to do it, until finally he’s going, ‘Look, I’m just feeling like I don’t feel the baseball the same.’ Once we heard that, I was like, ‘Maybe we have a TOS situation,’ and got him over to Dr. Thompson.”

This probably explains why the former Mets ace struggled mightily this year, losing 10 games while posting a career worst 4.86 ERA and 1.47 WHIP.  Harvey has also struggled with his command, posting a career high walk rate and career low strikeout rate.

Harvey’s absence will likely create an opportunity for Logan Verrett or Sean Gilmartin in the immediate future, or force General Manager Sandy Alderson to make a trade.

Just another rough day in Metsville…

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Lucas Duda Still Two Weeks Away From Resuming Baseball Activities Wed, 29 Jun 2016 09:39:44 +0000 MLB: New York Mets at Atlanta Braves

Sandy Alderson spoke to reporters at Nationals Park on Tuesday and said the Mets first baseman Lucas Duda is still rehabbing at the team’s complex in Port St. Lucie.

Alderson added that Duda is still at least two weeks away from resuming baseball activities, as he looks to return from a stress fracture in his back.

Duda has now missed the last five weeks of the season and has been slow to heal. Once he does resume baseball activities it’s not clear how many more additional weeks he will require to play simulated games and begin a rehab assignment before rejoining the team.

Previous Report – June 22

For Lucas Duda, the most difficult part of his stint on the disabled list is waiting for his stress fracture in his lower back to heal.

Duda, who was placed on the DL on May 23, has begun to ride a bike as he makes his way back to the Mets roster. However, he remains weeks away from resuming baseball activities.

“Probably the hardest part is just taking it easy,”  Duda said last Sunday. “The activity is pretty slight. It’s just riding a bike. That’s essentially it until the next step in the process comes. I think it’s just something you have to deal with. It is what it is. I’m trying to work as hard as I can to get back as soon as I can.”

“I’m pretty optimistic, so I’m looking at the four- to five- week – maybe six- week- range,” Duda said. ” But who knows? It could be shorter. It could be longer. It just kind of depends.”

Duda, 30, also said that he spoke with David Wright, who suffered a similar injury in 2011- which caused him to miss two months.

“He said it’s just kind of a process,” Duda said. “You’ve just got to deal with it. There are no real shortcuts. There is no easy way about it. It’s just time.”

It’s encouraging to see that he has begun some activity. However, he does not seem very confident that he will be playing games any time soon. Hopefully, if James Loney continues to play as well as he has, the Mets won’t miss Duda too much.

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Logan Verret Will Start Saturday Against Brewers Wed, 08 Jun 2016 01:43:38 +0000 logan verrett

Due to Monday’s rained out game that led to today’s doubleheader, Logan Verrett will will make a spot start on Saturday in Milwaukee against the Brewers.

Verrett, 25, pitched two scoreless innings of relief during the first game against the Pirates, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out two. He has a 3.22 ERA in 18 appearances this season including three starts, striking out 26 in 36.1 innings pitched.

The versatile right-hander has had two solid spot starts already this season against the Marlins and Phillies, combining for 12 shutout innings.

However his most recent start against the Rockies on May 14th, was a totally different story. He surrendered seven runs, while failing to get out of the third inning.

The Mets are hopeful that the more dominant Verrett is the man that shows up on Saturday.

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Changes To Strike Zone, Intentional Walks Approved By Committee Sat, 04 Jun 2016 15:28:17 +0000 rob manfred

The MLB’s competition committee has reportedly agreed to raise the bottom of the strike zone, which could be instated as early as 2017 (ESPN). The current rule states the bottom of the zone is at the “hollow beneath the kneecap,” while the rule change would make it the top of the knee.

The committee has also passed the motion to make intentional walks automatic. Instead of the pitcher having to throw four balls, the manager would just put up four fingers in the dugout and the runner would be awarded first base.

The number of called strikes in the bottom third of the strike zone has increased over the last few years. Mets’ second baseman Neil Walker thinks the rule change is a good idea, saying:

“I think if you ask hitters, most of the complaints they would have would be about low strikes. They’re probably the hardest to call for umpires, and catchers have gotten so good at presenting them.”

I think Walker is a very good and very smart player. However, he is looking at this situation through the eyes of a hitter. I am a college pitcher, so let’s look at this from atop the mound.

Walker went on to say, “As a hitter, when you see the ball out of the pitcher’s hand and it’s going to be down, you usually think about taking it, because it’s harder to do damage with that pitch. Us as hitters, we want that ball up, thigh or mid-thigh.” As a pitcher, I respond to that by saying, well why do you think I’m throwing the ball low in the first place?!

I’ve had many pitching coaches over the years and they all preach the same thing. Keep the ball down. The reason for that is exactly what the Mets second baseman is saying; They’re harder to hit. If a pitcher leaves a pitch up at the belt over the plate to a good hitter, he’s going to pay for it.

This motion is obviously another attempt to increase offense in the game. However, this could prove to be ineffective accomplishing that. If batters are taking these borderline pitches now, they’re going to take them with the new strike zone too. In that case, though, they will be called balls, leading to more walks.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon agrees. “If you’re going to shorten the strike zone, it can be counterproductive. If a guy is pitching down below that and we’re just taking them, you’re going to get less action.”

While, obviously, pitchers wouldn’t want to walk people, at the same time, they’re not going to want to give batters easy-to-hit pitches. This would almost certainly lead to more walks.

Manfred is trying every little thing he can to decrease the length-of-game. This change would almost certainly lead to more walks, and because of that, longer game times.

Maddon also addressed the change to the intentional walk rule, saying, ”By taking that away, there is the potential that a wild pitch could occur that could impact the game. And I’ve seen it happen.”

There are many things that could happen during an intentional walk. As Maddon said, there could be a wild pitch. Conversely, if the pitcher leaves the pitch over the plate, the hitter could take a swing at it.

The last reason throwing four balls for an intentional walk should not be eliminated is… Why? To shave 30 seconds off the length of the game? Come on. Leave the game alone, Manfred, it was fine the way you found it.

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Marlon Byrd Suspended 162 Games For PED Violation Wed, 01 Jun 2016 23:53:16 +0000 marlon byrd

The former Met and current Cleveland Indian, Marlon Byrd, was suspended 162 games by Major League Baseball for the use of a banned substance.

“I alone am responsible for what I put in my body, and therefore, I have decided to forgo my right to an appeal and accept this suspension,” Byrd said on Wednesday.

“I apologize for any harm this has caused the Cleveland Indians, Indians’ fans, my teammates, and most importantly, my family.” (ESPN)

Byrd was also suspended in 2012 for using Tamoxifen when he was a member of the Red Sox. This time he was caught taking Ipamorelin.

Players around the league took to twitter to react to the suspension of Marlon Byrd.

“Marlon Byrd is a joke,” Jeremy Guthrie said. “All you cheaters are a joke. Do it the right way one time, accept your ups & downs.”

Byrd, 38, played in 117 games for the Mets during the 2013 season and was arguably their best all around player. He hit 21 homers with 71 RBIs and scored 61 runs. His slash line with the Mets was .285/.330/.518.

Byrd and John Buck were traded in August of 2013 to the Pirates for Dilson Herrera and Vic Black. Although he was good for the Mets, it is certain that the Mets got the better of that deal.

Although it is only speculation, this latest suspension most likely marks the end of Marlon Byrd’s career.

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Collins Unwilling To Move Wright Down In Order For Now Sun, 15 May 2016 00:23:11 +0000 david wright

Mets manager Terry Collins acknowledged today that he may need to consider dropping David Wright from the No. 2 slot in the batting order, but is not ready to make such a move now despite Wright’s recent struggles.

“At some point, if he continues to struggle, we’ll address that,” Collins said about Wright “He leads the team in on-base percentage. When you’re talking about the two-hole, you’re talking about guys getting on base. The issue is the strikeouts more than anything. This guy is not that kind of guy. He doesn’t usually strike out. That’s why they’re out there today trying to make a couple of adjustments, to certainly try to fix it.” (Adam Rubin, ESPN)

Wright is 2-for-21 during this current Mets road trip and is hitting .223 with four homers and eight RBI on the season. His 43 strikeouts are the 12th most in the major leagues, however his .381 on-base percentage from the No. 2 spot is second in the majors.

Wright, 33, hit 15 homers in batting practice Saturday, according to Mets hitting coach Kevin Long, who has been working with Wright to use the lower half of his body more to reduce the stress on his back.

“I’d like to, obviously, cut down on the strikeouts,” Wright said. “I’d like to consistently have better at-bats. But the fact that when I am struggling I’m still trying to find a way to get on base, I can look at that as a positive. I’d rather hit my way on base than walk. But if the walks are there I’ve got to take them.”

Can’t argue with Collins for leaving things as is, giving Wright some extra leeway, and not overreacting. Hopefully the extra work Wright is putting in will lead to some better results where his in extraordinarily high strikeout rate is concerned.

Here are the results of a poll we took on Wednesday on who the Mets should bat second between Wright and Asdrubal Cabrera.

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Bartolo Pitches And Powers Mets To Victory Sun, 08 May 2016 13:00:22 +0000 bartolo colon

During last night’s 6-3 victory over the San Diego Padres, history was witnessed by New York Metropolitan fans around the globe. The mighty Bartolo Colon didn’t just show up to pitch, he also came ready to bat.

Colon had another effective start on the mound, going 6.2 innings strong. He allowed three runs, all coming off one blast by Jon Jay. Colon allowed six hits, while walking one and striking out five. Big Sexy picked up his third win of the season, and kept his ERA under three, as it inched up just a bit to 2.82.

Big Sexy’s pitching though was not the story of the night. Not by any sense of the word was there much talk of his pitching after the game. The big blast off Bart’s bat that would shake opposing pitcher, James Shields, to be speechless after the game. Shields didn’t want to talk about the shot heard round the world when asked for his thoughts after the game.

“Next question, man,” Shields said. (ESPN)

Not surprising by any aspect though, Colon, and his teammates had a lot to say about such a glorious feat.

“I don’t even know how to explain it,” Colon said. “I’m very thankful. I thank God for this amazing moment, and I wasn’t expecting it. Once I hit it I knew it was gone. The ball in San Diego travels well. Anytime I see a fastball I swing hard because I’m not a curveball hitter.”

In his previous start, Colon, smoked a foul ball down the right field line. On Saturday night though, he would connect. A laser shot down to the left field corner and over the fence it went. The sexiest two-run bomb we may ever witness.

The veteran right-hander watched in amazement as it left the ballpark, carrying his bat almost the whole way down to first, before dropping it and taking his ceremonious victory lap around the bases. The Mets captain, David Wright, took notice of what a great moment this was for Colon and fans everywhere.

“You just shake your head,” Wright said. “You watch him take BP and he’s got very good hand-eye coordination and you see him hit some home runs in BP and you think to yourself, `What would happen if he ever did it in a game?’”

“And to do it here with as many Mets fans as here, the 7 Line out there, I mean the place just went nuts, and it’s one of those things where you come to the ballpark never knowing what you’re going to see, and you saw it.”

Thirty seconds is how long it took for Colon to round the bases for the first homer of his career. Colon became the oldest player to hit his first dinger at the ripe age of 42. Possibly the most entertaining man to watch take the field, Colon just continues to add to his historic career.

Just for the fun of it, let’s take a look at it just once, twice or ten more times.

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Matt Harvey’s Struggles Continue In Disappointing Start Wed, 04 May 2016 11:00:12 +0000 matt harvey 2

After throwing a couple of improved starts as of late, it was thought that the “Dark Knight,” Matt Harvey, may have righted his ship. In Tuesday’s 3-0 loss to Atlanta he regressed against a weak Braves lineup.

Harvey threw 5.2 innings while allowing three runs on eight hits. He walked two and struck out four in an uneven performance. He dropped his record to 2-4, while keeping his ERA at 4.76. What could be wrong with Matt Harvey, as his struggles continue?

“Right now I’m not feeling good with my mechanics. I’m not feeling good throwing the ball,” Harvey said. “It’s frustrating. I think I’ve said it before: I’m the one who is most frustrated here about what’s going on. It’s been a frustrating start, but we have a long way to go.” (ESPN)

Harvey has tried to put in extra work in-between starts in order to keep sharp. He has continued to work with pitching coach, Dan Warthen, in order to fix whatever it is in his game that has been ailing him in the 2016 season.

“I’m putting in so much work during the week that maybe I’m doing too much. Maybe I’m not,” Harvey said. “At this point there’s a lot of questions, and a lot of answers I’m kind of looking for. I’m out there feeling for every pitch, and it’s frustrating. I’m going through one of those times right now where everything feels different. Being on the mound, it’s tough. … I’ve looked at so much video that there’s only so much you can look at. You’ve just got to find it, and it starts tomorrow.”

Harvey, who normally averages a fastball in the 96-97 MPH range, was only hovering around 93 last night. It leads many to believe that there could be something wrong, but manager, Terry Collins, does not think that’s the case.

“He hit 95 tonight a couple of times and might have even hit 96 once or twice,” Collins said. “Because he usually pitches at 96, 97, we think there’s something wrong. And I’m not sure there is. He and [pitching coach Dan Warthen] are trying to straighten out a couple of things. He’s throwing quite a bit on the side to try to get a feel for his release point and a feel for what they’re trying to do. It doesn’t just happen overnight.”

Harvey was said to be sick and in need of fluids before the game Tuesday night in order to make it through his start. He faltered in the sixth inning yet again, as it seems to be the hump that he has been unable to get over so far this year. Numerous times this season he seems to cruise til he reached the fifth and sixth innings. At this point he seems to hit a wall that he has been unable to break through thus far. He currently owns a 6.00 ERA in the fifth inning, with an alarming 20.25 ERA in the sixth. Matt downplayed any thought that his sickness contributed to tonight’s downfall.

“It’s not feeling good with my mechanics, not feeling good on the mound,” he said. “That’s the tough part. That’s what’s frustrating. Right now I’m just waiting to figure it out. Like I said, I’m the one who is most frustrated here.”

Of the 18 earned runs he’s allowed this season, 13 of them have come across the fifth and sixth innings. Harvey makes it sound as it’s nothing but a current mental flaw in his game. Something he has been unable to correct through the first month of the season. There is plenty of time to right the ship for the star pitcher, it is just curious to wonder if there may be something more wrong than is being let on by Harvey.


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Cespedes To Have Leg Examined By Team Doctors Mon, 25 Apr 2016 12:14:35 +0000 yoenis cespedes

Terry Collins told reporters that Yoenis Cespedes will likely be examined by team doctors on Monday. Cespedes has missed the last two games after aggravating a bone bruise on his upper right leg while sliding into second base on Friday.

“The bruise is pretty big,” Collins said on Saturday. “He’s aggravated it, and he’s limping pretty bad. He’s pretty swelled.”

Cespedes was unable to swing a bat Saturday and Sunday, but says he’s feeling “much better,” and is no longer limping. Asked if he would play Monday, the Mets’ outfielder said “maybe.”

We’ll know more later today.

Original Report – April 23

On April 13th, Yoenis Cespedes jumped into the stands in “maximum effort” fashion and suffered a leg bruise. Ten days later he is said to have aggravated the leg injury he had suffered that day.

In Friday’s 6-3 win over Atlanta, Cespedes slid into second base on a double in the seventh inning. He noticeably came up in pain after the slide, rubbing his leg and grimacing while on base. He was lifted for Juan Lagares in the eighth.

“I hope to be ready by tomorrow, but right now it hurts,” Cespedes said through an interpreter. “It’s just a bruise. I felt some discomfort, and it bothers me whenever I slide.” (ESPN)

It is very possible that he will have the day off in Saturday’s game. Manager Terry Collins explained taking him out of the game on Friday as nothing more but precautionary.

“It got real tight, so we took him out,” Collins said. “… Once it starts to tighten up, there’s a possibility of him pulling that. So I got him out.”

Cespedes was noticeably limping around the clubhouse after the game.


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Braves Players Complain Of Poor Conditions At Turner Field Fri, 22 Apr 2016 04:11:10 +0000 turner field night

The Mets will be headed to Atlanta this weekend to play on an apparently substandard Turner Field, according to Doug Padilla of ESPN.

The infield conditions at Turner Field as so bad, Padilla reports, that Braves players are mulling requesting an intervention by the players’ union.

The Dodgers, who played a three-game set at Turner Field this week, voiced concern over the conditions after making five errors in three games. “Behind home plate, I felt it was very soft,” said Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal. “But then again, it’s not our home field. It all depends on how the infielders like it here. We just have to adjust to every playing field we go to and make plays. Obviously it was a little hard for us the last two days, making a couple of errors, but that’s all right. Between the two teams, ten errors were made in the series.

This year is the Braves’ last at their current stadium before moving to SunTrust Park outside of Atlanta next April. Braves players say the team has neglected to take care of the field as well as in past years, perhaps because of the impending move.


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Terry Collins Says Addison Reed Will Handle Setup Role Wed, 24 Feb 2016 17:42:15 +0000 MLB: New York Mets-Workouts

Manager Terry Collins spoke to reporters today at Mets camp in Port St. Lucie and confirmed that right-handed reliever Addison Reed will handle the 8th inning setup role for the Mets to begin the season. (Adam Rubin, ESPN)

It was initially believed that Reed would compete with newly signed Antonio Bastardo for the setup role in spring training, but Collins has made up his mind and Bastardo will handle the 7th inning duties for the Mets.

Reed, 27, posted a 4.20 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 40.2 innings with the D’Backs before being traded to the Mets last summer. After joining the Mets he pitched to a 1.17 ERA in 15.1 innings, but struggled in the postseason where he allowed five runs in seven innings. He has a career 4.01 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 3.41 FIP in five major league seasons.

Bastardo, 30, posted a 2.98 ERA, 3.33 FIP, 1.130 WHIP in 57.1 innings for the Pirates last season with 64 strikeouts. He owns a 3.58 ERA in 316.1 innings over his seven year career with a 11.04 strikeout rate.

Reed avoided arbitration with the Mets and agreed to a $5.3 million dollar contract for the 2016 season. Bastardo was signed to a two-year deal worth $12 million dollars in January.

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Giants Sign Johnny Cueto To Six Year, $130 Million Deal Tue, 15 Dec 2015 01:03:28 +0000 johnny cueto 2

The Giants bolstered their starting rotation today, by signing Johnny Cueto to a six year deal worth $130 million with an opt-out clause after two years, according to Buster Olney of ESPN on Twitter, as well as Jerry Crasnick of on Twitter, who reported the length and value of the deal.

After signing Jeff Samardzija earlier this month to a five year deal worth $90 million, the Giants rounded out their rotation by signing the recent World Series champion and all-star Johnny Cueto today.

Cueto, 30 in February, pitched to an 11-13 record, with a 3.44 ERA and 7.5 K/9 last season between the Reds and the Royals.

For his career, Cueto owns a 96-70 record with a 3.30 ERA over the span of eight seasons, mostly with Cincinnati before the Royals made a trade for him for their World Series run at the end of this past season.

Cueto pitched game two of the World Series against the Mets, and tossed a complete game, allowing just one run on two hits.


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Market For Reliever Joakim Soria Is Getting Robust Thu, 03 Dec 2015 15:55:12 +0000 Joakim_Soria_DET

Joakim Soria, who is one of the top relief pitchers on the market along with Darren O’Day, is looking for a contract worth approximately $27 million over three years according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.

The Mets, who are in need of another shutdown pitcher to pair with Jeurys Familia, are reportedly interested in Soria who would seem to be a perfect fit for a Mets bullpen in search of a setup reliever.

The two-time All Star is a very consistent lock down reliever who has a lot of closing experience over the course of his career, logging 202 saves, including 24 last season.

In his career pitching for the Royals, Rangers, Tigers, and Pirates, he has appeared in 444 games, striking out 481 batters while walking 126 in 461 innings, while posting a solid 2.57 ERA and 1.062 WHIP.

Last season for the Tigers and Pirates, Soria pitched 67.2 innings, striking out 64 batters and walking 19 while logging 24 saves to go with a 2.53 ERA and 1.0941 WHIP. He held batters to a .219 batting average.

Soria features a four-pitch arsenal including a fastball (90-93 mph), changeup (84-86 mph), curveball (69-72 mph), and slider (77-80 mph). In the last three years (2013-2015), Soria has been effective against both left and right handed batters.

LHB: .230/.270/.367 — 271 AB, 12 doubles, 2 triples, 7 HR, 14 BB, 1 HBP

RHB: .209/.293/.308 — 234 AB, 6 doubles, 1 triple, 5 HR, 25 BB, 4 HBP

At 31 years old, he isn’t quite as super dominating as he was in his days as the Royals’ All-Star closer. However, he still is an extremely effective reliever and has recovered just fine since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012.

The market for Soria is becoming robust of late with two more teams in the hunt according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. The Royals and Blue Jays are now monitoring Soria, joining the Giants, Rangers, Twins and of course the Mets as teams with reported interest.

The $9 million a year for a reliever of his caliber doesn’t seem too unreasonable and he would certainly fill a critical void for the Mets, giving them three relievers along with Familia and Addison Reed with the ability to close games. Soria might even provide a better value than O’Day who is reportedly close to inking a four-year deal.


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First Place Mets Have Arrived Earlier Than Experts Expected Mon, 31 Aug 2015 15:40:07 +0000 mets win

On this, the final day of August, the playoff races in each league and division have taken shape with a combination of obvious front-runners and competitive surprise teams. At this point in time, it’s safe to say that the Mets have made a statement in New York, the NL East and all of Major League Baseball. While some teams come with baggage and expectations, the Mets, built by Sandy Alderson, are an army of misfit toys that few had predicted to win much of anything this summer.

Not many gave the Mets a fighting chance prior to the season. Hell, even ESPN’s army of insiders predicted the Washington Nationals to win the World Series, receiving 42% of the votes.

Furthermore, when looking over the predictions of some of ESPN’s most respected baseball analysts including Jim Bowden, Jerry Crasnick, Pedro Gomez and Tim Kurkjian, one will realize quickly that their predicted victors of the NL East all wore red and white and played in our nation’s capital.

Yet, as it stands today, the Mets hold a 5.5 game lead over the Nationals as they head into a series with the Philadelphia Phillies while the Nats face the NL-leading St. Louis Cardinals with only 32 games left on the schedule. This could be a prime opportunity for the Mets to add a game or two to their division lead while kicking a bit more dirt into the mouths of Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth and the rest of the Nationals’ lobbyists.

Before the season, the Mets looked like a promising collection of young talent in the rotation with a sub-par offense led by a few ailing veterans. Zack Wheeler was the first bug to hit the windshield when he went down with a torn UCL. Shortly into the 2015 campaign, it was the Captain, David Wright,  who would be sidelined with an injury that, “the doctors aren’t that worried about,” assistant GM John Ricco pitched to Anthony DiComo of We all know how that turned out.

Lets also mention Matt Harvey‘s potential innings limit, the lack of a right-handed power bat in the lineup as well as a bench built upon the backs of John Mayberry Jr. and Eric Campbell. Looking back, it’s hard to blame the experts for picking the Nationals.

But here we are. On the final day of August, the boys from Queens have a new look, a new feel and fans in the ballpark. Sandy Alderson flexed some muscle before the trade deadline, filling the bench with big-league talent and adding what might be the perfect fit to the Mets lineup in Yoenis Cespedes.

The Mets are not the only surprise that baseball has seen this year as touched upon in Barry Svrluga’s article in the Washington Post.

The Houston Astros lead the AL-West by three games with the Rangers hot on their trail. They have battled and up until now, defeated the likes of the Los Angeles Trouts, the Oakland Beanes and the Seattle Canos. There is also the Chicago Cubs who currently hold the second Wild-Card spot in the National League. A combination of young talent and strong pitching have kept the Cubs in it, a team that many thought the Mets might have to battle with to make the postseason via the Wild-Card.

Safe to say, the Mets, among others, have dominated within the playoffs landscape long before many had predicted, spending more days in first place than all but one team in the National League.  And in doing so the Amazins have packed some much-needed excitement into the 2015 baseball season.

First Place with 32 left to play and a 5.5 game lead with Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard and now Matz in the rotation, plus the nastiest closer in the league in Jeurys Familia. And did I mention the number one offense in the National League since July 25? Think about that for a moment. Magic Number is 28.

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Armed With New Lethal Splitter, Familia Notches 35th Save Mon, 31 Aug 2015 13:32:51 +0000 USATSI_8772274_154511658_lowres

Jeurys Familia earned his 35th save of the season in yesterday’s 5-4 win over the Red Sox. Despite allowing the first two runners to reach base, Familia looked extremely impressive as he escaped the jam in dominant fashion.

He overpowered Alejandro De Aza and Travis Shaw for the first two outs of the inning, and he then struck out Mookie Betts with a 100 MPH fastball to end the game.

“He’s one of the best in the game,” Mets manager Terry Collins added. “He’s learning on the job and he listens. He’s really, really good.”

Familia’s newly developed splitter has turned into another devastating weapon for the Mets’ closer. He heavily featured the pitch in yesterday’s outing and it was practically unhittable.

Mark Simon of ESPN New York calculated that the average velocity of the pitch is 93.9 MPH,  which makes it by far the fastest splitter in the major leagues. The next closest to Familia’s is Arquimedes Caminero‘s at 89.7 MPH.

“Right now I have a lot of confidence in my splitter. I’ve been working on that for a long time,” Familia said. “Now I think it’s the time to trust a third pitch. I see the result and I get more confident to throw it in the game.”

Ever since a rough patch following the All-Star break, Familia has been absolutely dominant. He has not allowed a run in his last 16 innings and he continues to be one of the top closers in the game.

In 64.2 innings this season, he has an excellent 1.67 ERA to go along with 68 strikeouts. His 35 saves are the most by any Mets’ closer since Francisco Rodriguez in 2009.

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