Mets Merized Online » ESPN http://metsmerizedonline.com Wed, 03 Feb 2016 00:21:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.13 Giants Sign Johnny Cueto To Six Year, $130 Million Deal http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/giants-sign-johnny-cueto-to-six-year-130-million-deal.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/giants-sign-johnny-cueto-to-six-year-130-million-deal.html/#comments Tue, 15 Dec 2015 01:03:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=202546 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 ESPN.com 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 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/market-for-reliever-joakim-soria-is-getting-robust.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/market-for-reliever-joakim-soria-is-getting-robust.html/#comments Thu, 03 Dec 2015 15:55:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=201497 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 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/first-place-mets-have-arrived-earlier-than-experts-expected.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/first-place-mets-have-arrived-earlier-than-experts-expected.html/#comments Mon, 31 Aug 2015 15:40:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=191934 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 MLB.com. 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 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/armed-with-new-lethal-splitter-familia-notches-35th-save.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/armed-with-new-lethal-splitter-familia-notches-35th-save.html/#comments Mon, 31 Aug 2015 13:32:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=191906 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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Mets Have A Formidable Lineup Against Lefties http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/mets-have-a-formidable-lineup-against-lefties.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/mets-have-a-formidable-lineup-against-lefties.html/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 16:26:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=191499 yoenis Cespedes

Do the Mets have one of the most dangerous lineups in the league against left-handed pitching? It certainly looks that way with the way they are hitting lately.

New York recently crushed Phillies’ lefty Adam Morgan during Tuesday’s 16 run explosion at Citizens Bank Park, and they also scored 11 runs against Rockies left-hander Chris Rusin over the weekend.

While the Mets’ lineup only ranks 7th in the NL in OPS against lefties and 13th in average, that number is skewed by their performance earlier in the season. The lineup now is much stronger and drastically different than the one they had during the first half.

Having Yoenis Cespedes and Juan Uribe added to to the mix as well as the return David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud gives the Mets a fearsome lineup against lefties.

Buster Olney of ESPN Insider agrees and calls the Mets’ lineup formidable against southpaws. In his article, he broke down some of the players’ impressive splits.

Wilmer Flores: .898 OPS, 5 homers in 89 at-bats
Yoenis Cespedes: 6 homers in 112 at-bats
Juan Lagares: 30-for-97, .846 OPS
David Wright: 6-for-11, 1.674 OPS
Michael Cuddyer: 20-for-77, .352 OBP
Travis d’Arnaud: 9-for-25, 1.149 OPS
Lucas Duda .897 OPS
Juan Uribe: .878 OPS, 6 homers in 75 at-bats

Olney also says that even though the lineup overall is far from perfect, this gives the them an edge during the postseason if they have to face a left-handed ace like Clayton Kershaw or Madison Bumgarner.

By far the biggest help in this area is getting Wright back in the lineup, who has crushed lefties  throughout his career. He has a career .341 average against them to go along with an outstanding 1.010 OPS.

With his dangerous bat back in the lineup, it won’t be surprising to the team’s numbers against left-handed pitching suddenly climb up the leader boards.

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D’Arnaud Expected To Return From DL Next Week http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/darnaud-expected-to-return-from-dl-next-week.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/darnaud-expected-to-return-from-dl-next-week.html/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 18:46:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=187715 jacob deGrom travis d'Arnaud

Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud will begin his rehab assignment tonight for Advanced-A St. Lucie and according to Terry Collins, he could be ready to return from the DL next week.

“I don’t think he’ll catch seven days, but I’d like to get him seven games of worth of at-bats to get him to 20-25 before he’s activated, ” Collins said before last night’s  3-0 loss to the Dodgers at Citi Field.

“It’s been a month, but I certainly think that there’s a legitimate possibility that next week at this time he’s here.”

The St. Lucie Mets play a doubleheader tonight so d’Arnaud should get some at-bats at DH and perhaps catcher for one game.

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

July 21

Some rare good news for the Metropolitans broke today as Adam Rubin of ESPN reported that Travis d’Arnaud has taken batting practice the past couple of days and is set to begin playing in rehab games later this week.

D’Arnaud will probably play a couple games in the Gulf Coast or Florida State Leagues before moving to the upper minors and ultimately joining the big-league squad.

The Mets can use all the help on the offensive side of the ball right now that they could get. D’Arnaud is a big-league caliber hitter that has been productive in his limited time this year. Slotting him into the core of this lineup is a step toward getting the offense back on track. Now they just need another bat, maybe two…

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Lawsuit With B-Mets Settled, But Club Silent On Possible Move http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/lawsuit-with-b-mets-settled-but-club-silent-on-possible-move.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/lawsuit-with-b-mets-settled-but-club-silent-on-possible-move.html/#comments Sun, 31 May 2015 04:10:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=183010 NYSEG Stadium

The owners of the Binghamton Mets were sued in U.S. District Court. The group that sued the Mets minor league team (Main Street Baseball), claimed it had an agreement to purchase the Double-A club for $8.5 million to move it to Wilmington, Delaware.

On Friday, the two sides agreed to settle their lawsuit according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

However, the B-Mets declined to say whether the settlement will pave the way for the club to move to Wilmington.

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Vic Black Is Ready To Return http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/vic-black-is-ready-to-return.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/vic-black-is-ready-to-return.html/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 11:15:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182835 vic black

Mets reliever Vic Black, who has been trying to come back from shoulder and neck issues, passed a significant hurdle last night.

The right-hander has now pitched in back to back scoreless relief appearances with Double-A Binghamton and according to Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen, Black is now ready to come off the DL.

However, whether or not Black is activated is up to the Mets front office.

“I think I’m ready,” Black told Lynn Worthy of the Press and Sun Bulletin. “I believe I am. It’s up to them. That’s just how this whole process goes.”

“I can get outs right now. I don’t care where you put me, I can get outs. I think that’s the biggest key outside of the back-to-back.”

It’s not clear who Black will replace in the bullpen. Erik Goeddel has pitched very effectively and Hansel Robles has been good too, although both had recent rough outings.

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Travis d’Arnaud Cleared For Baseball Activities http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/travis-darnaud-cleared-for-baseball-activities.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/travis-darnaud-cleared-for-baseball-activities.html/#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 00:30:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=181225 Travis, d'Arnaud

Good news on the Travis d’Arnaud front as he has been cleared for baseball activity, according to Mets assistant GM John Ricco.

D’Arnaud has been out since April 19, when he was hit by a pitch and suffered a fractured metacarpal bone on his right hand.

The plan is to take it slow and ease him back a few steps at a time, and Adam Rubin reports d’Arnaud likely won’t be cleared to swing a bat for about another weeek.

May 10

According to Mets manager Terry Collins, starting catcher Travis d’Arnaud – who was placed on the DL about a month ago after fracturing the metacarpal bone in his right hand on a HBP – is scheduled to meet with team doctors for an examination on Tuesday. It will take place at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.

If all goes well, d’Arnaud will have the soft cast on his right hand removed and he will be cleared to begin some baseball activities at that point.

It’s welcomed news for the team as d’Arnaud was off to a great start before heading to the DL, batting .317 with two home runs, 10 RBI, and a .892 OPS in 11 games.

Kevin Plawecki has filled in decently in TDA’s absence but is batting just .240 with a .643 OPS in 14 games since his promotion.

With the Mets offense struggling to produce runs consistently for the most part, the team would greatly benefit by d’Arnaud’s return to the lineup.

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Mets vs Cubs Probable Pitching Matchups http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mets-vs-cubs-probable-pitching-matchups.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mets-vs-cubs-probable-pitching-matchups.html/#comments Mon, 11 May 2015 16:03:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=181137 render8

The New York Mets (20-11) head to Wrigley Field tonight to begin a four game series with the Chicago Cubs (15-15).

Here are the pitching matchups:

Monday: RHP Jacob deGrom (3-3, 2.95) vs. LHP Jon Lester (2-2, 4.04), 8:05 PM

Tuesday: RHP Noah Syndergaard (MLB debut) vs. RHP Jake Arrieta (3-3, 3.41), 8:05 PM

Wednesday: RHP Matt Harvey (5-1, 2.72) vs. RHP Jason Hammel (3-1, 3.52), 8:05 PM

Thursday: LHP Jonathon Niese (3-2, 1.95) vs. LHP Travis Wood (2-2, 4.96), 2:20 PM

Additionally, Terry Collins told reporters that the Mets are not planning to use a spot-starter during their current 20 games in 20 days stretch which began on Friday and ends on May 27. (NJ.com)

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Vic Black Believes He Won’t Need Surgery http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/vic-black-believes-he-wont-need-surgery.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/vic-black-believes-he-wont-need-surgery.html/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 04:32:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=179769 vic black

Mets right handed reliever Vic Black was at Citi Field with his Mets teammates, but he is still not close to coming back from the DL.

Black has been taken out of minor league rehab appearances while being treated for a mildly herniated disk on the right side of his neck. It’s causing him nerve irritation.

In his last rehab game, Black’s fastball was only 88 to 90 mph, well off from where he usually throws. It was down 5 mph from his previous rehab appearance for Double-A Binghamton.

Black admitted that he felt tingling on the night of that rehab appearance. But he said that his shoulder is improving and that the herniated disk in his neck is also getting better than it was at the end of last season.

As a result, Black is ruling out surgery as an option. “That doesn’t seem to be even a thought,” said Black.

He will take another week off and then resume throwing most likely on flat ground.

“They were telling me my triceps wasn’t firing completely, which of course causes all the other issues that we felt like were shoulder for so long,” said Black.

This would be great news for the Mets if he can avoid surgery which could possibly get him ready to throw on the mound probably sometime in May if all goes well.

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Matt Harvey, The Real Baseball Maverick http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/matt-harvey-the-real-baseball-maverick.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/matt-harvey-the-real-baseball-maverick.html/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 19:59:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=178576 matt harvey 2

The temperature is in the mid-40s. It’s a dreary, early spring day on the east coast. It’s not exactly the type of day you would be running to the ballpark to watch a game. That is, unless, the pitching matchup features Stephen Strasburg and Matt Harvey.

Below, you will find an actual text conversation that took place between Joe. D and myself at about 2:00 pm this afternoon:

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I said “he looks pretty damn good” after he blew a 97mph heater past Bryce Harper to end the third inning. It may only be one game, but if you didn’t know any better, you would think Strasburg was the pitcher that was pitching in his first official game since coming off Tommy John surgery, not Harvey.

We didn’t need to watch an E:60 on ESPN to let us know that Harvey was back. Although, the fact that he agreed to take part in an E:60 shows why Harvey is successful on the mound. How many other players would have the balls to put that type of pressure on themselves? And the fact that ESPN even approached him to do it is equally as telling.

There were a lot of questions as to why ESPN would have run that episode on Harvey when he seemingly has accomplished so little in his short time in the major leagues (dudes were straight sipping haterade on Twitter). The answer is simple for anyone with two eyes to see—he’s a special talent. He has “it,” and every other cliche superlative you want to use to describe him.

On the cover of Baseball Maverick by Steve Kettmann, it states “How Sandy Alderson Revitalized Baseball and Revived the New York Mets.” I didn’t read the book, but the second half of that statement is clearly false—it was Matt Harvey who single-handedly revived the New York Mets and their fan base. Harvey is the type of player that a city and team rally around—the type of player that says get on my back, and everyone else get the eff out of my way.

The fan base had slowly been getting the life sucked out of themselves since 2006 until Harvey arrived on the scene. Now we have #HarveyDay, and all the Mets fans can be found in front of their television sets every fifth day when he pitches.

Much like Batman gave desperate Gothamites the hope of better times, Harvey has done the same for Mets fans. As fans, we felt as if the ground was ripped out from under our feet when we heard Harvey had to undergo TJ surgery. It was a quick reminder of how cruel this game and life could be as we watched a young man who had taken the game by storm, brought to his knees.

I believe everything happens for a reason, and as Thomas Wayne once said “Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up.” Mets fans have certainly learned to pick themselves back up over the years, and after nine strikeouts in his first game back, it seems Matt Harvey has as well.

I’m sorry Mr. Kettmann, but I have to disagree. If anyone revitalized the Mets, it was Matt Harvey, not Sandy Alderson.

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Are Mets Capable of a 40 WAR Season and Going to the Playoffs? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/are-mets-capable-of-a-40-war-season-and-going-to-the-playoffs.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/are-mets-capable-of-a-40-war-season-and-going-to-the-playoffs.html/#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 15:53:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=174651 mets win

Mark Simon of ESPN,  took to GM Sandy Alderson’s “10 win” comments from earlier this month and decided to measure that improvement in WAR.  After compiling a total of 29.6 WAR last year (ESPN WAR not FanGraphs), a 10 win improvement would put the Mets a shade under an overall total of 40.  According to Simon,”nine teams got at least that much WAR from their rosters in 2014. All nine won at least 88 games. The average win total among them was 91.8. Eight of those teams made the playoffs…”  Who does he see as the big contributors in Queens?

Obviously, Matt Harvey and David Wright are both at the top of this list.  Each player has been tasked with producing a 5.0 WAR season next year and if both these guys can stay healthy, I think that’s a realistic figure.  Wright’s last season with a 5.0+ WAR was 2013 when he posted 5.9 in only 112 games, some regression on that production played over 140 games could easily be valued at 5.0+.

Honestly, I stay the course for the majority of this article, but I had to point out that he produced a 2.5 WAR season in 2010 and that makes no sense- regardless of his defense.  He played 157 games, had an OBP of .354, slugged at a .503 clip, hit 29 home runs and knocked in 103 RBI’s, yet that was somehow less valuable than his 2014 season which was worth 2.8 WAR.  What?

For Harvey, I think he’ll bounce back with a big 2015 campaign.  How that ligament holds up over his career is debatable, but this year, I expect him to produce a 6.0-7.0 WAR season.  It’s a bold prediction, but it was confirmed that his velocity was right back where it was prior to the injury, that was all I needed to see to ensure great production in the short run.

Jacob deGrom was apparently snubbed by most projection systems who see him regressing significantly, but Simon noted that if he is able to replicate last year’s 9-6, 2.69 ERA pace over 32 games, he’ll be worth about 4.50 WAR.  Jacob got terrible run support, so I’m assuming his win % is in some way impacting that projection.  I’d think a 2.69 ERA over 32 starts would be worth more than 4.5 wins over a replacement player, but the stat is more of a gauge, so I’ll let it be.

Travis d’Arnaud was projected at 3.0 WAR.  I think this drastically undervalues the power he’ll add to the middle of the lineup and WAR does not calculate any value for pitch framing, so those who prefer their catchers be measured by traditional standards- WAR is your go to guy.  To be honest, I see d’Arnaud adding to the lineup what David Wright will likely give up in regression.  TDA is capable of posting over a 4.0+ WAR season and I think that’s what the Captain will produce as well, so the net/net still gets the team towards October baseball.

Wilmer Flores.  This one is tough because at shortstop, Flores isn’t maximizing his potential, but 2.0 is a low number and here’s my logic (coming from a guy who despises the idea of him at SS).  Jhonny Peralta was able to generate 5.8 WAR last year with serviceable defense (actually, great defense according to the metrics- similar eye to stat sheet translation that Flores has), a .263 batting average, 21 home runs and 75 RBI’s.  It’s a little early to don Flores as the next Peralta, but that’s essentially what everyone is expecting him to produce, so I think a 2.0 WAR is well below what he’ll actually generate.  To be conservative, but also fair, I’d give Flores a 3.0 WAR on the year.  Either way, I really respect his work ethic and I genuinely hope he proves everyone, including me, dead wrong.

Zack Wheeler was way undervalued in this analysis.  The grading was fair based on his prior stats, but his career has kept pace with names like Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez and Zack Greinke so 2.0 has to be the bottom of what the Mets are expecting.  I see Wheeler quietly emerging as a bona fide ace in 2015 and if he repeats the same level of growth he measured in 2014, I’d wager his WAR at the end of the regular season to be right around Harvey and deGrom’s.  I’ll put him at 4.5 WAR.  Bold, but he’s shown steady progressive growth and I’ll take that any day over a flash in the pan.

Juan Lagares has the ability to slap pitches low and away, but there’s little power reward in that approach and hopefully the Mets made that the top priority for him this offseason.  He showed a brief flash of  power after pitchers stopped going away on him and started going inside.  When he pulls the ball, there’s a lot of power potential in his bat.  If he can hit .280 with doubles power and 10-15 home runs, his defense will carry that WAR figure well above the 5.0 mark, Simon seemed to agree.

Lucas Duda showed a lot of promise last year and in many more ways than what we saw on the surface.  Offensively, I think his walk and home run totals will stay the same, but there’s good reason to believe his average and OBP will go up a tick.  2014 was a year of constant adjustment for him.  First, he had to prove he was a viable starter.  Then he had to prove he could hit cleanup.  Then he had to prove he could hit breaking pitches.  Then, he had to start hitting lefties.  What’s encouraging is he accomplished all those goals by the end of the season- even lefties.

After the All-Star break, Duda put up some interesting numbers against LHP, hitting .250/.333/.375 against southpaws at Citi Field and holding his own against lefties coming out of the pen (.267/.333/.367).  Understandably, he was much worse against starters (.111/.167/.111).  However, the one stat that didn’t correlate to anything were his numbers against lefties on the road (.162/.220/.189), not sure what that was all about.  I think he’ll still struggle against tough starting LHP’s, but he played good defense and showed a knack for picking out tough throws in the dirt so I think it’s important to keep him in the lineup daily.

Also, in my mind, how a player ends the year says a lot.  In the month of September against all left-handed pitchers, Duda went 7-25 with a .280/.345/.440 slashline.  Not exactly a whale of a sample size, but it shows that- along with the other improvements he’s had to make- he can adjust at the big league level and he can hit lefties.  The Mets don’t need him to produce at the same level he does against RHP, they just need him to keep the lineup moving so his teammates can pick up the slack, great teams do this.  I think he’s capable of being a decent singles hitter against southpaws with better defense than the stats will tell you and because of that, I see his WAR being closer to 4.0+.

Little attention was given to Daniel Murphy, although Simon admits to giving him a boost based off of his offensive prowess.  He pegged Murphy between 2.0-2.5 WAR which is anywhere from fair to slightly optimistic in my opinion.  Murphy is a valuable offensive asset, but his defense is a liability considering Zack Wheeler and Jon Niese generate a lot of groundballs and this organization’s success is literally founded on maximizing the results of the pitching staff.   I think the writing is on the wall for Daniel and trading him will open the door for the unforeseen x-factor (i.e. prospect being called up) who Simon believes will give the Mets a “boost”.

Other factors contributing to a 40 WAR season are the bullpen and the bench.  Personally, this bullpen looks great and the bench is poised to add the right amount of offense.  It’s no secret, the starters are going to have to stay healthy in order for the above scenarios to happen.

What do you ladies and gentleman think?  Are the Mets capable of producing a 40 WAR season and/or making the playoffs with this current roster?

I think so.

Lets! Go! Mets!

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Mets Avoid Arbitration With Ruben Tejada http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/mets-avoid-arbitration-with-ruben-tejada.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/mets-avoid-arbitration-with-ruben-tejada.html/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 18:53:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=173364 ruben tejada

The New York Mets and Ruben Tejada have settled on a $1.88 million contract for the 2015 season and will avoid arbitration, according to ESPN reporter Adam Rubin.

After the Mets tendered Tejada last month, manager Terry Collins was quick to say that Tejada could very well be the Mets’ starting shortstop and that Wilmer Flores hasn’t won anything in his eyes.

A day later, Sandy Alderson quickly extinguished what Collins said and told reporters that Flores was the starting shortstop and that Tejada would serve in a utility infielder role.

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Is Lagares the Best Defensive Center Fielder Ever? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/is-lagares-the-best-defensive-center-fielder-ever.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/is-lagares-the-best-defensive-center-fielder-ever.html/#comments Wed, 14 Jan 2015 20:01:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=173163 Chicago Cubs v New York Mets

David Schoenfield of ESPN picked the Mets’ Juan Lagares as the center fielder for his All Underrated Team heading into the 2015 season.

“Lagares has certainly received recognition as perhaps the best defensive center fielder in the majors — winning his first Gold Glove in 2014 — but because he’s not a big basher at the plate, he still seems undervalued overall. And he’s not a zero on offense. He hit .281/.321/.382, nothing great, but that makes him about a league average hitter.”

“Baseball Info Solutions credited him with 28 defensive runs saved in 2014, and some speculated that maybe he’s not that good. Willie Mays, for example, peaked (under a different system for evaluating) at 21 runs, according to Baseball Reference. Consider this, however: Lagares made 2.85 plays per nine innings in 2014, compared to the league average of 2.48 for center fielders. That’s 0.37 more plays per game, which adds up to 49 additional outs over 1,200 innings; Mays’ career-best was 0.27 more plays per game.”

My memories of Willie Mays were long after his prime playing years and mostly limited to his time with the Mets. But I was raised on the stories of his amazing defensive plays in center field and will always remember the never-ending debates between who was the better all-around player, Willie Mays or Mickey Mantle.

I also vividly recall when Lee Mazzilli debuted with the Mets and how I loved watching  him often make plays using Willie’s famous basket catch. We loved it, and every kid on my block, including me, practiced trying to catch fly balls that way. Those were the good old days.

I think it’s great to see baseball people now comparing Lagares to a legend like Willie Mays, who is often tabbed as the greatest center fielder of all time.

As for myself, I’ve seen enough to confidently say that Lagares is the best defensive center fielder I’ve ever seen.

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NL Wild Card Thread: Giants vs Pirates, 8:05 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/nl-wild-card-thread-giants-vs-pirates-805-pm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/nl-wild-card-thread-giants-vs-pirates-805-pm.html/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:30:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=167087 volquez bumgarner

San Francisco Giants at Pittsburgh Pirates

Wednesday, Oct. 1, 8:07 PM, ESPN

Madison Bumgarner (18-10, 2.98) vs. Edinson Volquez (13-7, 3.04) 

The National League Wild Card Game will be in Pittsburgh for a second consecutive year, with the Pirates set to host the San Francisco Giants at PNC Park. The Pirates and Giants met six times this year and the Bucs won four of those contests.

San Francisco Giants

1. Gregor Blanco CF
2. Joe Panik 2B
3. Buster Posey C
4. Pablo Sandoval 3B
5. Hunter Pence RF
6. Brandon Belt 1B
7. Brandon Crawford SS
8. Travis Ishikawa LF
9. Madison Bumgarner LHP

Pittsburgh Pirates

1. Josh Harrison 3B
2. Jordy Mercer SS
3. Andrew McCutchen CF
4. Russell Martin C
5. Starling Marte LF
6. Neil Walker 2B
7. Gaby Sanchez 1B
8. Travis Snider RF
9. Edinson Volquez P

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Alderson Impressed with Nimmo’s Batting Practice http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/alderson-impressed-with-nimmos-batting-practice.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/alderson-impressed-with-nimmos-batting-practice.html/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 12:00:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=165862 brandon nimmoThe Sterling-Award winners in the Mets organization were in attendance Monday night to not only receive their awards, but also participate in batting practice and meet the team and front office. Brandon Nimmo was one of the attendees, who won the Sterling Award as the best player at Single-A St. Lucie Mets.

Nimmo played 62 games for St. Lucie, batting .322 with five triples and four home runs. The most impressive stat was his on-base-percentage, which was an incredible .448. His plate discipline can be credited for the 50 walks he drew. Additionally, Nimmo only made one error in 130 chances while playing mostly center field.

Made famous for being the guy who didn’t play high school baseball (he played American Legion Ball because his high school didn’t have a team), Nimmo impressed the Mets front office during batting practice on Monday.

“Did you see his batting practice today?” Sandy Alderson asked ESPN’s Adam Rubin and a group of reporters at Citi Field. “There was a lot more man there than there was a year and a half ago.”

Nimmo has filled out since being drafted in 2011. When he was drafted, he weighed 180 pounds. After an offseason of training with Andrew McCutchen at the IMG Academy in Florida, he now weighs in at 205 pounds.

In an interview with ESPN’s Adam Rubin,  Nimmo said, “I do think the offseason and the training we put in and the nutrition, I think all of that came into what you saw this year, a little bit more power, a little bit more body control, (and) better swing. I am a lot stronger than I was a year ago. It’s helped me out a ton.”

The Mets are starting to feel good about Brandon Nimmo after facing early criticism for passing on the Marlins former Rookie of the Year Jose Fernandez to take Nimmo 13th overall. Nimmo’s progress this year will be a huge factor into Alderson’s offseason playbook in regards to bringing in an outfielder to play alongside Juan Lagares and Curtis Granderson.

Safe to say that Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto headline a strong crop of prospects waiting in the Mets’ pipeline.

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Video: Jeff Wilpon Named Worst Person In The World http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/video-jeff-wilpon-named-worst-person-in-the-world.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/video-jeff-wilpon-named-worst-person-in-the-world.html/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 14:46:55 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=165528 *Jul 28 - 00:05*

No surprise here, but sportscaster Keith Olbermann of ESPN named Jeff Wilpon the Worst Person in the World tonight. He completely ripped into him and his father Fred Wilpon, accusing both of them of running the team into the ground.

A lawsuit filed on Wednesday alleged that the Mets chief operating officer insulted and harassed senior vice president Leigh Castergine relentlessly because she was single and pregnant.

After several instances of abuse and humiliation, Castergine sought help from the Mets human resources department who in turn urged her to quit.

The Mets tried to offer Castergine a severance package under the condition that she agree not to pursue any legal claims against the team and remain silent on the matter, but she declined and was immediately terminated.

Here’s the video…

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Petey’s Mets Nightmare http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/peteys-mets-nightmare.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/peteys-mets-nightmare.html/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:00:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=163818 Can Anyone Here Play This Game?

Can Anyone Here Play This Game?

I get up like any other day to get ready for work. As I am making some fresh coffee I flip on ESPN. Hey what the hell is this? There is ‘breaking baseball news’ they say, coming up after the break. So as the commercials play, and the coffee drips, I start to feed the dogs. Then the sports news comes back on.

“Someone has a new manager,” Stewart Scott starts to chirp, “can you guess who?”

Me: ”No, I can’t guess who, moron,” I mutter irritably, “why don’t you cut the crap and just tell me,” I implore the screen. “Geez I haven’t even had my coffee yet and I’m supposed to guess who has a new manager. It won’t be the Mets that’s for sure!”

Stewart: No, It’s not the Mets, care to try another guess?

Me: Oh c’mon!

Stewart: The Cincinnati Reds have decided to go in a different direction as the team this morning has announced they have cut ties with manager Bryan Price after just one year at the helm.

Me: Big deal.

Stewart: But what’s even more interesting is that they have already conducted their search for a successor, and this morning they have announced Price’s replacement as well. The new Reds manager for the 2015 MLB season will be Wally Backman, who finally gets a chance to manage in the majors after being hired and then fired by the Diamondbacks in less than a week, way back in……..

But that was all I remember. The next thing I was aware of was that I was throwing things. Both out the window and at the wall. I remember things smashing and bits of broken glass flying about the room. I was hurling both everyday household items and cherished family possessions without prejudice. I was even throwing left-handed and right-handed at the same time. I didn’t even know I could throw lefty.

And all the while I was cursing in a most vile manner. It didn’t even sound like the voice was coming from me. I screamed insults at the Mets owners, the front office, the field manager, even Mr. Met. But did it make me feel any better? Hell no, this just ain’t right! Wally a Cincinnati Red, are you kidding me!?! He should be manager of the Mets! And I heave an empty wine bottle out the window.

And then….the press conference starts. And there is Wally, one of the few true Mets icons and heroes, and he’s being introduced as manager of the Reds. He’s wearing a red hat and jersey. As a Mets fan, I can’t tell you how bad this makes me feel. And how pissed off. It’s just another slap in the face for being a fan of the Mets.

My eyes comb the room for something else to throw and I spy a 1986 Mets World Champions table lamp over by the open window. Perfect. I pick it up and give it a yank, but the plug doesn’t come out. I pull harder, then really hard. The plug suddenly comes loose and I tumble backwards out the window. As I’m falling my life starts to pass before me. I am still mad at the Mets, but I start to worry about dying too and wondering if it will hurt? And right then, I wake up.

Wow, that was a horrible nightmare! And so real too! I’m glad it was just a bad dream. I flip on the TV.

Stewart: “Someone has a new manager, can you guess who?”

terry collins Mets Spring Training

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Hefner Tosses A Perfect Inning, Harvey Accepts He Won’t Pitch In 2014 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/hefner-tosses-a-perfect-inning-harvey-accepts-he-wont-pitch-in-2014.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/hefner-tosses-a-perfect-inning-harvey-accepts-he-wont-pitch-in-2014.html/#comments Sun, 13 Jul 2014 14:03:37 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=160628 jeremy hefner

A couple of health updates on Jeremy Hefner and Matt Harvey this weekend, as both right-handers continue their rehab after undergoing Tommy John surgery on their elbows.

Hefner, who is much further along in his recovery, tossed a perfect 1-2-3 inning for the Gulf Coast League Mets on Saturday.

It’s a big step forward for Hefner who saw his first game action on a mound since his surgery last Aug. 28.

The 28-year old is expecting to pitch in the majors at some point before the end of this season.

Meanwhile, Matt Harvey is now resigned to the fact that he will not pitch for the Mets this season.

matt harveyOn Saturday, his agent Scott Boras agreed with the Mets who would prefer that Harvey doesn’t return this season and that he waits 14 to 16 months until he’s pitching in the majors again.

“Look, a competitive athlete is never comfortable with the timeline,” Boras said. “I just watched Matt throw. He looks great — his extension, the ball’s coming out of his hand. It really is exciting to see him at this stage. I’m really encouraged about what can happen next year.”

“The doctors are always telling us 14 to 16 months they’re having the higher success rates than they are the 10- to 12-month period,” Boras told ESPN.

Harvey was supposed to pitch from a mound right after the All-Star break, but yesterday said that is no longer the case.

He does not have a timetable for throwing off the mound and would only say that it will be farther down the road.

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