Mets Merized Online » Houston Astros http://metsmerizedonline.com Sat, 03 Dec 2016 18:57:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.16 MMO Free Agent Profile: Carlos Gomez, OF http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-carlos-gomez-of.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-carlos-gomez-of.html/#comments Sat, 26 Nov 2016 17:00:56 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227049 carlos gomez

Carlos Gomez
Position: Outfield
Bats: Right – Throws: Right
Born: December 4, 1985 (Turning Age 31)

Since the 2015 Trade Deadline, it seems the New York Mets have tried to make a reunion happen with Carlos Gomez, their former amateur free agent signing out of the Dominican Republic in 2002. Gomez was on GM Sandy Alderson’s radar prior to the July 31 deadline, as the team was looking to add an impact bat for their postseason push. The proposed trade of Zack Wheeler and Wilmer Flores to the Milwaukee Brewers for Gomez fell through due to lingering concerns over Gomez’ hip, and of course, the rest is history, as the Mets circled back to the Detroit Tigers and pulled off a trade for Yoenis Cespedes, a trade that propelled the team all the way to the 2015 World Series.

There was talk of Gomez signing with the Mets this past season too, after he was designated for assignment by the Houston Astros in early August. The Mets ended up taking a pass on Gomez, relying on the injured Justin Ruggiano to return only to end up back on the disabled list due to a left shoulder injury at the end of August. The Texas Rangers signed Gomez to a minor league deal, with the Astros responsible for the bulk of his $9 million ’16 salary.

Gomez revived his season with the Rangers, after slashing .210/.272/.322 in 85 games with the Astros in ’16, with a 6.5% walk rate and career worst 31% strikeout percentage. He also posted negatives in DRS, UZR, and UZR/150 in 677 innings in the outfield with the Astros.

However, moving from Houston to Arlington reignited the spark plug outfielder, as he went on to play in 33 games for the AL West Champion Texas Rangers, posting a line of .284/.362/.543 with eight home runs, 18 RBI, a 139 wRC+, and a 1.2 fWAR. His defensive metrics also improved as he manned mainly left field (213 out of 275 total innings), posting a 1.3 UZR and 6.4 UZR/150. Combining his overall outfield metrics with Texas, Gomez posted a 3.7 UZR and 11.7 UZR/150, according to FanGraphs.

Gomez pointed to adjustments at the plate that aided in his turnaround with the Rangers, explaining in September that he was trying to keep the weight on his back leg, which allows him to stay back and recognize the pitch better, allowing him to drive the ball with more relative ease.

Between 2012-14, Gomez was one of the game’s premier outfielders, posting a 16.2 fWAR (4th among MLB outfielders), 111 stolen bases (2nd), 247 runs scored (12th), 18 triples (10th), and registering the 6th best UZR/150 (14.7) among all outfielders during that span. Gomez made both of his All Star appearances in 2013 and 2014, the two years he posted above an .800 OPS. Gomez also won his only Gold Glove Award in ’13, the same year he received a share of MVP votes, placing ninth in the NL.

High strikeouts and low walks have always been a bugaboo for Gomez, however, it was less noticeable when he was hitting 20 plus home runs and stealing over 30 bases in a season. Gomez posted the 9th highest strikeout percentage in baseball this past season (30%) among all players with at least 400 plate appearances. While he did lower his strikeout percentage once he signed with the Rangers, it was still down only a few percentage points, from 31 to 27.7%. Since 2015, Gomez has trended negatively in average, OBP, SLG, fWAR, wRC+, and runs scored.

Gomez has posted close to neutral splits for his career, posting a .722 OPS against RHP and .738 OPS against LHP. While Gomez struggled during his time in Houston, he did post solid numbers in RISP with both Houston and Texas, posting a .792 OPS with the Astros, and a 1.145 OPS with the Rangers.

Contract:

If Gomez continued to struggle with the Rangers, he’d be lucky to land a one-year deal with incentives on the open market this winter. His strong final six weeks of the season helped Gomez potentially land a multi-year contract, with the Blue Jays, Orioles, Mets, Athletics, Giants, and Cardinals all possible fits for the soon to be 31-year-old. Of course, you can’t rule out the Rangers wanting to keep Gomez, as they’re set to lose both Gomez and Ian Desmond to free agency. I can envision Gomez receiving a two-three year deal, for roughly $10-12 million annually, similar to the deal Denard Span signed with the San Francisco Giants last year for three-years and $31 million.

Recommendation:

Cespedes remains priority number one for the Mets, however, Gomez offers some intriguing athleticism and speed for a Mets team that has been void of that for some time. While he’s hit leadoff for the bulk of his career, his lifetime OBP of .315 leaves a lot to be desired, although in 17 games batting first for the Rangers he did post a .386 OBP. At this point for the Mets, if Cespedes can’t be retained, the Mets should set their sights on someone that could hit leadoff and get on base at a higher clip than Gomez does, Dexter Fowler is a prime example.

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MMO Free Agent Profile: Jason Castro, C http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-jason-castro-c.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-jason-castro-c.html/#comments Mon, 21 Nov 2016 17:00:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=226855 jason-castro

Jason Castro
Position: Catcher
Bats: Left – Throws: Right
Born: June 18, 1987 (Age 29)

If this were the 2013 offseason, Jason Castro would be lining up the offers in free agency, after the then 26-year-old made his first All Star team and posted a line of .276/.350/.485, with 18 home runs (6th among catchers), 56 RBI, a 129 wRC+, and a 4.4 fWAR (4th among catcher’s with at least 400 plate appearances).

Unfortunately for Castro, the ensuing seasons haven’t lived up to the promise that he displayed in ’13. He has seen his K% increase, his average plummet from .276 in his All-Star campaign to .210 in 2016, and his OPS drop from .835 in 2013, to .684 last year.

The former first round draft pick in 2008 (10th overall) hits the open market in a year when multiple teams are looking to upgrade behind the plate, and despite some declining numbers the last several seasons, teams will still be intrigued by Castro’s power potential, strong pitch framing stats, and age.

Since 2013, the left-handed slugging catcher has hit 54 home runs (tied for 9th among major league catchers), scored 185 runs (9th), and compiled an 8.5 fWAR (tied for 7th). One of Castro’s biggest weaknesses is facing lefty pitching, as he’s posted a .536 OPS lifetime against southpaws, and had a .478 OPS in 2016. Castro has only posted one season of a .620 OPS or greater against left-handed pitching (2013), so at this juncture teams might be looking to utilize Castro against right-handers only.

Defensively, Castro has received high marks in terms of pitch framing, listed as the fifth best framing catcher in all of baseball last year, according to StatCorner. Castro was credited with an additional 96 strike calls in 2016, which resulted in an extra 0.92 calls per game. His throwing game has been under league average for his career, registering a 26% caught stealing percentage, when the league average has been 28%.

Castro’s best season of throwing out potential base stealers was in 2015, where he had a 36% caught stealing rate (6th in MLB). The 2015 season was also considered his best for defensive runs saved (DRS), where he posted 4 DRS. The years prior and in ’16, Castro was negative in that category (-2 DRS in ’16).

Contract:

MLB Trade Rumors has Castro pegged for two-years and $15 million. That seems like a fair estimate, though I could see teams offering a three-year deal for around $24 million, since there are a number of potential landing spots for the 29-year-old, in what’s been described as a “thin” catching market.

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported Friday that the Rays have offered Castro a contract, and “are right in the thick of things and being considered by Jason” according to the report. While an earlier report from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports says that Castro is weighing offers from three AL clubs, though it’s unclear whether the Rays are one of the three. Potential interested suitors include the aforementioned Rays, Twins, Braves, White Sox, Orioles, and Astros.

Recommendation:

The Mets should pass on Castro. When comparing Castro’s numbers from 2013-16, and Travis d’Arnaud‘s stats from the same period, they have near identical slash lines:

Castro: .232/.308/.401 .709 OPS

d’Arnaud: .245/.311/.393 .704 OPS

The main difference between the two is health, as Castro has played in 463 games during that four-year stretch, compared to d’Arnaud’s 281 games. With that said, the Mets should afford d’Arnaud one more chance to secure the full-time catching spot, as he was battling a right rotator cuff strain last year, and many think he was playing hurt even when he returned from the disabled list. That would make sense, since his power was seemingly nonexistent and he had a 22% caught stealing rate, a year removed from throwing out a career high 33% of would be base stealers.

With d’Arnaud entering arbitration for the first time, and two years younger than Castro, it makes sense for the Mets to utilize d’Arnaud instead of signing Castro to a multi-year contract, and hope that with health d’Arnaud will rebound and produce like most Mets fans had hoped he would upon the Toronto Blue Jays mega trade in the winter of 2012.

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Mets Drop Both Split-Squad Games To Red Sox, Astros http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/mets-drop-both-split-squad-games-to-red-sox-astros.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/mets-drop-both-split-squad-games-to-red-sox-astros.html/#comments Thu, 24 Mar 2016 20:34:55 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=208330 The Mets dropped a pair of split-squad games this afternoon against the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros.

logan verrett

Red Sox 4, Mets 1:

Logan Verrett started the for the Mets, and tossed four scoreless innings allowing only two hits, and striking out one.

Sean Gilmartin relieved Verrett in the fifth and surrendered two runs and four hits, while striking out four over the span of three innings.

Erik Goeddel also allowed a pair of runs in the eighth, his lone inning of work.

The Mets only run came in the fifth inning on the strength of an RBI single off the bat of Matt Reynolds.

Eric Campbell, Kevin Plawecki, Travis Taijeron, and Patrick Biondi also added hits for the Amazin’s.

matt harvey

Astros 8, Mets 5:

Matt Harvey started the game for the Mets against the Astros this afternoon, and was roughed up for six runs on seven hits, while striking out two and walking four over the span of three innings.

Beck Wheeler relieved Harvey in the fourth and allowed one run and walked three in an inning of work to give the Astros a commanding lead of 7-0.

The Astros tacked on another run against Antonio Bastardo in the seventh. The lefty now has a 7.00 ERA so far this spring.

Jim Henderson continued his strong spring, pitching a scoreless eighth, and striking out two.

The Mets were held off the scoreboard until the eighth inning, where they put up a five spot with RBI hits from Jeff McNeil, John Mora, Dominic Smith and Phillip Evans.

However, the late inning surge would prove to not matter much, as the Astros held on to win the game.

On deck:

The Mets will take on the St. Louis Cardinals tomorrow afternoon at Tradition Field. Noah Syndergaard will start for the Mets and will take on Michael Wacha. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 PM.

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Astros, 1:05 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-astros-105-pm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-astros-105-pm.html/#comments Sat, 05 Mar 2016 15:43:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=207281 robert gsellman

New York Mets at Houston Astros

Osceola County Stadium – 1:05 PM

RHP Robert Gsellman vs LHP Collin McHugh

Today’s game marks the first of two with the Astros this Spring and it is the Mets only game in Kissimmee in 2016.

Robert Gsellman makes his first official start of the Spring. He was named the Sterling Organizational Pitcher of the Year in 2015 after going a combined 13-7 with a 2.89 ERA in 24 total games between St. Lucie (A) of the Florida State League and Binghamton (AA) of the Eastern League.

T.J. Rivera has hit safely in each of the first two Spring Training games (.400, 2-5) with one RBI. Batted .325 with 63 runs, 27 doubles, and 48 RBI in a combined 110 games between Binghamton (AA) of the Eastern League and Las Vegas (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League. Rivera has a career .318 average in five minor league seasons.

Hansel Robles went 4-3 with a 3.67 ERA in 57 games as a rookie last season. He made three appearances in the postseason and did not allow a run in 3.0 innings.

Mets pitchers today: RHP Robert Gsellman, RHP Seth Lugo, LHP Josh Smoker, RHP Hansel Robles, RHP Antonio Bastardo

Here are the starting lineups:

Mets Lineup

  1. Ty Kelly, CF
  2. Ruben Tejada, SS
  3. Michael Conforto, LF
  4. Travis d’Arnaud, DH
  5. Dominic Smith, 1B
  6. Wilmer Flores, 3B
  7. Kevin Plawecki, C
  8. Eric Campbell, RF
  9. Dilson Herrera, 2B

Astros Lineup

  1. George Springer, RF
  2. Colin Moran, 3B
  3. Colby Rasmus, L
  4. Carlos Gomez, CF
  5. A.J. Reed, 1B
  6. Jason Castro, DH
  7. Alex Bregman, SS
  8. Max Stassi, C
  9. Nolan Fontana, 2B

Enjoy the game and Let’s Go Mets!

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MLB Postseason Schedule: Mets vs Dodgers 9:45 PM Start Time In NY http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/mlb-postseason-schedule-mets-vs-dodgers-945-pm-start-time-in-ny.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/mlb-postseason-schedule-mets-vs-dodgers-945-pm-start-time-in-ny.html/#comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 19:43:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=195584 2015 postseason logo

The broadcast times for the NL Division Series between the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers are as follows:

Game 1: Friday 9:45 PM EST on TBS

Game 2: Saturday: 9:07 PM EST on TBS

…Those are some pretty late start times for the kiddies… Bad job…

Postseason Field

American League
• Toronto Blue Jays (AL East)
• Kansas City Royals (AL Central)
• Texas Rangers (AL West)
• New York Yankees (Wild Card No. 1)
• Houston Astros. (Wild Card No. 2)

National League
• New York Mets (NL East)
• St. Louis Cardinals (NL Central)
• Los Angeles Dodgers (NL West)
• Pittsburgh Pirates (Wild Card No. 1)
• Chicago Cubs (Wild Card No. 2)

Postseason Bracket

Screenshot

 

Postseason Schedule

TUESDAY, OCT. 6

AL wild card: Houston Astros at New York Yankees at 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 
NL wild card: Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates at 8 p.m. ET (TBS)

THURSDAY, OCT. 8
ALDS Game 1: Wild-card winner at Kansas City Royals (Fox or MLB Network)
ALDS Game 1: Texas Rangers at Toronto Blue Jays (Fox or MLB Network)

FRIDAY, OCT. 9
NLDS Game 1: Wild-card winner at St. Louis Cardinals (TBS)
NLDS Game 1: New York Mets at Los Angeles Dodgers (TBS)
ALDS Game 2: Wild-card winner at Kansas City Royals (Fox or MLB Network)
ALDS Game 2: Texas Rangers at Toronto Blue Jays (Fox or MLB Network)

SATURDAY, OCT. 10
NLDS Game 2: Wild-card winner at St. Louis Cardinals (TBS)
NLDS Game 2: New York Mets at Los Angeles Dodgers (TBS)

SUNDAY, OCT. 11
ALDS Game 3: Kansas City Royals at Wild-card winner (Fox)
ALDS Game 3: Toronto Blue Jays at Texas Rangers (TBD)

MONDAY, OCT. 12
NLDS Game 3: St. Louis Cardinals at wild-card winner (TBS)
NLDS Game 3: Los Angeles Dodgers at New York Mets (TBS)
ALDS Game 4*: Kansas City Royals at Wild-card winner  (Fox)
ALDS Game 4*: Toronto Blue Jays at Texas Rangers (Fox)

TUESDAY, OCT. 13
NLDS Game 4*: St. Louis Cardinals at wild-card winner (TBS)
NLDS Game 4*: Los Angeles Dodgers at New York Mets (TBS)

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 14
ALDS Game 5*: Wild-card winner at Kansas City Royals (Fox)
ALDS Game 5*: Texas Rangers at Toronto Blue Jays  (Fox)

THURSDAY, OCT. 15
NLDS Game 5*: Wild-card winner at St. Louis Cardinals (TBS)
NLDS Game 5*: New York Mets at Los Angeles Dodgers (TBS)

Bracket by USA Today

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Happy Mother’s Day: Mets Memories, Family, and Believing http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/happy-mothers-day-mets-memories-family-and-believing.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/happy-mothers-day-mets-memories-family-and-believing.html/#comments Sun, 10 May 2015 10:33:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=181164 happy mothers day

A Message From Joe D. – One of the great things about MMO is all the great original content from the hundreds of Mets fans that have come and gone throughout the years. I love all the personal stories and the incredible passion and sentiment that goes into all those wonderful articles and Fan Shots.

Every year on Mother’s Day, I like to look back and re-post an article that evokes the spirit of home and family in a Mets kind of way. Enjoy this post by Daniel Nelson who interned with us in 2013 and is now a digital and editorial producer for San Francisco State University. So with that, I’d like to wish all you Mets Moms out there a very Happy Mother’s Day. 

1969 NLCS

Tucked away in the mountains of Tehachapi, Calif. rests a modest cottage. Living in that cottage are John and Jill Nelson. These are my parents.

In any given room, you can find the typical conventions of any old west-style household. There are paintings of horses on every wall, candle holders made from welded horseshoes on the dining room table and small pieces from alfalfa-hay flakes scattered across the 70s-style brown carpet.

If you look deep enough in the closets, underneath the abundance of dust, you’ll find something any true baseball fan has: memorabilia. In my parents’ case, the majority happens to be New York Mets memorabilia.

This offseason has dragged on for what seems like an eternity. The Mets continue to be written off, but this is something my parents have been used to hearing for as long as they’ve followed the Mets—something that’s been engrained in the way I’ve followed the Mets my whole life. I’m sure it’s something we all recognize.

See, my parents haven’t always resided on the West Coast. For a large chuck of their lives, they lived in Fair Lawn, N.J.—in Bergen County, which is right on the border of New York and New Jersey. They both worked for the Associated Press in New York.

My father is originally from Federal Way, Wash. so he indirectly adopted the Mets through my mother, who grew up in Kenilworth, N.J.

Whenever I visit my parents in Tehachapi, they tell me stories from when they watched and covered the Mets. They have a more impartial perspective because they are both journalists. You can tell when they talk about the Mets though, there’s just a hint attachment. I recently got a chance to visit them and they dusted off all their memorabilia and told me the stories behind it.

1969 poster from Jock Magazine (The magazine cost 60 cents and the poster is about 3 feet in length)

This 1969 poster from Jock Magazine cost 60 cents and measured about 3 feet in length.

Since the anniversary of Gary Carter’s passing, I’ve been asking them a lot about Mets teams of old. I want to share some stories and memorabilia with you. It’s my hope that we can put aside the Mets’ current foibles and focus primarily on something the Mets have done throughout the franchise’s history: defy the odds.

This offseason reminds me of the season preceding 1969—the “Miracle Mets” season.

go mets button footer

My mother got this Daily News issued button and the poster seen above during the Mets’ World Series run in 1969. The Mets clinched the division on Sept. 24, 1969 with a win over the St. Louis Cardinals 6-0.

It was also fan appreciation day. My mother and grandfather were both in attendance. My mother was 16 years old. She remembers fans climbing the foul poles and everyone rushing onto the field to grab a chunk of grass after the Mets won the game. On the way home, she recalls almost everyone riding the train holding a piece of grass. It would be nice to see the Mets get that kind of support from the fanbase again. There was a time when, despite how bad the Mets were, fans still showed a lot of support.

1986 NLCS score book

1986 NLCS Score Book

By the time 1986 rolled around, my father had become an established writer for the Associated Press. My older brother had been born so my mother became more of a fan. She went to a lot of games in ’86 and kept many things along the way.

Box score from Game 3 of the NLCS against the Astros at Shea Stadium

Box score from Game 3 of the NLCS against the Astros at Shea Stadium

As we all know, the Mets beat the Houston Astros in the ’86 NLCS in six games to move on to the World Series. My mother attended Game 3 (as you can see from the handwritten box score). The Mets won the game 6-5 with a walk-off home run by Lenny Dykstra. She said when Dykstra hit the two-run homer in the bottom of the 9th inning, the stands in Shea Stadium shook back and forth.

Two-page spread of the NL champion Mets in The Record newspaper on Sunday, Oct. 19, 1986

Two-page spread of the NL Champion Mets featured in The Record on Sunday, Oct. 19, 1986

During the ’86 World Series, my father wrote an evaluation of each team’s roster for the AP. He picked which team had the upper hand at each position. These evaluations were distributed to newspapers across the country that didn’t have traveling baseball writers and didn’t have as much knowledge about each team. When it came to third base, my father picked Ray Knight to be the better player over Wade Boggs. Every paper that the comparison was distributed to ran it except for one publication based in Boston. The paper refused to publish it unless Knight was replaced by Boggs. My father refused and the paper didn’t run his piece. When the World Series was over, Knight was named World Series MVP.

Mets box score from Game 6 of the 1986 World SeriesRed Sox box score from Game 6 of the 1986 World Series

My mother’s score card from Game 6 of the 1986 World Series

Both my mother and father were at Game 6. My mother was in the stands with my grandmother and my father was in the press box covering the game for the AP.

Back then, my father used to dictate the games over the phone back to the AP office. When Keith Hernandez made the second out of the 9th inning, the Series seemed all but wrapped up for the Red Sox. After Carter’s two-out hit in the inning, my father recalls telling the AP office, “Hold on. Something crazy is about to happen.”

It’s indicative of the way the Mets play. We saw it a lot in 2012 when the Mets piled up all those two-out runs.

My mother was sitting on the first base side in between home and first. She remembers Red Sox fans sitting a few rows in front of her going crazy after the second out of the 9th inning. After Wilson’s grounder to Bill Buckner at first, she claims that even if Buckner had fielded the ball, Wilson would have beat the throw. When the ball rolled passed Buckner, she recalls all of Shea Stadium going completely silent for a split second.

As Knight rounded third base seconds later, she said Shea blew up like someone had set off dynamite from under the seats. When she looked down at the Red Sox fans a few rows in front her, they were no where to be found.

I love hearing these stories whenever I get a chance to go home. The Mets are more than just my favorite team, they provide a special bond between me and my family. I’m a big believer in the Mets, and at the start of every new season I don’t ever count them out. History tells us that the Mets have a penchant for surprising everybody. I like it when we fly under the radar. They play better with a chip on their shoulders. With all that being said, I feel something amazin’ is in the works. Ya gotta believe!

tug mcgraw

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Mets Win A Pair: Flores, Grandy, Cuddyer All Homer http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mets-win-a-pair-flores-grandy-cuddyer-all-homer.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mets-win-a-pair-flores-grandy-cuddyer-all-homer.html/#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 21:16:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=176691 wilmer flores john mayberry

The Mets played two split squad games today, and came away with a victory in both matchups.  The Mets defeated the Houston Astros at home in Tradition field by a score of 3-1, and the Mets other squad won by a score of 7-2 against the St. Louis Cardinals in Jupiter.

Pitching:

Dillon Gee was solid in his start against Houston, but not spectacular. He allowed no runs and two hits in 3.2 innings. However, he walked two and did not record a strikeout.

Rafael Montero yielded the games only run on a double by Jonathan Villar in the 7th inning. Montero pitched 3.2 innings and struck out two batters.

Jack Leathersich and Sean Gilmartin, who are auditioning for a spot on the Opening Day Roster, both struck out the only batter they faced.

Carlos Torres tossed a perfect 9th inning and picked up the save.

Jon Niese got the start against St. Louis and was impressive. Niese struck out six batters in 4 innings and allowed just one run.

Dario Alvarez, Zack Thornton, Scott Rice and Chase Bradford all had scoreless appearances out of the bullpen.

Offense:

Michael Cuddyer homered again today against Houston in the first inning off of former Met Collin McHugh. Cuddyer now has three home runs this spring.

Curtis Granderson also went deep today with an opposite field home run during the fourth inning. Granderson finished the day going 1 for 2 with a walk.

Travis d’Arnaud added to the Mets 2-0 lead in the 6th with a RBI ground rule double off of Josh Fields.

Wilmer Flores continued his torrid spring with another great day at the plate. Flores homered off of Cardinals’ starter Jamie Garcia in the second inning.  His batting average now stands at .406, and he has hit two home runs and 7 RBI in 32 at bats.

The Mets scored two runs in both the 7th and 8th innings to put the game against St. Louis out of reach. Alex Castellanos had an RBI triple to put the Mets up 4-2, and Flores added to the damage with a sac fly to increase the lead. Prospect T.J. Rivera drove in the two runs in the 8th with an RBI single.

On Deck:

The Mets next game will be tomorrow at 1:10 against the St. Louis Cardinals. Bartolo Colon will start for New York, and will face off against Michael Wacha. The game will be televised on SNY.

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Astros, Mets at Cardinals, 1:05 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-astros-mets-at-cardinals-105-pm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-astros-mets-at-cardinals-105-pm.html/#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 16:25:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=176670 wright Lagares

The New York Mets return to action with a pair of split-squad games on Thursday.

Dillon Gee gets the start facing ex-Met Collin McHugh and the Houston Astros at Tradition Field at 1:10 PM in a game that will be televised on SNY.

Jon Niese and the rest of his squad travel to Jupiter to play the St. Louis Cardinals. He will be opposed by left-hander Jaime Garcia in a 1:05 PM matchup that will be televised on MLB Network.

The Mets sent pitching prospect and MMO favorite Akeel Morris to minor league camp on Thursday, leaving 46 players still in big league camp. The 22 year old righty went 4-1 with a 0.63 ERA in 41 relief appearances with Low-A Savannah last season, and an amazing 89 K to 22 BB ratio in 57 IP.

Here are today’s lineups:

Tradition Field

NEW YORK METS

  1. Juan Lagares, CF
  2. Curtis Granderson, RF
  3. Michael Cuddyer, LF
  4. Travis d’Arnaud, C
  5. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, DH
  6. Brandon Allen, 1B
  7. Ruben Tejada, SS
  8. Matt Reynolds, 2B
  9. Daniel Muno, 3B

HOUSTON ASTROS

  1. Jose Altuve, 2B
  2. Marwin Gonzalez, DH
  3. Colby Rasmus, LF
  4. Luis Valbuena, 3B
  5. Jed Lowrie, SS
  6. Jonathan Villar, CF
  7. Dan Johnson, 1B
  8. Hank Conger, C
  9. Alex Presley, RF

Jupiter, Florida

NEW YORK METS

  1. Wilmer Flores, SS
  2. Daniel Murphy, 2B
  3. David Wright, 3B
  4. Lucas Duda, 1B
  5. John Mayberry, RF
  6. Eric Campbell, DH
  7. Matt den Dekker, CF
  8. Anthony Recker, C
  9. Alex Castellanos, LF

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

  1. Matt Carpenter, 3B
  2. Jason Heyward, RF
  3. Matt Holliday, LF
  4. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  5. Yadier Molina, C
  6. Mark Reynolds, DH
  7. Matt Adams, 1B
  8. Kolten Wong, 2B
  9. Peter Bourjos, CF

Enjoy the games and Let’s Go Mets!

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MMO Game Thread: Astros vs Mets, 7:10 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mmo-game-thread-astros-vs-mets-710-pm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mmo-game-thread-astros-vs-mets-710-pm.html/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 19:30:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=166605 jon niese

The Mets (77-82) open their final series of the season on Friday night against the Houston Astros (69-90) at Citi Field. Jon Niese (9-11, 3.50) will get the start for the Mets and he’ll be opposed by Brad Peacock (4-9, 4.82) for the Astros in a 7:10 PM matchup.

Niese will make his 30th start tonight, tying his career-high. He also started 30 games in 2010 and 2012. Niese has gone 22 consecutive starts allowing three earned runs or less at home, tied with Johan Santana (April 29, 2008-May 27, 2009) for the longest such streak in team history.

Houston entered the National League in 1962 with the Mets as the Colt 45s before moving to the American League West in 2013. The Mets are 258-308 all-time vs. Houston. This is the first time the two clubs are meeting since the Astros moved to the AL.

Bobby Abreu is expected to formally announce his retirement tonight according to the Daily News. The Mets have had no discussion with him remaining with the organization in a coaching capacity.

Eric Young, Jr. swiped his 30th base in the first game of yesterday’s doubleheader and now ranks sixth in the National League in stolen bases. Young had 38 stolen bases with New York last year.

Curtis Granderson is 10-for-his-last-21 (.476) while hitting in six straight games. Granderson is hitting .329 (25-76) with 13 runs scored, seven doubles, one triple, three home runs and 16 RBI this month. His 16 RBI are tied for the second-most in the NL this month, he is also 12th with a .329 batting average, tied for third in doubles (7) and tied for second with 11 extra-base hits.

Wilmer Flores has scored 14 runs this month, collected five doubles, one triple, four home runs and driven in 13 runs in 20 games in September. Flores is tied for seventh in the NL with his four home runs this month, tied for 11th in RBI and runs scored and tied for ninth with 10 extra-base hits in September.

Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young Jr. – LF
  2. Wilmer Flores – 2B
  3. Daniel Murphy – 3B
  4. Lucas Duda – 1B
  5. Curtis Granderson – RF
  6. Matt den Dekker – CF
  7. Anthony Recker – C
  8. Ruben Tejada – SS
  9. Jon Niese – LHP

The Mets split the double header last night which locked in another losing season for the Amazins, but they still have a chance to finish with 80 wins on the season if they sweep the last series at home against the Houston Astros. Tonight Jon Niese will be on the hill as he takes on Brad Peacock as both teams try to finish their 2014 campaigns with dignity heading into the off-season.

Jon Niese is 9-11 over 29 starts and 182.1 innings with a 3.50 ERA heading into his final start of the season. In his last three starts he is 1-1 over 21.0 innings with a 2.14 ERA while striking out 19 batters. In his career he has made five starts against the Astros with a 1-3 record and a 3.60 ERA. The Astros have the following numbers against Niese:

  • Guzman 2-9
  • Fowler 1-9
  • Altuve 1-5
  • Gonzalez 0-4
  • Castro 0-3

The Mets bats will get a look at Brad Peacock tonight who is 4-9 this season over 27 games, 23 starts and 127.0 innings of work while posting a 4.82 ERA. He is coming off of a statistically interesting start where he pitched 3.1 innings allowed 6 hits and 2 earned runs and thanks to the defense, 7 total runs. He is also 1-0 in one career start against the Amazin’s where he allowed no runs and two hits over 5.0 innings. The Mets have the following limited numbers against him:

  • Tejada 1-3
  • Duda 0-1
  • Satin 0-2

Lets Go Mets!

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DeGrom’s Last Stand? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/degroms-last-stand.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/degroms-last-stand.html/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 17:26:31 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=166292 degrom

There isn’t any doubt in my mind that Jacob deGrom should be the National League’s Rookie of the Year. What he did in Sunday’s 10-2 rout of the Braves to complete a rare sweep in Atlanta – one earned run with ten strikeouts in six innings – should seal the deal.

What deGrom’s performance may have also sealed – although Terry Collins isn’t saying – is his ledger for the 2014 season. The Mets initially planned on 180 innings for deGrom this year and he’s at 178.2. Close enough.

Collins will make a decision early this week.

“We’ll regroup here in a couple of days and decide what we’re going to do with him as far as his next start goes,’’ Collins told reporters after the game. “He’s real close to where we wanted him to get anyway on the season. We were talking from 180 to 185 was going to be max anyway. We’ll just see if he starts the next game.’’

Collins said he’s impressed with deGrom’s stuff, both on the mound and from within.“I know one thing: He walked in here and he said he wanted to pitch,’’ Collins said. “He’s not sitting back saying, ‘OK, I’ll just shut her down.’ He wants to go back out there.

“That was impressive to hear. This time of year, in our situation, it would have been very easy for a lot of guys to say, ‘I’m done. I’m washed up.’ He’s not like that.’’

Collins has been impressed with his team’s unwillingness to pack in the season, and that’s a good reflection on him and why he’ll be back.

I have no problem with the Mets shutting down deGrom now, although it would be nice for him to take a bow at Citi Field in the season’s final weekend. The Mets are being ultra cautious, which is what to expect from them evidenced by their treatment of Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler.

If today was deGrom’s final start, he finished at 9-6 with a 2.63 ERA, 43 walks and 144 strikeouts. Those are definitely Rookie of the Year credentials.

Assuming deGrom is shut down, Rafael Montero would start next Saturday against the Houston Astros.

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Farnsworth Signs Major League Deal With Astros http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/farnsworth-signs-major-league-deal-with-astros.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/farnsworth-signs-major-league-deal-with-astros.html/#comments Sat, 17 May 2014 16:10:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=156098 kyle farnsworth

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Houston Astros have signed righthander Kyle Farnsworth to a major league deal.

The Mets released Farnsworth earlier in the week before his 45 day advance consent clause was set to expire, saving the team $750K for the rest of the season.  

“Hopefully, I’ll find a team to play against this team,” said a very bitter Farnsworth, who didn’t hide his emotions after receiving the news.

The scrapheap reliever - turned Mets closer – posted a 3.18 ERA in 18 appearances for the team with three saves.

I figured he’d latch on somewhere, but I’m shocked he got a major league deal…

Presented By Diehards

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Astros, 6:05 PM (WOR) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-astros-605-pm-wor.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-astros-605-pm-wor.html/#comments Wed, 26 Mar 2014 20:56:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=151754 USATSI dillon gee

The New York Mets head to Kissimmee to take on the Houston Astros tonight a 6:05 PM. Dillon Gee gets his final tune-up of the spring and will oppose Scott Feldman in a game that will be broadcast on WOR 710 AM.

Gee has been tabbed to start on Opening Day for the Mets who was humbled by the news.

“It’s a big honor,” Gee said. “I’m very thankful for that opportunity, but really I’ve just got to take it like any other.  It’s just one of 30-something starts I hope to get this year, but it’s definitely a big honor.”

Gee is 1-0 with 1.69 ERA in three spring training starts with eight strikeouts and no walks.

Here are tonight’s lineups:

Mets

  1. Daniel Murphy, 2B
  2. Juan Lagares, CF
  3. Ike Davis, DH
  4. Lucas Duda, 1B
  5. Andrew Brown, RF
  6. Josh Satin, 3B
  7. Eric Campbell, LF
  8. Anthony Recker, C
  9. Omar Quintanilla, SS

Astros

  1. Dexter Fowler, CF
  2. Robbie Grossman, LF
  3. Jason Castro, DH
  4. Jose Altuve, 2B
  5. Chris Carter, 1b
  6. Carlos Corporan, C
  7. L.J. Hoes, RF
  8. Matt Dominguez, 3B
  9. Jonathan Villar, SS

Scott Feldman, rhp

homer the dog

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Forbes: Mets Franchise Value Continues To Decline http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mets-stock-continues-to-fall.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mets-stock-continues-to-fall.html/#comments Wed, 26 Mar 2014 20:11:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=151760 mets dugout helmets USATSI brad barr

Forbes has released their list of franchise values of each Major League Baseball team.

The Mets ranked ninth with a value of $800 million, just behind the St. Louis Cardinals ($820 million).

The Yankees top the chart, coming in at $2.5 billion. This is the 17th year that Forbes has released this list, and the Yankees have risen in value and topped this list each time.

The outlook for the Mets according to Forbes, is not quite as good.

Only three teams fell in value over the past year: the New York Mets, Houston Astros and Miami Marlins. The Mets, down 1% to $800 million, are still going through a period of austerity with an $85 million payroll after the Bernie Madoff debacle. Attendance at Citi Field has fallen for five consecutive years. The team refinanced $250 million of debt and is no longer taking on water under the leadership of GM Sandy Alderson.

Coming in second, with a value of $2 billion dollars, is the Los Angeles Dodgers. Other billion dollar franchises include the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants.

Presented By Diehards

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This Day In Mets Infamy With Rusty: The Possible Granderson Calls Edition http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-the-possible-granderson-calls-edition.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-the-possible-granderson-calls-edition.html/#comments Wed, 11 Dec 2013 17:28:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=135158 granderson

Yes I know Opening Day is about three months away yet I found myself daydreaming during the Curtis Granderson introductory press conference yesterday. Who/what could I be daydreaming about you may ask?

Was it Jennifer Love Hewitt ? No.

Was it Jessica Alba in a string bikini ? Nope .

Could it be about the ’71 Dodge Demon 340 that I lusted over since I was 13 ? Nuh-uh.

Then what could it be that I was fantasizing about while our newest outfielder was talking about all the good things he heard about the Mets faithful (a mixture of good old-fashioned playing to the fan base with a pinch of brown-nosing thrown in for good measure). Try possible enthusiastic calls by either Howie Rose or Gary Cohen when The “Grandy Man” hits a game changing or game winning homerun or makes a stellar catch in the outfield.

So here are the Top 5 calls for Curtis Granderson when does something amazin for the Mets.

1. “IT’S A GRANDY SALAMMY!!!!!”

2. “IT’S A GRANDER- SON!!!!!”

3. “THAT ONE WAS GRANDED FOR LIFE!!!”

4. ” THAT BALL WAS ENGRANDED INTO THE PEPSI PORCH!!!!”

5. “GIVE THAT MAN A 100 GRAND BAR!!!”

But then after I stopped fantasizing I realized that our broadcasters are not named John Sterling and realized that this exercise was a moot point…

And with that said….. HERE COMES THE INFAMY!!!!!

Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:

Utility infielder from the ’03 season, Jay Bell is 49 (1965).

Mets outfielder from the ’00 season, Derek Bell is 45 (1968).

Other transactions of note includes:

The New York Mets traded utility infielder,  Felix Mantilla to the Boston Red Sox for pitcher, Tracy Stallard, third baseman, Pumpsie Green and utility infielder, Al Moran on December 11, 1962.

The New York Mets traded utility infielder, Ted Martinez to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder,  Mike Vail and utility infielder, Jack Heidemann on December 11, 1974.

The New York Mets released pitcher,  Bob Apodaca on December 11, 1979.

The New York Mets traded gold glove second baseman, Doug Flynn and middle reliever,  Danny Boitano to the Texas Rangers for pitcher,  Jim Kern on December 11, 1981.

The New York Mets traded shortstop, Frank Taveras to the Montreal Expos for pitching prospect,  Steve Ratzer on December 11, 1981.

The New York Mets traded outfielders, Kevin Mitchell, Stan Jefferson and former first round draft pick, Shawn Abner to the San Diego Padres for outfielder,Kevin McReynolds, pitcher, Gene Walter and minor league infielder,  Adam Ging on December 11, 1986.

The New York Mets traded shortstop,  Rafael Santana and minor league pitcher, Victor Garcia to the New York Yankees for reserve outfielders, Phil Lombardi, Darren Reed and minor league pitcher,  Steve Frey on December 11, 1987.

The New York Mets traded utility infielder,  Jeff Gardner to the San Diego Padres for pitcher,  Steve Rosenberg on December 11, 1991.Rosenberg never appeared is a game for as a Met.

The New York Mets signed 2 free agent pitchers, Steve Trachsel of the Toronto Blue Jays and Kevin Appier of the Oakland Athletics on December 11, 2000. I hated those signings at the time and I still dislike them today because this was when the Mets ownership and front office announced that the were not going to spend the money on a certain shortstop/third baseman who happens to be facing a 200 game suspension for PED use and instead gave us 2 mediocre pitchers.

The New York Mets signed free agent outfielder, Tsuyoshi Shinjo on December 11, 2000.

The New York Mets traded reserve outfielder,  Bubba Trammell to the San Diego Padres for middle reliever, Donne Wall on December 11, 2000.

The New York Mets traded reserve outfielder,  Alex Escobar, middle reliever, Jerrod Riggan, reserve outfielder, Matt Lawton, pitching prospect,Billy Traber and minor league first baseman,  Earl Snyder to the Cleveland Indians for  second baseman, Roberto Alomar, pitcher, Mike Bacsik and Danny Peoples on December 11, 2001. This trade should have been the steal of the century – intead it turned out to be one of the worst Mets trades ever !

The Los Angeles Angels signed spot starter/middle relievers,  Darren Oliver of the New York Mets as a free agent on December 11, 2006. I like most Mets fans wished that the Mets made an attept to re-sign him.

The New York Mets traded starting pitcher,  Aaron Heilman, reserve outfielder, Endy Chavez, and middle relievers Joe Smith, Jason Vargas,along with  minor league first baseman,Mike Carp, pitching prospect, Maikel Cleto and minor league outfielder, Ezequiel Carrera to the Seattle Mariners for relievers, Sean Green, J. J. Putz and reserve outfielders, Jeremy Reed on December 11, 2008.

The Mets drafted middle reliever, Darren O’Day from the Los Angeles Angels  on December 11, 2008.

One year to the day, the Chicago White Sox signed set up man, J. J. Putz of the New York Mets as a free agent on December 11, 2009. Putz should have been part of a completely overhauled bullpen in ’09 but by mid-season he sustained a shoulder injury. Needless to say a firestorm of controversy Putz claimed the Mets tried to steer him away from surgery and pitch through the injury !

The Houston Astros signed middle reliever, Jon Switzer of the New York Mets as a free agent on December 11, 2009.

There were reported sightings of Mo Vaughn in Orlando yesterday- but it turned out to be Shamu at SeaWorld!!!!

shamu whale

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This Day In Mets Infamy With Rusty: May The Farce Be With You http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-may-the-farce-be-with-you.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-may-the-farce-be-with-you.html/#comments Wed, 27 Nov 2013 14:48:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133871 star wars

A long long time ago, in a stadium directly across from Citi Field was a place where fans were born and memories were created. That was before the dark times – BEFORE THE MADOFF…

It is funny when you watch one of your all time favorite movies that you can attribute certain quotes to specific areas of your favorite baseball team. Take for example  this little nugget of jubilation:

You see what I told you was true….  from a certain point of view

This quote was uttered by Obi Wan Kenobi when Luke Skywalker confronted him about the true nature of Darth Vader’s identity. We can also attribute this to Sandy Alderson’s assertion that the Mets would spend more that the five million dollars the Mets spent last offseason. With the signing of Chris Young to that $7.25 million dollar contract they did just that. Is it what the fans expected? No, but Alderson was telling the truth – but not the way the fans had hoped.

Then there is this quote by Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back:

Do or do not. There is no try.

This is how the fans feel when the front office says that they intend on improving next years roster. But until the fans see some results, apathy will reign alongside the Dark Lord of the Sith.

star wars 2

Then there is this :

I find your lack of faith disturbing

This best sums up the disconnect between ownership and the fan base.

And……

Were doomed!!!

When we learned of Matt Harvey‘s need for Tommy John surgery.

star wars

And lastly…..

I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

This best describes my reaction when I – along with many of my fellow Mets fans – reacted when it was revealed the Mets would have a hard cap of $30 million dollars to spend in an offseason where almost every other baseball team has money to burn.

So lets just hope that this upcoming season at Citi Field finds the Mets in the middle of a dog fight of X-Wing proportions instead of it being like the frozen planet Hoth by the middle of August.

And with that said…. HERE COMES THE INFAMY!!!!!

Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:

Middle reliever from the ’68 season,  Bill Short turns 76 today (1937).

Reserve outfielder from the ’87 season, Randy Milligan is 52 (1961).

Spot starter/middle reliever from 2010, Raul Valdes  is 36 (1977).

Other notables include:

The New York Mets traded pitcher,  Bill Denehy to the Washington Senators for their manager, Gil Hodges on November 27, 1967. This is still one of the best trades the Mets ever made.

The New York Mets traded outfielder, Tommie Agee to the Houston Astros for outfielder Rich Chiles and  pitcher Buddy Harris on November 27, 1972. Agee was already past his prime by the time this trade was made, but Chiles was not a suitable replacement for Agee, and pitcher, Buddy Harris never played a game for the Mets.

The New York Mets traded middle relievers,  Brent Strom and Bob Rauch to the Cleveland Indians for reliever  Phil Hennigan on November 27, 1972.

The Boston Red Sox signed reliever Skip Lockwood of the New York Mets as a free agent on November 27, 1979. Lockwood was one of the best Mets closers you don’t remember.

The New York Mets signed free agent first baseman, Eddie Murray of the Los Angeles Dodgers on November 27, 1991. He still played at a high level in his  2 seasons as a Met, but his anti-social attitude was one of the reasons why the Mets team he played with was dubbed ” The Worst Team Money Could Buy”.

The New York Mets traded middle reliever, Jerry Dipoto to the Colorado Rockies for pitcher, Armando Reynoso on November 27, 1996.

The New York Mets traded  popular first baseman, Rico Brogna to the Philadelphia Phillies for middle relievers, Ricardo Jordan and Toby Borland on November 27, 1996.

Mo Vaughn is such a Star Wars fanatic that he once dressed as the Sarlacc Pit for Halloween !!!!

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Alderson: Hawkins Wanted Too Much For His Age, Black Will Close If Parnell Isn’t Ready http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/alderson-hawkins-wanted-too-much-for-his-age-black-will-close-if-parnell-isnt-ready.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/alderson-hawkins-wanted-too-much-for-his-age-black-will-close-if-parnell-isnt-ready.html/#comments Tue, 19 Nov 2013 20:33:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133034 latroy hawkins 2

The Rockies agreed to terms with veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins on a one-year, $2.25 million deal, last night.

The contract includes a $2.25MM option for 2015 with a $250K buyout and will be official once Hawkins passes a physical on Thursday. Hawkins will close games for Colorado who get themselves a steal.

Sandy Alderson weighed in on the deal this afternoon and according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, the issue was not closing games, it was all about the money relative to his age.

Sandy Alderson said the Mets would have liked to re-sign LaTroy Hawkins for 2014. But the GM acknowledged being unwilling to offer the $2.5 million the Colorado Rockies guaranteed to sign the reliever.

Alderson said there were two factors in making a more modest offer: Hawkins turns 41 years old next month. And the Mets were unlikely to have used Hawkins in a closer’s role, so they did not want to allot that type of money to him.

“We certainly would have liked to have had him in the pen. But going into spring, I think given the vagaries of relief pitching anyway, and his age, and what we have coming — it wasn’t clear what his role would be — I think we made an offer consistent with that.”

“I hate to keep emphasizing he’s 41, but at that age, in this game, I think the financial issue becomes not paramount in every case, but I think important,” Alderson said.

Parnell is expected to be fine for next season, Alderson said. And if he were unable to close, Vic Black will be the Mets closer. with the Mets, it will come down to money.

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Changes, Changes: My Offseason Plan For The New York Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/changes-changes-my-offseason-plan-for-the-new-york-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/changes-changes-my-offseason-plan-for-the-new-york-mets.html/#comments Sun, 27 Oct 2013 13:00:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131779 Sandy Alderson 2The Mets have a few glaring needs going into this offseason. Despite the numerous promising young players rising through the minor leagues and onto the 40-man roster, there are a few positions that will need to be filled for the team to be competitive in 2014 and beyond. The foundation seems to be there, with an emphasis on young pitching. Third base is locked up, catcher and center field look promising, and the bullpen has young hard-throwing arms that could minimize the amount the team needs to spend in that area going forward.

For my plan, I limited myself to a payroll of about $90 million, give or take a little bit. The Mets had a payroll of $93 million last season, which means they would technically be cutting payroll. It’s actually unclear whether they will actually get to $90 million, but for the purposes of discussion, we will set it at that. Frankly, despite a valuation putting the Mets at $2 billion, I am still not convinced the Wilpons are going to fork over enough money to fill the Mets’ holes.

Current Obligations

Here is a breakdown of the money the Mets owe to current and former players next season.

current obligaions

Arbitration Eligibles

The Mets face a few tough choices to make in terms of arbitration. There are quite a few players that are teetering on the edge of being non-tendered. Here is a breakdown of who I would tender a contract to, before making any trades.

arb players

Scott Atchison: The Mets did not quite get what they wanted out of Atchison. After a dominant season with the Red Sox, he posted a 4.37 ERA, 3.75 FIP, and 4.02 xFIP. With his age, he just isn’t worth the $1.3 million he is projected to get through arbitration.

Justin Turner: Turner puts up a decent batting average but not much else. He has served his purpose, but a .260/.323/.361 line isn’t good enough for a significant bat bench getting 200 plate appearances per season, even if he only makes $800,000.

Trades

1. Trade Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada to the Tampa Bay Rays for Yunel Escobar
Division Series - Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox - Game Two

On the Mets’ side, they get a solid shortstop at a good price. He put upleague average production last year, hitting .256/.332/.366 with a 97 OPS+ and 100 wRC+. That isn’t great (although it’s above average for a shortstop) but the real value comes from Escobar’s stellar defense. He has played ten runs or more above average three out of the last four seasons, including 17.5 runs above average in 2013. At best, Escobar is a four-win player and at worst he is worth 1.5 wins. Either way, his two $5 million club options over the next few years make him a very attractive option.

Net Salary Change: +$2.2 million

2. Trade Wilmer Flores, Gabriel Ynoa, and Hansel Robles to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Andre Ethier (Dodgers pay half of contract)

The Dodgers will reportedly be shopping both Ethier and Matt Kemp this winter, and it makes sense for the Dodgers to eat at least a portion of both of their salaries. Enter the Mets, who have prospects to spare. Given the right situation, giving up Wilmer Flores makes sense, and this is definitely one of them. Ethier is signed for the next four years at $71.5 million. However, if the Dodgers pay half to ship him off, suddenly the contract is a good value for the Mets, with Ethier’s salary ranging from $7.75 million in 2014 to just $9 million in 2017. Not bad for a three-win player.

Net salary change: +7.25 million

3. Trade Ike Davis to the Houston Astros for a player to be named later

Sorry Ike, but you’re time is up here. The Mets should tender him a contract to at least get something out of him, however much that may be. His value is rather unknown at this point, but he doesn’t fit into the plan.

Net salary change: -$3.5 mm

Free Agency

1. Sign Mike Napoli to a three-year, $39 million deal
Napoli originally got this very same contract from the Red Sox last offseason, but due to health concerns, it was negotiated down to just a one-year deal with a base salary of $5 million. While he strikes out at a high rate, he can handle first base better than Kendrys Morales, who would just be a more expensive version of Lucas Duda. A three year deal worth $13 million per year would be more than fair for Napoli, who will turn 32 at the end of the month.

2. Sign Corey Hart for one-year worth $5 million, with $3 million in possible incentives
When healthy, Hart is a 25 to 30 home run hitter who can get on base at a decent clip. His health concerns will lower his price, but the Mets could score big by signing him to an incentive-laden contract with a low base salary to man right field. In 2012, Hart hit .270/.334/.507 with 30 home runs with the Brewers.

3. Sign Tim Stauffer for one-year and $1.5 million

Tim Stauffer is another player who, when healthy, is worth far more than what he might get as a free agent. The 32 year-old could be effective either in the rotation or out of the bullpen, depending on who steps up. Last year for the Padres he put up a 3.75 ERA in 69.2 innings.

4. Re-Sign LaTroy Hawkins for one-year, $2 million

Hawkins definitely earned a spot on the 2014 Mets, posting a 2.93 ERA over 70.2 innings. Soon to be 41, Hawkins still has the velocity to pitch a few more years.

Minor League Contracts

Scott Rice- You’d have to be crazy to not offer Rice a minor league contract at minimum after the year he had last season.

John Lannan- Lannon had been a solid rock in the Nationals rotation until 2012 when he was unexpectedly pushed aside to the minor leagues due to the plethora of depth the Nationals had. Lannan had a 4.00 ERA in 128 starts for the Nats in 2007 through 2012. Since then, he has been on an off in the minors, but could be a steal if he returns to old form.

Aaron Harang- Aaron Harang may have struggled badly last year, but he is still a bounce-back candidate for 2014. In 2011 and 2012, he combined for a 3.62 ERA in 350.1 innings.

James McDonald- Another bounce-back candidate who could provide depth for the Met rotation is James McDonald. McDonald, 29, had a 4.10 ERA coming into this year in over 120 appearances until the wheels fell of in spectacular fashion this year. Nonetheless, McDoonald, unlike some of these other signings, is still relatively young and could easily bounce back.

Yorvit Torrealba- The Mets need a backup catcher, and Torrealba fits what they need: a cheap veteran. This isn’t where the Mets need to spend any more than the minimum, as Juan Centeno may make the team over any veteran that is signed.

Clint Barmes- Barmes would provide a solid backup up the middle.

Summary

Here is a breakdown of the proposed roster:

total plan salaries

In the end, I was able to put together a team with a total salary of $88.1 million, slightly below my original self-imposed cap. Under this plan, with major upgrades at shortstop, first base, and both corner outfield positions, as well as added depth to the starting rotation, the Mets could certainly compete for a playoff spot. In addition, keeping all but two significant prospects would still have the organization in good shape going forward, with the possibility of continued improvement after the debuts of Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero. Hopefully it will be a busy offseason for the Mets as they look to build on the foundation of young players currently in the organization.

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Alderson Says Harvey Injury Will Not Alter His Plan For Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/sandy-says-harvey-injury-does-not-derail-teams-plans.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/sandy-says-harvey-injury-does-not-derail-teams-plans.html/#comments Thu, 29 Aug 2013 12:23:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=127938 Mets GM Sandy Alderson appeared as a guest on ESPN Radio with Mike Lupica on Wednesday, and said that the injury to Matt Harvey will not change the team’s plans going forward.

“It’s not a dream unrealized,” Alderson said. “It may be a dream deferred.”

His goals remain the same which he says is to “stockpile talent and lower the payroll to reinvest in team and win ballgames.”

Alderson said that losing Harvey is a setback, but this is what happens to all teams in baseball and that’s why you don’t build a team around one great player. “All teams have contingencies for these types of setbacks, and so do we.”

“Matt Harvey is not the plan,” Alderson said. “He’s part of a larger plan.”

Alderson also addressed that tweet yesterday from Matt Harvey who hopes to be back next season, and basically validated what I said. “Matt was not in deep denial.” (or delusional?)

“There is some possibility that surgery can be avoided,” Alderson said. “Is there a risk it can tear further? Yes…But there is still some possibility that surgery will not occur and Matt will decide to do something else. We’re going to wait three weeks and test it, to see if he’s hurting.”

Then Alderson said: “Matt spoke to Roy Halladay yesterday and Halladay said ‘I had the same problem 10 years ago and I still haven’t had the surgery.’ There is reason to hope in that regard.”

Glad to see Sandy address both these issues and to do so logically as too many are trying to inflame things more than they need to be.

Original Post: Loss Of Harvey Should Not Alter Our Plans For 2014

From the day that Sandy Alderson first took the reins as the Mets new general manager during the 2010 offseason, we’ve all been conditioned to believe that 2014, his fourth year on the job, would signal the beginning of something special.

By the end of the 2012 season, Matt Harvey emerged as the poster child for the new and exciting era that lied ahead for the franchise. And why not? Here he was in his first full season vying for a Cy Young and giving the youngest among us a taste of what it must have felt like when Tom Seaver turned the franchise around.

With all the feel of a Greek tragedy, it all came crashing down on August 26, 2013. That was when we all learned that Matt Harvey has been pitching with a sore forearm that was finally checked out by team doctors when the soreness became more severe after his last start against the Tigers when he gave up a career-high 13 hits. During an impromptu press conference, Sandy Alderson uttered the words that none of us wanted to hear.

“This afternoon, team doctors have confirmed that Matt Harvey as a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. This is not good news, obviously, and we will know more over the next two weeks, during which they will better determine his treatment. But surgery has not been ruled out.”

It sent shock-waves to Met fans everywhere. There would be no more Harvey Days this season, and perhaps next season as well.

Within 12 hours, everyone had posts entitled, “What the Matt Harvey Injury Means.”

What the hell do you think it means? Do we really need to tell you what it means in 1,000 words? I can tell you what it means in two words… We’re screwed.

The better question, and one that I will try my best to answer, is this one…

How does this impact our offseason and can the Mets navigate through this in 2014?

On how it will impact our offseason, a lot of that depends on how Zack Wheeler, Jon Niese and Dillon Gee end this season. If they continue pitching and developing the way all three have as of late, the collateral damage won’t be as bad as it looks. We can go into this offseason with the same goals we had 48 hours ago, and that is to acquire a power-hitting outfielder and an everyday shortstop. Regardless of the Harvey situation, those two items should still be at the top of our agenda.

The timing of the Harvey injury is unfortunate because of the lateness in the season. It means we won’t have an opportunity to see what prospects Jacob deGrom or Rafael Montero can offer. Both of them are close to being shutdown due to their innings caps.

We head into the offseason with some uncertainty about Jenrry Mejia as well. The 23-year old righthander was pitching brilliantly before being shutdown after the bone spur in his elbow became to painful to pitch through. He is set to have surgery in the next 5-7 days. How he responds has yet to be determined. In most cases this is a simple procedure and just a basic cleaning up of loose bodies in the elbow. But when you consider Frank Francisco has missed the entire year after a similar procedure, it certainly makes you wonder.

Our expectations for 2014 have certainly taken a hit and for many our optimism is now tempered and subdued. But let me remind you that despite the loss of our ace, it still takes 25 players to compete and I see no reason why the Mets can’t contend in the NL East next season.

While Harvey will certainly be missed, there are several opportunities for other pitching prospects to step up and shine, just as Harvey did last year when we lost Johan Santana. We thought the sky was falling back then as well. Guess what? It didn’t…

The good news is that Harvey is both young and strong and could be back as soon as next season if the Mets don’t delay the inevitable and get this surgery taken care of as soon as possible. How they proceed remains to be seen.

All I’m saying is that we shouldn’t let this damper our spirit. At some point Matt Harvey will be back and with the amazing advances with Tommy John Surgery, many pitchers come back just as strong as before, and in some cases even stronger. In fact, Jenrry Mejia was proving that before he was shut down.

So let’s stay the course. Lets continue with the plan we had in place and fill those key spots in the outfield and shortstop, while trying to come up with a final resolution at first base. These matters still have to be settled.

Lets control the things we can, and stop worrying about the things we can’t control.

In the meantime, we’ll wish Matt a speedy recovery… We all anxiously await his return to what should be a much better team than the one we will end this season with.

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Rick Ankiel Elects Free Agency http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/rick-ankiel-elects-free-agency.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/rick-ankiel-elects-free-agency.html/#comments Thu, 13 Jun 2013 19:35:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=121923 rick ankiel

Rick Ankiel has parted way with the New York Mets says Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. The 33-year old elected to become a free agent rather than accept a minor league assignment after being designated for assignment last week.

Ankiel was signed by the Mets exactly one month ago on May 13th after being released by the Houston Astros just four days prior. He batted .182 with 25 strikeouts in just 66 at-bats in his short time in Flushing.

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Mets Should Target One Of The Austins With Their First Round Pick http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/mets-should-target-one-of-the-austins-with-their-first-round-pick.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/mets-should-target-one-of-the-austins-with-their-first-round-pick.html/#comments Sat, 11 May 2013 13:00:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=118285 2013draft

The draft is slowly creeping up on us, and is now less than a month away. It’s do or die time for scouts, and for some draft hopefuls, coming down to the wire to show that they deserve a shot to call baseball their profession. On June 6, everyone is expecting the Houston Astros to take Stanford Pitcher, Mark Appel, with the first pick in the draft. After that, it’s really anyone’s guess.

The Mets have four picks in the first three rounds this year (11, 48, 76, 84). There are numerous draft strategies that teams use — drafting for organizational need, drafting players in premiere positions, taking best player available — many factors come in to play when looking at players to draft. The Mets have been said to be targeting college bats this season. This is a sound strategy, because the organization is overflowing with pitching talent, but it lacks offensive punch.

The fastest way to boost the offense is by selecting players that are still young, yet have been playing against top notch talent in college. College hitters should have a shorter route to the show, and be able to help out the big league team faster than high school players. Selecting polished hitters seems to be working out for the Mets, after seeing the early success of Kevin Plawecki, Jayce Boyd and Matt Reynolds.

With that in mind, here’s a look at the players the Mets should be taking a long look at when they are on the clock with their top pick:

Round 1: Pick 11 

Meadows

Hunter Renfroe is said to be the pick here, mainly because the Mets are said to be targeting college bats. But a high schooler named Austin Meadows has more upside, and the Mets can probably get him with the No. 11 pick. Meadows is big and fast — 6 feet 3 inches tall, 200 pounds, and runs the 60 yard dash in 6.3 seconds. He’s physically mature for his age, and should fill out even more as he develops over the next few years.

Meadows a left-handed batter with a short and compact swing. The swing can get long at times, but his bat speed can make up for it when it does. He doesn’t load much, but has some lift which will produce the long ball. He shows ridiculous and effortless raw power, and good plate discipline. His pitch recognition is advanced for his age. He is a solid defender, and whether or not teams think he can stick in center field will determine if he is a top ten pick or not.

The Mets should go with Meadows due to the incredible upside. He’s said to be a quick learner and has good aptitude for the game. He projects to be a middle of the order hitter and has All-Star potential. He should be there at No. 11 for the Mets, and if he is, they would be foolish to pass.

Wilson

If the Mets feel the absolute need to go with a college bat in round one, then the man they want is Austin Wilson. The Stanford outfielder stands in at 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 245 pounds. Don’t let the weight scare you, he’s extremely athletic for his size. He runs a 6.7 in the 60 yard dash, which is also solid speed for his size. He has a plus arm and is a solid defender. He is also said to have excellent character and work ethic.

He was previously drafted out of high school in 2010, but turned down the opportunity to play in the Cardinals organization to go play for the Cardinal in Stanford. He was labeled as an extremely raw talent coming out of high school, but his time at Stanford has helped him develop his game, although he still isn’t a finished product. He has good plate discipline and excellent power that could generate some moon shots.

If the Mets go with either Austin, it would be a solid pick. Both players have top-ten-pick potential, so for the Mets to get them at No. 11 would be a steal. If the Mets had their choice of the two, they would probably go with Wilson, considering he is a college bat. But since Wilson isn’t as polished as most college hitters, if Meadows is on the board, I don’t see how they pass on him. Either way, they both would be solid additions to the Mets organization.

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Buffalo and Blue Jays Nearing a PDC Agreement http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/09/buffalo-and-blue-jays-nearing-a-pdc-agreement.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/09/buffalo-and-blue-jays-nearing-a-pdc-agreement.html/#comments Sun, 16 Sep 2012 16:24:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=95901

Updated Post 9/16

Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News writes this morning:

It’s been hush-hush until now because of the rules of the minor and major leagues, but the window for MLB clubs to talk to potential new minor-league affiliates officially opened today — and the Bisons and Toronto Blue Jays are now working on the game’s worst-kept secret.

Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos confirmed to Toronto reporters this morning that the team is speaking to the Bisons about moving their Triple-A club from Las Vegas to Buffalo.

Harrington adds that the only real discussion point is whether the deal will be for two or four years.

As for the Mets, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

You can follow Mike Harrington on Twitter at @BNHarrington.

Original Post 9/11

The Oklahoma City RedHawks and Houston Astros announced today that they have extended their Player Development Contract through 2014, keeping the Astros’ Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City for two more seasons.

“We are very happy to continue our relationship with the Houston Astros,” RedHawks President & General Manager Michael Byrnes said. “The Astros are in the middle of a new and exciting chapter in their franchise’s storied history, and we’re proud to be a part of it.”

The RedHawks became an Astros affiliate prior to the 2011 season. After a 68-75 campaign in the inaugural season, the RedHawks improved to 78-65 in 2012. The RedHawks finished in second place in the PCL’s American Southern Division by just 1.5 games, and it was the best record for a non-playoff team in franchise history.

“We are excited to continue our relationship with Oklahoma City and the RedHawks for another two years,” said Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow. “The facility is first rate and the environment is excellent for the highest level of minor league baseball. Our prospects benefit from playing there.”

This pretty much narrows down the field for the Mets, as the list of AAA teams without a PDC for 2013 now stands at two cities, not counting Buffalo who want nothing to do with the Mets and Memphis who is close to a new deal with the Cardinals.

The remaining two possible affiliate cities are Las Vegas and Tucson.

All bets are on Las Vegas.

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