Mets Merized Online » Juan Lagares http://metsmerizedonline.com Sat, 06 Feb 2016 23:29:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.13 Mets 2016 Payroll Projects To $139 Million http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/mets-2016-payroll-projects-to-139-million.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/mets-2016-payroll-projects-to-139-million.html/#comments Tue, 26 Jan 2016 13:36:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=205055 citi field home

Here is the most current Opening Day payroll projection for 2016.

Guaranteed Contracts ($120.125 Million)

Yoenis Cespedes – $27.5 Million

David Wright - $20.0 Million

Curtis Granderson - $16.0 Million

Asdrubal Cabrera – $8.25 Million

Bartolo Colon – $7.25 Million

Lucas Duda - $6.725 Million

Alejandro De Aza - $5.75 Million

Antonio Bastardo – $5.375 Million

Addison Reed – $5.3 Million

Matt Harvey – $4.325 Million

Jerry Blevins – $4.0 Million

Ruben Tejada – $3.0 Million

Juan Lagares - $2.5 Million

Jenrry Mejia – $2.47 Million

Carlos Torres – $1.05 Million

Josh Edgin – $625 K

Arbitration ($16.6 Million)

Neil Walker – $11.8 Million ($9.4M)

Jeurys Familia – $4.8 Million ($3.3M)

That amounts to $134.255 million for 17 roster spots, not including Jenrry Mejia who starts the season on the suspended list. I used an aggregate of $600,000 to calculate the remaining eight roster spots at $4.8 million dollars.

Projected 2016 Payroll  - $139.06 Million Dollars

That puts the current Mets payroll projection at $139.06 million dollars or roughly $36 million more than Opening Day in 2015.

There’s also a possibility they could add another reliever to the bullpen, which could bring the final number past the $140 million dollar level and closer to $145 million.

I don’t know about you guys, but as for me, I’m going to tone down my rhetoric against the Wilpons moving forward. The truth is that they pledged to spend accordingly once the fans returned to Citi Field and they did exactly that.

The Mets are now exactly where I want them to be as an organization on the verge of great things and that’s what I’m choosing to focus on in 2016. It’s time to drop that heavy, burdening sack of bricks and move on. LGM

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Mets Opening Day Payroll Currently At $108 Million http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/mets-opening-day-payroll-currently-at-108-million.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/mets-opening-day-payroll-currently-at-108-million.html/#comments Mon, 18 Jan 2016 11:01:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=204440 mets dugout helmets USATSI brad barr

With the New York Mets recently reaching pre-arbitration settlements with five of their eligible players, and the addition of free agent Alejandro De Aza to a one year deal worth $5.75 million dollars, here is the most current Opening Day payroll projection for 2016.

Guaranteed Contracts ($78.05 Million)

David Wright – $20.0 Million

Curtis Granderson – $16.0 Million

Asdrubal Cabrera – $8.25 Million

Bartolo Colon – $7.25 Million

Alejandro De Aza – $5.75 Million

Addison Reed – $5.3 Million

Matt Harvey – $4.325 Million

Jerry Blevins – $4.0 Million

Ruben Tejada – $3.0 Million

Juan Lagares – $2.5 Million

Carlos Torres – $1.05 Million

Josh Edgin – $625 K

The guaranteed contracts amount to $78.05 million for 12 players.

Arbitration ($26.6 Million)

Neil Walker – $11.8 Million ($9.4M)

Lucas Duda – $7.4 Million ($5.9M)

Jeurys Familia – $4.8 Million ($3.3M)

Jenrry Mejia – $2.6 Million ($2.4M)

The Mets exchanged arbitration figures with four players on Friday. I’ve included the player’s arbitration filling along with what the Mets filed in parentheses. The player’s total amounts to $26.6 million compared to $21 million for the Mets. That’s a difference of $5.5 million.

That amounts to $101.55 million for 15 roster spots, not including Jenrry Mejia who starts the season on the suspended list. I used an aggregate of $600,000 to calculate the remaining 10 roster spots at $6.0 million dollars.

Projected 2016 Payroll  - $108.05 Million Dollars

That puts the current Mets payroll projection at $108.05 million dollars or roughly $5 million more than Opening Day in 2015. It could fall to as much as $5 million dollars less depending on what happens in arbitration. But I’m pretty certain that won’t happen and the players will all win their cases in front of the independent arbitrators.

Final Thoughts

Mets GM Sandy Alderson spoke to reporters earlier this month and said he hopes his team will open 2016 with a “somewhat higher” payroll than the roughly $103 million mark it stood at on Opening Day last year.

Sandy believes payroll could rise to $115 million or more throughout the season. “So my hope is we’ll start with a somewhat higher payroll — I don’t know exactly what that will be — than we started at last year. And we’ll have room at the deadline to make acquisitions, as we did last year.”

Of course, the Mets are reportedly still in the hunt for Yoenis Cespedes and that could change the payroll landscape significantly. If that doesn’t happen they still would like to add right-handed outfielder/first baseman type for the bench.

There’s also a possibility they could add a setup type reliever for the bullpen, but last week it was reported that they could just go with what they have, as the remaining free agent relievers are still too pricey and they do not want to give more than one year to any of them.

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Final Mets Dominican Winter League Regular Season Stats http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/final-mets-dominican-winter-league-regular-season-stats.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/final-mets-dominican-winter-league-regular-season-stats.html/#comments Mon, 28 Dec 2015 18:18:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=203222 Photo by laradio247fm.com

Juan Lagares continued some of his offensive trends from the regular season with the Mets right into winter ball action with the Aguilas Cibaenas. He hit .276/.333/.293 overall but was great against left-handed pitching going 7 for 13 without a strikeout. However, he was just 9 for 45 against righties with 11 strikeouts.

He did have an eight-game hitting streak that was snapped in what will be his last game of the winter season with the Aguilas not making the playoffs. More importantly though is the fact that Lagares had two outfield assists in his last game including throwing out a runner trying to score from second on a single.

Lagares had seven runs scored, five RBI, five walks, double, and two stolen bases in 16 games for the Aguilas. Here are some highlights from his time in the DWL, game-winning bloop singlego-ahead single to right field, and this nice lunging play in center field.

Here are the rest of the Mets affiliated players regular season stats:

  • John Mora - Got into only one game for the Aguilas without receiving an at bat.
  • Yeixon Ruiz - Was 0 for 1 in the only game action he saw for the Estrellas de Oriente.
  • Jhoan Urena - Went 1 for 4 with a double in his only game for the Gigantes del Cibao.
  • Jean Rodriguez - Played only one game for the Leones del Escogido going 1 for 4.
  • Dario Alvarez - 3.97 ERA, 1.76 WHIP with eight strikeouts/eight walks in 11.1 innings (21 games) split between Aguilas and Toros del Este.
  • Chase Huchingson - 3.86 ERA, 1.71 WHIP with two strikeouts in 2.1 innings (5 games) for the Tigres del Licey.
  • Rainy Lara -  Pitched seven games (one start) for Leones going 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA, 1.55 WHIP with seven strikeouts compared to five walks in 11 innings.
  • Luis Mateo - Allowed two runs on two hits with one strikeout in two innings for Leones.
  • Jenrry Mejia - Made 9 appearances (8 starts) for Tigres going 1-3 with a 3.92 ERA, 1.33 WHIP with 26 strikeouts/12 walks in 39 innings.
  • Stolmy Pimentel - Had a 3.18 ERA, 1.41 WHIP with two strikeouts/walk in 5.2 innings for the Estrellas before being shutdown with bicep tendonitis in his throwing arm.

Rafael Montero made his winter ball debut for Leones on Monday pitching one inning allowing a solo homerun and striking out two. The team announced that the Mets want him to be used as a reliever and he could be active for the playoffs.

The Dominican League playoffs started last night with the four qualifying teams starting their 18-game round robin. The two teams with the best records in the round robin will then play in a best-of-nine series for the championship.

Alejandro De Aza made his winter ball debut for the Toros del Este last night going 0 for 3 with a walk as the designated hitter in their 3-2 win in game one of the playoffs.

(Photo by laradio247fm.com)

For more winter ball coverage head over to MetsMinors.net.

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A Christmas Carol: The Sandy I Met http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/a-christmas-carol-the-sandy-i-met.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/a-christmas-carol-the-sandy-i-met.html/#comments Sun, 20 Dec 2015 19:11:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=136501 Actor Jim Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge

Pen went to paper way back in 1843. Even so, the classic holiday novella, “The Christmas Carol” resonates with readers today as one of Charles Dickens’ most important literary contributions. No other character in the beloved novella captures the fascination of readers and viewers like Ebenezer Scrooge.

Many times, my mind shifts to Ebenezer Scrooge when I hear New York Met fans and members of the media characterize Met General Manager Sandy Alderson. For me, it’s almost like many who root for or write about the Mets, have stolen a page from Dickens when they reference the Met GM.

Think about it. Like Scrooge, Sandy Alderson is often vilified as a cold, reclusive figure, a definitive “low temperature guy,” stoic and self-contained. Dickens painted a portrait of Ebenezer Scrooge as a Victorian like miser, a character who symbolized the rich, the elite, protecting only their interests at the expense of the suffering poor.

Fast forward to modern times and consider how many Met fans depict Sandy Alderson. Ditto. In their world view, Sandy Alderson was planted in the Met front office by Commissioner Bud Selig to protect the interests of his friend, multi-millionaire Met owner Fred Wilpon. Like Scrooge, Alderson is presented as shrewd and cunning, a tight-fisted, emotionless hoarder, a guy fixated on protecting the interest of his boss while at the same time immune to the suffering of fans who live and die for the Mets.

To read some comments on Met blogs and fan sites it would be easy to come away believing Sandy Alderson is a synonym for a covetous, grasping, possessive guy with no soft edges. A man who defers to logic and sabermetrics to avoid the warmth that comes with feelings and emotion.

The Sandy Alderson popularly typified by many Met fans and the press is not the Sandy Alderson I met at a Binghamton Met game in early September of 2011.

It was the final weekend of Double-A baseball, and I was in a foul and Grinch-like mood myself. Hurricane Irene had just devastated the tiny Catskill Mountain town where I lived, Binghamton Met baseball would soon be ending, and I was in desperate need of a mental reprieve. I hunkered down in a seat in the top row behind home plate and went about my pre-game statistical recordings that come with keeping score at a baseball game.

I’m obsessive about keeping score when watching a ballgame. Batting and pitching statistics are recorded before the game and then every pitch and every play is charted. For the most part, I’m not approachable as I madly jot down notes in the moments before a baseball game begins.

On this particular day, I was aware someone had appeared in the aisle outside my row. I was sitting in the third seat and glanced up to note a gentleman studying his ticket stub, clearly deciding where he was supposed to sit. An odd feeling of recognition flooded my senses, but I struggled to match a name with the face. This stately fellow sent a ‘hello’ my way as he settled into the aisle seat, which I returned with a nod. Deferring to my statistics, I decided to try and figure out if I knew who this Met fan might be when the final pre-game stats had been logged.

scroogeTurning back toward the stranger I was certain I should know who he might be. He was clearly a man who cared about his appearance, trim and neat as a pin. He traveled without scorebook, notepad or camera, somewhat unusual for a solitary fan sitting in the part of the park where scouts representing major league franchises often assemble. He was busy on a cell phone, tweeting I assumed.

Age has a way of slowing name recognition, but it wasn’t long before the name Sandy Alderson surfaced. Oddly, that presented a dilemma of sorts. I have always followed a belief that people of celebrity deserve some privacy in public venues. Sandy Alderson was at NYSEG Stadium to watch Met baseball prospects not to engage in conversation with me. Yet, it’s always my habit to introduce myself to the folks who sit around me at a baseball game. The social aspect of watching baseball is one of the pleasures of the game. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to handle that divergence.

It was a Juan Lagares at-bat in the bottom of the first inning that was the icebreaker. The B-Mets were playing the Fighting Phils from Reading, and Lagares was the B-Met rightfielder that night. Lagares was on a tear, ripping Double-A pitching at a .370 clip after his arrival to Binghamton. I would later come to believe it was Lagares and Reese Havens that Sandy had really come to see.

Lagares pieced together an uncanny at-bat that lasted 13 pitches with the outfield prospect flying out to the warning track in left field on the final pitch. I leaned towards Sandy and said, “Now that was a major league at-bat.” Knowing what I know now about the Met organizational approach to hitting and the role average number of pitches in an at bat means when evaluating prospects, I would have predicted Sandy’s response to my comment. It was like the flood gates opened and conversation flowed easily between the two of us for the rest of the night.

I made a conscious decision that night not to broach controversial topics swirling around Met land at the time, the hottest issue whether Sandy would resign Jose Reyes. I wasn’t a reporter looking for a sports scoop. My goal was to enjoy Sandy’s company as I enjoyed the company of any new neighbor at a baseball game.

Far from self-contained, Sandy surprised me by peppering me with questions. He had a curious mind and wanted to know everything he could about me. His first line of questions concerned my relationship with the B-Mets. How often did I attend games? Was I a season ticket holder? When Sandy learned I had purchased a game pack, he wanted to know how that worked. What kind of statistics did I take? Did I do anything with them after the game? Where did my interest in baseball and the Mets originate from?

When Sandy learned I lived some two hours from Binghamton and the town where I lived had been hit hard by Irene, the line of questioning shifted. Sandy had seen news clips about the devastation and was clearly concerned. There was much he wanted to know. Was anyone lost? Were folks displaced? What was the extent of the damage? His questions addressed the clean-up, possible damages of my home and property, lodging and provisions for people effected by the storm, anything and everything related to the storm and its impact.

Before long word spread that the Met GM was in the house. A steady stream of Met fans stopped by to chat with Sandy or hawk an autograph. Sandy couldn’t have been more accommodating. He treated each Met fan with the same curiosity and graciousness he showed in his conversations with me, asking people their names or asking questions about them, always obliging, always amenable. I was struck with the sharp contrast between the image of Sandy painted by his distractors and the guy seated alongside me at this B-Met game.

1450639240454I laugh when I read frustrated Met fans accusing Sandy Alderson of not caring about the team he puts on the field. That is not the Sandy I met. Sandy wasn’t shy about asking my opinions about B-Met prospects. He chatted about some of the younger players in the system, and we talked in general about the Mets. The Met GM was constantly on his cell phone getting Met game updates, reporting the score to me with any commentary that had been passed his way. I remember Sandy was especially pleased to report rookie pitcher Josh Stinson had registered an inning of scoreless relief toward the end of the game.

The things about Sandy that most impressed me that night were his wit, his dry sense of humor, and his genuine appreciation for all the unusual things that take place at a minor league baseball park. No two minor league baseball venues are the same. Every minor league park is distinct. Each minor league franchise has it’s own discrete culture with during the game entertainment events that help define what makes them special.

In Binghamton’s case three between innings game events come to mind. Binghamton is a city nicknamed the “Carousel Capital of the World.” To celebrate that fact, the B-Mets have a Carousel Horse Mascot ridden by a Cowboy who throws hot dogs over the screen to screaming fans. “I remember telling Sandy to prepare himself for something he had never seen at a baseball park before and unless he returned to Binghamton would likely never see again.” He laughed heartily at the mayhem that followed.

With a twinkle in his eye and a smile from ear to ear, Sandy was riveted during a mid-game break when a gate in the fence along the left field stands was opened and hundreds of kids poured out on to the field racing across the outfield to exit through another gate on the right field side. Sandy talked about how important it was to connect baseball with young people and you could tell he approved of the youngster’s lap in the outfield.

The clincher came during the seventh inning stretch. I whispered to Sandy that he was in for a real Binghamton treat. During almost every B-Met home game since the franchise began in Binghamton 21 years ago, an elderly gent called ‘Jingles’ dances to his own lively signature song during the break between the halves of inning seven. Jingles stage is located directly behind where Sandy and I sat. Sandy loved it, clapping to the rhythm and cheering loudly with all the other B-Met fans when ‘JIngles’ completed his jig.

In fact, Sandy was so inspired, as he sat back down in his seat, I watched him fish around in a pocket and pull out his ticket stub. Sandy jotted something down on the stub, turned to me and said, “Here. Take this. If you ever get to New York City call this number, and I’ll make sure you have a good time.”

Stunned would be an understatement. By the time the game had ended, Lagares would add a basehit to his 13-pitch at bat. And Reese Havens went 2-5 with a double and RBI. Sandy and I shook hands and headed our separate ways.

Tiny_timUnlike the cold, solitary, uncaring Sandy Alderson portrayed in print, I experienced the polar opposite. The Sandy Alderson who watched a baseball game with me at NYSEG was curious, welcoming, fun-loving, and generous, nothing like Dicken’s Ebenezer Scrooge.

Oh, you probably want to know if I ever called the number on the ticket stub. Not during the remainder of the 2011 season. The Mets were limping along at the end of the year, so I reasoned I might make better use of Sandy’s offer early in the 2013 campaign.

As luck would have it, my son who resides in Los Angeles, came east for a cousin’s wedding. I hadn’t seen him in a year and asked if he would like to catch a game at Citi Field. A huge Met fan, who only sees his team on west coast swings, my son had never visited the Mets new ball park and was eager to make the trip.

I called the number. It hooked me with Sandy’s office. His secretary was great. She made the arrangements for us to see the game. When my two other children learned they hadn’t been included they were not too pleased with Dad. So, tail between my legs, I called back and inquired if there was a chance that there might be four tickets instead of two.

The end result – a magical night for me and my family. The Mets rolled out the red carpet, and we had a blast. It was an evening none will forget.

When we returned home I wanted to do something personal for Sandy in way of thanks. The Catskills and our mountains are famous for maple syrup. I sent Sandy and his secretary containers of home made syrup with a lengthy hand written thank you letter explaining how much the night meant to me and my family and, of course, expressing my thanks. Like the first President Bush, famous for his hand written thank you notes, Sandy impressed me as a similar kind of guy.

Several days later, when I returned home from my morning errands, I had a message on my answering machine from Sandy’s secretary to call his office. I did. After a pleasant chat, she told me how much she appreciated the maple syrup. She added that I had not left a return address on the package, and Sandy had asked her to call and get my address. I chuckled not expecting a thank-you for a thank-you, but sent along the information.

Not long after, a handwritten thank-you from Sandy on New York Met stationary arrived. It read:

John,

Thanks for your letter and the maple syrup! Both will help me through the month of September as we try to get back on a positive note here at Citi. I’m glad you enjoyed the trip here and look forward to seeing you again in Binghamton when I return there.

Regards, Sandy

I hope good fortune brings me together with Sandy Alderson again some day. Far from the Ebenezer Scrooge-like character unhappy Met fans portray him to play, the Sandy Alderson I met is everything Scrooge is not; a self-confident, fun-loving, genial, and generous guy. In the spirit of the Christmas season, I wish Sandy good fortune and good health and the joy that comes with a winning Met baseball season in New York.

An MMO Flashback from December 24, 2013.

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Lagares Extends Hitting Streak, Montero Throws Bullpen http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/lagares-extends-hitting-streak-montero-throws-bullpen.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/lagares-extends-hitting-streak-montero-throws-bullpen.html/#comments Sat, 19 Dec 2015 17:27:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=202818 JUAN LAGARES 690

Wuilmer Becerra had his hitting streak snapped at seven games last night but extended his RBI streak to five games after going 0 for 3 with a sacrifice fly. He did get moved up to the seventh spot in the lineup for the game after hitting out of the eighth and ninth hole most of the winter ball season for the Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuelan League. He is now hitting .405/.409/.500 with seven RBI and nine runs scored in 42 at bats.

Juan Lagares returned to the lineup for the first time in a week because of the Dominican League all-star break and a sore foot. He batted fifth and played center field for the Aguilas Cibaenas going 2 for 4 with a run scored. He extended his hitting streak to seven games and is 12 for 28 with four RBI and six runs scored during that span. Overall he is hitting .294 with four walks and eight strikeouts in 14 games including going 7 for 13 off lefties.

The rest of the Winter League action last night:

  • Xorge Carrillo - 0 for 4 with two strikeouts (.299/.356/.401 with 13 walks, 24 strikeouts in 147 at bats in Mexican League).
  • Johnny Monell - 0 for 3, (.296/.400/.480 with seven doubles, three homeruns, 15 walks, 17 strikeouts in 98 at bats in Puerto Rican League).
  • T.J. Rivera - 0 for 3, walk, two runs scored (.318/.392/.409 with eight runs, eight RBI, eight walks, six strikeouts in 66 at bats in Puerto Rican League).
  • Joel Huertas - One clean scoreless inning (0-3 with 5.25 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, and 17 strikeouts in 12 innings in Puerto Rican League).
  • Dario Alvarez - 0.1 innings, hit (4.50 ERA, 1.86 WHIP over 10 innings in the Dominican League).
  • Chase Huchingson - Struck out only batter faced (one run allowed with three strikeouts in 2.1 innings in the Dominican League).

Rafael Montero was suppose to make his winter ball debut on Thursday in the Parallel League (minors) for the Leones del Escogido in the Dominican League but it got rained out. Tried again on Friday to have it rained out, so he threw a bullpen session instead. He could make an appearance next week when the playoffs start according to a source.

For more winter ball coverage and minor league news like Scott Rice signing with the Diamondbacks head over to MetsMinors.net.

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Wuilmer Becerra On Fire In Venezuelan League http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/wuilmer-becerra-on-fire-in-venezuelan-league.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/wuilmer-becerra-on-fire-in-venezuelan-league.html/#comments Thu, 17 Dec 2015 15:48:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=202718 CUkEvohUYAAOH_D-400x223

Mets outfield prospect Wuilmer Becerra has finally started getting regular playing time for the Tigres de Aragua and it has paid off tremendously. Last night Wuilmer had his second straight three-hit game going 3 for 5 with a double, two RBI, and three runs scored.

During his six-game hitting streak the 21-year old has gone 10 for 20 with a homerun, four RBI, and seven runs scored. Overall for the Tigres in the Venezuelan League he is hitting .444/.444/.556 in 36 at bats spanning 11 games.

He has played a few games in left field this winter, a position he hasn’t played in the Mets farm system yet. For his career he has played 212 games in right field and five in left field (all with GCL Blue Jays in 2012).

Another Met minor leaguer on a hot streak in the Caribbean League is catcher Xorge Carrillo who was 3 for 3 with a RBI last night for the Aguilas de Mexicali in the Mexican Winter League. He now has an eight game hitting streak and is 15 for 29 with a homerun and five RBI in that span.

He has played in 44 games for the Aguilas hitting .308/.365/.413 with three homeruns, 19 RBI, and 21 runs scored in 143 at bats. The 26-year old played the entire 2015 season with the AA Binghamton Mets as their everyday catcher setting career highs with 10 homeruns, 40 RBI, 78 hits, and 38 runs scored.

Johnny Monell has cooled off lately, last night he was 0 for 3 with a strikeout for the Criollos de Caguas in the Puerto Rican Winter League. Overall he is batting .305/.405/.495 with seven doubles, triple, three homeruns, and four stolen bases in 25 games. He was the DH last night as former Mets Juan Centeno caught the entire game.

You know by now that T.J. Rivera just simply hits no matter where he is and that hasn’t changed during winter ball action for the Indios de Mayaguez of the Puerto Rican League. He was 1 for 4 with a double last night and his hitting .333/.391/.429 with six walks compared to six strikeouts in 63 at bats.

Jenrry Mejia made a relief appearance last night for Tigres del Licey and after a scoreless first inning of work it didn’t go as well when he came back out. After an error by the shortstop he walked two straight batters (including former Met farmhand Matt Clark) and uncorked a wild pitch before being taken out.

Both runners were allowed to scored by Eduard Santos and another error at shortstop by Taylor Featherston. Las Vegas 51′s reliever Chase Huchingson came in and allowed a two-run single to Steven Moya to extend the inning. Mejia ended up pitching one inning allowing three runs (two earned) on three walks and a hit. He now has a 4.50 ERA in 34 innings pitched, with this being his first relief appearance.

Juan Lagares was out of the Aguilas Cibaenas lineup last night in the Dominican League with what the team is calling foot/lower leg discomfort and is considered day-to-day. He does currently have a six-game hitting streak in which he has gone 12 for 24 during.

For more winter ball coverage and a profile on one of the newest Mets Andrew Barbosa head over to MetsMinors.net.

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Terry Collins Hopes To Acquire One More Batter http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/terry-collins-hopes-to-acquire-one-more-batter.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/terry-collins-hopes-to-acquire-one-more-batter.html/#comments Thu, 17 Dec 2015 13:49:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=202696 Collins Terry

On Tuesday, Mets manager Terry Collins told reporters he wants to see the Mets add another hitter, preferably a right-handed hitter, to strengthen their lineup next season.

“It’d be nice,” Collins said during the team’s annual Kids Holiday Party at Citi Field. “We all know, you’d like to have as many great bats as you can possibly get.”

The Mets are specifically looking for an outfielder that hits well vs right-handed pitching and plays center field, to platoon with Juan Lagares.

Two free-agent outfielders the Mets have checked in on are Denard Span and Gerardo Parra, both of whom would be ideal additions for the team. But reportedly, the Mets balked when Span’s agent Scott Boras suggested a two-year deal, and Parra is holding out for a four-year deal.

Over the past several seasons, Span has been a dynamic spark plug at the top of the Nationals’ lineup. He’s batted .292 over the past three years with a .345 OBP, and has averaged 21 steals over that span. In 275 plate appearances this past season, he hit .301/.365/.431 with a 120 wRC+ . His season was derailed by a hip injury that required surgery, but he is now running at full strength according to Boras.

Meanwhile, Parra slashed .291/.328/.452 with a 108 wRC+ in 589 plate appearances this year for the Brewers and Orioles. He also hit well against right handed pitching, sporting a .345 wOBA, which makes him a great option to platoon with Lagares. Parra reportedly has multiple three-year offers in hand.

For now, it appears the Mets will continue to let this particular market evolve as they wait out the situation in hopes of landing someone to a one-year contract.

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Market For Denard Span and Gerardo Parra Heating Up http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/market-for-denard-span-and-gerardo-parra-heating-up.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/market-for-denard-span-and-gerardo-parra-heating-up.html/#comments Wed, 09 Dec 2015 15:50:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=201658 denatd span

Jon Heyman of CBSSports reports that the Cubs are among the teams interested in free agent outfielder Denard Span. Heyman also mentions that top free agent Jason Heyward is also a target for Chicago.

Meanwhile, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation says that Gerardo Parra has multiple three year offers in hand. The Royals, Giants and Cubs are among the teams in the mix, but Parra is hopeful that a team will be willing to sign him for four years.

Both Span and Parra are two of the Mets main targets this offseason, and they appear to be great fits for the team in center field.

December 6

Even with the Mets making an aggressive push for free agent Ben Zobrist, they are still determined to add an outfielder via free agency whether or not they end up landing Zobrist. According to Marc Craig of Newsday the front office views free agents Denard Span and Gerardo Parra as ideal fits for the team.

Assistant General Manager John Ricco says that payroll limitations won’t be an issue even if they end up signing Zobrist. “I don’t think we’re operating under it’s either or at this point. I think we can do what we need to do.”

While Span’s 2015 season was cut short due to a hip injury, he could be a possible buy low option for New York.

Over the past several seasons, Span has been a dynamic spark plug at the top of the Nationals’ lineup. He’s batted .292 over the past three years with a .345 OPS, and has averaged 21 steals over that span. In 275 plate appearances this season, he hit .301/.365/.431 with a 120 wRC+ .

Meanwhile, Parra slashed .291/.328/.452 with a 108 wRC+ in 589 plate appearances this year for the Brewers and Orioles. He also hit well against right handed pitching, sporting a .345 wOBA, which makes him a great option to platoon with Juan Lagares.

It’s also worth noting that both players have seen their defense dip in recent years according to advanced metrics. Span’s UZR was -4.9 this year and -4.7 in 2014, while Parra’s drop-off has even been more pronounced with a -18.1 UZR last season compared to 0.1 in 2014.

Still, it appears the Mets have narrowed down their top center field options down to these two players. While they were once interested Dexter Fowler, Carig says their interest in him has cooled.

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Wilmer Flores Homers In Return To Winter Ball Action http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/wilmer-flores-homers-in-return-to-winter-ball-action.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/wilmer-flores-homers-in-return-to-winter-ball-action.html/#comments Thu, 03 Dec 2015 15:30:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=201486 Photo by Liderendeportes.com

Photo by Liderendeportes.com

Last Thursday Wilmer Flores was hit by a pitch on his left heel and was out of the lineup until last night for the Bravos de Margarita. In game one of Venezuelan League action, Flores played second base and batted fifth. He crushed a solo home run to left field in his first at bat which you can watch here.

He finished the first game going 1 for 3 with the homer and struck out against former Mets farmhand Deolis Guerra. He was part of two double plays turned on defense and fielded the other two ground ball chances he had cleanly.

Flores was at second base again in the second game but was slid up to the cleanup spot in the lineup. He went 0-2 with a walk and is now 2 for 9 in his first three games.

Here is the rest of the Mets players in action last night in winter ball:

Puerto Rican League

Criollos de Caguas

Johnny Monell - 0 for 5, walk, two strikeouts (.319/.417/.486 in 72 at bats).

Arnaldo Berrios - 1 for 6, walk, two runs, three strikeouts (4 for 17 with six walks in 13 games).

Indios de Mayaguez

T.J. Rivera - 0 for 2 with a walk (.361/.425/.500 with five RBI in 36 at bats).

Mexican League

Aguilas de Mexicali

Xorge Carrillo - 0 for 3 with strikeout (.268/.331/.380 in 108 at bats).

Dominican League

Aguilas Cibaenas

Juan Lagares - 0 for 3 with walk and strikeout (3 for 17, two walks, five strikeouts).

Dilson Herrera is playing winter ball in the Colombian League for the Toros de Sincelejo and he hit his first homerun on Tuesday night. He was 5 for 13 with a double and stolen base before the game Tuesday.

Jeremy Hefner is a free agent but was always a well liked Met and last night he made his first pro start since August 6th, 2014. He pitched four scoreless innings for the Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican League. He made his return to the mound last week pitching  1.2 scoreless innings.

The Estrellas de Oriente announced yesterday that new Met Stolmy Pimentel has bicep tendinitis in his throwing arm and could miss the rest of the winter ball season. He was 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 5.2 innings for the Estrellas before the injury.

For more winter league and Mets minor league coverage head over to MetsMinors.net including Gavin Cecchini being ranked 14th on the KATOH Top 100 prospects list which you can read here.

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Mets Tender Contracts To All Their Arbitration-Eligible Players http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/mets-tender-contracts-to-all-their-arbitration-eligible-players.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/mets-tender-contracts-to-all-their-arbitration-eligible-players.html/#comments Thu, 03 Dec 2015 02:04:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=201244 ruben tejada

The New York Mets have tendered contracts to all eight players eligible for arbitration, the team just announced. No man left behind…

Ruben Tejada and Addison Reed were the only two players really on the bubble, but both will be back next season.

On another note, our prayers and thoughts go out to all the victims and families of today’s tragic mass shooting in San Bernardino, CA.

(Updated 12/2)

Arbitration Eligible

Ruben Tejada – $1,880,000 ($2.5M)

Lucas Duda - $4,200,000 ($6.8M)

Addison Reed – $4,875,000 ($5.7M)

Carlos Torres – $585,000 ($800K)

Jenrry Mejia – $2,595,000 ($2.6M)

Matt Harvey – $650,000 ($4.7M)

Jeurys Familia – $525,000 ($3.3M)

Josh Edgin – $520,000 ($600K)

The first number represents their salary for the 2015 season, and the second number in parentheses is the projected salary by MLB Trade Rumors.

It’s going to be the most expensive arbitration periods the Mets have had since Sandy Alderson took over as general manager in 2010. Lucas Duda, Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia alone represent roughly $7 million in raises.

What I’m really curious to see is if they tender contract offers to relievers Addison Reed and Jenrry Mejia on Wednesday.

As you know, Ruben Tejada is reportedly going to be non-tendered because the team is unwilling to to pay him $2.5 million or more to be a backup infielder and they also have concerns about his twice-fractured fibula.

The Mets will probably turn to Matt Reynolds instead, who is younger and could be more productive at the plate. And I’m sure they’ll bring in someone on a minor league deal to compete with Reynolds in Spring Training.

Currently, the Mets have five players with guaranteed commitments for the 2016 season.

Guaranteed Contracts

David Wright - $20,000,000

Curtis Granderson - $16,000,000

Michael Cuddyer - $12,500,000

Jon Niese - $9,050,000

Juan Lagares - $2,500,000

That adds up to $60,050,000 in guaranteed contracts. Michael Cuddyer’s contract looks like an albatross at this point, and there’s a sense that they will try to unload Jon Niese to anyone that would take him to give the team some added payroll flexibility.

The only two free players the Mets may consider bringing back are left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins and utility infielder/outfielder Kelly Johnson.  We’ll know more in the coming days.

Thoughts

Would you bring back Addison Reed for $5.7 million dollars? I wouldn’t. His numbers don’t show it but he was getting hit pretty hard in his short stint with the Mets and three great plays by Conforto and Granderson saved his ass in the World Series. He wasn’t fooling anyone with his stuff. I’d rather see the Mets go after Tony Sipp as a 7th inning guy and one that could get left-handed hitters out as well.

Non-tendering Ruben Tejada is the right way to go… There’s just too much upside to ignore with Matt Reynolds and it’s time for him to show what he can do. I feel bad for Tejada, but this is a business.

It looks like the Mets are leaning toward tendering Jenrry Mejia and they’ve been monitoring him at Winter Ball. But he’s looked awful so I’m not sure if they will pay $2.6 million for a reliever who isn’t returning from his suspension until late July.

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Has Anything Changed Financially For The Mets After A 2015 Windfall? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/has-anything-changed-financially-for-the-mets-after-a-2015-windfall.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/has-anything-changed-financially-for-the-mets-after-a-2015-windfall.html/#comments Tue, 01 Dec 2015 18:17:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=201333 Zobrist ben

It certainly appears as though the Mets do not plan to do anything significant if they fail to land free agent infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist, who is expected to sign with a team by the end of next week’s Winter Meetings.

According to Joel Sherman of the NY Post, the Mets don’t appear inclined to offer Zobrist the four-year deal he’s looking for despite their affection for Zobrist, who will turn 35 next May 26. Sherman is not alone on this as various Mets sources have told Adam Rubin, Mike Puma, Anthony DiComo and Andy Martino the same exact thing.

However, what is a little more concerning is this new narrative floating around that if the Mets fail to sign Zobrist, they are unlikely to pursue any other free agents of similar caliber and will instead look to bring back Kelly Johnson or Juan Uribe, and focus their effort on adding a left-handed hitter who can play center field and platoon with Juan Lagares.

Adam Rubin also ran with this “Zobrist or Bust” narrative on Monday when he wrote:

“If the Mets whiff in upgrading the middle infield with a bona fide starter, they alternatively would be more active in pursuing a lefty-hitting complement to Juan Lagares in center field. They then would sign a backup infielder — whether that’s Kelly Johnson or someone else of that stature.”

To put it more concisely, the Mets are looking to sign Ben Zobrist OR Gerardo Parra, not Ben Zobrist AND Gerardo Parra.

Now whether adding one or the other would be enough to offset the losses of both Daniel Murphy and Yoenis Cespedes is unknown. Maybe just adding a Kelly Johnson and Gerardo Parra is enough, nobody knows for sure.

But the bigger issue for me is that this certainly flies in the face of the rhetoric we’ve heard for years that the Mets would spend accordingly when the fans returned to Citi Field.

For a team that is going into next season with a big target on their back as the defending National League Champions, I expected them to attack the offseason with a little more oomph and gusto, especially given the losses of Murphy and Cespedes.

The company line that kept trumpeting payroll would go up once revenues increased seems more and more like poppycock as the offseason progresses, despite huge gains in profit margins across various streams including attendance, merchandising, advertising and cable and TV operations.

I’m not advocating a spend for spending sake approach, but I never expected such a frugally guided approach to defending their NL title this offseason after such a financial windfall as the 2015 season was for the organization.

It’s still early and things could change, but for weeks all we keep hearing about this offseason is not which players can be difference makers for the team, but instead incessant leaks of what the team can or cannot afford. It suggests that not much has changed within the financial realm of the Mets and that yesterday’s adversities are still today’s adversities.

As much as the Wilpons want you to think they are out of the woods, the tea leaves say otherwise, and Sandy Alderson will need to find a way to replace a ton of offense, build a bench, and bolster a weakened bullpen on the same exact dime he had last year.

Only this time it will be infinitely more challenging given the $20 million in raises coming to Cuddyer, Niese, Duda, Harvey and others. Sandy has his work cut out for him and only has about $10-12 million in wiggle room to get the Mets back into the postseason. I hope that’s enough. Shame on you Wilpons.

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Mets Receiving Trade Inquiries On Juan Lagares, But Unlikely To Deal Him http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/mets-receiving-trade-inquiries-on-juan-lagares-but-unlikely-to-deal-him.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/mets-receiving-trade-inquiries-on-juan-lagares-but-unlikely-to-deal-him.html/#comments Tue, 01 Dec 2015 17:00:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=201294 juan Lagares

Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports that the Mets are unlikely to deal Juan Lagares even though they have received several trade inquiries on him recently.

Lagares, 26, took a major step backwards this year as he hit .259/.289/.358 with a 80 wRC+ in 465 plate appearances. He eventually lost his starting job in centerfield after the team acquired Yoenis Cespedes over the summer.

His defense also sharply declined in 2015. His Ultimate Zone Rating dropped from an elite 18.6 during his gold glove campaign in 2014 to just 3.5 this past season.

It’s now widely reported that the Mets are going keep Lagares on the roster and look to find a complimentary platoon partner for him this winter.

One player who keeps getting mentioned is free agent Gerardo Parra, who seems like an excellent fit. He has a career .289 average against righties with a .432 slugging percentage, and has two gold gloves on his resume.

However, based on several reports, it’s not a slam dunk that the 28-year old Parra will sign on to be anything less than an everyday player after 155 games played in 2015 in which he batted .291 with a .780 OPS.

Meanwhile, Lagares hit well against lefties this year with a .273/.333./.438 slash line, but struggled mightily against right-handed pitching with an underwhelming .599 OPS.

Despite a disappointing season for Lagares, there’s reason to believe that he can rebound in 2016.  He performed much better during the later stages of the season, and the Mets are hoping for a turnaround in 2016.

Additionally, Lagares wasn’t able to play at 100% for most of the year due to an elbow and rib injury, and he’s reportedly fine now and playing in the Dominican Winter League.

Lagares is still owed $22.5 million over the next three years, but I’m glad to hear that they aren’t looking to trade him. It’s easy to forget just how valuable he was back in 2014 when he posted a 4.0 WAR during 116 games and made such an impact defensively.

That said, the team should be open to dealing him or any player, if a deal that can drastically improve the team materializes over the next two months.

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ICYMI: Juan Lagares Plates Winning Run In Winter Ball Debut http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/icymi-juan-lagares-plates-winning-run-in-winter-ball-debut.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/icymi-juan-lagares-plates-winning-run-in-winter-ball-debut.html/#comments Mon, 30 Nov 2015 15:05:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=201154  

Photo by laradio247fm.com

Photo by laradio247fm.com

On Friday night, Mets center fielder Juan Lagares made his winter ball debut with the Aguilas Cibaenas in the Dominican League and what a game he had. He batted third in the lineup while playing the entire game in center field. He is returning to Aguilas for the fifth winter league season, he hit .342/.379/.412 for the them the last time he played in 2013.

Lagares started his night off by walking in the first inning after being down in the count 0-2. He would later come around to score on what is possibly the shortest wild pitch allowing a runner to score from third I have ever seen.

In the third inning Lagares showed off some of his 2014 Gold Glove defense with one of his patented lunging catches which you can watch here. He came up in the bottom of the 8th inning with one out and the go-ahead run on third base capping his great debut with a game-winning RBI line drive single to right field. You can see the hit here.

With the help from Lagares the Aguilas beat the Leones del Escogido by a final score of 3-2, the first time they have beaten them this season. Juan also stole second base after his game-winning hit, he was 1 for 3 with a walk, RBI, run scored, and two strikeouts.

Update on Wilmer Flores: He left his debut game on Thursday for a pinch runner in the 8th inning after getting hit by a pitch in the left heel/ankle area. The Bravos de Margarita said it is minor and he is day-to-day. Flores said this to a local news outlet after the game ”These are things that happen in any league these at the risk of a pitch, but it was nothing serious “.

For more winter ball coverage from last night including Jenrry Mejia’s start and T.J. Rivera’s night at the plate read here. Head over to MetsMinors.net for full winter league coverage.

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No Way I’d Deal Zack Wheeler To The Yankees For Brett Gardner http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/no-way-id-deal-zack-wheeler-to-the-yankees-for-brett-gardner.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/no-way-id-deal-zack-wheeler-to-the-yankees-for-brett-gardner.html/#comments Sun, 22 Nov 2015 15:17:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=200707 brett gardner

Good morning, everyone. Here is something from John Harper of the Daily News, who believes that if the Yankees are truly serious about dealing Brett Gardner, that the Mets could be a pretty good trade partner for them as they seek to add a starting pitcher. Harper suggests that the Mets could send the Yankees rehabbing right-hander Zack Wheeler in return for Gardner.

I’m not sure that the Mets and Yankees would ever get together on a deal as significant as what Harper proposes, but for the sake of argument and a good Sunday morning conversation, let’s have a little fun with it.

Right off the bat, what I like about Gardner is that he essentially fills a few vital needs for the Mets as he could slide right into the No. 2 spot previously held by Daniel Murphy, he is a left-handed bat, he can play a reliable left and center field although his defense has slipped lately, and he would certainly give the lineup some much needed speed.

Coming off his first All Star campaign, Gardner had a solid .343 on-base percentage for the Yankees with 26 doubles, 16 home runs, 68 walks, 94 runs scored and 20 stolen bases. The numbers aren’t really that eye-popping, but very impressive when you consider he was hampered by a hand injury for most of the season.

Gardner, 32, is still owed a guaranteed $38 million that will pay him $13 million in 2016, $12 million in 2017, and $11 million in 2018. There’s a $12.5 million club option for 2019 with a $2 million buyout.

I like Gardner and would agree he’d be a good addition for the Mets, but here is the big question I have…

Do you give up six years of a young, cost-controlled, high upside starting pitcher like Wheeler, while taking on a huge chunk of change like that?

Harper says the Yanks would likely have zero interest in Jon Niese or the unproven Rafael Montero, but might be tempted to include 28-year old starter/reliever Adam Warren to sweeten the pot in a deal for Wheeler. But when he brought it up to a Mets official, he seemed wary of dealing Wheeler across town – and rightfully so.

“Those are two good pieces,” one Mets person said, “but you wouldn’t want to see Wheeler turn into a Cy Young winner in your own backyard.”

Bottom line? While Gardner does fill a few important needs for the Mets, they could probably get somewhat similar production from a free agent like Gerardo Parra. And not only will Parra cost a little less, but the Mets wouldn’t have to part with a big chip like Zack Wheeler to sign him. So I say two thumbs down on a proposed Wheeler for Gardner swap.

In your dreams, Cashman…

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Terry Collins Discusses Game 1, Lagares, Colon’s Availability, Familia, Bouncing Back http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/terry-collins-discusses-game-1-lagares-colons-availability-familia-bouncing-back.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/terry-collins-discusses-game-1-lagares-colons-availability-familia-bouncing-back.html/#comments Wed, 28 Oct 2015 21:13:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=198271 erry collins

Would it be a nice to get Familia back out there?

No question about it. Matter of fact, these are the times you’ve got to do it. Not just for tonight, just for the whole future. You’ve got to get him back out there. It’s a tough spot, but he needs to be back out there. Yeah, perfect scenario is to look up and have Jake hand the ball to Familia and let him start the ninth inning and go at them again.

What’s Colon and Niese’s availability tonight?

Colon won’t be available. One of the reasons why we took Jon out when we did is we thought we might need him tonight, so we wanted to limit him a little bit. So he’s probably still available. But Bartolo will not be.

Did you talk with Familia about the quick pitch? How important is it for him to have that?

Well, once again, he’s been really effective with it. Try to throw a split off it last night, you know, again, by the rushing he didn’t stay on top and left it up. The one thing you want to try to do though is not, when you quick pitch, not just use one pitch. He just left it up.

As we know in sports, again, the game is played by great, great talented players who once in a while make mistakes. He made a mistake, he just didn’t get the ball where he wanted it to. He paid the price for it. And that’s what happens when you play good teams.

I try not to say, Don’t use that anymore, because it’s been an effective move for him. So we’ve got to realize when you do it, if you’re going to miss, you’ve got to miss in the dirt, not in the middle of the strike zone.

How has Juan Lagares handled coming off the bench and spot starting?

Anytime I talked to him about it he said, I’ll be ready, I’ll be ready tonight when you need me. And he always has been. When you look back at the last two or three games that he’s played, he’s had as good at-bats as anybody in the lineup. So I’ve got him in there. Johnny, tough on everybody, but the numbers right-handed hitters have against him are a lot better than lefties. This is a perfect opportunity to see if Juan can stay hot, because we need him.

Harvey threw a lot fewer fastballs than usual, was it not up to snuff or respect for way Royals hit the fastball?

TI think it was a little bit of a quality of both. I think Matt knew early he wasn’t real sharp. We also know they hunt the heater early in the counts. He wasn’t making pitches with his fastball, so I think he went with his secondary stuff. I think that’s why late in the game you saw him fatigued because he had to work so hard.

Originally it was not, Hey, look, let’s just make some pitches. The first pitch of the game, the game plan was to come in here, and he left it out over the plate. That was an immediate example of, wow, we’ve got to make pitches against these guys.

Mets have bounced back all season long, what is it about their resiliency?

Well, again, I always go back to the leadership in the clubhouse. That means so much when you have a young team. And these guys, they’ve been here, they’ve been in Postseason, they’ve been through tough times. They know what it takes. They know not to get too high when things are going good. And last night when the game was over not be dragging in when they’re coming in, pouting, throwing their equipment in the clubhouse.

It was one game. We have six more to play. We had a chance to win the game, we didn’t win it. Well, let’s get another chance tomorrow night. Let’s put ourselves in the same situation. And I think that leadership spreads.

Was Wright running on his own in the ninth inning with Murphy up?

Well, once again, we’re handing out scouting reports, I don’t like to do that. He’s got to pitch tonight, same guy, might come out tonight. He ran out of pitches. …We thought he was safe, and obviously he wasn’t.

I know Dan is swinging good. But they have a decision to make, do they want to face him or Cespedes? In that situation we kind of liked the chance of seeing if we can get a guy in scoring position to add on a run, and they just threw him out.

Regardless of what happens tonight Noah is going to be pitching a huge game when you guys get back home.

First of all, he’s a very fast learner. I’ve told you guys all season long, the most impressive thing I saw from Noah Syndergaard when he first got called to the Major Leagues, and we’ve got DeGrom, we’ve got Harvey, very similar guys, he stood next to our pitching coach night after night, saying, Matt threw his slider in that count, is that be a good pitch for me to throw or should I do this or that? Trying to learn how he’s going to be successful.

Because of that he’s trying to study the game and learn how he can be better, he has no fear. He believes he belongs here. And that speaks volumes. When you’ve got that kind of stuff and you’re not afraid to throw it and you’re not afraid to give up a hit because you think you can get the next guy out, you can get dangerous. Noah just got better and better and better as the season went along with the confidence he had that he could be successful here. It all comes with his desire to get better.

Is starting Lagares based on defense, did last night play into it?

This has nothing to do with the first play last night. Both guys I thought had a shot to catch it. Michael, he was there, he thought he heard Yo call for it, so he backed off. The ball could have been caught. The same thing could happen if Juan Lagares was out there, same exact play.

I thought tonight we were looking at the matchups with Johnny Cueto, that’s my first and foremost thing. Right-handers hit this guy better. And secondly, you look at if you’re going to put him in the game, so you can DH Conforto, and then the ballpark comes into play, and the wind tonight comes into big play. We knew it was going to be windy. We just said, Look, we’ll put him out there and we can always — if the situation comes where he’s got to face Wade Davis, he may have to hit. We’ll worry about that towards the end of the game.

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Five Takeaways From Mets Game 1 Loss http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/five-takeaways-from-the-mets-game-1-loss.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/five-takeaways-from-the-mets-game-1-loss.html/#comments Wed, 28 Oct 2015 15:49:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=198233 The Mets lost last night in what felt like a grueling 14-round prize fight with each team suffering body blows before the Royals delivered the knock out punch against Bartolo Colon. Here are five things you should take away from Game 1:

chris young

1. The Royals bullpen was as good as advertised, allowing only one unearned run in eight innings of work topped off by Game 4 starter Chris Young who now has 15 strikeouts in 11.2 IP this postseason. I said yesterday the key for the Mets to win this series is to get to the Kansas City starting pitchers early before the battle of the pens. This isn’t to disregard the solid effort of the Mets bullpen that gave up only two runs in eight innings, spark-plugged by the birthday boy Jon Niese. I can’t be the only one that is still utterly shocked that Jeurys Familia gave up that home run, last thing I expected last night.

wilmer flores

2. Both defenses made some key misplays last night and a few rally-squashing plays as well. Ultimately two big defensive miscues cost the Mets two runs last night while Eric Hosmers‘ play at first cost the Royals one. The Mets also got a couple of fine plays from Wilmer Flores at shortstop, an absolute gem by Curtis Granderson in right, and a great leaping grab by David Wright. I think the big difference in Game 1 was the defensive play of Mike Moustakas at third for the Royals, who stole two hits and limited the damage on another. New York was also able to take advantage of the shift on numerous occasions, hitting through it and being aggressive on the base paths against it.

juan lagares

3. Juan Lagares showed that he is ready to return to a key role on this team and should be in center field tonight to start the game. He had one of the best at-bats of the entire night against Royals setup man Kelvin Herrera and scored what would have been the winning run if not for Alex Gordon and his heroics. He stole a bag leading up to that run and had a bunt single as well later in the game. You have to wonder what would have happened on that deep fly by Alcides Escobar to the start the bottom of the first if Lagares was patrolling center field.

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4. The Mets struggled with runners in scoring position last night going 1 for 10 leaving eleven runners on base. Two of those missed opportunities came on strikeouts from Michael Cuddyer who at this point has become completely useless and Terry Collins needs to stay away from him. Which brings up another curious decision by Collins to bunt Flores in front of Cuddyer, a move I will never understand.

curtis granderson

5. For all the talk about the new additions to the Mets and the streak of Daniel Murphy where the heck would this team be without the play of Granderson. He had just one hit on the night but it was a huge one with a blast to right field giving the Mets a lead in the 5th inning. He also saved the game in the 11th inning with a spectacular catch against Jarrod Dyson that could have ended the game had it gotten past him. While everyone else on the team was chasing stuff all night he worked two of the teams three walks as well. How about that throw on the game-winner too? Obviously didn’t get him but that was possibly the best throw he has had in a Mets uniform.

That was a great game last night that unfortunately didn’t end the way we all hoped, the good news is we have our ace Jacob deGrom going tonight to even out the series.

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Cespedes Says Shoulder Is Better, Will Be Ready For Game 1 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/cespedes-says-shoulder-is-better-will-be-ready-for-game-1.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/cespedes-says-shoulder-is-better-will-be-ready-for-game-1.html/#comments Sat, 24 Oct 2015 22:18:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=197478 cespedes

Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes took his turn in a media session at Citi Field on Saturday and told reporters his shoulder feels better and that he will be ready for Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday in Kansas City.

“I don’t believe that it will limit me. I wouldn’t say that if I truly didn’t feel 100 percent. I would not have a problem stepping down and saying I can’t play.”

“I feel like I’ll be ready,” Cespedes said through his interpreter.

“Even if I’m feeling 100 percent out there, I would still just want to play,” he added. “I don’t like being a designated hitter. I don’t feel like I’m a part of the game and I want to truly contribute.”

Cespedes was removed from Game 4 of the NLCS in the second inning with a sore left shoulder. He received a cortisone injection the following day. He doesn’t know how he suffered the soreness, but offered an explanation.

“I can’t really pinpoint exactly what it is that happened,” he said. “I can tell you that I don’t usually do push-ups, and those two days over there I was doing push-ups because I didn’t have a gym I could really do other workouts in.”

October 23

The New York Mets retracted their earlier announcement this afternoon, that Yoenis Cespedes did not get a cortisone shot and are now saying HE DID get a cortisone shot on Thursday by team doctors.

“We got it looked at. We’ve got it taken care of. The doctors, they said, ‘Hey, look, he’ll be OK.’ Tomorrow we’ll find out.”

Initially this morning, the Mets told reporters that outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was not at today’s optional team workout at Citi Field and that he did not received a cortisone shot in his left shoulder as was expected.

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Redemption! Murphy Blasts Game-Tying Home Run In Ninth http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/redemption-murphy-blasts-game-tying-home-run-in-ninth.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/redemption-murphy-blasts-game-tying-home-run-in-ninth.html/#comments Mon, 14 Sep 2015 16:57:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=193527 daniel murphy

What began as a game Daniel Murphy would love to forget, ended in exhilaration when the veteran second baseman hit a clutch, game-tying, three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning on Sunday.

The Mets fought back and came away with another dramatic 10-7 comeback victory against the Atlanta Braves, their 37th comeback win of the season.

Down to their final out and trailing 7-4 in the ninth, Juan Lagares doubled and Curtis Granderson drew a walk before Murphy blasted a hanger over the plate.

“I didn’t think I would hit a home run, but I was trying to. I was surprised,” said Murphy, who had four RBIs in the game and went 5-for-15 in the series.

Modest as always, Murphy credited his teammates for setting the stage for him to step up and redeem himself from a costly two-run defensive miscue earlier in the game.

“I fielded like garbage today,” Murphy explained. “I just didn’t play very well. I didn’t.”

“Just another great effort. Two outs, nobody on, tremendous at-bats,” a stunned and exuberant Terry Collins said after the game.

“They don’t quit! It doesn’t matter who’s in there, they all want to be part of it. Murph gets up there and you just have a sense that something big is gonna happen.”

Murphy, who is a free agent after this season, now leads all National League second basemen with 63 RBI.

Additionally, among all major league players with 400 or more at-bats, Murphy is the toughest hitter in MLB to strikeout, whiffing just 33 times in 441 at-bats.

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Cuddyer Now Expected To Be Activated Monday http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/cuddyer-now-expected-to-be-activated-monday.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/cuddyer-now-expected-to-be-activated-monday.html/#comments Fri, 07 Aug 2015 18:02:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=189479 michael cuddyer

Michael Cuddyer may not be activated from the disabled list until after the weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays according to what sources have told Adam Rubin. (ESPN New York)

 

The plan now appears to be that Cuddyer will play a couple of games with the St. Lucie Mets and then rejoin the team on Monday when they play the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field.

No word if this is because of any setback or if the Mets just want to buy some time and continue to observe how Michael Conforto plays.

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Michael Cuddyer expects to play in a minor league rehab game on Thursday and then get activated on Friday,  when the Mets will open a weekend series with the Tampa Bay Rays and will have the DH available.

Either Michael Conforto or Eric Campbell will be optioned to Triple-A once Cuddyer is officially activated before Friday’s game. No word on where the Mets are leaning on this.

During Sandy Alderson’s press conference last Friday at Citi Field, he made it very clear that Yoenis Cespedes was going to be playing everyday either in left or center field, which pretty much relegates Cuddyer into a platoon and fourth outfielder role.

“He will play when I think he should play,” Terry Collins said on Wednesday. “We’ve got a DH in Tampa, where he might DH one game and I know we’ve got a ton of lefties coming up, so he will play in those games for sure, but I have nothing etched in stone. He wants us to win and wherever I’m going to play him or need him, I think he will do that, but we’re going to get him back in there.”

My guess is that Curtis Granderson is going to be seeing limited playing time against left-handed pitching so expect to see Cuddyer in left or right when there’s a southpaw on the mound.

Juan Lagares, who hits left-handers very well, will play in center field on those occasions and come in as a defensive replacement late in games as well.

If Conforto stays, he should continue getting starts against right-handed pitchers, and I suspect Kirk Nieuwenhuis will also get frequent starts against them when he comes off the DL.

Basically, the Mets have a lot of solid options now to effectively employ some platoons which will maximize production while strengthening the bench. That wasn’t the case a week ago. LGM

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Gerardo Parra Would Fill A Big Need For Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/gerardo-parra-would-fill-a-big-need-for-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/gerardo-parra-would-fill-a-big-need-for-mets.html/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 14:41:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=188455 juan lagares 2

There is something that many Mets fans, myself included, haven’t come to terms with yet and that is that the boys from Queens have a hole in center field.

Juan Lagares was one of the most exciting players to watch in 2014 for the Metropolitans (which I suppose isn’t saying much). His offensive production was not expected as he wasn’t a top prospect. His defensive abilities were always well documented, but I think he stunned all of baseball with his outfield acrobatics last year and it earned him his first gold glove.

However, Lagares is playing hurt right now and I would definitely credit his more-or-less undocumented injury as a huge factor in his underwhelming year.

It’s more than likely that Juan Lagares will undergo some sort of surgery to repair his injured elbow at some point. Taking into account Lagares’ injury, the only other option the Mets have in center is Kirk Nieuwenhuis and while he has produced well in his part-time role lately, I think it’s only a matter of time until the Kirk we all know (and still love) will return.

Enter: Gerardo Parra. The Mets can use some production in center field and it’s not even worth denying. Parra is a strong defender who is swinging a very hot bat right now producing at a .318/.361/.505 clip. He is a pure lead-off hitter with speed that plays a strong center-field.

Another benefit of a potential acquisition of Parra is Curtis Granderson, who would then be able to move into a role in the middle of the lineup where he more than likely is more comfortable in and he can be more productive for the team.

Parra is a rental, and many fans are clamoring for Carlos Gomez instead who is signed through 2016. However, Gomez is going to cost some of the high-end prospects in the Mets system and honestly, I would rather not take a huge bite out of the farm. While the price for Parra has reportedly been high, as the deadline inches closer, Doug Melvin and the Brewers front office might start to get a bit desperate.

Parra is the perfect fit for the Mets and he could be the final piece. Get it done.

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