Mets Merized Online » Juan Lagares http://metsmerizedonline.com Mon, 20 Feb 2017 13:00:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.18 Possible Landing Spots for Juan Lagares http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/possible-landing-spots-for-juan-lagares.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/possible-landing-spots-for-juan-lagares.html/#comments Sat, 04 Feb 2017 15:30:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=230560 juan lagares

Pitchers and catchers may report to Spring Training in 8 days, but that doesn’t mean the time for the New York Mets to make moves is over. According to New York Post beat reporter Mike Puma, some teams may be interested in Juan Lagares. Adam Rubin of ESPN feels dealing Lagares would be tough considering his salary.

Lagares is owed $4.5 million in 2017, $6.5 million in 2018 and $9 million in 2019. The deal also includes a $9.5 million option for 2020 that has a $500,000 buyout.

Still, some teams could be a fit for the Gold Glove outfielder.

San Diego Padres

MLB.com predicts the San Diego Padres outfield to consist of Alex Dickerson, Travis Jankowski, and Hunter Renfroe. This is reminiscent of the Mets 2012-2013 offseason when the outfield situation caused Sandy Alderson to ask ”Outfield? What outfield?”

These three outfielders combine for five years of Major League experience. They also combine for 18 home runs, 75 RBI and a .251 batting average in 271 games played. What’s worse is that Manuel Margot is the only other outfielder projected to be on their depth chart. He also doesn’t bring much MLB experience as he has only played in 10 games, but is a top prospect.

There is no doubt that the Padres could use Lagares. While they probably want to avoid spending money after their spending frenzy in the 2014-2015 offseason, they will have to sooner or later if they ever want to compete again.

Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers had a decent offense in 2016. They scored 750 runs which was good for 11th best in the Majors. Their corner outfielders helped contribute to that cause as Justin Upton and J.D. Martinez scored 150 runs and drove in 155 runs.

Going into 2017, the Tigers will have top-notch outfielders at the corners, but in center they will most likely have Mikie Mahtook. The former 2011 first-rounder hasn’t yet caught on in his limited time in the Majors. His stock has been dropping. And while he has played many games at center fielder, he’s really been moved all over the outfield. Starting Mahtook in center everyday, or most days, isn’t an ideal situation for the Tigers.

For a Tigers team that went 86-76 in 2016, it’s not crazy to say they can compete in 2017. An acquisition like Lagares can give them the true center fielder they need and a little bit more certainty than they currently have with Mahtook. With the offensive corner outfielders they currently have, they can afford to subtract some offense for defense.

Chicago White Sox

Similarly to the Padres, the Chicago White Sox don’t have an experienced outfield; specifically in center. The four projected White Sox center fielders by MLB.com are Charlie Tilson, Leury Garcia, Adam Engel, and Jacob May. May and Engel don’t have a Major League game under their belt and Tilson only has exactly one under his belt. Garcia has 153 MLB games played since 2013, but has only batted .188/.225/.237 with two home runs, 14 RBI, 29 runs, and 21 stolen bases.

After Adam Eaton was traded to the Washington Nationals in the offseason, the White Sox have struggled to find a worthy replacement. While Lagares’ career slash line of .259/.298/.366 isn’t as good as Eaton’s .284/.357/.414 career slash line, his defense was better than Eaton’s from 2013-2015 according to defensive WAR. Nonetheless, Eaton is off the team and Lagares would be a good fit for the White Sox with what they have now.

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Who Will Be a Casualty of the Mets’ Recent Signings? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/who-will-be-a-casualty-of-the-mets-recent-signings.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/who-will-be-a-casualty-of-the-mets-recent-signings.html/#comments Sat, 04 Feb 2017 12:30:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=230596 Rafael - Montero

The New York Mets bolstered their bullpen on Friday by re-signing both Jerry Blevins and Fernando Salas. The two signings though also create two spots that will need to be freed up on the 40-man roster. Who will be the casualties of these moves?

Rafael Montero:

Once a prized prospect of the organization, he has had quite the fall from grace over the last few years. Montero has not had much success at all in the majors, pitching to a 1-5 record with an ERA of 5.15 in 24 appearances, 12 of which were starts. Montero seems to be a near lock of being a roster casualty due to the recent signings.

Josh Edgin:

The team’s left-handed reliever returned to the big leagues in 2016 after fully recovering from Tommy John surgery that was performed in March of 2015. Edgin struggled in his time with the Mets this past season, pitching to a 5.23 ERA in 16 appearances. Overall though in his career he has not been too bad, pitching to a 3.42 ERA to go along with a WHIP of 1.17. It may just end up being a numbers game for the 30-year-old in being let loose from the 40-man roster.

Ty Kelly:

It is no secret that Terry Collins loves Ty Kelly, so this may be hard to believe. The Mets though could possibly let him go with two spots needed on the 40-man roster. Kelly had a so-so 2016, his first with the big league club, hitting to a .241/.352/.345 batting line with 1 homer and 7 RBI in 39 games. The team also will have a glut of position players this upcoming season with versatility, possibly making Kelly a casualty.

Sean Gilmartin:

After a stellar 2015 season, the lefty struggled mightily this past year. He pitched to a 7.13 ERA with a WHIP of 1.58 while appearing in 14 games. The prior year though had him appear in 50 games while pitching to a 2.67 ERA and a WHIP of 1.19. He also has the ability to be a good long man for the team, a spot now that we may see Seth Lugo pick up in 2017. Probably the least likely of the four listed to be moved off the roster, but still a player they may look at due to it again being a numbers game.

Of course there is also the possibility of Sandy Alderson swinging a trade to clear some space off the roster. There had been rumblings that Juan Lagares was drawing interest as of late. I am also sure no one has forgotten that the Mets have been attempting to trade Jay Bruce for the last century. A trade could be a possibility, but probably less likely at this point.

Should note that the only one of these four players that is out of options is Edgin.

It will be interesting to see how the team adjusts their roster once the signings are “official.” Who do you believe the Mets will let go due to signings of Blevins and Salas?

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]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/who-will-be-a-casualty-of-the-mets-recent-signings.html/feed/ 0 Mets Vs. Nationals: Who Has The Better Position Players And Bench? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/mets-vs-nationals-who-has-the-better-position-players-and-bench.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/mets-vs-nationals-who-has-the-better-position-players-and-bench.html/#comments Mon, 23 Jan 2017 15:00:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229919 nationals mets LOGOS

Going into 2017, the Mets and Nationals will clearly be the two teams fighting for the NL East title, with the Braves, Phillies, and Marlins lagging behind. While most people give the overall edge to the Nationals saying they will take the East, let’s take a closer look at these two teams and see who has the edge. In this article, we’ll compare the position players and benches of the two teams.

Catcher – Mets

After losing All Star and Silver Slugger Wilson Ramos to free agency, they traded for Derek Norris to replace him. After having two strong seasons including an All Star appearance in 2014, Norris had an absolutely abysmal 2016 slashing .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and 42 RBIs. At 27 years old, it is entirely possible he can return to form this season, but in the pitching-rich National League East that will be difficult. While they are comparable defensively, d’Arnaud’s pitch framing skills gives him the slight edge defensively.

The Mets starting catcher will be Travis d’Arnaud and Sandy Alderson has made that clear. In 2014 and 2015, d’Arnaud and Norris were actually very comparable hitters. However, while both endured down years in 2016, d’Arnaud put up considerably better numbers albeit in less games. He slashed .247/.307/.323 with four home runs and 15 RBIs in 75 games. Of the two, d’Arnaud has more potential, and considering he hit 12 home runs in only 67 games in 2015, it is possible he could break out in 2017. The Mets take this category, but it’s a barn burner.

First Basemen – Mets

While Ryan Zimmerman has had a very productive career, 2016 saw a major regress in his statistics. In 115 games, the 32 year-old hit .218/.272/.370 with 15 home runs and 46 RBIs. Lefty Clint Robinson, who shared first base with Zimmerman, was not much better, hitting .235/.305/.332 with five home runs and 26 RBIs in 104 games (196 ABs).

Mets first baseman Lucas Duda is coming off a stress fracture in his back which is now fully healed. After hitting 57 home runs in the two seasons prior, Duda was limited to 47 games in 2016, hitting .229/.302/.412 with seven home runs and 23 RBIs. Duda, who at 30 years old is younger than the two Nationals first basemen, has much more upside going into 2017 and will not have to share his position as much as they do. It is for these reasons I give the slight edge to Duda and the Mets.

Second Baseman – Nationals

This one hurts for obvious reasons. Daniel Murphy put up MVP numbers in his first year as a National, slashing .347/.390/.595 with 24 home runs and 104 RBIs. His 47 doubles, .595 SLG% and .985 OPS all led the National League. He earned a trip to his second All Star game as well as the Silver Slugger award for second basemen. He has always been a good hitter, but he has blossomed into the great hitter many Mets fans foresaw. Unfortunately, he is wearing the wrong uniform.

While Murphy gives the Nationals the edge at second base, the Mets’ man is nothing to scoff at. Neil Walker was having a phenomenal year before season-ending surgery, slashing .282/.347/.476 with 23 home runs and 55 RBIs in 113 games. Walker, back on a one-year deal, should be healthy again in 2017 and provide similar offense, as he has always been a very consistent hitter. While Walker is a superior defender than Murphy, he just doesn’t come close enough on offense.

Shortstop – Nationals

Before the acquisition of Adam Eaton, the Mets would have taken this category. However, with that trade, Rookie of the Year runner-up Trea Turner can move back to shortstop in 2017, his natural position. Playing out of position in center field, Turner was electric, slashing .342/.370/.567 with 13 home runs, 40 RBIs, and 33 stolen bases in 73 games.

As with second base, the Mets shortstop gives Turner a run for his money as well. Asdrubal Cabrera was everything the Mets hoped for in 2016, slashing .280/.336/.474 with 23 home runs and 62 RBIs in 141 games. He put up those numbers whilst playing through a strained left patella tendon, so it will be fun to watch him play 100% healthy in 2017. Unfortunately, it is hard to see him producing as much offensively as Turner will for the Nationals, so I have to give them the edge.

Third Base – Nationals

Anthony Rendon had a standout year for the Nationals, hitting .270/.348/.450 with 20 home runs, 85 RBIs, 38 doubles, and 12 stolen bases. He stayed healthy which allowed him to participate in 156 games. At just 26 years old (and two years removed from a 5th-place finish in MVP voting), he has a ton of upside coming into 2017.

David Wright will be starting most of the games at third base when healthy, and nobody really knows what to expect out of him. Serious injuries have limited his playing time to 75 games over the past two seasons, and he hit 12 home runs and drove in 31 during that span. His defense, specifically his throwing, has diminished greatly further lowering his overall production. However, the seven-time All Star might still have some tricks up his sleeve. Even so, I have to give the edge to Rendon and the Nationals.

yoenis cespedes walkoff

Left Field – Mets

Considering Yoenis Cespedes is the best left fielder in the Major Leagues, this doesn’t come as much surprise. Cespedes hit .280/.354/.530 with 31 home runs and 86 RBIs while providing elite defense in left field. He is the Mets best position player by far and easily takes this category.

His competition is Jayson Werth, who even at his best seven years ago, would still not be as good. Werth’s productivity has diminished greatly mostly due to his well below average defense. He has not posted a positive dWAR since his 0.2 mark in 2008. Since 2009 he has averaged -1.1 dWAR and of late has not produced enough offensively to make up for it. 2016 saw him hit .244/.335/.417 with 21 home runs and 69 RBIs in 143 games. He is not a bad player, but compared to the best left fielder in the game he can not win.

Center Field – Nationals

35 year-old Curtis Granderson has been an important cog in the Mets organization since his was brought aboard three years ago. He had a fine year in 2016, slashing .237/.335/.464 with 30 home runs and 59 RBIs. His numbers will be curtailed a bit in 2017 as he will surely have to share the spotlight with up-and-comer Michael Conforto, who will also need consistent at bats.

The Nationals gave up the farm to acquire former White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton. At 28 years old, Eaton has blossomed into a very valuable player, providing stellar defense while producing at the plate as well. In 157 games, Eaton hit .284/.362/.428 with 14 home runs, 59 RBIs, 14 stolen bases, and an American League-leading nine triples. While Granderson is not a bad player by any means, Eaton takes the cake here.

Right Field – Nationals

As of now, the Mets starting right fielder is Jay Bruce. The three-time All Star and two-time Silver Slugger is a pretty good player in his own right. Despite struggling in a Mets uniform last season, he still managed a season slash line of .250/.309/.506 with 33 home runs and 99 RBIs in 147 games. While his time on the Mets may end before the season begins, or perhaps in July at the deadline, his playing time might be affected by Michael Conforto just as Granderson’s would be.

Bryce Harper is 24 years old and has already attended four All Star games and won an MVP unanimously. While he did have a down year in 2016 with a .243 batting average, he still managed an impressive .373 OBP. He hit 24 home runs and drove in 86, stealing 21 bases for the first 20-20 season of his career. He was, however, caught 10 times. He is still very young and there is every possibility he will go back to putting up monster numbers. He has much more upside than Bruce so he takes this category.

wilmer flores jose reyes

Bench – Mets

The Mets might have the best bench in the Major Leagues. They’ve got four-time All Star and former batting champion Jose Reyes as a super-utility man who can play shortstop, second base, or third base, and is even trying his hand at center field this spring. Next off the bench is Wilmer Flores who demolishes lefties, and in only 307 at bats hit 16 home runs in 2016. He can play any infield position adequately while providing serious pop off the bench. The Mets have a strong backup catcher in Rene Rivera, who provides very good defense behind the plate.

In the outfield, the Mets have Gold Glover Juan Lagares who will be used as a defensive replacement in center field at the end of most games, and can also be used as a pinch runner or pinch hitter against lefties. As the Mets outfield is very crowded, on any given day the bench will also include one of Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, or Michael Conforto. Further, if any injuries were to occur, Brandon Nimmo and T.J. Rivera are waiting in Triple-A Las Vegas to fill in.

The Nationals infield depth consists of Wilmer Difo who has had only 77 plate appearances since his debut in 2015. He hit .261/.338/.348 with one home run and three doubles during that span, however his value comes with his ability to play second and third base as well as shortstop. The Nationals also have Clint Robinson backing up Ryan Zimmerman at first base, but Robinson can also play the corner outfield positions in a pinch. Their backup catcher is Jose Lobaton, an average defender who has hit .213/.296/.328 with six home runs in 83 games over the last two seasons.

Their best outfielder off the bench is Michael Taylor, a career .228/.281/.363 hitter that provides above average defense at each outfield position. They also have Chris Heisey who can play center field as well, but is better suited to play the corners. He hit .216/.290/.446 with nine home runs and 17 RBIs in 83 games for the Nationals in 2016. The Mets clearly have a better bench than the Nationals, and in my opinion, a better bench than any other team.

There you have it! The Mets take four categories while the Nationals take five. Check in on Wednesday for a comparison of the starting rotations and bullpens! Do you agree with my assessments of the position players and benches? What team do you think has a better rotation or bullpen? Comment below!

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Mets Current Payroll and Arbitration Recap http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/mets-current-payroll-and-arbitration-recap.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/mets-current-payroll-and-arbitration-recap.html/#comments Sat, 14 Jan 2017 14:30:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229438 jacob degrom

As the deadline for exchanging arbitration figures between the players and their teams came and went on Friday, the New York Mets had themselves quite a busy day.  With eight players still unsigned entering the day, the Mets came to settlements with seven players just before the team’s hard line “File and Trial” deadline.

Jeurys FamiliaMatt HarveyJacob deGromAddison ReedTravis d’Arnaud, and Josh Edgin all agreed to one year deals with the Mets.

However, the team failed to reach an agreement with utility infielder Wilmer Flores and the two sides will face-off in an arbitration hearing sometime in February. The Mets filed a $1.8MM contract while Flores countered with a $2.2MM deal. .

Entering Friday, the Mets had already come to terms with Zack Wheeler at $800K, Lucas Duda at $7.25MM, and Rene Rivera at $1.75MM.

The following chart tabulates all the arbitration figures including each player’s previous salary. Please note that the salary for Edgin is an estimate as his salary was not disclosed on Friday. Also, I went ahead with the higher of the two figures exchanged for Flores.

arbitration real

As you can see, Jacob deGrom was the biggest winner in arbitration, garnering himself a $3.443MM raise that can grow even higher if he reaches any of his performance bonuses. Jeurys Familia also gets a significant raise even though he has a suspension looming for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy.

Let’s see how all of this adds up so we can determine where the Mets’ payroll stands at the moment. I’m listing the team’s guaranteed  contracts and I’m going to use a $600K salary for remaining pre-arbitration players.

Arbitration Contracts

10 players totalling $39,125,000 dollars.

Guaranteed Contracts

Yoenis Cespedes – $22,500,000

David Wright – $20,000,000

Neil Walker – $17,200,000

Curtis Granderson – $15,000,000

Jay Bruce – $13,000,000

Asdrubal Cabrera – $8,250,000

Juan Lagares – $4,500,000

Jose Reyes – $507,500

8 players totalling $100,957,500 dollars.

Pre-Arbitration Contracts

Noah Syndergaard

Steven Matz

Hansel Robles

Robert Gsellman

Seth Lugo

Josh Smoker

Michael Conforto

7 players totalling $4,200,000 dollars.

Total Payroll 

When you tally the contracts for all 25 players, the Mets’ current payroll stands at $144,282,500 dollars. Of course there’s still two months until Opening Day and you can bet we’ll have a few changes to roster between now and then.

Sandy Alderson said last month, that his goal is to keep the Opening Day payroll total under $150 million so he still has some wiggle room right now and even moreso if he’s able to deal outfielder Jay Bruce.

I know there’s a bunch of you that really get too hung up on the team’s payroll. But let me remind you that the Mets have gone to the postseason in two consecutive seasons, so Sandy Alderson and his staff have been doing something right with their allotted resources.

This team is never going to spend like the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees so get that out of your heads. But as of this writing the Mets rank at No. 12 in payroll according to Spotrac, higher than the Toronto Blue Jays, Cleveland Indians and Baltimore Orioles, three other postseason teams. I can live with that.

Current Mets Payroll:  $144,282,500

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Bruce Could Be A Met in 2017 After All http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/bruce-could-be-a-met-in-2017-after-all.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/bruce-could-be-a-met-in-2017-after-all.html/#comments Fri, 13 Jan 2017 22:00:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229402

jay-bruce

It has been mostly a quiet offseason for the New York Mets. After signing Yoenis Cespedes there has been a lull in front office activity by General Manager Sandy Alderson.

One of the biggest stories to follow in the offseason has been whether Alderson will trade an outfielder. Early reports showed that the Mets field calls on both Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce. More recently Bruce has been named as the more likely trade bait.

However, on Thursday Alderson told the media that he may keep all his outfielders after all. This means a Mets outfield could consist of Michael Conforto, Juan Lagares, Cespedes, Bruce, and Granderson. That leaves out Brandon Nimmo who may need to spend time in Triple-A based on the roster space. That is five players who could start and have started in the past. He admitted that playing time would be an issue if all the outfielders were on the team, but that it could work out.

Bruce was traded to the Mets on August 1 from the Cincinnati Reds where he played his whole career. Bruce was in the midst of one of his best seasons until he was traded to the Mets.

His first month on the Mets was a struggle as he batted .183 with only had two home runs, six runs, and six RBI. When the Mets acquired him, many fans probably expected a large offensive boost as he did come to the team as the National League RBI leader. He also came to the Mets as a hot hitter in July. Aside from his .218 batting average, he had an impressive eight home runs, 21 RBI, and 15 runs.

jay-bruce-curtis-granderson

Bruce did settle in towards the end of the season. In his last eight games he batted .480, hit four home runs, drove in eight RBI, and scored six runs.

New York isn’t the easiest place to play for some major leaguers. Some formerly intimidating hitters have come to the Mets and folded in the New York spotlight.

To see Bruce come around toward the end of the season was promising. Also knowing he won’t have to fill in for Cespedes or carry the team, should lift some pressure off him.

If all the outfielders are kept, the real task will be on Terry Collins and the allocation of playing time that he will give each outfielder. Conforto took a step back last year and playing everyday may be the best option for him. Lagares used to be the Mets starting center fielder and now he may find himself as their fifth outfielder. To give those two time, Bruce and Granderson may be riding the pine for more games than they usually would.

However, if Collins handles the situation correctly it could be a positive. He would be working with three hitters who have combined for 10 seasons of 30 or more home runs, two players who have won Gold Glove Awards, and three All-Stars. Even Conforto who hasn’t yet achieved much has had sparks of brilliance. He was one of the few hitters who produced in the 2015 World Series as he batted .333 with two home runs and four RBI.

The offseason is not over yet and plans change often. The Mets may find themselves with a surplus of outfielders after all, but that is much better than 2013 when Alderson remarked, “Outfield? What outfield? We’re probably gonna have to bring the fences in another 150 feet!”

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Mets Have Not Given Permission for Familia and Cabrera to Play Winter Ball http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/mets-have-not-given-permission-for-familia-and-cabrera-to-play-winter-ball.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/mets-have-not-given-permission-for-familia-and-cabrera-to-play-winter-ball.html/#comments Wed, 14 Dec 2016 13:30:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=228030 jeurys familia

New York Mets players, Jeurys Familia and Asdrubal Cabrera are readying themselves to play winter ball in order to prepare themselves for the World Baseball Classic. The only problem is the team has yet to provide permission for either player to participate in their respective leagues.

With injuries always being a concern and an eye on the bigger picture that is the 2017 season, General Manager, Sandy Alderson was not too keen on the idea of his star players getting in extra work.

“in Familia’s case, it’s about getting ready for the WBC. The same is true for Cabrera. In terms of playing winter ball to get prepared for the WBC, that’s something that right now we have not permitted. We may or may not.” (NY Post)

With the workload Familia has received the last few years, there is no question that Alderson’s thought process on this makes sense. The same could be said with Cabrera, who dealt with a nagging knee injury through a good portion of the 2016 season.

The team has already dealt with a scare this offseason with one of their players playing winter ball as Juan Lagares sprained his shoulder while diving for a ball. These are not the injuries you would like to risk happening prior to the start of the coming season.

“Obviously with what happened to Juan Lagares, there’s always a risk associated with winter ball,” Alderson said.

“I think it was last year that we allowed [Wilmer] Flores to play five or six games. He got hurt. In Juan’s case, he only played [79] games last year, so the idea of getting him some at-bats in winter ball was valuable.”

In a situation like this, where two of the team’s key contributors are looking to log a significant amount of play prior to spring training, they are right to show caution. It will be interesting to see if the Mets ultimately allow Familia and Cabrera to participate in the Dominican and Venezuelan winter leagues as they look to prepare for the upcoming WBC tournament.

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]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/mets-have-not-given-permission-for-familia-and-cabrera-to-play-winter-ball.html/feed/ 0 Should Lagares And Conforto Be Untouchable? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/outfielders-juan-lagares-and-michael-conforto-are-untouchable.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/outfielders-juan-lagares-and-michael-conforto-are-untouchable.html/#comments Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:30:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227304 lagares conforto

Per Anthony DiComo on Twitter, teams have inquired about outfielders Juan Lagares and Michael Conforto. However, DiComo reports that the Mets have made the two untouchable.

The Mets are actively shopping right fielder Jay Bruce. They are also listening to offers for Curtis Granderson, however they would prefer not to trade him.

Lagares, known for his glove, has underperformed at the plate recently. Many have attributed that to his lack of consistent playing time, as he appeared in only 79 games this season, hitting .239 with three home runs and four stolen bases. When he gets consistent at bats, as he did the previous three seasons, he performs at a higher level.

From 2013-2015 he hit .261/.297/.364 while playing unbelievable defense, winning the Gold Glove Award in 2014. Even though his batting average was 20 points lower in 2016 than 2015 (.259 – .239), he raised his on base percentage by 12 points (.289 – .301).

Elbow issues severely impacted his throwing ability and therefore his overall defense in 2015, but his arm is now back to full strength. Juan Lagares has a lot of potential, and as he is still only 27 years old, it seems the Mets believe he will fulfill it.

Speaking of potential, Michael Conforto was made unavailable as well. After blasting on to the scene in late 2015 and early 2016, his numbers have fallen off the face of the earth. Even with one of the best April’s in the Majors, the 23 year-old finished 2016 with a .220/.310/.414 slash line with 12 home runs and 42 RBIs.

He showed glimpses of what he can be at the very end of the season, driving some balls the opposite way to left field, but it remains to be seen if that progress will carry over into spring training and the 2017 season.

Just because the Mets say these two aren’t going anywhere doesn’t mean teams won’t still try to yank them away. It is entirely possible that a team blows the Mets away with a deal that Sandy Alderson is inclined to consider.

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Rosenthal: Andrew McCutchen Likely To Be Traded http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/nationals-having-discussions-with-pirates-about-mccutchen.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/nationals-having-discussions-with-pirates-about-mccutchen.html/#comments Wed, 30 Nov 2016 17:23:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=226902 mccutchen

The Mets have officially brought back Yoenis Cespedes to play left field. They are currently in talks with many teams about both Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce, and while they will probably trade one and keep the other, the possibility remains that they could trade both.

If both are traded, the Mets outfield would theoretically be Cespedes in left, Juan Lagares in center, and Michael Conforto in right with Brandon Nimmo as the fourth man. There is room in that outfield for an upgrade, and that could be Andrew McCutchen.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the likelihood of the Pirates trading Andrew McCutchen is pretty high.

He says the Washington Nationals would be interested, as trading for Cutch would allow them to move Trea Turner back to his natural position of shortstop. He says the Texas Rangers would be interested as well with their hole in center field. He does not mention the Mets.

Speaking to MLB.com regarding concerns about his defense, McCutchen said, “I don’t see myself needing to move. I don’t feel like I’m slowing down and hurting my team because of where I play… Playing center field is one thing, but being a leader out there is another.”

If the Mets were to trade for him, Juan Lagares’ playing time would once again be curtailed when in many’s opinions, consistent at bats is the key to his success.

The question is, do they mets think they really need Cutch, and would they offer the Pirates more than the other teams vying for his services, including the division rival Nationals?

Original Report – Nov 26

If the season were to start today, the Mets outfield would be some combination of Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, and Brandon Nimmo. Fortunately, next season does not start until next April, giving the Mets plenty of time to mold their outfield like clay.

The biggest and most obvious question mark regarding the Mets outfield is whether or not they re-sign Yoenis Cespedes to play left field. Why stop there, though?

The Mets seem dead set on trading Jay Bruce who is owed $13 million in 2017. They also seem open to trading Curtis Granderson who is owed $15 million. An outfield consisting of Yoenis Cespedes, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, and Brandon Nimmo doesn’t sound too shabby, but again, why stop there?

With that $28 million freed up, the Mets could make a big splash and trade for a big right handed bat. Why not Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen, who seems to be the source of several trade rumors.

McCutchen, 30, will be paid only $14 million in 2017 and has a $14.5 million team option ($1 million buyout) for 2018. That is a bargain if he plays anywhere near the level he has shown time and time again that he can.

The 2013 NL MVP was named to five consecutive All Star teams from 2011-2015. He won the Silver Slugger Award from 2012-2015, finishing in the top-five in MVP voting in each of those seasons.

Since his first full season in 2010, Cutch averages 155 games played per season with 23 home runs, 83 RBIs, 20 stolen bases, and 80 walks. He has a career .293/.383/.489 slash line to go with his impressive 140 OPS+.

He had a down year in 2016, though, hitting only .256/.336/.430 with 24 home runs and 79 RBIs in 153 games. He struck out a career-high 143 times and walked a career-low 69 times. He also stole less than ten bases for the first time in his career, swiping only six and getting caught seven times.

andrew mccutchen

What would it take to bring the former MVP to New York? First of all, the Pirates don’t have much starting pitching depth behind ace Gerrit Cole. Involved in the trade would have to be a young, MLB ready starting pitcher with good upside. Robert Gsellman seems like he fits that criteria, and is consistent with the Pirates’ power-pitching philosophy.

Gsellman, 23, was very effective down the stretch last season, going 4-2 with a 2.42 ERA in seven starts. In 44.2 innings he struck out 42 batters and walked 15. He is a valuable trade chip right now, and with the Mets starting pitching depth, trading him for Cutch seems like a good idea.

The Pirates would also want a replacement in their outfield. While Gregory Polanco is cemented in right field, Starling Marte can play a good center field. The Mets have a plethora of left fielders that the Pirates would be interested in, but if they want anyone, it would probably be Michael Conforto.

Conforto, 23, had a down year in 2016 batting only .220/.310/.414 with 12 home runs and 42 RBIs. Despite his underperforming, his upside is undeniable. If the Mets were to resign Cespedes, that would pretty much signify Conforto’s return to AAA Las Vegas. The Mets wouldn’t keep him as a fourth outfielder because he needs consistent at-bats.

In this theoretical world, the Mets outfield would have McCutchen  in center field with Yoenis Cespedes and Curtis Granderson manning the corners.

The last piece of the trade would be a prospect with a lot of upside. Someone who fits that mold is minor league pitcher Chris Flexen. The 22 year-old underwent Tommy John surgery in 2014, and since then, has pitched well.

He played the entirety of 2016 with A+ St. Lucie, starting 25 games and going 10-9 with a 3.56 ERA. In 134 innings he struck out 95 batters and walked 51. He usually throws 90-91 mph with good movement, but can reach back for more if necessary. He also features an average curveball and changeup.

With the Pirates wanting to shed some contract obligations, this would take $14 million off the books for them, while providing them with a starting pitcher, left fielder with tremendous upside, and a prospect to help bolster their farm system.

The Pirates might ask for more prospects, but these three players would be the focal point of the deal. Do you think the Mets should pursue Andrew McCutchen regardless of whether or not they sign Cespedes? Do you think a package of Michael Conforto, Robert Gsellman, and Chris Flexen would get the job done? Let us know below!

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Does Juan Lagares Have a Role on the 2017 Mets? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/does-juan-lagares-have-a-role-on-the-2017-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/does-juan-lagares-have-a-role-on-the-2017-mets.html/#comments Mon, 28 Nov 2016 13:30:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227152 juan lagares

Once considered a lock to grace the Citi Field outfield on a regular basis for years to come, Juan Lagares has found himself to be somewhat a forgotten man. Ben Berkon of Forbes took a look of the quick rise and fall of Lagares.

Injuries, offensive struggles and a glut of outfielders have mainly been the culprits as to why Lagares is no longer the everyday player many of us thought he was to become. His career has taken many twists and turns since winning a Gold Glove in 2014.

After winning the hardware, Lagares was rewarded with a five-year, $23.5 million contract extension. It seemed to be quite a team friendly deal to lock up the young and talented outfielder. Of course, it would not work out in the Mets favor with Lagares’ struggles in the seasons that would follow, both offensively and due to injury.

His breakout 2014 season saw him hit to a .281/.321/.382 battling line to go along with four homers and 47 RBI while playing in just 113 games. The Mets would give Lagares more of a starting role in 2015, as he played in 143 games, hitting to a .259/.289/.358 batting line with six homers and 41 RBI.

Lagares, 27, also saw his defensive skills decrease quite a bit, no longer seeming to have the gun of an arm he flashed in 2014. It had been attributed to a nagging elbow injury as per manager, Terry Collins, at the time. This past season would not be much kinder to Juan as he missed a majority of it due to a sprained thumb that he obtained while attempting to make a diving catch.

At this point, with a plethora of outfielders, it is hard to believe that Lagares will again see regular time as a New York Met. Relegated to being a late-inning defensive replacement, his value has gone down quite a bit. With the upcoming Winter Meetings getting ready to take place December 4 in Washington D.C. it is not to surprising to think he could be an add-in on any possible trade.

The Mets will not get much for Lagares if trying to trade him at this point, especially coming off injury. He though could be a good complimentary piece to a team who may find themselves with a lack of outfield depth.

It is sad to see how dramatically things turned after just one stellar season for Lagares. A player who once showed so much promise has now seemingly become an afterthought.

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Juan Lagares Shines in Winter League Season Debut http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/juan-lagares-shines-in-winter-league-season-debut.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/juan-lagares-shines-in-winter-league-season-debut.html/#comments Wed, 23 Nov 2016 13:30:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=226995 lagares-da-vida-a-las-aguilas

New York Mets outfielder Juan Lagares made his Dominican Winter League season debut for the Aguilas Cibaenas on Tuesday night.

Lagares batted sixth and played the entire game in center field. He went 2 for 3 with a sacrifice fly, both hits were line drive singles. His first hit came off lefty Frank Garces and the second against right-hander Rafael De Paula.

On the defensive side, he threw out a runner at home plate trying to score on a base hit.

Lagares had been playing in the parallel league over the past two weeks to get ready for his regular start last night. He was added to the weekly roster on Monday and is expected to play through the end of the Dominican winter league action.

He played in only 79 games and had just 142 at-bats during the 2016 regular season for the Mets. He hit .239/.301/.380 with seven doubles, two triples, and nine runs batted in.

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MMO Free Agent Profile: Rajai Davis, OF http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-rajai-davis-of.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-rajai-davis-of.html/#comments Sat, 19 Nov 2016 15:30:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=226758 rajai davis

Rajai Davis
Position: Outfield
Bats: Right – Throws: Right
Born: October 19, 1980 (Age 36)

Rajai Davis hits free agency this winter after he and his Cleveland Indians’ teammates made a run to Game 7 of the World Series, in which the Indians lost to the Chicago Cubs to end their 108-year World Series drought. Davis did his best to keep the Indians’ hopes alive, as he tied the game up in the bottom of the eighth against flame throwing lefty Aroldis Chapman, with a two-run homer into left. He then came to bat in the bottom of the tenth, with one on and two out, as the Indians were down 8-6. Davis singled back up the middle on the second pitch thrown by Cubs RHP Carl Edwards, making it a one-run game at 8-7.

Davis didn’t back down in these pressure situations, instead, coming through in the clutch twice in late innings of what turned out to be a thrilling Game 7 for the ages. Davis enters free agency with that lasting memory, hoping to cash in after he signed a one-year deal with the Tribe in December 2015, for $5.25 million. The Indians were in need of outfield depth, as they lost their star left fielder Michael Brantley to offseason arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder. Brantley ultimately came back too soon from the surgery, and only played in 11 games before being shut down for the remainder of the ’16 season. The Indians also lost Abraham Almonte for 80 games and Marlon Byrd for 162 for their respective PED suspensions, so Davis found himself playing in far more games than likely expected upon signing.

On the year, Davis slashed .249/.306/.388 with a career high 12 home runs, 48 RBI, and a league leading 43 stolen bases out of 49 attempts. He played in 134 games, 107 of them starts, and mainly batted leadoff, sixth, or seventh in Terry Francona‘s lineup. Davis found his best results when leading off though, posting a line of .253/.312/.434, with 11 home runs and 26 stolen bases. Although his OBP was rather low for a leadoff hitter, he had superior numbers when facing a pitcher’s first pitch, slashing .361/.349/.508 with two homers and 11 RBI in 61 at-bats. He also enjoyed success when runners were in scoring position, slashing .283/.360/.475 with three homers and 36 RBI in 99 at-bats.

On the defensive side, Davis is capable of manning all three outfield spots, as he did in ’16. The bulk of his playing time was spent in left and center field, where he posted a -3 defensive runs saved (DRS) and -5 DRS respectively. He ultimately posted league average or just below league average numbers in both outfield spots in 2016, with an overall range factor per nine innings of 2.22 when the league average was 2.15, and a range factor per game of 1.91, when the league average was 2.12.

What many teams will be intrigued by with Davis is his speed, where he’s posted seven seasons of at least 30 stolen bases, eclipsing the 40 mark five times including last season. Another area that hasn’t always been discussed is taking extra bases, which calculates the times a runner advances more than one base on a single or more than two bases on a double. The Indians finished second in all of baseball last year in extra bases taken (XBT%), at a 45% clip. The Mets were tied for last with the Detroit Tigers at 34%. Davis alone had a 58% XBT in 2016, and to put that in context, none of the Mets starting position players had a higher XBT than 48% (Travis d’Arnaud and Michael Conforto).

Contract:

I could see Davis signing a one or two year deal this winter, similar to his two-year, $10 million contract he signed with the Tigers in December 2013. The Indians’ front office has expressed interest in re-signing Davis as depth, however, the Tribe has options with Tyler Naquin, Brandon Guyer, Lonnie Chisenhall, and a healthy Brantley to start the 2017 season. The Indians, Athletics, Giants, Mets, and Angels could all show interest.

Recommendation:

I really like Davis for his speed and being proactive on the bases, something the Mets could use as they were ranked 28th overall in ’16 in team stolen bases with 42. The team’s outfield is still a bit unclear, as fans await word of whether the team will re-sign Cespedes. With Granderson, Bruce, Conforto, and Lagares also in the mix, the Mets might not have room to carry another outfielder. Lagares could be viewed as a less speedy Davis, with good splits against lefties, better defense in center, and nine years younger.

However, Davis’ speed element is very intriguing, so if the Mets in fact re-sign Cespedes and can trade Bruce, they could circle back and check in with Davis’ camp if he’s still available. I’d expect Davis and his agents are looking for more guaranteed playing time though, something the Mets won’t be able to offer with a crowded outfield.

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Here Are the Mets’ Options if Cespedes Opts Out http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/here-are-the-mets-options-if-cespedes-opts-out.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/here-are-the-mets-options-if-cespedes-opts-out.html/#comments Fri, 07 Oct 2016 13:00:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224532 yoenis cespedes

It looks as though the Mets’ offseason plans will be largely contingent on whether Yoenis Cespedes opts in or out of the two remaining years of his contract.

If he opts in, then the Mets retain their best hitter for at least another season. But if he opts out, he will become one of the most sought-after free agents in an otherwise weak class– virtually guaranteeing a nine-figure multiyear deal.GM Sandy Alderson’s reluctance to ink players to big deals likely means that Cespedes is a gonner if he opts out– which ESPN’s Adam Rubin said the team expects him to do.

Cespedes said in August that he was not planning on opting out He has made very clear that he loves playing in New York– something the Mets undoubtedly have going for them– but it makes little sense from a financial standpoint. Cespedes could be walking away from at least $100 million– and possibly up to $200 million– if he decides against free agency.

The Mets already seem to have two of their outfield spots locked up. Curtis Granderson is under contract for next year and Jay Bruce has a $13 million team option for 2017. So to fill that final spot, Mets seem to have three of courses of action they can take this offseason if Cespedes signs elsewhere. They can sign an immediate replacement in the outfield, stay internal and start Michael Conforto in left field, or do a mixture of both. Here’s a rundown of the three options:

José-Bautista jose

Free agent replacements: If the team is emphasizing winning and improving the team for 2017 over long-term player development, they have a few solid shorter term options on the market.

The biggest name in this category is Jose Bautista. “Joey Bats” missed 46 games this season with a knee injury and had a down year by his own lofty standards– batting  .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBIs. Given these factors and Bautista’s 36 years of age, a four-year deal of about $80-100 million seems to be fair for him. He’d essentially be a more expensive version of what Curtis Granderson was when he signed with the Mets three years ago.

Matt Holliday also makes sense in this situation. He’ll be 37 in January and has missed 141 games over the last two years, so it’s unlikely he’ll get more than three years from anyone. But he has still hit effectively when he has been healthy; he hit 20 home runs in 381 at-bats this season and was an All-Star in 2015. He still looks like he has some good baseball in the tank on a team-friendly deal.

Rajai Davis could work here too. The 35-year-old outfielder led the AL in stolen bases this year with 43– one more than the Mets had all season. For a team that needs a natural center fielder and able runners on the basepaths, an aging Davis would be someone who can provide both. And given his age, probably won’t demand a huge contract either.

Other outfielders that could work on short-term deals include Brandon Moss (28 home runs), Michael Saunders (24 home runs), and Carlos Gomez (.284/.362/.543 in 33 games with the Rangers).

michael conforto

Internal: The Mets could simply put all of their faith into Michael Conforto and give him a starting job in either left or center. To say this is a gamble would be an understatement.

Conforto has shown promise in the minor leagues and during his time in the majors in 2015, but had a nightmarish 2016. He batted .174/.267/.330 in 230 at-bats after May 1. He may have shown flashes of potential in the past, but it would be unwise to hand him a starting job given how he played this year.

They could also presumably use Juan Lagares in center if they wanted to, and hope he returns to the form that made him a Gold Glove winner and tolerable hitter in 2014. But that seems to be a stretch for a lineup that desperately needs to produce more runs.

The mix: 

Another option that could possibly work is to sign a middle-of-the-road veteran to a one or two-year deal to compete for the final outfield spot, and act as a safety net should Conforto struggle. This seems sensible if the Mets have strict budgetary constraints this year, or want to develop Conforto.

Austin Jackson is one player who fits this bill. He signed a one-year deal with the White Sox before the season, and will likely be looking at a one-year (or minor league) deal this year since he played in just 54 games in 2016. He is unlikely to cost more than a few million dollars, and has periodically shown flashes of talent in the majors.

Matt Joyce is another player who could be at play here. He was impressive as a part-time player with the Pirates this year, batting .242/.403/.463 with 13 home runs and 42 RBIs in 231 at-bats. Joyce also has pennant race and playoff experience from his years with the Rays, and his high on-base percentage is something that Alderson seems to like.

Other free agents who are of this description include Franklin Gutierrez (14 home runs in 248 at-bats for the Mariners), Seth Smith (16 home runs in 378 at-bats for the Mariners), and Gregor Blanco (.344 lifetime on-base percentage with the Giants).

Cespedes has until five days after the end of the World Series to opt out of his contract. Let’s hope he doesn’t pull a LeBron and decide on ESPN.

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Mets Find Asking Price Too High On Steve Pearce http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/mets-find-asking-price-too-high-on-steve-pearce.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/mets-find-asking-price-too-high-on-steve-pearce.html/#comments Sat, 30 Jul 2016 01:37:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=218967 steve-pearce 2

According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, while the Mets still believe they are more likely to add a reliever at the trading deadline, they are now more inclined to pursue a bat due to the loss of Juan Lagares to surgery on his left thumb.

According to ESPN reporter Jerry Crasnick, the Mets are interested in Tampa Bay Rays’ Steve Pearce, but they have found the asking price to be too high. The Cleveland Indians have also been connected to Pearce.

Pearce, 33, is batting .312 with a .384 OBP and a .912 OPS in 224 plate appearance. He’s hit 10 home runs, 11 doubles and 29 RBI in 58 games this year with the Rays.

The right-handed hitting slugger is owed roughly $2 million for the rest of this season, after which he is a free agent.

Earlier reports also mentioned the Mets have inquired about Jay Bruce and that the Reds have been scouting Kevin Plawecki.

So far, the Mets have not been linked to any other outfield bats.

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Michael Conforto Plays Center Field For First Time In His Career http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/michael-conforto-plays-center-field-for-first-time-in-his-career.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/michael-conforto-plays-center-field-for-first-time-in-his-career.html/#comments Sun, 24 Jul 2016 05:35:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=217997 michael conforto

Latest News – July 24

After a couple of weeks of deliberation about playing Michael Conforto in center field, Mets manager Terry Collins finally took the opportunity to play Conforto in center field in spacious Marlins Park on Saturday night.

After coming in as a pinch-hitter and stroking a single in the sixth inning of last night’s 7-2 loss to the Marlins, Conforto remained in the game and made his professional debut in center field.

Before the series, Collins said he would wait until the Mets returned to Citi Field to introduce Conforto to center field, but with the Mets already down by four runs he decided to make the move.

Conforto only had one ball hit to him, but he fielded it cleanly and said he felt good out there and that he’ll get better at the position with more practice. “I felt pretty comfortable. I’m just going to be getting more work at it every single day.”

The Mets plan on using Conforto in center field moving forward so that Yoenis Cespedes can get more time to fully heal his right quadriceps.

Original Report – July 18

Recently recalled Michael Conforto could play centerfield in the near future, manager Terry Collins announced to reporters.

The move comes as a bit of a surprise, considering Conforto has never played a major league inning at the position. However, with star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes‘ request to play left field due to a recent quadriceps injury, Collins is clearly making every effort to accommodate his star player.

Before his demotion, the young lefty was in a complete tailspin, batting .144 over 157 at bats in May and June. Once in Triple A Las Vegas, he turned it on, batting .344 with three home runs and 15 RBI in just 16 games.

Conforto’s potential move to center favors Curtis Granderson, who will continue to see the bulk of the playing time in right field. What remains to be seen is how Juan Lagares fits into the Mets’ outfield jigsaw puzzle. The 2014 Gold Glove winner has swung the bat better against right handed pitching this season while playing top notch defense in center field.

Despite the challenges of learning a new position at the game’s highest level, Conforto remains optimistic about the opportunity.

“I’ll be an athlete.  I’ll go make the plays.  I’ll do whatever I can.”

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MMO Players Of The Week: Jake and Juan to the Rescue http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/mmo-players-of-the-week-jake-and-juan-to-the-rescue.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/mmo-players-of-the-week-jake-and-juan-to-the-rescue.html/#comments Tue, 19 Jul 2016 13:00:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=217918 MMO PLAYER OF THE WEEK

An abbreviated week of play was in store for the New York Mets, as the 87th All Star Game was played last Tuesday at Petco Park in San Diego. The American League won the game 4-2, and secured home field advantage for the World Series this year. The Kansas City Royals were well represented in the contest, and two of them, Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez each homered in the three-run second inning off former teammate Johnny Cueto, who dominated the Mets in Game 2 of last year’s World Series.

The Mets had four All Stars this year, Noah Syndergaard, Bartolo Colon, Jeurys Familia, and Yoenis Cespedes. All but Cespedes made the trip out to San Diego, as he was still nursing a sore right quad. However, none of the Mets made it into the game, as NL Manager Terry Collins was planning on using Colon if the game went to extra innings, and using Familia in a save situation.

In what seemed like the longest week of the year, when baseball is scant and fans are itching for their teams to get back into the second half of the season, the Mets opened up a three game set against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Mets won the series as they took the first game and the rubber game against the Phillies. A tremendous pitching performance by Jacob deGrom on Sunday sealed the deal for the Mets, as they now head to Chicago to play the first place Cubs starting Monday night.

As always, here are your MMO Players of the Week for July 11-17.

juan lagares claps

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: JUAN LAGARES

Juan Lagares earns MMO’s Offensive Player of the Week for the three games against our foe down the Jersey turnpike. Lagares went 3 for 9 during the series, including two walks, a double, triple, homer, three runs scored, and two RBI.

Lagares started and played center the entire series, as Cespedes was eased back into action on Sunday playing left field, a position he said was easier on his legs to play moving forward. And now with Michael Conforto recalled from Triple A Las Vegas, Collins and the Mets are going to have to sort out who’s playing where. But Lagares has taken his opportunity and done well, which should give him more playing time as Collins should ride the hot hand at the plate.

Lagares opened the scoring early for the Mets on Friday night, homering in the top of the third on a first pitch fastball by Jeremy Hellickson to left-center field. Lagares also scored an insurance run in the seventh, as he led off the inning with his first of two walks in the game, and came around to score on Jose Reyes‘ fielder’s choice two batters later. The slow chopper to short was fielded quickly by Freddy Galvis who threw on the run to home to try and nab the speedy Lagares. But Lagares broke to the plate quick, and read the play perfectly, sliding underneath the tag and putting the Mets up by two.

He also opened the scoring during Sunday’s win, tripling in the top of the second and plating James Loney to give the Mets the early 1-0 lead. Lagares worked a great at-bat, quickly falling behind starter Zach Eflin 0-2, to then work the count full on three straight balls. On the seventh pitch of the at-bat, Lagares lofted a 93 mph fastball down the right field line, past a diving Peter Bourjos, and easily made it into third base for his second triple of the season.

jacob degrom 2

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: JACOB DE GROM

For the second straight week, Jacob deGrom earns MMO’s Pitcher of the Week honors, after his masterful performance in Sunday’s rubber game against the Phillies. With the Mets looking to secure their second series victory against the Phillies this season, deGrom pitched a complete game one-hit shutout, his first major league complete game of his career.

He went the entire way, giving up only one hit to counterpart Zach Eflin in the bottom of the third. He walked one, and struck out seven in an impressive 105 pitch performance. DeGrom lowered his season ERA to 2.38 after his sixth win of the season.

As previously reported by Jamie Zimbleman in his Game Recap on Sunday, deGrom registered a 97 on the Game Score, which is the fifth highest Game Score in franchise history.

After a week and half of rest, including skipping a trip to the All Star Game after Collins asked deGrom about attending, he looked refreshed and rejuvenated on the mound Sunday, who mentioned that he was trying to be more consistent with his delivery after routinely dipping his shoulder off to the first base side through most of the first half of the season.

DeGrom has battled this season with diminished velocity in the early going, but over time and rest he seems to have righted the ship, and looks to be poised for a big second half for the Mets.

“I was hoping I’d have one like this, where you go out there and everything is working,” deGrom said. “But it’s part of the game. You don’t always feel good when you go out there, so you’ve got to find a way. Today I was fortunate enough to feel good.”

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DeGrom Fires A One-Hit Shutout As Mets Defeat Phillies 5-0 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/degrom-fires-a-one-hit-shutout-as-mets-defeat-phillies-5-0.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/degrom-fires-a-one-hit-shutout-as-mets-defeat-phillies-5-0.html/#comments Sun, 17 Jul 2016 20:36:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=217875 jacob degrom

The New York Mets (49-42) defeated the Philadelphia Phillies (42-49) by a score of 5-0 at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday afternoon. As of this writing the Nationals just tied the score 1-1 in the bottom of the ninth, a pinch-hit home run by Daniel Murphy. The Mets are seven games back and are looking to shave that down by a game.

Pitching:

DEGROMINATION!  Jacob deGrom brought his “A game” today and was absolutely filthy as he tossed the first major league complete game of his career – a dominating one-hit shutout!  The only hit deGrom allowed was to the opposing pitcher Zach Eflin.

In his nine inning gem, deGrom allowed just two baserunners, the other being a walk to Ryan Howard, and he struck out seven.  The shutout had a Game Score of 97, the fifth highest game score in franchise history.

jose reyes

Offense: 

In the top of the second inning, Juan Lagares put the Mets up 1-0. Lagares worked a real nice at-bat against Zach Eflin.  With James Loney on second with two out, Juan Lagares tripled down the first base line to score the early run.  Juan Lagares has done a real nice job filling in this series.

In the top of the third, Granderson tacked on with his 16th home run of the season to put the Mets up 2-0.

In the top of the fifth inning and two outs, Jacob deGrom was able to single to center fielder Odubel HerreraJose Reyes followed by cracking a double into the gap to bring him home.  After Jose Reyes and Curtis Granderson successfully stole second and third, the Phillies pitched around Yoenis Cespedes to load the bases.  Neil Walker, unfortunately, grounded out to end the inning.

The Mets offense still was not done.  In the top of the eighth inning, James Loney ripped a single into right field with two outs.  Asdrubal Cabrera followed with his 13th home run of the season to put the Mets up 5-0.

 

Notes:

Jacob deGrom becomes the first Met to pitch a complete game and allow one hit or fewer since R.A. Dickey did it on June 18th, 2012. He also became the first Mets pitcher to face only 28 batters in a nine-inning game since Zack Wheeler in 2014.

This was the first complete game for the Mets since Bartolo Colon was able to do it in September of last year.

Terry Collins mentioned before the game Yoenis Cespedes might need to play left field for a while until his quad is back to 100%.

Michael Conforto was held out of the lineup in Las Vegas today.  Could a return be on the horizon?

JZ Player of the Game: Who else?  DEGROM!

On Deck: 

The Mets are heading to Chicago to take on the Cubs!  The Mets will play their first game of a three-game set with the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field tomorrow evening. The game has a start time of 7:05 PM.  Steven Matz (7-5, 3.38 ERA) looks to keep the Mets rolling against Jon Lester (9-4, 3.01 ERA).

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Juan Lagares Starts Off Second-Half In A Big Way http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/juan-lagares-starts-off-the-2nd-half-in-a-big-way.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/juan-lagares-starts-off-the-2nd-half-in-a-big-way.html/#comments Sat, 16 Jul 2016 11:00:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=217762 Lagares/Reyes

With Yoenis Cespedes still nursing a sore right quad, Juan Lagares stepped in for the team’s slugger. For a night, he let the Mets forget about Cespedes’ presence in the lineup.

Lagares was 1-or-2 at the plate last night with a solo shot that put the Mets up by a score 1-0 in the third inning. He walked twice, and stole a base to manufacture another run for the team. The stolen base was his second of the season.

“I know I can run a little bit,” Lagares said. “Every time I have a chance, I want to take advantage of it.” (NY Post)

The steal could not have come at a better time for the team as in the previous inning, the Phillies rallied against Bartolo Colon, getting within one run. With the steal, the Mets were able to do something they have not done much of this season, manufacture a run.

With one out and Lagares now on third, Jose Reyes hit a grounder to short in which Lagares broke right away on and scored. The run gave the Mets the 5-3 lead that would stave off the Phillies. The close play seemed to kill any momentum Philadelphia had going after chasing Colon in the sixth.

“I just went with everything I have,” Lagares said. “I knew it was going to be a tough play, but I got a good jump and I got it.”

In sparse play this season, Lagares has performed quite well, hitting to a .268/.317/.420 slash. He has three homers and seven RBI to go along with 12 runs. Manager, Terry Collins loves what he has seen from his fourth outfielder this season.

“Lagares has done a nice job when he has been in there,” Collins said. “Right now, with Cespedes’ leg, we’ve got to take a look at seeing if Juan should get some more playing time.”

For the time being, the spot is Lagares’ until Cespedes is able to come back. When given any opportunity this year it seems as though Lagares has shined, trying to prove yet again that he is worthy of a starting job on this team.

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Lagares Fills in Nicely as Mets Beat Phillies 5-3 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/lagares-fills-in-nicely-as-mets-beat-phillies-5-3.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/lagares-fills-in-nicely-as-mets-beat-phillies-5-3.html/#comments Sat, 16 Jul 2016 02:44:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=217747 bartolo colon

The New York Mets (48-41) defeated the Philadelphia Phillies (42-49) by a score of 5-3 at Citizens Bank Park Friday evening. With a Washington Nationals win, the Mets will remain six games back of the division lead.

Pitching:

Bartolo Colon was on the hill for the Mets tonight and he was very good early. After making the trip across country to the All-Star game and not being able to get in the game, Colon came out firing tonight. Colon had a perfect game going with one out in the fifth. All in all, Colon went 5.2 innings giving up three runs, walking two, and striking out four.

Everything was going great for Colon until the bottom of the sixth inning. With the Mets up 4-0, the wheels fell off. After Colon got Jimmy Paredes to ground out, Odubel Herrera was able to reach first base on a throwing error by James LoneyPeter Bourjos made the Mets pay for the error as he followed with a triple to score Herrera. Colon was then able to get Maikel Franco to ground out but Bourjos would come in to score the Phillies second run.

The Phillies weren’t done yet. Tommy Joseph followed with a single, Cameron Rupp walked and Cody Asche then followed with a single to score Tommy Joseph.  Colon’s day was done after that.

Hansel Robles came in to finally record the last out and get the Mets out of the inning.

In the top of the seventh, Terry Collins used three relievers to get through the inning. Hansel Robles, Jerry Blevins, and Addison Reed all recorded an out to get through the scoreless inning.

Addison came back on in the eighth and pitched another 1, 2, 3 inning. Addison Reed is a stud.

Jeurys Familia came on to shut the door in the ninth. Familia put them down in order for his 32nd save in 32 chances this year.

neil walker

Offense: 

Juan Lagares put the Mets up 1-0 in the top of the third. Lagares, filling in for Yoenis Cespedes, hit a moon shot over the left center field wall.

In the top of the sixth, the Mets added on a few more. Asdrubal Cabrera lead off the inning with a single to center fielder Odubel HerreraCurtis Granderson followed with a single of his own to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Neil Walker was next and he cleared them all, hitting his 16th home run of the year over the left field wall to put the Mets up 4-0.

The Mets played some small ball in the top of the seventh to manufacture another insurance run. Juan Lagares worked a walk to lead off the inning. With Alejandro De Aza batting, Lagares took off and stole second easily. De Aza worked a tough at bat and was able to hit a long fly ball to the warning track to let Lagares tag and go to third. Lagares was running on contact and when Reyes grounded out to the short stop, Lagares was already home long before the throw could come home giving the Mets a 5-3 lead.

Notes:

Jeurys Familia has saved 48 consecutive regular season games, the fifth longest streak in Major League history.

Zack Wheeler has thrown twice since his latest setback.  He is expected to start an assignment soon.

Sandy Alderson mentioned relief pitching would be a priority at the upcoming deadline.

Noah Syndergaard is feeling like he “has a new arm” after his latest bullpen session.

Lucas Duda is slated to start baseball activities next week.

Yulieski Gurriel signed with Astros to a 5-year, $47.5 million dollar deal.

JZ Player of the Game:  Juan Lagares. Lagares, who wasn’t expected to play tonight, was the difference tonight filling in for Cespedes. Lagares hit a home run, walked twice, and scored twice.

On Deck: 

The Mets will play their second game of a three game set with the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizen’s Bank Park tomorrow evening. The game has a start time of 7:05 PM. Logan Verrett (3-6, 4.34 ERA) looks to keep the Mets rolling against Jerad Eickhoff (6-10, 3.80 ERA).

METSMERIZED NIGHT LG

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Mets Hoping Cespedes Can Avoid DL With Strained Right Quad http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/mets-hoping-cespedes-can-avoid-dl-with-strained-right-quad.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/mets-hoping-cespedes-can-avoid-dl-with-strained-right-quad.html/#comments Sat, 09 Jul 2016 13:28:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=217172 yoenis-cespedes10

All Star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes strained his right quadriceps muscle on Friday after chasing down a Daniel Murphy double in the third inning.

“Hopefully it doesn’t translate into me going on the 15-day DL,” Cespedes said through his interpreter. He said he suffered a similar injury with the Detroit Tigers and it forced him to miss four or five days.

Cespedes, 30, will be checked out by team doctors on Saturday and manager Terry Collins doesn’t expect him to be available to play in Tuesday’s All Star Game in San Diego.

“When you’ve got strains, that’s an issue, especially when you’re as strong as he is,” Collins explained after the game.

Additionally, Collins said the team will play out the last two games of the first half with a short bench rather than promote another outfielder from Triple-A.

“We’re just going to have to keep going. I’ve told you before that no one in baseball feels sorry for us. And so we’ll just have to suck it up and come in tomorrow and get ready to play with the bodies we have available.” 

Original Report – July 8

The New York Mets announced that center fielder Yoenis Cespedes left the game with a strained right quad.

It appeared that Cespedes injured his leg after playing a Daniel Murphy double off the center field wall in the top of the third. After he threw the ball back into the infield, he was seen pounding and rubbing his quad area. Juan Lagares replaced Cespedes him in center in the top of the fourth.

After the Mets announcement, Adam Rubin tweeted out the following:

“Mets didn’t even use the term “mild” for Cespedes’ strain, which is usually their default terminology. Guess All-Star Game out for Cespedes.”

Hopefully he’s just being the typical alarmist that he is. We’ll know more after the game when Terry Collins speaks to reporters.

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Giancarlo Stanton Overshadows Jose Reyes’ Return to Citi Field http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/giancarlo-stanton-overshadows-jose-reyes-return-to-citi-field.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/giancarlo-stanton-overshadows-jose-reyes-return-to-citi-field.html/#comments Wed, 06 Jul 2016 13:08:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=216877 steven matz stanton

On his return to Citi Field, Jose Reyes tipped his helmet to a standing ovation and then silenced the crowd with his 0-4 appearances at the plate.

“They showed me a lot of love and I respect,” he said. “I didn’t know what to expect when I came here today and to see the crowd reaction like that, that was good.”

“I felt like it was my first career game in the big leagues. I’m disappointed I didn’t get any hits, either, but it is what it is. … Today was a little bit different because it was my first game back. I was a little bit extra pumped. Tomorrow, I think I’m going to be more settled down.”

Unfortunately, Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton stole his thunder, putting an end to the Mets’ five game winning streak parade with a pair of homers giving the Marlins a much-needed 5-2 win.

With the help of hitting coach Barry Bonds, the very well paid right fielder launched a 2 run shot off of Steven Matz to take the lead, then for good measure, belted a 3 run bomb off of Erik Goeddel in the 8th.

“I’m coming back,” said a smiling Stanton, who had three hits to raise his batting average to .226. “It’s a long road from here. That’s why you don’t worry about where you’re at on the season stats. Just keep plugging away.”

Matz took a scoreless effort into the seventh inning as the Mets clung onto a one run lead courtesy of Yoenis Cespedes’ solo home run off of Wei-Yin Chen in the fourth.  Matz (7-4) allowed two runs on six hits and one walk, while striking out six.

Winless in his last seven starts, a change up over the plate was the 2-1 pitch that put him on the losing side of an otherwise positive outing.

“My command was great tonight,” said Matz, who is pitching through a bone spur in his pitching elbow. “It’s a good sign I’m moving in the right direction. I’m just watching the volume in between starts, managing that.”

In the bottom of the seventh, trailing 2-1, the Mets had a chance to do some damage when Cespedes drew a walk and James Loney roped a single to center.  But Juan Lagares lined one right into the glove of a sliding Stanton to end the inning.

Alejandro De Aza, who narrowly escaped the chopping block to make room for Reyes, delivered a pinch-hit homer against relief pitcher Fernando Rodney in the eighth.   The overlooked outfielder, who can barely be called a platoon player, got a hero’s welcome as he entered the dugout, so here’s hoping this boosts his confidence in at-bats to come.

Jacob deGrom will take the mound on Wednesday against Justin Nicolino in the rubber match that could potentially move the Mets within three games of the Nationals if Milwaukee can muster a repeat performance of Tuesday night.

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Mets Activate Lagares, Option Lugo To Las Vegas http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/mets-activate-lagares-option-lugo-to-las-vegas.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/mets-activate-lagares-option-lugo-to-las-vegas.html/#comments Sat, 02 Jul 2016 20:00:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=216480 yoenis cespedes juan lagares

The New York Mets activated Juan Lagares from the disabled list on Saturday and to make room for him optioned RHP Seth Lugo to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Lagares is expected to be in the starting lineup on Sunday against Chicago Cubs left-hander Jon Lester.

Lugo pitched a scoreless inning during his short stay with the Mets.

Original Report – July 1

General manager Sandy Alderson suggested that rehabbing center fielder Juan Lagares may be activated from the disabled list on Friday.

With a strained right calf continuing to plague right fielder Curtis Granderson and forcing the team to play with a short bench, the Mets are looking to accelerate the return for Lagares who is on rehab assignment at Double-A Binghamton.

Lagares, 27, went on the disabled list two weeks ago with a sprained left thumb and he’s shown himself to be ready, collecting three three hits in his first two rehab games for Binghamton while a sparkling defensive catch in center field in one of those games, and gunning down a player at the plate in the other.

After beginning the season on the Mets bench, Lagares began earning himself increased playing time and was hitting .289 with five doubles, a triple and two homers in 90 at-bats. Two of those doubles and the home run came as pinch hitter and gave the Mets a lead or tied the game.

Additionally, Lagares was showing an all new approach at the plate posting a career high walk rate while cutting down on his strikeouts. He was posting career highs with a .433 slugging and .760 OPS.

juan Lagares

Lagares could see regular playing at least while Granderson remains out for at least the next 2-3 games. After that it remains to be seen what Terry Collins has in store for him.

The 2014 gold glove winner, tore the ligament in his left thumb while making a spectacular diving catch to rob Ichiro Suzuki of an extra-base hit in Miami on June 4.

And for those of you hoping for a significant addition to the Mets offense, Sandy Alderson strongly implied that Lagares along with Jose Reyes and the anticipated return of Lucas Duda may be the only additions the Mets make before the trade deadline.

“What I’ve said before is that there is no single acquisition, at least that I can see, that’s going to change what’s transpired over the last two months,” Alderson said.

“It’s going to have to come from within. There may be things that we can do that can improve the team. We’ve done various things over the last couple of months to try to improve the team. Certainly we’ll be monitoring the market. But I don’t believe right now that an acquisition is going to make a big difference for us.” (ESPN)

“We get Juan Lagares back. Reyes makes a contribution. Who knows where little, marginal improvements — hitting with men in scoring position across the board — those are the kinds of things that are going to make a difference over the next three months.”

So there you go…

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