Mets Merized Online » Marlon Byrd http://metsmerizedonline.com Wed, 18 Jan 2017 16:19:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.17 Marlon Byrd Suspended 162 Games For PED Violation http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/marlon-byrd-suspended-162-games-for-ped-violation.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/marlon-byrd-suspended-162-games-for-ped-violation.html/#comments Wed, 01 Jun 2016 23:53:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=213722 marlon byrd

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Featured Post: Patience, Prospects, And Staying The Course http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/featured-post-patience-prospects-and-staying-the-course.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/featured-post-patience-prospects-and-staying-the-course.html/#comments Sun, 11 Oct 2015 14:10:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=195887 As the Mets enter their first playoff series in nine years tonight, we can all agree that it sure has been a long, winding road back here. Since 2006, the Mets have experienced two managerial changes, a change in general manager, two historic collapses, and a host of mediocre seasons. For most of that time, it seemed as if the Mets were going nowhere. The organization was stuck in the purgatory of 70 to 79 wins, too many to get top draft picks, but too good to be even close to competitive.

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Alderson’s method has been slow and excruciating, a definite change of pace from the Minaya era.

When Sandy Alderson took over the team after the 2010 season, it seemed as if the organization had ground to a halt. Alderson’s style was in stark contrast to Omar Minaya’s: he was about as reluctant as any executive in baseball to make any flashy moves, especially those which required the team to take on salary. Say what you will about the Wilpons’ financial state (and I will always be in the camp that they withheld and continue to withhold money), but it did save the Mets from the restricting long-term commitments that had plagued the previous front office.

This made the early years of Alderson’s regime especially frustrating. At least Minaya tried to improve the big league club, however badly he often handled that. The biggest free agents the Mets seemed to bring in were the likes of Scott Hairston and Marlon Byrd. The Yankees dropping hundreds of millions on players seemingly every offseason didn’t exactly make things better. And that frustration was totally justified. A New York team should be players in free agency and trade talks every year.

However, Alderson saw what many fans either failed or refused to see. He looked at the Yankees and realized that method of building a winning club simply wasn’t possible in Queens. The Dodgers and Yankees are the only two teams who could, in theory, build successful teams year after year by just throwing money at their problems. No left fielder? We’ll just drop $100 million over seven years to fix that problem immediately. And when that player fizzles out three years later, we’ll spend another $100 million to fix that. This model may work for teams like the Yankees and Dodgers, the only two who can afford this, but it does not work for anyone else. The only way to build is to actually build. You know, from the ground up.

As frustrating as Sandy Alderson’s first actions were, they made sense. He liquidated most of what could be dealt and saved the few long term assets available (i.e. David Wright). Trading Carlos Beltran, R.A. Dickey, John Buck, and Marlon Byrd absolutely did make the team less competitive in the near term, but they were never going to help in the long term. And as much as general managers say they want to win immediately, the goal is always to build a long-term winner. That’s what’s best for the franchise, the league, and the fans.

You see, Alderson did what few general managers these days have the gumption to do: wait it out, knowing that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. If you build up your system enough, and stock it with top-tier young talent, odds are your system is going to produce a core of young, above-average, cheap players. In my opinion (and it seems like this is Alderson’s opinion too), you cannot win year after year without a young, cheap, core group of players. Even the Yankees, who I just said were the exception, needed Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, and Jorge Posada to win in the late-90s.

noah syndergaard

Having cheap, controllable players like Syndergaard frees up millions of dollars to spend elsewhere if needed.

Stockpiling prospects, however unglamorous, is the best way to build this young core. With high prospect failure rates, you can’t just rely on one or two to save your franchise.

For years, the Mets did nothing but bring in top and middle-tier prospects. In fact, Michael Fulmer was, by far, the biggest prospect to be dealt during the Sandy Alderson regime. But more importantly, having a young core frees up a ridiculous amount of money to fill whatever miscellaneous holes your team has. This is where Bartolo Colon, Curtis Granderson, and Michael Cuddyer fit in. When you look at the Mets’ starting four heading into the division series, not only are all four absolute studs, but they all make the league minimum. In fact, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, and Steven Matz will all be making the league minimum for multiple years. That’s part of what makes this all sustainable. Then you add in Michael Conforto and Travis d’Arnaud. Heck, even throw Matt Harvey in there, even though he’s arbitration-eligible this winter. All six of those guys will, combined, cost the Mets less than $10 million next season.

These last few years have been very trying for most Mets fans. Prospects develop slowly, and that sucks. Money has been tight, and hard decisions had to be made. Did Alderson do a perfect job in getting us here? Absolutely not. He has made some glaring mistakes. However, he’s limited his mistakes enough that he’s kept on this steady, gradual path towards a winning ballclub.

Building a team the right way requires diligence, patience, and the ability to withstand flak from fans and the media. Whatever you think about Alderson’s approach to baseball, how he acquired (or didn’t acquire) some of his prospects, or how he’s handled the media over these last few years, it’s clear that the hard-but-necessary path he took this franchise on has paid off. I can honestly sit here and say that the Mets are going to be good, and no matter what happens tonight, this weekend, or in the weeks ahead, they’re going to be good for many years to come.

Boy, does it feel good to say that.

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Mets Trade Buzz: Zobrist, Upton, Prado, Byrd On Mets Radar http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mets-trade-buzz-zobrist-upton-prado-byrd-on-mets-radar.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mets-trade-buzz-zobrist-upton-prado-byrd-on-mets-radar.html/#comments Sun, 12 Jul 2015 16:29:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=186746

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports provides an extensive assessment of the Mets needs as the trade deadline nears including a lot of the latest buzz.

He lists Ben Zobrist, Justin Upton, Martin Prado, Marlon Byrd, Juan Uribe, Jean Segura, and Aramis Ramirez as players the Mets could be keying in on.

  • Padres people were said to be scouting the Mets system, leading to speculation New York could be in on Justin Upton. He’s exactly what they need. “Nothing imminent,” one executive said. “Nothing close,” said another.
  • The Mets thought they were making progress on a deal for Ben Zobrist, who would fit them since they aren’t sure what’s happening with David Wright yet. However, while Zobrist is an excellent player, he shouldn’t be seen as an offensive savior.
  • The Mets aren’t exactly enamored with Starlin Castro or Jean Segura, whose free-swinging ways don’t necessarily fit their style. And Rollins, who could become available, despite his NL East pedigree, may not work, either. One Mets connected person suggested they probably “wouldn’t go there.”
  • While Jon Niese‘s trade value isn’t necessarily high, he recently threw eight shutout innings against the Giants. Says one AL scout: “His arm slot keeps going lower and lower. His stuff isn’t as sharp. But he locates and changes speed”.

Other Mets buzz from the Twitterverse:

  • Outfielder Carlos Gomez may end up being the best player traded this summer by the Brewers. However he may be too rich for the Mets in terms of what it would take to land him.
  • Citing the Kansas City Royals’ shutdown bullpen in 2014, Andy Martino says the Mets and Yankees should consider adding Athletics closer Tyler Clippard. “The ability to shorten the game is critical in October.”
  • There is a good chance the Reds trade OF Jay Bruce, according to Ken Rosenthal. Bruce, 28, his trending incredibly high, posting a .713 OPS in April, .754 in May, .840 in June and .925 in July.
  • Mets insiders believe the Cubs will not trade shortstop Addison Russell until the offseason if at all, according to reporter Tim Brown.

That wraps up the last three days of Mets buzz.

Have a great day, everyone…

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Ex-Mets Catcher John Buck Announces Retirement http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/ex-mets-catcher-john-buck-announces-retirement.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/ex-mets-catcher-john-buck-announces-retirement.html/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 18:28:14 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=177280 John Buck With Harvey

Braves catcher and ex-Met John Buck announced his retirement on Thursday, so he can spend more time with his family, the Braves announced.

The one-time All Star had spent 11 years in the Major Leagues, playing for the Royals, Marlins, Mets, Angels, Pirates, Mariners and Blue Jays. He had signed this season with the Braves and was hitting .320 in the spring before the announcement.

The Mets traded Buck, along with Marlon Byrd, to the Pittsburgh Pirates before the 2013 trade deadline in exchange for second baseman Dilson Hererra and reliever Vic Black.

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Reds Acquire Marlon Byrd From Phillies http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/reds-acquire-marlon-byrd-from-phillies.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/reds-acquire-marlon-byrd-from-phillies.html/#comments Wed, 31 Dec 2014 22:21:31 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=172472 hi-res-50922623-marlon-byrd-of-the-philadelphia-phillies-stands-at-bat_crop_north

The Cincinnati Reds have acquired outfielder Marlon Byrd from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for RHP prospect Ben Lively.

Byrd, 37, hit 25 home runs and drove in 85 runs for the Phillies last year, and owned a slash line of .264/.312/.445 in 591 plate appearances.

Byrd was involved in the 2013 August trade along with John Buck that netted the Mets Dilson Herrera and Vic Black.

The former Met has one year left on his contract with a club option for 2016.

In return, the Phillies are getting 22 year old Ben Lively, who was drafted in the fourth round by the Reds in the 2013 draft.

In two seasons in the minors, Lively has compiled a 13-11 record with a 2.58 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 10.6 K/9 over a span of 39 starts.

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MLB Exec: Mets Laying in the Weeds Looking for Bargains http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mlb-exec-mets-laying-in-the-weeds-looking-for-bargains.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mlb-exec-mets-laying-in-the-weeds-looking-for-bargains.html/#comments Sat, 27 Dec 2014 19:21:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=172308 Michael-Cuddyer-Okay-but-Bullpen-Is-Ailing-Rockies-Rundown

Joel Sherman of the New York Post asks whether the Mets relatively quiet offseason is a tactical decision, or just a lack of ingenuity by the front office coupled and more evidence that ownership lacks the financial resources to keep up with all the other teams.

For example, is Michael Cuddyer the Mets’ big offseason move because they targeted him as the best option, or because two years at $22 million and a quick signing demonstrates the rather paltry extent to which the Mets are willing to extend themselves monetarily and the lack of wheeling-dealing vision of Sandy Alderson’s regime?

One AL West executive thinks the Mets are just laying in the weeds waiting for some January free-agent bargains, a strategy that Alderson himself has often abided by.

The same executive scoffs at the notion of the team adding a big-ticket item like Troy Tulowitzki, “I don’t think they have the financial flexibility to pay for him even if they could get him.”

“No doubt had the Mets extended their search they would have had the secondary prospects necessary to land any of the three outfielders – Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Wil Myers – that San Diego’s aggressive new general manager, A.J. Preller, did without touching the best of his prospect base.”

Sherman argues that all three of those outfielders are arguably better alternatives for the Mets than Cuddyer and that none required a first-round draft pick as compensation. The 36 year old Cuddyer, he says, will be the second-oldest starting outfielder in the NL to Philadelphia’s Marlon Byrd, 37.

“The key part of the winter agenda is building the best team possible, he concludes. But are the Mets doing that, or are they building the best team a lack of money and lack of enterprise can buy?

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MMO Flashback: Why 19 Is Greater Than 69 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/mmo-flashback-why-19-is-greater-than-69.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/mmo-flashback-why-19-is-greater-than-69.html/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:00:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=164246 This is an article I wrote exactly 365 days ago, when the Mets initially traded John Buck and Marlon Byrd to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Dilson Herrera and a player to be named later, which turned out to be Vic Black. As you can see, I was a huge fan of the trade at the time, but little did I know that one year later, Herrera would be the Mets’ top hitting prospect, and second baseman of the future.

It was 100% clear then that this was a perfect move, and somehow it’s even more perfect a year later.

And yet, the Sandy-bashing continues.

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Today the Mets traded Marlon Byrd and John Buck to the Pittsburgh Pirates for minor league infielder Dilson Herrera and a player to be named later.

This has been quite the polarizing move in the circles of Mets fans that I’ve noticed throughout the day. Judging by the title of this post, and my overall philosophy when it comes to roster construction, it will be pretty easy to figure out what camp I’m in. 

Good riddance, don’t let the door hit you on the way out Or let it, I really don’t care. Both Byrd and Buck would have been out the door as soon as the season was over, faster than you could say Saltalamacchia. Neither of them would have helped the Mets get anywhere next year and certainly not by the time the team will finally be in position to make a playoff run in 2015. 

Marlon Byrd’s 36th birthday is on Friday, and while he’s been decent this year, this success will not last for very long. In the case of 33 year old John Buck, he just has not been good this year. At all. His already paltry .652 OPS decreases to an abysmal .591 when you take away his great first 12 games of the season, when he got off to a blazing start. So yes, since the second half of the Colorado doubleheader on April 16th, the Mets have 85 times started a player who produced a .591 OPS in that time period. The only thing he’s done of note since then is become a father, and console Matt Harvey last night. That was an absolutely great moment, but it doesn’t change the fact that Buck has produced nothing since mid-April.  

Herrera is only 19 years old and he received an invite to the Futures Game during All Star Weekend. So he can’t be completely worthless. Even if he never makes it out of A-ball, the idea behind this move is the important thing. It’s much better to get something out of these two not very valuable assets before they leave for good. 

I like it. 

I won’t even delve into the insulting idea that the Mets could have turned this deal into a blockbuster involving CarGo, Stanton, Profar, Starlin Castro or any other major league player. Please stop, if you seriously believe that. Or at least never attempt to talk about sports again. For the sake of the world. 

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There May Not Be Rotation Spot For Syndergaard http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/there-may-not-be-rotation-spot-for-syndergaard.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/there-may-not-be-rotation-spot-for-syndergaard.html/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 11:00:37 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=162331 noah syndergaard - las vegas 51s

Noah Syndergaard tossed six scoreless innings on Friday night, scattering seven hits, walking none and striking out seven in an extra-innings loss to El Paso. The Mets’ top pitching prospect has allowed one run or less in four of his last five starts spanning 29.1 and striking out 33 batters. 

In the past month, Syndergaard has shaved over one full run off his ERA, bringing it down to a very respectable 4.88 while toiling in one of the worst pitching environments in professional baseball. It was 107 degrees at game time last night.

It’s still not clear if the Mets have changed their stance on whether Syndergaard will make his debut this season, but the 21-year old righty is really pushing the envelope lately and has poured it on in Las Vegas.

That said, it was interesting to hear what Terry Collins had to say about the possibility of Syndergaard pitching for the Mets this season. You may remember it was Collins who first suggested Syndergaard would likely not make his major league debut this season.

Collins told the New York Times that he’d love to see Syndergaard come up, but that right now the team’s focus is on winning games and if the Mets are in contention there may not be a spot for Syndergaard in the rotation. 

“I know one thing: They better help us win games when they get here,” Collins said of any prospects who will be promoted.

Collins then claims that some of baseball’s best managers have warned him about giving too much playing time to younger players.

“I’ve had a lot of managers tell me, ‘Be careful playing a lot of young players because they’re going to make just enough mistakes to get beat.’ And some of the best managers in the game have told me that.”

“We all want our young players up here. But right now, we’re in the hunt. So we’re going to be careful when they come and the role they’re going to have.”

August 1

Mike Puma of the New York Post reported that the Colorado Rockies sent a sizable contingent to watch Mets pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard pitch for Triple-A Las Vegas in his most recent start according to an industry source.

It was Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports who first reported that the Mets contacted the Rockies about Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez and told them that Syndergaard was up for grabs for wither of them.

Sandy Alderson somewhat denied Syndergaard was being shopped the next day, but then yesterday he told reporters that he was talking teams about very significant players and did warn that if the Mets do pursue someone significant, Thor will likely be on the menu although not named specifically.

“In order to potentially improve the club in some significant way as opposed to some incremental way, we would have had to been prepared to deal some of our young pitching and at this particular stage we’re not prepared to do that,” Alderson said.

The Mets GM also hinted strongly that he preferred not to make any such deals at the deadline. “If we’re going to trade some of our young prospects, we’re probably better off doing that in the offseason.”

Unlike most fans, I don’t get too attached to the names on the back of the jerseys at the expense of the name on the front of the jerseys. As long as it improves the team and our chances for another championship,. nobody should be untouchable – and doubly so for unproven commodities in the minors.

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Alderson Says Blockbuster Deal Possible, But Wouldn’t Bet On It http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/alderson-says-blockbuster-deal-possible-but-wouldnt-bet-on-it.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/alderson-says-blockbuster-deal-possible-but-wouldnt-bet-on-it.html/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:04:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161869 sandy alderson 2

Sandy Alderson told reporters at Citi Field that it’s unlikely the Mets make a deal before the Trade Deadline – sort of.

“If I had to make a guess, I would say nothing will happen,” Alderson said. “But you never know what’s going to transpire in the next three days or so. Clubs that may be having conversations elsewhere circle back based on what they think their options might be. So I’d say we have an opportunity to do a thing or two, but we’re not inclined to at this point. It’s speculation, but I wouldn’t bet on something happening before the Deadline.”

When asked if he viewed his team as being sellers or buyers, Alderson responded, “When I say it’s unlikely that we’ll do anything, we’re not anxious to be sellers and we’re cautious about being buyers.”

Asked if he could envision dipping into his farm system to make a blockbuster deal (CarGo/Tulowitzki) happen in the future.

“That’s a possibility,” Alderson said of a significant deal to add offense. “In fact, to me that sounds more desirable than inching your way there, giving up prospects in more cautious transactions. So I wouldn’t rule that out. But it’s got to be the right time for the right player under the right circumstances.”

The Mets have been shopping Bartolo Colon and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported that even the team’s top prospect Noah Syndergaard is being dangled. There has been little interest in Colon, but that could change if the team is willing to eat some cash.

Alderson has already downplayed the possibility of trading second baseman Daniel Murphy, the team’s lone All-Star. Of course they’ll to listen to offers.

“We like the team as it’s developing,” Alderson said. “So I think that, in and of itself, would make us reluctant to move players at the Deadline.”

Thoughts from Joe D.

It’s obvious that Sandy believes his team is closer now than ever before to being relevant again. In the past he would brush off questions about trading for players like Stanton or Tulowitzki, but this time he says “it’s possible.” That’s a big step forward for him, but it’s still all talk until he makes something happen.

Alderson also keeps denying that any player is being shopped or available, but that’s what they all do now, it’s simply GM-speak. You can bet he was gleaming after Colon’s performance last night and that his only hope was fielding a dozen calls about him this morning.

As for Murphy, a different situation entirely. Sandy knows if he moves Murphy and doesn’t receive MLB-ready talent that can help the team immediately, it will be viewed as another setback and waving the white flag on this season. I don’t think Murphy’s going anywhere.

(Updated 7/29 with quotes from Anthony DiComo)

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Herrera Coming On Strong, Continues To Impress With Bat http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/herrera-coming-on-strong-continues-to-impress-with-bat.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/herrera-coming-on-strong-continues-to-impress-with-bat.html/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 14:00:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161095 dilson-herrera-in-the-cage

Last August the Mets sent catcher John Buck and outfielder Marlon Byrd to the Pittsburgh Pirates for reliever Vic Black and second baseman Dilson Herrera, a trade that benefited both sides with the Pirates getting the best of Byrd in their playoff run and the Mets working Black into their bullpen plans and Herrera into their future infield plans.

Even though Black has made his impact known already on the big club, the biggest part of the deal has to be the amazing talent that Herrera has showcased. He is only 20 years old, but he plays the game like a veteran, poised and under great control. For a young man that is just 5’10″ and 150 lbs, he has consistently shown that he can get on base, hit the ball with power and drive in runs.

After coming over to the Mets in 2013, Herrera was sent to Savannah and helped the Sand Gnats win the SAL Championship. This season he started out with Class A Advanced St. Lucie Mets and in the first half he hit .307/.355/.410, with 16 doubles, three home runs, 23 RBI’s, and 14 stolen bases in 283 at bats.

His great play in St. Lucie earned him a promotion to Double A Binghamton where he has not let up and currently has a five game hitting streak while batting .333 (33 for 99), with three home runs and 21 RBI’s in 24 games. Since the promotion on June 19th, he has hit safely in 20 of 24 games, has eight multi-hit games and an 11-game hit streak mixed in. 

“He’s aggressive. He’s always hunting for that fastball early in the count,” B-Mets manager Pedro Lopez tells Tim Healey of MLB.com. “And if he gets it and he feels like it’s good for him to drive, he goes after that.”

“He’s starting to control the strike zone a little more in Binghamton. He’s shown surprising power for his size and age. … His athleticism, his body type [allows him to hit for power]. He’s aggressive and generates a lot of bat speed,” says Sandy Alderson.

The Colombian native is also versatile as he has played both middle infield positions, and even though he has logged in more time at second base, his range and strong arm has allowed him to play both extremely well. He was signed as a third baseman by the Pirates at the age of 16 and switched over primarily to second base. But with the Mets, shortstop has been a position that he has started to play and has held his own.

“If you play short, you can play anywhere on the infield,” Herrera tells MLB.com with B-Mets hitting coach Luis Rivera serving as translator. “I like shortstop more, because it’s harder to play. I move my feet more and take charge of more stuff. It’s more responsibility to play short.”

According to Lopez, the decision on where to play Herrera will be determined on his arm, but Alderson has a different take on what could happen with the young prospect. ”Ultimately, from my standpoint, the bat plays. If the guy can hit, let’s find him a position,” said the GM.

Herrera who is ranked #9 in the Mets system on MLB.com’s 2014 Prospect Watch has seen his stock soar this season and that only makes the Byrd trade that much better on the Mets end.

Thoughts by David C.

I have witnessed first hand his talents and I am very impressed with what he brings to the table. Standing next to him, he looks like he can be my little brother, but when on the field he can play with the best of them. Herrera is a very special player that when finally given the opportunity he will not disappoint. It’s selfish for me to say let’s see him take a stab at Vegas this season, but in due time if the Mets hold off until 2015, Herrera will get his chance and continue to impress. He told me recently that he has one goal and that is to work hard and make the majors and in his mind, it will become a reality and from what I have witnessed, I truly believe him. He is a very determined young man with a whole lot of talent on his side.

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Mets Need the Willingness to Fail http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mets-need-willingness-to-fail.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mets-need-willingness-to-fail.html/#comments Wed, 02 Jul 2014 15:00:56 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=159757 new-york-mets braintrust collins, katz, wilpon alderson

As the Mets begin their 6th straight summer of “don’t call us, we’ll call you” caliber baseball, something has to change.

The focus for this franchise has been shedding huge contracts, and building up the farm system and in reality – they succeeded in that feat. Whether players like Noah Syndergaard, Travis d’Arnaud or Zack Wheeler become big stars or not, those deals were deals that made perfect sense for the future of the ballclub.

Along with the acquired three, they have some excitement building around players like Dilson Herrera, Kevin Plawecki, Brandon Nimmo, and Dominic Smith to name a few.

Where this organization has failed miserably (most recently) is their lack of willingness to make a mistake.

I know, that sounds odd right? But think about some of the greatest successes in your life, you may have taken a risk for it to occur. Not many situations align perfectly where there is little risk involved in being successful.

For the Mets, I understand that they do not want to fall in the hole that contracts like Jason Bay or Johan Santana put them in – but here’s the truth. If you’re constantly afraid of long-term commitment to players, then you’re never going to A) attract established talent to play for this team and B) keep your pipeline players when it comes time to pay them a larger salary.

I’m not one to pay free agents huge contracts, but at some point – you have to push aside your thoughts on the past and do what is right for the team in its current state.

This team has done a great job on finding low risk players on the market and getting the most out of them while they could. Players like Marlon Byrd, LaTroy Hawkins, Scott Hairston, John Buck, Jeremy Hefner, Carlos Torres, and even Daisuke Matsuzaka come to mind. None of these players are winning you a championship – but they are the types of players you need to have a solid big league roster.

The problem is, the Mets have become fairly good at finding players like this, and fairly terrible at finding players they need to spend money on.

Everybody knew (pre-Astros diary) that the Mets needed corner outfield help, along with a great need to figure out the situation at 1B and SS prior to this season.

To me, signing Curtis Granderson was a low risk move to be honest. I think we all expected him to stay in New York but just switch uniforms, and sure the contract was probably longer than the Mets were comfortable with – but it was a low risk move.

In reality, there were three players the Mets scared themselves away from because they were unwilling to be wrong, or feared failure on a big risk.

Nelson Cruz, who admittedly I was at the time not interested in, has done nothing but prove the Mets wrong with every at bat. Not only was the lack of a move the wrong decision, but they doubled down by signing Chris Young as well.

In late May, this is what GM Sandy Alderson said about the hindsight of not signing Cruz and signing Young.

“Keep in mind, when we signed Chris Young, we signed him to a one-year deal. It was early in the offseason and we wanted to get a marker on the board,” Alderson said. “We had lost Marlon Byrd. The Phillies signed Marlon Byrd. So we wanted to make sure that we had ourselves covered in center field with somebody who had some pop and maybe could have the same type of bounce back year that a guy like Marlon Byrd had. “

“At the time, Nelson Cruz was looking for like $65 million to play — what? — left field for us. Not center field, where we needed some protection. He was going to have to play left field. It was apples and oranges at that point. For the fact that he ended up signing for $8 million weeks, months later, I think is kind of an unfair comparison.”

So I have two problems with this. The first is that he’s telling you that he was more interested in making a low risk move by a player that could “maybe” bounce back from previous failures. That’s a low expectation signing that you’re hoping will work out – not a signing you EXPECT to work.

Second, this shows a lack of understanding of what the Mets had in Juan Lagares. It seems funny to me that the Mets refused to upgrade other positions because they felt they have talent there (borderline talent at 1B), but when it comes to Chris Young – he was brought here to play CF and the idea of getting a big time power bat to play LF is scoffed at?

Fun fact, Chris Young has started 69 games in the outfield with 40 of them being in LF.

Now, a FAIR assessment of Nelson Cruz that seems to be forgotten frequently is that half of his offensive success has come as a DH. Totally fair point, but he’s also been very solid at the plate while starting in LF.

The Mets told you above that the reason they didn’t get him wasn’t become he’s a half and half fielder to DH ratio, they told you they didn’t sign him because they wanted production out of CF and were trying to replace an outfielder they traded away in August. You didn’t lose Marlon Byrd, you traded him away – there’s a difference.

If signing Nelson Cruz to a two year deal worth maybe $40 million is such an outrageous idea, then how do the Mets intend on ever fixing the lineup? Power doesn’t come cheap and you aren’t finding impact talent in the bargain bin.

The second mistake was clearly the lack of signing Jose Abreu. Abreu to me was a huge risk of course, but the real reason the Mets didn’t make that move in my view is because they were busy trying to sell teams that Lucas Duda or Ike Davis were better players than they really are.

They were unwilling to just cut the cord and move on, and acquire a player they likely KNEW was an answer at 1B because if they did that, then they wouldn’t have received any “value” on their current clog at 1B.

Once again, an unwillingness to be wrong, and a fear of failure bites the Mets right in the you know what.

The third move was Stephen Drew, and you know what? They were right. Not that Ruben Tejada by any stretch is the “answer” in my view, but had they signed Drew – it would have been a mistake.

Still, even if they had pulled the trigger, can you imagine how different this team would look with an outfield of Cruz, Lagares, and Granderson paired with an infield of David Wright, Stephen Drew, Daniel Murphy, Jose Abreu and Travis d’Arnaud?

Even with the FAILURE of signing Stephen Drew – this team would have been watchable. This team would have been competitive and they wouldn’t be using Matt Harvey’s injury as an excuse for having a one-way ticket toward protected draft picks. (You know, like the Braves use their Tommy John surgeries as an excuse for poor play, right?)

Hindsight is a tricky thing, and a lot goes on behind the scenes that we’ll never know about (how bad do you want a Mets journal to be leaked?).

The Mets are in a bad spot with a ballpark that is not hitter friendly at all. Which means in order to attract players to the Mets, they have to overpay – which is something they clearly are not willing to do.

If you look at the 2015 free agent market and ask yourself how the Mets can fix their offensive holes, you’re going to have a difficult time answering. So unless the Mets are willing to deal some talented young arms for offense by February of 2015 – you might as well call 2015 “The Year of Rinse and Repeat.”

When evaluating a GM you need to look at their player acquisitions in two ways. Whether they find valuable pieces in a low risk, high reward market – and whether they succeed when taking big risks.

The Mets don’t take risks. They are afraid of taking risks right now, and until they overcome that fear – this team will be known as the team with great young pitching that is consistently drowning in quality start defeats.

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 6, Phillies 1 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-game-recap-mets-6-phillies-1.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-game-recap-mets-6-phillies-1.html/#comments Wed, 30 Apr 2014 03:52:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=154554 cole hamels

Cole Hamels can’t beat the Mets. The left-hander, who liked to call the Mets chokers, fell to 7-14 against the Amazins, with another loss on Tuesday. On a rainy night, that suffered through an hour-and-a-half rain delay, the Mets added six more earned runs to Hamels’ ballooning 4.65 ERA against them. Meanwhile, Jon Niese was fantastic. He pitched through periods of heavy rain, always in control, spreading out four hits over seven innings, striking out five and walking only one.

It was a big night for Daniel Murphy who collected three hits in his first three at-bats. His two-out hit in the third inning opened the scoring to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. In the fourth inning, Hamels lost sight of the strike zone. He walked four batters, including the pitcher, resulting in two more runs. After a Marlon Byrd home run cut the lead to 3-1, the Mets put the game away in the fifth inning. Ruben Tejada with the big blow: A bases loaded hit with two outs to give the Mets a commanding 6-1 lead.

With the win, the Mets improved their record to 15-11, good for third best in the National League (pending the end of the Giants game). The point is that the Mets find themselves at the end of April and playing competitive baseball. A small accomplishment on the long path back to relevance. Mets Phillies 4.29 WE

Key Play

Ruben Tejada’s two-out hit with the bases loaded broke the game open.

Tejada 6-1 hit

Starter Focus

Jon Niese

The Mets continue to get stellar starting pitching. Niese didn’t let the rain affect him at all, as he pounded the strike zone with his fastball, getting the two-seam over 61% of the time and the four-seam 70% for strikes. He allowed only four hits, striking out five and walking only one.

Niese 4.29

Cole Hamels

Hamels got kicked around by the Mets yet again. He had trouble finding the strike zone, walking five. He allowed eight hits and six earned runs.

Hamels 4.29

Win Probability Chart courtesy of FanGraphs. Detailed pitching data courtesy of Brooks Baseball.

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Mets Matters: Are We Spending Again or Just Reallocating? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mets-musings-are-we-spending-again-or-just-reallocating.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mets-musings-are-we-spending-again-or-just-reallocating.html/#comments Tue, 11 Feb 2014 13:36:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=147684 It boggles my mind at the jubilation I continue to see in comment threads or on Twitter over this myth that the New York Mets are spending again. Strike up the band?

Sorry, I don’t think so. At least not yet.

Save your money and hold off on the party caps and noise makers because this ship of ours is far from the peacefulness of smooth sailing and still navigating through choppy waters.

While I’ve applauded the signings of Curtis Granderson and Bartolo Colon, I also understand that they were merely replacements for the losses of Marlon Byrd and Matt Harvey.

I wasn’t a big fan of the Chris Young signing, as $7.25 million seems like a high price tag for a player who profiles as a part time player. Plus I’d bet anything Cesar Puello could bat batter than .200 and hit more than 12 home runs if he were given a full shot in right field. I would have preferred kicking in another $5 million and getting Stephen Drew instead and I wonder if that $7.25 million in flexibility we lost is why the Mets are hesitating? But I digress…

What does spending mean to you?

If you have a $90 million budget, and you get rid of two players who accounted for $30 million of that budget and replaced them with three players making the same $30 million instead, is that your textbook definition of spending?

Or did you simply reallocate your funds and hopefully did so in a more productive way?

Scrat ice age pixar nut

You see, I can’t seem to crack this nut.

I just can’t share in this growing excitement that the Mets are spending again when I look at the current payroll projection and it tells me our payroll will be less than the year before for the third consecutive Opening Day.

I can’t ignore that the Mets keep pushing their outstanding loans further back into a still cloudy Mets future because they apparently don’t have the money to make their debt payments.

I think it’s great that they did reallocate the Bay/Santana contracts, but could you have imagined the uproar if they didn’t? Especially when small market teams are spending that $25-30 million every team received form the new MLB National TV deals… Wonder where the Mets’ $25-30 million is going? Want to venture a guess?

I was directed to a comment Sandy Alderson made that said the Mets are one of the top five spenders in baseball again after this offseason.

Whoa… Wait, what…Really?

How does that explain a bottom fifteen projected MLB payroll and possibly even bottom ten?

I guess spending must have a new definition now. I always thought that when you spent ten bucks you had ten dollars less in your pocket. But maybe I’m just warped that way. 

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MLB Notes: Latest On Drew, Scout View On Tejada, Astros DFA Wallace http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mlb-notes-latest-on-drew-scout-view-on-tejada-astros-dfa-wallace.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mlb-notes-latest-on-drew-scout-view-on-tejada-astros-dfa-wallace.html/#comments Sun, 09 Feb 2014 19:11:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=147630 As usually is the case, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe had a well-packed article on Sunday that is well worth a read for you baseball diehards.

Cafardo said that there was a lot of pressure put on Alex Rodriguez to withdraw his lawsuit against the union according to one prominent player. ”It didn’t go over too well and Alex heard about it a lot. Nobody ever understood it. He did the right thing by dropping it.”

Of course, A-Rod also dropped his suit against Major League Baseball, and someone close to him says he is planning to accept his suspension, sit out the year, rest that hip, and come back strong.

stephen drew

On the free agent front, and more importantly for those of you who want your daily Stephen Drew fix, Cafardo has this for you:

The Mets remain the best bet. Even though there’s a sentiment he may return to the Red Sox, that has been dampened lately. Agent Scott Boras continues to indicate that he’s speaking to “multiple” teams concerning Drew’s availability. Drew still receives text messages from his Red Sox teammates who hope he returns.

Like most of you, I can’t wait for this saga to end one way or another. But I’m still clinging to my September prediction that he will re-sign with the Red Sox.

I don’t know why the names of Nelson Cruz and Kendrys Morales keep popping up on Mets threads, but for those of you who are interested Cruz is getting closer and closer to becoming a Seattle Mariner, while Morales is getting a long look from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In case you missed it….

How many of you were surprised to see former Top 10 BA Prospect Brett Wallace get DFA’d by the Astros on Thursday? That’s why you have to take these rankings with a grain of salt. Remember all the howls that the Cardinals were nuts for trading Wallace, their number one prospect, for a rental in Matt Holliday? And of course they then re-signed him to a a mega-deal that following offseason.

bartolo colon

That’s what he says…

Mike Puma of The Post spoke with a MLB Executive and he says that Mets will begin spring training looking strikingly similar to the team that last year finished 74-88, third in the NL East.

“The way it stands today, without anymore additions, they might be a little short of .500.”

His contention was that that the Mets essentially replaced Matt Harvey and Marlon Byrd with Colon and Granderson, assuming a big rebound from injury from Grandy. But then all else is the same.

Scout’s Honor

Here’s what a major league scout had to say about the Ike Davis and Lucas Duda logjam at first base: “I like Duda’s swing better — they are both left-handed hitters, you can’t play them both regularly. I don’t know how they are going to resolve that.”

The same scout on Tejada: ”He came up young. It’s not always a straight line going forward, so there’s dips in the road along the way. He came into camp, not in great shape last year, shame on him. But he was young and the Mets have to hope he learned from that and it won’t happen again.”

Have a great Sunday, Met fans…

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Alderson Discusses His Process On Rebuilding The Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/alderson-discusses-his-process-on-rebuilding-the-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/alderson-discusses-his-process-on-rebuilding-the-mets.html/#comments Sat, 08 Feb 2014 04:55:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=147493 sandy alderson

In an interview with ESPN.com’s Keith Law, Mets GM Sandy Alderson discussed the processes he implemented since taking over the club and how it has led to a system with improved depth and several players being looked at as top 100 prospects.

On building through the draft:

“With respect to the draft, we have taken a more aggressive posture with regard to higher ceiling players coming out of the draft. All of our first round picks since I’ve been with the Mets have been high school players. We haven’t done that intentionally, but I think we’ve had a tendency to go with those higher ceiling players.”

“And by the way, we’ve actually had those first round picks because we didn’t sign any free agent players like the Mets have done previously.”

Being More Systematic:

“Paul DePodesta oversees scouting and player development and he’s done a terrific job not just by the selections we’ve made, but approaching it all in a very systematic way. That means using the information, but doing it in a way that gives us some leverage and using less traditional means of player evaluation.”

On building through International arena:

“We’ve had some luck and signed some guys who have been over age for the International market. Rafael Montero who we signed at age 20 has come on rather quickly. So we’ve tried to do some nontraditional things in the International market as well.”

Building Via Trades:

“Talent acquisition has been important to us. We’ve made some trades involving high quality players like Carlos Beltran and R.A. Dickey and most recently Marlon Byrd, so we picked up some prospects in that way as well. We’re very pleased with the progress we’ve made and hopefully those prospects will emerge soon at the major league level.”

On Organizational Patience:

Sandy credited the success of International players to the fact the Mets have not one, but two teams in the Dominican Republic at the Mets Academy. He pointed out how critical it was to have the diversified staff in place to work with these players who are rough around the edges and help them to their ultimate transition to the United States.

“Development today is far more sophisticated than it was 20 or 25 years ago.”

You can listen to Keith Law’s entire interview with Sandy here.

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Mets Pitching Is The Key To Beating Preseason Projections http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mets-pitching-is-the-key-to-beating-preseason-projections.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mets-pitching-is-the-key-to-beating-preseason-projections.html/#comments Thu, 06 Feb 2014 14:15:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=147264 Even if it´s tough to believe for Mets fans, the reason for rather modest projections for 2014 is the lack of trust that analysts have in the – mostly unproven – Mets pitching staff.

The Fangraphs ZiPS projection is a good indicator for that. The entire projected opening day pitching staff (i.e. rotation of Niese – Colon – Wheeler – Gee – Mejia) projects to combine for a mere total of an 8 fWAR. Which is by far the worst projected pitching staff in the divisision, well behind the Marlins & Phillies (both 13 fWAR), Braves (20 fWAR) and Nationals (21 fWAR).

wright murphyMeanwhile, the Mets´ projected offense is a lot closer towards contender status at a combined 19 fWAR, well ahead of the Marlins (12 fWAR) and Phillies (15 fWAR) and barely behind the Braves (20 fWAR) and Nationals (23 fWAR).

And if you look back into the rear view mirror (something all projection systems heavily rely on), the Mets offense averaged 634.5 runs between 2012 & 2013 – with very similar rosters except for Marlon Byrd replacing Scott Hairston and the C position being in flux and CF traditionally unsettled. The Phillies averaged 647 runs (in a hitter friendlier park), the Marlins averaged a terrible 561 runs, the Nationals 693.5 and the Braves 694. So, the Mets were 60 runs away from leading the division in runs scored. Since 1 win takes 10 runs scored or not allowed, the Mets were about 6 wins away on offense from contending for the division crown.

Meanwhile, the pitching was a lot further away at an average of 696.5 runs allowed.

The Nats – on average – allowed 610 runs while the Braves merely allowed 574 runs. So, the Mets were between 86.5 and 122.5 – thus on average 104.5 runs or 10+ wins – off the league lead. Even the Marlins (685 runs allowed) were better and the Phillies – in a much tougher homepark – allowed only 714.5 runs on average – 28 more than the Mets staff´s averaged.

Scott Hairston (2012) & Marlon Byrd (2013) now get replaced by Curtis Granderson while Travis d’Arnaud takes over at catcher for Josh Thole (2012) and John Buck (2013). CF remains unsettled but now features Juan Lagares & Chris Young as the main options instead of the revolving door of 2013 and Kirk Nieuwenhuis & Andres Torres in 2012. The rest of the roster essentially returns, though it appears only one of Duda & Ike Davis will play regularly. All in all, if d´Arnaud is better than Buck & Thole were, while the CF also produce more, expecting the 2014 Mets to score at least 650 runs seems reasonable and thus a gain of 1 or 2 wins as it is, not expecting any breakouts from Ike or Tejada or regression from Wright and Murphy.

zack wheeler 2But it all comes down to the pitching. If the Mets staff gives up 695 or more runs again – and thus on average 100 more than the Nats & Braves figure to give up – they won´t make up the difference. If the Mets give up 50 runs less by pitching better, that´s good for 5 wins and a .500 season overall (650 RS vs. 645 RA). If the Mets give up 100 runs less by pitching much better – both in the rotation and bullpen – they would make up another 5+ games and would project to end up right around 86 or 87 wins. And if you happen to like the depth that the Mets will finally have on both their pitching staff (Montero, Syndergaard, young relievers, etc) and offensively (mainly Flores but also some fringy outfielders like Nieuwenhuis & MDD), the upside may even be a little higher compared to the 2012 and 2013 teams that both lacked quality depth behind the regulars.

To summarize, the Mets figure to have a middle of the pack offense in 2014 and going forward. Which isn´t too bad, considering that Citi Field plays about neutral to slightly pitcher friendly. If the pitching remains below average like it has been in 2012 and 2013, the Mets won´t crack .500 and certainly won´t contend. If the young arms perform and the veterans remain solid, this is the big area of upside – both rotation & bullpen – where the Mets could improve significantly.

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Collins: Eric Young Jr Is The Leading Leadoff Candidate http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/collins-eric-young-jr-is-the-leading-leadoff-candidate.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/collins-eric-young-jr-is-the-leading-leadoff-candidate.html/#comments Fri, 31 Jan 2014 04:30:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=146678 eric young jr

Terry Collins believes that Eric Young Jr. is his primary suitor for the leadoff position in the batting order say Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.

The question, as Rubin also highlights, is how exactly the Mets will get Young into the lineup. The signings of Curtis Granderson and Chris Young have created a bit of a logjam in the outfield that doesn’t favor EY Jr.

As Alderson told MMO in December, there may be some “variation in the configuration” of the outfield in 2014, likely with Granderson as the only everyday starter.

The Mets may go with the option of having a three-man rotation between Juan Lagares, EY and Young in the centerfield and rightfield positions. This system would allow for each to earn their playing time, similar to how Marlon Byrd became an everyday starter this past season.

Eric Young Jr. played 90 games in the leadoff spot for New York this past season and led the National League with 46 stolen bases between his time for the Mets and Rockies in 2014.

Thoughts from Mitch Petanick

When I was being recruited to play college ball, one of the main questions I would ask was whether I would start right away. The response I often heard was “if you can hit, you will play.” In other words, the best offensive player with get the time—the coaches really never cared who the best defender was. That always resonated with me.

I’m sure the same holds true in the major leagues—the best offensive players will be on the field. The Mets would feel very comfortable with Chris Young in center (he’s no slouch defensively), and Eric Young Jr in left. The bottom line is whoever is performing the best offensively will play.

They may start with a mix of Juan Lagares and the two Youngs early in the season, but the hope is that two out of the three will establish themselves as everyday players—and that determination will be made by looking at offensive production.  

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Keith Law: Mets Have 6th Best Farm System http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/keith-law-mets-have-6th-best-farm-system.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/keith-law-mets-have-6th-best-farm-system.html/#comments Tue, 28 Jan 2014 20:46:37 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=146265 wheeler harvey

Keith Law of ESPN (Insider Only) ranked the Houston Astros as having the top minor league system in baseball. But the Mets actually received a solid ranking as well coming in as the sixth best system.

6. New York Mets 

The turnaround in this system is remarkable, especially when you consider they have not had a top-10 pick since they took Matt Harvey in 2010, and it puts the Mets in excellent shape relative to the other four teams in their division.

The decisions to trade R.A. Dickey and Marlon Byrd look even better in hindsight. The Mets also have one of the minors’ best collections of pitchers who throw strikes but aren’t strictly finesse guys.

…It’s great to see us getting some props for a change…

I was kind of wondering how Law and other minor league experts would view the Mets system after reading some other sites projecting us as a middle of the pack system.

Given what we’ve pumped out to the majors in the last 18 months I found that hard to believe, especially with some Top 100 Prospects still on the way.

Incidentally, NL East rivals came in at Phillies 14th, Nationals 18th, Marlins 19th and Braves 22nd.

If you still can’t see that this organization is getting better, you need new glasses.

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2014 Mets Top Prospects: No.13 Dilson Herrera, 2B http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-13-dilson-herrera-2b.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-13-dilson-herrera-2b.html/#comments Mon, 27 Jan 2014 16:55:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=145811 Top 25 Prospects dilson 13

13. Dilson Herrera

Height: 5’10”
Weight: 150 lbs.
Age: 19
Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Dilson Herrera was acquired as the main piece that sent Marlon Byrd and John Buck to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He’s a small kid but don’t let that fool you. Herrera has what Keith Law describes as 15-20 homer power at his peak. That combined with well above average speed that should translate into consistent stolen bases and potential above average defense makes for a very nice prospect. In 442 AB’s last season, Herrera slashed .265/.330/.416 with 11 HR’s and 14 SB’s; promising numbers for a 19 year old in his first year of full season ball.

His strikeout numbers stand out though as he whiffed 110 times in those 442 AB’s. I wouldn’t worry about his K rate just yet because he’s still young and his tools are very raw. However, if he continues to strikeout at a similar rate he could end struggling to hit .250 which might be okay if he puts up those kinds of power numbers at second base. He has more than enough time, though, to improve his pitch recognition skills and become more of a complete hitter.

Outlook: Getting Herrera as well as Vic Black from the Pirates for a couple months of Marlon Byrd was a steal in my opinion. Dilson is a very real prospect and with more development could have the Pirates organization muttering under their breaths for giving him up so easily. He has the chance to become an above average contributor on both offense and defense maybe with an occasional All Star Game appearance. In spite of that, it’s a bit too early for that kind of projection. He’s still several years away from a major league debut and if he doesn’t cut down on his strikeouts, he may have a hard time reaching the big club anyway. My guess is he starts the season in St. Lucie after a full season of success in the South Atlantic League. With a breakout year and an improved K rate, he could find himself in the top 10 by the start of next season.

MMO TOP 25 PROSPECTS

25. Wilfredo Tovar, SS

24. Juan Centeno, C

23. Cory Mazzoni, RHP

22. Jeff Walters, RHP

21. Jack Leathersich, LHP

20. Luis Mateo, RHP

19. Jayce Boyd, 1B

18. Domingo Tapia, RHP

17. Gabriel Ynoa, RHP

16. Vic Black, RHP

15. Michael Fulmer, RHP

14. Jeurys Familia, RHP

13. Dilson Herrera, 2B

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Josh Satin, The Classic Moneyball Player http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/josh-satin-the-classic-moneyball-player.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/josh-satin-the-classic-moneyball-player.html/#comments Sun, 26 Jan 2014 04:55:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=140790 josh satin

Tim Rohan of the New York Times, wrote an extensive piece on Josh Satin this afternoon. He says that the 29-year old infielder has been taking this playing the outfield thing pretty seriously. Not willing to sit on his laurels and hope that he makes the team next Spring, he says Satin’s survival instincts kicked in.

“When the off-season began, Satin went to work, refining his body and working on his swing, which he retooled before last season. And he practiced playing the outfield, shagging fly balls and perfecting his footwork, his positioning and throwing arm, all to expand his repertory as a utility man and pinch-hitter that the Mets would not want to be without.”

Rohan says that Satin turned to Marlon Byrd for outfield advice, a solid defender himself. He is applying techniques and says the next step will be to play the outfield in spring training and keep improving.

Whether this experiment works for Satin or not, you have to hand it to him when it comes to initiative and drive. But let’s face it, Satin’s stock in trade is his bat and not his glove, and I found it interesting when Rohan referred to him as a classic Moneyball player.

He puts up valuable numbers at every level of baseball, Rohan writes, but is discounted because he lacks certain tools or does something — in Satin’s case, using a wavy, unorthodox swing he has since streamlined — that suggests he just won’t make it in the major leagues.

Satin may seem like an enigma, but actually he’s not. He’s a very refined hitter with some of the best on-base skills in the entire Mets system and I’m including the big league team as well.

The article points out that Satin’s .376 on-base percentage was the 14th-best figure among National League batters with at least 200 plate appearances. That’s higher than the OBP for Ryan Braun, Buster Posey and Bryce Harper. On the Mets, only David Wright (.390) had a higher figure among players who took part in more than just a couple of games.

I’ve been a big Josh Satin fan since 2012. Although too old to be considered a prospect any longer, he can carve out a nice little major league career as a late bloomer.

Teams are always on the lookout for righthanded batters who can drive in runs, keep a rally going, and even ignite one. Satin can do all those things and he adds value to any roster as long as his metrics hold. His career .398 on-base percentage in the minors, is no fluke.

If we end up keeping Ike Davis, and it certainly looks that way, Satin should get the majority of at-bats against lefthanded pitching. Or at least that’s the hope, but one never knows with Terry Collins.
Given both their lefty/righty splits, there’s some potential for tremendous production from first base for the Mets this season.

Here are their career splits:

Satin vs LHP:   .862 OPS – .152 ISO – .376 wOBA – .467 SLG – 145 wRC+

Davis vs RHP:  .827 OPS – .215 ISO – .357 wOBA – .471 SLG – 127 wRC+ 

In my opinion, if Davis gets all the starts at first base against right-handed pitching, it will be Lucas Duda who stands to lose the most playing time. Hence the Duda to the outfield whispers we heard last week.

This will be one of the more interesting storylines to follow after the Mets head to St. Lucie beginning 21 days from today.

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Mets Had One Of The Best Under The Radar Offseasons http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mets-had-one-of-the-best-under-the-radar-offseasons.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mets-had-one-of-the-best-under-the-radar-offseasons.html/#comments Mon, 13 Jan 2014 01:57:14 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=139543 Mike Petriello of ESPN (Insider Subscription) writes that the Mets had one of the best under-the-radar offseasons by signing Curtis Granderson and Chris Young to upgrade their outfield defense.

For most of the first third of 2013, he writes, the corner outfielders in New York were Lucas Duda in left and Marlon Byrd in right, flanking a rotating combination of Rick AnkielCollin CowgillJordany Valdespin and Kirk Nieuwenhuis in center field. That’s pretty brutal.

juan lagaresWhile Byrd was somewhat above average, he adds, Duda is so bad that he’s  accumulated a shocking minus-42 defensive runs saved (DRS) in parts of four seasons for the Mets. He was eventually replaced by Eric Young, but even he was only slightly better, with minus-7 DRS for the season.

Petriello says that things turned around when Juan Lagares took over the bulk of time in center and proved to be one of the best defensive center fielders in the game.

Well deserved praise for Lagares and the Mets by ESPN. With Lagares in center flanked by Granderson and Young in the corners, Mets pitchers should reap the benefits of one of the best defensive outfields in baseball.

After what we’ve seen over the last 4-5 years, it will be a pleasure not to hold our breaths everytime a batter sends one sailing over the infield. I’m looking forward to seeing all three of them patrolling the same outfield when spring training games begin in about five weeks.

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