Mets Merized Online » miami http://metsmerizedonline.com Tue, 17 Jan 2017 22:12:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.17 Mets vs Marlins: Who Are Better Positioned To Challenge The Nationals? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mets-vs-marlins-who-are-better-positioned-to-challenge-the-nationals.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mets-vs-marlins-who-are-better-positioned-to-challenge-the-nationals.html/#comments Sun, 28 Dec 2014 20:29:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=172352 giancarlo stanton

Joel Sherman of the NY Post asked seven AL and NL team executives who they believed were best positioned to challenge the Nationals for top spot in the NL East between the Mets and the Marlins.

AL Assistant GM: “I like the Marlins better at this point. I think their rotations are similar, especially if Haren shows up, but I like the Marlins’ bullpen a little bit better.

However, I really like the Marlins’ lineup better with a good combination of speed and power along with youth. The Marlins’ defense is better up the middle as well as in the outfield. There is more overall balance in Miami than in New York and the Marlins are far better defensively in my eyes.”

AL Scouting Director: “I gotta go with the Marlins. They have the better single superstar [Stanton] and a deeper rotation after the injured guy [Fernandez].”

NL Scout: “I’ll take the Marlins. They were one of the most athletic teams I saw all of last season — the Royals are the other that comes to mind — and with the offensive additions they have made, they look like the much better bet to score runs than the Mets. They have plenty of speed and Stanton gives them the dominant force that will make the other players better. I like the Latos addition. It gives them a good veteran to go with their young arms. One thing I like about their staff is that it’s loaded with guys who can strike people out and I think [closer Steve] Cishek is underrated in the closer role.

“It seems like the Mets will be better, but unless they get major contributions from their young pitchers and/or go out and get another big bat, I don’t think they are in Miami’s class.”

NL Assistant GM: “I think the Marlins are clearly better — more pitching and a much more dynamic offense. I think the Marlins are a really well-rounded team.”

NL VP of Baseball Ops: “I actually think the Mets are in better position. I think their young pitching is a little better. I am actually surprised at the level of optimism around the Marlins. They had a nice improvement in 2014, but they still have many questions on their roster.”

AL GM: “It’s close, but I think I’d take the Mets. I like their rotation better than Miami. Fernandez is significantly behind Harvey in his rehab. That’s a huge component. [Jacob] deGrom emerging was pretty significant for the Mets.”

AL Assistant GM: “We have been talking about it all offseason. I still like the Mets’ pitching better on the whole, but the Marlins have made some nice upgrades. I would probably still take the Mets.”

Summary

4 – Four of the MLB Execs strongly preferred the Marlins for reasons that include the top overall player, better starting pitching, a stronger bullpen, much better defense, more power and speed, and an overall well balanced team to challenge the Nationals.

2 – Two execs say it’s very close but chose the Mets because they like their starting rotation a little better.

1 – One exec strongly prefers the Mets because they have the better pitching, and also believes the Marlins still have unanswered questions on their roster.

The Mets won 11 of 19 contests last season against the Marlins, outscoring them by 30 runs overall, 91-61. I mention that because it should be a close battle between these two teams as they try and challenge the nationals in 2015. In a season that could be decided by 2-3 games in the standings, it’s important to have the edge in head-to-head battle.

Still, these are not the same teams that battled last season… much has changed. Here’s how I break it down:

A full season of Jacob deGrom plus 24 starts from Matt Harvey is a better upgrade for the Mets starting rotation than Mat Latos and 18 starts from Jose Fernandez, in my opinion.

While I won’t dispute that the Marlins have the superior bullpen, it’s mostly because they have a proven elite closer in Steve Cishek, and solid veteran relievers in A.J. Ramos, and Mike Dunn who are all high strikeout guys. Unless Terry Collins really mismanages the Mets bullpen and each reliever’s roles, I think the Mets can pull to a draw here.

I won’t bother arguing who’s better on defense, obviously the Marlins have a decisive edge with the leather even though the Mets have gold glover Juan Lagares.

That brings us to offense which is where this battle ultimately gets decided. The Mets have to get significant improvement from Wright, Granderson, d’Arnaud and Flores if they are to keep up with Giancarlo Stanton (160 OPS+), Christian Yelich (116 OPS+), Marcell Ozuna (115 OPS+), Michael Morse (130 OPS+), and Martin Prado (104 OPS+).

That we retained Daniel Murphy is significant offensively for the Mets as is the emergence of Lucas Duda. Was adding Michael Cuddyer enough to improve the starting eight? Or is the scout that says we’re still a big bat away right? Or will the decision to bring back Terry Collins, ultimately be the deciding factor in 2015?

I look forward to reading your responses.

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MMO Fan Shot: Why This Offseason Has Been Incredibly Disappointing http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mmo-fan-shot-why-this-offseason-has-been-incredibly-disappointing.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mmo-fan-shot-why-this-offseason-has-been-incredibly-disappointing.html/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 17:16:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=172203 sandy alderson terry collins

An MMO Fan Shot by Harry S.

Let me state that I have been a Mets fan for over 50 years. I remember going to my first game in 1964, and I still remember my teacher in elementary school allowing us to keep a radio on for the clinching game of the 1969 World Series (all WS games were day games back then).

I have followed this team through thick and thin (mostly thin) and have attended too many games to even count. Even during the last few lean years, I try to watch the games on TV as much as possible. Like most fans, I have suffered through the Sandy Alderson era of cutting payroll and watching a substandard team night after night. At this point, a lot of Mets fans are extremely enthusiastic about our chances for next year. Unfortunately, I am going to put a damper on this.

All along, we kept hearing that the Mets have “payroll flexibility”. All along, we were told, “Don’t worry, we will spend when we need to”. Year after year, I believed it less and less. Now, I know this is nonsense. The team finished 2014 strongly, ending up with 79 wins to tie for second. Yes, we were miles behind Washington, but Harvey is back, TDA should improve and Granderson and Wright will surely bounce back. Things looked bright. And then came the offseason. While teams like Chicago and Miami made substantial moves to improve their team, we have stood pat. Right now, our acquisitions include

  1. A  33 year old reliever with a career negative WAR who just came off surgery.
  2. A fifth outfielder who hit .212 last year (2014’s Chris Young?).
  3. Michael Cuddyer, who has decent stats but will be 36 on opening day and has averaged playing 93 games/year for the past three years.

Look at it this way: We finished 19 games behind Washington, so it’s pretty unrealistic that we will make up this difference. Miami finished only 2 games behind us last year, but has added Dee Gordon,  Dan Haren, Mat Latos and Michael Morse. to a team stacked with three young stars in the outfield. Our lineup is, at best, average. Our overall team defense is also probably average. Lagares is a star, but Duda, Murphy, Flores and TDA are all probably below average defensively. But, people say, “Look at our pitching!”

OK, let’s look at it. Right now, I don’t believe our starting rotation from top to bottom is better than Miami’s. Harvey and deGrom are great, but even highly touted Zack Wheeler has not put up anything but average statistics in his 2 MLB seasons. Gee, Colon and Niese are all just average pitchers. Our bullpen is OK, not great. It’s still unclear who our closer will be.

Like every year, our bench is still relatively weak. In order to even get into the playoffs (which in our case, would probably start with a one game do or die scenario), we would have to win 88-90 games. I think while it’s certainly possible for us to improve that many games, it’s also unlikely.

The team just hasn’t improved very much since last year, and you have to realize Miami really has. I don’t even want to talk about Chicago. It’s very disconcerting to see other contenders finally making the moves to win while the Mets basically sit on their hands. Now, could the Mets actually open the purse strings around mid-year if we were close? Sure. However, based on our past history, I wouldn’t bet on it. As a lifelong Met fan, I am hoping for the best but mentally preparing for another disappointing offseason.  I sincerely hope I’m wrong.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader Harry S.. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Met fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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Something Fishy Is Going On In Miami http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/something-fishy-is-going-on-in-miami.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/something-fishy-is-going-on-in-miami.html/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 16:34:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171915 Washington Nationals v Miami Marlins

While most in baseball still shudder at the thought of that monstrous $325 million deal that Giancarlo Stanton signed with the Marlins, it’s not as outrageous as it seems on the surface when you consider what Miami owner Jeffrey Loria and president David Samson told Pirates president Frank Coonelly recently.

“They thought it was a great deal. I just couldn’t get my head around the $325 million. They said to me, ‘You don’t understand. (Stanton) has an out clause after six years. Those first six years are only going to cost $107 million. After that, he’ll leave and play for somebody else. So, it’s not really $325 million.’”

What’s going on in Miami lately? When the Marlins promised Stanton that they would continue to build a team around him that was supposed to be a pile of BS intended only to get Stanton to sign on the dotted line, right? Apparently not.

The Marlins have been wheeling and dealing ever since locking in their right fielder and have since added speedster Dee Gordon and some right-handed power in Michael Morse to an already talent laden lineup that potentially looks like this:

  1. Dee Gordon (2B)
  2. Christian Yelich (LF)
  3. Giancarlo Stanton (RF)
  4. Michael Morse (1B)
  5. Casey McGehee (3B)
  6. Marcell Ozuna (CF)
  7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia (C)
  8. Adeiny Hechavarria (SS)

Apparently they’re still not done as rumors circulate that they are shopping starting pitcher Dan Haren – who they obtained in the Gordon trade – to a West Coast team for another arm to bolster their bullpen.

The Marlins improved by 15 games in 2014 and are hungry for more according to president of baseball operations Michael Hill.

“When you lose 100 games, you’ve got a lot of work to do,”  said. “We made a lot of strides in 2014, but as we’ve said, we still have more to do and further to go, because we still aren’t playing into October, and that’s the ultimate goal. We wanted to continue to build upon the assets that we have.”

“We feel like we’ve got good, young players, and we want to surround them with players who give us the opportunity to win games,” Hill said. “I think we’re on our way into doing that. We’re trying to make our club better and address needs we’ve identified to help us improve.”

The Marlins are how focused on keeping their young core intact and have already reached out to right-hander Jose Fernandez, left fielder Christian Yelich, center fielder Marcell Ozuna and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria about long-term deals.

The Marlins are definitely a team to watch in 2015 as they are now viewed as legitimate contenders for at least a Wild Card. The scary part is that most baseball experts believe that Stanton, Yelich and Ozuna haven’t even scratched the surface of their vast potential.

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Mets Sign Outfielder Alex Castellanos to Minor League Deal http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mets-sign-outfielder-alex-castellanos-to-minor-league-deal.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mets-sign-outfielder-alex-castellanos-to-minor-league-deal.html/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 16:30:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=169874 alex castellanos

The Mets announced they have signed outfielder Alex Castellanos to a Minor League contract with an invitation to big league Spring Training.

Castellanos, 28, played for PCL Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres last season, batting .275 with eight home runs and 42 RBI in 113 games.

A 10th-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2008, Castellanos has a career Minor League batting average of .286.

He’s played in parts of two seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and batted .171 (7-for-41) with two home runs and four RBI.

Hey… The Triple-A rosters needs outfielders too….

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Di-JEST: Might As Well Be The Suckiest http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/di-jest-might-as-well-be-the-suckiest.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/di-jest-might-as-well-be-the-suckiest.html/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 20:56:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=166308 terry collins Mets Spring Training

The missus and I just returned from a short vacation which means that I could see no Mets games on either SNY or PIX for about a week.   Usually that’s a REAL vacation.

But I see that while I was away the team dismantled the Atlanta Braves and pretty much stymied any hopes they had of making the playoffs.  I can’t believe I missed that since I’ve been waiting for the Amazins to do something like that since Larry “Chipper” Jones was a teenager.

One thing I did keep up with was Metsmerized (and the other lesser Mets-themed blogs).

An article I found particularly interesting was written by Joe D. It’s a survey measuring how fans view their team in many different areas.

Just as pretty much no one remembers who finished second in the Miss America contest or lost the last Super Bowl (yes I know that some of you know that one) being 28th or 29th out of 30 is nothing special.  The key is to be at one end, 1st, or the other, 30th.

So let’s see what the team can do to move those low rankings to the very bottom.

Ownership – Rank 28 – Honesty and Loyalty to Core Players

The two teams that “beat” out the Mets here are Miami and Oakland. That Miami is there is no surprise to me.  I think we can beat Oakland here easily.

The key to getting that rank from 28 to at least 29 and probably to 30 is this.  Traditionally the team has badmouthed its players on their way out, e.g. Justin Turner.

Once arbitration numbers are exchanged the team will surely find a way to detach itself from Daniel Murphy.  And when they do perhaps they’ll leak what a cancer he was in the clubhouse or some other drivel.  That should be enough to fly past Oakland.

It may not get them to Loria’s lead position.

For that Jeff Wilpon might have to spray paint the words “Child out of wedlock” on the side of Leigh Castergine’s car.

Fan Relations – Rank 29 – Openness and consideration towards fans.

Here the only team that fared worse, and not by much, was the San Diego Padres.

This could be a trickier one than you might imagine.  I suppose some of you have read this, especially if you are regular subscribers to the Jewish Business Daily (phew, glad I didn’t let my subscription run out):

You see the Mets have been dealing with “crushing debts” and denying it to the fanbase for years.  Who knew????

As the oft quoted line goes:

The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made.

So now it looks like the tactic is to admit what we all knew and try to stall through another few years with a substandard payroll.

Stadium Experience – Rank 28 – Quality of ballpark and game day promotions as well as friendliness of the environment.

Without even looking up who did worse in this category I think I know how we can get that rank to 30.  I’ve often read that the ushers are rude and disrespectful to fans and will shoo them out of the lower seat areas even if the attendance is puny and no one else is down there.

All they need to do is arm these boors with cattle prods and surely the rank will hit rock bottom.

Player Effort – Rank 28 – Overall effort displayed on field and likability of team

Guess what.  I think this ranking is a bit unfair.  This is a difficult club to love but not impossible to like.  There are just too many guys to like for a ranking this low.  How many of us don’t like Jake deGrom, Daniel Murphy, Juan Lagares, Travis d’Arnaud?

And while I’m staunchly anti-Eric Young Jr. as a player I give him credit for running out ALL his feeble grounders and being willing to steal a base late in a close game which even the immortal Jose Reyes wouldn’t do.

I just can’t see this player effort thing dropping to 30th any time soon.

Leadership – Rank 29 – Overall strength exhibited by manager and coaching staff.

The only team that ranks lower here is the Kansas City Royals. Personally I don’t think Terry Collins is a particularly good manager but I also tend to doubt that he and his crack coaching staff are only better than one other major league team.

With the addition of fan favorite Wally Backman to the coaching staff I imagine this ranking is going to be going up, not down, in the immediate future.

So I don’t think the Mets can get a perfect 30 in all categories – try as they may.

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Nationals, 7:05 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-nationals-7-5-pm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-nationals-7-5-pm.html/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 21:00:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=166281 bartolo colonTonight the Mets open up their second to last series of 2014 against a team that has wiped the floors with them this year. The Nationals come in having won 13 of 16 games against the Mets. The pitching match-up pits  Bartolo Colon (14-12, 4.02), in what could be his final start for the Mets, against Tanner Roark (14-10, 2.85).

In his last start, Colon received the win in the Mets’ 9-1 victory against the Marlins on September 16th at Citi Field. He tossed 7.2 innings, allowed one earned run on a season-high 12 hits, stricking out seven and walking no one in the 109-pitch effort.

Wilmer Flores has scored 10 runs this month, collecting four doubles, one triple, four home runs and driving in 12 runs in 18 games in September. Flores is tied for fourth in the NL with four home runs this month.

Starting Lineup

  1. Matt den Deker, LF
  2. Daniel Murphy, 3B
  3. Travis d’Arnaud, C
  4. Lucas Duda, 1B
  5. Wilmer Flores, 2B
  6. Curtis Granderson, RF
  7. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, CF
  8. Ruben Tejada, SS
  9. Bartolo Colon, RHP

The Mets start their last road series of the 2014 season tonight against the Nationals. A team that has given the Mets some difficulties, the Nationals now stand between the Mets and an improbable last week of the season where the Mets mathematically can still finish at .500 and in second place. The Mets find themselves in this position thanks to a sweep in Atlanta, which is still shocking to me. Tonight Bartolo Colon gets the start as he goes against Tanner Roark.

Bartolo Colon is 14-12 this season with a 4.02 ERA over 29 starts and 190.1 innings. His last start against the Nationals was awful, but he rebounded nicely against Miami allowing 1 ER over 7.2 innings while striking out 7. Overall in the season he is 1-3 against the Nationals this year with a 4.13 ERA over 24.0 innings, which is great considering last time he allowed 5 ER over 3.0 innings against them. The Nationals have put up the following numbers against Colon:

  • Span 1-13
  • Cabrera 1-11, 2B
  • Rendon 4-13, HR
  • Desmond 4-10, 2 HR
  • LaRoche 4-9, 2 2B, HR
  • Werth 4-7, 2 2B
  • Harper 1-7

Tanner Roark is 14-10 in his second major league season with a 2.85 ERA over 30 starts and 192.1 innings of work. In his last two starts he has pitched 13.1 innings and only allowed 2 ER while striking out 5. Against the Mets this year he is 3-0 over three starts and 17.1 innings with a 3.12 ERA. The Mets have the following numbers against him:

  • Murphy 3-12, 2B
  • E Young 4-13, 2B
  • Duda 4-12, 2B
  • Lagares 1-8, 2B
  • Granderson 2-7, 2 2B
  • Tejada 1-7

Lets Go Mets!

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Stanton Suffers Lacerations, Fractures, Dental Damage After Being Hit In The Face http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/stanton-suffers-lacerations-fractures-dental-damage-after-being-hit-in-the-face.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/stanton-suffers-lacerations-fractures-dental-damage-after-being-hit-in-the-face.html/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 15:42:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=165579 giancarlo stanton

On Thursday night, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance after he was hit in the face by an 88-mph fastball from Brewers righthander Mike Fiers.

According to several reports, Stanton suffered several facial lacerations (which required stitches), multiple facial fractures and dental damage. He’ll remain hospitalized before returning to Miami on Friday for further evaluation. He will miss the remainder of the season, Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.

giancarlo stanton hit

The scene in Milwaukee was gruesome and the sight of the ball hitting his face was not for the squeamish as Stanton fell to the ground with his blood pouring out onto the home plate area.

It was so sad to see Stanton writhing in pain as trainers and medical personnel attended to him. The 24-year old All Star was in the midst of chasing down an MVP Award with an NL leading 37 home runs and 105 RBIs.

“That was one of the worst things I’ve ever had to watch,”said Marlins teammate Christian Yelich. “Here’s to hoping Big G is all right and makes a full recovery. Prayers your way, buddy.”

MMO wishes to send our own thoughts and prayers to Giancarlo and we hope that he can recover quickly and return to the game that won’t be the same without him. 

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Marlins, 7:10 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-marlins-710-pm-6.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-marlins-710-pm-6.html/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 20:04:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=164850 jacob degromTonight deGromination returns to the mound hoping to win the series against the Marlins. Jacob deGrom (7-6, 2.94) will square off against righty Tom Koehler (9-9, 3.79).

deGrom earned the win in the Mets’ 4-1 victory over the Phillies on August 29th at Citi Field. He tossed 7.0 innings, allowing four hits and one run which was unearned. Over his 7 innings he fanned five with just two walks. It was the third start for deGrom in which he pitched 7.0 innings or more and allowed four hits or less.

Juan Lagares went 4-4 with three runs scored, two RBI and two stolen bases last night. The only other Met in team history to have four or more hits in a game with multiple RBI and stolen bases was Jose Reyes on July 23rd, 2005 against the Dodgers when he went 4-5 with two RBI and two stolen bases.

deGrom leads all NL rookies with 106 strikeouts, he is tied for second in the NL with seven wins and has the third-lowest ERA (2.94) among all rookie starters. In his two starts against the Marlins this year, he is 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA with 15 strikeouts.

New York has swiped 14 straight stolen bases dating back to August 23rd. They have been successful on 16 of their last 17 stolen base attempts and Eric Young, Jr. is tied for fifth in the NL with 28 stolen bases.

Starting Lineup

  1. Juan Lagares – CF
  2. Matt den Dekker – LF
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Lucas Duda – 1B
  5. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  6. Kirk Nieuwenhuis – RF
  7. Dilson Herrera – 2B
  8. Ruben Tejada – SS
  9. Jacob deGrom – RHP

It wasn’t pretty from the mound side, but the Mets picked up the win last night in Miami recording 16 hits and 8 runs. David Wright helped the cause with 3 RBI’s and Lagares had 4 hits, so at least the bats had a good night. Tonight Jacob deGrom gets the nod as he squares off against Tom Koehler.

Jacob is 7-6 on the season over 18 starts with a 2.94 ERA over 113.1 innings of work. After his first start from the DL went poorly, he got back on track in his last start against Philly where he allowed 1 run, none earned over 7.0 innings while striking out 5. In two starts against the Marlins this year he is 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA allowing only 1 ER over 14.0 innings while striking out 15. The Marlins have the following numbers against deGrom:

  • G Jones 1-6, 2B
  • Lucas 2-6
  • McGehee 2-5, 2B
  • Ozuna 2-5
  • Stanton 1-4, 2B
  • Hechavarria 0-3

The Mets have yet another game against Tom Koehler who is 9-9 this season over 27 starts and 161.1 innings of work while posting a 3.79 ERA.  He has pitched 24.0 innings in his last four starts with a 2-0 record and a 3.75 ERA, so pretty close to his season overall numbers. He has already made four starts against the Mets this season with an 0-2 record over 26.1 innings while posting a 3.08 ERA and 19 K’s. The Mets have the following numbers against Tom:

  • Wright 6-19, 3 2B
  • Duda 2-17, 2B
  • Tejada 3-13, 3B
  • Granderson 0-9, 4 K
  • E Young 1-10, 2B
  • Recker 0-8
  • d’Arnaud 1-5
  • Flores 1-6. 2B

Lets Go Mets!

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Phillies and Yankees Schedule Private Workouts With Cuban Phenom Rusney Castillo http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/phillies-and-yankees-schedule-private-workouts-with-cuban-phenom-rusney-castillo.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/phillies-and-yankees-schedule-private-workouts-with-cuban-phenom-rusney-castillo.html/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:29:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161690 Cuban Rusney Castillo arrives safely in

As was reported on Sunday, over a hundred scouts showed up and were very impressed with the showcase by Cuban phenom Rusney Castillo on Saturday. Now the serious teams are making their moves for the corner outfielder.

Ben Badler of Baseball America has confirmed that the New York Yankees have scheduled a private workout with Castillo, joining the Phillies and the Red Sox who were the first two teams to schedule one-on-ones.

The Houston Astros, who have plenty of money to spend after failing to sign their first rounder, is also a serious suitor.

July 27

According to Walter Villa of Baseball America, Cuban defector Rusney Castillo wowed all 28 teams in attendance during his showcase on Saturday and impressed the over 100 scouts who were on hand.

The 27-year old outfielder worked out for two hours and 45 minutes at the University of Miami as teams came to catch a glimpse of what could be the next great thing out of Cuba. Castillo fielded flyballs in the outfield as well as grounders at shortstop.

BA says the most pleasantly surprising aspect of Castillo’s game was the power he showed and the ability to hit to the opposite field with authority.

Running: Castillo ran the 60-yard dash somewhere between 6.4 seconds and 6.5, depending on which scout you asked. Castillo gave a slight “deke” before he started his sprint, which threw off some stop-watches. Either way, though, Castillo is a plus runner by consensus of various scouts.

Throwing: Castillo started out in right field, fielding base hits and firing to third base. He then took base hits and threw home. All his throws were on a line and hit the mark on the fly or on one hop. “He has a 50 arm,” said one scout. “It’s an average big league arm. He could be used in all three outfield spots in a pinch, but his arm plays more like a left fielder.”

Batting Practice: Castillo showed a natural lift to his hacks, upper-cutting balls with force. After a few minutes in the cage, Castillo took three rounds of batting practice on the field. This is where he made his biggest impression. “After his second round of batting practice, I would have stopped right there because I didn’t think he could improve on that,” one scout said. “But he did.” Another scout was also impressed with his hitting. “I like him,” the scout said. “He’s a major league player.”

Live Batting: Castillo hit live against 6-foot-3 righthander Nate Carter, 22, who was 4-1, 1.54 with eight saves for Division II Florida Southern this past season. Carter was asked how well he thought Castillo did with his pitches. “He’s a great hitter,” Carter said. “I threw some fastballs at the knees on the outside corner, and he hit them over the fence or close to it.” Castillo took 16 cuts, missing two and fouling off eight. Of the six he hit fair, only one was a likely out, a couple of shots were off the wall and a couple went over the fence.

July 25

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, scouts representing 11 MLB teams are flocking to Miami to watch free agent Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo, who has been said to be like “Brett Gardner with power.”

The Mets, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers, Astros, Cubs, Braves, Giants, White Sox, Orioles and Marlins are all expected to be on hand Saturday at the University of Miami.

Considering how fellow Cubans Jose Abreu, Yasiel Puig, Yoenis Cespedes and most recently Odrisamer Despaigne, have recently rewarded their signing teams, expect Castillo to be in high demand.

Castillo is short at 5’9″ but has a strong, athletic build. His speed is his calling card, and Baseball America says he is one of the best base stealers in Cuba and an aggressive, high-energy player with a line-drive stroke.

Heyman compares the 27-year old center fielder to Kenny Lofton and Jacoby Ellsbury, and scouts believe he could be in the big leagues by the end of this season.

He profiles as a leadoff or number two-type hitter.

MMO footer

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Marlins, 7:10 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-marlins-710-pm-3.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-marlins-710-pm-3.html/#comments Thu, 19 Jun 2014 21:30:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=158902 zack wheeler

The New York Mets will look to carry momentum over from their win Wednesday against the Cardinals, to Miami, when they face the Marlins.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM at Marlins Park.

Zack Wheeler (2-7, 4.38) makes his 15th start of the season.  Wheeler needs to bounce back from his last two starts, where he gave up four runs in each outing.  He will face Andrew Heaney (0-0, -.–) who is making his first start in the major leagues.

The Mets are 3-3 in their last six games, and are 4-6 over their last 10.  Wednesday’s come-from-behind win against the Cardinals, was the team’s 16th of the season which places them tied for fourth in the National League.  The Mets have scored first in 15 of their last 23 games and hold a record of 22-20 when they score first.

Curtis Granderson‘s streak is still alive reaching base safely in 27 consecutive starts.  He is second in the National League with an on base percentage of .460 in the month of June, and 10th in the NL in batting average (.340) over that span.

Eric Young Jr. enjoyed his second career multi-double game Wednesday.  His first came in 2013 as a member of the Colorado Rockies.  EY has at least one hit and two RBI in his last three games since returning from the disabled list.  His 17 stolen bases on the year puts him tied for fourth in the National League.

One thing on the Mets side is David Wright‘s success against left-handed pitching.  So far this season, Wright ranks second in all of baseball with an average of .403 against lefty’s.  The Captain is 4-for-12 over his last three games after a horrendous slump, and has a three-game hitting streak going.

Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young Jr. – LF
  2. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Eric Campbell – 1B
  5. Curtis Granderson – RF
  6. Chris Young – CF
  7. Taylor Teagarden – C
  8. Ruben Tejada – SS
  9. Zack Wheeler – P

The Mets look to build off of yesterday’s win with opening a series in Miami tonight with Wheeler on the  mound. Outside of strong pitching yesterday, Wright worked a little more towards breaking out of his slump with an go-ahead RBI single and E Young contributed with a double. Oh, and Colon hit a double. In other Mets news, Captain Kirk is coming back to the squad and den Dekker has been optioned off.

Wheeler is 2-7 this season over 14 games and 78.0 innings and a 4.38 ERA. After three strong starts, he has has stumbled in his last two allowing 8 ER over 8.2 innings, with 5 BB’s and 10 K’s.  Over two starts this year against the Marlins he’s allowed only one run over 12.0 innings with 8 BB’s and 17 K’s. The Marlins have the following numbers against Wheeler:

  • Stanton 1-7
  • Hechavarria 0-8
  • Jones 1-6
  • McGehee 2-4
  • Mathis 0-4
  • Ozuna 1-5

On the other side of the field, Andrew Heaney makes his major league debut for the Marlins. He is the #30 prospect according to Baseball America and is 7-2 this season between AA and AAA logging 76.2 innings with a 2.47 ERA. Obviously he has no MLB stats against the Mets.

Lets Go Mets!

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The Easiest Thing To Do In Baseball? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/whats-the-easiest-thing-in-the-baseball-world.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/whats-the-easiest-thing-in-the-baseball-world.html/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 20:28:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=158726 jose reyes

By now, you all have read that Jose Reyes & Josh Thole shared their views of David Wright and the New York Mets as a franchise.

You know, it’s funny to me. With Reyes, you have a guy who had his career built here in New York – a guy who took a big contract with a BAD team, talking about how he just wants to win? And he feels bad for Wright in his current situation?

Let me break this down for you Jose. In 2007, the Mets had one of the most epic collapses in baseball history – you hit .205 in September, Wright hit .352.

The Mets followed up said that epic collapse with an encore performance – you hit .243 that September, Wright hit .340.

So Jose when you say things like:

“After a little while, you just want to win, it’s not about the money, because we are already set. We’ve got a contract and it’s now about winning. We’re not getting any younger, you know? What is he, 31? I’m 31. I want to win. So I know about that.”

“At this point, we want to win. I’m tired of being in last place. I want to play meaningful games in September. The year that we went to the playoffs in 2006, oh, man, that was an unbelievable feeling. Just every game that we played, like wow, the intensity and stuff. I loved that. We’re in a good position this year to have a good year.”

Maybe you should focus on YOUR role in the Mets recent failures rather than feeling sorry for the guy who chose to stay here and try to see things through? You are one of the reasons why the Mets are where they are. Had you performed to your ability in 2007 or 2008, things could be different yet. You’re not a victim, you’re a cause.

In fact, Reyes not only was a MAJOR factor in the 2007 and 2008 choke jobs – but he also played a major role in not one but TWO teams with HUGE expectations falling flat on their face (Miami 2012, Toronto 2013). Where was Jose’s views of the Mets in 2012 and 2013? Oh right he was too busy contributing to another failure. 

You want to feel bad for David Wright because he is here now? How did you feel when you let him and everybody down in 2007 and 2008 with a AAA performance when things were falling apart? Oh but wait, at that point you apparently were not intrigued by playoff baseball as you are now since you’re team is 40-30. I guess back then you didn’t care about meaningful games in September.

Say whatever you want about the Mets, and Sandy Alderson – but Jose Reyes CHOSE to go to a bad baseball team for the money. Yeah, the Mets could have matched it if they wanted to, but I believe Reyes wanted to leave regardless – he wanted his money, he didn’t care about winning when he signed with Miami. He cared about the paycheck.

Then you have Josh Thole, the backup catcher who only kept a job because he could catch a knuckleball. Thole couldn’t even stay in the big leagues in 2013 and now suddenly is a bit chatty since he has 18 hits in 68 plate appearances.

“It was there from ’09 through ’12 and it was ‘wait till next year, wait till next year,’ ” said catcher Josh Thole, who came to the Blue Jays in the R.A. Dickey, Travis d’Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard deal. “I always tell the guys: The hardest thing in the baseball world, in my opinion, is to play in New York for the Mets. No. 1, you have a bunch of young kids coming up. Every day, there’s something.  A story. Everything is a story there. So you can get caught up into that quickly. It’s just a tough place to play. I would say it’s been the hardest for David. He just signed that bangin’ deal. It’s just weird.”

No Josh, the hardest thing in baseball is watching you swing a bat. Stop acting like you’re some established veteran, you’re lucky to keep a big league job. You’re a backup catcher right now, and you’re 27 – keep quiet. The rest of the sentence in your quote should have read “wait till next year maybe we will find a new catcher.”

When it’s all said and done, Reyes got his money, and coincidentally he has had his three worst big league seasons since signing that contract that many of us felt he was not worth. So yet again, a guy had his career year just in time for a new contract – funny how that happens huh?

Still, the Blue Jays are leading the AL East (in a down year) – and maybe he will get his wish and play meaningful games in September (and hit .220). Good for him.

So I guess if playing for the Mets is the hardest thing in baseball, we know what the easiest thing to do in baseball is, right?

Riding the coattails of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.

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Harvey Hoping To Return In August And Make 5-7 Starts http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/harvey-hoping-to-return-in-august-and-make-5-7-starts.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/harvey-hoping-to-return-in-august-and-make-5-7-starts.html/#comments Tue, 20 May 2014 18:29:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=154845 matt harvey

May 20

Matt Harvey told Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated that he intends to pitch this season and make 5-7 starts.

“Of course, I won’t do it unless I’m cleared to do it,” he said, “but I want to pitch before the year ends. I want to make five, six, seven starts this year. I asked the training staff, ‘If I want to come back in August, when do I need to start throwing off a mound?’ They said June 10. So that’s what we have penciled in right now. That’s the plan.”

Harvey said the new version of himself will be heavier and that he has  sworn off his infamous bullpen sessions between starts, when he would throw just as intensely as if he were in a game.

“I feel great. I don’t feel any soreness now. The ball is coming out of my hand great.”

When asked how his agent Scott Boras feels about returning this season, Harvey responded: “I don’t work for Boras, he works for me.”

Harvey is expected to begin throwing from a mound within the next three weeks.

I hear a train coming…

May 10

Matt Harvey continues to make great progress in his comeback from Tommy John surgery after extending his throwing range from 90 feet to 120 feet on Friday at Citi Field.

“It was great,” Harvey said. “I think any sort of progress you’re making right now – being able to move back and throw from a greater distance – is a step in the right direction. Today was a good step for me and everything feels great. I’m just excited to move forward.”

Harvey will continue to throw from 120 feet for the next 2-3 weeks before moving back to 150 feet and then eventually throwing off a mound for the first time on June 10.

May 7

According to Kristie Ackert of the Daily News, Matt Harvey is expected to throw from 120 feet for the first time on Friday.

“I feel great,” Harvey said after throwing in the outfield before last night’s game against the Marlins.

The 25-year-old confirmed his immediate goal is to get back on a mound “by the beginning or middle of June.”

“Everything in my program, that I am doing now is geared toward that,” Harvey said. “It could change, but that’s what my plan is.”

Harvey rejoined the team for this series and will fly back to New York with them on Wednesday night.

It’s pretty amazing how well he has been progressing. It’s no secret that the 2013 All Star is determined to pitch again this season, despite the team’s preference he waits until 2015.

Presented By Diehards

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MMO Game Thread: Phillies vs Mets, 7:10 PM (SNY) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mmo-game-thread-phillies-vs-mets-710-pm-sny.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mmo-game-thread-phillies-vs-mets-710-pm-sny.html/#comments Fri, 09 May 2014 21:44:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=155194 wilmer-flores-2013-bm

The Mets are back at Citi Field for the opener of a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies beginning tonight at 7:10 PM.

Jenrry Mejia (3-0, 5.23) starts for the Mets and will oppose right-hander Roberto Hernandez (2-1, 4.50) for the Phillies.

The Mets will play 16 of their next 19 games in the Big Apple and are 8-5 in their last 13 home games after starting the year 0-3.

New York was shut out in consecutive games in Miami, losing 3-0 on May 6 and 1-0 on May 7. The last time the Mets were shut out in consecutive games was July 15-16, 2010 at San Francisco.

The Mets were held scoreless over the last 23.0 innings of the Marlins series, the longest scoreless streak for the team since July 15-17, 2010 when they went 24.0 innings without a run.

Wilmer Flores will start at shortstop tonight, while Travis d’Arnaud has been dropped to eighth in the lineup by Terry Collins.

Flores had 11 RBI in his first 11 major league games last year, tied for the highest total through a player’s first 11 games in franchise history with Jose Reyes.

Anthony DiComo reports Lucas Duda is very sick with a stomach bug. and is In the hospital getting IV fluids. Obviously, he is unavailable tonight.

Starting Lineup

  1. Juan Lagares – CF
  2. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Curtis Granderson - RF
  5. Chris Young – LF
  6. Josh Satin – 1B
  7. Wilmer Flores – SS
  8. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  9. Jenrry Mejia – RHP 

Game Preview

The Mets try to get back in a winning pattern and back to .500 tonight as they welcome the Phillies into Queens. It was a tough three days in Miami that saw the Mets lose two games in a walk-off fashion and one where Alvarez, the Marlins starter, just ripped through the Mets lineup. The Mets do look slightly different today as Omar has been DFA’s and Wilmer Flores has been called up.

Jenrry Mejia looks to put his terrible start in Colorado behind him tonight. On the season he now has a 5.23 ERA over 32.2 innings. It is his last two starts though that are crushing him. On 4/26 he allowed 6 ER over 5.2 innings to the Marlins thanks to one inning where he fell apart. In Denver he allowed 8 ER over 4.1 innings, and it was the same situation. The last time Jenrry faced the Phillies was in 2012 where he allowed three hits and no runs over one inning of relief. The Phillies have the following numbers against him:

  • Byrd 2-3, 2B
  • Howard 1-3, HR
  • Utley 0-2
  • Ruiz 2-2
  • Brown 1-1
  • Mayberry 0-1

The Mets batters will get their first look at Phillies starter Robert Hernandez who is 2-1 this season with a 4.50 ERA over 7 games and 6 starts logging 34.0 innings. Hernandez was signed as a free agent last year and is coming off of his best start of the season where he allowed 4 hits and no runs over 7.1 innings. Before that, he had only one quality start on the season. The Mets have the following numbers against him:

  • Granderson 17-41, 3 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, .500 OBP, .854 SLG
  • Abreu 5-23
  • Recker 1-2, 2B
  • C Young 0-3

Lets Go Mets!

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Marlins, 7:10 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-marlins-710-pm-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-marlins-710-pm-2.html/#comments Tue, 06 May 2014 19:59:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=154999 USATSI bartolo colon

The Mets will try to even up the series when they on the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at 7:10 PM at Marlins Park. Bartolo Colon (2-4, 5.65 ERA) takes the mound for the Mets and will be opposed by Henderson Alvarez (1-2, 3.28 ERA) for the Fish.

Colon tossed 4.2 innings and allowed 10 hits and seven earned runs against the Rockies in his last start. The veteran righthander has allowed 48 hits and 23 earned runs over his first six starts as a Met. He has never allowed more earned runs over his first six starts of a season in his 17 year career.

Juan Lagares had his career-high 13-game hitting streak snapped last night when he came in as a late defensive replacement and then popped out in his only at-bat. The streak was the longest by a Mets player in his first or second  season in the majors since David Wright had a 15-game  hitting streak in July 2005. Lagares hit .339 (19-56) during the streak.

The Mets bullpen is 5-5 with a 4.27 ERA which ranks 13th in the National League. The pen has allowed 10 earned runs in its last 12.1 innings (7.30 ERA). They now have seven blown saves in 13 save opportunities, the 28th worst save percentage in the majors.

Starting Lineup

  1. Juan Lagares – CF
  2. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Curtis Granderson – RF
  5. Chris Young – LF
  6. Lucas Duda – 1B
  7. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  8. Ruben Tejada – SS
  9. Bartolo Colon – RHP

Game Preview

The Mets had a frustrating night in Miami yesterday. They went up 3-0 early but saw the 3-0 lead slip to 3-3 in the bottom of the 8th. One bad inning from the pen, which for the most part has been quite good this year, erased Niese’s night. To some degree, it was amazing in the 8th the Mets only allowed 3 runs. Sadly the Mets couldn’t keep the door open in the 9th as the Marlins walked off with the W. Colon will get the start for the Mets today as he faces off against Henderson Alvarez.

Colon struggled in his last start with his record falling to 2-4 with a 5.65 ERA over 6 starts pitching 36.2 innings with 23 earned runs. However when his last start (7 ER, 4.2 innings) and the start are removed, he has allowed only 7 ER over 28 innings, so when he was bad, he’s bad, when he’s good, he’s good. In his career he is 2-1 against the Marlins over 19.0 innings with a 4.26 ERA. The Marlins have the following numbers against Colon:

  • R Johnsons 4-14
  • Salty 4-15, 2B, HR
  • Jones 0-2
  • Mathis 0-3

Henderson Alvarez is 1-2 over 6 starts and 35.2 innings this year with a 3.28 ERA. In his last two starts he has allowed 6 ER over 12.0 innings of work including 2 ER over 6.0 innings against the Mets back on 4/25. The Mets have the following numbers against the Henderson:

  • Granderson 3-15, 2B
  • Murphy 2-12, 2B
  • E Young 2-9, 3B
  • L Duda 1-9
  • Wright 4-9, 2B
  • d’Arnaud 3-6

Lets Go Mets!

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Marlins, 7:10 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-marlins-710-pm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-marlins-710-pm.html/#comments Mon, 05 May 2014 21:48:37 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=154921 jon-niese

The Mets conclude their road trip with a three-game set against the Miami Marlins beginning tonight at 7:10 PM. Miami owns the best home record in the majors at 14-5 at Marlins Park this season. Jon Niese (2-2, 2.20 ERA) opposes right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (2-1, 2.58) in the series opener. 

Niese has pitched nine consecutive starts allowing three runs or less, tied for the ninth-longest active streak in the majors. He has gone 4-3 with a 2.59 ERA (17 earned runs/59.0 innings) over this streak, which began on September 13 of last season.

Mets pitchers are 0-for-51 at the plate this season, setting a new major league record.

New York is one game out of first place in the National League East. The last time the Mets were this close to first place on May 5 was in 2010 when the club was a half-game out of first.

Juan Lagares extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games going 3-5 yesterday. The streak is the second-longest current streak in the majors, behind Colorado’s Nolan Arenado
(22 games).

Curtis Granderson has hit in five straight contests, going 7-19 (.368) with four runs scored and five RBI during that stretch. Granderson has at least one hit in eight of his last 10 games (10-35, .268) and has scored six runs in his last seven games.

Chris Young has at least one hit in six straight games, batting .409 with six RBI. He has at least one hit nine of his last 11 starts and is hitting .421 (8-19) with seven runs scored, three doubles, four RBI and two stolen bases on this road trip.

Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young, Jr. – LF
  2. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Curtis Granderson – CF
  5. Bobby Abreu – RF
  6. Lucas Duda – 1B
  7. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  8. Omar Quintanilla – SS
  9. Jonathon Niese – LHP

Game Preview

The Mets were able to escape Denver with a win and now head into Miami two games above .500 in an incredibly close NL East. The Marlins continued their stark home / away split since playing the Mets earlier in the season sweeping the Braves at home and taking the series from the Dodgers. This led to the Braves actually accusing the Marlins of stealing signs because of the home and away hitting splits, especially in a pitcher friendly ball park. Anyway, the Mets look for Jon Niese to keep building off what Dillon Gee built yesterday as they take on Nathan Eovaldi.

Jon Niese is 2-2 over 5 games and 32.2 innings with a 2.20 ERA. Jon’s last game was a gem in Philly where he pitched 7.0 innings allowing 4 hits and one earned run while striking out 5 after a rain delayed game. In his last three starts he has pitched 19.2 innings allowing 3 ER, which is a 1.37 ERA. Last year he tossed a 2.84 ERA over three starts and 19.0 innings against the Marlins who have the following numbers against him:

  • Stanton 7-18, 2 HR
  • R Johnson 7-18
  • Baker 6-12, 2B
  • Solano 4-11, 2 2B
  • Hechavarria 2-8
  • McGehee 1-7
  • Lucas 3-6, 2B

Eovaldi is 2-1 over 6 games with a 2.58 ERA and 38.1 innings. He allowed 2 ER over 6.0 innings in one start against the Mets last year. The year before that he faced the Mets four times with a 1-2 record and a 3.74 ERA. The Mets have the following numbers against Nathan:

  • Wrifht 4-14, 2B
  • Murphy 4-11, 2 2B
  • Tejada 2-10
  • Duda 2-8
  • Lagares 3-3, 2B

Lets Go Mets!

Presented By Diehards

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Lost In Translation: Zack Wheeler Stands and Delivers http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/lost-in-translation-zack-wheeler-stands-and-delivers.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/lost-in-translation-zack-wheeler-stands-and-delivers.html/#comments Mon, 28 Apr 2014 15:47:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=154268 wheeler

What an incredible start to the Mets season as they head to Philadelphia with a 14-11 record, good enough for second place in the very tough National League East.

The hits have been scant, the runs have been scarce, but this team keeps chugging along. “If you have the pitching, anything can happen,” David Wright said after Sunday’s win over the Marlins. “You don’t necessarily need a juggernaut offense to win games.”

For the first time since they left Big Shea for ultra-modern Citi Field, the Mets are playing the kind of baseball their new park was built for – Pitching, Speed and Defense. What an incredibly novel approach, right?

So far, the Mets seem to possess an embarrassment of riches in the rotation, with some clutch performances from Bartolo Colon, Jon Niese, Jenrry Mejia and yesterday’s hero, Dillon Gee.

But lost in all the hubbub was what might have been an incredible breakthrough performance by our young righthander, Zack Wheeler.

Hidden behind Wheeler’s no-decision on Friday was a dominant six-inning effort, and by far his best outing of the season.

Wheeler held the Marlins to one run, while allowing just four singles and three walks, and striking out 10. It was only the second double-digit strikeout performance of his career and his first one this season.

More important than the number of strikeouts was when Wheeler got them ,which was when he needed them the most.

“You know you’ve got to make big pitches at certain points in the game. That’s what I did,” said Wheeler after the game.

I loved the way he battled the Marlins throughout the game, and for me the highlight of his performance was when he got in trouble in the sixth and final inning. After singles by Casey McGehee and Garrett Jones put runners on first and third with one out, Wheeler dug deep within himself and fanned the next two batters Derek Dietrich and Adeiny Hechavarria to escape the jam. “That’s a big part of my game, bearing down when I have to,”

The moment wasn’t lost on manager Terry Collins.

“That was a big inning for him,” Collins said. “There are times when you grow in the game when you’re faced with some situations where you have to reach down inside and get out of it.”

Great outing, great game, great series, great homestand. Let’s go take it to the Phillies.

button simplyamazing

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Marlins To Sign Jordany Valdespin To Minor League Deal http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/marlins-to-sign-jordany-valdespin-to-minor-league-deal.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/marlins-to-sign-jordany-valdespin-to-minor-league-deal.html/#comments Fri, 20 Dec 2013 20:00:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=135964 Jordany Valdespin intends to sign a minor league deal with the Miami Marlins says Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.

Valdespin was non-tendered by the Mets earlier this month following a 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal as well as a laundry list of other dramas both on and off the field.

Among the many escapades of the 25-year old, self-proclaimed “man”, was last winter when ironically enough, Valdespin posted a photograph of himself wearing a Miami Marlins cap.

Now however; he’ll be presumably donning a New Orleans Zephyrs cap, the Marlins’ Triple-A affiliate.

jordany valdespin

I’m the minor league man right now.

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How Does Curtis Granderson Fare Against The NL East? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/how-does-curtis-granderson-fare-against-the-nl-east.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/how-does-curtis-granderson-fare-against-the-nl-east.html/#comments Sun, 08 Dec 2013 17:30:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134773 curtis granderson_b2_576

The Mets signed Curtis Granderson Friday to a four year, $60 million deal. One thing is for sure, he can hit. But there’s only one problem with that. Granderson has played his whole career thus far in the American League, revealing uncertainty when it comes to facing the National League. Let’s take a look at how he has fared against the NL East and where his 43 2012 home runs would have landed in opponents’ ballparks.

Philadelphia Phillies

Arguably the Mets biggest rival in the division, Curtis Granderson has hit Phillies pitchers decently. He has compiled a career .258 against current Philadelphia pitchers with three home runs. Granderson has faced Cliff Lee 42 times and hit safely 12 times, with two doubles and a homer. He has matched up with Jonathan Papelbon 18 times and is 4 for 18 with two home runs against him. Granderson has yet to get hits off Mike Adams and Kyle Kendrick, who he has faced collectively four times. In terms of hitting home runs at Citizens Bank Ballpark, only one of Granderson’s 43 long balls would not have been ruled a homer in Philadelphia.

Miami Marlins

Curtis Granderson has hit fairly well in his career against current Marlins pitchers, hitting .387 against them. Granderson is 6 for 16 against Kevin Slowey with a home run, and 3 for 12 against Henderson Alvarez. It will be interesting to see how Granderson will do against the 2013 NL Rookie of the Year, Jose Fernandez, for the first time. As for hitting in the spacious Marlins Ballpark, seven of his 2012 home runs would not have cleared the fence in Miami. This includes six that went over 350 feet.

Washington Nationals

Curtis Granderson hasn’t faced Stephen Strasburg yet, but he has faced Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, and newcomer Doug Fister. Granderson is 2 for 16 against Gonzalez, but that does include a home run and two runs batted in. Similarly, he is 1 for 6 against Fister with one home run. In total, Granderson is 3 for 31 (.097) against Nationals pitchers with 11 strikeouts. Six of his 2012 home runs would not have cleared the Nationals Park fences.

Atlanta Braves

Granderson is hitting .308 in his career against current Braves pitchers. He is 1 for 6 against Mike Minor, but 2 for 2 against tough reliever Jonny Venters. Granderson has not recorded a hit in four at bats against Craig Kimbrel, Kris Medlen, and Jordan Walden, collectively. Of his 2012 home runs, eight would not have been home runs at Turner Field, the majority of these coming in right-center field. Granderson has not faced the Braves much in his career, so we shall see how it plays out.

Playing in the AL, Curtis Granderson has not had much exposure to National League pitching, with the exception of Cliff Lee (Cleveland, Seattle) and Gio Gonzalez (Oakland). The Mets begin 2014 with a series at home against the Nationals, as they also play the Braves and Marlins at home. The Mets will visit Atlanta and Philidelphia during the course of April as well.

(All of the information used in this post was courtesy of espn.com and hittrackeronline.com)

Presented By Diehards

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Hot Stove News: Nationals Sign Nate McLouth To Two-Year Deal http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/hot-stove-news-nationals-sign-nate-mclouth-to-one-year-deal.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/hot-stove-news-nationals-sign-nate-mclouth-to-one-year-deal.html/#comments Fri, 06 Dec 2013 23:36:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134642 mclouth_0

Nats Sign Nate McLouth

The Nationals agreed to terms on a two-year deal with free agent outfielder and left-handed hitter Nate McLouth, according to the Washington Post. McLouth spent most of the past two seasons serving as Baltimore’s primary left fielder last season.

McLouth, 32, played 146 games for the Orioles and posted a .258/.329/.400 slash with a .729 OPS. McLouth boasts a career .334 on-base percentage and won a Gold Glove for his center field play for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2008. He hit 12 home runs in 2013, and hit 46 between 2008 and 2009 when he played everyday. He’ll likely fill a 4th outfielder role with the Nats behind Harper, Span and Werth.

Garrett+Jones

Garrett Jones To The Marlins

The Marlins have agreed to terms on a two-year, $7.5 million deal with free agent first baseman Garrett Jones, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

MLB Trade Rumors reports the terms of the deal as $2.5 million for 2014 and $5 million for the 2015 season.

Jones, 32, batted .233/.289/.419 with 15 home runs in 144 games for the Pirates last season. The outfielder/first baseman slugged 27 homers the previous season.

Report suggest that this signing could be a precursor to a trade involving Logan Morrison, the Marlins’ incumbent first baseman and the subject of many trade rumors.

JP Arencibia

Arencibia Inks Deal With Rangers

The Rangers and catcher J.P. Arencibia have agreed to a one year deal worth about $1.8 million dollars with an additional $300K in incentives, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Arencibia, 27, had an awful season in 2013 batting .194/.227/.365  with a 59 OPS+ and a .592 OPS. He did wallop 21 home runs but did more damage than good offensively.

CBS Sports says that his on-base percentage was the lowest in baseball history among players to hit 20+ homers in a season.

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Marlins Agree On Three-Year Deal With Jarrod Saltalamacchia http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/marlins-agree-on-three-year-deal-with-jarrod-saltalamacchia.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/marlins-agree-on-three-year-deal-with-jarrod-saltalamacchia.html/#comments Wed, 04 Dec 2013 00:13:31 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134404 jarrod saltalamacchiaThe Miami Marlins have agreed to a three-year, $21 million contract with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, according to Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel.

Saltalamacchia, 28, is coming off of a solid season, his second as an everyday catcher.

With Brian McCann signed last week by the New York Yankees, Salty was the top available catcher and he fills one of the primary needs for the Marlins who wanted a veteran catcher to handle their young rotation headlined by phenom Jose Fernandez.

The switch-hitting backstop batted .273/.338/.466 last season with 40 doubles, 14 homers and 65 RBI in  425 at-bats for the Red Sox.

The Marlins will not have to give up a draft pick as the Red Sox did not extend Salty a qualifying offer.

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Dodgers Sign Dan Haren To One Year Deal, Marlins Interested In Phil Hughes http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/dodgers-sign-dan-haren-to-one-year-deal-marlins-interested-in-phil-hughes.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/dodgers-sign-dan-haren-to-one-year-deal-marlins-interested-in-phil-hughes.html/#comments Mon, 25 Nov 2013 04:18:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133715 MLB: Washington Nationals at Milwaukee Brewers

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports the Los Angeles Dodgers agreed to a one-year, $10 million contract with free agent righthander Dan Haren. The deal includes an option for 2015 that vests if Haren throws 180 innings next season.

Haren, 33, struggled last season going 10-14 with a 4.67 ERA in 169.2 innings for the Washington Nationals. The veteran starter missed three weeks of the season with shoulder inflammation, but was dominant for the Nats after his return from the DL, posting a 3.29 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in last 87.2 innings.

The Dodgers will likely slot Haren behind Clayton KershawZack Greinke and Hyun-jin Ryu in what will be a formidable starting rotation, with Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley battling it out for the fifth spot.

*Aug 08 - 00:05*

The Miami Marlins have contacted free agent pitcher Phil Hughes and there’s a good chance that Hughes may be very interested in the Marlins who play in the most pitcher-friendly stadium in the major leagues.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald also reported that the Marlins often like to pursue players who had one bad year after a good one, hoping to get them at a reasonable price.

The 27-year old righthander will be looking for a one-year deal to reestablish his value after going 4-14 with a 5.19 ERA in 2013 with the Yankees.

There’s also some reported interest from the Twins, Royals and Mets, however as far as the Amazins’ go their interest is deemed tepid at best and less than Curtis Granderson.

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