Mets Merized Online » Mike Pelfrey http://metsmerizedonline.com Fri, 02 Dec 2016 22:21:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.16 Michael Fulmer Making Most Of Opportunity http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/michael-fulmer-making-most-of-opportunity.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/michael-fulmer-making-most-of-opportunity.html/#comments Fri, 03 Jun 2016 14:25:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=213790 michael fulmer 2

Steven Matz leads all rookie pitchers in wins, strikeouts, walks per nine, and WAR, clearly an early front runner for National League Rookie of the Year. In the American League, another starting pitcher looks to make his case for the award, and is a familiar name for most Met fans.

Michael Fulmer, 23, one of the arms dealt to the Detroit Tigers last season for Yoenis Cespedes, is having a very good start to his rookie campaign. Since making his Major League debut on April 29th, Fulmer has gone 5-1 with a 3.24 earned run average in seven starts. Fulmer boasts an arsenal of four pitches, four-seam and two-seam fastballs, change-up, and a slider. The hard throwing right-hander sits in the low to mid nineties with his fastball, averaging 95.08 on his two-seam fastball, almost three miles per hour faster then the MLB average.

Taking a look at the rookie starting pitcher league leaders, Fulmer is currently ranked second in wins behind Matz with five, third in strikeouts per nine (9.50), fourth in earned run average (3.24), fourth in swinging strike percentage (11.0%), and fifth in WAR (0.7). And remember, Fulmer didn’t make his debut until the end of April, so he’s two to three starts behind guys like Matz and Kenta Maeda.

Fulmer has been getting progressively stronger in his most recent outings, going at least seven innings in his last three starts against the Rays, Athletics, and Angels. His most recent performance on June 1st was exceptionally strong, throwing a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Angels on the road. His final line for the day was 7 2/3 innings, giving up two hits, walking two, and striking out eight, including a pair against All-Star Mike Trout, and one against pinch-hitter Albert Pujols.

Fulmer currently has a scoreless innings streak of 16.1 innings, and he’s only the second Tigers pitcher in history to have back to back starts with seven or more shutout innings, the last was Mickey Lolich back in 1968.

michael fulmer

Fulmer’s success shouldn’t come as a surprise to Mets fans, as he was highly regarded during his tenure with the club. Especially last season, when Fulmer was named the Double-A Eastern League pitcher of the year, and put up tremendous numbers in Double A Binghamton, going 6-2 in 15 starts with a minuscule 1.88 earned run average, and a 1.12 WHIP. When the Mets were looking to upgrade with a power bat before the trade deadline, Fulmer’s name came up with Detroit, who were looking to add prospects and concede that their season was over.

Fulmer finished out the 2015 season with Detroit’s Double A affiliate the Erie Seawolves, and went 4-1 in six starts, with a 2.84 earned run average, and averaged more than a strikeout-per-inning. He made three starts in their Triple A affiliate this year before getting the call in late April for the injured Shane Greene.

Fulmer already has a big fan in his teammate and former Cy Young award winner, Justin Verlander.

“I liked his mentality on the mound,” Verlander said. “He’s not scared and I love his stuff. He pitches, attacks guys, and I think he’s got a chance to be an excellent pitcher at the big league level.” (Detroit Free Press)

Fulmer has emerged as the Tigers number three starter, after Anibal Sanchez was demoted from the rotation and another former Met, Mike Pelfrey, continues to struggle with a near 5.00 earned run average and a 1.77 WHIP. Manager Brad Ausmus has been so impressed by Fulmer and his poise on the mound, he likened his mentality to that of a young Roy Oswalt.

“He’s not afraid of (guys) stepping into the batter’s box,” Ausmus said. “The environment doesn’t seem to bother him. I think it’s his makeup. He’s got good stuff.”

While Fulmer is having a breakout rookie performance with the Tigers, this is a trade the GM Sandy Alderson would make again and again, after witnessing what Yoenis Cespedes can do for a team and its lineup.

Cespedes is currently on pace for his best statistical season yet, and has been one of the more consistent contributors to the Mets lineup this year. This might turn out to be a rare trade where both sides got a good return. I’m sure I speak for most of us when I wish Michael success in his big league career.

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Game Thread: Mets vs Tigers 1:10 PM, Mets at Cardinals 1:05 PM (Let’s Play Two!) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/game-thread-mets-vs-tigers-110-pm-mets-at-cardinals-105-pm-lets-play-two.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/game-thread-mets-vs-tigers-110-pm-mets-at-cardinals-105-pm-lets-play-two.html/#comments Mon, 07 Mar 2016 15:11:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=207421 steven matz

Bartolo Colon and Steven Matz will make their spring debuts on Monday as the New York Mets play a pair of split squad games this afternoon.

Colon will pitch in Port St. Lucie against former Met Mike Pelfrey and the Detroit Tigers at 1:10 PM.

Steven Matz will take the mound against Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals in Jupiter at 1:05 PM.

Mets at Cardinals (WOR, MLB.tv)

  1. Dilson Herrera, 2B
  2. Ruben Tejada, 3B
  3. Michael Conforto, LF
  4. Kevin Plawecki, C
  5. Marc Krauss, 1B
  6. Matt Reynolds, SS
  7. Daniel Muno, DH
  8. Travis Taijeron, RF
  9. Ty Kelly, CF

Mets vs Tigers (SNY)

  1. Alejandro De Aza, CF
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
  3. Yoenis Cespedes, DH
  4. Lucas Duda, 1B
  5. Neil Walker, 2B
  6. Wilmer Flores, 3B
  7. Travis d’Arnaud, C
  8. Eric Campbell, LF
  9. Wuilmer Becerra, RF

Enjoy the games and Let’s Go Mets!

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The Best and Worst Hitting Pitchers in Mets History http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/the-best-and-worst-hitting-pitchers-in-mets-history.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/the-best-and-worst-hitting-pitchers-in-mets-history.html/#comments Sat, 04 Jan 2014 15:00:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134881 In the National League, the pitcher’s spot comes up to the plate once every nine batters. A good hitting pitcher can help himself out with the bat. So who are the best hitting pitchers the Mets have seen in their history? Let’s take a look at the 10 Best Hitting Pitchers in Mets History (minimum 100 at bats).

dwight-gooden

10. Jonathon Niese – .167 batting average – 35 hits with 2 doubles, 1 triple and 10 RBI. He also has 22 walks and a .246 OBP.

9. Tug McGraw – .172 batting average as a Met – in the Orange and Blue, Tug had 27 hits with 6 doubles, 1 HR and 15 RBI with a .216 OBP.

8. Rick Reed – .173 batting average as a Met. He had 44 hits with 8 doubles, 2 HR and 21 RBI, and a .201 OBP.

7. R.A. Dickey – .176 average as a Met. He had 32 hits with 2 doubles and 10 RBI to go with a .198 OBP.

6. Tom Glavine – .189 as a Met. 53 Mets hits with 5 doubles, 20 RBI and a .265 OBP.

5. Sid Fernandez – .190 as a Met. 94 Mets hits with 14 doubles, 2 triples, 1 HR, 31 RBI and a .211 OBP.

4. Dwight Gooden – .197 as a Met. 144 Mets hits with 15 doubles, 5 triples, 7 HR, 65 RBI and a .213 OBP.

3. Rick Aguilera – .203 as a Met. 28 Mets hits with 3 doubles, 3 HR, 11 RBI and a .236 OBP.

2. Jay Hook – .209 as a Met. 23 Mets hits with 1 double, 6 RBI and a .273 OBP.

1. Ray Sadecki – .213 as a Met. 34 hits as a Met with 2 doubles, 9 RBI and a .236 OBP.

On the flip side, who are the pitchers with the lowest batting averages in Mets history?

glendon-rusch

10. Mike Scott – .100 as a Met. 11 Mets hits with 4 doubles, 5 RBI and 52 K’s in 110 AB.

9. Pat Zachry – .099 as a Met. 22 Mets hits with 4 RBI and 89 K’s in 223 AB.

7. Mike Pelfrey – .098 as a Met. 26 hits with 5 doubles, 12 RBI and 70 K’s in 264 AB.

7. Jim McAndrew – .098 as a Met. 19 Mets hits with 6 doubles, 9 RBI and 82 K’s in 194 AB.

6. John Maine – .096 as a Met. 16 Mets hits with 1 double, 1 HR, 8 RBI and 84 K’s in 166 AB.

5. Gary Gentry – .090 as a Met. 20 Mets hits with 4 doubles, 9 RBI and 155 K’s in 249 AB.

4. Al Leiter – .084 as a Met. 33 Mets hits with 7 doubles, 1 triple, 14 RBI and 208 K’s in 394 AB.

3. Roger Craig – .069 as a Met. 10 Mets hits with 2 RBI with 72 K’s in 145 AB.

2. Glendon Rusch – .058 as a Met. 6 Mets hits with 6 RBI and 42 K’s in 104 AB.

1. Mark Clark – .045 as a Met. 5 Mets hits with 1 double, 1 HR, 4 RBI and 45 K’s in 112 AB.

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Mets Bring Back Jeremy Hefner http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mets-bring-back-jeremy-hefner.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mets-bring-back-jeremy-hefner.html/#comments Tue, 10 Dec 2013 22:53:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134422 jeremy hefner

The Mets have re-signed starting pitcher Jeremy Hefner, reports Anthony DiComo.

The deal is for a minor-league contract and will allow the Mets to retain control of Hefner at a reduced salary while he rehabs from Tommy John surgery.

Hefner will likely miss a good portion if not all of 2014.

Great move though, nice to see Hefner back…

Original Post

Jeremy Hefner being non-tendered doesn’t sit too well with me.  It has nothing to do with performance.  It’s the human element.

I know it’s hard to feel bad for someone who had a half-million dollar a year salary, but of the five players that were non-tendered by the team on Monday, Jeremy’s cut is the one that stings the most.

Justin Turner, Scott Atchison, and Omar Quintanilla were arbitration eligible and are of sound mind and body to be able to seek gainful employment in 2014.  Jordany Valdespin… well, what’s there not to say about Jordany. He needed to go.  He can be “The Man” somewhere else… if anyone will have him.

But then there’s Jeremy.

Had he been a veteran player who had already made his fortune in the game when he hurt his arm and was facing a year of unemployment – I wouldn’t feel bad.  I didn’t feel bad when the Mets non-tendered Mike Pelfrey – he had already made more than $14 million in the game.  But Jeremy?  He’s a pre-arbitration eligible player that played in the majors in 2012 and 2013 with just under two years of major league service time.

So what? Injuries happen all the time, right?

Here’s where the bleeding heart liberal in me kicks in.  Hmmm… he got hurt on the job.  So rather than keep him in the fold and pay him the minimum wage when he’s rehabbing the injury he suffered while in your employment, you fire his rear end while he’s not in any position to be able to find work.

Now maybe the Mets will sign him to a minor league contract for 2014 so they can keep a close eye on his rehab to see what he has for 2015.  Even if they throw him a bone and do that, i’m sure it wouldn’t be at a major league salary – so he’d be getting a pay cut for getting hurt on the job.  Oh, and because he’d be re-signed on a minor league contract – he’s not racking up the major league service time.

Maybe another team will look to sign him to a minor league deal so they can have him in their fold for when he’s ready to return to live action in 2015.  Maybe he’ll even get another team to sign him to a major league contract for next year so they have him under control going forward.  Or maybe he won’t get another shot because a whole new round of hungry youngsters moved up the ladder while he was away.  Regardless, it just doesn’t sit well…

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The 10 Worst Mets Pitching Staffs Since 1980 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/the-10-worst-mets-pitching-staffs-since-1980.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/the-10-worst-mets-pitching-staffs-since-1980.html/#comments Fri, 06 Dec 2013 02:39:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133704 bret saberhagen_display_image

Since we’ve already covered the 10 best and worst offenses since 1980, and the 10 best pitching staffs since 1980, it’s only fitting that we take a look at the 10 worst pitching staffs since 1980.  While the mid-to-late 80s and into the early 90s were the renaissance of Mets pitching, all of the bottom 10 performances have been after 1992.

Ten Most Runs Allowed Since 1980

1)    1996 – 779 runs – 4.81/game

2)    2009 – 757 runs – 4.67/game

3)    2003 – 754 runs – 4.68/game

4)    1994 – 754 runs* – 4.65/game

5)    2007 – 750 runs – 4.63/game

6)    1993 – 744 runs – 4.59/game

7)    2011 – 742 runs – 4.58/game

8)    2000 – 738 runs – 4.56/game

9)    2006 – 731 runs – 4.51/game

10)   2004 – 731 runs – 4.51/game

*The 1994 season was cut short by the player strike.  The Mets only played 113 games, allowing 526 runs.  Over a 162 game schedule, this is prorated to 754 runs.

Right after the eight year stretch of 1985-1992 which saw 7 of the 10 best 10 pitching squads since the 80s, the following 4 years immediately thereafter saw 3 of the worst 4.  The National League championship squad was among the bottom 10, but that team was also among the top 10 in runs scored.

So who were the starting rotations on these bottom 10 squads? (the top 5 starters in terms of games started are listed – in 1993/1994, two pitchers were tied in the #5 spot).  Before passing any blanket judgments on these rotations for being in the bottom 10 - let’s remember that after the 80s we saw the rise of the middle relief pitcher where the bullpen began eating up more innings (and along with it, middle relievers that may not have been in the major leagues in years past).  This top 10 list is comprised of the collective staffs of the teams that allowed the most runs.

1993 – Dwight Gooden, Frank Tanana, Eric Hillman, Bret Saberhagen, Sid Fernandez/Pete Schourek

1994 – Bret Saberhagen, Bobby Jones, Pete Smith, Mike Remlinger, Jason Jacome/Mauro Gozzo

1996 – Mark Clark, Bobby Jones, Pete Harnisch, Jason Isringhausen, Paul Wilson

2000 – Mike Hampton, Al Leiter, Glendon Rusch, Rick Reed, Bobby Jones

2003 – Steve Trachsel, Jae Weong Seo, Tom Glavine, Al Leiter, Aaron Heilman

2004 – Tom Glavine, Steve Trachsel, Al Leiter, Jae Weong Seo, Matt Ginter

2006 – Tom Glavine, Steve Trachsel, Pedro Martinez, Orlando Hernandez, John Maine

2007 – Tom Glavine, John Maine, Oliver Perez, Orlando Hernandez, Mike Pelfrey

2009 – Mike Pelfrey, Johan Santana, Livan Hernandez, Tim Redding, John Maine

2011 – R.A. Dickey, Mike Pelfrey, Chris Capuano, Dillon Gee, Jon Niese

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Is It Time For A Mike Pelfrey Encore? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/is-it-time-for-a-mike-pelfrey-encore.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/is-it-time-for-a-mike-pelfrey-encore.html/#comments Thu, 07 Nov 2013 18:36:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132427 Washington Nationals v New York MetsCould the New York Mets’ desperate need for starting pitching lead them back to Mike Pelfrey?

Seriously. Should GM Sandy Alderson decided there’s not much in the free-agent market, and with the Twins moving faster than the Mets regarding Bronson Arroyo, there are probably worse ideas than re-signing Pelfrey.

Pelfrey, released by the Twins, made $4 million last year, so whatever the price it isn’t outlandish for a fifth starter. Pelfrey might also fit in the bullpen, where the Mets contemplated using him in 2007.

The numbers said Pelfrey had a miserable 2013 season, going 5-13 with a 5.19 ERA and 1.552 WHIP. On the plus side, the elbow injury that sidelined him for all but three starts in 2012 appears to be fine as he did make 29 starts and worked 152.2 innings, would is an acceptable workload for a No. 5 starter.There can be numerous reasons for his poor record, including: 1) getting acclimated to a new league, 2) pitching against the designated hitter, 3) pitching in a park with friendlier dimensions than Citi Field, 4) rebounding from the injury, 5) being away from Dan Warthen, a pitching coach he trusts and one who appeared to straighten him out prior to the injury.

There’s also the potential that at age 29 he’s already washed up and is just bad. You have to consider all the possibilities.

Even so, the market doesn’t appear to be hot for Pelfrey, but at 29 he’s young enough to where he can turn it around.

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The 2010 Mets: Where Are They Now? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/the-2010-mets-where-are-they-now.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/the-2010-mets-where-are-they-now.html/#comments Thu, 29 Aug 2013 23:58:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=128129 jose-reyes-mets-2012

If you are a Mets fan, you know that David Wright is still with team, or that Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran are in Toronto and St. Louis, respectively. But what happened to guys like Nick Evans or Rod Barajas? We have the answers.

11 Players who made it into a game in 2010 with the Mets, are still employed by the team. That would be the aforementioned David Wright, Ike Davis, Ruben Tejada (Although he is currently with Triple-A Las Vegas, he is still on the Mets payroll), Lucas Duda, Justin Turner, Jon Niese, Pedro Feliciano (Although he made another stop in the Bronx, he is with the Mets once again), Bobby Parnell, Dillon Gee, Johan Santana, and Jenrry Mejia.

10 players are employed by another Major League team. That would be Jose Reyes, Angel Pagan, Beltran, Josh Thole, Henry Blanco, Joaquin Arias, Mike Pelfrey, R.A. Dickey, Francisco Rodriguez, and Oliver Perez.

MLB: SEP 22 Mets v Marlins

As you may know, Jose Reyes was traded from the Miami Marlins to the Toronto Blue Jays this past offseason in a blockbuster deal involving Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, and now former Met, John Buck. Reyes now puts on his uniform in the same locker room as R.A. Dickey and Josh Thole, who were traded together this past offseason from the Mets for Travis d’Arnaud, Buck, and Noah Syndergaard (don’t forget Wuilmer Beccera!). Angel Pagan was traded to the San Francisco Giants prior to the 2012 season for outfielder Andres Torres and pitcher Ramon Ramirez who have both since played again for the team they were traded from.

Carlos Beltran was traded at the deadline in 2011 to the Giants for Zack Wheeler, but has since made his home in St. Louis playing for the Cardinals, where he has enjoyed a couple of very nice seasons, including an All Star appearance this summer. Henry Blanco, who served as the Mets backup catcher in 2010, beat out Josh Thole for the same position on this year’s Toronto Blue Jays team, but was released and then signed by the Seattle Mariners who made the corresponding move by releasing 2012 Met alumni, Kelly Shoppach. Blanco played in Arizona for the Diamondbacks in 2011 and 2012.

Joaquin Arias, of whom the Mets received for Jeff Francoeur late in the 2010 season, played for the Kansas City Royals in 2011, and was then given a championship ring after serving as Pablo Sandoval‘s ninth inning defensive replacement in 2012 for the San Francisco Giants. He has been a key hitter off the bench for the Giants in 2013. Mike Pelfrey, after failing to play a month in the 2012 season, was signed by the Minnesota Twins, where his 5-10 record and 5.06 ERA is good enough to keep him in the starting rotation.

Francisco Rodriguez was traded to the Brewers in 2011 for Daniel Herrera (yes the 5-6 guy) and a minor leaguer, but was traded to the Baltimore Orioles at the deadline this year, downgrading from a closer to a setup man. Finally, Oliver Perez signed a two-year deal with the Seattle Mariners in 2012 and is proving to be an effective arm out of their bullpen. You would think that Perez’s ERA of 9.72 with Henry Blanco behind the plate would be the highest among catchers who have caught the Mexican native, but no. That award goes to Josh Thole, who provides Ollie with a sparkling 16.20 ERA.

Eight players are in the minor leagues with another organization. They are Mike Nickeas, Mike Hessman, Luis Hernandez, Mike Jacobs, Nick Evans, Hisanori Takahashi, Fernando Nieve, and Pat Misch.

Mike Nickeas, who was in the same deal that sent R.A. Dickey north of the border, is currently with the Blue Jays Triple-A team, the Buffalo Bisons, a team Nickeas has played for many times when they were the Mets affiliate. Nickeas has failed to make the Majors this season, playing 55 games in Buffalo. Mike Hessman, who is seven home runs shy of 400 for his minor league career and one shy of 15 for his Major League career, is currently a member of the Louisville Bats, the Triple-A team of the Cincinnati Reds, where he is teammates with base stealing extraordinaire, Billy Hamilton. Hessman played in Japan in 2011 for the Orix Buffaloes, and was with the Astros Triple A team in 2012.

Luis Hernandez, who played all of 17 games for the Mets, is with the Indians Triple-A team, after playing in the Texas Rangers organization in 2012. Nick Evans is the only 2010 Met alumni playing in Double-A. Evans, who is a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks affiliated Mobile Baybears, was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization in 2012. Mike Jacobs was the placeholder at first base until Ike Davis came up in 2010 but he is now with the Diamondbacks Triple-A team. Jacobs also stopped in Colorado Springs, Toronto, and Mexico. Hisanori Takahashi, who has 12 games started and 21 games finished as a Met, has played in the Majors with the Angels, Pirates, and Cubs. He is now a member of the Colorado Rockies Triple-A team. Fernando Nieve hasn’t played in the Majors since 2010, but he has played with the Astros, Dodgers, Indians, and currently the Athletics, all in Triple-A. Finally, Pat MIsch has seen time with the Phillies and Tigers Triple-A teams.

Five players are not currently with a Major League organization. The names are Jeff Francoeur, Rod Barajas, Jason Bay, John Maine, and Sean Green.

Francoeur was traded to the Rangers for Joaquin Arias in August of 2010. He spent the rest of the year there. Frenchy played in Kansas City during 2011 and 2012, but was released midway through the 2013 season. The Giants picked him up, where he played 22 games. Francouer was designated for assignment of August 20th, and released two days later. Barajas played with the Pirates in 2011 and 2012, before being signed by the Diamondbacks. He ultimately lost the bid to be Miguel Montero‘s backup, as the DBacks went with Wil Nieves instead.

Jason Bay, who was released after the 2012 season much to the delight of Mets fans, was signed by the Mariners for the 2013 season. He hit a home run in his first spring training at bat, but after a disapointing season, was released of August 6th to make room for Mike Morse. John Maine spent 2011 in the Colorado Rockies minor league system, and pitched for the Scranton/Wilkes-Bare Yankees for all of 2012. He played for the Miami Marlins in April of this year, but was released on April 22. The sidearmer, Sean Green pitched with the Brewers in 2011, before playing with the Texas Rangers’ Triple A team in 2012. He also pitched with the Somerset Patriots in 2012 of the Independent Leagues but has not found a team since.

Six players have officially retired. They are Luis Castillo, Alex Cora, Fernando Tatis, Gary Matthews Jr., Frank Catalanotto, and Tobi Stoner.

Luis Castillo was released by the Mets at the same time they released Oliver Perez. Castillo signed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, but after a disappointing spring training, he was released, at which time he retired. Alex Cora was released by the Mets in August of 2010, and he played the rest of the year with the Rangers. He played with the Washington Nationals in 2011, and was signed by the Cardinals in the spring of 2012, which didn’t work out. He is now a baseball analyst for ESPN (his brother Joey does the same work for MLB Network). Fernando Tatis was injured of July 4th of 2010. He was placed on the DL the next day and was transferred to the 60-day DL 10 days later. That turned out to be his last major league game as he retired after the season.

The “Son of the Sarge”, Gary Matthews Jr., was released by the Mets on June 15th, 2010. He signed with the Reds on June 24th and played the rest of the year with their Triple-A team, before retiring. Frank Catalanotto was designated for assignment of May 10th, when the Mets brought up Chris Carter. After failing to sign with another team, he retired in March of 2011. Finally, the German-born Tobi Stoner was released by the Mets in March of 2012. During that season, he played in the Independent Leagues with the Bridgeport Blue Fish and the Somerset Patriots. He retired before the 2013 season.

manny acosta

Four players are currently playing in foreign countries. Chris Carter, Manny Acosta, and Ryota Igarashi are playing in Japan, and Jesus Feliciano is playing in Mexico.

Carter (no not the former A’s prospect) played in the Tampa Bay Rays and Atlanta Braves Minor League system in 2011 before moving to Japan to play with the Seibu Lions in 2012 and 2013. Carter is 3-26 (.115) with three RBI in nine games this year. He is teammates with Kazuhisa Ishii. Manny Acosta pitched for the Mets through 2012 but signed with the Yomuri Giants in 2013 after being released. In 14 games he has an ERA of 5.54. His teammates include former major leaguers Scott Mathieson and John Bowker.

Ryota Igarashi played with the Mets until 2011. He then played in the minor leagues with the Yankees and the Blue Jays in 2012 though he pitched in the majors with both teams. He is now pitching with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks where he sports a 2.15 ERA in 36 games. He is teammates with with Vicente Padilla and former Mets minor leaguer Wily Mo Pena. Jesus Feliciano, who has signed with the Mets four different times in his career, played in all of his 54 career games with the Mets in 2010. He played with the Buffalo Bisons in 2011, the Durham Bulls in 2012, and he is now playing in Mexico with the Rojos del Aguila de Veracruz. He has only played in three games with one hit.

One player is currently a coach. Elmer Dessens is the assistant pitching coach for the AZL Reds in the Arizona League (The Arizona equivalent to Florida’s Gulf Coast League). And here’s a fun piece of information. The manager of that AZL Reds team is former Met, Eli Marrero who the Mets received in 2006 when they traded Kazuo Matsui to the Rockies.

Well, now you know what happened to the 2010 Mets. Next week we’ll look at the players from Citi Field’s inaugural year, 2009.

LGM

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Mejia Has Bone Spur Removed, Looking Ahead To 2014 Rotation http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/mejia-has-bone-spur-removed-looking-ahead-to-2014-rotation.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/mejia-has-bone-spur-removed-looking-ahead-to-2014-rotation.html/#comments Wed, 28 Aug 2013 20:30:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=128091 mejia

Good news…

The Mets announced that Jenrry Mejia had successful surgery to remove the bone spur that was wreaking havoc on his right elbow.

Everything went well, and Jenrry will have plenty of time to get ready for next Spring.

I didn’t want to write an entire post on this so I thought I’d add a quick update to Sagar’s post based on it’s relevancy….

Original Post 11:00 AM

With the Dark Knight down and out, the 2014 New York Mets have another huge hole to add to their list. Pitching is clearly a strength of the team, but it takes a huge hit when the ace could be out for the entire season. So who will be competing for spots in the rotation this coming spring?

Barring any additional injuries, you can pencil Dillon Gee, Jon Niese, and Zack Wheeler into the rotation. The righthanded Gee started off terribly, but has become a consistent pitcher that the Mets can rely on every fifth day. Niese has had a frustrating season, mostly due to a partially torn rotator cuff, but hopefully last night’s shutout is a sign of more things to come from the 26-year old southpaw. Wheeler has had a strong second half and will look to make the jump that Matt Harvey made in his second big league season.

You would have to think that Jenrry Mejia has an inside track to the 4th spot in the rotation, but it of course depends on his health. Mejia has made 5 starts this season to a 2.30 ERA in 27 and 1/3 innings, with 27 K’s and just 4 BB. He is expected to be ready for spring training, so Mejia has a good chance of starting the year in the rotation.

The fifth spot in the rotation is a different story, as it can range from somebody on the big league roster right now (Matt Harvey), to a minor leaguer (Rafael Montero/Jacob deGrom), or to a free agent pitcher. It is likely that the Mets bring in a veteran arm to at least compete for that fifth starting job, but they could also just promote from within as well. Jacob DeGrom is 25 years old and has pitched well enough to at least garner some attention. He also must be added to the 40-man roster, as he is eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this offseason. Montero, on the other hand, is a much more highly touted prospect and has shown the progression of a potential front of the rotation starter; however, Montero does not need to be added to the 40-man roster, which will probably mean he starts the season in AAA and is brought up in May/June of  2014.

indexAt this point, Noah Syndergaard is not an option to start the year with the New York Mets. Despite his rough outing on Monday, Thor is dominating AA. He will likely be a little behind the track that Zack Wheeler was on this season, because unlike Wheeler, Syndergaard has yet to reach AAA.

The last option, is signing a free agent pitcher to compete for a spot. There are a few decent options depending on how much the Mets will spend on the offense. A few options are Barry Zito (36), Mike Pelfrey (30), Phil Hughes (28), or Jason Marquis (35). Hughes is an interesting option, because he could also be an option for the bullpen. Zito is a pitcher the Mets coveted years ago, but has struggled all year. Pelfrey probably won’t want to come back, but he would be back in a familiar place.

In all likelihood, the Mets will probably sign a cheap free agent to at least create some competition with some internal options. Despite Matt Harvey’s tweet last night, it is extremely unlikely that he is ready by April 1st.

All in all:

1. Jon Niese

2. Dillon Gee

3. Zack Wheeler

4. Jenrry Mejia

5. Jacob deGrom / FA

So what are your thoughts, Mets fans?

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Hits & Misses: Forever Young? Who’s At Short? A Flores For Your Thoughts? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/hits-misses-forever-young-whos-at-short-a-flores-for-your-thoughts.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/hits-misses-forever-young-whos-at-short-a-flores-for-your-thoughts.html/#comments Mon, 12 Aug 2013 15:48:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=126950 HITS N MISSES

What a week we just wrapped up and as is usually the case, there’s plenty of storylines and news we can talk about before the Mets take the field at 10:10 PM against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Who’s At Short?

Omar - QuintanillaFor the time being Terry Collins is fully intent on going with Omar Quintanilla as his everyday shortstop.

“I’ve yet to see why Omar Quintanilla should lose his job. All he does is make plays like that night after night. You look at his batting average and it’s not what he’d like it to be. But, he’s on base 33 percent of the time and he’s done a really good job. We wouldn’t be playing like we’re playing without him.”

Actually Terry, it’s less than 30%, but fine… go ahead and play him if you like. Just please make sure we address the shortstop position in the offseason because I don’t want to see Q there on Opening Day.

As for Ruben Tejada, he can blame himself for not being here with the team right now. Collins says that Backman told him that Tejada is bent on hitting flyballs. Additionally, Tejada is 4-for-his-last-52, dropping his Pacific Coast League average to .257 since his demotion.

Collins also said that if Tejada was hitting better, he’d be back by now. I have no doubt about that, but would he also continue to reside in Collins’ exclusive dog house?

It appears to me that Tejada has been in Collins’ doghouse from day one when we wondered why Tejada didn’t report to Spring Training 26 days early back in 2012 and read him the riot act when he did show up three days early.

Forever Young?

eric young jr 2I’m digging what Eric Young Jr. is doing since being acquired in a waiver trade for Collin McHugh. But can we please stop the “we’re set at left field” narrative now?

Young has exceeded expectations, but to think he’s anything, but a utility outfielder going forward is a bit too much for me to handle. He’s had a solid week defensively, but that doesn’t mean he’s a solid defender, he isn’t. There not one metric that would dispute that. And his arm… What arm?

At the plate, Young has already lost 100 points in batting average which some are calling a slump. It’s not a slump… Just ask any Colorado Rockies fan you know. Eric young is batting .152 in his last 12 games with just nine hits in his last 54 at-bats. He has a career .660 OPS. Anyone up for a Jeff Francoeur revival?

We need to get a left fielder with power this offseason. Young is under team control and will be fine as a 4th outfielder, but please…. nothing more than that… Forever Young? God, I hope not…

Lets Pile On Flores

wilmer floresMatt Cerrone has been talking to his baseball people again. This time they tell him that they all said they project him to hit around .260 in the big leagues — with around 15-20 home run potential — with no real position.

It’s amazing how everyone has already defined Flores’ career after six games and after just turning 22 years old… Wow…

Are these the same people who predicted Harvey would be a lesser version of Mike Pelfrey? Or were those different baseball people? Are these the same people that led him to conclude that Harvey was good, but not Cy Young good? Are these the same people that said Juan Lagares was a lesser version of Kirk Nieuwenhuis?

Why can’t we just enjoy these players who come up and hit the ground running?

Why must they be criticized and defined after such a small sample size?

Poor Wilmer Flores… Might as well hang them up, kid… You’re nothing but a .250 hitting first baseman with 15 home run power. We can get that from anybody. Your trade value sucks too, because every team has five players just like you. Sorry Wilmer, it’s not me, it’s all the experts and the baseball people who talk to MetsBlog…

Can’t we all just sit back and enjoy the game they way it used to be?

Maybe I’m getting old and the game has passed me by. Maybe this is how it is now. Maybe this is the norm.

Too bad… As for me I’ll keep doing what Tug McGraw implored us to do, believe and hope for the best…

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It’s Too Soon To Write Valdespin Off http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/its-too-soon-to-write-valdespin-off.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/its-too-soon-to-write-valdespin-off.html/#comments Mon, 29 Jul 2013 12:00:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=126004 jordany-valdespinEvery so often there’s a player that everybody loves to hate. In the past it was players like Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo, and even Mike Pelfrey to some extent towards the end of his Mets tenure. This year it’s Jordany Valdespin. Whether it’s because of his attitude rubbing people the wrong way or his statistics, he is probably the most disliked player on the team. While there are definitely valid criticisms of Valdespin, I believe he deserves another opportunity to succeed.

First off, there seems to be this notion floating around that Valdespin is somehow a “non prospect”. I don’t know why this belief is suddenly so popular because Valdespin’s minor league statistics and natural physical ability prove otherwise. Physically, Valdespin has a great combination of power and speed. He’s strong, he has a quick bat, and he also possesses excellent speed. In his most recent full minor league season, Valdespin was able to turn his potential into results. In AA and AAA as a 23-year-old, Valdespin hit .294/.333/.468 with 17 home runs, 60 RBI and 37 SBs in 134 games during the 2011 season.

Everyone reading this knows about Valdespin’s struggles in the majors this season, but there are reasons why you shouldn’t write him off because of them. While nothing excuses a sub .200 average, everyone has to remember that he’s still young and he never really got a fair shot to succeed in the majors. His playing time has been sporadic, and many of his ABs occurred when he was coming off the bench cold.

Let’s take a look at the amount of starts Valdespin has in his young career. In 2012, Valdespin started 34 games. By my count, the most games he started in a row was only three. In 2013, Valdespin started 25 games. He only had one stretch in June where he started regularly, but it was only for nine starts.

So, is a poor 59 starts enough to dismiss young player? I don’t think so. If we wrote off all young players who performed poorly in such a small amount of time, many of the games top players would also have been written off. And not only has he not started many games, but his playing time has never been consistent. The reason why this is significant is because it’s tough to get in a rhythm when you are sitting on the bench for long periods of time especially for a young and still developing player like Valdespin.

I’m not trying to say that Valdespin is some kind of can’t-miss prospect, or that it’s a guarantee that he will succeed. However, his ability makes him worthy of getting another opportunity. Valdespin deserves a second chance, and I hope the Mets are willing to give to him.

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2012 Mets Castoffs Have Not Had Much Success In ’13 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/2012-mets-castoffs-have-not-had-much-success-in-13.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/2012-mets-castoffs-have-not-had-much-success-in-13.html/#comments Thu, 11 Jul 2013 16:48:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=124363 Scott Hairston

Former-Met Scott Hairston was dealt on Monday to the Washington Nationals after struggling mightily with the Cubs in 2013. While in hot pursuit of free agent outfielder Michael Bourn, Chicago swept Hairston out from under the feet of the Amazin’s front office, forcing Sandy’s “What Outfield?” Mets into the spotlight. Many, myself included, criticized Alderson for allowing the veteran to walk, especially on such an inexpensive deal. However once spring arrived and a new season was underway, it became quite clear that the Hairston that produced 20 home runs for the Mets in 2012 was unable to do the same in Wrigley.

Scott Hairston represents just the tip of the iceberg in a laundry list of now-former Mets who have struggled in their respective new homes after parting ways with New York this past winter. In fact, outside of Jason Bay who has 11 homers with the Mariners, almost every 2012 Met no longer with the team has found themselves in less than desirable spots since their departure from Queens.

r.a. dickey

When R.A. Dickey was traded to the Toronto just before Christmas, he was widely regarded as the final piece that put the new-look Jays over the top as the favorite in the AL East, yet to this point, he has failed to put up numbers even close to his 2012 Cy Young Award winning season. Going 8-9 with a 4.77 ERA, Dickey has become one of the many top-tier acquisitions that has yet to live up to expectations in 2013.

Also coming over in the Blue Jays deal was the catching duo of Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas. A pair known for a combined sub-par performance in their respective Met careers, leading many to believed they truly belonged in Buffalo rather than Flushing. Ironically, that is exactly where they ended up in 2013, pairing up once again behind the plate, only this time with the now Toronto-affiliated Buffalo Bisons.

St Louis Cardinals v New York Mets

Mike Pelfrey‘s roller coaster Met career came to a conclusion this past winter when he was non-tendered rather than going to arbitration. The 2005 first-round pick was signed by the Minnesota Twins to a one-year, $4 million deal; a bargain. Pelfrey, coming back from Tommy John surgery, has since struggled to regain any sort of command, pitching to the tune of a 5.36 ERA over 15 starts.

ramirez032113

Angel Pagan was dealt to the San Francisco Giants on the night of December 7th in return for RHP Ramon Ramirez and outfielder Andres Torres. Both were expected to play prominent roles in the 2012 season for the Mets, however as both were unable to rise to the occasion, they were let go by the Amazin’s and promptly re-signed by the club that traded them just one year ago. After posting an ERA north of 11, Ramirez was granted his unconditional release and is currently in the Rays minor league system. Torres, although not exactly swinging the bat well with a .661 OPS, has managed to find himself regular time in San Francisco, starting in place of Pagan, who is out for the year with a hamstring injury.

jon rauch mets

Jon Rauch was one one of the more reliable arms for the Amazin’s out of the ‘pen in 2012, however took his talents to South Beach for the 2013 season. His tenure with the Marlins was not long lived as he was released after posting a 7.56 ERA in just 15 outings.

Starter Chris Young signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals, and after going 1-2 with a 7.88 ERA in Triple-A Syracuse, found himself out of a job.

A number of the Mets core performers of 2012 were not renewed for this year, and now at halfway through this season, it appears that Sandy Alderson made the right move in choosing to let them walk. While purging what turned out to be the right players, Alderson has also brought back guys like Jeremy Hefner who have contributed positively to the 2013 squad. Now if only he could get an outfielder…

Alderson

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Zack Wheeler And Why Hype Can Be A B**ch http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/zack-wheeler-and-why-hype-can-be-a-bch.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/zack-wheeler-and-why-hype-can-be-a-bch.html/#comments Sun, 30 Jun 2013 16:13:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=123427 wheeler harvey

Andy Martino of the Daily News weighs in on the problem with hype, projection, unrealised expectations, and something about Mike Pelfrey being the devil.

It is dehumanizing, what happens to phenoms like Zack Wheeler over the long arc of a professional baseball career. In the minor leagues, you are an abstraction, a blank screen onto which fans and media project hopes that have little to do with who you actually are.

Then you arrive in the big city and, as any person would, reveal your normal imperfections. You are not a savior, but a human, and the public can grow bitter.  Ask Mike Pelfrey, a first-round pick who became a solid pitcher, and was seen by many fans as the devil by the middle of his Mets years. Or even better, ask the guy whose debut brought more hype than perhaps any pitcher in history, Stephen Strasburg.

“What happens is, that they build you up just to bring you down,” Strasburg said Saturday. “They never get it. Unfortunately, that’s people who never played the game.  You really can’t control what people write or say.”

This reminds me of an article by Danny Knobler of CBS Sports a couple of weeks ago, where he surveyed some scouts who all seemed to be bailing on Zack Wheeler after his major league debut.

Both scouts who watched Tuesday’s day-night doubleheader in person listed Harvey as perhaps the most impressive pitcher they’ve seen this season. But neither came away raving about Wheeler, despite six shutout innings in his major-league debut.

One of the scouts suggested that Wheeler should still be in Triple-A, and in any case might still need a trip back to the minor leagues before he comes back for good. The other scout was even less impressed. ”He’s going to be a middle-of-the-rotation guy,” the second scout said. “Edwin Jackson, maybe.”

Edwin Jackson? Really?

Martino correctly asserts that a rare set of circumstances created the frenzied Wheeler buildup: He was acquired for Carlos Beltran, one of the greatest players in franchise history; he arrived at a time when the organization was marketing its future over its present, and became a symbol of that trend; he dazzled scouts in the minor leagues with raw talent, and copy-hungry writers like me relayed their quotes to the public without context; he followed Matt Harvey, who has worn the phenom crown as well as anyone could, convincing some fans that it can happen again.

Because of those factors, Wheeler’s major league debut generated an absurd volume of attention — and that buzz drowned reality. Wheeler is a high-ceiling talent with flaws in his delivery, who might not even be ready for the major leagues. But he is here, and he is working to improve, which is all we should ask of a young player.

Yes, yes and yes…

You may remember how often I would say over the last 18 months how sorry I felt for Zack Wheeler. This was why. I knew he would be over-hyped, and that in most fans’ minds his uniform number would always be No. 15. Throw in the fact that this whole “Plan” thing was built mostly upon Wheeler’s back as soon as he became Sandy Alderson’s signature move.

I still feel bad for the kid… The all-out nonsense to make him out to be more than what he really was, will have a heavy toll on Wheeler. And unless he ends up his career with a room full of major league awards and hardware, there will be an unfortunate minority who will see him as a disappointment.

We do love our mythological heroes in baseball, but like Strasburg says, we love tearing them down as well. I like this summation from Martino:

Hype is fiction, and it is actually cruel: Building a man up is just as wrong as tearing him down, because neither honors who he really is.  Maybe we could just watch, and appreciate the complexity of Wheeler’s learning process.

Yes, yes and yes…

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Mets Have Opportunity To Soar To New Heights http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/mets-have-opportunity-to-soar-to-new-heights.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/mets-have-opportunity-to-soar-to-new-heights.html/#comments Thu, 23 May 2013 18:26:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=119684 jon rauch mets

Well, sort of.

This past Friday the Miami Marlins designated former-Met Jon Rauch for assignment and in the past 24 hours there have been conflicting reports regarding his potential release. If talk of his release is accurate, the Mets should be biting.

As my colleague Ed Leyro pointed out back in February, this Mets ballclub doesn’t quite measure up in comparison to last year.

With the non-tendering of the 6’7″ Mike Pelfrey, and the non-signings of the 6’10″ Chris Young and the burly 6’11″ Rauch, the Amazin’s lost their three tallest players. At the time of Ed’s article, not a single Met on the active roster was listed at over 6″4″, however both LaTroy Hawkins (6’5″) and Scott Rice (6’6″) have since trumped that mark.

Rauch has had an unfortunate start to the year, going 1-2 with an ugly 7.56 ERA in just 15 outings with Miami. His stats across the board are pretty unsightly, however given that he was one of the more dependable arms out of the ‘pen last season, Rauch is worth taking a chance on.

The now 34-year old has a career 3.80 ERA–discounting this year–and pitched effectively in 2012 with the Mets to the tune of a 3.59 ERA and 0.988 WHIP. Given the lowly state of the Mets’ bullpen that has somehow found a way to be even worse than last year, he is at least worth taking a look at.

If Alderson and company were to choose to take a flyer on him, Rauch could once again stand tall as a go-to arm of out of the mess known as the bullpen. What is there to lose?

What does everyone think? Anyone up for a Rauch reunion?

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Matt Harvey: The Mets Have Their Ace http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/matt-harvey-the-mets-have-their-ace.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/matt-harvey-the-mets-have-their-ace.html/#comments Wed, 08 May 2013 15:57:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=117881 matt harvey 33Once upon a time, not so long ago, the Mets had a top ten prospect named Zack Wheeler who was deemed the heir apparent to their oft-maligned rotation.  It had to be Wheeler, who would assume the role of staff ace.  Especially with the controversial trade of surprising knuckleballer, RA Dickey.  It seemed unanimous that Wheeler, his high nineties fastball, and array of formidable secondary pitches were just months away from changing everything.  That was the plan, but then Matt Harvey happened…

The July 2012 promotion of the Mets’ second best pitching prospect was met with much fan fair.  Harvey promptly rose to the occasion in the eleven strike out win that was his debut against the Arizona Diamondbacks.  For an encore, he went on to post an ERA well under three in ten starts comprised of almost sixty innings pitched.  For certain it looked as though the Mets had another quality starter on their hands, but no one could have anticipated what Matt Harvey had in store for the Mets and their fans in 2013.

Entering last night, Harvey’s 2013 campaign featured a 4-0 start which saw him yield more than one earned run on only one occasion over six starts, in route to the National League Pitcher of the Month award for the month of April.  Coming off a full seven day’s rest, Harvey spent Monday night victimizing the White Sox lineup in route to nine scoreless innings of one hit ball with twelve strike outs and exactly zero walks.  This saw Matt drop his ERA to an impressively low 1.27 while assuming the league lead in strike outs with 58.

The stats are impressive enough, but they are easily trumped by the undeniable presence that Harvey brings with him to the bump every night.  Each start celebrated as “Happy Harvey Day” on various social media forums, the fans have fully accepted Matt as the absolute ace of this staff, no questions asked.

Harvey’s rise to what will soon be, if it isn’t already, super-stardom, will make it that much harder for those that come behind him, namely Wheeler.  Having been billed as possessing the best repertoire in the system, its hard to believe that Wheeler can match the ridiculous change-up and slicing slider that Harvey has used to carved through opponents thus far this season.  While the Mets will need Wheeler to be a productive member of the rotation in short order if they hope to stay in the hunt this summer, Matt Harvey has made most, if not all fans forget that someone other than he may be the savoir for the Mets pitching woes.

Recent history has seen pitchers as unproven as Mike Pelfrey toe the rubber as the team’s ace.  Those days, at least for the time being seem to be behind us.  Having been drafted by Omar Minaya in 2010, Harvey will be ineligible for free agency until the 2019 season at the earliest and now represents the youth movement envisioned by Mets general manager, Sandy Alderson.  The franchise will need others to rise through the ranks in order to realize Alderson’s vision, but regardless of whether those who will soon follow his path are able to do their part, Matt Harvey is here and the Mets have their ace.

Follow me on Twitter at @RobPatterson83.

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The Matt Harvey Phenomenon: I’ve Seen Meteoric Rises Like This Before http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/the-matt-harvey-phenomenon-ive-seen-meteoric-rises-like-this-before.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/the-matt-harvey-phenomenon-ive-seen-meteoric-rises-like-this-before.html/#comments Mon, 22 Apr 2013 11:00:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=115688 matt harvey

Matt Harvey has been compared to some of the biggest names of the game both past and present. Whether it’s because of his lethal arsenal, his no-nonsense demeanor on the mound, or just his determination to keep getting better. In 14 starts he is breaking down long-standing records with such ease.

While expectations and pressure like that would crush most young players, Matt Harvey thrives on it. I was especially taken by his reaction on Friday night when fans at Citi Field roared with the chants of “Har-Vey’s Better! Har-Vey’s Better” with every pitch Stephen Strasburg threw.

It was amazing to watch both pitcher’s reactions as the SNY camera crew went to a split screen. There was Harvey sitting on the bench – looking all business and wiping his face with a towel. He was immune to what was happening on the field and didn’t allow himself to be captured by the moment. On the mound however, you could tell Strasburg was being rattled.

Pressure and expectations is a crazy thing. For many players it’s their death knell, but not for Harvey. This kid has ice running through his veins.

2013 matt harvey 33

There’s more to Harvey than meets the eye and it may take years until we figure out what makes him tick. Baseball has always been a game of comparisons, but most often the comparisons are unfounded and the expectations are never met. So far, it looks like Harvey will be the exception to that rule. Gregg Jefferies never did become the next Ty Cobb, and the teenage hitting machine Fernando Martinez never did become the next Roberto Clemente.

“A lot of guys can throw 98,’’ manager Terry Collins said. “I like his competitive make-up. … Fear of failure is not in Matt Harvey’s make-up.’’

You know what else stood out from Friday night? Harvey’s comments after the game.

“I’ve got a long way to go,’’ Harvey said. “I appreciate the fans and the support and all that. But we’re here to win. We’re the New York Mets. It’s not just one guy out there. Every time I take the ball I’m trying to win for the team.”

Spoken like a true leader…

And for those of you who keep saying you want to see how Harvey would react in a tough situation, how does the the bases loaded with nobody out against the team who won more games than any other team last season sound? Is that challenging enough for you?

Harvey worked out of the jam with ease. “That’s a tough lineup, he said. “At any point it felt like it could unravel and things could have gone the other way.’’

However it didn’t unravel. Harvey bore down like a warrior and slammed the door on their offense. ”That’s the mark of an ace right there,’’ Collins said. “That’s why we can’t say enough things about him. Games like this can lead to a great season.”

harvey 2

Can you believe that there are still some Mets fan who haven’t bought into Harvey yet? It’s true. I’ve seen the doubts and speculation right here on our comment threads. They remain cautiously optimistic waiting for the bubble to burst. It’s hard to believe that 14 starts or basically a half season, and non-believers still abound.

I’m seeing some of the best raves and optimism about Harvey from non-Mets and rival fans. One Yankee fan told Me, “I can’t believe you got, Harvey. You’re so freaking lucky.”

David Price and Curt Schilling are also on the Matt Harvey bandwagon. So are Michael Kay and Mike Francesa. So are Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman. So are R.A. Dickey, Jon Lester and Justin Verlander.

So am I and most of MMO. I actually have been since day one.

I’ve seen a meteoric rise like one this twice before as Met fan. The first time was with with “The Franchise” Tom Seaver, and then two decades later I saw it again with “Doctor K’ Dwight Gooden. I became emotionally invested from day with those two Mets icons too, just like I am now with Harvey. As a Met fan, I always did take “Ya Gotta Believe” very seriously. Times have changed, but I’m still old-fashioned that way.

believe mr met button

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3 Up & 3 Down: Knocking Off The Nationals Edition http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/3-up-3-down-knocking-off-the-nationals-edition.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/3-up-3-down-knocking-off-the-nationals-edition.html/#comments Mon, 22 Apr 2013 03:57:55 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=115705 buck, wright, parnell

Baseball is such a great sport. There is something for everyone, offense, defense, strategy, statistics, history and pitching. I’ll take a well pitched game over a slugfest any day. When you look at the Washington Nationals starting rotation, you just got to love what you see: Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez (one of my favorites), Jordan Zimmermann, and Dan Haren. This is a team with the potential go on a super long winning streak. Looking at this series, we knew Friday night’s Stephen Strasburg vs. Matt Harvey game was going to memorable, then looking at Saturday & Sunday, the Nats had the edge in the pitching match-up. But the Mets were better, taking two of three which is why you have to play the games. Nobody ever wins anything on paper. Here are the 3 & 3 from the series.

3 up

Matt-tastic: On Friday night Matt Harvey was yet again spot on, raising his record to 4-0. Harvey gave up one run, and struck out seven, in 7.0 innings of work, besting Stephen Strasburg. The atmosphere at Citi Field was electric on Friday with the fans chanting “Harvey’s Better!” You got to love it. I said it before and it bears repeating – Matt Harvey’s starts are Must See TV.

Duda & Davis Duplicate Dingers: Lucas Duda and Ike Davis both went yard in Friday night’s win not once, but twice! It makes you want to dream about how awesome life would be if they just did that on a more regular basis. Especially Davis who is still struggling and whiffed three times the very next day.

Gee Gets An “A”: In the last 3&3 we got on Dillon Gee, so we’re more than happy to bump him up here, for his great start on Sunday afternoon. When the Mets needed a guy step up, Dillon did just that, tossing 5.2 shutout innings in the Mets 2-0 win over the Nats. Keep up the good work Dillon.

3 down

Another Laff-able Outing: Aaron Laffey, we hardly knew ye  After blowing the Mets lead on Saturday afternoon after coming out of the bullpen, the Mets finally had enough of Laffey and designated him for assignment. The Mets recalled Robert Carson to replace him and we hope he proves to be an upgrade. As we mentioned last time out, Laffey has looked overmatched during his short tenure with the Mets. Good luck to him.

No Washington Leadership: Not our elected officials, but on the field for the Nats. Watching Gio Gonzalez struggle Saturday afternoon, I kept waiting for one of the infielders to talk to him, and try to calm him down. It didn’t happen. The great 1986 team that Davey Johnson managed had two on-field leaders with Keith Hernandez and Gary Carter. In recent times we’ve seen David Wright go to the mound and get on big Mike Pelfrey and even Jon Niese. I just don’t understand why Adam LaRoche didn’t try to break the funk Gonzales was in. It worked out great for the Mets though.

Dodger Danger: A struggling L.A. Dodger team comes into Citi Field this week. It seems to me that struggling teams get healthy fast against the Mets. Let’s hope that’s not the case this time. Here’s to seeing the Mets kick the Dodgers while they are down.

It was a great weekend series for the Mets, taking two of three, especially after being swept in Denver. Until next time, Lets Go Mets!!!

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Gee Roughed Up In Philly, Mets Fall In 8-3 Pounding http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/gee-roughed-up-in-philly-mets-fall-in-8-3-pounding.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/gee-roughed-up-in-philly-mets-fall-in-8-3-pounding.html/#comments Wed, 10 Apr 2013 01:59:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=113907 Mets lose to Philly gee

This one was over early when the Phillies scored four runs in the second and three more in the third off Dillon Gee.

Ryan HowardMichael Young and John Mayberry all homered within five pitches. The game wasn’t worth watching after that explosion in the Phillies’ 8-3 rout over the Mets.

ON THE MOUND: In losing his second straight start, Gee authored the worst outing by a Met starter this season. Gee threw 56 pitches, many of them hit hard, in giving up seven run on ten hits.

AT THE PLATE:  John Buck hit a two-run homer in the fourth, but that was pretty much it off Cliff Lee. Both Buck and Daniel Murphy had two hits. … Lee pitched 8.2 innings.

METS MUSINGS: Mets assistant GM John Ricco told ESPN that Buck was always considered a significant piece of the R.A. Dickey because of the Blue Jays intent to shed his $6 million salary. … WithKirk Nieuwenhuis not getting much playing time the Mets might consider recalling reserve infielder Omar Quintanilla. … Although Ike Davis did not play last night, manager Terry Collins never considered starting Lucas Duda at first base. … The Mets’ starters in Minnesota this weekend will be Jonathon Niese (against Vance Worley), Matt Harvey (no starter named yet by the Twins) and Gee (against Kevin Correla). Former Met Mike Pelfrey, started Tuesday and was rocked in Kansas City, won’t face his former team.

ON DECK: The Mets conclude this series in Philadelphia tomorrow with Jeremy Hefner against Kyle Kendrick.

Thoughts from Joe D.

I vote for a two man rotation – Jon Niese and Matt Harvey. Who’s with me?

We can still win the series tomorrow… LGM

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Why Do Mets Pitchers March To The Beat Of Their Own Drums? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/why-do-mets-pitchers-march-to-the-beat-of-their-own-drums.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/why-do-mets-pitchers-march-to-the-beat-of-their-own-drums.html/#comments Fri, 22 Mar 2013 13:22:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=111508 shaun marcumWhat is it with the Mets and their starting pitchers? Giving them near total control hasn’t worked. It didn’t for Willie Randolph and Jerry Manuel, and it isn’t for Terry Collins.

The impression is the tail is wagging the dog when it comes to Mets’ starters, and this isn’t new. Pitchers tend to be divas by nature, but it has gone to another level with the Mets.

Clearly, free-agent Shaun Marcum did not report to spring training ready to go by telling Collins and GM Sandy Alderson he only needed four starts to get ready. He was allowed to set his own pace, but obviously didn’t have the track record to deserve it.

Marcum received cortisone injections in each of the last three years, and last spring was down for nearly three weeks. Without question, this is a guy who should not be setting his own program.

Marcum vows 200 innings, a level he’s only reached once since 2005. His lifetime 57-36 record was why Alderson gave him the benefit of doubt, but his 124 innings last year should have accounted for something.

Wasn’t Marcum’s history and workout program discussed? If it was, then why agree to this?

Santana does have the resume to set his own program, but abused it when he threw off the mound without Collins’ knowledge the first week of March.

johan santana mets dodgers 072012The Mets said they monitored Santana in the off-season, and told him to go easy since he rehabbed the previous two winters. Something was lost in the communication as Santana wasn’t ready when spring training began and will open the season on the disabled list.

Collins said Santana knows his own body, but here’s a guy who hasn’t worked an inning all spring and at the beginning wanted to pitch in the World Baseball Classic. Had he done so, the results could have been career threatening.

Early in camp, after Alderson questioned Santana’s conditioning, the lefthander, angry with the Mets and media, threw off the mound without his manager’s knowledge. Collins wasn’t happy then and now must be fuming because Santana has done little since and has no set timetable. One must wonder how much that stunt set him back.

There are other examples of how the Mets let their starting pitches get away with setting their own routine that ended badly.

In 2009, Mike Pelfrey refused to go on the disabled list and miss a start and insisted on the start being pushed back. To placate him, the Mets brought up a starter from the minors, but to make room released reliever Darren O’Day, who only proved to be a key in the Rangers getting to the World Series twice.

O’Day has worked 247.2 innings in his five-year career with 217 strikeouts, 63 walks, a 2.73 ERA and 1.058 WHIP. The Mets don’t have anybody with that production in their current bullpen.

The Mets also let Pedro Martinez march to his own tune with mixed results for several years. Is Pedro pitching today? What’s going on with Pedro? It was like that every spring.

The Mets did everything they could, including alienating a future Hall of Famer, Tom Glavine, to placate Martinez and his whims.Of course, don’t forget Oliver Perez, whom former GM Omar Minaya signed to a disastrous three-year contract. The height of the absurdity is when Perez refused a minor league assignment – as was his contractual right – to work on his mechanics.

Consequently, the Mets carried him the rest of the season rather than release him and eat his contract, which they eventually did the following spring.

Funny, the Mets once had the stones – but no brains – and traded Tom Seaver, who wasn’t happy with his contract. Now it seems they don’t have either, as the trend is obvious, from Alderson to Minaya, and with each of the managers, to let some starters dictate to them how things would be and it turned out for the worse.

Will it be that way in 2013 with Marcum and Santana?

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Congratulations to David Wright – Our Captain http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/congratulations-to-david-wright-our-captain.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/congratulations-to-david-wright-our-captain.html/#comments Fri, 22 Mar 2013 03:08:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=111468 the captain dw

The Mets made it official this afternoon and named David Wright the team’s captain, joining a select group that includes John FrancoKeith Hernandez and Gary Carter.

“This is probably one of the proudest days of my career so far,” Wright said. “I’m honored and very proud to be on that short list of guys that have been considered captain of this franchise. For me, it’s a dream come true, to say the least.”

There has been speculation for years – as far back when Willie Randolph was manager – and intensified  this winter when Wright was signed to a $138-million eight-year extension. Manager Terry Collins said at the start of spring training it was something he was considering, but needed to run it through GM Sandy Alderson and COO Jeff Wilpon, as well as poll the clubhouse.

It was a foregone conclusion the announcement would be made prior to Opening Day. According to ESPN, Wilpon said the second Wright signed the contract there was nothing else to think about.

“When you commit that kind of money and resources that we have to a guy like this, you want to make sure he’s the leader,” chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said. “And he’s proven to be that.”

During the Randolph era, the manager said the promotion might be awkward because that team was loaded with veterans such as Carlos Delgado – who became a mentor to Jose Reyes – Carlos Beltran, and pitchers Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez.

At the time, Randolph said there wasn’t a need for a captain because of the veteran influence. Then came the Jerry Manuel era, but the team was so bad it seemed like a futile gesture.

Even so, Wright was always the face of the franchise, and the one player the media sought out for analysis on the Mets or anything else relating to baseball.

wright spring

Wright will not wear a “C” on his uniform, but his leadership has been obvious in the clubhouse for years. Once, Reyes wanted to stay in a game, but was clearly hobbled. Wright, knowing an injured Reyes could be a liability told the manager, then Manuel.

Wright has worked closely with the pitchers and was one of the few players who could reach Mike Pelfrey when he was losing concentration. He often goes to the mound when a rattled pitcher needs to catch his breath.

With the Mets moving in a youth direction, there was no veteran presence other than Wright, who, as an All-Star had the talent to back up the promotion.

At the start of camp, Wright said being captain would be an honor, but wanted it through his teammates and not an edict from ownership or management.

“This is where I wanted to start my career and finish my career,” Wright said. “I feel very comfortable and very confident in this role.”

loduca

Today was just a formality. Wright has captained this team through good times and bad for the last five years. From the moment Wright was first called up, he has shown himself to be a leader in every sense of the word and has done so with integrity and honor.

He was never one to run and hide after an awful loss or those forgettable collapses in 2007 and 2008. Instead he  stood front and center in front of his locker and was always willing to take the bullet for the team.

As the years wore on, Wright eventually assumed the role of team ambassador, and no player in franchise history has done a better job despite the the negativity he was forced to navigate in. Despite it all, he always stood strong and wore his team colors proudly.

His record of accomplishments speak for themselves and he leads the team in over a dozen different offensive categories, many of which will likely never be broken.

Wright is too modest to wear the “C” on his uniform like all of his predecessors have. Instead he gets the “C” for class by all of us here at Mets Merized Online.

A heartfelt congratulations to David Wright – Our Captain.

button WRIGHT

Contributed to by John Delcos.

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Would You Have Traded Niese Instead of Dickey for d’Arnaud and Syndergaard? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/would-you-have-traded-niese-instead-of-dickey-for-darnaud-and-syndergaard.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/would-you-have-traded-niese-instead-of-dickey-for-darnaud-and-syndergaard.html/#comments Thu, 07 Mar 2013 16:22:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=110145 jon niese

Andy Martino of the Daily News, asks a thought-provoking question in his column this morning:

Would you have rather traded Jonathon Niese, instead of R.A. Dickey, to Toronto for Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard?

Turns out that the Mets had that choice according to  Martino.

While Niese faced Team Venezuela Wednesday in Port St. Lucie, two people with direct knowledge of last December’s deal told me that the Blue Jays were willing to send the same package to New York in exchange for Niese.

“Toronto has loved Niese for years,” one source said.  “They absolutely would have done that.”

The view from here has always been that the Mets should have retained Dickey, and found another way to stock the farm system, but we’ll give equal time to the other perspective. Niese is much younger, lefthanded, and working under a team-friendly contract.  At 26, he probably has more years remaining in baseball than the 38-year-old knuckleballer.

That’s kind of difficult to answer. On the one hand you have the reigning Cy Young winner who may be one of the top five pitchers in the game right now, while on the other hand you have a reliable number a solid mid-rotation pitcher who is much younger and has a team friendly contract with four more years remaining on it.

Of course the contract extension Dickey signed is also a huge value considering what other pitchers of his caliber earn.

There really is no wrong answer here, and either way it’s a great deal for the Mets.

But looking at the team now and the lack of a reliable ace it wouldn’t be far-fetched to have kept Dickey and the veteran leadership that comes along with him.

Ironically, if Johan Santana isn’t ready to pitch on Opening Day, it just may be Niece who gets the nod. Hopefully, things go better for Niese than they did for Mike Pelfrey when circumstances forced him into a similar situation.

What do you think?

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What Pitcher Won Most Games For Mets Without Ever Winning One For Another Team? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/02/what-pitcher-won-most-games-for-mets-without-ever-winning-one-for-another-team.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/02/what-pitcher-won-most-games-for-mets-without-ever-winning-one-for-another-team.html/#comments Sun, 24 Feb 2013 18:00:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=108997 I was going to start this post with “here’s a trivia question for you” but then I remembered Art Rust Jr., the long-time sports talk host on WABC-AM who got annoyed whenever someone would start off a call with that phrase. Rust would respond “it’s history, not trivia”. So, this is my question on an important piece of Mets’ history :

What pitcher won the most games for the Mets without ever winning a game for any other major league team in his entire career?

I posed this question to several Mets’ fans and only one came up with the correct answer without researching it. Can you?

One of the better guesses was Mike Pelfrey who won 50 games with the Mets and has yet to appear with another major league team. But Mike is now a member of the Twins and unless he somehow winds up back with the Mets before winning a game elsewhere, won’t have a chance at the record.

Another pretty good guess was Sid Fernandez, but El Sid managed to get in a few wins for Baltimore after his tenure as a Met was over.

No, the answer is…

Craig-Swan-10

Husky righthander Craig Swan who was the ace of the Mets’ staff during the down years of 1978 and 1979.  Although he pitched for the Mets for all or part of 12 seasons, various injuries and ailments had him in and out of the rotation most years. Originally drafted in the third round of the 1972 amateur draft out of Arizona State, he had a few shots with the Mets before staying up for good in 1976. Although Swan never became the star pitcher Mets’ fans were hoping for, there were several notable highlights in his career.

In 1978, he led the National League with a 2.43 ERA while going 9-6 for the last-place Mets. The following year, he pitched 251 innings, winning 14 games for the Mets who again finished last. He also came back from a torn rotator cuff injury in 1982 to post an 11-7 record before injuries sidelined him again. Yet, possibly his most unique achievement is that he still holds the record for most career wins by a Mets pitcher who never won a game for any other major league team with 59. He did have a very brief late-career stint with the Angels, but didn’t win a game with them.

An interesting anecdote about Swan involves his potential trade to the Angels in 1979. The Mets were discussing dealing Swan and Elliott Maddox for veteran first baseman Willie Mays Aikens and a young minor league infielder named Dickie Thon.

After Mrs. Payson’s death, her daughter Lorinda De Roulet became principal owner and Chairman of the Board. Mrs. De Roulet, hardly a baseball expert, reportedly vetoed the deal when she remarked “We can’t do that. Thon is just a baby”. Thon of course wound up in Houston where he became the regular shortstop for several years.

Swan who was always seemingly receiving treatment for one ailment or another had his career shortened by arm trouble. One of the many treatments he underwent in hopes of resurrecting his career was Rolfing or Structural Integration. Swan was so impressed by the technique that he went to school to learn it and today is a highly successful licensed Rolfing practitioner in Connecticut.

craig swan

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