Mets Merized Online » Milwaukee Brewers Wed, 07 Dec 2016 23:45:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mets Take Sole Possession Of Second Wild Card Fri, 09 Sep 2016 13:34:01 +0000 Sign man

After getting pounded by the Milwaukee Brewers 12-5 on Thursday night, the St. Louis Cardinals fell behind the New York Mets in the wild card standings, giving the Amazins sole possession of the second wild card spot. The MLB betting lines continue to rise in the Mets favor.

The Mets had the night off, but now find themselves just one-half game behind the San Francisco Giants for the top wild card spot which would give them home-field advantage in a one-game playoff.

 Domingo Santana and Orlando Arcia hit back-to-back homers for the Brewers while Hernan Perez had four hits and three RBI as the Brew Crew won their season-high fifth straight game on the road.

Jaime Garcia (10-12) started for the Red Birds and lost his fourth straight decision, allowing five earned runs in 3 2/3 innings.

While the Mets have picked a great time to get hot, the Giants, Cards, Pirates and Marlins are dropping like flies and look absolutely impotent compared to the revitalized New York Mets.


The Mets now have a 69.4 percent chance of making the playoffs according to FanGraphs.

Just 2.5 weeks ago, the Mets were 5.5 games out of the second wild card spot and were pronounced dead by all the experts.

Look at them now.

We have won five series in a row and are riding a five game winning streak as we pull into Atlanta for a three game set with the last place Braves who are 32 games under .500.

Getcha popcorn ready!

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Rangers To Acquire Jonathan Lucroy Mon, 01 Aug 2016 17:35:25 +0000 Jonathan - Lucroy

The Mets are no longer in the running to acquire Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy who will be dealt to the Texas Rangers along with Jeremy Jeffress for three prospects including Lewis Brinson and Luis Ortiz.

Update – Aug 1

If you’re wondering why talks between the Mets and Brewers essentially went nowhere with Jonathan Lucroy, Mike Puma of the New York Post says Milwaukee asked for second base prospect  Dilson Herrera to be included along with Travis d’Arnaud and another piece as part of the return package. The two sides never got close to striking a deal, Puma explained.

As such. multiple sources are confirming that the Mets are no longer talking to the Brewers about Lucroy. The Texas Rangers are now considered the favorites and some reports suggest they are closing in.

However, Buster Olney of ESPN says the Mets and Brewers are still negotiating and having ongoing trade discussions on Lucroy. Apparently, the Mets feel that adding Jay Bruce makes them too left-handed and that Lucroy would add some balance.

Any deal will include at least Dilson Herrera and Travis d’Arnaud many reports say.

Original Report – July 1 

According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, catcher Jonathan Lucroy has exercised his no-trade clause thereby vetoing the trade between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Cleveland Indians.

The Indians were one of eight teams on Lucroy’s no-trade list. The other seven teams he can block trades to are the Twins, Angels, Mariners, Athletics, Padres, Tigers, and Nationals.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, reported that Lucroy would only approve the deal if the Indians were willing to void his 2017 option, and the Indians had no interest in doing that.

However, Buster Olney of ESPN says both the Indians and Brewers are attempting to get Lucroy to reconsider.

Now Adam McCalvy of is saying that the the Brewers-Indians talks regarding Lucroy are totally dead, David Stearns says. They won’t start over and try for a lesser package.

While the details have yet to fully emerge, there is a window of opportunity for another team like the New York Mets, who are not on Lucroy’s no-trade list, to swoop in and try to make a try for him now.

The Mets are said to be weighing their options and discussing whether or not to jump back in on Lucroy and to what extent per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the Mets remain hopeful they can still swing a trade for Lucroy.

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MMO Game Recap: Brewers Defeat Mets 5-3 Sun, 12 Jun 2016 21:27:36 +0000 steven matz

The New York Mets (34-28) were defeated by the Milwaukee Brewers (30-33) by a score of 5-3 at Miller Park on Sunday afternoon. They split the series two games apiece.


Steven Matz was on the mound today and this wasn’t his best effort.  Matz pitched six innings but gave up nine hits, allowing 5 runs (4 earned), walking none, and striking out five.  Compounding matters, his defense behind him was terrible today, routinely throwing away routine balls and extending innings.

Erik Goeddel returned to the Mets and made his 2016 debut.  He pitched a 1-2-3 seventh through the teeth of the Brewers lineup.

Addison Reed came in and pitched a scoreless inning in the bottom of the eighth.

dick scottOffense: 

Zach Davies was very good today for the Brew Crew.  Davies only gave up three hits over six scoreless innings and struck out seven.

The Mets got things going as soon as Davies was removed however.  After scraping across a run in the seventh, Juan Lagares lead off the eighth with a double.  Curtis Granderson followed with a single scoring Lagares from second and giving the Mets their second run of the day.

After a Matt Reynolds strikeout, Yoenis Cespedes roped a line drive double to center field to score Curtis Granderson making the score 5-3.  After a Kelly Johnson groundout moved Cespedes to third, Asdrubal Cabrera worked a really tough walk on nine pitches.

With runners on the corners and two out, Wilmer Flores cracked a line drive to left field that was caught by Ryan Braun in what was incredible, diving, belly flop play.

The Mets would get the tying runner to the plate in the bottom of the ninth but it was not meant to be today. At least the Mets showed some heart and went down fighting this afternoon.


Erik Goeddel was activated today and Logan Verrett was shipped off to AAA.

Terry Collins was taken to the hospital today as he started feeling ill 30 minutes before game time.  Collins is undergoing tests.  Bench coach Dick Scott managed today’s game.

On Deck: 

The Mets will play their first game of a three game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates Tuesday evening at Citi Field. The game has a start time of 7:10 PM.  Jacob deGrom (3-2, 2.80 ERA) will look to get the Mets going against righty Juan Nicasio (5-5 5.34 ERA).


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Mets Option Logan Verrett To Triple-A, Promote RHP Erik Goeddel Sun, 12 Jun 2016 15:53:56 +0000 logan verrett 2

The New York Mets have optioned swing man Logan Verrett to Triple-A Las Vegas and called up righty reliever Erik Goeddel. Assistant GM John Ricco made the announcement and said the team needed a fresh arm for the bullpen. He will be here in time for the game.

Verrett surrendered three homers in yesterday’s loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, including a long ball to opposing pitcher Wily Peralta. He was charged with five runs on four hits and four walks while throwing 87 pitches. His ERA has soared to 4.02.

Goeddel has had a rough go of it at Las Vegas where he has posted a 4.94 ERA, but more concerning is his 1.563 WHIP and 4.9 walk rate. He has allowed 37 baserunners in 23.2 innings pitched.

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MMO Game Recap: Mets Outlast Brewers In Wild Extra-Innings Win Sat, 11 Jun 2016 04:48:55 +0000 matt harvey

The New York Mets (34-26) defeated the Milwaukee Brewers (28-33) by a score of 2-1 at Miller Park on  Friday evening in extra innings.


Matt Harvey was on the mound tonight and ladies and gentleman, Harvey looks to be back to his old self.  This may have been Harvey’s best start yet and it is now his third straight stellar effort.  Harvey went six innings, allowing one run, walking two, and striking out eight.  Harvey’s overall velocity and bite on his off speed pitches have returned.

Harvey got himself into a little bit of a jam in the bottom of the fifth inning.  Old friend Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a line drive triple off the right field wall with one out in the inning.  After an Aaron Hill walk and runners on the corners, Ramon Flores hit a sacrifice fly to left field to bring in Captain Kirk to score the Brewers only run of the night.

Hansel Robles came in to pitch the seventh inning in a tie game and walked a bit of a tight rope.  Robles had runners on the corners but would ultimately get out of it.

Antonio Bastardo came in to pitch a much needed 1, 2, 3 eighth inning.  Bastardo had given up seven runs in his previous seven appearances.

Jim Henderson, who pitched three years with the Brewers, was called on to go through the teeth of the order in the bottom of the ninth.  In what must have been an emotional outing, Henderson got himself into major trouble by allowing runners on second and third with one out.  Luckily, next up for the Brew Crew was Captain Kirk, who is notorious for his big strikeout numbers during his Mets days.  Well, strike out he would, as Henderson was able to get a huge K and the second out of the inning.  Henderson then got Aaron Hill to ground out to preserve the 1-1 game.

Henderson would start the bottom of the tenth but he would be removed with a blister issue.  With a short pen and a runner on first, Blevins came in and cleaned up the mess to keep the Mets pushing on.

Finally with the lead in the bottom of the eleventh, Jeurys Familia, who was the last reliever available in the pen, came in and pitched a dominant 1, 2, 3, inning.  Familia has now recorded 37 straight saves and is 21 for 21 on the year.

yoenis cespedes


Junior Guerra kept the struggling Mets offense at bay for most of the night.

After the Brewers had just gone up 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Yoenis Cespedes rocketed a solo home run to left center field to tie the game at the top of the sixth.  Cespedes has certainly shown signs of breaking out over the last few games as he looks to end his mini-slump.

In the top of the ninth inning and the game knotted at one, the Mets had an excellent opportunity to take the lead.  Asdrubal Cabrera worked a walk on four pitches to leadoff the inning. Wilmer Flores, who has been very hot lately, hit a perfectly timed ground ball single to right field to put two runners on with nobody out.  Fresh over from the Braves, Kelly Johnson rapped a single into right field to load the bases with nobody out.

Amazingly, the Mets were not able to score after a Kevin Plawecki pop up, a Neil Walker strikeout, and a Curtis Granderson groundout.  The Mets are now 29th in baseball in hitting with runners in scoring position.

In the top of the eleventh, with the score still tied at 1-1, Asdrubal Cabrera lead off with a single.  Wilmer Flores came through again and laced a double into left field to put runners on second and third with nobody out.  After an intentional walk to Kelly Johnson to load the bases, Kevin Plawecki AGAIN popped up for the first out of the inning.

Matt Reynolds finally delivered by lining into a force out at second in a bizarre play in which the Brewers tried to get Kelly Johnson out twice.  A run would finally come home.

jeurys familia


Kelly Johnson was activated today and got the start at second base.  Ty Kelly was demoted to AAA to make room.  If that wasn’t confusing enough, Kelly took Kelly’s 55 number as well.

Travis d’Arnuad was the DH in a rehab game in Port St. Lucie tonight and went 1-5.  TDA is expected to start catching Saturday.

On Deck: 

The Mets will play their third game of a four game series with the Milwaukee Brewers tomorrow afternoon at Miller Park. The game has a start time of 4:10 PM.  Logan Verrett (4-3, 3.22 ERA) will look to keep the Mets going against righty Wily Peralta (3-7 6.79 ERA).  Peralta currently has the highest ERA in baseball amongst qualifying pitchers.


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Logan Verret Will Start Saturday Against Brewers Wed, 08 Jun 2016 01:43:38 +0000 logan verrett

Due to Monday’s rained out game that led to today’s doubleheader, Logan Verrett will will make a spot start on Saturday in Milwaukee against the Brewers.

Verrett, 25, pitched two scoreless innings of relief during the first game against the Pirates, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out two. He has a 3.22 ERA in 18 appearances this season including three starts, striking out 26 in 36.1 innings pitched.

The versatile right-hander has had two solid spot starts already this season against the Marlins and Phillies, combining for 12 shutout innings.

However his most recent start against the Rockies on May 14th, was a totally different story. He surrendered seven runs, while failing to get out of the third inning.

The Mets are hopeful that the more dominant Verrett is the man that shows up on Saturday.

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Considering Possible Third Base Solutions For Mets Thu, 02 Jun 2016 20:58:59 +0000 wilmer flores

Can Flores Replace Wright At 3B If He Misses Considerable Time?

Despite the spinal stenosis, David Wright was playing well in 2016.  He was hitting .226/.350/.438 with seven homeruns and 14 RBI.  He had hit homeruns in three straight games before it was discovered he had a herniated disc in his neck.  It was a cruel setback for a player who has worked so hard to get back to this point.  It leaves everyone questioning if this is the straw that will break the camel’s back.  If it is, or if Wright needs another lengthy stint on the disabled list, the Mets are going to have to find an immediate and viable solution to third base.

Internal Options

  1. Wilmer Flores - Going into this season, the Mets tabbed Flores to be the main backup at four infield positions.  With Wright needing days off here and there due to the spinal stenosis, it was presumed Flores would play a lot of third base.  At the outset, Flores appears to be the player who will get the first crack at the position.  However, if he continues hitting .167/.231/.267, the Mets are going to be forced to turn in another direction.
  2. T.J. Rivera - Eric Campbell already had his shot, and he hit .159/.270/.222 leading him to be designated for assignment.  Matt Reynolds had a brief call-up and he hit .100/.182/.100 in limited duty.  The revolving door has now brought us to Ty Kelly, who is hitting .167/.231/.167 in limited duty.  While this triumvirate has been given the opportunities and failed to hit, T.J. Rivera shockingly remains in Triple-A hitting .364/.399/.535.  This isn’t a case of bloated PCL numbers and in line with his six year production as a pro. Sooner or later, he’s going to get a shot to play in the majors with the way he has been playing. But will it be with another organization?
  3. Gavin Cecchini - The former 2012 first round pick for the Mets is currently hitting .308/.390/.400 in his first season in AAA.  The issue is in his minor league career, Cecchini has only played SS. If he gets called up, the Mets would have to choose between playing him at a position he has never played before or making him the SS while Asdrubal Cabrera moves to third, where he has only played one inning in his major league career.
  4. Dilson Herrera - The Mets could elect to call-up Herrera to play second while sliding their second basemen to third like they have the past few seasons.  The issue here is that despite a spurt of home runs earlier in the season, Herrera is not raking in AAA the way he usually does, and Neil Walker has only played 15 games at third base over his eight year career. Still, Herrera was out of the lineup on Wednesday night for Las Vegas, could he already be on the way?

External Options

If you are going to make a move at this point, you are really only going to be able to obtain a player from a team that is completely out of the pennant race, or a player that has been designated for assignment.  With the current two-team Wild Card format, a safe line of demarcation is any team that is 10 games or more out of first place is likely out of contention.

Looking over the standings, that would mean the Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, Cincinnati Reds (who have nothing of value), and the San Diego Padres.  Of course, due consideration should be given to the Oakland Athletics, who are always ready, willing, and able to make a trade.

  1. Trevor Plouffe -  Plouffe is one of the many reasons the Twins are having a down year as he is hitting .246/.273/.369.  For his career, he’s a .245/.307/.417 hitter.  As such, he’s not going to resolve any of the Mets offensive problems.  Also, as per UZR and DRS, he has only been an adequate defensive third baseman meaning he doesn’t have the superior defense to carry his bat.
  2. Eduardo Nunez - The former Yankee is having a nice season for the Twins hitting .340/.367/.507 in 42 games.  This year he has mostly played third and shortstop.  In the event Wright does come back, Nunez can be a valuable utility player.  The main issue with the 29 year old Nunez is that he will not be cheap as he still has a couple of cost controlled years before he becomes a free agent in 2018.
  3. Kelly Johnson - Johnson was a valuable bench piece for the Mets last year hitting .250/.304/.414.  The benefits are you know he can play in New York, and he should not be expensive.  The downside is he’s hitting .218/.279/.307 this year.
  4. Gordon Beckham - While Beckham has never quite lived up to the hype, he is having a good season this year as a utility player for the Braves, playing second, third, and short.  The career .244/.307/.374 hitter is hitting .293/.393/.446 for the Braves.  Maybe it’s the small sample size of 30 games, maybe it’s the change to the National League, but Beckham is a better offensive player this year.
  5. Aaron Hill - Hill is having a tremendous year as the Brewers’ third baseman, hitting .275/.351/436.  He’s also played second in his career.  The main sticking point with Hill is his salary.  He is earning $12 million this year with the Arizona Diamondbacks paying $6.5 million of that.  If the Mets were to obtain Hill, they would have to take on the prorated portion of the $5.5 million the Brewers are paying him, or part with additional prospects to get the Brewers to eat some of that salary.
  6. Brett Wallace - Wallace is a left-handed hitting third baseman.  He has bounced around as he has never reached his full potential at the plate.  He has also been a below average fielder wherever he has played, including third base.  He seems to have found a home as a Padre these past two seasons.  This year he is hitting .219/.379/.381.  The issue with him is he’s still a cost-controlled player just entering his arbitration years.
  7. Yangervis Solarte - Former Met Roger Cedeno‘s nephew, Solarte, is hitting .300/.397/.600 this year while playing mostly third base.  He is a versatile player with a good bat.  He is only making $525,000 this year, and he’s not arbitration eligible until 2017.  If you want him, you’re going to have to pry him away from the Padres.  Remember, this is the same Padres front office that rejected Michael Fulmer for Justin Upton.  Solarte would be a great fit for the Mets, but it is unlikely they are going to be willing to pay the price of what it’ll take to acquire him.
  8. Ruben Tejada - Simply put, Tejada is a major league caliber player that is better suited to playing shortstop.  He was a career .255/.320/.323 hitter on the Mets.  He played poorly with the Cardinals hitting .176/.225/.235 before being released.  He’s more of a bench option than he is a third base option.  Even so, the Mets should claim him and put him on the bench
  9. Jed Lowrie - Lowrie is in the midst of a good season hitting .309/.351/.360 for the Athletics.  He is capable of playing second, third, or shortstop.  However, he has little power, and he is in the middle of a relatively large contract that pays him $7.5 million this year and $6 million next year with a team option/buyout in 2018.
  10. Danny Valencia - Valencia is having a terrific season, hitting .333/.370/.558 while playing third base for the the Athletics.  He has an extremely reasonable $3.15 million salary for 2016, however, that is part of the problem. With a reasonable salary this year, and still under team control until 2018 he could be tough to get on the cheap. Given the way Billy Beane does business, he will be extremely expensive.

Overall, that is the current landscape as far as options go.  If Wright is really going to miss a significant amount of time for the second straight season, the Mets will need to move in one or more of these directions. If the Mets enter the trade market, they’ll have to part with some top assets to acquire the good, quality players like Solarte and Valencia. It’s more likely they try to deal with the Brewers, Padres or even the Athletics – a team that really drives a hard bargain.  Anyway you slice it, if Wright is out longterm the Mets certainly face some tough decisions.

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Jonathan Lucroy Should Be A Priority Tue, 24 May 2016 17:20:53 +0000 b99206715z.1_20140216213914_000_g0a4sbon.1-0

With the unfortunate developments on first baseman Lucas Duda not looking rosy for the New York Mets for the next several weeks, the talk has been on whom among the in-house options could fill in during his absence.

The usual suspects have been mentioned, Eric Campbell, Wilmer Flores upon his return from his own DL stint later this week, recent call-up Ty Kelly, and the potential for even Michael Conforto and or David Wright to get reps there as well.

It makes some sense to see how Wright would fare at first base, given his spinal stenosis and how long it takes him to prepare each game he plays. Maybe shifting to the opposite corner would help with his back, not having to make those long throws across the field. With Conforto, I’d rather the 23-year-old continue to focus his attention at the plate, and play in left-field, at least for the remainder of 2016.

With that being said, it looks like the Mets are in some agreement with me, as David Lennon of Newsday tweeted out a quote from assistant GM John Ricco before the Mets got underway in Washington to face the Nationals.

“We are not going to be able to replace Lucas Duda internally”. The Mets could look to trade for Lucas Duda’s replacement at first base, Ricco told reporters.

This could also mean that the Mets wont be able to duplicate what Duda offers the club, but I think the Mets realize that their in-house options aren’t so great. So where does this leave the team going forward?

One possible solution is Milwaukee Brewers’ catcher/first baseman Jonathan Lucroy, who’s in his final year of the 5-year $11 million contract he signed back in 2012. The good news is, he wouldn’t be a rental player, as he has a team option for 2017 at $5.25 million, a bargain for an All-Star caliber player still in his prime.

The Mets and Brewers talked last summer before the trade deadline about a blockbuster trade involving Wilmer Flores and Zack Wheeler for center-fielder Carlos Gomez, however the framework fell apart when the Mets didn’t like what they saw from Gomez’s medical reports. So needless to say, these two teams might need to let bygones be bygones, and work towards a new deal involving Lucroy.


Lucroy, 29, has been a solid catcher for the Brew Crew for the past several seasons. From 2011 to 2015, he’s put up a solid line of .286/.345/.443, which amounts to an OPS of .788. He’s amassed 68 home runs during that five-year period, with 311 runs batted in and averaging an OPS+ of 114 in that stretch.

And so far in 2016, Lucroy’s enjoyed a solid bounce back season after a down year in 2015. To date, Lucroy has put up a stat line of .287/.352/.473 for an OPS of .825. He’s hit 6 home runs, with 17 runs batted in, putting up an OPS+ of 120. As of Monday night, Lucroy ranked second among Major League catchers in OPS, slugging, home runs, and extra base hits.

His defensive abilities have also been highly praised throughout his 7-year career, notably for his pitch framing and his improving arm behind the dish. In 2012, he had a caught stealing rate of 21%, well below the league average of 27%. In 2013 he went up one percentage point to 22%, followed by 26%, 28% last season, and now is up to 36% this year.

Of course, Lucroy would be brought here to be the permanent stopgap at first base while Duda is recovering from his stress fracture in his lower back. Lucroy has seen a little time at first base during his Major League career, manning the position in 43 games in his career, posting a .988 fielding percentage.

Before the Brewers asked Lucroy to play first back in 2013 for a few games, he last played the position during a stint in a college summer league back in 2006. But he looks like he’s been able to handle first in the limited time he’s been there, and would be a better option than moving Neil Walker over, whose never played first before professionally, or sticking with Eric Campbell, who has done a good job defensively, but provides little at the plate.

Two questions arise if the Mets were to trade for Lucroy: 1. What would the Brewers want in return for him? 2. What would happen to Travis d’Arnaud?

In trying to answer the first question, teams this past off-season repeatedly asked the Brewers about Lucroy and his availability, but held off due to the “high cost” the Brewers were asking for in return. Teams that were reportedly interested in trading for Lucroy were the Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals, Oakland Athletics, and Houston Astros.

Considering that the Brewers don’t have a viable option to replace Lucroy at catcher in the Majors, they do however have 28-year-old Manny Pina in Triple A Colorado, who currently has a .960 OPS. But he’s more of a journeyman minor leaguer, amassing over 750 minor league games since 2005. Could a swap with the Brewers include a Met catcher and young pitcher? Could the Mets swing a deal that would include d’Arnaud? This would also answer the second question on what would happen to the 27-year-old right-handed catcher upon his return from the disabled list.

While fans have been split on d’Arnaud for years, loving the potential he offers with his bat, yet unable to play a full season due to injuries, it seems we might never see d’Arnaud live up to his full potential due to what seems to be a perennial injury or two. In d’Arnaud, the Brewers are buying high on a young, affordable, under contract player while they rebuild their club. His earliest arbitration year would be in 2017, and the earliest he could be a free agent would not be until 2020, so the Brewers would be gaining several years of control, compared to the year and a half left on Lucroy’s deal. And of course there would be additional pieces added to such a trade, but d’Arnaud would be a major centerpiece.

The Mets could keep playing Kevin Plawecki and Rene Rivera at catcher, while Lucroy plays first. Once Duda is cleared to play and ready to return, the Mets could slide Lucroy back at catcher, and keep Plawecki as his backup.

All of this is obviously just posture at this point, and the Brewers might be asking for a heck of a lot more than what the Mets are willing to give up in a trade. However, Sandy Alderson should make a note of dialing Brewers’ GM David Stearns, and initiating some dialogue that might prove to be an upgrade offensively, and health wise for the immediate future for the Mets.

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The Z Files: Syndergaard Shows Importance of Pitch Selection Mon, 23 May 2016 16:24:46 +0000 noah syndergaard 2

Noah Syndergaard helped complete the New York Mets three game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers using a pitching strategy Matt Harvey successfully utilized last season.

Noah Syndergaard (W, 5-2) 7.0 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 11 SO, 0 BB

Syndergaard’s overall transition in pitch selection has been obvious, using his newly found sharp, high velocity slider 18% more while throwing his curveball 12% less compared to last season.  Overlooked is Syndergaard’s dedication in establishing his fastball early in games, setting up his off-speed pitches later in games.

Here is Syndergaard’s pitch breakdown per inning from last night’s performance (FB = Fastball, CH = Changeup, SL = Slider, CB = Curveball):

1st Inning:  17 FB (73.9%), 0 CH (0.0%), 2 SL (8.7%), 4 CB (17.4%) = 23

2nd Inning:  12 FB (70.6%), 0 CH (0.0%), 2 SL (11.8%), 3 CB (17.6%) = 17

3rd Inning:  11 FB (64.7%), 1 CH (5.9%), 1 SL (5.9%), 4 CB (23.5%) = 17

4th Inning:  8 FB (50.0%), 4 CH (25.0%), 2 SL (12.5%), 2 CB (12.5%) = 16

5th Inning:  6 FB (66.6%), 2 CH (22.2%), 0 SL (0.0%), 1 CB (11.1%) = 9

6th Inning:  5 FB (35.7%), 5 CH (35.7%), 1 SL (7.1%), 3 CB (21.4%) = 14

7th Inning:  7 FB (53.8%), 3 CH (23.1%), 2 SL (15.4%), 1 CB (7.7%) = 13

During the first three innings or first two at-bats for the core of the Brewers lineup, Syndergaard challenged Brewers hitters with his fastball knowing it will take them a few times through the batting order to adjust to his 99 mph fastball.

This creates Brewers hitters to come up for their third and four at-bats against Syndergaard expecting and ready to hit his fastball.  However at this point in the game, Syndergaard changes and mixes his pitch selection.

Although Syndergaard’s slider and curveball usage remain relatively steady, his fastball usage decreases from 70.2% during the first three innings to 50.0% during the last four innings.  Conversely, Syndergaard’s changeup usage increases from 1.8% during the first three innings to 26.9% during the last four innings.

This caught Brewers hitters off guard, keeping them off-balance in the batter’s box translating to less aggressive swings and weaker contact.  Additionally, by saving his changeup until the third and fourth time through the Brewers lineup, Syndergaard’s changeup is not only a pitch Brewers hitters aren’t expecting but have not seen.  This allows Syndergaard’s changeup to look even more deceiving and devastating, helping create the extraordinary 40.0% miss/whiff rate with his changeup last night.

This culminated in Syndergaard allowing his second lowest hard contact % of the season at 18.8% and his second highest soft contact % of the season at 31.3%.

David Wright’s Arm

On a routine ground ball during the top of the sixth, David Wright threw a bullet across the infield to throw out Ryan Braun at first base.  So far this season, Wright has transitioned into almost exclusively throwing sidearm and even submarine depending on the play, both of which are generally more erratic leading to greater fielding errors.  It’s great to see Wright making strong overhand.

Although Wright’s spinal stenosis condition cannot go away, this throw may signal a few consecutive days off every month is a viable temporary solution to help keep Wright on the field through the end of this season.

Stat of the Night

SNY showed statistics I’ve been preaching about the past few weeks:  The Mets offense produces the highest percentage of their runs through home runs in MLB (55% of all runs scored produced through home runs).  The Mets have by far the lowest batting average with runners in scoring position in MLB (.210).  This trend continued this series as the Mets offense produced over 54.5% of their runs via the long ball (6 of 11 runs scored).

Follow Chris Zaccherio on Twitter @ziography for more Mets insight going beyond statistics.

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Syndergaard Dominates Again With 11 Strikeout Effort Mon, 23 May 2016 11:00:37 +0000 noah syndergaard

The legend that is becoming Noah Syndergaard, struck lightning again in Sunday’s 3-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. Syndergaard  threw seven dominant innings, striking out 11.

He allowed just one run on the day while giving up six hits. For the second consecutive start, he did not walk a batter while dealing another double-digit strikeout game. Thor walked no batters for the second consecutive start. The only other Mets pitcher to reach that feat was Dwight Gooden on September 12 and September 17 of 1984.

Additionally, Syndergaard is the fourth pitcher since 1913 (and first Met) to have consecutive double-digit strikeout games with no walks and no earned runs. On the season he has allowed just nine walks, while striking out 76 in 60.1 innings. He has truly taken over role of an ace for a team that surely needed him to step up.

“The ability when I go out there, I have the confidence to go out there and throw whichever pitch at any given time,” Syndergaard said. “The amount of growth that I’ve had in the span of one year has been night and day.” (NY Post)

On a day where his team needed him to go deep into the game, he did not disappoint. The bullpen was taxed, both Addison Reed and Hansel Robles were unavailable on the day. Manager, Terry Collins, needed his 23 year-old ace to get his team through the seventh, it didn’t look promising at first as he struggled with his command early on. Syndergaard though bared down like a true ace, readjusted and provided another great start.

“We said [Saturday] night, this kid’s got to get us deep in the game. He’s got to step up and give us an outing, and he did,” manager Terry Collins said. “At his age, with his experience, to have to ride him like that is a compliment to what he’s done and what he’s accomplished so far and his maturity.”

Thor now has eight double-digit strikeout games through his first 33 career starts and is tied with Matt Harvey for second-most for a Met in team history through their first 33 starts. Gooden is first with 16 such starts. Syndergaard’s 76 strikeouts through his first nine starts of the year are third-most for a Met in team history. Only Tom Seaver struck out more in his first nine starts (88 in 1970 and 77 in 1971).  Not bad company for a young ace.

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MMO Game Recap: Syndergaard Electric As Mets Sweep Brewers 3-1 Sun, 22 May 2016 22:39:02 +0000 noah syndergaard 2

The New York Mets (25-18) defeated the Milwaukee Brewers (18-26) by a score of 3-1 at Citi Field Sunday afternoon. The Mets swept the Brewers and will look to keep things rolling as they head into another series with the division leading Nationals.


Noah Syndergaard was incredible today.  There isn’t much left to say about this man as he has clearly emerged as one of the most dominant forces in the game.  Syndergaard went seven innings, allowing one run (unearned), walked none, and struck out eleven.  At one point, Syndergaard struck out 7 of 8 batters.

Noah did get into a little bit of trouble in the first inning.  After a Jonathan Villar ground out, Scooter Gennett reached base on a David Wright error.  Ryan Braun followed with a ground out that pushed Gennett into scoring position.  With two out and a runner on second, Jonathan Lucroy would single up the middle on a line drive to bring in the Brewers only run of the day.

Jim Henderson came on in the eighth and pitched a scoreless inning.  How good has this bullpen been?  The Mets bullpen leads all of baseball in ERA, FIP, and WAR.

Jeurys Familia shut the door in the ninth with his 15th save in 15 opportunities.

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Michael Conforto got things started for the Mets in the first inning with his eighth home run of the season.

In the bottom of the fourth inning in a 1-1 tie game, Conforto lead off with a walk.  Yoenis Cespedes followed with a double that was misjudged by Ryan Braun putting runners on second and third with nobody out.  After a Neil Walker strikeout, Cabrera finally cashed in with a clutch single to right field to bring in both runners giving the Mets a 3-1 lead.

The Mets offense only recorded six hits on the day but it was more than enough.

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Lucas Duda remains out with a back issue.  Duda was expected to receive results from an MRI late this afternoon.

Hansel Robles and Addison Reed were unavailable today due to an extended work load over the last few days.

Noah Syndergaard becomes the first pitcher in franchise history with double-digit strikeouts and zero walks in consecutive games. He now has four career starts with at least 10 strikeouts and zero walks in first 33 games, tying Matt Harvey for the modern MLB record.

On Deck: 

The Mets will open up their first game of a three game series with the Washington Nationals tomorrow night at Nationals Park.  The game has a start time of 7:05 PM.  Bartolo Colon (3-3, 3.75 ERA) will look to keep the Mets winning streak going against Gio Gonzalez (3-1 1.86 ERA).  Colon is also looking to rebound from an uncharacteristic start in which he walked five batters and was knocked out in the fifth inning.

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O CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN! Mets Beat Brewers On Walk-Off From Wright! Sat, 21 May 2016 23:36:26 +0000 jacob degrom

The Mets (24-18) defeated the Milwaukee Brewers (18-25) by a score of 5-4 this afternoon at Citi Field, and in the process, earned the series victory.


Jacob deGrom toed the rubber for the Mets this afternoon, and gutted his way through five innings, in which he threw over 100 pitches and allowed four runs.

In the first inning, deGrom got into immediate trouble, allowing a double to Jonathan Villar to start the game, but was able to retire the next three batters in order.

The Mets got on the board in the bottom half of the first, but deGrom immediately gave the Brewers the lead in the second, walking Aaron Hill and then having Ramon Flores take him deep.

In the fourth inning, deGrom surrendered two more runs. Aaron Hill walked to lead off the inning, then advanced to third on a single from Alex Presley. Ramon Flores subsequently drove in his third run of the game with a sacrifice fly.

Zach Davies then dropped down a sacrifice bunt, and Jacob deGrom threw a wild pitch to put a runner at third with two out, which was followed by a Jonathan Villar single to left to give Milwaukee a 4-1 lead.

DeGrom pitched a clean fifth to end his day, before handing the ball over to Hansel Robles who pitched two solid innings out of the ‘pen.

Addison Reed kept the Brewers at bay in the eighth, and closer Jeurys Familia got the ball for the ninth in a non-save situation.

Jonathan Villar doubled off Familia with one out, but a strong throw from Yoenis Cespedes and a diving stop from David Wright on the throw back to the infield prevented Villar from advancing.

Scooter Gennett hit one to Asdrubal Cabrera, who wisely threw to third and erased Villar from the equation. Familia then got Jonathan Lucroy to pop-out and end the inning.

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Curtis Granderson got the Mets on the scorecard first this afternoon, launching his eighth homer of the year in the bottom of the first.

After Milwaukee took a 4-1 lead, the Mets cut that lead in half in the fourth. Yoenis Cespedes singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch from Zach Davies.  Asdrubal Cabrera then singled to right to bring Cespedes around to score.

In the sixth inning, after Michael Conforto walked, Yoenis Cespedes knotted the game up on a two-run shot to left field, his 14th of the season.

With the game remaining tied into the ninth, the Mets were looking for their first walk-off win of the season.

Eric Campbell singled to lead off the frame, which was followed by a very solid at-bat from Kevin Plawecki, who eventually drew a walk.

Matt Reynolds failed twice to drop down a sacrifice bunt, but with two strikes, was able to and advanced the runners to second and third with one out.

Curtis Granderson was intentionally walked to load the bases for the captain, David Wright.

The erratic Michael Blazek threw three straight balls to Wright, who then laced the fourth pitch into the gap in right field to send the Brewers home with their tails between their legs.

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On deck:

The Mets will look for the series sweep tomorrow afternoon, with Noah Syndergaard (4-2, 2.19 ERA) taking on Chase Anderson (2-5, 5.32 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 PM.

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Youth Movement: Matz and Conforto Get Mets Back On Track Sat, 21 May 2016 14:00:22 +0000 michael conforto

Coming off Matt Harvey’s hellacious outing, faith was restored in Flushing on Friday from the franchise’s best and brightest future stars.  Steven Matz was armed and dangerous, and the crack of Michael Conforto’s bat gave the Mets a 3-2 victory over the visiting Milwaukee Brewers.

The first inning loomed ominous when Chris Carter launched a two run shot, but the Long Island born lefty then retired 15 in a row, striking out eight with no walks through seven for his sixth straight win. ”I was definitely happy I was able to command the ball,” a satisfied Matz said after the game.

Matz now leads all qualified rookie pitchers this season with six wins and a 2.81 ERA. He is also the first player in franchise history to win 10 of his first 11 major league decisions.

Conforto was in his comfort zone facing right-hander Wily Peralta, who up until the 5th inning had sent 10 consecutive Mets batters back to the dugout without a peep.

Notable among Conforto’s single and homer were that they were both hit to the opposite field, something that wasn’t lost on manager Terry Collins.

“What you saw tonight is what I hope we see more, the fact that he used the field,” Collins said.

“He was hitting a lot of homers to right field, and I think when you get into a situation where you think you’ve gotta hit home runs, all of a sudden the pull thought comes in your head, and his swing, he was trying to turn on balls instead of putting good swings on them.”

An interesting note on Conforto. Four of his seven homers this year have given the Mets a lead and nine of 16 career home runs have either tied the game or given the Mets a lead.

What a sigh of relief for Collins who didn’t need to call upon his battered bullpen that had taken quite a beating in their last couple of losses.

Reliable Addison Reed tossed a perfect eighth, and the unflappable Jeurys Familia improved to 14 saves in as many chances.

In eight of his last 11 outings, Familia has retired every batter he’s faced. Meanwhile, Reed has allowed just two earned runs in his last 13.1 innings pitched (1.35 ERA). He leads the team with nine holds and has 25 strikeouts in his last 17.0 innings.

For the past couple of weeks, run support has been at an all time low, so hopefully on Saturday, the Amazins will give Jacob deGrom some offensive love after uncharacteristic back to back no-decisions.

After a much-needed win, it’s one game at a time for a Mets team whose youth carried the day in the series opener against the Brew Crew.

(USA Today Sports/Photo By Brad Penner)

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Mets Sign Catcher Nevin Ashley To Minor League Deal Fri, 15 Jan 2016 22:07:15 +0000 Ashley1280_mu4e34qi_1bib0fjr


The Mets have signed right-handed hitting catcher Nevin Ashley to a minor league deal. He played a majority of the 2015 season in AAA Colorado Springs Sky Sox (PCL) for the Milwaukee Brewers hitting .306/.374/.442 with eight homeruns, four triples, and knocked in 61 runs.

The 31-year old also made his Major League debut in 2015 going 2 for 20 with the Brewers in 12 games.

He was originally a 6th round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays in 2006 out of Indiana State University. Nevin is a career .263/.353/.387 hitter in 870 minor league games spanning 10 seasons.

He has thrown out 36% of would be base stealers in 700 minor league games behind the plate. He has also played three games in his career at first base and they all came in 2015.

His wife’s name is Ashley Ashley meaning I really hope he makes it to the big leagues so Keith can fumble over that.

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Orioles Get Gerardo Parra From Brewers Fri, 31 Jul 2015 14:50:44 +0000 gerardo parra

The Baltimore Orioles have acquired outfielder Gerardo Parra from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for RHP Zach Davies according to Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel. No official announcement yet as deal is pending physicals.

Parra, who was once considered by many reports to be a top target for the New York Mets, is hitting a career best .328 with a .886 OPS, 24 doubles, nine home runs, and 53 runs scored this season.

However there was no chance that the 28-year old Parra would become a Met after the bridge-burning festivities with Milwaukee in the last 48 hours.

Nice job by the Brewers here who end up walking away with the number three ranked prospect in the Orioles system.

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Report: Brewers Deny Gomez Hip Issue, Mets Nixed Deal Due To Payroll Concerns Thu, 30 Jul 2015 15:55:12 +0000 carlos gomez

The story keeps changing on the dead in the water Carlos Gomez deal. This is why I’ve been imploring everyone to stop taking sides when both teams are trying feverishly to save face and nobody knows the truth.

Tim Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is now reporting that the Mets killed the deal because of financial limitations and fear they couldn’t fit Gomez into their payroll.

Both Brewers general manager Doug Melvin and agent Scott Boras disputed there was a hip issue Thursday morning.

“Carlos never had any issue with his hip,” Scott Boras said in a telephone interview Thursday morning.

“He had an abductor and groin issue a few weeks ago and just to make sure he was OK, we requested the team do an MRI that showed his abductor had healed with medication. The doctor just happened to throw in, ‘By the way, his hip structurally and tissue-wise is clean.”

Here is the timeline of events according to Haudricourt:

1. The Brewers thought they had a deal with the Mets on Wednesday evening to send Gomez to New York in exchange for injured pitcher Zack Wheeler and infielder Wilmer Flores.

2. The Mets wanted the Brewers to take centerfielder Juan Lagares in the trade. The Brewers said no, in part because Lagares has an elbow issue but also because he has a four-year, $23 million contract extension that kicks in next year and they didn’t want to pick up the money.

3. The Mets then asked the Brewers to throw in the 2016 Competitive Balance Round B pick they were recently awarded and the Brewers said no.

4. The Brewers then were asked to put some money in the trade to cover part of what’s remaining on Gomez’s contract, including a $9 million salary next year. The Brewers said no.

5. It was only then that the Mets came back and said they were calling off the deal because of concerns over Gomez’s medical records.

Again, we may never know the truth, after all the Mets are swimming in cash and have no payroll restrictions, right Fred?

The deal is dead, that’s the only truth. That and whatever you want to convince yourself happened.

July 29

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Milwaukee Brewers rejected the trade with the New York Mets because of concerns they had with the medical reports on Zack Wheeler and his physical.

Tom Haudricourt of the Journal-Sentinel reported the Brewers apparently were not satisfied with medical reports on Wheeler and that the reconstructive elbow surgery performed in March was more complicated than normal because of separately torn tendon that had to be repaired.

However Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports says it was the Mets who backed out over concerns about a degenerative hip condition that Carlos Gomez has.

“Whatever has been speculated over the course of the evening has not and will not transpire,” Sandy Alderson told reporters. “There’s no trade. … It’s an unfortunate situation.”

It’s a bizarre story that continues to get even more murky, and we may never know the real truth as to what actually transpired.

Initially when the deal was first reported by Andy Martino, Ken Rosenthal and Joel Sherman, all three said the deal was pending a physical on Zack Wheeler.

After examining their twitter timelines, neither of them mentioned anything about a pending physical for Carlos Gomez.

All I know is that all the baseball insiders had no problem reporting this was a done deal, but now they’re all scrambling to try and distance themselves from the land mine they created.

I’m sure the last thing either team wants out there right now, is that Wheeler and Gomez have serious injury concerns.

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A’s Deal Ben Zobrist To Royals Tue, 28 Jul 2015 19:13:56 +0000 ben Zobrist

The New York Mets may still be in the market for a big bat, but it wont be Ben Zobrist who many said Sandy Alderson coveted.

The Oakland A’s dealt the versatile Zobrist to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for two pitching prospects according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Jon Heyman reports that the A’s will get back RHP Aaron Brooks and the Royals’ second best prospect LHP Sean Manaea.

The Royals are making a huge push to bolster the team, having already landed Johnny Cueto from the Reds a day ago.

July 25

According to Kristie Ackert and Andy Martino of the Daily News, multiple sources told them that the Mets have discussed trading Zack Wheeler with other teams in their search for an outfielder.

Sandy Alderson has made it clear several times including Friday, that Matt Harvey, Stephen Matz, Noah Syndergaard, and Jacob degrom are off-limits and not available for trade. He’s never included Zack Wheeler in that group.

The Mets were pushing to deal for Brewers outfielder Gerardo Parra up until last night, according to Marc Carig of Newsday.

It was when talks broke down, that the Mets made the decision to call up highly regarded prospect Michael Conforto from AA Binghamton.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson did tell reporters that adding Conforto does not necessarily change the team’s plans leading up to the trade deadline.

“This is not indicative of how aggressive or less aggressive we’re going to be,” Alderson said. “This is somewhat independent.”

Some of the names that were being circulated regarding Wheeler were Jay Bruce of the Cincinnati Reds, Josh Reddick of the Oakland A’s, and Parra of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Wheeler underwent Tommy John surgery in March, but is expected to begin throwing soon, and likely to return sometime next season with a target of early to mid June.

Rafael Montero has also come up in various trade rumors connected to the Mets, and in fact many initially believed he was the integral piece in the trade to acquire Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe.

A couple of sources also believe that the Mets are having conversations with the Colorado Rockies lending some credence to the on-again and off-again rumors regarding Troy Tulowitzki, who does not want to be traded and the team insists is not on the trade block.

After the game on Friday night, GM Sandy Alderson left open the possibility that the Mets are not done yet, only saying to stay tuned.

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Is Aramis Ramirez Coming To The Mets? Thu, 16 Jul 2015 22:50:17 +0000 aramis ramirez

Are the Mets going to trade for Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez? That’s what ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick said when he was asked to predict one deal he believed would go down at the trade deadline.

Crasnick believes the Mets have the pitching prospects to get a deal done and enough resources to take on the approximate $6 million that Ramirez is owed.

The 37-year-old veteran is batting .234 with 10 homers, 39 RBI and a .279 on-base percentage for the season, and is batting .306 with a .798 OPS over 11 games in July.

Ramirez doesn’t have a no-trade clause, but he prefers to get traded to a contender.

“If I get traded it’s going to be to a team that’s in a pennant race and that’s what I want,” Ramirez said.

Just before the All-Star break, Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reported that the Mets and Brewers had recently rekindled trade talks and he believed the players being discussed were Ramirez and shortstop Jean Segura .

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Mets Fall Under .500 After 4-1 Loss To Brewers Thu, 25 Jun 2015 03:01:03 +0000 bartolo colon

The New York Mets were defeated by the Milwaukee Brewers by a score of 4-1 tonight at Miller Park.

It was an embarrassing defeat on many levels for the Mets as one of the worst pitchers in the National League, Jimmy Nelson, held them to just two hits over eight innings.

Nelson had a 6.06 ERA entering the game and had been hammered in just about all of his starts against NL teams this season.

It’s the seventh consecutive loss for the Mets and it drops them under .500 for the first time since early April.

Bartolo Colon allowed four runs on ten hits and a walk in his six innings of work, certainly not the kind of start the team was looking for. His ERA now stands at a season high of 4.89. Not good.

Logan Verrett relieved Colon and pitched two scoreless innings. He looks promising to me.

The only run of the game for the Mets was a solo homerun by Curtis Granderson off Nelson in the fourth.

This is getting so frustrating. The last time the Mets lost seven straight was in April of 2011.

The team looks listless at the plate. So many first pitch strikes it’s disgusting. The are batting .077 with runners in scoring position during this 0-7 road trip. They are 3-18 in their last 21 games away from Citi Field. Pathetic.

Can somebody show us some accountability? They have erased all the good feelings of that 13-3 start.

Something has to be done to shake this team up, although I’m at a loss as to what that should be. They just can’t stand back and do nothing.

The Mets wrap up this series against the Brewers on Thursday in a 2:10 PM start. Jacob deGrom (7-5, 2.34 ERA) gets the start for the Mets and will be opposed by Taylor Jungmann (2-1, 3.50 ERA) for the Brewers.

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Breaking Down Jon Niese vs. Milwaukee Brewers Wed, 24 Jun 2015 13:35:22 +0000 jon niese

Stat Line:  6 IP, 2 R, 8 H, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 3 K

During last night’s 3-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets starting pitcher Jon Niese showed that he’s officially turned the page on his awful May performances (1-4 with 5.56 ERA, 4.55 FIP in May).  During this article I will explain the positives and negatives to take away from Niese’s start against the Brewers.


Cut-Fastball aka Cutter

If you’re wondering, “How is Niese jamming Brewers hitters with an 87 mph pitch?  How did Jean Segura miss what looked to be an 87 mph fastball right over the plate in his sixth inning at-bat?”  It’s all in Niese’s cutter.

Much like a hard slider, a cutter can be the most unhittable pitch in the MLB due to its fastball tight spin coupled with its fastball like speed.  This creates a pitch that breaks only two to four inches but in the last five feet to the hitter, which is when most MLB hitters begin their swing.  The movement so quick, so small and so late in the pitch trajectory that the hitter doesn’t realize the movement until after they have completed their swing.  The cutter will have just enough movement to stay away from the barrel of the bat, either jamming the opposing hitter or inducing a swing and miss.

Last night’s performance proves Niese’s cutter is the catalyst to his pitching success when comparing it his early season struggles when he relied too heavily on his four-seam fastball.

Kept Pitches Low

Via Brooks Baseball PitchF/X Tool, Niese threw only 22 of his 99 pitches belt high and above against Brewers hitters, with some of those thrown intentionally to induce strikeouts (See Aramis Ramirez and Adam Lind strikeouts in fifth inning).  In case you missed it, there are three main advantages to keeping the baseball down in the strike zone as noted in a previous breakdown of Noah Syndergaard from May 28.

As I noted earlier in the season, keeping the baseball low in the zone is Niese’s only chance for success at the Major League level due to a lack of speed in his fastball which gives him no forgiveness when he misses up in the zone and a lack of a strikeout pitch which makes it tough for him to get out of jams.


Lack of a Strikeout Pitch

Niese still struggles to strikeout hitters when ahead in the count due to a lack of a sharp breaking off-speed pitch and overpowering or deceptive fastball.  Niese did a good job of striking out Ramirez and Lind on high fastballs but that was a more a product of setting up those hitters to chase that high fastball than it was his fastball overpowering or deceiving the hitter.

Additionally, Niese doesn’t vary pitch speeds well to help his fastball look harder than it really is which is also known as throwing a “deceptively” hard fastball.  Via Brooks Baseball PitchF/X Tool, Niese only threw 11 of his 99 pitches below 85 mph, all of which were curveballs sitting around 75 mph.

A finesse pitcher like Niese should have at least 8 to 12 mph difference between his fastball and his two off-speed pitches.  Since Niese throws his changeup only 5 mph slower than his fastball, he should work on his curveball which is 15 mph slower than his 90 mph fastball, much like Noah Syndergaard uses his 75 mph curveball against his 98 mph fastball.  Another avenue for Niese would be to try different changeup grips to allow his changeup to drop down to 80 mph which will help induce more swing and misses.

Dropping his Elbow

It should be noted that in the fourth through sixth innings of his outing, Niese began to drop his elbow below his shoulder during his throwing motion on some of his fastballs and cutters.  This usually occurs when a pitcher is trying to place or guide the baseball to a location rather than throw it to a location.  This results in missing either way up or way down, too far away from the strike zone to induce any swings or called strikes.

Take Away

If Niese can continue to keep the ball down in the zone and command his cutter, he can compete as a back-end starter for the Mets.  The best case scenario is that Niese continues this decent success, build’s trade value back up and the Mets are able to trade him before the trade deadline in July.

P.S. Although we have no idea on the timetable, I can’t wait to watch Steven Matz.

Follow Chris Zaccherio on Twitter @ziography for more Mets pitching insight that goes beyond statistics.


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Report: Mets and Brewers Initiate Trade Talks Wed, 10 Jun 2015 21:40:49 +0000 Jean+Segura+Milwaukee+Brewers+v+Colorado+Rockies+HeH0sj_IBKdl

Are Mets eyeing Milwaukee’s Jean Segura?

According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, the Mets and Brewers have begun preliminary trade talks. Morosi says the Mets are keying in on the Brewers’ position players.

On Tuesday we learned that Aramis Ramirez was not a consideration according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York who spoke to a team source.

“The Mets are not expected to pursue a player locked into third base, including Milwaukee’s Aramis Ramirez. The Mets do not want to be boxed in once David Wright ultimately returns from his lower-back injury.”

They are also not keen on Ramirez’s diminishing skills anyway, and do not view him as an upgrade over what they have, writes Rubin.

So who could it be? Jean Segura, Gerardo Parra, Carlos Gomez? Ryan Braun?

More importantly, if the Brewers are having a fire sale and are looking for top end prospects, who will the Mets deal?

Or is this just another flimsy rumor that goes nowhere?

Time will tell.

June 5

The Mets director of pro scouting, Jim D’Aloia, was in Minnesota on Friday night presumably to scout the Milwaukee Brewers.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports says that the Mets and Brewers have not talked in several weeks, but that Milwaukee could have two possible fits for the Mets; third baseman Aramis Ramirez and shortstop Jean Segura.

Ramirez is the more practical fit says Rosenthal, and not only would he be the easiest to acquire, but he no longer has any trade protection because he plans to retire at the end of the season.

Ramirez is having a brutal season, hitting .208 with six homers and 16 RBI and it’s believed the Brewers are anxious to unload him. The 37-year old veteran was owed $14 million for the 2015 season.

Last week, Milwaukee beat writer Todd Rosiak of the Journal-Sentinel reported that the Brewers could also trade outfielder Ryan Braun, but only if a team were able to take on his entire salary which he calls unlikely. Carlos Gomez could also be had but only for a very substantial package of top prospects.

Finally, Rosenthal also adds that as for Ben Zobrist the Mets are definitely interested, but also realize that they will probably be outbid by other teams. The Washington Nationals reportedly reached out to Oakland on Friday.

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