Mets Merized Online » NL Fri, 13 Jan 2017 22:00:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Blue Jays Making A Push For Jay Bruce Wed, 30 Nov 2016 01:06:41 +0000 jay-bruce

The Toronto Blue Jays are among the teams making a push for New York Mets outfielder Jay Bruce, sources tell Jerry Crasnick of  ”They’re in serious need of corner outfield help.”

With Yoenis Cespedes now signed, sealed and delivered, it was only a matter of time until suitors for Jay Bruce started to emerge. The Mets have more outfielders than they can shake a stick at and if the Mets can flip Bruce for a quality reliever it’s a huge win for the team. Not only they do fill a vital spot in the bullpen, but they free up some money for other needs.

Bruce, 29, was traded to the Mets from the Cincinnati Reds at the trade deadline last August for prospects Dilson Herrera and Max Wotell. However, he struggled mightily for the Amazins before coming to life during the last week of the season, a case of too little too late.

Leading the NL in RBIs at the time he was acquired, Bruce batted just .219/.294/.391 with the Mets with only eight home runs and 19 RBIs in 187 plate appearances. He’s owed $13 million next season after which he becomes a free agent.

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Corey Seager and Michael Fulmer Win Rookie of the Year Honors Tue, 15 Nov 2016 04:58:24 +0000 seager corey

Major League Baseball announced their 2016 Rookie of the Year Award winners on Monday. Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager won in the National League and Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Michael Fulmer took the honors in the American League.

Seager, 22, batted .308/.365/.512 with 40 doubles, 26 homers, 72 RBI and 105 runs scored. His 6.1 WAR was the fourth-best in the NL.

Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda and the Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner finished second and third in the voting, and Mets left-hander Steven Matz received one third place vote.

michael fulmer

Fulmer, 23, won 11 games and posted a  3.06 ERA and 1.119 WHIP 159 innings pitched for the Tigers, striking out 132 batters while walking 42.

Detroit acquired Fulmer, the 44th overall pick by the New York Mets in the 2011 draft, at the 2015 trade deadline in the deal that sent Yoenis Cespedes to the Mets.

Catcher Gary Sanchez of the New York Yankees and center fielder Tyler Naquin of the Cleveland Indians finished second and third respectively.

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Syndergaard Snubbed As Cy Young Finalist Tue, 08 Nov 2016 12:00:41 +0000 noah-syndergaard

The BBWAA announced their finalists for each end-of-the-year award including the National League Cy Young. The three finalist are Chicago Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks, Cubs lefty Jon Lester and Washington Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer.

Missing from that list is New York Mets ace Noah Syndergaard. The 24-year old righty finished his first full Major League season 14-9 with a 2.60 ERA in 183.2 innings covering 30 starts and one relief appearance.

Thor wasn’t a finalist despite leading Major League Baseball with his 6.5 fWAR, 2.29 FIP and 0.54 HR/9 among qualified starters. His 2.60 ERA was third among starters as was his 23.5 K-BB%.

Hendricks, 26, led the majors with his 2.13 ERA and his 0.98 WHIP was second in the National League. His 3.24 FIP was fourth in the NL and the 4.5 fWAR he posted was sixth among NL pitchers.

Lester has finished fourth in Cy Young voting twice so far in his career, once with the Boston Red Sox in 2010 and again in 2014 when he pitched for the Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics. This past season the 32-year old was second in the NL with 19 wins, second with a 2.44 ERA, and his 4.3 fWAR was seventh.

Scherzer, 32, finished fifth in NL Cy Young voting in the previous two seasons and won the award in 2013 with the Detroit Tigers. In 2016, he led the NL with 20 wins and 284 strikeouts while finishing third with a 5.6 fWAR.

Syndergaard jokingly showed off his displeasure with the snub on twitter. “Not a Cy Young finalist…not a big deal…right Dwight?”

He was certainly deserving of being a finalist and should be a top 5 finisher.

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Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz Remain Out Of Rotation, Returns Still Uncertain Thu, 08 Sep 2016 17:49:38 +0000 syndergaard degrom

According to beat reporter Kristie Ackert of the Daily News, there are still no planned dates for the returns of RHP Jacob deGrom (forearm) or LHP Steven Matz (shoulder) to return to the starting rotation.

DeGrom, 28, is expected to miss another start Terry Collins said on Sunday, so he’ll continue to rest his strained forearm. He last pitched on September 1 in a loss to the Miami Marlins. After undergoing an MRI last week, team doctors determined that there is no structural damage in deGrom’s arm.

Matz, 25, appears to be the biggest concern for the Mets. The Long Island southpaw has been on the disabled list since August 15. But on Monday he began throwing on flat ground, which is an encouraging step in the right direction. Despite concerns about whether the Mets should just shut him down for the season and let his shoulder rest while getting the elbow surgery to remove bone spurs over and done with, Matz says he expects to pitch again in 2016.

Meanwhile Terry Collins is focused on what he has to work it and not who’s missing in action.

“It may sound harsh, but I don’t worry about the guys who aren’t here. …You got to worry about what you’ve got here, because that is what is going to help you win tonight,” Collins said. “ We can’t sit there after the game, regardless of the outcome, and say I wish we had Jake tonight, because we don’t.”

With the Mets off on Thursday after a three-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds, the team will get some much needed rest before beginning a three-game series with the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. The Mets will turn to rookie right-handers Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo to start Friday and Saturday, while the veteran Bartolo Colon will get the nod in the series finale on Sunday.

Luckily for the Mets, all three upcoming starters have stepped up in big ways and are chiefly responsible for the incredible starting pitching that has rocketed the team all the way to the brink of a wild card spot, and there’s no doubt in my opinion, that their recent run of success will continue. The Mets have finally put it all together and I think right now they are among the top two teams in the NL along with the Chicago Cubs.

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Are You Counting On Wright Returning In 2017? Sat, 13 Aug 2016 15:57:39 +0000 david wright

With the 2016 season entering the home stretch, the New York Mets are still in contention for a playoff spot. Not because of anything the offense is doing, but as Ken Davidoff of the New York Post put it, the rest of the NL is playing down to their level.

Much has been made about the Mets’ inability to string together back to back wins for well over a month now. But during this period of futility for the Mets, it’s not like any other team has really ran away with it in the National League other than the Chicago Cubs in the Central.

Ten games behind the Washington Nationals may seem like an ocean away, but a significant hot streak like winning 12 of the next 16 would bring the Mets back home on August 26 with 10 games to play against division rivals including three against the Nats.

Now I’m not saying any of this will happen. At the beginning of the season, I predicted the Mets would finish 2nd in the NL East and secure the top wild-card spot; a prediction that still seems just as plausible now as it did in March. Among the the five team scramble for both wild cards, it’s still a free for all and the Mets are still very much alive.

There is hope in the form of a lineup that can soon feature a healthy Jose Reyes and Yoenis Cespedes to go with Jay Bruce, but will it be too late? And even if that does happen, will it change the potential record-setting ineptitude of this offense with runners in scoring position?

While this season sorts itself out over the next five weeks, let’s also turn an eye towards 2017, something I think Sandy Alderson was doing when he pulled the trigger on Jay Bruce. The deal meant two things:

One, the front office no longer believed in Dilson Herrera, who they could have called up on many occasions to help this anemic offense and didn’t.

Two, Bruce serves as a viable offensive fallback next season if Yoenis Cespedes opts out, a facet that Alderson admitted made the former Reds slugger so desirable.

What about our other power sources for next season? Yes, there’s Lucas Duda returning at first base, presumably healthy and ready to go. But it’s the player at the other corner position that concerns me and gave me pause about the future.

david wright

Kenny DeJohn of Newsday covered David Wright on Monday, who spent the morning visiting with kids at a Day Camp in Merrick, Long Island. He told reporters on hand that he hopes to be back as the Mets third baseman in 2017 and that he’ll be done in a couple of years.

“I’m moving around and feeling a lot better than I did,” Wright explained. “So hopefully I’m back next year. That’s what my goal is.”

“Now it’s just a matter of being patient and allowing the screws and the plate to take place and really fusing together so hopefully there are no more problems in the future.”

Am I the only one hoping this was Wright’s injury-marred final season?

I mean, I completely understand not announcing that now, especially in front of cheerful elementary school kids, but am I alone in wanting to watch a press conference sometime early in the offseason where Wright admits that the injuries are just too much?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to remember our captain as a side-arming fielder who hits just above his playing weight and slowly fizzles away into obscurity. More importantly, as a father I want Wright to be able to lift his newborn daughter and chase her around the house as she grows up without any pain.

The GM in me was already wondering whether the team could go to Port St. Lucie in 2017 with Neil Walker, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores to fill 2B, SS and 3B – or do you go after Ian Desmond and see if he can play third? Or Justin Turner?

How cheap and reasonable is it to re-sign James Loney? Do you send Michael Conforto to Winter Ball to learn how to play first base as a backup plan for Duda? If the Nationals are really going to let Wilson Ramos make it to free agency, do you outbid them for the 29-year old catcher? And what can you get for Curtis Granderson and the $15 million he’s still owed?

I was having a little fun running through all these different possibilities for next Spring, because in my mind I figured David Wright wasn’t coming back. We can’t count on him for any future plans because it’s too much of a question mark. We already made that mistake in 2016 and we still haven’t found a regular third base solution – platoon or otherwise – since we lost Wright.

Sadly, what we did see from Wright during his brief stint this year, was that he doesn’t have the arm to play third base anymore and his bat couldn’t catch up to a major league fastball. He’s owed another $67 million, money he can earn as a team ambassador, a roving instructor, or a coach at this point. But he can’t earn it on the field… And to go forward with a different mindset is foolish.

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MMO Exclusive: “House of Nails” by Lenny Dykstra Mon, 04 Jul 2016 10:00:21 +0000 lenny-dykstra-3

Lenny Dykstra is a man who has lived his life in grave fear.  Even from his youth, he was a scared person. The inception of his innate fear was different from the majority of society’s phobias.  It was not the dark that irked him; it wasn’t monsters; it was not a fear of harm or abandonment. Lenny ‘Nails’ Dykstra’s trepidation was that he would be just average.

He was born into a world that he saw as “The Middle” and would fight each waking moment with every ounce of his being to transcend this status he dubbed unacceptable for himself. The Nails that we have recently seen and heard promoting his new book all over newspapers, television, and radio is the remnants of the man who furiously wrestled against this fear every moment of his life. And let me tell you first hand, it’s one incredible story.

IMG_4724Fear is an unparalleled motivator. The genesis of the gritty, reckless player we saw on the baseball field for twelve years, double the average for an MLB player, was this fear. It inspired the highest of highs and lowest of lows for the man they call Nails, which he documents in his work with no reservations.

Lenny’s fear motivated him to pinnacles of success that rival anyone’s boyhood dreams which are explained in poignant detail throughout the chapters. It led to some incredible highs in his professional life such as World Series appearances with both the Mets and Phillies, leading the National League in hits and on base percentage in 1990, as well as an MVP caliber season in 1993 where he led MLB in plate appearances and the NL in at-bats, runs scored, hits, and walks.

It also led to amazing and noteworthy stories from around the world in his personal life such as chance meetings with the likes of Robert DeNiro, Mickey Rourke, Charlie Sheen, and Michael Jordan. The stories involve how professional athletes and celebrities live to a degree of excess that is unfathomable to common folk such as us.

These stories are impressively chronicled in his work House of Nails that he penned himself after firing a ghost writer who he felt made the work too sensationalized and artificial. About the famed ghost writer he relieved of the responsibility, “It wasn’t his fault. It wasn’t personal,” Lenny said on the Opie and Jim Show on Sirius XM radio, “God himself couldn’t be my ghost writer. It had to come from me to be authentic.”

That same innate fear that stalked him his entire life, however, also brought him to failures of epic proportions. It led to his reliance on amphetamines, drugs, and prescription medication to perform at his unmatched level of intensity, his choice to use steroids, overextending himself financially after retirement, the failure of his marriage, and even his eventual incarceration.

He explains in detail the reasons why he chose to take performance enhancing substances prior to the 1990 season with the Phillies. His reasoning is consistent with his philosophy of ‘fearing the middle’. As he shares in his book, Lenny comments, “I am not proud to say I did it…I had to do it. I was not physically constructed to withstand an entire 162 game season particularly the way I played.”

lenny dykstra

Any fan of baseball or teammate of Dykstra will laud his enthusiasm and all or nothing attitude. He would stop at nothing to help his team win and to make the spectators and cities that supported him happy. Dykstra further rationalized his choice by adding, “I am going to be one of the 26 people in the whole world to start on a Major League Baseball team playing center field.”

Even more incredibly, he would have to be able to do it for years at Veterans Stadium, on a notoriously treacherous cement like playing surface

No matter what the challenge or avenue, Lenny Dykstra would dedicate all of his energy and attention into trying to become “The Best”. His pursuit of this status was almost obsessive. Whatever he chose to undertake became an all-consuming passion. He learned every nuance and studied every detail of said endeavor to make sure that he was maximizing his potential.

In this book, he details his playing philosophy that brought him to elite status. His fascinating take on hitting, pitch selection, and situational performance is definitely worth taking notice of. He later explains investment strategies that led him to draw the admiration of famed hedge fund manager Jim Cramer. His extremely complicated “deep-in-the-money” options trading system made me, an economics teacher, have to go back to my textbooks to understand it. (And by the way, it is sound, efficient, and a bit risky, which I am sure appealed to the gambler within him.) Lenny also details his business plan for the Players Club magazine, his ascension to business owning success with a chain of three car wash locations in California, and his role in ending the baseball labor stoppage in 1994.

His addictive personality would lead him to exploit every loophole and transcend every rule or regulation stopping at nothing to succeed. In his mind, if he failed, it was back to that ominous average and middle status. For Lenny, he would rather be dead than average. On a couple of occasions as he recounts, he almost was.

In this fantastic article in the Los Angeles Times by the esteemed Jim Murray which is referenced in House of Nails, Lenny is described a player who, “…doesn’t belong in this point in time anyway.” He was seen as a player who was born into the wrong era of baseball. This article was written 26 years ago and couldn’t be more applicable even today.

lenny dykstra bw

A lot of press has been generated over his comments about his time with the New York Mets. From someone who read every inch of this book twice, let me clarify some of them for you. Yes, he is critical of Davey Johnson. He all but blames him exclusively for the 1988 loss in the NLCS to the Dodgers. Amazing, huh? A person being critical of a coach for his decisions? I urge you to search any professional coach’s name on social media and see how many positive comments there are about them. Better yet, listen to some of the comments made by parents at your child’s next little league game.

By today’s standards, based on some of the skipper’s choices in that crucial series, Davey Johnson would have been run out of town a lot sooner.  (See game 6 and 7 box-score if you don’t recall, or better yet read the book.)  Why Davey? Reasoning is simple.  He was contradictory to Lenny’s quest. His quest to be the best, to be all or nothing. Davey platooned Lenny with Mookie Wilson and sat him out of some big games. Dykstra wanted to play every single inning of every single game. How can we fault an athlete for that?

In almost all cases, he is complimentary of his teammates. Particularly Keith Hernandez‘s knack for the clutch hit, Ron Darling‘s yeoman like work ethic, as well as the importance of Gary Carter and the appreciation he keeps for a guy like Gary who was able to do it all and still ‘Play Clean’.

He explains to you what each person’s unique skill set brought to the table and only is critical of those who have mostly been criticized before. For example, George Foster‘s tirade against what he dubbed as the “racist Mets organization” for benching him for Kevin Mitchell (both were African American players, by the way) as well as Foster’s actions in the epic brawl between the Mets against the Reds in 1986 where he chose not to fight.

He is also critical of Greg Jefferies who he dubbed ‘A losing player’.  Read any other book about the 1980′s New York Mets and this story will be corroborated. His book taught me that Greg Jefferies wrote a letter to WFAN to plea for fans and the media to stop criticizing him. Could you imagine the reaction in the twitter-sphere to something like this letter today?

You may not like his lifestyle. You may not like his crass personality, sometimes offensive choice of words, or his womanizing drug filled history. Chances are, though, if you were a Mets or Phillies supporter in the 1980′s or 1990′s this man was responsible for some of the best moments of your fanhood. Some of the comments taken out of context that have been recently published paint him as quite the villain who is telling tales out of school.

In the last two days I have been amazingly lucky to be granted direct access to Nails and his team. What I have seen is a gracious, generous, and humorous man that has lived an unparalleled life and wishes to tell us all about it. I for one am thankful that he did, because he was unquestionably my favorite player on my favorite team during my favorite time in it’s history. I highly recommend you take the opportunity to review his life.

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Yoenis Cespedes Maintains Hold On 3rd Outfield Spot in NL All Star Voting Wed, 08 Jun 2016 19:09:58 +0000 yoenis cespedes

Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes continues to maintain his hold on the third outfield spot for the National League in All Star voting.

With 1,097,593 votes, Cespedes has a solid margin over other National League outfielders with the closest being Jason Heyward who is more than 300,000 votes behind.

Cespedes has been slumping this month and spoke about that on Tuesday night.

“I’m a little bit lost at the plate right now, but my hip is not affecting me. … I know what I’m doing wrong. I’m jumping ahead a little bit before my swing. I know that I need to slow myself down. I’m having trouble doing that. I think I need to just get back in the cage and work on that.”

No other Mets are currently within grasp of a starting nod in the Mid Summer Classic.

Original Report – June 1

Major League Baseball released their first voting update for the 2016 All-Star Game, which will be played at Petco Park in San Diego on July 12.

The good news for the Mets is that outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is the eighth-leading vote getter in the National League with 792,395 votes, and it places him third amongs all outfielders.

For now, Cespedes is the only Met holding onto a starting slot, but some other Mets are not too far behind.

Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera currently rank 3rd respectively among NL second basemen and shortstops.

Additionally, David Wright currently ranks 3rd among NL third basemen, Lucas Duda currently ranks 5th among NL first basemen, Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson rank 8th and 13th respectively at outfield.

Here are the latest tallies for the National League:

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Keep in mind that Terry Collins will be managing the National League squad and he gets to select all the pitchers and reserve players.

That could mean Walker and Conforto sneak in as reserves, and that Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Jacob deGrom and Jeurys Familia will have excellent shots to make the team as well. A lot of it will depend on how many spots Collins has to work with after he ensures every team is represented.


Keep voting! Vote five (5) times now and be sure to come back and vote again. You can vote up to 35 times until Thursday, June 30 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

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Nationals Offer To Yoenis Cespedes Over $100 Million Thu, 21 Jan 2016 19:55:14 +0000 yoenis cespedes

The Washington Nationals have made an offer to free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, who first reported they were very interested in the former Met after they lost out on signing Justin Upton.

Sources tell Jon Heyman that the Nats are offering a five year deal north of $100 million that will also include some deferred compensation. Heyman emphasizes that the negotiations have now reached a serious stage, suggesting a final agreement could be close.

The Nationals are very motivated after making strong offers to both Jason Heyward and Upton and walking away with neither player. They immediately shifted their focus to Cespedes after the Detroit Tigers clinched the deal with Upton.

“The team’s offer to Cespedes is said to be for less than the Tigers gave Upton. But Nats ownership is intrigued by Cespedes, sources said.”

On Wednesday, Jim Bowden said that Cespedes was close to making a decision in the next 24-48 hours during an appearance on MLB Network Radio and he also added, “the Washington Nationals are for real.” So this could be very close to winding down.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson would only say he was still engaged with the reps for Cespedes when asked about him during a season ticket holder event at Citi Field. ”We continue to have conversations with Cespedes’ agent,” Alderson said. “But that’s all I can say at this time.”

The Mets are willing to go as far as a three-year deal, though they’ve not yet made any official offer.

Original Report

On Tuesday night, Sandy Alderson spoke to a group of season ticket holders at Citi Field and responded to questions about re-signing free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.

“We continue to have conversations with Cespedes’ agent,” Alderson said. “But that’s all I can say at this time.”

The Mets remain interested in signing Cespedes, and they have let his agents at Roc Nation know they are willing to offer him a three-year deal, but no more than that. Kevin Kernan of the New York Post reported that deal as three years and $60 million. Still, according to several reports, Cespedes continues to hold out for at least a a five-year contract.

Ken Davidoff of the New York Post circled back to a couple of high-level decision-makers from an NL and AL teams asking whether Cespedes had overplayed his hand. And in the wake of Chris Davis’ and Justin Upton’s deals, both now believe Cespedes will be rewarded handsomely for his patience. In other words, it’s expected Cespedes will still get a deal in excess of $100 million dollars.

John Harper of the Daily News polled a handful of baseball executives and scouts on Tuesday and they remain convinced that some team will step forward to give Cespedes a five-year deal in the $100 million range.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported yesterday, that the Washington Nationals are now showing interest in Cespedes after losing out on Justin Upton. And like the Mets and White Sox, they will only consider him on a short-term deal of three years or less. The Angels, Astros, and Braves are also in the mix at varying degrees.

Rosenthal also suggests that the Mets should bite the bullet and offer Cespedes a five-year, $120 million deal with a two-year-opt out and a ton of deferred money.

“Cespedes could claim victory and get the long-term security he wants, and the Mets would win too because the five-year term is shorter than Cespedes desires, the deferred money would lower the present-day value of the deal, and the opt-out would ensure that the outfielder stays motivated.”

He concludes that if the Mets don’t do it, some other team will.

Meanwhile, manager Terry Collins hasn’t been secretive about his desire for Sandy to bring Cespedes back. ”I don’t know where Cespedes is at contract-wise with anybody else, but I know he wants to come back to New York if he can. He’s a great player and we’d love to have him back.”

When Sandy was asked yesterday if his offseason was short on sizzle, the GM responded:

“The short answer, yes. We want sizzle and long term success. The team is better now than it was at start of 2015 season. If we get a star player and don’t win then what? What are the questions then?”

So that’s the latest for now as this long saga continues.

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Is The Mets’ Rotation Worth A Billion Dollars? Tue, 22 Dec 2015 12:00:13 +0000 harvey degrom syndergaard matz

That’s what Joel Sherman of the NY Post says they are worth in his latest article. He asked a group of six major league executives about how much they would cost if they were available as free agents, and five of them agreed that one billion was a realistic number.

The amount seems ludicrous at first glance, but it’s not when you take a closer look. Sherman points out if Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard all receive $250 million dollar deals, and Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler sign for $150 and $100 million, that adds up to one billion.

These numbers aren’t unrealistic given the expensive deals pitchers are getting this offseason. They are now receiving bigger contracts than ever with David Price getting  $217 million over seven years, and even a mediocre pitcher like Jeff Samardzija still got $90 million despite having a 4.96 ERA.

As one NL head of baseball operations said: “I do think $1 billion is a reasonable estimate. Certainly, their top four [all but Wheeler] would be more appealing than most, if not all, of the pitchers who changed teams this offseason.”

An AL head of pro scouting said: “We could argue specifics on each player, but I would have to think you’d get to a billion one way or another.”

Certainly their youth and upside is what makes them such an extremely valuable group. All of them are under 30, and have the ability to preform like number one starters. As one NL player-personnel head described, the Mets are blessed with  “a unique, amazing rotation.”

With this outstanding group of pitchers, the Mets are clearly in a fantastic position this year and in the near future to dominate in the National League. The only question is can the Mets add the right pieces around them in order to achieve greatness? They came so close to pulling it off last season,  and they will be more determined than ever to make it back to the World Series in 2016.

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Jeurys Familia Ties Franchise Record With 43 Saves Mon, 05 Oct 2015 12:50:00 +0000 jeurys familia

Jeurys Familia notched his 43rd save of the season on Sunday, matching Armando Benitez (who saved 43 in 2001} for the most saves in a single season in franchise history.

It’s been a remarkable season for Familia, who was unexpectedly thrust into the closer role after Jenrry Mejia was suspended for PED use in early April.

Familia finishes the season with a 1.85 ERA, 1.001 WHIP, .207 BAA and 86 strikeouts in 78.1 innings while walking 19.

“He was thrown into that closer’s role,” third baseman David Wright said. “And he never looked back.”

“He stepped up and did a tremendous job all year,” Mets manager Terry Collins added.

Enjoy the following article by Brian Mangan who does an exceptional job of chronicling just how special Familia has been this season.

— Joe D.

September 30 - Jeurys Familia is Very Good at Everything

It is no secret around the league now that Jeurys Familia is amazing. Familia posted a 2.21 ERA in 77.1 dominant innings last year (3.07 FIP) and has backed that up with an even more scintillating year this year, tallying a 1.88 ERA (2.79 FIP) and 42 resounding saves in 76.2 innings.

The league has taken notice since Familia was snubbed for the All Star Game in July; and since then he’s been even nastier to hitters. In early September, Familia added an absolutely unfair 95-mph splitter to his arsenal, complementing his 100-mph fastball and wipe-out slider.

Players around the league wilt at the idea of facing him. Media outlets everywhere have called him “unfair”. (For some good reading, here’s Eno Sarris at Fangraphs and Dan Weigel at Beyond the Box Score)

jeurys familiaWhat might be most amazing about Familia, however, is the way he’s gotten these results. Despite the overpowering arsenal, Familia does not have anything about his performance that screams “elite.” Instead, Familia is just really, really good at everything across the board.

It’s pretty clear that Familia could strike out more batters if he wanted to, but right now, Familia is combining elite “stuff” with a willingness to pound the strike zone and get ground balls. Together, this makes him the most elite of the elite. Let’s take a look at how Familia stacks up in the National League.

Among NL relievers with at least 60 innings, Familia is 3rd in saves and 4th in ERA, behind only Ken Giles, Aroldis Chapman, and Hector Rondon.

His strikeout rate is very good, but not elite, ranking 8th in the NL (9.86 K/9). His walk rate is very good, but also not elite, ranking 9th in the NL (2.23 BB/9). His combination of high strikeouts and low walks together, however, conspire to make him 3rd in the NL in K-BB%, which is a much more important stat than K’s or BB’s alone.

Among plate discipline components, Familia again does very well in just about all of them. Familia gets swings out of the zone the 4th most in the NL. Batters only make contact on swings outside the zone 46.3% of the time, which is also 4th best in the NL. Familia also pounds the zone with strikes, ranking 10th in the NL in first pitch strikes. Finally, he sports a very strong swinging strike rate, getting batters to swing and miss the 4th most often in the NL at 16.0%.

Batters don’t do much with the ball when the put it in play against Familia either, hitting ground balls 58.2% of the time, the 9th most in the NL. He gets infield fly balls (this is a very good thing) the 10th most often, and he gets soft contact the 7th most often and hard contact the 9th best rate.

So as you can see, Familia lacks the one stand-out tool. He doesn’t strike out 41% of the batters to face him, like Chapman or Kenley Jansen do. He doesn’t get 72% ground balls like Brad Ziegler. He doesn’t avoid the walk like Mark Melancon, who allows only 1.69 BB/9.

But what he does do — and people who have watched him all season can attest to this — is everything really well. Familia has been a godsend for the Mets this year. He’s a hard-throwing, strike-throwing, strikeout, ground ball and pop-up pitcher with incredible mound presence who has a three pitch arsenal and who can dominate both righties and lefties. There isn’t much more that you could ask for.

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Collins Says Impressive Rookie Michael Conforto Won’t See Any Starts Against LHP Thu, 03 Sep 2015 14:37:07 +0000 michael Conforto

Another big night for impressive rookie Michael Conforto who his fifth home run in the third inning on Wednesday night, a two-run opposite field shot, and he extended his on-base streak to 15 games dating back  to August 15.

Over his last 17 games, Conforto is hitting .400 (20-50) with five doubles, four home runs and nine RBI. He has really been raking of late going 7-for-11 (.636) with two home runs over his last four games.

Since the Mets called up Conforto, they are 26-12.

A couple of days ago, in a previous article about Conforto, a discussion arose about whether this young and exciting outfield prospect was ready to start playing every day and not keep sitting against left-handed pitching – which most of us agreed he was ready to do given his swing and approach and minor league performance.

Conforto hit .333 against left-handed pitching and .303 against right-handed pitching this season with Double-A Binghamton before his promotion to the majors.

So far with the big-league team that trend has held almost identically, albeit in a small sample size. The young slugger is batting .310 vs RHP and .330 vs LHP with the Mets.

After the game last night, Terry Collins was asked if Conforto had shown enough to warrant playing time against left-handed pitching. But the Mets manager quickly shot it down and plainly said that it was not going to happen.

“We’ve brought people in here that hit lefties, that have a career record of hitting lefties,” Collins said. “And right now that’s what we’ve been doing, and I’m going to stay with it.” (ESPN New York)

As usual, I believe Terry Collins is being very shortsighted on this and I completely disagree with his stance. In fact I’d even say that Sandy Alderson probably disagrees with him as well as he so often does.

Hopefully Conforto can earn that regular starting job in left field next season, although it’s not a certainty with Michael Cuddyer still signed through 2016 and getting a significant raise next year.

Conforto is now batting .311 this season with a .397 on-base percentage and .567 slugging in 106 plate appearances. He already has a 1.6 WAR in his limited playing time.

Possessing a flair for the dramatic and for coming up big when the moment calls for it, he is batting .350 (7-for-20) with runners in scoring position with 13 RBIs and a 1.144 OPS.

That Conforto is able to produce numbers like this at the major-league level after having spent only 40 games above Single-A is a testament to the type of player he is, and conjures up some incredible expectations for what he can do for the New York Mets moving forward.

He has earned high praise and respect from third baseman and team captain David Wright.

“If you were going to build a ballplayer with the right approach along with the right amount of talent, he’d be the guy,’’ David Wright told The Post. “He’s not entitled.’

“Some guys come in here and they’re loud, a lot more talking than they are listening and he’s the opposite,” Wright said. “He’s an excellent player, a great person, one of those young guys who gets it.’’

It feels like I am writing a couple of posts every week on Conforto which is pretty remarkable and because he’s always doing something very notable. As I’ve said before, I believe we have struck gold here.

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Duda Responds With 8 Homers After Collins Gives Him Ultimatum Sun, 02 Aug 2015 10:00:39 +0000 terry collins

You know I’ve given Terry Collins a lot of flak over the years, I’ll be the first to admit that. But I’ve got to hand it to him this season, while he continues to annoy me with his in-game decisions, the way he’s handled his players and kept them motivated throughout some pretty difficult circumstances, certainly deserves some high praise.

Most of you know how Lucas Duda was mired in a slump that had lasted nearly two months. After posting a .918 OPS in April and a .948 OPS in May, Duda fell off the grid in June, posting an unsightly .576 OPS with just one home run while adding mostly cleanup for a Mets lineup whose offense had flatlined.

As the calendar turned to July there was still no end in sight as Duda continued to struggle, posting an even worse .524 OPS from July 1 through July 24 with 29 strikeouts in 69 at-bats. Brutal.

However, after the Mets acquired Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe, everything changed. Terry Collins called Duda into his office and gave him an ultimatum.

“Listen,” he told his struggling first baseman. “Either we’ve got to start producing some runs, or we’ve got to find somebody else.”

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What would happen next, is nothing short of remarkable. Duda would go on a tear unlike anything we’ve ever seen before, rising even to historic levels.

Including his two homer night on Saturday, Duda is 9-for-24 with a double, eight home runs and 10 RBIs in the seven games since Collins told him to start hitting or face significantly reduced playing time.

On Saturday night, he was the undisputed star of the game, blasting his 19th and 20th home runs of the season, and then clobbering a clutch game-winning RBI double in the eight inning that would give the Mets a huge 3-2 victory over the Washington Nationals.

“I always thought he was going to have a good second half,” Collins said after Saturday’s win. “But he’s taken it to heart. He’s a tremendous worker and wants to be good. He’s showing everybody what he can be.” (ESPN New York)

Duda becomes the first Met since Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado and David Wright in 2006-2008 to hit 20 home runs in consecutive seasons.

His eighth consecutive home runs in eight at-bats is a new franchise record, and according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last major league player to have eight straight hits resulting in home runs was Marcus Thames in 2008 with Detroit.

With his two home runs tonight, Duda is tied with Carlos Gonzalez of Colorado for the most home runs since the All-Star break with eight.

Amazingly, 17 of Duda’s 20 home runs this season have been hit at Citi Field, and for the season he is now has now has a .347 OBP and .481 SLG to go with his 20 home runs and 48 RBIs.

So thanks to Terry Collins basically lighting a fire under Duda’s ass, it looks like our big bopper has rediscovered his power stroke and has become the dangerous slugger we saw last season and for the first two months of this season.

Hey, whatever it takes, right? Just remember to tip your caps to Terry Collins for this one.

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Little Roller Up Along First… Behind the Bag! It Gets Through…Hernandez? Thu, 09 Jul 2015 16:21:30 +0000 red-sox-celebrate

October 25, 1986: Boston:

It took 68 years for the Red Sox to end the ‘Curse of the Bambino’ and they did it in historic fashion in front of a sold-out Fenway Park.

The heavily favored Mets, winners of 108 regular season games, turned to Bob Ojeda in hopes of forcing a game 7. Trailing by a run heading to the home half of the eighth, Boston tied the game at 3. The Mets seemed destined to win when they scored two in the top of the tenth for a commanding 5-3 lead.

However, the bullpen could not close it out. After Jesse Orosco retired the first two batters, Boston rallied for an unprecedented three runs in the bottom of the 10th. Several times Boston was down to their last strike but the Sox were amazin. Roger McDowell allowed the tying run to score on a pitch in the dirt that Gary Carter couldn’t handle.

Tied 5-5 and with the winning run on second base, centerfielder Dave Henderson hit a slow roller along the first base line. Somehow, the ball skipped below the glove of Keith Hernandez, and Red Sox third baseman Wade Boggs raced home, hands atop his helmet in disbelief, and into the arms of his teammates.

In other Baseball news, Pirates young slugger Barry Bonds appears to be getting bigger…

Okay, okay, you’re all wondering what I’m smoking and where you can get some. I admit to taking some literary license and rewriting history. Or am I? Game 6 did not end this way. But it definitely could have had Bud Selig been commissioner back then.

Beginning in 2003, Commissioner Selig, along with approval from the Player’s Union, decided that the winner of the All-Star Game would have home field advantage in the World Series. And just like that the National Pastime’s two greatest institutions, the All-Star Game and the World Series, would be forever altered. Both had remained relatively untouched since their inceptions in 1933 and 1903 respectively. And then along came Bud.

The reason was simple. Viewership for the Midsummer Classic was down. Interest was waning. The powers-that-be believed the game should now carry significance. For seventy years the All-Star Game was by and large an exhibition put on for the fans. It gave us a chance to see the best and brightest from each league. Now that’s changed. And not for the better.

Since 2003, the league that won the All-Star Game has gone on to win the World Series 8 out of 12 times. In other words, an ‘exhibition game’ in July has direct influence over the Fall Classic in October. It also can–and has–changed the history of the game.

In 1986, the Mets returned to Shea where they rallied to win games 6 and 7. However, had Selig’s rule been in place then, it’s likely 1969 would be the Mets only championship season. The AL won the 1986 All-Star Game. Boston would have had home field advantage, not us.

In 2005, the White Sox won the Series in 5 games. It was their first championship since 1917 when they were led by guys named Joe Jackson, Eddie Cicotte and Buck Weaver. The victory, however, was bittersweet for Chicagoans. Had the home field advantage rule not been in place, the Sox would have been home for games 3, 4 and 5, not on the road. Their first championship would have—and should have—been in Chicago, not Houston.

Game 6 of the 2011 World Series was arguably the greatest post-season game ever played. Facing elimination, the Cardinals returned to STL needing 2 wins. They went to the HOME half of the 8th inning of game 6 trailing 7-4. They scored 1 in the bottom of the frame, two more in the HOME half of the ninth, twice more in the HOME half of the 10th and finally won it in the HOME half of the 11th. The following day they won Game 7. Had the old format been retained and home field alternated year-to-year, Texas would have hosted games 6 and 7 and most likely would have won their first Championship in team history.

San Francisco Giants win the 2012 World Series

San Francisco fans waited more than half a century to see their Giants win it all. Yet, despite the fact their club has won 3 titles in the last 5 years, all series clinchers have come on the road. Once again, had the original alternating format been in place, the NL club was scheduled to host 4 of the 7 games in even years. The Giants would’ve won 2010 and 2012 at AT&T Park, not in Texas and Detroit.

The All-Star Game now carries major importance. Yet, it still maintains that Exhibition Game feel. If the point is to win—and it clearly is—why does every team need to be represented? Why does the manager need to stress about making sure every guy gets in as much as he stresses about winning? We are NL fans. We want the NL to win. Therefore, I want the best guys out there for 9 innings. I want to see Max Scherzer pitching to Buster Posey for all 27 outs. I want Paul Goldschmidt to have at least 4 AB’s.

Why should ONE game have such a huge bearing on the Fall Classic? Since there’s interleague games daily, why not just look at the best head-to head records throughout the season? Whichever league wins more over the course of 6 months, not one night, gets home field advantage. After all, as it stands now, how many of us really care when the AL Mariners play the NL Rockies?

As a kid growing up in the 70’s, watching the All-Star Game was one of my favorite times of the year. Being a NL fan, the biggest stars in the AL were just names in a box score. The Mid-Summer Classic gave me a chance to see my Baseball cards come to life. I could actually see a Nolan Ryan fastball rather than hearing about it. I could witness Harmon Killebrew uncoil from his crouch. I could watch Rod Carew change his stance on each pitch depending on the count. It was a wonderful thing.

Even before these recent changes, the luster of the ASG has diminished. MLB Network, ESPN, YouTube, etc…obviously weren’t around back then. Seeing Mike Trout every night on the highlight reel is nothing special. Seeing Al Kaline Saturday afternoon during an episode of “This Week in Baseball” was.


No shock here but the first player to ever go deep in an All-Star Game was Babe Ruth. When returning to the dugout, The Bambino said, “Let’s show these NL bums how we play.” From 1933 through the early 90’s, there was indeed a rivalry between the leagues. That, too, is now gone. Players have no qualms about switching teams, much less switching leagues. The biggest free agents last winter—Max Scherzer, Pablo Sandoval and James Shields—all changed leagues. And hey, if entire franchises can switch (Houston to the AL, Milwaukee to the NL), why shouldn’t players?

Ironically, despite the Commish’s best efforts to increase interest, it’s failed. The 2002 ASG, the final one without ‘meaning,’ was watched in 10 million homes. In 2013, just 7.5 million tuned in, a drop of 25%.

Keeping in mind I am a traditionalist, I feel it’s imperative that this ‘experiment’ be put to rest. Let’s have the All-Star Game mean exactly what it was designed for: a chance to take a breather for a few days, sit back and watch the best players in the game display their talent.

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DeGrom Delivers: “Outstanding” and “Gutsy” in Season Debut Thu, 09 Apr 2015 13:38:52 +0000 jacob degrom

If some of you had concerns about a potential sophomore jinx for Jacob deGrom this season, put your minds at ease.

mmo feature original footerDespite the loss and a one-hour rain delay, the reigning rookie of the year was outstanding on Wednesday night, holding the Washington Nationals scoreless for five innings after he was tagged for a two-run homer off Ryan Zimmerman in the first inning.

DeGrom needed all of 92 pitches to get the job done, but fell victim to one bad pitch he put right into Zimmerman’s wheelhouse.

“That pitch was inside. He must have just been looking for it,” deGrom said afterward. “I got it in where I wanted it. He just happened to hit it.”

In the next inning, deGrom did have a chance at redemption while batting in the eighth spot of the batting order. However he failed to execute a bunt with runners on first and second, and popped out after a diving grab by Zimmerman who ran all the way up the first-base line to make a spectacular grab.

While many will look at that play and clamor against the Mets’ new lineup, it could of happened to any batter who was facing one of the NL’s best pitchers in Jordan Zimmermann. It was no easy task.

What I loved about his mound performance was how he grinded and raised it up a notch when he needed to, almost as if he drew a line in the sand after the first and said “no more.”

He expertly mixed up his repertoire to hold the Nats scoreless from the second inning on, giving the team a chance to comeback and win the game. It never happened, but it didn’t diminish the gutsy performance we saw last night from the young sophomore.


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Have Mets Lost Ground to Marlins, Cubs, Padres for NL Wild Card? Sun, 01 Feb 2015 11:43:32 +0000 terry collins

With pitchers and catchers reporting in 18 days, Mike Puma of the New York Post points out there is little buzz about the Mets nationally and that they may have lost ground to other NL teams in their relatively idle offseason.

With the Cubs, Marlins, and Padres clearly making big strides going from pretenders to contenders, he wonders whether the Mets attacked this offseason with the same urgency to try and compete for a wild card after a sixth straight losing season.

“Activity shouldn’t be confused with achievement, but Mets fans hungry for a contender probably deserved better.”

The person who should be most concerned about this Mets offseason, which began and ended on November 5th when they signed Michael Cuddyer, is manager Terry Collins.

With all the high expectations and rampant talk from players about October baseball, he is clearly on the firing line and becomes the perfect fall guy and scapegoat if things go wrong.

“Though the Mets have holes, most notably at shortstop, Collins is expected to keep this crew in contention for the entire season. So if the Mets are sitting seven or eight games below .500 on Memorial Day, Collins could be a goner.”

Puma also goes on to break down the National League offseason as it relates to the Mets heading into spring training. It’s an interesting article.


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Mets Prospects Well Represented In MLB’s Top 20 Tue, 27 Jan 2015 20:21:58 +0000 noah_syndergaard

Four of the Top 20 National League prospects ranked in the 2015 Major League Baseball Yearbook are Mets. The Amazins are the only NL club with four prospects to make the Top 20 list.  Both the Cubs and the Diamondbacks had three selections each.  Boston and Minnesota matched the Mets with four prospects for each franchise named on the AL list.

Noah Syndergaard tops the group of young Mets coming in at number 10.  Here’s how the MLB Yearbook described the Met pitcher.

“A 6-foot-6, 240 pound power right-hander, Syndergaard’s unusually high release point and good feel for his change-up are enough to make him a solid No. 3 starter, even if he doesn’t find an effective breaking ball. The development of a third pitch will determine whether he becomes a star.”

Pitchers dominated the top ten NL prospects on the list. Syndergaard was rated as the fourth best NL prospect in the Yearbook behind Jon Gray of the Rockies, Archie Bradley of Arizona and Robert Stephenson of the Reds.

Kevin Plawecki was the only catcher included in the Top 20 listing.  Plawecki was rated #15 overall among the elite prospect group.  The crystal ball reading for the young Met catcher read like this.

“Plawecki is blocked by Travis d’Arnaud, and he’s not good enough defensively to force his way behind the plate. His bat is very good though; he shows great pitch recognition and has an advanced approach at the plate.  If he develops more power, he’ll become one of the better offensive backstops in the majors.”

dilson herrera homersFollowing right behind Plawecki at #16 in the rankings is Met second base prospect Dilson Herrera. Herrera and Jose Peraza of the Braves are the only ranked second baseman, although Peraza, ranked #8, also goes under the shortstop label. Take a look at what the MLB Yearbook said about Herrera.

“Considered a second-tier prospect, first in Pittsburgh’s system and now with the Mets, Herrera has kept hitting at every level.  He made it to the bigs as a 20-year old, and he shows advanced contact skills with a bit of pop.  He has a chance to be solid as a productive middle-infield bat.”

Completing the Met prospect foursome and coming in at #18 is Brandon Nimmo. Outfielders figure heavily in the Top 20 NL prospect list with five outfielders finishing in front of Nimmo; Yasmany Tomas of the Diamondbacks, Jorge Soler of the Cubs, Joc Pederson of the Dodgers, Josh Bell of the Pirates and Jesse Winker of the Reds.  Even so, the MLB Yearbook is high on Nimmo as the following description attests.

“Because he works a lot of walks, Nimmo is more of an OBP guy than a batting-average hitter.  He has started to show some pop the past two seasons, and should top out as a 20-homer threat.  Citi Field caps his power upside, but he’s an on-base machine with pop.”

MLB peeks an additional year into the future and projects a Top Ten for the 2016 season. The Mets Dominic Smith is the lone Met and lone first baseman to make the ranking.

“Smith’s power numbers disappeared at Low-A Savannah, but that’s nothing new for left-handed power hitters in one of the nation’s most pitcher friendly parks.  Smith still has 25 homer upside, and he also has the advanced approach that should allow him to hit for a high batting average.”

The MLB Prospects rankings are another indicator of the giant strides the Mets have made in retooling their scouting and minor league development programs.  Again and again, the young Met players in our minor league system are projected for bright futures in the major leagues.

The prospect parade provides the Mets a foundation to build sustained baseball success into the future.  For that to occur the Mets will need to strategically access the free agent and trade market to add complimentary pieces for these future stars.


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MLB Exec: Mets Laying in the Weeds Looking for Bargains Sat, 27 Dec 2014 19:21:05 +0000 Michael-Cuddyer-Okay-but-Bullpen-Is-Ailing-Rockies-Rundown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mejia Not Upset About Collins Calling Parnell Team’s Closer Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:10:41 +0000 jenry mejia

Jenrry Mejia is well aware of what Terry Collins said in San Diego when he proclaimed Bobby Parnell the Mets closer as soon as he is ready to return sometime around May. Collins matter of factly said Parnell was the Mets incumbent closer and also added that Mejia, Familia and Black would all get to close games this Spring.

Mejia said he was not upset about Collins’ comments despite his belief that he did everything that has been asked of him. He took the high road.

“Whatever job they give to me I’m gonna be there to help my team,” Mejia said. “I can throw seventh inning, eighth inning, ninth inning whatever. I got to be ready to play the game that’s all.”

Mejia saved 28 games last season and ranked second in the NL with 22 second half saves. He was reluctant to be moved out of the rotation and into the bullpen after failed attempts to close by Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth to begin the season.

But by early June, Mejia took hold of the closer role and never looked back, posting a 2.72 ERA in 56 relief appearances.

“Mentally, it’s same thing, come here and do my job,” Mejia said. “I feel happy to see Bobby Parnell getting ready, because we are going to have a strong bullpen with Parnell, Familia, Black and everybody.”

Mejia and Jeurys Familia both had surgery to repair a sports hernia in the offseason and are feeling great and have already begun working out . They are both expected to be ready to go come spring training.

Here’s video of Mejia and Familia from Ed “Rusty” Marcus who covered the Mets holiday party yesterday.


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Alderson Reluctant To Trade Mejia Or Mess With The Bullpen Fri, 14 Nov 2014 12:00:28 +0000 jenry mejia

For the same reasons I pointed out a couple of days ago below, general manager Sandy Alderson told Mike Puma of the New York Post the Mets would be reluctant to trade a reliever this offseason.

“The bullpen hasn’t been a strength over the last three or four years until last season and even last year not for a full season, so we would be reluctant to trade the power arms,” Alderson said.

“I like what we have coming in the system to augment the bullpen. Going into next season, we talked about the eight or nine we have for depth in the rotation, and it’s conceivable that somebody in the 6, 7, 8, 9 spot could end up in the bullpen for awhile.”

Thank you, Sandy. That’s one of the smartest things you’ve said all week.

Incidentally, nothing surprising, but Rafael Montero and Steven Matz are among the names the Mets could consider for one of those bullpen roles. That’s a good idea too.

November 12

Joe Sheehan raised the possibility of the Mets signing former Yankees closer David Robertson on Monday. That would then open the door for the Mets to move Jenrry Mejia in a deal for a shortstop or some other need.

Trading Jenrry Mejia?

Recently there’s been a lot of chatter about trading Mejia who was only second in the NL in saves during the second half with 18, just one behind the Marlins’ Steve Cishek.

Kristie Ackert of the Daily News also suggested trading Mejia last month, contending that he’s injury prone and Mets should sell while his value is as high as it will ever be.

Look I get all the concerns and what have you with Mejia, but I find it shocking that after almost five seasons of suffering with the worst bullpen in the majors, all of a sudden some are ready to pick it apart after just three months of incredible effectiveness and production. Production, mind you, that all began the day that Mejia took over as closer.

After being bounced around between the bullpen and the rotation for several years, Mejia finally settled in as the teams closer, and already there’s calls to move him out of the role and even out of Flushing altogether. I just don’t get it.

Who knows if Familia would be just as effective closing games as he was as a setup man? There’s an incredible amount of pressure pitching with the game on the line and securing those final three outs. It takes a special swagger. You not only need the stuff you need the mindset. You either have it or you don’t. Mejia has it.

While not perfect, and let’s face it who is, Mejia quickly took to his new role as closer and ran with it. As a reliever, he posted a 2.72 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 56.1 innings and he saved 28 games. Don’t we have enough issues on this team without having to manufacture a new one?

As for signing Robertson, it’s a ridiculous notion. He is looking for a deal that could pay him up to $40 million for four years, and last I checked the Wilpons haven’t won the Mega Millions Jackpot.

And finally, if you’re so concerned about Mejia getting hurt, don’t you think other teams will have those same concerns and only look to acquire him for fifty cents on the dollar? Sorry, I’m not willing to sell Mejia on the cheap.

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Worst Productive Position For Mets Was Catcher Fri, 07 Nov 2014 11:00:31 +0000 Travis d'Arnaud

Using Wins Below Average, a metric that encompasses both offensive and defensive value, David Schoenfield of, calculated the worst productive position for all 30 MLB teams. Surprisingly, the Mets received their worst overall production from the catching position.

New York Mets C: 1.5 wins below average

Mets fans are probably shocked that left field, right field or shortstop didn’t show up here. But while those positions were also all below-average, catcher was the worst. Mets catchers hit .226 with a sub-.300 OBP, but a big liability was Travis d’Arnaud’s defense, which Baseball Info Solutions rated as the worst in the majors (minus-15 defensive runs saved).

Fix for 2015: D’Arnaud had a nice second half at the plate (.265/.313/.474) but threw out just 19 percent of base stealers and led the NL with 12 passed balls. He does rate better on pitch framing. Anyway, he’s the catcher, so the Mets will undoubtedly be looking to upgrade left field (.219/.306/.308) and shortstop.

While the Mets got worse than average production from four of their eight positions this past season, I feel confident that we’ll see some big improvement behind the plate by sticking with d’Arnaud and whoever wins the backup job in Spring Training.

Travis had a pretty rough indoctrination to the major leagues and I’m of the belief that his offensive struggles had a negative impact on his defense. With his first full season out of the way, and a renewed confidence at the plate to end the season, I expect d’Arnaud to make some solid gains next season in his overall game.

In addition to improved plate blocking and throwing out a greater percentage of base stealers, I can see d’Arnaud putting together a .280 – 20 HR – 70 RBI season while batting in the middle of the Mets lineup. Catchers usually take longer to develop than players at other positions, and at 26, d’Arnaud should be entering a 4-5 year phase of peak production.


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Pitching and Defense Is In Our DNA Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:55:18 +0000 Seaver-Koosman-Matlack - Copy

Baseball is loaded with tradition, perhaps more than any other sport, and for good reason. The Mets have their own traditions, their own uniforms and stories passed down to them, their own sacred relics.

Mets tradition is rooted in the Miracle of 1969, and to a lesser degree the 1986 Championship season. Mets tradition is entrenched in the successes of the past, and that success has been, and more than likely will be (should we ever be treated to it again), grounded in lights-out, shutdown, overpowering pitching. Tom SeaverJerry KoosmanDwight Gooden and many other greats led our pitching heavy success stories. The lessons learned? We live and die by our pitching.

Building on previous success emboldens and prepares current generations with winning strategies, confidence, and important lessons. Traditions teach us who we are based on and who we’ve been. They teach us how to conduct ourselves based on how we’ve conducted ourselves in the past. They are an integral part of organizational success and as such should never ever be ignored. To do so is to invite failure.

The Mets of course play in the National League, and have always played their home games in pitchers’ havens. They were conceived during a pitching dominated NL “small ball” era and when you add Shea’s dimensions to their humble origins, you can see the where and why of our fine Mets pitching tradition.

The current generation of Mets is tasked with a monumental task — learning to win. What better way to do that than by looking at what has worked in the past? It’s a hard lesson, particularly after the horrendous failures of our recent history.

Pitching and defense are in our blood… 2–0 games should be ingrained in the DNA of every Met prospect in every Met franchise throughout the minors. This is our template, our formula, our recipe. Embrace the stinginess and the tension Met fans, I’ll take a traditional 2–0 win any day over a 7–3 slugfest.

Traditions are resilient, and I have to say there may even be something magical about them. There is a painful irony to the fact that 2006 ended tragically at the hands of a defense first backstop whose only home run vs. the Mets came in the postseason, against a power laden Met team lacking its traditional pitching first make-up.

Personally, I’ll take deGrom, Wheeler, Harvey, Syndergaard and Montero going forward over any host of boppers and mashers. Just get some great defense and a decent offense to support them. It doesn’t have to be a Murderer’s Row. Embrace the stinginess Met fans, embrace the tension!


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