Mets Merized Online » Noah Syndergaard http://metsmerizedonline.com Sun, 26 Feb 2017 12:00:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.18 Visualizing Noah Syndergaard’s Fastball http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/visualizing-noah-syndergaards-fastball.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/visualizing-noah-syndergaards-fastball.html/#comments Thu, 16 Feb 2017 15:00:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=231176 noah syndergaard 2

Late last season, Noah Syndergaard told the world he wanted to throw harder in 2017. I think most of us took it as a form of bravado, maybe a little machismo, mixed with some tongue in cheek humor. As it turns out, Noah was dead serious, and he’s put on 17 pounds of muscle to help him on his way to adding a tick to his already ridiculous 98 mph fastball.

You’ve seen a lot of analysis into his comments and weight gain already this week, I particularly enjoyed Eno Sarris’ look into Syndergaard’s Weight Change in Context. I’m a visual learner, though. The numbers and explanations are great, but I want to see how he compares to the rest of the league.

First, I need a visual backdrop to help set the scene. In the Pitch Stats section of my website I have an embed Tableau sheet depicting the major league average swinging strike rates with respect to spin rate, x coordinate, z coordinate, and pitch velocity.

Here, I’ll be using the velocity table. It looks something like this.

empty

This chart looks a lot like a map, with the blue area’s looking like sea and the green like land. That wide blue area in the middle is the Sea of Fastballs, as you may notice going forward.

On this chart, darker shades of green represent higher swinging strike rates, while deeper shades of blue represent lower swinging strike rates. Gray regions are roughly average, and the blank white areas are unmapped (contain no data). If you go to the Tableau Viz, you can click on each box to see more information, such as the number of fastballs/breaking balls/off speed pitches land within the box zone, the number of swinging strikes, etc. I encourage you to play around with that tool, it is fun to look at.

The average major league fastball is 91.8 mph, with a spin rate around 2220. The standard deviations are 2.9 and 200 respectively.  I have mapped this average fastball onto this chart and color coded it roughly in conjunction with the standard deviations. It isn’t exact, but they are pretty close.  (Frankly, I was running out of time and this plot was taking longer to make than expected).

andrew-gif-1

That white section there highlights the average fastball, it sits between 90 and 94 mph (91.8mph average) and 2000 and 2400 rpm (2220 average). The white section contains 50% of the fastballs thrown between 2015 and 2016. As you move out, redder areas represent above average fastballs, and bluer areas represent below average fastballs. Combined, the shaded areas contain 99.7% of the fastballs thrown between these two seasons.

Okay, now that we have some frame of reference, let’s take a peak at Noah Syndergaard.

thor4

Syndergaard’s fastballs live in the southern part of the Sea of Fastballs, nestled up to the Cape of Good Cheese. This section of the sea ranges from 7.2% to 11.5% swinging strike rate, which, and this isn’t any sort of measurement but moreso a feeling I get looking at the numbers, the average is probably somewhere around 9%, judging by this chart. Using a more scientific method (using the gameday stats), the actual rate turns out to be 9.5%. So the chart got us in the right ballpark.

PS, you may get different numbers from Brooks Baseball, this chart was made using Gameday.

Here’s the money shot, I’ve created an overlay of Noah Syndergaard’s fastball and the average fastball.

adrew-gif-2

Noah Syndergaard’s fastball is towards the extreme high end of fastball velocity, obviously. It sits around 97.8 mph, which is ridiculous. The spin rate, though, is more mundane, and actually below average. The average spin rate is 2220 rpm, and Syndergaard’s is instead 2174. Not terrible, but not otherworldly by any stretch of the imagination. It is somewhat odd, though, generally the highest velocity fastballs have the highest spin rates. Generally, not always. But preferably.

I mentioned Syndergaard’s fastball is nestled up against the Cape of Good Cheese. I mean that, you want to live on that Cape, it is the home of the best fastballs in the game. Syndergaard is tantalizingly close, but not quite there. He can jump on the southern tip by picking up a few miles per hour on his fastball, which is something he apparently feels inclined to do.

More realistically, and also much more valuably, he could add spin rate. Adding 200 rpm could increase his expected swinging strike rate by 50%, perhaps even 100%. That would put him in the same camp as Aroldis Chapman (100.6 mph, 2508 rpm, 19.2% SwStrk%), Dellin Betances (98 mph, 2448 rpm, 12.5% SwStrk%), and Craig Kimbrel (97.7 mph, 2458 rpm, 12.5% SwStrk%).

Alright, well, spinrate is a buzzword recently, and saying that on its own isn’t particularly useful.  So, I’ve created pitchfx movement chart.  The x axis shows inches of x movement (left and right), and the y axis shows inches of z movement (up and down). In this chart, darker green represents higher batting average, and deeper blue represents lower batting average.  You’ll see three different color regions. These are the most common movement combinations, and account for about 70% of each pitcher’s fastballs. Noah Syndergaard is Red, Craig Kimbrel is Purple, and Aroldis Chapman is Orange.

thorpfx

Note, Chapman is left handed, so you need to remember his results need to be mirrored to account for this.

Compared to Syndergaard, Chapman’s fastball has about two more inches of drop and two more inches of ride. Kimbrel has about two more inches of drop, but the same amount of ride. Granted, these guys have different release points, grips, and mechanics, but it appears the 200 rpm that separates Syndergaard from these guys manifests itself as about two inches of movement, which can be ride, drop, or both depending on your mechanics.

Two days ago, Pete McCarthy had a 26 minute interview with Rick Peterson, much of it about Syndergaard. I encourage you to listen to it, it’s very enlightening and gives some great perspective on the game. Early in the interview Pete asked, and I am paraphrasing here, “Is Noah on the short list of pitchers with the best stuff?”  Rick said “No, it’s the only.” Meaning, in Peterson’s eyes, Noah Syndergaard is the only pitcher in major league baseball that has this sort of raw talent. To describe what he means, maybe we should take a step back and think about music for a moment.

Imagine the best singers you have ever heard. Perhaps Whitney Houston, who is acclaimed for her 3+ octave live concert vocal range. The truly great singers are able to carry through a song, seamlessly transitioning between the high and low notes and in doing so they engross us with the emotion and feeling of the song. Whitney Houston’s Super Bowl National Anthem is a great example.

The power in this performance comes from her ability to move from the dulcet lower tones to the powerful mids and emotional upper registrar. She begins the song with a lower voice, matching the emotional of the room, fans sitting in their seats just waiting for the game to begin, but by the end people are on their feet and fired up. This is one of the most powerful National Anthems in memory because she used every tool in her disposal to fire up the crowd and create a genuinely great performance.

This is what Rick Peterson means when he says Syndergaard is in a league of his own. Syndergaard has the unique ability to effortlessly range from low to high velocities. From fastballs to changeups to curveballs to sliders. He can throw anything at any time at any speed to any part of the plate.

Syndergaard can throw a 95 MPH fastball, a 94 MPH slider, an 84 MPH curveball, and a 102 MPH fastball all in the same at-bat. No other pitcher in the game can do this. Syndergaard is unique, and I, like Rick Peterson, hope he learns to take full advantage of his natural gifts. With little more than a slight change in pitch sequencing, he could become one of the greatest pitchers who ever lived.

At the moment, it appears, Noah is focusing on velocity. Which is unfortunate. The data suggests, if anything, spin rate would be a more valuable addition.

Finally, in case you’re curious, here are all of Syndergaard’s pitches mapped on this chart.

Syndergaard3

Black = Fastball, Red = Slider, Blue = Change-up, Orange = Curveball.

get metsmerized footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/visualizing-noah-syndergaards-fastball.html/feed/ 0
Syndergaard Adds 17 Pounds of Muscle Before Camp http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/syndergaard-adds-17-pounds-of-muscle-before-camp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/syndergaard-adds-17-pounds-of-muscle-before-camp.html/#comments Thu, 09 Feb 2017 21:12:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=230840 noah syndergaard 2

One of the most common baseball cliches this time of year is the old “best shape of his life” descriptor. Sometimes it’s true and sometimes it’s all hype to feed an otherwise empty news cycle.

In a detailed profile of Noah Syndergaard written by Ben Reiter of Sports Illustrated, it is revealed that the old cliche might just be true for the young right-hander. According to Reiter, Syndergaard has put on 17 pounds of muscle this offseason, and trimmed his body fat percentage from 15.1 to 13.5. He is now 253 pounds.

If anyone thought Syndergaard’s ability to throw harder than any starter in the game was only a temporary phase, think again. According to Fangraphs’ Pitch f/x data, Syndergaard’s fastball averaged 97.9 miler per hour last year, almost one and a half miles per hour more than the next-fastest starter. Syndergaard’s slider and changeup were both faster than all other starters in the game.

Syndergaard, 24, posted a 2.60 ERA over 183.2 big league innings in 2016 striking out 218 opposing hitters.

Get-MetsMerized-Orange Footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/syndergaard-adds-17-pounds-of-muscle-before-camp.html/feed/ 0
Noah Syndergaard: Hope Springs Eternal In 2017 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/noah-syndergaard-hope-springs-eternal-in-2017.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/noah-syndergaard-hope-springs-eternal-in-2017.html/#comments Tue, 07 Feb 2017 02:37:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=230723 noah syndergaard 2

Here’s a cool promo video featuring New York Mets ace right-hander Noah Syndergaard to get your baseball juices flowing as the start of Spring Training draws ever saw closer. It’s a short vignette that builds on that whole “pick yourself up and get back out there” speech your baseball coach used to give you in high school after a particularly tough loss. Check it out…

The folks at MLB Network used the words straight out of Thor’s Twitter feed following last season’s Wild Card loss to the San Francisco Giants to produce the video.

I bet Noah had no idea at the time that his tweet would become the rallying cry for a new baseball season. Syndergaard, by the way, is expected to be our Opening Day starter according to Terry Collins. Sounds about right.

baseball is back banner

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/noah-syndergaard-hope-springs-eternal-in-2017.html/feed/ 0
DeGrom Feels Great, Believes Mets Rotation Could Be Very Special http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/jacob-degrom-excited-to-be-part-of-a-potentially-historic-rotation.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/jacob-degrom-excited-to-be-part-of-a-potentially-historic-rotation.html/#comments Mon, 06 Feb 2017 13:00:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=230664 jacob degrom

Kevin Kernan of the NY Post caught up with Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom at spring training Saturday and was greeted with a smile. I would be smiling too if I was part of a starting rotation with as much potential as the Mets’.

“I think it could be a lot of fun,’’ deGrom told Kernan at Tradition Field. “I’m definitely looking forward to what it could be, and I think everybody else on the staff is, too.’’

The potential of this Mets staff blows Generation K out of the water. Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, and Zack Wheeler are all joining deGrom in a healthy rotation for the first time ever, with the promising young Robert Gsellman for insurance. All of those pitchers are capable of throwing a shutout on any given day, but injuries have always loomed over their heads.

Jacob deGrom had surgery in September to reposition the ulnar nerve in his right elbow. When asked about his progress, he said, “Since I’ve had the nerve moved, I haven’t had any of the pain that was there, so I would call it a success so far.”

If deGrom comes back healthy, he is capable of winning a Cy Young award. Noah Syndergaard is also capable, while Matt Harvey is harder to predict. Nobody is really sure how he will come back from surgery to remove a rib, however so far this offseason there have only been positive reports. If he comes back healthy, however, he is absolutely capable of winning the award.

Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, and Robert Gsellman, while less likely to win a Cy Young, are by all means formidable pitchers and round out what could be the best starting rotation in the Majors.

“We are healthy and we are ready to go,’’ deGrom said. “It should be an exciting year. I’m looking forward to it.’’

So am I, Jake… So am I.

Get-MetsMerized-Orange Footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/02/jacob-degrom-excited-to-be-part-of-a-potentially-historic-rotation.html/feed/ 0
A History of Mets No. 1 Overall Prospects http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/a-history-of-mets-no-1-overall-prospects.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/a-history-of-mets-no-1-overall-prospects.html/#comments Thu, 26 Jan 2017 15:00:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229920 amed-rosario

Amed Rosario is the Mets’ best prospect, according to Baseball America. He even graced the magazine’s cover recently, so there is little doubt that he will be the most watched minor leaguer in Port St. Lucie this spring. Well, aside from Tim Tebow.

But if history is any indicator, that might not be a good thing for Rosario or the Mets. Baseball America has long kept a list of the top prospects of each organization. Only four of these players became All-Stars with the Mets. Since there’s nothing going on with the team right now besides bloggers speculating about Jay Bruce, let’s take a look at the last quarter-century of Baseball America’s top Mets prospects, and see how they panned out.

2016- Steven Matz-  The book is still out on Matz, but a 3.16 ERA in 28 career starts is pretty encouraging.

2014-15- Noah SyndergaardThe crown jewel of the R.A. Dickey trade has quickly become the biggest star of the Mets’ young guns in the rotation. And that’s only partially due to his spot-on Twitter game.

2012-13- Zack WheelerIt’s crazy to think that just three years ago at this time, Wheeler was considered to be the best of the Mets’ pitching prospects. He showed potential when he pitched, averaging 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings in 2014. It’s too bad he hasn’t pitched since due to an extended recovery from Tommy John surgery.

2010-11- Jenrry MejiaThe Mets called up Mejia at just 20 years old in 2010, and after a couple of starts it was abundantly clear that he wasn’t ready. Injuries, poor play and– ultimately– several PED suspensions kept him away from the field. He ended up making history, but not the kind you want to make: He became the first-ever player to get banned by MLB for life due to PEDs, after failing his third positive test last year.

2008-09- Fernando Martinez- Remember when it was the biggest deal that the Mets got Johan Santana without having to trade Fernando Martinez?

Martinez was hyped up for years, but he never panned out in the majors. He played in just 47 games with the Mets from 2009-11, batting .183/.250/.290 with a 46 OPS+. In hindsight, they probably should have traded him

2007- Mike Pelfrey“Big Pelf” was drafted ninth overall in 2005, and was thrust right into the major leagues the next season. He was wildly inconsistent with the Mets; check out his stat lines from 2007-2011:

2007: 3-8, 5.57 ERA

2008: 13-11, 3.72 ERA

2009: 10-12, 5.03 ERA

2010: 15-9, 3.66 ERA

2011: 7-13, 4.74 ERA

His career with the Mets ended in 2012 after a season-ending elbow injury suffered in his third start of the season.

2005-06- Lastings MilledgeAnother high draft pick, Milledge was drafted 12th overall out of high school in 2003. He reached as high as No. 9 overall on Baseball America’s top prospects list, and was immediately billed as a five-tool prospect.

But Milledge’s potential never really translated in the major leagues; he played 56 games for the Mets in 2006 and 59 in 2007 before being traded to the Nats for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider. He was out of the majors for good by 2011.

2004- Scott Kazmir- Kazmir has won 108 games and made three All-Star appearances over his 12 years in the big leagues. But he never pitched for the Mets, obviously, thanks to one of the worst trades in team history in which the team traded him for journeyman pitcher Victor Zambrano in 2004.

2003- Jose Reyes- This one worked out, to say the least.

2002- Aaron HeilmanHeilman is obviously remembered for his worst moments– most notably letting up Yadier Molina‘s home run in the 2006 NLCS and countless blown holds and saves in big games during the following years. But he actually had some decent seasons as a reliever with the Mets: He posted a 3.27 ERA and 130 ERA+ from 2005-2007. Too bad nobody’s going to remember that.

1999-2001- Alex Escobar- Escobar is another guy who Mets fans were told minor league legends of for years. He’s the only player to take the No. 1 title three times, but Escobar’s MLB career was pretty forgettable– he played just 18 games for the Mets, all in 2001.

1998- Grant RobertsRoberts is best remembered being caught in a scandal when pictures of him smoking pot surfaced in 2002. His career went up in smoke soon after that; the Mets released him in 2004, leaving him with a 4.25 ERA in 76 career outings.

1997- Jay Payton- Payton’s rookie year with the Mets in 2000 helped catapult them to the World Series, as he batted .291/.331/.447 with 17 home runs and 62 RBIs. He went on to have a sold decade-plus long career in the majors.

1996- Paul WilsonWilson was drafted No. 1 overall in 1994 and was the poster-child for the “Generation K” trio of Mets prospects, along with Bill Pulsipher and Jason Isringhausen. None of the three accomplished much with the Mets, and only Isringhausen accomplished much at all during his MLB career. Wilson went 5-12 with a 5.38 ERA for the Mets in 1996, which was the only season he spent in the majors with them. He was eventually traded, along with Jason Tyner, to the Rays in the 2000 trade that bought Bubba Trammell and Rick White to the Mets.

1994-1995- Bill Pulsipher- Much like Wilson, Pulsipher entered the majors with much hype but left with little fanfare. He made just 46 big-league starts from 1995-2005.

1993- Bobby Jones- Jones was a staple on Mets teams of the 90s, and was one of the few players from the early-90s doldrums to play for the 1999 and 2000 playoff teams. He went 74-56 with the Mets from 1993-2000, and was named an All-Star in 1997.

1992- Todd HundleyHundley is often forgotten because of the guy who became the team’s starting catcher after him. But he put together some very solid seasons for the Mets, namely when he set a single-season club record with 41 home runs in 1996.

So if you’re keeping count at home, just one player on this list turned out to be a long-term star for the Mets: Jose Reyes, although Syndergaard, Matz, and even Wheeler could join him in that category someday. Ten of the 17 players on here did go on to have at least a somewhat productive big-league career: Hundley, Jones, Payton, Heilman (though I cringe putting him in this category), Reyes, Kazmir Pelfrey, Wheeler, Matz and Syndergaard.

Moral of this list: Amed Rosario, no matter what the experts are saying about him, is far from a sure thing.

get metsmerized footer

 

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/a-history-of-mets-no-1-overall-prospects.html/feed/ 0
2017 Top Mets 30 Prospects: No. 11 Wuilmer Becerra, OF http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/2017-top-mets-30-prospects-no-11-wuilmer-becerra-of.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/2017-top-mets-30-prospects-no-11-wuilmer-becerra-of.html/#comments Tue, 17 Jan 2017 16:00:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229578 wuilmer becerra

#11 OF Wuilmer Becerra

Ht: 6’3”  Wt: 225  Level: High-A St. Lucie Mets

B/T: R/R Age: 10/01/1994 (22) Age Dif: -1.7

Acquired: Part of seven player trade from the Toronto Blue Jays

Last Year: #6

2016 Statistics: 65 G, 247 AB, 27 R, 77 H, 17 2B, HR, 34 RBI, 9 BB/52 K, 7 SB, .319/.341/.393

Wuilmer Becerra has often mentioned as the afterthought, a throw-in flyer prospect in the R.A. Dickey trade that also brought Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud. But his profile and signing bonus have  always contradicted that line of thought. His scouting reports from that time all indicated much of what we have heard since:

Ben Badler at Baseball America, who had him ranked 5th at the time of his signing:

 “He has worked out for teams at shortstop and the outfield, but his future is in the outfield. He’s a good athlete with size and speed, having been clocked as fast as 6.6 seconds in the 60-yard dash. His game speed is slower, though, with below-average times going from home to first. Scouts are mixed on Becerra’s bat. He has good size and strength, and some scouts consider him one of the best righthanded hitters available with good plate coverage and projectable power.”

After hitting nine home runs in 2015 for the Savannah Sand Gnats who play in the spacious Grayson Stadium, it appeared Becerra was living up those original scouting reports.

I got to see him in person during that 2015 Low-A season and at the time noted he appeared a man among boys. Not just true prototypical right field size, but the talent was obvious as well. From batting practice, which was professional in approach and highlighted with home runs peppered throughout the park. To the way the defense respected and played him, not a full on shift, but heavily shading towards left, shortstop backing up a few steps, etc. to the degree that you typically don’t see at the low-A level.

Fast forward one season to the present day, questions have arisen about the power and if it will play in games. (From what I has previously seen, it will) By July the whispers that the young outfielder was playing through a shoulder injury turned out to be accurate. There was a change in approach that resulted in a career high .312 batting average, but only resulted in 18 extra base hits. The question remains if the change of approach was due to injury, a coaching focus for moving his growth forward, or a combination of both. (Which is my personal line of thought).

Becerra had season-ending surgery on a torn labrum in his right shoulder in July. He originally hurt the shoulder during spring training and decided to try to play through it. He received cortisone shots during the season to help with pain, but still only played 13 games in right field and had to to be the designated hitter in 52 games.

The 22-year old Venezuelan is the prototypical right fielder with an above average arm (pre-surgery) that also moves well given his size. Despite the lack of extra base hits this past season he still has plus power potential and showed he can hit line drives to all fields in 2016.

2017 Outlook:

That the organization felt the need to add him to the 40-man roster and protect him from the Rule 5 draft is a positive sign in my view. He will be in major league camp, at least to start, and depending on how his rehab (very quiet thus far) is going we should get to see him on SNY this March. I wouldn’t be shocked if he starts in St. Lucie to get some positive plate appearances before moving up to Binghamton after the spring thaw. I remain hopeful on his progress this year expecting that breakout.

2017 MMO TOP 30 PROSPECTS

1. Amed Rosario, SS

2. Dominic Smith, 1B

3. Robert Gsellman, RHP

4. Thomas Szapucki, LHP

5. Desmond Lindsay, OF

6. Justin Dunn, RHP

7. Gavin Cecchini, INF

8. Brandon Nimmo, OF

9. Andres Gimenez, SS

10. Tomas Nido, C

mmo feature original footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/2017-top-mets-30-prospects-no-11-wuilmer-becerra-of.html/feed/ 0
Mets, deGrom Forego Arbitration With $4.05 Million Deal http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/mets-degrom-forego-arbitration-with-4-05-million-deal.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/mets-degrom-forego-arbitration-with-4-05-million-deal.html/#comments Fri, 13 Jan 2017 20:55:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229430 jacob degrom

The Mets and ace Jacob deGrom have agreed to a one-year, $4.05 million deal to avoid arbitration, reports ESPN’s Adam Rubin. His contract will also come with performance bonuses. deGrom’s base salary is slightly lower than the $4.225 million projected by Pace.

deGrom had another solid season for the Mets, finishing the year with a 3.04 ERA over 148 innings pitched. He was plagued a bit by fatigue early in the season, watching his velocity drop from 2015. However, he still managed to pitch very well and saw his velocity rise after a few months.

His numbers were slightly worse across the board than 2015, with deGrom seeing a higher ERA (2.54 in 2015), a lower strikeout rate, and a higher walk rate in 2016. Nonetheless, he was still the second-best starter on the team behind Noah Syndergaard.

deGrom’s season came to an abrupt end in September, when he had surgery to repair nerve damage in his right elbow. He will be ready for the start of camp in February.

get metsmerized footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/mets-degrom-forego-arbitration-with-4-05-million-deal.html/feed/ 0
Darling Predicts Big Year for Mets Pitching http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/darling-predicts-big-year-for-mets-pitching.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/darling-predicts-big-year-for-mets-pitching.html/#comments Mon, 09 Jan 2017 11:00:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229066 noah-syndergaard-matt-harvey-jacob-degrom-pittsburgh

New York Mets legend and current broadcaster for SNY, Ron Darling, predicts a historic year in 2017 for this pitching staff. Darling spoke of the team’s upcoming season with John Harper of the NY Daily News.

“I really think they’re going to give you a show like you haven’t seen in quite some time. I would be completely shocked if they didn’t.” Darling said.

This is the year where if all goes according to plan, we may actually see the fab five together, all at once. As Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler all heal up from their past injuries, things have begun to look bright for the Metropolitans.

If all are healthy and finally able to put it all together at once alongside rotation anchor, Noah Syndergaard, Darling believes they would be near unstoppable.

“You’re talking about guys whose stuff is among the very best in all of baseball,” Darling said.

“I think you could see historical numbers, in terms of strikeouts and walks — or at least the ratio. You might have four guys with ERAs under 2.25. It’s easily possible.”

jacob degrom

It would be hard to fathom a complete rotation with such dominant numbers. Thinking about it will begin to have you salivate at the possibility of returning to the World Series yet again, just a year removed.

This young rotation though has been unable to stay healthy all at once, as injuries have decimated them for the last few seasons. Darling believes how they are handled in spring training can have a long effect on their health for the 2017 season.

“But I really think that’s going to be the biggest issue. Be smart and ease into the season. Even for Syndergaard, who pushed it hard last year”

With their past history of injuries, the Mets are sure to take it slow with their starters entering the upcoming season. It will be quite important to manage their workload early on in order to sustain their stamina in 2017 and minimize the risk of injury.

“I would consider spring training must-not-watch TV. I’m sure SNY will appreciate me saying that, but the point is, I think this will be the most important spring training for young arms that I’ve ever seen,” Darling said. “How they’re handled will be very important.”

Pitchers and catchers report on February 12 for the Metropolitans, just a few weeks away. Hopefully we are soon to witness the beginning of a dominant year for the team’s pitching staff as Darling believes we will.

get metsmerized footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/darling-predicts-big-year-for-mets-pitching.html/feed/ 0
Jose Reyes Will Join Jeurys Familia On Dominican Republic WBC Team http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/jose-reyes-will-join-jeurys-familia-on-dominican-republic-wbc-team.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/jose-reyes-will-join-jeurys-familia-on-dominican-republic-wbc-team.html/#comments Fri, 06 Jan 2017 13:00:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=228487 jose reyes

According to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, New York Mets infielder Jose Reyes will play for the Dominican Republic team in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. This will be the fourth time that Reyes has played in the WBC for his home country.

He will join Mets closer Jeurys Familia on the squad. The Dominican roster also includes St. Louis Cardinals young pitcher Alex Reyes, Seattle Mariners sluggers Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano, New York Yankees reliever Dellin Betances, Texas Rangers third basemen Adrian Beltre and Baltimore Orioles infielder Manny Machado.

The Dominican team is in Pool C along with the United States, Canada and Team Colombia. Play begins on March 9 at Marlins Park in Miami with the Dominican Republic as the defending champs.

Previous Report – Dec 28

A day after teammates Seth Lugo and Ty Kelly were confirmed to be playing in the WBC, it has now been confirmed by sources that T.J. Rivera will also participate. Rivera, 28, will join Lugo on Team Puerto Rico, and Kelly will play for Team Israel.

In 2016, Rivera, hit .352 in 105 Minor League games and .333 in 33 Major League games.

Other players on Team Puerto Rico include Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, Cubs second baseman Javier Baez, and Astros shortstop Carlos Correa.

Original Post – Dec 27

Here are a couple of New York Mets player updates regarding the upcoming Winter Baseball Classic.  According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, RHP Seth Lugo has agreed to play for Puerto Rico and Ty Kelly has agreed to play for Israel.

Lugo, 27, hails from Louisiana but has Puerto Rican roots on his father’s side of the family. Last season, Lugo was a nice surprise for the Mets, coming up after a rash of injuries and producing a 2.67 ERA and 1.092 WHIP in 17 late season appearances including eight starts.

Kelly, 27, has Jewish ancestry and was initially supposed to play in the qualifying rounds for Team Israel, but his September call-up prevented him from playing. Israel advanced anyway, and now Kelly will lend his talents to them. He played in 39 games for the Mets last season, posting a .241 average with a .697 OPS.

Other Mets expected to play in the WBC are SS Asdrubal Cabrera for Venezuela and RHP Jeurys Familia for the Dominican Republic. Both Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo are on Team Italy’s preliminary roster, however it is unclear yet if either outfielder will play. RHP Noah Syndergaard, has already declined an invitation from Team USA.

get metsmerized footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/jose-reyes-will-join-jeurys-familia-on-dominican-republic-wbc-team.html/feed/ 0
Syndergaard’s Wild Card Gem Leads Top 2016 Performances http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/syndergaards-wild-card-gem-leads-top-2016-performances.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/syndergaards-wild-card-gem-leads-top-2016-performances.html/#comments Fri, 30 Dec 2016 13:30:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=228563 noah-syndergaard-2

The New York Mets 2016 season was chock full of big time performances from a variety of players. The season fell short of our expectations but it sure was a gritty, fun and roller coaster type season to witness. Lets take a look at some of the standout performances from this past season.

Although in just his second season in the bigs, Noah Syndergaard has already found himself in numerous high pressure situations. None though was higher in 2016 than his task of attempting to navigate his team to victory in the win or go home Wild Card game.

The Mets unfortunately were unable to solve Madison Bumgarner, falling to San Francisco by a score of 3-0. Thor though would match Bumgarner for each of his innings pitched, looking purely dominant at times while at others gutting his way out of trouble for a scoreless gem. Take a look below at just some of the purely electrifying stuff that Syndergaard brought to the table on that cold October night.

Syndergaard would pitch seven innings while striking out 10 and taking the no-decision in the final game of the Mets 2016 season. Thor yet again showed New York who is the true ace of this staff.

noah syndergaard hr

Sticking with the “God of Thunder” theme, Thor showed his might yet again on May 11, 2016 at Dodger Stadium as he became the first pitcher in nine years to hit two homers in a game.

Syndergaard would crush a solo jack off of Kenta Maeda in the third inning and then later in the fifth would tag him again, but this time for a three-run bomb. Flexing his muscle in 2016, Thor would end his season with three homers in total.

curtis-granderson-3

The Mets were a team who seemed to either live or die by the home run in 2016. Curtis Granderson showed his might on September 17, 2016. The Grandy-man showed that he still can, hitting two extra-inning homers to propel the Mets to a 3-2 extra inning victory over the Minnesota Twins.

With the Mets trailing by a score of 2-1 in the bottom of the eleventh, Granderson would smash a homer to tie up the game and keep the team alive. The following inning, Granderson would walk off the night with another Grandy splash in what was a crazy see-saw ending to an otherwise uninspiring game.

jacob degrom

Heading back over to the pitching side, Jacob deGrom put on a heck of a performance in Philadelphia on July 17, 2016. The deGrominator navigated his way through a one-hit shutout for the first complete game of his career.

Jacob would strike out seven batters on this day while walking one as the Mets cruised to a 5-0 victory. It is performances like this that truly show just how important deGrom is to this rotation and how dominant he has the ability to be when healthy and on top of his game.

wilmer flores 6 hitsWhat better way to end the top performances of 2016 than the incredible game that Wilmer Flores had on July 3, 2016 against the World Champion Chicago Cubs. Flores would have a monster day at the plate, going 6-for-6 as the Mets completed a four-game sweep of Chicago with a 14-3 drubbing at Citi Field.

Part of those six hits included two homers and four RBI to go along with three runs scored. Flores would become only the second Met in team history to collect six hits in a game. The only other Mets player to ever do so was Edgardo Alfonzo, who accomplished the feat in 1999.

Sure 2016 did not bring another championship to Queens but it was still a hell of a season that was great to watch unfold. It was another drama filled year for a team who fought through a plethora of injuries. Next season is sure to bring great moments and hopefully more playoff excitement as Spring Training is just around the corner.

What was your top Mets performance of 2016?

mets logo button footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/syndergaards-wild-card-gem-leads-top-2016-performances.html/feed/ 0
Mets Won’t Discuss Starting Pitcher Extensions Before Spring http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/mets-wont-discuss-starting-pitcher-extensions-before-spring.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/mets-wont-discuss-starting-pitcher-extensions-before-spring.html/#comments Fri, 23 Dec 2016 19:30:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227920 noah-syndergaard-matt-harvey-jacob-degrom-pittsburgh

The New York Mets will not talk extension with any of their starting pitchers before spring training the New York Daily News was told by GM Sandy Alderson.

However, Alderson didn’t rule out extension talks during the 2017 season, “I am not going to say we would do or we are not going to do it,” Alderson said of looking to lock up one of their talented young arms long term during the season, “but heading into spring training, it’s not likely going to happen.”

The 27-year old Matt Harvey will be the first of the big five to hit free agency following the 2018 season and is arbitration eligible for the second time this offseason.

Next comes 28-year old Jacob deGrom and 26-year old Zack Wheeler, who can both test the market after the 2020 season and they’re arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason.

Steven Matz, 25, can become a free agent after the 2021 season and will be eligible for arbitration for the first time following the 2018 season.

The new ace of the staff, 24-year old Noah Syndergaard, can get his first big raise through arbitration after the 2017 season and is currently on track to become a free agent following the 2021 season.

Original Report – Dec 12

The New York Mets have reportedly yet to hold any contract extension talks with any of their young pitchers as of yet. The team’s assistant General Manager, John Ricco, discussed the subject on SNY‘s Mets Hot Stove this past week.

“It’s something that’s certainly in mind when we talk about how we’re going to keep this team in tact for the long term, and win in the long term,” Ricco said.

“But, to date we haven’t really engaged at all, though like in the past, if it makes sense we’ll aggressively approach them.”

With the Mets in their current winning window, now is as good a time as ever to attempt to lock down some of their young staff as they begin to hit free agency starting in 2018 with Matt Harvey.

Many believe Harvey will test free agency at this time, especially if able to come back from another injury just as good as he was before. The team though has four starters who may be willing to except an extension to provide themselves with security going forward.

noah syndergaard jacob degrom

Jacob deGrom has openly let it be known he would be willing to discuss a contract extension with the Mets. Now may be a good time to approach deGrom on a deal that will help the team retain him for years to come as he is currently slated to become a free agent after the 2020 season.

Finding a way to retain deGrom and Noah Syndergaard should be the team’s biggest priorities when it comes to this staff. Syndergaard is eligible to become a free agent following the 2021 season and has quickly powered his way to being one of the best pitchers in the game today.

Locking up Noah at this point of his career may be tricky but he has also shown a great affection for the city he plays in. Syndergaard has become the heart and soul of this rotation and although 2021 seems so far away, we all know how quickly that time will come.

With a pitcher like Steven Matz, it is tough. He has struggled to stay healthy in his career but has shown what a formidable pitcher he can be when able. Zack Wheeler has become somewhat of an unknown at this point, not pitching in the previous two seasons.

Finding a way though to get some of these guys under control for years to come will broaden the winning window for this Metropolitan team. Sooner than later they should look to approach each of them with extensions to keep them in Queens for years to come.

get metsmerized footer

]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/mets-wont-discuss-starting-pitcher-extensions-before-spring.html/feed/ 0 Mets Front Office and Ownership Deserve Some Praise http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/mets-front-office-and-ownership-deserve-some-praise.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/mets-front-office-and-ownership-deserve-some-praise.html/#comments Sun, 04 Dec 2016 15:00:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227471 sandy-alderson

When the New York Mets entered the offseason after a disappointing Wild Card Game loss to the San Francisco Giants, fans and media alike pondered what type of moves and money the Mets’ front office would make and spend this winter. After all, the team has held a stigma of being “cheap” over the last several years, even though the claim is just not true. The Mets have seen some steady and significant payroll increases over the last three seasons since coming out of their rebuild.

While the Mets have spent the a few seasons ridding themselves of onerous contracts held over from the previous regime and develop talent from within, they started to form a chemistry and cohesion, resulting in back-to-back postseason trips in 2015-16, only the second time that’s occurred in franchise history (1999-00). With the team relying on an inexpensive group of young, top of the rotation starters, that gives them some wiggle room when it comes to doling out contracts in other areas of specific need.

And so far, GM Sandy Alderson and the front office have responded. Fans and beat reporters thought there was a chance that Neil Walker wouldn’t be tendered a qualifying offer, as the price tag of $17.2 million along with Walker’s season-ending back surgery gave some pause as to whether allocating that type of money would make the most financial sense. However, the Mets made the QO to Walker, who accepted minutes before the 5 PM deadline on November 14.

As fans remember, Walker had a career year of sorts in 2016, matching a career high in home runs (23), setting a career high in SLG (.476), OPS (.823), BB% (9.2), and fWAR (3.7). The switch-hitting second baseman also set a career high in his splits against left-handed pitchers in 2016, slashing .330/.391/.610 in 100 at-bats against southpaws, compared to his career line of .269/.327/.373.

rene rivera

The Mets were also unlikely to tender a contract to backup catcher Rene Rivera, according to multiple media reports. The thought process was the $2.2 million price tag Rivera was projected to earn was too pricey for a backup catcher, as the team still has underachieving Kevin Plawecki to back up Travis d’Arnaud at the league minimum.

However, the team came to a one-year $1.75 million deal with Rivera on Friday, keeping Noah Syndergaard‘s personal catcher in the fold for 2017. It appears the front office realized the impact he had on Syndergaard and controlling the running game, as he threw out 30% of would be base stealers last season.

Also keeping a veteran backstop on a team with youthful catchers is a smart choice, as Rivera can act as a second coach to Glenn Sherlock, who was hired as the new third base coach and catching instructor in November. That too, was a shrewd move, as the front office realized that former third base coach Tim Teufel made some questionable decisions with runners on the base paths, while also operating last season without a full time catching instructor on the roster. The hope is Sherlock can work with d’Arnaud and Plawecki, and get them back on track after rocky 2016 seasons for both catchers.

And of course, there’s the matter of Yoenis Cespedes. As soon as Cespedes inked his three-year, $75 million deal last winter with the opt-out after the first season, fans wondered what it would take to retain La Potencia, and if he would just sell himself to the highest bidder on the open market this offseason.

Varying reports about Cespedes’ intentions were spread across the internet: would the Nationals be interested again as they were last season? Could the Dodgers join the fray and add him to an already expensive roster? Would the crosstown rival Yankees swoop in, after shedding payroll with their trades of Carlos Beltran, Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman, Ivan Nova, and Brian McCann?

cespedes press conference

Our editor in chief Joe D. offered his take throughout the month of November, calmly reminding fans that Cespedes’ first choice was always in Queens and that something was brewing between both sides. Sure enough, the Mets announced on Wednesday that they had come to an agreement with the 31-year-old Cuban slugger, agreeing to a four-year, $110 million deal with a full no-trade clause, making him the highest paid outfielder in the game.

The front office and ownership should be applauded for their hard work and dedication moving forward. They too realize the window for winning is now, with all their young arms controlled for the next few years before they have some serious decisions to make on extensions. Retaining the players that made them successful the past two seasons illustrates the level of seriousness they’re taking into each year, and not just standing pat and waiting for the scrapheap free agents to sift through in January and February.

A big part of ownership’s willingness to go out and spend money is the increased gate attendance the team has seen over the past three seasons. In 2014, the Mets totaled 2,148,808, good for 21st in baseball. The following season the Mets were sitting at 12th in attendance, with 2,569,753 fans going through the turnstiles. And in 2016, the Mets made it into the top 10, the first time since 2009, as they were 9th with 2,789,602 in attendance. Alderson did say at a season ticket holder’s event back in 2014 that ownership will spend more money if they’re supported at the gates by fans. So far it seems as if Alderson and ownership have kept their word.

Of course, there is more work to be done, as the team is in need of adding a left-handed reliever and a late inning arm to pair with Addison Reed, as it appears Jeurys Familia might face a suspension for his domestic violence arrest in October. The Mets also need to decide on moving one (or both) of Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce, depending on who fetches them the greatest return. If the Mets continue working dutifully as they have when it comes to their own free agents, I have faith that Alderson and Co. have a game plan for who they will target at this week’s Winter Meetings in Maryland. Stay tuned…

we are original 280 footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/mets-front-office-and-ownership-deserve-some-praise.html/feed/ 0
Mets Settle With Rene Rivera at $1.75 Million http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/mets-settle-with-rene-rivera-at-1-75-million.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/mets-settle-with-rene-rivera-at-1-75-million.html/#comments Fri, 02 Dec 2016 17:39:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227432 rene rivera

The New York Mets have settled with arbitration eligible catcher Rene Rivera for $1.75 million according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports. He was projected to receive $2.2 million by MLB Trade Rumors.

Rivera, 33, ended up being an integral part of the Mets 2016 run to the playoffs. As Noah Syndergaard‘s personal catcher, Rivera provided a level of defense and leadership that Travis d’Arnaud could not.

Despite his value in those departments, Rivera was not much of an offensive threat as he slashed 222/.291/.341 with six home runs and 26 RBIs.

get metsmerized footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/mets-settle-with-rene-rivera-at-1-75-million.html/feed/ 0
Mets In Danger Of Being Non-Tendered http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/which-mets-are-in-danger-of-being-non-tendered.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/which-mets-are-in-danger-of-being-non-tendered.html/#comments Fri, 02 Dec 2016 12:00:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227391 rene rivera

Today is the deadline to tender a contract to arbitration eligible players, of which the Mets have ten: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Zack WheelerLucas Duda, Rene Rivera, Addison Reed, Jeurys Familia, Josh Edgin, Travis d’Arnaud, and Wilmer Flores. Most of those players make the decision to retain them a no-brainer, however two might be in danger of being non-tendered and become free agents.

Lefty reliever Josh Edgin, 29, is projected to make $800k next season through arbitration. Before appearing in 16 games in 2016, he had been working his way back from Tommy John surgery. When he last pitched in 2014, he was very effective, posting a 1.32 ERA in 27.1 innings with 28 strikeouts.

In 2016, he pitched 10.1 innings, striking out 11 and recording a 5.23 ERA. He has good stuff, and with time he could return to his 2014 form, but some pitchers have a hard time coming back from Tommy John surgery. It seems like $800k is good a low risk bet on him pitching well, especially with the only other Mets lefty being Josh Smoker. I don’t expect the Mets to non-tender Edgin tomorrow, but he is certainly on the bubble.

The player in the most danger of being non-tendered is veteran catcher Rene Rivera. Rivera, 33, ended up being an integral part of the Mets 2016 run to the playoffs. As Noah Syndergaard‘s personal catcher, Rivera provided a level of defense and leadership that Travis d’Arnaud could not.

Despite his value in those departments, Rivera was not much of an offensive threat as he slashed 222/.291/.341 with six home runs and 26 RBIs. The question the Mets face is this: Is he worth the $2.2 million he is projected to make in 2016?

The Mets have Travis d’Arnaud in whom Sandy Alderson has publicly said he puts his trust going to this season. The Mets also have young Kevin Plawecki who, despite his lack of production so far, has always shown a lot of potential behind the dish. They could have Plawecki back up d’Arnaud in the Majors, or start him in AAA where he can get consistent at bats and have Rivera return to back up d’Arnaud.

While d’Arnaud’s throwing got better towards the end of the season, it is certainly not close to where it needs to be. Unless he hits well enough to offset his lack of defensive production, it would be good to have Rivera available.

Get-MetsMerized-Orange Footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/which-mets-are-in-danger-of-being-non-tendered.html/feed/ 0
Zack Wheeler Might Start 2017 In Bullpen http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/zack-wheeler-might-start-2017-in-bullpen.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/zack-wheeler-might-start-2017-in-bullpen.html/#comments Wed, 30 Nov 2016 16:08:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227284 harvey-wheeler-degrom

With the emergence of Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman in 2016, the Mets are left with a good problem. They have seven capable starting pitchers. In addition to those two, they also have Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, and Zack Wheeler who are all expected to be healthy come opening day.

With that surplus and most likely five spots available in the rotation, two of those men will have to give. Their options are either to start the season in the rotation at AAA Las Vegas or in the Major League bullpen.

Anthony DiComo tweeted that RHP Zack Wheeler, 26, might be starting 2017 out of the bullpen. The hard thrower is coming off Tommy John surgery. He was expected back as early as July last year and was dragged down by setbacks, but he is on track to be healthy at the start of next year.

This would make sense for a few reasons, the first of which being that it would curtail his innings in the beginning of the season. It would allow him to have sort of an extended Spring Training with the ability to gradually increase his workload until he shows that he is able to join the rotation. In the case of an early inning implosion by a Mets starter, he could be called upon as a long man.

He also has a repertoire that would work very well out of the bullpen, and if he is able to let loose as opposed to pacing himself over six or seven innings, his fastball could reach into the high 90s. That, along with his plus curveball, plus slider, and average changeup, should play well late in games.

Get-MetsMerized-Orange Footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/zack-wheeler-might-start-2017-in-bullpen.html/feed/ 0
2016 Mets Report Cards: Noah Syndergaard, RHP http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/2016-mets-report-cards-noah-syndergaard-rhp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/2016-mets-report-cards-noah-syndergaard-rhp.html/#comments Tue, 15 Nov 2016 14:00:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=226428 noah syndergaard 2

NOAH SYNDERGAARD, RHP

Player Data: Age: 24, B/T: Left/Right, Free Agency: 2022

2016 Primary Stats: 14-9, 2.60 ERA, 30 GS, 183.2 IP, 218 K, 43 BB, 1.15 WHIP

2016 Review:

It seemed only fitting that Noah Syndergaard would get the Mets their first win of the 2016 season against the defending World Series Champion Kansas City Royals. Syndergaard, 24, pitched and won Game 3 of the 2015 World Series, the only game the Mets won in the Fall Classic, so watching Thor mow down Royal hitter after Royal hitter, tossing six shutout innings of three hit ball, striking out nine, just seemed apropos.

Thor was outstanding in April and May, posting a 5-2 record with a 1.84 ERA and .545 OPS against. He added to his superhero legacy during a May 11 start in Los Angeles against the Dodgers, where he hit not one, but two home runs (the second putting the Mets ahead for good), all while pitching eight innings of two-run ball with six strikeouts for his third win of the season. It was the second time in Mets history where a pitcher hit two home runs, the last coming in 1983 by RHP Walt Terrell against the Chicago Cubs.

Despite a few shaky starts in June, Thor rebounded post All-Star break on, posting the 4th best ERA in the National League at 2.65. Thor also posted the third highest fWAR for starting pitchers in the second half at 2.4, and in total, posted the highest fWAR of any starting pitcher this season at 6.5. That’s the highest fWAR by a Mets starting pitcher since Matt Harvey posted the exact same 6.5 fWAR in his 2013 All-Star season.

Comparing his 2015 season to ’16, Thor made a ton of improvements in a myriad of categories, including innings pitched (150 regular season innings to 183.2), K/9 (9.96 to 10.68), HR/9 (1.14 to 0.54), ERA (3.24 to 2.60), and swinging strike percentage (12.2 to 14.2%). Syndergaard also made his first All-Star team this year, however, he didn’t appear in the Midsummer Classic due to a fatigued arm, while also dealing with a bone spur in his right elbow.

Syndergaard eluded the disabled list this past season, and embraced the ace title that came with not having Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, and Zack Wheeler for parts of and in Wheeler’s case, all of 2016. The responsibility that comes with being the number one starter on a staff means pitching in the biggest of games, on the biggest of stages, all while embracing the moment. Dating back to Game 3 of the 2015 World Series in his rookie season, fans knew what kind of competitor Thor was. So it was no surprise that when the Mets were hosting the NL Wild Card Game against the San Francisco Giants on October 5, Thor was tasked with matching up with Giants’ ace, Madison Bumgarner.

The pitching duel we had all hoped for came to fruition that night, as both starters were on their respective games, and the cool autumn night had the feel of a classic World Series game. Syndergaard was masterful, mixing in his high-90s four-seam fastball, with his devastating slider and sinker, keeping the Giants’ batters off balance the entire night. Syndergaard logged seven innings of work, allowing no runs on two hits and three walks, while striking out ten (tied for second most in a Wild Card game start).

Grade: A

2017 Outlook:

There’s no mistaking it, Thor is the ace of the Mets’ staff, and has lived up to all the hype, and then some! Syndergaard made the leap from 169 combined major league innings (including postseason) in 2015, to 190.2 innings in 2016 (including the Wild Card game), so barring any injuries, Syndergaard should be ready for 200 plus innings for 2017 and beyond.

Of course, the Mets will monitor Syndergaard in ’17 to ensure optimal health, and have options with the pitching depth from Gsellman, Lugo, and Colon (if he re-signs), to preserve Thor if he appears to need rest. Syndergaard’s a bulldog though, and I expect more of the same out of the rocket right arm that Thor has awed fans with since his debut in May 2015. Expect more All-Star appearances, and his name in the running for multiple Cy Young Awards for years to come.

get metsmerized footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/2016-mets-report-cards-noah-syndergaard-rhp.html/feed/ 0
2016 Mets Report Cards: Seth Lugo, RHP http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/2016-mets-report-cards-seth-lugo-rhp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/2016-mets-report-cards-seth-lugo-rhp.html/#comments Mon, 14 Nov 2016 15:00:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=225824 seth lugo 2

Seth Lugo, RHP

Player Data: Age: 27 on 11/17, B/T: Right/Right, Free Agency: 2022

2016 Primary Stats: 5-2, 2.67 ERA, 17 G, 8 GS, 64 IP, 45 K, .1.09 WHIP

2016 Review:

At first glance, Seth Lugo‘s Triple A numbers in 2016 didn’t scream “promotion” to the majors. In 21 games, 14 of those starts in Las Vegas, Lugo posted a win-loss record of 3-4, with a 6.50 ERA and .329 batting average against. Of course, the Pacific Coast League is a tough environment to judge both offensive and pitching production, due to the high elevations and fighting the dry air. Rewind just one season to 2015, when Lugo opened the year with the formerly known Binghamton Mets, and posted a 6-5 record with a more respectable 3.80 ERA, with a .254 average against in 19 starts in the Eastern League. 

Lugo’s promotion at the end of June was due in large part to adding a fresh arm to the pen, as LHP Sean Gilmartin was demoted after posting a lopsided 15.75 ERA in the month of June. The promotion of Lugo was also because off the unknown conditions surrounding Steven Matz and his bone spur in his left elbow. Matz made his start against the Cubs, and Lugo would make his major league debut out of the pen on July 1, relieving Hansel Robles and tossing two shutout innings with two strikeouts.

He’d make eight more appearances out of the pen before transitioning to the rotation on August 19 against the San Francisco Giants on the road. Lugo pitched well into the seventh, allowing only one run on six hits before he departed with runners on first and second and two out. Jerry Blevins entered the game and promptly gave up back-to-back singles, giving the Giants a 3-1 lead and charging three runs to the 26-year-old right-hander.

Lugo recorded his first major league win six days later, tossing five innings of two-hit ball, allowing no runs, and striking out five against the St. Louis Cardinals. Including the win against the Cards, Lugo would end up winning his next four starts in a row, and finished the season with a 5-2 record, a 2.67 ERA, and a 1.09 WHIP (9th best among rookies). A September 28 start he made against Philadelphia proved crucial, as the 5.1 IP of two-run ball and the win kept the Mets a game and a half in front of the San Francisco Giants for the top Wild Card spot, and two and a half games in front of the fading Cardinals.

Lugo and Gsellman both provided the Mets with solid starting pitching down the stretch, as their vaunted starting staff had been besieged by injuries throughout the entire season. It’s amazing to consider that Gsellman (13th round) and Lugo (34th round) were able to be key contributors for the Mets staff, considering that both were never viewed as much more than depth.

Grade: B+

2017 Outlook:

Depending on the health of the returning injured starters, Lugo offers depth for the starting rotation, or could be utilized out of the bullpen, where he posted a 2.65 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in 17 innings this year with the big club. Lugo was used out of the pen in June for Las Vegas, where the coaching staff felt he was more consistent and comfortable with his fastball command and higher velocity. Depth is the key word when it comes to Lugo, as he offers value in both starting and relieving moving forward for the Mets.

get metsmerized footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/2016-mets-report-cards-seth-lugo-rhp.html/feed/ 0
Mets Expect to Ease Starting Rotation into 2017 Season http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/mets-expect-to-ease-starting-rotation-into-2017-season.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/mets-expect-to-ease-starting-rotation-into-2017-season.html/#comments Fri, 14 Oct 2016 11:00:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224853 harvey collins

In a conversation with Adam Rubin of ESPN, Terry Collins spoke of the Mets’ starting rotation and his plans for them going into spring training and beyond.

It is no secret that 2016 was a year full of injuries for the team’s rotation. Collins is looking to learn from what occurred this year and figure out how to go about keeping them healthy.

“We’ll make sure we don’t push them too much early in spring training, so that they are ready,” Collins said.

“Coming out of spring training, are they ready to go seven innings? Probably not, some of those guys. But I do believe that certainly as we get closer to the end of spring training, those guys should be ready to pitch.”

The Mets seem to be taking an extra cautious approach with their rotation heading into next season. After the injuries that they incurred in 2016 to their staff that is not too surprising. They though have no reason to believe that Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom or Steven Matz will not be ready for spring training at this time. Collins though was still cautiously optimistic of what to expect going forward.

colon harvey matz syndergaard matz wheeler

“I think you can only go with what past research and past things have shown, and that’s that these guys will bounce back,” Collins said. “As we saw from Zack Wheeler, not everything is etched in stone. Fourteen months after Tommy John isn’t a guarantee you’re going to be ready to pitch.

“But you’re looking at the end of [2017] spring training, 24 months after Tommy John, there’s no reason to think that [Wheeler] can’t be ready. Matt was a three-month [recovery time]. DeGrom’s is a three-month. Steven Matz’s is a three-month.”

Only Noah Syndergaard of the fab-five made it out of 2016 unscathed, for the most part. The Mets were helped by another tremendous season from the eighth wonder of the world, Bartolo Colon. With how fragile this rotation has shown to be, it seems like a no-brainer to bring back Colon once again.

Though the emergence of rookie pitchers, Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo, could change that feeling as well. The Mets got more than they ever could have expected from Gsellman and Lugo, who proved they have the ability to handle pitching in the major leagues.

There will be many questions regarding this starting rotation heading into 2017. It is hard not to wonder if we will ever see the five highly touted pitchers altogether in the starting rotation at one time. Only time will tell.

get metsmerized footer

]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/mets-expect-to-ease-starting-rotation-into-2017-season.html/feed/ 0 Bringing Back Bartolo Colon Should Be A No-Brainer http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/bringing-back-bartolo-colon-should-be-a-no-brainer.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/bringing-back-bartolo-colon-should-be-a-no-brainer.html/#comments Mon, 10 Oct 2016 12:37:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224667 bartolo-colon

If you wanted to highlight some of the unsung heroes of the New York Mets this season, one of the first names that comes to mind is setup man Addison Reed, who posted career bests in ERA (1.97), WHIP, (0.905) appearances (80) and innings pitched (77.2) while leading the majors with 40 holds, ten more than second place finisher Neftali Feliz.

On a smaller scale you can turn to rookies Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo – who arrived on the heels of what could have been a disaster after the team announced that Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz were likely out for the season. If not for both of their strong efforts the Mets might never complete that 27-13 run that led to the team’s second consecutive postseason appearance – a feat only accomplished once before in franchise history. The team went 11-3 in the 14 starts Gsellman and Lugo made from August 25 to the end of the regular season and the two combined for a 2.54 ERA in that span.

And then there’s Bartolo Colon, who led the rotation with 15 wins and delivered his third straight season of 30 or more starts – last accomplished by Mike Pelfrey. The veteran right-hander posted a 3.44 ERA and 1.210 WHIP this season and for the second year in a row he had an MLB-best 1.50 walk rate among all qualified starters. All of this in his age 43 season.

You want to talk about unsung heroes, I don’t know where the Mets would have been without Bartolo Colon. He of course was supposed to be dispatched to the bullpen in July upon the return of Zack Wheeler, but as all of you know that never happened. Instead, the Mets again and again relied upon him in times of crisis and Colon for the most part never let the team down.

Like Gsellman and Lugo, Colon was also strong down the stretch going 6-2 in his last 12 starts with a 3.17 ERA and 1.192 WHIP that could have been even better if not for the 2.1 innings and seven earned runs against the Miami Marlins on the day following the passing of Jose Fernandez.

So let’s get right to the point. Should the Mets bring Colon back and for how much? The answer is an emphatic yes and I would think he should get a lot more than the $7.25 million he got this year. According to FanGraphs, Colon was worth $23.2 million in 2016, so I’d say offering Colon $12 million to return in 2017 would be fair and reasonable.

With Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz all returning from varying degrees of surgery next spring training, I think having Colon in camp as a safety net is a no-brainer. And I wouldn’t be shocked if he led the team in starts again – although I would hope that’s not the case. Still, give the big guy his just rewards.

get metsmerized footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/bringing-back-bartolo-colon-should-be-a-no-brainer.html/feed/ 0
Good Fundies Episode 24: What Kind of Day Has It Been http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/good-fundies-episode-24-what-kind-of-day-has-it-been.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/good-fundies-episode-24-what-kind-of-day-has-it-been.html/#comments Fri, 07 Oct 2016 17:46:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224596 anguish

Roger and Brian talked about the wild card game, praising Noah Syndergaard but mostly they figured out where things went wrong. They also explored jinxes and weird superstitions before getting into which pending free agents on the team – including Yoenis Cespedes – the Mets should keep. They were so bummed out and annoyed that a listener asked specifically about Brian’s current mental health. They should be fine, or as fine as they are capable. We will get through this together.

 

iTunes  -  Stitcher  -  Twitter

get metsmerized footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/good-fundies-episode-24-what-kind-of-day-has-it-been.html/feed/ 0
The Mets Should Hold Their Heads High Today http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/the-mets-should-hold-their-heads-high-today.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/the-mets-should-hold-their-heads-high-today.html/#comments Thu, 06 Oct 2016 12:30:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224515 noah-syndergaard-2

The New York Mets were defeated by a score of 3-0 Wednesday night at the hands of the San Francisco Giants in the NL Wild Card game. They have no reason to be down on themselves after going through a roller coaster of a season.

This team was left for dead at 60-62 before a series against this very same Giants team had helped to give them a pulse entering the final weeks of the season. They were down and disappointed at the end of Wednesday’s game, just as most of us were. Manager, Terry Collins though showed nothing but praise for a club that had been written off numerous times this season.

“Well, they’re hurting, but there’s no reason to be,” Collins said. “I mean, they were written off so many times this summer and yet they kept fighting back, and they said the other day you’ve got to have special people and special character to play in this town and in this environment, and that’s in that room.” (Newsday)

Their ace showed up in what was the biggest game of the 2016 season, Noah Syndergaard could not have done anymore. He pitched to seven shutout innings while allowing just two hits and striking out 10. It was possibly the best pitched game in his career, exceeding all expectations. Despite a loss, he would find solace in the fact of just how hard this team fought this season.

“It stings a little bit right now,” Syndergaard said. “It still hasn’t sunk in yet that this season’s over with. But I couldn’t be more proud of this group of guys right here, for everything we went through.”

jeurys-familia

The result of the game is not what they wished it would be. The game was handed to their closer, Jeurys Familia, a man who had saved a franchise record 51 games this season. He though would falter, giving way to another postseason victory for the Giants in an elimination setting. He too would reflect on just how much this team battled this season, enduring obstacle after obstacle.

“A lot of people thought we weren’t going to make it here this year,” Familia said. “Everybody should be proud in this room because we made it with those injuries.”

The resounding opinion in the Mets clubhouse Wednesday night was that of feeling accomplished. No, they did not make it past this first round Wild Card game, but they have every reason to be proud. This was a team who were on there way to a disappointing season, only to turn it around and make it back to the postseason. Too many injuries, bad managerial decisions and just bad luck at times, they endured.

The 2016 Mets are a team to be proud of. A team with great heart that was such a pleasure to watch. A team that taught you to never give up because if you just keep moving ahead, good things will come.

Get-MetsMerized-Orange Footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/the-mets-should-hold-their-heads-high-today.html/feed/ 0