Mets Merized Online » Orioles Mon, 16 Jan 2017 17:51:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Alderson: Trading Bruce Isn’t Prerequisite For Signing Reliever Thu, 12 Jan 2017 17:37:58 +0000 jay bruce

Sandy Alderson said that the New York Mets current payroll is tolerable according to Adam Rubin of ESPN. During the same conversation the Mets GM said that Jay Bruce and his $13 million salary still being on the roster doesn’t necessarily stop the Mets from adding a free agent reliever.

The free agent reliever market still includes Jerry Blevins, Fernando Salas, Sergio Romo, Joe Blanton, Greg Holland, Neftali Feliz and many others that could presumably help the Mets bullpen in the upcoming season.

Previous Report – Jan 6

In a new report from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, one ”rival GM” says the New York Mets should have declined the $13 million option on Jay Bruce. He also asserts that not only is Bruce in low demand now, but he was also in low demand when the Mets acquired him for Dilson Herrera and Max Wotell at the trade deadline.

Based upon the statements from this rival GM, Rosenthal speculates the Mets will likely have to include cash in any potential Bruce trade. Moreover, Rosenthal states that even with the Mets including money in a deal, the return for Bruce is still likely to be minimal.

It should be noted that earlier this offseason Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported the Mets were not interested in eating any of Bruce’s or Curtis Granderson‘s contract as part of any trade. At the time of this report, the Mets were rumored to have been involved in trade discussions with the Orioles. Earlier today the Orioles traded for left-handed hitting outfielder Seth Smith.

Even with this latest bit of bad news on the Bruce trade front, the Mets picking up his $13 million option has served a purpose. According to one Mets official, picking up his option did give them insurance in the event they lost Yoenis Cespedes and also gave the Mets some leverage in contract negotiations. “When you buy insurance, it doesn’t come for free,” said the Mets official.

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Orioles Pessimistic On Trumbo, Interested In Bourn Tue, 10 Jan 2017 20:27:38 +0000 mark-trumbo

According to Roch Kubato of MASN, the Orioles and Mark Trumbo have not made any progress in their contract discussions.  While it was noted the Orioles remain interested in re-signing Trumbo, it is believed the two sides are not going to be able to reach a deal.

In a separate report from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Orioles are interested in signing free agent outfielder Michael Bourn to address the team’s outfield defense.

The Orioles signing either player could have an impact on the Jay Bruce market.  Earlier in the offseason, it was reported the Mets were interested in trading Bruce for Orioles reliever Brad Brach.  According to reports, the Orioles were more interested in Curtis Granderson, and they wanted the Mets to pay part of the salary of either outfielder that would have been traded in a potential deal.

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Orioles Get Lefty Hitting Outfielder Seth Smith From Mariners Fri, 06 Jan 2017 18:41:48 +0000 seth smith

The Baltimore Orioles have acquired left-handed hitting outfielder Seth Smith from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for right-handed starter Yovani Gallardo.

Smith, 34, fills the Orioles need for a lefty bat that can play both corner outfield spots. Smith hit .249/.342/.415 with 15 doubles, 16 home runs and 63 runs batted in over 438 plate appearances in 2016.

Gallardo, 30, went 6-8 with a 5.42 ERA, 1.585 WHIP and an ugly 1.39 SO/BB ratio for the Orioles in 118 innings this past season.

The trade also helps the Orioles save around $4 million.

Previous Report – 12:00 PM

The Baltimore Orioles are intent on adding a left-handed hitting bat according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. They’ve shown interest in corner infield free agent Luis Valbuena, but prefer someone with outfield experience.

Of course, Jay Bruce fits what the Orioles are looking for, and the New York Mets have been actively shopping the outfielder this offseason.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, reports that the Mets will have to include cash to trade Bruce, but that the return could still be minimal.

Original Report – Dec 30

The Baltimore Orioles remain willing to trade right-handed reliever Brad Brach. However, they want a significant return for the set-up man according to Roch Kubatko of MASN.

The Orioles continue to look for a power bat to help fortify their lineup and remain interested in bringing back Mark Trumbo. They’ve also shown interest in left-handed hitting outfielder Michael Saunders.

Earlier this offseason it was reported that the Mets and Orioles had talked trade, but the O’s were more interested in Curtis Granderson than Jay Bruce. The Mets also showed interest the 30-year old Brach during those discussions.

Brach has been very strong out of the bullpen for the Orioles. Since 2014, he has gone 22-8 with a 2.61 ERA. In 220.2 innings he has struck out 235 batters and walked 88. He would be a big addition to the Mets bullpen, providing strong set up for Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia.

Brach made $1.25 million in 2016 and is under team control for two more years through arbitration.

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Orioles Pull Offer to Mark Trumbo Off the Table Sun, 18 Dec 2016 14:54:24 +0000 mark-trumbo

Negotiations between the Baltimore Orioles and free agent Mark Trumbo may have come to an abrupt end as the O’s have decided to pull the offer to their former slugger, according to reporter Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports. The deal the O’s had on the table was reportedly for four years and worth $52 million dollars, far short of the $80 million that Trumbo is believed to be seeking.

Trumbo, who turns 31 next month, led the league with 47 home runs last season while batting .256/.316/.533 and posting a 120 OPS+ and collecting 108 RBIs in 159 games for the Orioles. He played 95 of those games in right field, but his poor defense relegated him to the DH spot for more than a third of his playing time.

The Orioles reportedly had the best offer on the table to Trumbo and were very aggressive in trying to bring him back after a solid offensive campaign with the team. Kubatko mentions that last year, the O’s and first baseman Chris Davis had a similar breakdown in negotiations, but the two sides ultimately came to an agreement.

So at least for the time being, Trumbo remains a part of a large group of power-hitting first basemen and outfielders that are still unsigned almost two months into the offseason. Edwin Encarnacion, Jose BautistaPedro AlvarezMike NapoliAdam LindBrandon MossMark Reynolds and Chris Carter are among some of the big bats still available in the free agent market.


The breakdown in negotiations with the Orioles might open the door for the Colorado Rockies who are reportedly very interested in trying to land Trumbo to play first base and allow them to move the recently signed Ian Desmond to the outfield. The Rockies signed Desmond to a five year, $70 million dollar contract last week and forfeited their first round pick (No. 11 overall) in next year’s draft in the process.

If the Rockies are able to land Trumbo, they would then certainly deal one or two of their current outfielders which include David DahlCharlie BlackmonCarlos Gonzalez and Gerardo Parra. It’s believed that Blackmon or Gonzalez will be flipped for some help in the rotation despite ownership’s assurances to both players recently that they are not being actively shopped. Certainly, the addition of Trumbo would change that.

Both CarGo and Blackmon are coming off very solid offensive campaigns with the latter looking like a nice option for the Mets who lack a true everyday center fielder. What makes Blackmon all the more impressive is his .939/.926 home/road splits in OPS.

Blackmon, 29, batted .324 last season with 35 doubles, five triples, 29 home runs, 111 runs scored and 17 stolen bases while batting leadoff for the Rockies. He still has two years of team control.

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Rockies In Discussions With Mark Trumbo Sat, 10 Dec 2016 15:32:33 +0000 mark-trumbo

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Colorado Rockies remain interested in signing 1B/OF Mark Trumbo despite having recently signed Ian Desmond to a five year, $70 million dollar deal to play first base next season.

Should the Rockies sign Trumbo, the team may ultimately trade one of their outfielders.  Last season, the Rockies outfield was primarily comprised of Gerardo Parra, Charlie Blackmon, and Carlos Gonzalez.  Parra has two years and $18 million remaining on his contract with a $12 million team option for 2019.  Blackmon is second year arbitration eligible and is scheduled to be a free agent in 2019.  Gonzalez will earn $20 million in the last year of a six year deal he has with the Rockies.

If the Rockies put their outfielders on the market, it could further complicate the Mets chances to move Jay Bruce this offseason.  At the moment, there have not been any rumors with respect to Bruce.

Earlier in the offseason, it had been reported the Orioles had some interest in Bruce but were more interested in Curtis Granderson. They are also still in the mix for Trumbo, reportedly. 

Ultimately, a deal between the Mets and Orioles fell apart.  However, it is possible that if Trumbo signs with a new team, the Mets and Orioles could rekindle their trade discussions. At the time, the Mets were interested in O’s reliever Brad Brach.

Brach posted a 2.05 ERA and recorded 24 holds in 71 games. The 29-year-old righty had 92 strikeouts in 79 innings.


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Winter Meetings Day 2: Bruce Still A Tough Sell, Granderson ‘Not Available’ Wed, 07 Dec 2016 11:00:53 +0000 jay-bruce-3

According to Jon Heyman on Twitter, the Mets have deemed outfielder Curtis Granderson “not available.”

The Mets have been clear from the beginning regarding their intentions to trade Jay Bruce, and while he is easily a 30-home run guy, teams are far more interested in Granderson. It seems Sandy Alderson has become fed up with this and has made Granderson unavailable entirely, hoping that taking him off the market will increase interest in Bruce.

Rival executives see Bruce as a possible DH at this point, citing his diminishing defensive skills. However, he does still possess a strong throwing arm, so teams that desperately need a right fielder (i.e. Orioles or Mariners) could play him out there.

The Mets are keen on adding a solid reliever to the mix to set up Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia. They were talking to the Orioles about reliever Brad Brach, however talks hit two snags. The first snag is that the Orioles much prefer Curtis Granderson over Jay Bruce (as do most if not all teams), and the second snag is that the Mets refused to eat any of Bruce’s contract. Snags aside, the Mets and Orioles do still seem to be talking.

The Orioles are trying to bring back slugger Mark Trumbo, however if they fail to do so, they could look to the Mets for a solution to both their vacancy in right field as well as their lineup’s loss of power.


Speaking to reporters, Sandy Alderson said that he called a team about one of their relievers but it was someone who “only wanted to pitch if it was in the 9th inning.” There are two pitchers I reckon he could be referring to. The first of which is Royals’ Wade Davis, however he seems to be going to the Cubs in a deal that would send Jorge Soler to Kansas City.

Another reliever it could be is White Sox closer David Robertson. Robertson would be a phenomenal pickup. The White Sox match up very well with the Mets, who have recently said they are willing to deal prospects for a reliever.

Robertson, 31, has two years left on his contract and is scheduled to make $12 million in 2017 and $13 million in 2018. While that is expensive, if the Mets offer a good enough package, Chicago could eat some of that contract.

Since becoming the White Sox’s full time closer in 2015, he has saved 71 games with a 3.44 ERA. In 125.2 innings he has struck out 161 batters. While those 71 saves are impressive, that 3.44 ERA is very high for a closer. When he was the set-up man for the Yankees and Mariano Rivera he fared much better, as from 2011-2013 in that role he recorded a 1.91 ERA with 258 strikeouts in 193.2 innings.

After trading Chris Sale, the White Sox seemed to have turned their attention to trading David Robertson. Knowing Sandy Alderson, I think he knows it’s a good time to strike a deal, before his price is increased when Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen sign their big contracts.

Stay tuned for more updates.


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Three Alternatives To Orioles Reliever Brad Brach Tue, 06 Dec 2016 16:16:57 +0000 brad ziegler

It has been widely reported the Mets have had interest in Orioles reliever Brad Brach in exchange for one of their outfielders.  Apparently, there has been a snag in negotiations with the Orioles because the team wants the Mets to not only trade them either Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson, but the Orioles also want the Mets to pay part of their salary or even include a prospect in return. Looks like the O’s have reengaged Mark Trumbo now  according to Buster Olney.

If the Mets are indeed out on Brach, that means the team will have to look elsewhere for a late inning reliever.  Further complicating matters for the Mets is Sandy Alderson’s earlier comments that the team is not willing to give out multi-year deals to relievers.  With those parameters in mind, here are three relievers the Mets may be able to sign this offseason:

Fernando Salas

2016 Stats: 3-7, 3.91 ERA, 75 G, 6 SV, 1.113 WHIP

The Mets may be able to sign the 31 year old Salas to a one year deal because he is coming off a two year stretch that has seen him pitch to a 4.06 ERA.  Despite those numbers, Salas thrived with the Mets pitch framing going 0-1 with a 2.08 ERA, a 0.635 WHIP, and a 9.9 K/9 in 17 appearances. While replicating those numbers may be difficult, Salas has at least proved he can pitch well in New York with a postseason appearance on the line.  Between that and his closing experience, the Mets should be interested in a reunion.

Brad Ziegler

2016 Stats: 4-7, 2.25 ERA, 69 G, 22 SV, 1.368 WHIP

Due to his struggles against left-handed batters and his age, the 37-year old Ziegler is not likely to get more than a one year deal.  Still the Mets, and almost all of the teams that made the postseason last year are interested in the side-winding Ziegler because keeps the ball in the ballpark by generating a lot of ground balls. With Ziegler’s ability to pitch from the seventh inning on, he is a valuable asset, and one in which the Mets should have interest.

Joe Smith

2016 Stats: 2-5, 3.46 ERA, 54 G, 6 SV, 1.250 WHIP

Since joining the Angels in 2014, Smith has gone from a dominating bullpen arm to a player left off the Cubs postseason roster.  However, it should be noted with the Cubs excellent pitch framers, Smith finished the season strong pitching to a 2.51 ERA and a 1.116 WHIP in his last 16 appearances.  Seeing how Salas similarly benefited from the Mets strong pitch framers, it is likely Smith could replicate his strong numbers in Chicago with the Mets.  Like Salas and Ziegler, Smith also has closing experience meaning he can be relied upon in any number of roles.

Overall, even if the Mets are not able to obtain Brach or a similar pitcher in a trade for Bruce or Granderson, there are still plenty of pitchers available on the free agent market who can pitch well in the seventh, eighth, or even the ninth inning for the Mets.

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Mets Eyeing Orioles Reliever Brad Brach In Outfielder Trade Mon, 05 Dec 2016 21:21:11 +0000 brad brach

According to Ken Rosenthal on Twitter, the Mets and Orioles are talking about a trade. Both Rosenthal and Buster Olney (here) tweeted that the Mets are interested in reliever Brad Brach.

Brach, 30, has been very strong out of the bullpen for the Orioles. Since 2014, he has gone 22-8 with a 2.61 ERA. In 220.2 innings he has struck out 235 batters and walked 88. He would be a big addition to the Mets bullpen, providing strong set up for Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia.

Brach made $1.25 million in 2016 and is under team control for two more years through arbitration.

While the Mets would prefer to trade Jay Bruce, the Orioles are more interested in Curtis Granderson. Bruce fits well in the Orioles’ lineup, too, so it’s possible they could “settle” for him.

According to Joel Sherman on Twitter, the Mets do not want to eat any of either Granderson’s or Bruce’s contract so that could inhibit any talks with the Orioles, who have been trying to bring back the expensive Mark Trumbo.

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Frank Viola Will Remain As Las Vegas 51s Pitching Coach Tue, 22 Nov 2016 22:38:53 +0000 frank viola

Former Mets pitcher and current Las Vegas 51s pitching coach Frank Viola was a finalist for the Orioles pitching coach position. Fortunately for the Mets, the Orioles went in another direction.

According to the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles have hired former Mets reliever and recently fired Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell to take over for the recently retired Dave Wallace.

Viola, 56, will now return for his seventh year as a pitching coach in the Mets organization and his fourth year as the 51s pitching coach.

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Latest On Cespedes: Nationals, Braves, Marlins Express Interest Tue, 19 Jan 2016 20:07:32 +0000 yoenis cespedes

Latest Update 2:30 PM

It appears that with no team willing to offer Yoenis Cespedes a long-term deal, the Mets and White Sox  now have some added competition as a few new teams are jumping into the fray.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports is reporting that the Washington Nationals are now showing interest in Cespedes after losing out on Justin Upton. Like the Mets and White Sox, they will consider him on a short-term deal of three years or less.

The Miami Marlins have also discussed pursuing Cespedes also on a “short-term deal,” Rosenthal adds. However, it’s difficult to see a fit as long as they still have Marcell Ozuna on the team

Meanwhile, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that if Cespedes doesn’t get the long-term deal he seeks, the Braves are ready to move on a short-term deal if he wants.

So apparently the NL East sans the Phillies are all-in on Cespedes plus you still have the Cardinals. Astros, Blue Jays and Angels. That’s quite a crowd and none of them want to pony up the 5-6 years and the big bucks.

The way I see it, if every team is only interested in a three-year deal, we already know Cespedes loved playing for the Mets. The other thing is, maybe the team that goes four years breaks the tie?

Original Report 7:00 AM

It’s amazing to see how the free agent market for Yoenis Cespedes has evolved this offseason. You may recall that on day one of the free agent filing period, the representatives for Cespedes at Roc Nation had an expensive interactive coffee table style book developed and presented to select teams as reported by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.

“In a bow to technology, the book also has a video player embedded inside the front cover. Executives who push the “play” button are treated to an array of Yoenis Cespedes home runs, jaw-dropping throws and other highlights set to music.”

Fresh off an MVP-ish caliber season, Cespedes was supposed to be one of the hottest and most wanted commodities of the offseason, with all of the talking heads projecting a six year deal valued at $130 million or more for the right-handed power hitter.

However, teams never lined up for Cespedes as expected and his market has been the slowest to develop among all the available big bats.

On Monday, free agent outfielder Justin Upton agreed to a six-year contract with the Detroit Tigers worth $132.75 million, and yet another potential suitor for Cespedes bites the dust.

The New York Mets got a lot of flak early in November, when they took a three-year or nothing posture with Yoenis Cespedes. And at the time I wrote that maybe the Mets were actually ahead of the curve and being the adults in the room.

Since then, we’ve seen a lot of teams with reported interest come and go, with almost all of them balking at a long-term deal for the Cuban slugger.

In an offseason fraught with plenty of spending madness and vast ungodly sums of dollars being thrown about with such reckless abandon, Cespedes is still on the outside looking in.

And the more Jon Heyman keeps tweeting about a dozen teams clawing at each other for the opportunity to bestow Cespedes with a gigantic mega deal, the sillier he looks. The more Heyman keeps reporting there’s no way he goes to the Mets for three years or less, the more likely it appears that’s exactly the kind of deal Cespedes may end up getting.

Where are all these teams that are reportedly smashing down the door for Cespedes? Who are they?

With the Tigers and Orioles now out of the mix, and the Houston Astros saying they were in no way making a huge push for Cespedes as Peter Gammons was reporting, who exactly is still actively engaged?

What we do know is that the Mets are still willing to give Cespedes a three-year, $60 million dollar contract, as reported by the New York Post. That same three year deal that Jon Heyman scoffed at six weeks ago. The same three year deal that I’ve yet to hear one other MLB team top.

The Braves, Phillies, Cardinals and Angels are among the remaining teams with reported interest, but I just don’t see it. Instead I see the White Sox and Mets standing alone as the most obvious fits for Cespedes.

“I talked to Sandy Alderson today, and hopefully we’ll continue to move forward in those negotiations,” manager Terry Collins told reporters on Sunday. ”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.”

I still believe the Mets are very much in play here. I don’t know how much money the White Sox are willing to throw at Cespedes, but it doesn’t sound like he’s going to get that 5-6 year mega deal he’s been looking for.

I could be wrong, but the Mets have played their hand on Cespedes rather nicely. Will it be enough to bring him back to Flushing? Who knows, but one thing is certain and that is that the Mets are still not out of this – square peg and all. Regardless of what the so-called experts are saying.

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Orioles Out On Yoenis Cespedes, Agree To 7-Year Deal With Chris Davis Sat, 16 Jan 2016 14:45:49 +0000 chris_davis_orioles

The Baltimore Orioles and free agent Chris Davis have agreed on a seven year, $161 million contract according to Jon Heyman via Twitter. The deal includes a full no-trade clause and is pending a physical.

That’s a lot of money for the 29-year old Davis, who walloped 47 home runs with 117 RBIs last year and has 126 homers in the past three seasons.

This signing has huge implications for the Mets as the Orioles reportedly had an offer on the table to free-agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. The O’s were willing to give Cespedes a five-year deal worth around $90 million.

On Saturday, Jesse Sanchez of reported that while Cespedes was weighing the Orioles offer, the Mets were still very much in play if he was willing to take a lesser deal anywhere from one to three years.

Kevin Kernan of the New York Post later reported that the Mets would be willing to give Cespedes a three-year deal for about $60 million or give him a one-year pillow deal so he could hit free agency again next winter when there’ll be a much weaker outfield market.

This continues to get very interesting…


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10 Players Who Rejected Qualifying Offers Remain Unsigned Mon, 21 Dec 2015 15:17:07 +0000 alex gordon

Of the 16 free agents who rejected their qualifying offers this winter, 10 of them still remain unsigned as December draws to a close.

Wei-Yin Chen, Orioles

Chris Davis, Orioles

Ian Desmond, Nationals

Dexter Fowler, Cubs

Yovani Gallardo, Rangers

Alex Gordon, Royals

Howie Kendrick, Dodgers

Ian Kennedy, Padres

Daniel Murphy, Mets

Justin Upton, Padres

Any new team signing these players will forfeit their first-round pick in next June’s First Year Player Draft. Should a team have a protected pick in the top 10, they would forfeit their next-highest pick. The former team gains a supplemental draft pick as compensation, in between the first and second rounds.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports cited a couple of reasons as to why the market for these players have been so slow to develop. For one, the usual big spenders like the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels are taking a very fiscal approach now. Also, there are an extraordinarily high number of teams that are tanking like the Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies and Atlanta Braves to name a few.

Additionally, there are a lot of strong options still available in trade, especially for outfielders and starting pitchers.

One factor that might be overlooked is just how reluctant teams now are in giving up their first round draft picks as compared to just two seasons ago.

Sure, there’s always been some hesitancy in forfeiting that pick, but it appears to me that more and more teams are now putting a greater emphasis in keeping their minor league systems stocked with the high-upside talent typically found in those first two rounds of the draft.

While teams that see themselves as a player or two away from a championship will always be willing to roll the dice on a difference-maker, that may not be the case for complimentary players like Dexter Fowler or Daniel Murphy.

It will be interesting to see how this ultimately plays out.  Will players like Ian Desmond and Alex Gordon end up signing for far less than initial projections? I wonder if this current Qualifying Offer system will continue beyond the current Collective Bargaining Agreement which expires after the 2016 season.


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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Orioles, 7:05 PM Wed, 19 Aug 2015 19:39:45 +0000 noah syndergaard

The New York Mets will complete their two game set at Camden Yards on Wednesday night against the Baltimore Orioles at  7:05 PM.

Noah Syndergaard (7-6, 3.07) starts for the Mets in the finale and he opposes Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez (9-7, 3.92). 

Syndergaard is 7-1 with a 1.82 ERA at Citi Field and 0-5 with a 5.01 ERA on the road. But he’s changing his pre game regimen tonight to try and improve his road performance.

Mets Starting Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson RF
  2. Daniel Murphy 2B
  3. Yoenis Cespedes DH
  4. Lucas Duda 1B
  5. Juan Uribe 3B
  6. Travis d’Arnaud C
  7. Michael Conforto LF
  8. Wilmer Flores SS
  9. Juan Lagares CF
  10. Noah Syndergaard P

The game got a little a dicey at the end, but the Mets were able to hold off the Orioles last night and snap their three game losing streak. Curtis Granderson got the Mets on the board immediately with a lead-off homer and then added a second homer later in the game while Jacob deGrom dominated for 7.2 innings. The ninth inning was a bit of an adventure, but it doesn’t matter the Mets won the game and look to take the two game set tonight.

Noah Syndergaard is 7-6 over 17 games and 105.2 innings with a 3.07 ERA. Two starts ago was quite rough for Noah as he allowed 5 ER over 4.0 innings and rebounded nicely in his last start allowing 3 ER over 7.0 (d’Arnaud took some blame for the pitch sequence in the first inning that allowed multiple runs). He missed the Orioles this year and he hasn’t faced anyone on the Orioles roster yet in a major league game.

Ubaldo Jimenez is 9-7 over 23 starts and 131.0 innings while posting a 3.92 ERA. So far in August he has made one brilliant start against the Angels holding them scoreless for 8.0 innings sandwiched between two below-average starts. This has been the story of his season recently as he was having a terrific season up to the All-Star break. Earlier this year he faced the Mets allowing 3 ER over 6 hits and 4.0 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against Ubaldo:

  • K Johnson 8-34, 4 2B
  • Granderson 3-13, 3B, HR
  • Uribe 5-14, 2 2B
  • Cespedes 3-10, HR
  • Cuddyer 1-9
  • Murphy 1-8

Lets Go Mets!

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Terry Collins Enjoying Life In The Fast Lane Tue, 18 Aug 2015 20:00:49 +0000 terry collins

It’s been nearly 20 years since Terry Collins has been in the pennant race and he’s relishing every minute of it with the New York Mets.

“When you’re in a pennant race, there’s nothing else like it. There’s nothing like the energy in the clubhouse, the energy in the stands. It’s an experience that doesn’t happen to too many people,” Collins said recently at Citi Field.

“This is when you’ve got to really enjoy it. It makes all the tough times and all the work you’ve put in worth all the time and effort.” (Matt Ehalt, Record)

Collins has been in three pending races during his managerial career, however he missed the playoffs each time. His last chance was in 1998 when his California Angels led the AL West by 3 1/2 games with 19 left to play. However the Texas Rangers ended up winning the division.

“This is what you play for. You play to win, and as a manager the biggest thrill is to run a team out there that competes and you’re in the hunt,” Collins said.

“This is a long year. When you’re looking up in October and you’re playing for something, you come to the ballpark and there’s energy here.”

* * * * * * * * * *

As the Mets prepare for an important two-game series against the red-hot Orioles, Baltimore’s pitching coach Dave Wallace spoke glowingly about Terry Collins during an interview with Mike Puma of the New York Post. Wallace says that Collins has been able to save the team despite inheriting a mess.

“Given what he’s done over the last few years when he got there and inherited that team and all the problems that were going on internally, and to handle the New York press and do the job he’s done, I think it’s terrific,” Wallace said Monday by phone.

“I was hoping he would have an opportunity to see this thing through and obviously he has,” Wallace said. “It looks like it’s really paying some huge dividends for them.”

Wallace even went as far as comparing him to the Orioles’ manager Buck Showalter.

“Just their intensity and game management and being on top of things — the preparation that goes into it,” Wallace said. “I certainly know Terry well enough to know what he does and how prepared he is. Buck is prepared going into every game, he just doesn’t miss a trick for nine innings. He’s on top of everything.”

Wallace has been Baltimore’s pitching coach since 2013, but he has had a long friendship with Collins dating all the way back to the 80′s. Wallace served as Collins’ pitching coach during their time together in the Dodgers’ minor league system.

I certainly wouldn’t compare Collins to one of the game’s best like Showalter, but it’s still good to hear someone from an opposing team publicly support Collins, especially since he’s been the subject of such intense ridicule and criticism during his tenure in New York.

The media and fans have hammered Collins relentlessly over the years, but the results this season are hard to argue with. Collins has the team sitting in first place with a 4.5 game lead, which is a lot more than anyone could have realistically expected heading into the season.

Regardless of how this season ends up, the buzz is that the Mets will likely pick up his 2016 option and extend him through 2017. A team source told Newsday’s Steven Marcus that it’s unlikely the Mets will discuss an extension with Collins while the season is ongoing.

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Orioles, 7:05 PM Tue, 18 Aug 2015 19:55:50 +0000 jacob deGrom

The New York Mets (63-55) begin their road trip with a short two-game series against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards on Tuesday night.

All-Star Jacob deGrom (11-6, 2.03) will try to stop the Mets’ three-game skid and will oppose Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman (2-4, 4.48) at 7:05 PM.

The Mets have won eight straight games vs. Baltimore, dating to June 11, 2010, including going 2-0 this year at Citi Field (May 5-6)…New York’s eight consecutive wins against Baltimore marks its longest winning streak against any American League opponent.

Yoenis Cespedes was 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs in his last game at Camden Yards for the Tigers before being traded to the Mets on July 31 .

Lucas Duda (back) is back at first base after being out of the starting lineup for six straight games.

Mets Starting Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson        RF
  2. Daniel Murphy               3B
  3. Yoenis Cespedes          CF
  4. Lucas Duda                   1B
  5. Travis d’Arnaud             C
  6. Kelly Johnson               2B
  7. Michael Cuddyer          DH
  8. Michael Conforto          LF
  9. Wilmer Flores                SS

This was an odd weekend for the Mets. In all three games, they had a legitimate chance to win except they fell apart late in one way or another. Luckily, the Nationals were also swept so we are still where we started. Meanwhile, the Mets draw an Orioles team that has gotten hot as of late and on their own turf, where they are a different team. For the Orioles, they have strong bullpen and incredibly strong lineup. Plus, they play in a fairly hitters friendly park (or at least their lineup makes it look hitter friendly). Also as a fun side note, the last time Cespedes was in Baltimore, he was traded to the Mets.

Jacob deGrom looks to put things back on track for the Mets. On the season he is 11-6 over 22 starts and 146.2 innings with a 2.03 ERA and 152 K’s. He is coming off of his strongest start in August where he held the Rockies scoreless over 7.0 innings while striking out 10. In his last 15 starts he is 8-2 over 105.0 innings with a 1.46 ERA. Earlier this year he faced the Orioles at Citi Field and held them to 1 run while striking out 9 over 7.0 innings. The Orioles have the following numbers against Jacob:

  • Parra 0-6
  • Paredes 1-4
  • Davis 0-3
  • Jones 0-2
  • Machado 2-3

The Mets bats draw Gausman who is 2-4 over 16 games, 8 starts and 60.1 innings with a 4.48 ERA. When Gausman is on, he’s great. Since becoming a full time starter on June 20th, he has two outings where he has completely shut down his opponents. He also has two starts where he has self-destructed on the mound. In August he is 1-2 over 19.2 innings in three starts with a 5.03 ERA. He made a relief outing against the Mets in Early May where he held the Mets scoreless over 1.0 innings and struck out 2. The Mets have the following limited numbers against Gausman:

  • Cespedes 3-9, HR
  • K Johnson 0-5
  • Granderson 0-1
  • Cuddyer 0-1
  • Duda 0-1
  • Lagares 0-1

Lets Go Mets!

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MMO Game Recap: Pirates 8, Mets 1 Sun, 16 Aug 2015 21:28:00 +0000 USATSI_8751621_154511658_lowres

The New York Mets were swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates this afternoon at Citi Field where the Mets lost the series finale a score of 8 to 1.

Matt Harvey wasn’t particularly dominating this afternoon, and he labored with baserunners in every inning despite only allowing one run on a solo shot by Pedro Alvarez through six innings of work.

Harvey allowed a walk and seven hits including a double, two triples, and a home run. But to his credit, he managed to bear down when he needed to and limited the Bucs to just one run in his 103 pitch effort. All in all, Matt Harvey got the job done.


Catcher Travis d’Arnaud got the Mets on the board with a solo homerun in the third inning. He also lined a two-out double in the fourth inning.

In the bottom of the sixth inning with the game still knotted at 1-1, Daniel Murphy singled and Michael Cuddyer got hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with one out. It looked like the Mets were about to break the game open.

Then with the red hot d’Arnaud up at the plate… CRRACKKK!! BABOOM!!!

A bolt of lightning and an ear-shattering peal of thunder had d’Arnaud jump out of his skin and racing for the dugout as a giant deluge of rain poured onto the field.

With just the home plate umpire and the Bucs catcher standing alone at the plate, both wondering if the frightened Travis d’Arnaud was ever coming back, lol, the crew chief called for the tarp and the game went into a rain delay.

However after a 42 minute delay, and the hard-throwing Arquimedes Caminero on the mound for the Bucs, d’Arnaud struck out looking and Ruben Tejada hit a weak grounder to end the inning with two runners stranded.

Enter Bobby Parnell, who has been terribly ineffective since July 24. The veteran reliever walked the leadoff batter in the seventh to get things started. Then after inducing a comebacker to the mound, Parnell fielded it and threw it into centerfield because nobody was covering second base. Yeah, that happened.

So with runners on first and third, Gregory Polanco singled to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead. A passed ball by d’Arnaud would bring in another run, and then after another walk by Parnell, Aramis Ramirez singled home the Bucs’ third run of the inning.

And for his second consecutive appearance in a row, Bobby Parnell left the mound to a chorus of boos.


The Force was not with the Mets at Citi Field.

Eric O’Flaherty came in to relieve Parnell, but was quickly greeted with a single to drive in the Pirates fifth run of the game. The next hitter hit a soft grounder to first but he was safe amidst the confusion of who was covering the bag. Finally and mercifully, O’Flaherty got the third out. 5-1 Buccos.

It was as ugly an inning as the Mets have had in an awfully long time, and it was painfully brutal to watch. The Pirates would go on to score 3 more runs.

New Rule: No more rain delays.

Bright Side: We’re done playing the Pirates who have outscored us 37-10 and swept the season series six games to none.

Sage Advice: Can we not play Michael Cuddyer at first base anymore?

Okay shake this this one off, boys…

The Mets will have the day off on Monday before beginning a short two-game series with the suddenly red hot Orioles in Baltimore on Tuesday. Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard are the probable starters for the Mets.

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MMO Game Thread: Orioles vs Mets, 7:10 PM Wed, 06 May 2015 19:18:48 +0000 jacob degrom

The Mets will take on the Orioles again on Wednesday night at Citi Field as Jacob deGrom (2-3, 3.34 ERA) takes on Ubaldo Jimenez (2-1, 1.59 ERA) at 7:10 pm.

Mets Starting Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson – RF
  2. Juan Lagares – CF
  3. Lucas Duda – 1B
  4. Michael Cuddyer – LF
  5. Daniel Murphy – 3B
  6. Wilmer Flores –SS
  7. Kevin Plawecki – C
  8. Dilson Herrera – 2B
  9. Jacob deGrom – RHP

The Mets finish their two game set with the Orioles tonight as Jacob deGrom takes on Ubaldo Jimenez.

Last night the Mets finally stopped their slide behind Bartolo Colon who allowed only 1 earned run over 7.2 innings. The offense didn’t completely breakout, but they did score 3 runs and that was enough for the Mets to end up in the correct side of the ledger.

Jacob deGrom is 2-3 on the season over 5 starts with a 3.34 ERA. His last two starts have been very different than his first three starts. In the last two he has allowed 9 ER, 11 total, over 11.1 innings. In his first three starts he allowed only 2 ER over 19.1 innings.

Since the Mets play the Orioles so infrequently, and deGrom is in his sophomore season, it isn’t too surprising that he hasn’t faced the Birds yet. The only player he has ever faced on the Orioles roster is Travis Snider, who is 0-3.

Ubaldo Jimenez is off to a much better start than last year. Last year, his first with the Orioles, he posted a 4.81 ERA over 25 games and a 6-9 record. This year he is 2-1 over 4 starts with a 1.59 ERA. His third start of the season has been his only blight on season where he allowed 4 ER over 5.0 innings.

It has been quite some time since Ubaldo faced the Mets. He allowed 5 ER over 3.2 innings way back in 2011. There are a few Mets with numbers against him:

  • Granderson 2-11, 3B
  • Cuddyer 0-8
  • Murphy 1-6
  • Recker 1-2
  • Tejada 0-3

Lets Go Mets!


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MMO Game Recap: Mets 3, Orioles 2 Wed, 06 May 2015 02:22:43 +0000 bartolo colon

The Mets (17-10) defeated the Orioles (12-12) by a score of 3-2 Tuesday evening at Citi Field.


Bartolo Colon started for the Mets, improving his record to 5-1 on the season, leaving his ERA at an impressive 2.90. Colon was cruising until he gave up a solo home run in the 8th inning to Manny Machado. He went 7.2 innings, allowing 6 hits and one run, stuck out 9 and walked NONE!


He was relieved by Carlos Torres, who retired the only batter he faced.

Jeurys Familia came in and nailed down the save, despite allowing a solo home run to Chris Davis, drastically raising his ERA to an absolutely unacceptable 1.88. He struck out one batter en route to his MLB-leading 11th save.

daniel murphy wilmer flores


The Mets finally scored a run, putting up a 3-spot in the 4th inning. However they started a new scoreless streak as that was the only inning they would score.

Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda, Michael Cuddyer, and Wilmer Flores each tallied base hits. However, the big blows came from Kevin Plawecki who slammed a 2-RBI double in the 4th inning off Bud Norris, two batters after Daniel Murphy drove in Lucas Duda with a single.


Kevin Plawecki extended his hitting streak to five games with a double in the fourth inning…Plawecki is hitting .333 (6-18) over those contests.

Take away the 4th inning and the Mets bats remained quiet. The Mets pitchers continue to do their job, but if the Mets can’t put runs on the board, wins will be hard to come by.

Bartolo Colon has tossed 34.1 straight innings without issuing a walk, the third-longest stretch in team history. The only batter he walked this year was Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman on Opening Day, April 6.

Juan Lagares made an(other) amazing diving catch, and had a minor collision with left fielder Michael Cuddyer in the 5th inning. He stayed in the rest of the game, however this raises a concern that was brought up in spring training. Michael Cuddyer is deaf in his left ear, and this could be the first instance of him not hearing Lagares calling for the ball.

On Deck:

The Mets will take on the Orioles again tomorrow night at Citi Field as Jacob deGrom (2-3, 3.34 ERA) takes on Ubaldo Jimenez (2-1, 1.59 ERA) at 7:10 pm.

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How Low Can You Go? Mets Peddling Relevance On A Shoestring… Fri, 20 Feb 2015 19:27:47 +0000 chris-rock

I had some cheap friends when I was younger. Guys who had jobs and money but who didn’t like to spend any of it. I’m sure you all remember the type. The sort who liked to spend other people’s money and never smoked their own cigarettes. Reminds me of the Chris Rock skit from “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka,” where he walks into a rib joint and asks “how much for one rib?” Trying to buy a single rib for fifty cents and ten cents worth of soda, “pour it into my hand for a dime.” All the while he’s got a roll of $20 dollar bills in his shirt pocket. It’s how I feel about the Wilpons.

I’ve been defending this front office’s decision not to spend on free agents all winter. There’s an argument there. You can pick up any of the NY dailies and there will be at least one article slamming the Mets for not doing more, but it’s self-serving in a way. The quiet hot stove is bad business for the back pages. It’s like “C’mon Mets, I’m trying to make a living here, what the hell am I supposed to write about all winter? The Knicks??!!” That line could be from any number of NY sports journalists. But the truth is there really weren’t many tangible upgrades available which didn’t involve mortgaging the farm.

Sadly I’m afraid that’s been a convenient ruse. The real reason they didn’t spend is the same reason it’s always been, they’re still broke. Some might argue that they’re playing the pauper lest their creditors get the best of them, stashing their assets in equities insulated from their Mets enterprise, like the Chris Rock character with the hidden wad of twenties in his pocket … But I doubt it. Given the unprecedented level of fan discontent, I think the Wilpons would spend if they could.

MLB: San Diego Padres at Minnesota Twins

Yesterday’s news on Everth Cabrera signing with the Orioles for a whopping $2.4 million was the latest indicator. I know a lot of folks out there think Everth is a miscreant and a criminal, and that may be true, but hey, who are we to judge? All I know is I had this Everth kid on my fantasy team a couple of years ago and he killed it for me with hits and steals. Now sure, maybe he was juiced up, but I don’t know that he’s not worth a shot given how perfectly he fits our needs (lead-off and shortstop) … and for 2.4 million? You could probably scrape up 2.4 million searching through A-rod’s couch cushions.

But no. Everth signs with the Orioles. The frigging Orioles of Baltimore.

Here’s the thing. Say Sandy Alderson signs Everth Cabrera to a 1 year deal for $2.4 million. What is the worst that could happen? Cabrera has a minor league option so if he bombs or holds up a liquor store he could still be sent down to work things out. Sure he’d be an expensive minor leaguer but the upside is if he hits he’d be beating out Tejada … Tejada. And therein lies the rub … in Tejada, you have the kid who used to stop at the newsstand on the way home from school to buy a Moon Pie and 6 Swedish Fish with his pocket full of nickels … in Cabrera you have the kid who would mug him before he got there. Which one would you rather have playing for the Mets? Tough question I know.

While his numbers may not jump out at you, Cabrera has one thing Tejada (and the Mets team as a whole) sorely lacks, speed. Cabrera, 28 and a switch hitter, led the National League with 44 stolen bases (on 48 attempts) in 2012. If he regains his form he is a legitimate lead-off option. Now look, I’m not saying he’s this poor man’s Rafael Furcal or anything, but the guy was running a 3.1 WAR in 2013 when he got shut down for his Biogenesis run-in. I don’t think Tejada could touch 3 WAR if he fell into a vat of PED loaded hypodermic needles in an abandoned warehouse during a full moon. He’s just not that dynamic a player.  We’re also down one Eric Young and could use those wheels, but who needs team speed? Certainly not the Mets.

At 2.4 million? I mean, that’s like Pablo Sandoval’s cheesy-snack budget. That’s the 1986 Mets’ in-flight cocaine bill for crying out loud. Pocket change right? Nope. Not when it comes to the Wilpons. Here’s the crazy part. A best case is Cabrera hits around .280 with a .330 or so OBP and around 40 steals with a 2.0 to 3.0 WAR … he essentially replaces Tejada and pushes Flores over to 2B (which makes Murphy available) providing the Mets with a pesky lead-off presence. The Mets would actually save money under said scenario because they could shed Murphy’s salary … the risk? 2.4 million.  Or, Cabrera could just replace Tejada as back-up infielder. With a year of arbitration eligibility left after 2015, if Cabrera proves a capable SS and lead-off hitter the Mets would have solved these two annoying magpies with one well placed stone.

Mets Cubs

How cheap are the Mets? The possibility of a bona-fide lead-off option at short is not worth a 2.4 million gamble when they could simply play Flores there and bring up Hererra if and when they trade Murphy. It’s also not worth biting the bullet on Tejada’s salary should Cabrera prove more capable as a switch-hitting infield back-up/pinch runner (which I firmly believe he would). That’s pretty damned cheap folks, especially for a team trying to sell fans on this idea that they’re contenders.

The Orioles have had some success with reclamation projects … They were after all the team that gave Nelson Cruz a shot. It’s not like the Mets haven’t tiptoed into those waters, Marlon Byrd was one such player. It could be that the Wilpons, given their sterling reputation, put the kibosh on signing a guy with a lengthy and colorful rap sheet. That’s what they’ll tell us … too many  “character questions.” Don’t you believe it … this guy would have been a perfect low risk high reward gamble to throw into our middle infield mix were the Mets in a position to scrape together 2.4 million.

They are not.

They are broke.

We’re talking trawling for pennies and dimes at the fountain in the mall broke … picking cigarette butts out of ashtrays in the park broke … the Mets aren’t just “limited,” they are picking pizza crusts out of the trash and living out of a cardboard box broke.

Now Ownership has even taken to peddling relevance as if the pennant is a foregone conclusion … perhaps in the hope that they’ll sell enough tickets to actually increase payroll? Or to pay down debt? I’ll let you decide which.

And all the while they cling feverishly with their greasy fingers to this beleaguered franchise as if it’s some relic from a by-gone life buried under a heap of rags in a shopping cart, without regard to the once in a generation pitching talent whose window will close as quickly as it opened.

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MMO Game Thread: Cubs vs Mets, 1:10 PM Sun, 17 Aug 2014 14:38:00 +0000 rafael montero

The Mets look to win their third straight game as they continue their wraparound series this afternoon against the Cubs at Citi Field. Rafael Montero (0-3, 6.12 ERA) makes what is expected to be his final start filling in for Jacob deGrom and will be opposed by Jake Arrieta (6-4, 2.77) for the Cubs.

David Wright was struck in his left shoulder by a fastball from Dan Straily in Saturday night’s contest and was forced to leave the game. He is expected to miss Sunday’s game and could remain out longer.

Wilmer Flores had a two-run single in a three-run second inning as the Mets (59-65) took the lead en route to a 7-3 victory on Saturday. Flores also looked sharp again defensively and continues to get better with more and more playing time. But after 10 straight starts, Ruben Tejada is due to get Sunday’s start at shortstop.

Starting Lineup 

  1. Curtis Granderson – RF
  2. Juan Lagares – CF
  3. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  4. Lucas Duda – 1B
  5. Eric Campbell – 3B
  6. Matt den Dekker – LF
  7. Anthony Recker – C
  8. Ruben Tejada – SS
  9. Rafael Montero – RHP

Today Rafael Montero looks to move beyond his last start which was not good as he allowed 5 ER over 5.0 innings against the Nationals. Overall on the season he has pitched 25.0 innings over 5 starts and a 6.12 ERA. He has never faced the Cubs in the major league game or anyone on the Cubs roster.

The Mets bats will get a look at Jake Arrieta, who the Cubs acquired from the Orioles in July of last year essentially for Scott Feldman. This year he is 6-4 over 18 games and 110.1 innings with a 2.77 ERA. Earlier this year he faced the Mets allowing only one run, but lasting only 4.2 innings while the Mets racked up 7 hits. He is coming off of a good start where he allowed 2 ER over 7, which came on the heels of his worst start of the season allowing 13 hits and 9 ER over 5.0 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against Jake:

  • Granderson 9-22, 2B, 3B, 3 HR
  • Duda 2-4, 2 BB
  • Wright 0-4, 2 BB
  • den Dekker 1-3
  • Murphy 1-3
  • d’Arnaud 1-2

Lets Go Mets!

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Mets Are More ‘Clutch’ Than The Nats, Statistically Speaking Sat, 16 Aug 2014 16:16:33 +0000 eric campbell homers

Judging from comments on my twitter feed, I’d venture to guess that the prevailing emotion among Mets fans out there for this season is abject frustration. While there are times when we are offered glimmers of hope and slivers of consistency, they tend to be quickly snuffed out. The team itself is probably more likeable than it has been in a while, but the constant RISP and LOB trends tend to put a proverbial damper on these good feelings like a wet wool blanket tossed on uncle Jimmy after his little bbq accident at the 4th Of July get together. We’re left with that nasty smell of burnt forearm hair and losses that should have been wins.

I can’t remember a season so full of “could have beens.” I honestly believe we might have easily been 8 or 10 wins up in the win column if only we’d had a few things break our way, if only we had a few more clutch hits. The Mets, post 2006, have been plagued with the worst label you can have as a team, they are perceived as unclutch. More recently they seem capable of pitching well enough, they’ve repaired a chronically leaky pen, but the team as a whole continues to struggle with scoring runs in high leverage situations. Is this apparent perception borne out statistically?

The world of sabermetrics seems to put out a new stat every week, and each one more complex than the last. I actually read an article a couple of days ago that asked you to refer back to first year calculus, that’s like asking me to refer back to my time in the birth canal. There are some things I’d rather not remember. There is actually a stat now called “clutch.” Clutch = (WPA / pLI) – WPA/LI. It is a measure loosely based on something called sequencing and “performance bunching.” In a nutshell, clutch measures a team’s ability to group fortuitous events together with productive results.

Take the Nats series for instance, the Mets left a bunch of runners on base, and inning after inning seemed to string hits together only after getting two outs, which resulted in being repeatedly turned away without scoring — they had a clutch score of -0.07 (0 = average). The Mets, ostensibly, appear to be extremely unclutch, however, when you take a closer look, the numbers don’t exactly bear this out. They have a whopping -44 rdif and according to fangraphs, offensively are the tenth most “clutch” team in baseball with a rating of -0.20. Are you kidding me?

Mets hitters are actually more “clutch” than the Nationals (the Nats have a clutch rating of -0.44) … Why?? I don’t know … THIRD BASE! But before I add another “and I don’t give a damn,” Lou Costelloism, I should mention that given what the Mets have accomplished statistically, they have won more games than they should have. Wonderful, so the Mets are actually pretty clutch given how bad they are. That makes about as much sense as saying a pig can fly fairly well considering he’s a pig … but I get it.

This my friends is why we may be stuck with Terry Collins. The numbers gurus are quick to dump out buckets of stats showing that given what the Mets have produced, they’ve actually won more games than they should have. Right now the most clutch teams in baseball are the Royals, the Orioles, the Red Sox (really?), the Yankees, and the Braves, the least clutch teams are the Twins, the Rockies, the Angels, the Rays, and the Cubs. The Mets currently have a .471 winning percentage, however, BaseRuns a statistic that strips away variation from performance and tells you in a sense what a team should have done were it not for sequencing and “clutch events,” says the Mets should have a .458 winning percentage.

Statisticians are also quick to point out that clutch is meaningless, primarily due to the inordinately high probability of regression. According to their theory, the Giants were never really better than the Dodgers, they have simply been extremely clutch, similarly they cite the Orioles and the Royals as examples of teams that are currently running ahead of their competition contrary to actual on field performance … again mostly because they’ve been lucky enough to group or sequence productive events (they’ve been clutch). Regression, however, is unavoidable. Jeff Sullivan of fangraphs recently showed in convincing detail that there is no such thing as clutch … clutch is simply a grouping of productive events that happens to coincide with high leverage situations, it is random and thus highly vulnerable to regression. Which means the Mets, given their production, may end up losing at an even higher rate than they have thus far.

Now I am not familiar enough with what goes into these statistics to comment on whether clutch performances are anomalies on a team level and whether regression is inevitable. If it is then the Royals will not win their division and the Rays will make a run at some point, but some teams, the Orioles and Giants come to mind, appear to be consistently “clutch” which runs contrary to league regression trends. There are outlying examples of teams that do not regress. In these instances there may be opportunities for determining whether there are in fact occasional examples of teams that have been for whatever reason capable of bunching improbable productive events together consistently. We saw this first hand with the Giants. An error here, a passed ball there, and poof, they snatch a win from the jaws of defeat. Maybe clutch has something to do with not being bright enough to be nervous in a situation where you should be nervous … Hunter Pence, that poor man’s wanna-be Brandon Nimmo, comes to mind. Who knows. I sure don’t.

If I had to guess I would say that clutch hitting does not correspond accordingly with clutch pitching, if it did I’m sure the Nats with their 17 WAR for pitching would have a higher overall clutch rating. While the Mets have failed to produce on par with a .471 winning percentage, their pitching has been stifling at times and I think clutch pitching performances are more difficult to qualify than clutch hitting performances because of all the myriad situational nuances that go into a pitcher’s mound presence and execution. Tom Seaver by most accounts would be considered a clutch pitcher, but he was also really really good. I would wager the 1969 Mets were an extremely clutch team if you go off of their production, but I’d also wager the teams who faced the Mets down the stretch and in the playoffs in 1969 didn’t think clutchness had anything to do with it … they simply overwhelmed you with pitching.

What worries me in light of all this is that our current front office’s adherence to sabermetrics dictates that the team is performing above it’s capabilities, which would imply their coaching staff and manager are doing a great job. The problem with this approach is it is an after the fact analysis. The Mets have not produced but have somehow won more than they should have given their production … unfortunately one of the reasons they’ve failed to produce is a problematic roster and an even more problematic allocation of playing time from said roster. It is akin to a baker using the wrong ingredients in a cake that ends up tasting terrible and giving him a pass because, well it isn’t fair to expect a cake with the wrong ingredients to taste good.

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