Mets Merized Online » projections Mon, 05 Dec 2016 01:32:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Pace 2017 Salary Projections: Wilmer Flores, IF Mon, 07 Nov 2016 13:30:18 +0000 wilmer flores 6 hits

Adam Rubin is rolling out his ever popular Pace Law Annual Salary Projection Series. In making their determinations, Pace puts together a panel that will base their projections on the following:

  • The quality of the player’s contribution to his club during the past season (referred to as his “platform season”), including but not limited to his overall performance, special qualities of leadership and public appeal
  • The length and consistency of his career contribution
  • The player’s past compensation
  • Comparative baseball salaries
  • The existence of any physical or mental issues on the part of the player
  • The recent performance record of the club, including but not limited to its league standing and attendance, as an indication of public acceptance

Wilmer Flores, IF

Pace Salary Projection: $2.9M

MLBTR Salary Projection: $1.9M

According to Pace, the three players that Flores will likely be compared to in the arbitration process are Neil Walker, Gordon Beckham, and Anthony Rendon.

You can read their full analysis here.

Fan-favorite Wilmer Flores put up solid numbers in 2016, setting new career highs in batting average (.267), on-base percentage (.319), and slugging percentage while matching his career high in home runs (16) in 103 games. He was on track to easily beat more of his career highs before his season ended with a wrist injury.

With the Mets’ second base situation in flux, it is hard to say at this point exactly what Flores’ role will be in 2017. It could range anywhere from a bench player, to a platoon with T.J. Rivera, or the every day starter. His value lies in his ability to play any infield position, as well as his prowess against left-handed pitching. Since 2015, in 214 plate appearances against lefties, he has hit .325/.369/.655 with a home run every 11.11 at bats. He has a better eye against lefty pitchers as well, drawing more walks (6.1% to 4.9%) and striking out less (12.1% to 13.5%).

Whichever projection is correct, anything less than $3M seems like a bargain if Wilmer continues to improve as he has.

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Pace 2017 Salary Projections: Jacob deGrom, RHP Tue, 01 Nov 2016 13:30:33 +0000 jacob degrom

Adam Rubin is rolling out his ever popular Pace Law Annual Salary Projection Series. In making their determinations, Pace puts together a panel that will base their projections on the following:

  • The quality of the player’s contribution to his club during the past season (referred to as his “platform season”), including but not limited to his overall performance, special qualities of leadership and public appeal
  • The length and consistency of his career contribution
  • The player’s past compensation
  • Comparative baseball salaries
  • The existence of any physical or mental issues on the part of the player
  • The recent performance record of the club, including but not limited to its league standing and attendance, as an indication of public acceptance

So without further ado…

Jacob deGrom, RHP

Pace Salary Projection: $4.225 million

MLBTR Salary Projection: $4.50 million

According to Pace, the three players that deGrom likely will be compared to in the arbitration process will be Stephen Strasburg (2013), Alex Cobb (2014) and Matt Harvey (2015).

You can read their full analysis here.

Jacob deGrom had an up and down season in 2016, but if I hear or read that he had an awful season one more time I’m going to respond with some shock and awe. The former Rookie of the Year battled lower back paing and questions about his velocity, and he still ended the season with a 3.04 ERA and 1.203 WHIP over his 24 starts with a 143:36 Strikeout to Walk Ratio. An awful season indeed.

DeGrom, 28, was shutdown due to elbow soreness and after tests revealed an irritated ulnar nerve in his pitching elbow, he underwent surgery to move the nerve to a different part of his arm. He is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for spring training. I expect him to continue his three year reign of dominance as one of the top right-handers in the National League and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a career year in 2017.

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Featured Article: FanGraphs Projects 84 Win Season For Mets Thu, 21 Jan 2016 19:23:58 +0000 darnaud conforto

FanGraphs posted their preseason projections for the 2016 season on Tuesday, and surprisingly they have the New York Mets projected for an 84-78 record.

The Chicago Cubs tops the National League with 95 wins, followed by the Dodgers with 90, Nationals with 88, and the Giants with 86. The Mets are tied with the Cardinals and Pirates with 84.

I was curious as to what led to such a low win projection and took a closer look. It’s certainly not the pitching which they project at 3.89 Runs Allowed or the 4th best mark in MLB. That’s actually up a little from 2015, when the Mets allowed 3.78 runs per game.

If you’re wondering why the lower projection on pitching, Dan Szymborski explains that it’s the bullpen, which even with Jeurys Familia combine for only a 2.0 WAR – one of the lowest totals in MLB. Adding another dependable arm or two would certainly improve things, he adds.

On the flip side, it’s the offense where the Mets really lose some major ground. They have us scoring just 4.04 Runs Per Game which ranks as the 26th lowest in MLB. Not good. It’s actually a little lower than 2015 when the Mets scored 4.22 runs per game thanks to an incredible August and September when they led the NL in runs scored after ranking dead last from April through July.

FanGraphs also released Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections for 2016 which you can check out here.

The first thing that jumps out at you is how their computer generated projection has Michael Conforto as the Mets’ most productive player with a .255 average and .786 OPS to go with 32 doubles, 26 home runs and 86 RBI. Those are some nice numbers right there.

They also included Yoenis Cespedes in the Mets’ projection, mostly to display the disparity between his WAR total and Conforto. Here’s what they say:

“The gap between Cespedes’s forecasted win total and Michael Conforto‘s second-best mark is equivalent to the gap between Conforto’s mark and the average of the club’s 11th- and 12th-best hitter projections. In other words: for whatever Cespedes’s flaws, his strengths appear capable of compensating for them at the moment.”

I currently view the Mets as a 92 win team and I’m not buying into the idea that the Nationals will outproduce them or win more games. It’s true that the Mets don’t have that one 6-WAR player on offense, but they do have a lineup packed with a bunch of 3-4 WAR players and I believe the significance of that is lost in these preseason projection models.


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Mets Re-Sign Farnsworth To Minor League Deal Tue, 25 Mar 2014 14:49:19 +0000 Kyle_Farnsworth

(Photo by Dave Conde, Metsmerized Online)

March 26

As expected, the Mets have re-signed Kyle Farnsworth to minor-league deal. He actually traveled to Viera yesterday when the Mets played the Nationals.

March 24

Kyle Farnsworth, who was released by the Mets on Sunday, is officially due to be re-signed Tuesday, according to a report by Adam Rubin. He is expected to open the season in the minors.

The move saved the Mets a $100,000 retention bonus, which they were unwilling to pay.

Farnsworth needs to wait 48 hours to re-sign. That will satisfy to the Players’ Association that Farnsworth unsuccessfully looked for other opportunities and is not just allowing the Mets to circumvent that collective-bargaining-agreement mandated $100,000 bonus. 

Farnsworth has struggled all spring (5.63 ERA) and his fastball velocity was down to 87-89 mph. He was not expected to make the Mets opening day roster.

The Mets’ bullpen is pretty much set now barring injuries, and will include Bobby ParnellVic Black, Jose ValverdeCarlos TorresJeurys FamiliaScott Rice and John Lannan.

March 19

Updating my 2014 Mets Bullpen Projection with a quote from Terry Collins that suggests Jose Valverde is moving closer to ensuring a spot in the Opening Day bullpen.

“I don’t know where, but he’s certainly making a very, very strong case for a guy who’s going to pitch in the back side of that bullpen, no doubt,” Terry Collins told beat writers on Monday.  ”He just takes it even keel every day, and if we’re as young as we think we’re going to be we’re going to need that.”

March 15

As we venture closer and closer to a new Mets season, some elements of the Opening Day roster are already beginning to take shape. Based on what I’ve read and discerned, I believe the following seven relievers will comprise the Mets bullpen to open the 2014 season.

The Magnificent Seven?

Bobby Parnell - In the “no-doubt-about-it” category, you have Bobby Parnell, the team’s undisputed closer. He continues to make good progress and in Wednesday’s loss to the Cardinals, his fastball was in the 88-89 mph range which Parnell says is relatively normal for this time of year. Team officials have become less and less concerned about his readiness and by all accounts he’s good to go.

Vic Black – The hard-throwing righthander we pillaged from the Pirates last season is also a lock for the bullpen. Black has been plagued by inconsistency and bouts of wildness, but his walk rates continue to improve and hopefully his confidence will as well. He’s going to log a lot of late inning relief to start the season as the Mets look to see what they have in him.

Carlos Torres – One of the nicest surprises from the 2013 season, Torres has shown the capacity to be a solid long reliever for the Mets. While his spot in the bullpen was not assured as pitchers and catchers reported to camp, Terry Collins put any doubts to rest and said the righthander will indeed be in the Mets bullpen to start the season. Torres tossed two more scoreless innings on Wednesday, raising his total to six in Grapefruit League play.

Scott Rice – If you’re a lefty and can do a batter than decent job against lefthanded batters, you’re a lock for the Mets bullpen. Rice had a surprising rookie season at the age of 31 and posted a 3.71 ERA in 73 appearances last season. He held lefthanded batters to a .171 average and .468 OPS in 2013. Well done, kid… Err, sir…

Jeurys Familia – The long-forgotten righthanded fireballer has impressed scouts, coaches and pretty much everyone who has seen him throw off a mound in the last three months. After an impressive stint during Winter Ball, Familia continues to throw high-octane heat at Port St. Lucie. 2014 will be his breakthrough season and by September he’ll be the Mets’ official setup man and closer of the future. You heard it here first. You heard it here in October. Just remember you heard it here.

John LannanIf we assume that a second lefty is as essential as Terry Collins seems to be letting on, Lannan is your sixth man in the bullpen. He has virtually no competition at all – now that every other lefthanded reliever was dispatched to minor league camp on Tuesday. I’ve already wrote extensively about what a bad idea Lannan is. What I find extremely questionable is that the sole purpose you carry a lefty specialist is to get lefthanded batters out. Take a look at these splits:


Lannan vs RHB – .267 AVG, .359 OBP

Lannan vs LHB – .281 AVG, .378 OBP


Lannan vs RHB – .288 AVG, .358 OBP

Lannan vs LHB – .323 AVG, .371 OBP

Do the math. Looking at those opposing on-base percentages presents a gloomy outlook when Lannan comes in to face some of the most feared lefthanded sluggers in the league. Get out your rally towels.

Jose Valverde – This one-time solid closer is my choice for the final bullpen spot, and what will likely represent another bad decision by the organization. Valverde, now 36, is currently sporting the worst numbers of any Mets pitcher battling for a bullpen spot. But Terry Collins says he doesn’t care about his numbers “because he’s done it.”

Here’s what he’s done actually. Last year, the Tigers decided to bring Valverde back on a minor league deal after the veteran reliever couldn’t land a major league job elsewhere. He made the team out of Spring Training, but after just 20 relief appearances and going 0-1 with a 5.59 ERA, he was designated for assignment in June. The right-hander spent the remainder of the season at Triple-A Toledo. 

Perhaps Valverde can rediscover his velocity and the life on his pitches that once made him a very effective closer, but at 36 it’s more likely that Jim Leyland is right and that his best days are long behind him. But what the heck does Leyland know… Plus we need Valverde to head up the Dominican Mafia as I read on another blog.

Who didn’t make the cut?

Jenrry Mejia is the big loser here, getting pushed out of the rotation by Dice-K and then squeezed out of the bullpen by the likes of Jose Valverde and John Lannan. But apparently the Mets believe the veterans have a better arsenal and give the Mets a better chance of competing this season. I disagree. There isn’t a scout in Florida who wouldn’t vouch for Mejia over Lannan and Valverde. 

Kyle Farnsworth is also out of the picture, and deservedly so. He has struggled all spring and his fastball velocity is now down to 87 mph continuing it’s steep decline. In recent years his velocity has dropped from 96.0 mph in 2009, 94.9 in 2010, 94.7 in 2011, 93.2 in 2012 and 92.6 last year.

Jeff Walters (26) and Jacob deGrom (25) were also in the competition, but this morning each were optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas. We’ll see both of them at some point this season, I’m sure. Scouts also love both of these arms and we actually felt good about both their chances. But the Mets will tough it out with grizzled veterans signed off the scrapheap while their own high-upside internal options head back to the minors.

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2014 Player Projection: Travis d’Arnaud, Catcher Mon, 17 Feb 2014 14:00:31 +0000 Welcome to my annual player projection series. In this series, I will try to take a swing at estimating how each Met will do in the upcoming season. As the results of last year’s projections will tell you, I won’t be too accurate. So much happens over the course of a baseball season that without access to heavy data, (and the time and programming knowledge to analyze it), that even well thought-out projections could look laughable at the end of a season. Nonetheless, it is a great way to discuss in detail about each player. How will I go about doing this? Here are some of the tools I will use.

  1. Historical statistics of each player
  2. Computer Projections (Steamer, ZiPS, etc.)
  3. Indicators (xFIP, HR/FB, BABIP, Pitch f/x etc.)
  4. Visual analysis (Swing/Pitch mechanics and trends)
  5. News and notes

Hopefully, we’ll be able to get to each player this year. Enjoy the series!

Travis d’Arnaud, C

Photo: Brad Mills, USA TODAY Sports

The Mets are a team filled with promising young prospects, ones they hope will carry them to a winning future. One of the most important pieces for this year and beyond is Travis d’Arnaud, a 25 year-old catcher and top-rated prospect.

d’Arnaud was ranked the 30th-best prospect in baseball by Baseball America before last season, and was the top position player prospect in the Met farm system. He was due to receive significant playing time with the big league club, but after fracturing a bone in his foot in an April Triple-A game, that got pushed back. After a few setbacks, he was finally able to join the Mets in mid-August, when he would take over for the soon-to-be-traded John Buck.

In 112 plate appearances with the Mets, d’Arnaud struggled, posting a .202/.286/.263 slash line, ending the season with just four extra base-hits.

There were some bright spots for the young catcher, however, as he impressed the coaching staff and pitchers with his game-calling ability and certain aspects of his defensive game. Specifically, he did an impressive job with pitch-framing, and, as ESPN’s Mark Simon and Adam Rubin pointed out, was among some of the best pitch-framers in baseball during his short time with the team.

Although he struggled at the dish, there is still plenty of optimism surrounding d’Arnaud. For one, the sample size from last year is very small, so small that he will maintain his rookie status this year. That sample size may have also been his adjustment period after his injury, playing 20 minor league games, most of them below Triple-A. While this may seem like I’m making excuses for d’Arnaud, it’s more so pointing out the circumstances in which those sliver of at-bats were a part of. He may have hit terribly in his limited time, but that hasn’t dismayed any of the scouts that have raved about him in the past.

To get a good idea of d’Arnaud’s potential, I’ve compiled a few snippets from expert reports on him.

John Sickels (Minor League Ball):

Offensively, his best tool is power. He was rather impatient early in his career but has made progress with the strike zone. He looked dramatically improved in that department for Vegas this spring and summer, when he wasn’t hurt anyway. His power usually comes when he pulls the ball, although he is more willing to take something the opposite way than he was earlier in his career.

I don’t see him as a .300 hitter at the major league level, but he should be good for a solid .250-.270 range, with an adequate OBP and better-than-average power. He could exceed those projections in his peak seasons.

Although I don’t see him in the Buster Posey or Joe Mauer class of superstar catcher, d’Arnaud produces quality play on both sides of the ball. If he can avoid getting hurt too often, d’Arnaud will be a fixture in the Mets lineup for years to come,

Mark Anderson/Brett Sayre (Baseball Prospectus):

D’Arnaud is a complete catching prospect, and the only thing standing between him and several All-Star appearances is his ability to stay healthy and on the field. Offensively, d’Arnaud has plus bat speed and a knack for hard contact that should allow him to hit at least .280 in the big leagues once he settles in. He likes to swing the bat and will chase out of the strike zone at times, but he demonstrates just enough restraint for his natural hitting ability to shine through. When he makes contact, he consistently drives the ball to all fields and has the potential to pop 18-22 home runs and around 30 doubles at his peak.

D’Arnaud does a good job of receiving the baseball, handling velocity and secondary pitches with aplomb and demonstrating an ability to block pitches in the dirt. He isn’t fast, but his feet work quickly behind the plate, and he can get in position to unleash his plus arm with ease. D’Arnaud has consistently popped in the sub-2.0 second range, making him a threat to control the running game. Overall, d’Arnaud owns a robust skill set that will play on both sides of the ball. His ceiling stands squarely in the plus regular range and he could be a perennial All-Star when it all comes together.

Jim Callis (

The 24-year-old d’Arnaud stands out the most for his prowess at the plate, and he keeps getting better and better. A career .286/.347/.476 hitter in the Minors, he has boosted his OPS from .726 in high Class A to .906 in Double-A to .990 in Triple-A. d’Arnaud’s best pure tool is his above-average right-handed power, which he generates with a combination of bat speed and strength, and he could smash 20 homers annually in the Major Leagues.

d’Arnaud shows a feel for hitting as well, and his compact swing and all-fields approach should translate to solid batting averages as well. He could stand to draw a few more walks, but he has made progress with his plate discipline as he has risen through the Minors. d’Arnaud very well could produce .275/.340/.500 lines year in and year out in the Major Leagues.

Yes, even after the injury, experts are still high on d’Arnaud, even, as we see with Callis’ thoughts, after his hitting woes last season.

The computer projections are just as, if not more optimistic than the prospect experts. While it’s still early for projections to come out as rosters aren’t quite set, the ones that are out have d’Arnaud as an above-average starter this year. Here’s a look at what the Steamer projections have him doing:

105 G, 428 PA, 13 HR, 8.3 BB%, 18.9 K%, .254/.320/.418, 2.6 fWAR

This is interesting, as it has d’Arnaud missing some time. Projections are never good for predicting injury, so what will it be if it is averaged out to 140 games?

140 G, 570 PA, 17 HR, 8.3 BB%, 18.9 K%, .254/.320/.418, 2.8 fWAR

That’s a very good season, especially for a catcher. In last year’s rankings, that fWAR of 2.8 would be 11th among MLB catchers, and his home run total would be ninth. Now let’s look at the Oliver projections:

143 G, 600 PA,16 HR, 9.0 BB%, 24.7 K%, .241/.312/.397, 3.1 fWAR

This projection is interesting, as it has d’Arnaud having a worse offensive season than what the Steamer numbers say, but also having a higher overall value. Looking deeper, that’s because Oliver has him six runs better defensively.

Finally, we have the always-conservative ZiPS projections. For some reason, these always undershoot, so bear that in mind:

336 PA, 9 HR, 7.4 BB%, 24.1 K%, .245/.307/.392, 1.6 zWAR

Averaged out to 550 PA: 15 HR, 7.4 BB%, 24.1 K%, .245/.307/.392, 2.6 zWAR

Even these projections, which have David Wright accumulating just a 4.4 WAR next season, are rather optimistic on d’Arnaud. Both the scouts and the sabermetricians agree: d’Arnaud is due for a solid season.

Given a full spring training with a roster spot in-hand, as well as a full, injury-free offseason, I don’t see any reason not to be optimistic for d’Arnaud this year. His defensive abilities are there, and although he didn’t show it in limited time last year, his hitting is too. Just because of the dimensions of Citi Field and having to go through a full-season, I’m going to be a little conservative on the power numbers, but still within the range of the computer projections. However, I’d like to come full circle and talk about d’Arnaud’s pitch framing one last time.

Measuring a catcher’s worth is still difficult for statisticians when it comes to defense. d’Arnaud’s pitch framing abilities as well as his game-calling have been lauded by the Mets coaching staff and pitchers. Neither of those are incorporated into WAR as of now, so he adds intangible value as well, or at least that’ what has been the case so far.

Tangibly or intangibly, this season looks to be a strong one for the young catcher.

MMO 2014 Projection:

550 PA, 15 HR, 8.0 BB%, 22.0 K%, .245/.310/.405, 2.8 fWAR


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Mets Will Meet Scott Boras This Week To Discuss Choo and Drew Mon, 11 Nov 2013 01:53:44 +0000 MLB: Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers

David Lennon of Newsday reports that the Mets will meet with Scott Boras this week at the GM Meetings in Orlando to discuss the possibility of signing OF Shin-Soo Choo and SS Stephen Drew.

The Mets have already spoken to Boras vie phone last week to express their interest in Choo and Drew. However, no dollars or parameters for a deal were discussed according to a team official.

Choo is expected to draw interest from 8-10 teams and projections have him netting as much as $90 million dollars which is exactly where Boras places his value. My guess is that he’ll get slightly less than that and sign a five-year deal for $80 million.

The Mets have more interest in Jhonny Peralta than they do Drew, however they’ll do their due diligence and explore all options according to my baseball people. Ha.. Just kidding…

Seriously though, Lennon says the Mets have made SS a huge priority after letting Jose Reyes walk and then watching Ruben Tejada fall out of favor.

Sandy Alderson won’t be in Orlando until Tuesday, but it’s expected that he’ll be checking in with Boras and many other agents regarding a dozen or so players in the next few days.

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Sickels Projects d’Arnaud In His Prospect of Day Feature Mon, 19 Aug 2013 13:57:11 +0000 mejia d'arnaud

John Sickels on Minor League Ball featured Travis d’Arnaud as his Prospect of the Day and pointed out how steadily his throwing has improved as evidenced by increasing caught-stealing percentages since turning pro. So for those of you worried about those three stolen bases against him this weekend, don’t go jumping to any conclusions, and it was not like the pitcher’s didn’t play a part in it.

Here is what he had to say regarding D’Arnaud’s bat and projectability:

Offensively, his best tool is power. He was rather impatient early in his career but has made progress with the strike zone. He looked dramatically improved in that department for Vegas this spring and summer, when he wasn’t hurt anyway. His power usually comes when he pulls the ball, although he is more willing to take something the opposite way than he was earlier in his career.

I don’t see him as a .300 hitter at the major league level, but he should be good for a solid .250-.270 range, with an adequate OBP and better-than-average power. He could exceed those projections in his peak seasons.

Back in February, I wrote a Prospect Smackdown article comparing d’Arnaud with Mike Zunino of the Seattle Mariners, who is d’Arnaud’s primary competition as the top catching prospect in baseball. I concluded that I preferred Zunino very slightly because he was two years younger. Zunino has had his own set of problems this year. Catchers get hurt a lot and they often don’t have linear development curves.

Although I don’t see him in the Buster Posey or Joe Mauer class of superstar catcher, d’Arnaud produces quality play on both sides of the ball. If he can avoid getting hurt too often, d’Arnaud will be a fixture in the Mets lineup for years to come.

By the way, despite an report yesterday that the Mets will be keeping d’Arnaud once John Buck returns on Tuesday, the team says they haven’t made an official determination about that yet and it’s still up for debate.

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Harvey Might Be The Ace Up Mets’ Sleeve Wed, 03 Apr 2013 21:25:52 +0000 matt harvey

I was able to meet with Matt Harvey on Monday and we had a nice little exchange while he sat in front of his locker thinking about his upcoming start on Wednesday night against the Padres. There is a likable quality to  this young man and it has nothing to do with his pitching.

He speaks with confidence that doesn’t border arrogance. He has a big time arm without the big time attitude. He’s attentive to your questions, and thoughtful and respectful with his answers.

Harvey has a big time future, but does not come across as a big timer. The tip-off is he carries his dirty T-shirt and shorts to the laundry bin instead of leaving them on the floor for the clubhouse attendant.

He’s acutely aware of the expectations, vocalized in the ovation he received Opening Day Monday at Citi Field, second only to David Wright in terms of length and volume.“It was great,’’ Harvey said. “It made me feel very good.’’

Now comes the hard part, living up to the expectations of those in the stands, his teammates behind him in the field, and most of all himself.

“He has a lot going for him,’’ Wright said. “He carries himself well and pitches with confidence. We believe in him.’’

Injuries thrust Harvey into the Mets’ rotation last July and he responded, pitching with guile, poise and command. Other times, not so much. In ten starts, Harvey went 3-5 with a 2.73 ERA, including an 11-strikeout debut at Arizona. He wasn’t impressive in his lone start against the Padres, giving up five runs, but lasting five innings.

Based on last year’s numbers, there is a multitude of scouting reports and statistical projections of him. Harvey wants to hear none of that and cites one number.

“Innings are most important,’’ said Harvey. “I want to pitch over 200 innings. If I can do that, the rest will come.’’

Harvey accomplished much last year, but didn’t win at Citi Field. He gets his chance tonight against the Padres.

“It’s a new season and everybody wants to get that first win out of the way,’’ Harvey said on Opening Day. “Pitching at Citi Field is awesome. … [Tonight] is going to be a lot of fun for me. I’m really excited about it and after watching [Jon] Niese out there [Monday], it was a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to my turn.’’

The original scouting report on Harvey was sketchy, but he’s no longer a surprise. Every team has him on film and knows his tendencies. That’s why it is important to tone down your expectations because often a pitcher hits a wall in his second year and realizes what he counted on before might not work now.

Harvey said his sophomore year is about making adjustments. He realizes he can’t get by on just a fastball. He realizes he can’t overpower everybody. He realizes he must bring more to the table.

“You can’t get into a routine and rhythm of doing the same things over and over again,’’ said Harvey, who had a spectacular 2.96 ERA in seven starts this spring.

“I think that kind of carried over into spring training too, facing a couple of teams, the Nationals, things like that. Those guys have seen me before. It’s just going out and attacking the zone and try to mix in different pitches in different counts and hopefully not leading every guy off with a fastball, or something like that.’’

There are nights Harvey can dominate, as he did the Diamondbacks. However, strikeouts cause the pitch count to add up, and with it, the possibility of coming out of a game early.

“I want them to put the ball in play,’’ Harvey said. “I want to keep my pitch count down and that will give me length.’’

Yes, Harvey has a plus fastball, but said it’s important to throw his curveball and change-up for strikes, especially in a fastball count.

“I can’t have them waiting on the fastball,’’ said Harvey, repeating the mantra of every pitcher outside a knuckleballer.

If he does that, those expectations will be met, and with that, come even higher expectations.

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Projections for the Mets Starting Rotation Tue, 03 Apr 2012 10:17:16 +0000

If the New York Mets are going to have any chance of finishing over .500 this season, then they are going to need to get a lot of outstanding performances from their starting pitchers.

The Mets’ rotation is set entering the season, but they still have a number of questions about the health and abilities of their starters.

It is very possible that the Mets’ rotation looks a lot different at the end of the year. Pitchers may be dealt and prospects may come up from the minors to replace ineffective starters.

Johan Santana

Projection: 13-6, 3.14 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 167 K (184.2 innings)

The New York Mets are looking forward to having Johan Santana back in their starting rotation. He was missed in 2011 and he has been very consistent when he has been on the mound for the Mets.

If Santana is back on his game this season, then it could mean that he does not end the year with the Mets. Santana may be dealt if the Mets are able to get a good package in return for him.

R.A. Dickey

Projection: 12-9, 3.41 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 120 K (201 innings)

A former first-round pick, R.A. Dickey was never able to get his career on track until he joined the New York Mets’ starting rotation in 2010.

Dickey has been fantastic for the Mets over the past two years and he has gained a cult following. If Johan Santana is traded, Dickey could become the Mets ace for the rest of the season.

Jon Niese

Projection: 10-10, 4.19 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 139 K (168.2 innings)

At 25 years old, the New York Mets are hoping that Jon Niese can continue to develop and become a pitcher that can play a big part in their future.

Niese likely will not take any steps forward or any steps backwards this year. This is not a bad thing, but it will put a little more pressure on him in 2013.

Mike Pelfrey

Projections: 7-11, 4.97 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 68 K (135.2 innings)

The New York Mets considered releasing Mike Pelfrey during spring training, but ultimately decided to keep him and have him in their starting rotation.

If the spring was any indication, this could be a rough year for Pelfrey. He might spend some time in the minor leagues and the Mets may certainly look to deal him.

Dillon Gee

Projections: 10-10, 4.25 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 127 K (122.2 innings)

This season Dillon Gee should see a bit of an improvement in some of his numbers. His win total may drop a bit, but he should pitch better.

Gee is another pitcher that could be a key part of the Mets’ rotation in a few years when Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey reach the majors. He should start to look like a solid number four starter this season.

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PECOTA and the Mets: No Home Runs For You! Sat, 11 Feb 2012 00:17:32 +0000

Caught this on MetsBlog, it’s a chart of the Mets PECOTA projections for the 2012 season. Brace yourself because it’s not too pretty…

This was originally posted on Baseball Prospectus and my buddy, who is big on this stuff, tells me he anxiously awaits these PECOTA projections every year at this time. I tried to see if they had any other Mets players, but for some reason I kept getting an error on their spreadhseet link.

The first thing that jumps out at me more than anything else is the frightening number of strike-outs. I don’t know the science behind these projections and maybe one of our readers can tell us more about that, but if that projection holds true for Andres Torres, I don’t think he will be long for the leadoff spot. It’s a shame they didn’t capture Daniel Murphy, because ultimately he might be the best choice for leadoff man on this team right now.

I was also surprised to see that they don’t expect any hitters to have more than 20 home runs – even with the shortened dimensions at Cit Field. I found that a little odd because last season before he got hurt, Ike Davis was on pace for 33 home runs.  Maybe PECOTA is like the Homer Nazi – No Home Run For You!

Like I said, I don’t know how they weigh these things and what formulas they use tio calculate this stuff. The only thing I know about Pecota is that a Bill Pecota played for the Mets one season and batted .227.

As for the pitching, they spell doom for Mike Pelfrey and Jon Niese, but at least they have Johan Santana coming back to pitch decently.

Anyway, have at it…

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Is Big Pelf Really Big? Tue, 14 Apr 2009 17:08:23 +0000 If you’re talking about his stature and his 6’7″ frame, than by all accounts Mike Pelfrey has earned the nickname of “Big Pelf”. However, if the word “big” is supposed to be indicative of his performance level when he takes the mound, well I’m not buying it. Not yet anyway.

The Mets must have bought into the hype when they decided Pelfrey was big enough to be a number two starter on a team that is supposed to be a World Series caliber team. Little did they know that if they looked a little beyond the wins and losses, and the ERA, they would have seen clear signs that at best, Pelfrey is a bottom of the rotation guy who could step up some day, but clearly isn’t there yet.

If you look at his 3.70 ERA and his 13-10 record, you nod in approval and say not bad. The Mets played it off as Pelfrey blew batters away. He didn’t. In 194 innings pitched he struck out just 107 batters but walked 64 of them, not even a 2:1 ratio. His walks may not seem that high until you see ha gave up more hits than innings pitched at 207. You’re not going to have too many 1-2-3 innings with these type of numbers.

His K9 ratio has been in decline since he first came up and has never been above league average. The last thing you want to see in a pitcher so young is a declining K9 ratio.

CHONE projections have him slated for 9 wins and a 4.32 ERA. The wins sound about right, but they gave Pelfrey the benefit of the doubt on the ERA.

Pelf is never going to blow anyone away like a Roger Clemens did, or make you hitters swing wildly on a great changeup like Johan Santana. In a best case scenario and he is not even remotely there yet, Pelfrey may end up having a career close to  Derek Lowe. He still has a lot of work and a lot to prove before he even gets to that level yet.

The point of this is not to knock on Big Pelf, I simply want to show why I don’t believe Pelfrey is a number two starter for championship caliber club. The Pirates or Royals? Definitely, but the Mets never should have had Pelfrey slotted for the number four spot this season, and they should have went out and signed a number two pitcher as they currently don’t have one on their roster.

Can they still win? Of course they can, this is baseball and anything can and always does happen.

Is it too late to get a number two starter? Absolutely not, the Mets have two blue chippers in Wilmer Flores and Fernando Martinez, Flores is on the rise, F-Mart has lost his shine. Either one can be packaged for a Jake Peavy before the trade deadline or even Roy Halladay if the Blue Jays fall out of contention.

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Pecota Projections Versus Las Vegas Tue, 03 Mar 2009 15:29:31 +0000 Here are some new projections which certainly bode well for the New York Mets.

The first is the most recently updated PECOTA Standings from Baseball Prospectus.

Here are the Las Vegas Under/Over rankings for the NL.

Interesting to note that even though both sources used uniquely different methods to calculate their projections, yet both have projected a 91 win season for the Mets and a division title.

I don’t know what kind of math they are using, but I like it.

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