Mets Merized Online » roster http://metsmerizedonline.com Fri, 25 Jul 2014 18:30:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Tejada Passes Concussion Tests, Collins Says He Should Be Fine http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/tejada-passes-concussion-tests-collins-says-he-should-be-fine.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/tejada-passes-concussion-tests-collins-says-he-should-be-fine.html/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:31:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161530 ruben tejada hbp

Ruben Tejada was hit in the head with a 94 mph fastball from Mariners pitcher Taijuan Walker during Wednesday’s game. It was a scary moment in the game as Terry Collins and the Mets trainer rushed onto the field.

Tejada left the game under his own power, and was replaced by Eric Campbell who pinch ran and played the remainder of the game at SS.

The good news is that Tejada passed all his concussion tests according to a team spokesperson. The Mets starting shortstop was in good spirits in the clubhouse and said he had no headaches and only stayed down after he was hit because it was scary. His helmet had the indentation of the baseball that hit him.

Tejada was allowed to fly with the team to Milwaukee and he will be reevaluated again today, but expect Campbell to start at shortstop in the series opener against the Brewers later tonight.

The Mets have no other natural SS on the roster. Campbell hasn’t had much time there at all this season. Collins told reporters that Tejada should be fine and that Wilmer Flores will not be joining the team in Milwaukee.

“Everything right now looks OK,” Collins said. “He has no symptoms of what they were looking for. But sometimes these things pop up a little later, some dizziness or something.”

“The doctors say he should be OK. We’ll take a look at him tomorrow. I may just give him another day to make sure he’s OK.”
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Kirk Nieuwenhuis is Making the Most of His Latest Opportunity http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/kirk-nieuwenhuis-is-making-the-most-of-his-latest-opportunity.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/kirk-nieuwenhuis-is-making-the-most-of-his-latest-opportunity.html/#comments Sun, 13 Jul 2014 15:48:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=160586 kirk nieuwenhuis

One player who is really surprising me with his recent play is Kirk Nieuwenhuis. As I wrote last year on Mets Minors – Kirk was the forgotten man in the depth chart, a player whose star had fallen to the point where he didn’t even get a September call-up when the rosters expanded.

But here he is, back with the team since his exile in Las Vegas ended in June, and playing like the player we thought we had early in 2012. Since his recall, he’s appeared in 16 games, hitting .370 (10-for-27) with five doubles, one home run and five RBI. Yes, it’s a small sample size, but he doesn’t look lost like he did when he was with the major league team in 2013 and hit just .189 while striking out 32 times in 95 at-bats. He’s making a strong case for staying on the MLB roster as the fourth outfielder who won’t hurt you in the field and provides some left-handed punch off the bench.

He’s looking like a player who is realizing that his major league opportunity may pass him by if he doesn’t act now. He’ll be turning 27 next month and he’s at that age where the younger guys will pass right over him and he’ll be just another one of those career minor leaguers. In the last month, he’s making the most of that opportunity, and his stellar defensive play on Friday night to save a run with a throw to home plate was all hustle.

Despite being on the 40 man roster, Kirk wasn’t in the Mets plans last September. He didn’t make the opening day roster either as the Mets opted for Andrew Brown. It wasn’t until Juan Lagares went on the DL in mid-April that Kirk would get another big-league opportunity, but he was back in Vegas as soon as Lagares returned. When Eric Young, Jr. went on the DL in May, Kirk was bypassed in favor of Matt den Dekker.

However den Dekker batted just .156 in 49 plate appearances, and with Chris Young also struggling mightily, the Mets needed to get someone – anyone – that could help offensively. So on June 19th, den Dekker was demoted and a hot-hitting Nieuwenhuis got the call in what may be his very last opportunity to impress the Mets.

Here’s something impressive – the Mets are 9-0 when Nieuwenhuis is in the starting lineup.

A lot can happen between now and the end of the season, but for the time being, Kirk Nieuwenhuis is making a solid case to remain the fourth outfielder. One has to wonder – maybe he can become another key reserve outfielder like Danny Heep was, and man that fourth outfield spot for the Mets over the next several seasons. Time will tell.

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Murphy’s Status is a Harbinger of Things to Come http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/murphys-status-is-a-harbinger-of-things-to-come.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/murphys-status-is-a-harbinger-of-things-to-come.html/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 21:47:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=159849 The next few weeks leading up to the July 31st trade deadline will be quite telling about the future direction of the Mets and how they see themselves in 2015 and beyond. Most importantly, will Daniel Murphy stay or will he go?

sandy aldersonI still stand by my earlier statement that the team isn’t as bad as their record suggests. I still feel that we’re still a bat away from some serious contention. Contention this year? Of course not. I never thought they were more than a .500 team this season anyway, and the run differential supports that they should be much closer to .500 then the 11 games under they currently are.

But they had several games where they blew out their opponents, so take away the couple of blowouts and their run differential is much worse, right? True – but the same also holds in reverse where they were completely blown out in several games. Throw out those games (like the 14-2 shelling against the Angels) and the run differential is completely flipped on the positive side.

Over the course of 162 games, every team is going to be blown out several times and every team is going to win some blowouts. If you take the top four blowout wins and losses the Mets have participated in this season (or just under the 10% outliers), the Mets run differential in blowout games is only +3.

With the above being said, this isn’t about discussing sabermetrics. This is about the direction the team is going. While they’re 11 games under now, they should be closer to a .500 team as the roster currently stands. If they’re currently constituted as a .500, middle of the pack team – how far are they away from taking that next leap toward being a contender?

The pitching isn’t the issue. It’s the hitting. If Sandy and company truly feel that they are (and should be) a .500 team right now (which Sandy coincidentally reiterated a day after my run differential post), then they should also truly feel that they’re not that far from taking the roster from a .500 squad to a contender.

daniel murphyIf the Mets truly feel this way, then Daniel Murphy will still be on the roster come August 1st. Jon Niese, Dillon Gee and Matt Harvey should all be there next season for a solid top three with players entering their prime and on the rise. Depending on if Bartolo Colon stays, and if he does, how he performs, that’s a solid four in the rotation. Rounding out the fifth spot would be Jacob deGrom with Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard also competing for the spot. (Where’s Wheeler?  I hope I’m wrong, but someone’s going to go down to injury). The bullpen is much improved and is young and strong. The improvements to get this team over the hump will be needed on offense.

What does this mean? It means taking a step forward.

Career .291 hitters with doubles power don’t grow on trees and a team that would be acquiring one in a deadline trade isn’t going to be trading away a viable part of their current offense to obtain one. In other words, if Daniel Murphy is traded, it will be for prospects.

If Murphy is traded for prospects, it’s just another position in the offense that will now have to be rebuilt and could be a step backwards. Anyone being called up or acquired is still unproven and the upcoming free agent class of second basemen doesn’t include any upgrades over Murphy.

If Murphy is traded, it’s a sign that next year is either A) just another rebuilding year in the eyes of the front office or B) the team’s financial woes aren’t behind them and the team doesn’t want to spend the money to pay Murphy what he would make in the arbitration process.

If the answer is “A” then we’ve all been sold a bill of goods and even this optimistic fan will be pissed. If it’s “B” here’s my answer to that one – put a contender on the field and fannies will be in the seats.

Daniel Murphy isn’t a cornerstone, but he is part of the foundation, he’s in his prime, and he’s a proven asset to this team. Murphy is part of the solution, not part of the problem. He needs to stay in Queens.

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My National League All Star Team http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/my-national-league-all-star-team.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/my-national-league-all-star-team.html/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 12:00:56 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=159717

Yesterday, you (hopefully) read my picks for the American League All Star team. If you haven’t, give it a whirl and let me know what you disagree with. Before I get to my NL picks, a few notes for your information if you haven’t read my AL picks: In the case where good arguments can be made for more than one player, I lean towards the player with the more established career. This is the All-Star game, not the All-Good-For-Three-Months game. After that, I lean towards the player whose offensive contributions are greater. This is not how I would choose my roster for a real team, but as the saying goes, “Chicks dig the long ball,” and so do most casual fans, and this game is merely a fun exhibition. So let’s score some runs.

As I run through each position, I’ll highlight my top three candidates, and the first name listed is my choice for starter. In the end, I’ll have rounded out a 34-man roster with eight starters and thirteen each of reserves and pitchers, keeping in mind that every team has to be represented. It’ll make for a fun debate. So here are my choices for the National League:

CatcherJonathan Lucroy, Evan Gattis, Yadier Molina. Pretty easy choice. Lucroy and Gattis are killing the ball. There’s a cluster of catchers with comparable offensive numbers for that third spot, which include Russell Martin, Carlos Ruiz, Miguel Montero and Buster Posey, but Yadi is easily the best defensive catcher out of the bunch and perhaps the biggest star, too. However, this is the first year in a while he isn’t the best.

First BasePaul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rizzo, Freddie Freeman.  I would listen to arguments for Matt Adams, Justin Morneau and Adam LaRoche, but I think the numbers speak for themselves, and also playing time keep them off the roster.

daniel murphySecond BaseChase Utley, Daniel Murphy, Scooter Gennett. Utley has really turned back the clock this season. He’s a shoo-in to be voted in as the starter and deservedly so. Scooter Gennett of the Brewers has been the best offensive second baseman, and his name is “Scooter.” Points. Dee Gordon warrants consideration, but Murphy is having a slightly better year and also has to go as the only representative of the Mets. Neil Walker might have gone if the game was three weeks ago, but he missed time due to injury and hasn’t come back strong.

ShortstopTroy Tulowitzki, Troy Tulowitzki, Troy Tulowitzki. That was easy. Seriously, though, Hanley Ramirez and Starlin Castro get the nod here. Jhonny Peralta’s defense and home run total shouldn’t go unnoticed, but aside from that, he’s been a huge disappointment considering the contract he signed with the Cardinals. A rare mistake from the best organization in baseball. Brandon Crawford has had a nice season, but not nice enough.

Third BaseTodd Frazier, Aramis Ramirez, Anthony Rendon. Frazier and Ramirez were fairly easy choices. Rendon was a tough pick over Casey McGehee. The offense was a toss-up. McGehee has a better average and OBP, but Rendon slugs better, and is a better base runner than McGehee. He also plays better defense. There’s also the matter of Rendon’s pedigree and star power compared to McGehee, whose lackluster career forced him to play in Japan in 2013.

OutfieldYasiel Puig, Andrew McCutchen, Giancarlo Stanton (left to right), Carlos Gomez, Seth Smith, Hunter Pence.  Cutch and Puig are playing a different game right now and Stanton’s power is not of this world. Puig starts in LF because I think he’s a better athlete than Stanton and would adapt better in a different position. I’ve been impressed with the plate discipline Gomez has finally developed, and he’s on pace toGiancarlo-Stanton-Marlins1 shatter his career high in home runs, too. Smith has had a very good season and deserves to be here, even though he may strike some as the “pity” pick from the Padres. Pence just beat out Michael Morse for the last spot, though he should be the comeback player of the year. Remember Charlie Blackmon? Since his 9-for-10 stretch over two games, he’s been the picture of mediocrity. Justin Upton has had a nice season, but not nice enough. Ryan Braun has comparable numbers to Pence, but an injury cost him time while Pence is dependable.

PitchersJohnny Cueto, Stephen Strasburg, Adam Wainwright, Jeff Samardzija, Zack Greinke, Jordan Zimmerman, Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner, Craig Kimbrel, Huston Street, Steve Cishek, Pat Neshek, Tony Watson. This was tough. I only chose three closers for the NL because of the wealth of starting pitching. I also included two middle relievers because they have both pitched much better than most closers. Zach Duke and Joaquin Benoit have had tremendous seasons. Jason Hammel, Tim Hudson, Cole Hamels and Michael Wacha got long looks and could have made someone else’s team.

35th man vote – Jason Hammel, Dee Gordon, Adam LaRoche, Justin Upton, Cole Hamels

What say you?

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It Was A Poorly Conceived Roster Right From The Start http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/it-was-an-ill-conceived-roster-right-from-the-start.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/it-was-an-ill-conceived-roster-right-from-the-start.html/#comments Sun, 29 Jun 2014 15:20:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=159418 terry collins

There is so much I want to say and write about this team right now, but I can only produce content in short bursts for now. One of our readers emailed me regarding the six-outfielder configuration the Mets are now choosing to employ.

Obviously, the Mets are desperate and this new tactic only shows a distrust on their part to give any one of their outfielders a regular everyday assignment. That’s more on Sandy Alderson than it is on Terry Collins.

Collins is intent on giving all six playing time because in his words, “they all deserve to play.” He believes all six are everyday players and his remedy is to just rotate them in and out of games like he’s playing a game of Strat-O-Matic.

What hurts the organization in the long run is that this does nothing to instill confidence in developing players like Juan Lagares who needs to play everyday to stay sharp and consistent and on his learning curve.

Additionally, most players want to know they have a defined set of roles and regular assignments. They do not want to drive to the ballpark everyday wondering if and where they will play, game in and game out.

I haven’t even touched on what this means as to the shortage of infielders on the bench, which was prominently on display with David Wright on the sidelines.

The team is handcuffed in that it can’t even pinch-hit or double switch for the team’s weakest hitter, shortstop Ruben Tejada.

It’s hard to fathom that out of all our players, Tejada is the only one virtually assured of everyday playing time. He’s a lock to be in the lineup. Who would have ever thought that back in April?

This isn’t a plea to bring back Wilmer Flores who should be in Las Vegas if the 22-year old can’t get regular playing time in the majors.

This is more about pointing out how ill-conceived the makeup of this roster is, with too many spare and oddball parts, and square pegs being squeezed into round holes.

It’s astonishing that as we wrap up four years of this regime, we have many of the same inherent weaknesses as we did when this rodeo started.

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Travis d’Arnaud Promotion Looming; Kirk Up, den Dekker Down http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/travis-darnaud-promotion-looming-kirk-up-den-dekker-down.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/travis-darnaud-promotion-looming-kirk-up-den-dekker-down.html/#comments Wed, 18 Jun 2014 21:29:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=158863 Bronx, Baseball, MLB, New York Yankees, Mets, Yankee Stadium, Subway Series

Updated 5:50 PM

Adam Rubin of ESPN is reporting that Travis d’Arnaud is tentatively going to be promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas in time for the Mets series against the Oakland Athletics starting on June 24th.

The move is most likely going to be made so the minor league option will be rescinded.

D’Arnaud has been tearing it up in Las Vegas since his demotion, hitting .395 with five home runs and 10 RBI.

5:30 PM

Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal announced via twitter that the Mets have chosen to option outfielder Matt den Dekker to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis has been recalled to take his place on the roster. The 26-year old Nieuwenhuis has hit well in Vegas recently, batting .308 with six homeruns in his last 24 games for the 51s.

Den Dekker was hitting just .156/ .224/.200 in 45 at-bats for the Mets.

(Photo credit: Brad Barr/USATSI)

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Mets Must Replace Collins, Time For Action Is Now http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/mets-must-replace-collins-time-for-action-is-now.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/mets-must-replace-collins-time-for-action-is-now.html/#comments Mon, 09 Jun 2014 18:30:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=158115 mlb_a_collins_gb2_600

The Mets are still only five games back in the NL East race and an equivalent five games back in the NL Wild Card race. And yet, again, they lost a close game more because of their own mistakes and lack of execution than the opponent outplaying them.

Mets have scored 248 runs so far and allowed 252. That should be “good” for .500 and not seven games under.

They´re an MLB worst 8-17 in one-run games. If they had gone 13-12 in these games, the Mets would be 33-30 and holding the second Wild Card spot in the NL. The Mets have also lost 21 games in which they initially held the lead.

But this is a team that is in pretty much every game and should be winning more games than it actually has – for all the flaws on the roster which are similar to flaws on other rosters. The manager is not getting the most out of this roster – and stands for the losing ways of past seasons.

It´s why managerial mistakes have been magnified and the constant lack of execution – be it baserunning, situational hitting, defense and pitching wise – has been a major factor.

The way this year is playing out – due to all the parity in the league – the Mets season can still be salvaged rather easily.

The lack of success so far this season, is all the more upsetting because things could have been looking a lot better now with just a little fine tuning.

Mr. Wilpon and Mr. Alderson,

MAKE A MANAGERIAL REPLACEMENT AND CHANGE THE TONE AROUND THIS TEAM!

Terry Collins has done an admirable job with his hands tied behind his back in the past. The players like him. Thank him for that.

But sometimes, a fresh start is needed. And it´s about time this happens for the Mets in terms of managing the players on the active roster.

Players that are 25 or younger, now make up almost one third of the Mets roster and are looking to establish themselves as major leaguers for the long haul and many may be part of the Mets next core going forward. All of these players remain under team control for the next 5+ years.

Hopefully the growing pains won´t be too extensive. And while Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard - the two highest ceiling arms that you can also add to that group – remain in the pipeline poised to help either late in this season or early next, this is pretty much it in terms of potential impact young talent for the major league roster for the foreseeable future.

The Mets chances for the remainder of the 2014 season but even more so in 2015 largely depend on how this group of young players ends up performing and how quickly they manage to adjust to the major leagues. With veterans like Wright, Granderson, Murphy, Niese, Gee and Colon potentially also playing a vital role, of course.

For the past 3+ years, Terry Collins and his staff have navigated the Mets through the rebuilding phase, dominated by severe financial restrictions and tried to keep spirits up in spite of having limited talent at hand. It´s tough to say whether the impact of TC and his staff on the 77, 74 and 74 win seasons from 2011 through 2013 was positive, neutral or negative. Still, at the very least, Collins was a good soldier and oversaw the transition on the field. But now a new era has begun.

The wave of young talent we’ve been waiting on for a couple of years has pretty much arrived. Yet, the results on the field haven´t changed and the Mets once again seem headed towards a mid-70 win season with no “meaningful” games scheduled for August and September.

TC – apparently well liked & respected by his players – deserved the chance to return in 2014 with the financial restrictions lessened and the wave of young talent finally arriving. But a good start was mandatory to receive an extended chance – and the Mets currently find themselves at 28-35 while mired in a six game losing streak.

This experiment can´t go on. While TC deserves credit and appreciation for trying his best with what he had, he symbolizes the transitional period of 2011 and 2013 – with the common denominator that his teams have constantly failed to win. It may not be his fault and it may not be fair. But he can´t remain in charge of the Mets. Offer him a job within the organization as a thank-you . But relieve him of his duties. Right NOW – and not in a month when the Mets may well be 10-20 games back and totally out of things.

Will this be the cure and instantly turn the Mets into a bonafide contender? Probably not. But it would show how serious ownership & the front office are about EXPECTING and not just HOPING to win.

What´s needed in 2014 isn’t necessarily a playoff team, but obvious progress. And currently we´re not seeing that. ACT NOW!

MMO

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Mets Need More Left-Handed Pitching In The Pipeline http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mets-need-more-left-handed-pitching-in-the-pipeline.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mets-need-more-left-handed-pitching-in-the-pipeline.html/#comments Fri, 30 May 2014 12:43:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=156977 USATSI  jon niese

The Mets farm system is looking a little better these days. Where as a few years ago there were hardly any, the system now boasts a number of real prospects. Although he continues to come under intense fire for the present state of the major league roster, GM Sandy Alderson has managed to improve the quality and depth of the Mets minor-league system. He has added legitimate position-player prospects at catcher, first-base, middle infield, outfield, and even increased the organizational depth in right-handed power arms.

With the recent promotion of Josh Edgin to the Mets, where he now joins Jon Niese and Scott Rice as the only left-handers on the team, it suddenly occurred to me that our organizational depth at left-handed pitching (or lack thereof) will soon be affecting things on the big league club. With only one lefty starter and two in the bullpen, what would happen I wonder if a sudden need for another lefty were to suddenly emerge? Is there a southpaw down on the farm that could come up to pitch at Citi? And be effective? Let’s see.

At AAA Las Vegas right now the only left-hander on the roster after the Edgin promotion was 30-year-old minor league journeyman Dana Eveland. He has made seven starts for Wally in the dessert and in 41 innings this year, is 3-1 with a 3.95 ERA. That necessitated a call-up of Darin Gorski to AAA Las Vegas on Wednesday. There are also two relievers at AA Binghamton who could help the Mets as soon as this season. Although it would be a longshot for any of them as they are not quite ready yet, lets look at all three to see how far away they might actually be, and who would be ready first.

Adam Kolarek

Arguably the closest one of these players to getting a call-up. He may not be the hardest thrower here but has exhibited all the tools of a competent reliever at each step of his minor league career. Now 25 and having spent his last two plus seasons at Binghamton, Kolarek might be called up to Vegas at any time.

If a reliever is needed and he continues to pitch the way he always has and has success for Wally’s team, he could be brought to Flushing. In five seasons as a Met he has logged 250 innings all in relief. He has a lifetime ERA of 2.60 with 27 saves, a 7.3 H/9 and a 258/97 K/BB ratio. This year in 20 innings at Bingo, Adam is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA, one save, and a 12/6 K/BB, while the Eastern league has hit him at a .241 clip.

Darin Gorski

The oldest one of these players Gorski was in his third season at Binghamton as a 26-year-old this year, before heading to Vegas yesterday. But for a left-hander to start to really put things together at that age is not that unusual, and no one should give up on a south-paw that soon. It seems as if the patience the Mets have shown in bringing him along slowly is beginning to reward the franchise.

Gorski is the softest tosser of this group, barely touching 90 with his best fastball, but his devastating change-up, and smarts in the way he uses his array of off-speed pitches make him the ideal candidate for the call up to Vegas. He really had nothing left to prove at AA as was obvious after his last outing on Monday. Pitching at home before a holiday crowd, Gorski limited New Britain’s hitting attack to a measly two hits, no runs, one walk and six strikeouts, while spinning a nine-inning complete game victory.

In nine starts over 53 innings this year Darin has now gone 4-2 with a 2.22 ERA, he has given up just 41 hits with the league batting an anemic .212 against him and a 54/12 K/BB ratio. If Wally can help Gorski limit the long ball a little bit and keep him progressing, it would not be unheard of for him to be making his debut sometime later this summer.

Jack Leathersich

In three plus years as a Met, this hard-throwing lefty reliever has done one thing extremely well…he punches out opposing hitters. His strikeout rates are always very high, but his walks are too. For this 23-year-old, command is the main thing keeping him from the big leagues. But since lefty hurlers are usually late developers, “The Rocket” still shows a lot of upside. Whether he finds his groove at AA this year is up for conjecture, but if he does, he will come on very fast. In 20 innings he is 1-1 with a 2.66 ERA, one save, and a remarkable strikeout rate with a K/BB of 37/12.

steven matz

Besides those three AA and AAA players, there is one other left-hander in the system that, in a perfect storm, could find himself pitching this year in front of his friends and family at Citi Field.

Steven Matz

The 6′ 2″ 200-pounder from Long Island is the only one here who is already on the Mets 40-man roster which makes the young fire-baller a legitimate dark horse candidate. Not only that, despite being the farthest away from the majors, as he is still in high-A ball at St. Lucie, he has the highest upside of the four, and has been supposedly “fast-tracked” by the organization after two seasons wasted by injury.

Matz who will turn 23 on Thursday is equally effective against righties and lefties. He throws hard and although he has been a starter so far in his career, he could prove dominant coming out of the pen. It would also be a good way to lessen his innings since he will not be asked to throw any more than 150 innings, which would be the maximum this season. In his 51 innings so far this year, over nine starts, Matz is 2-3 with a 1.95 ERA, and a 47/16 K/BB ratio. The Florida State League is managing a .253 batting average against him so far.

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Now these guys show significant promise, and I’m pleased with their respective rates of progress. But are they all locks to be successful in the big leagues? Of course not. With young pitchers, especially those quirky southpaws, you can never be 100 percent certain. That’s why when they first coined the phrase “There’s safety in numbers,” they were referring to minor league baseball prospects…you can never have enough and they are not all going to make it.

Leading up to the major league draft every June, my little heart starts to go pitter-patter as I gear up for the big day, which this year begins in a week, Thursday June 5th. I do my pre-draft ritual consisting of lot’s of research, lot’s of coffee, lot’s of donuts, compiling lot’s of categories, orders of priority for picks, players I like, players I don’t like, revised lists that keep getting shorter, more research, until I finally whittle it down to that one player, the perfect pick for the Mets.

Ask Petey 6

Your probably wondering if I’ve ever been correct. Your asking yourself “Hey Petey, did you ever guess right and pick the guy the Mets ended up drafting?” And I would say I’ve been right every single year, it’s the Mets who seem to always pick the wrong guy. I’m only half serious of course. Their picks lately have not been that bad, some are rather intriguing, and show real potential. But I know what this organization needs right now and that is an in-flux of left-handed pitching into their minor league system.

Well guess what? 2014 is considered one of the deepest draft pools ever for an MLB draft. And what’s more there are not one, not two, but four left-handed power arms available in the draft this year that are projected to go in the top 15 to 20 picks. Unfortunately two of the four are certain to be long gone by the time the Mets pick at number 10. That would be high-school arm Brady Aiken and college pitcher Carlos Rodon.

But there are two more, one is a college pitcher that may still be available when the Mets pick, in University of Hartford starter Sean Newcomb, who was just detailed in a piece by Joe D last week here on MMO.

sean newcomb hartford

Newcomb who stands 6’5″ and 240 lbs. may be the first pitcher to make the bigs out of this draft class, due to his maturity and level of development. He was tabbed by Keith Law as the Mets first-rounder in his most recent mock draft, and he’s the one I am crossing my fingers on. The one spot that worries me in regards to Newcomb is the Mariners at number six. If anyone is going to draft him before the Mets pick it would happen there.

If Newcomb is gone there is one more excellent lefty that the Mets could still grab at number ten. He is a college hurler from Evansville that stands 6’4″ 185 lbs. with three above average pitches by the name of Kyle Freeland. He is considered the “work-horse” type, with a deceptive delivery and gets tremendous movement on his fastball as a result of his three-quarters arm angle. I suppose if Newcomb is taken already, I’d be okay with Freeland, what do you think?

Regardless of who they take with their first pick on June 5th, the Mets have a glaring shortage of left-handed pitching and that needs to be addressed. Do you have a preference as to which player or position the Mets draft in the first round? If so use the comments section to let us know who or what you are thinking about.

♦        ♦        ♦

Before I go I wanted to mention that I’ll be hitting the road for MMO this weekend to cover the three-game B-Mets series against the Twin’s AA team in New Britain, CT. I am planning to get there early enough on Friday afternoon where I can look up some old friends.

There are the two AA lefties I featured in this piece, Leathersich and Kolarek, who I plan to touch base with. And I will be interviewing several top Mets prospects including catcher Kevin Plawecki who is raking in the Eastern League this month, and much much more!

I’ll also be tweeting from the press-box during the games starting at 6:30 pm on Friday evening. You can find me on Twitter at: @PeteyPete_MMO If you have any questions for Larry the score-board operator I’ll be sure to pass them along.

MMO

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MMO Q&A With SNY’s Robert Brender: Part 1 – Positives and Negatives http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mmo-qa-with-snys-robert-brender-part-1-positives-and-negatives.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mmo-qa-with-snys-robert-brender-part-1-positives-and-negatives.html/#comments Tue, 27 May 2014 19:48:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=156924 robert brender

Today and tomorrow I will be posting two parts of a Q&A I did with the up-and-coming Robert Brender, who does outstanding work covering the Mets major league team and their minor league system for SNY.tv.

Rob (@RobertBrender) is truly one of the must-follows on Mets Twitter where he shares his vast knowledge and passion for the team with other Met fans on Twitter everyday.

Enjoy our little exchange…

On Sunday you speculated that if the Mets were to fall out of the race this season, you wouldn’t be shocked to see them trade Daniel Murphy. Were you talking at the trade deadline or after the season? Could that be viewed as a sign that 2015 is yet another year of moving the goal posts and an extension of a rebuilding process that began when Sandy took over in late 2010?

daniel murphyI’ve never gotten the feeling the Mets are enamored with Murphy. I assume they appreciate his skills and, like the rest of us, think he’s a solid player who has the ability to get very hot with the lumber and drive singles and doubles regularly.

He’s become a decent defender, at least good enough to justify throwing him out there everyday and get his bat in the lineup. That said, he’s 2nd year arb eligible in 2015 and will get a nice raise, especially if he hits .300 with 40 doubles this season (or something close to it). He’s making $5.7 million this year, so I would guess he’ll get around $7 million in 2015. It’s not Brandon Phillips money but it’s still a hefty chunk for a team not spending a lot overall.

Conversely, it’s another year of team control for any ballclub that trades for him and there are several who would love to add him for the playoff push and another guaranteed season in 2015. The Blue Jays specifically have been very vocal about their desire to add a second baseman soon and we know they have a trade history with the Mets as well as many more prospect to deal. The Dodgers might not feel completely sold with Dee Gordon long term? There are more but the point being, Murphy’s price, value, team control, the Mets desire to have him going forward and other factors might all add up to a trade in my opinion. I don’t think it’s necessarily moving the goal posts. It might just be changing the formula.

As we wrap up the second month of the season, what has been the biggest positive so far in your opinion?

jacob degrom smilesThere are a few positives I take from the early part of this season. The obvious top choice is the development of the young pitching. They’ve been able to incorporate Jacob deGrom and Rafael Montero into the big league rotation and they’re having success so far. I’ve been fortunate enough to watch both of them pitch regularly for the last year and think they have the ability to be outstanding.

On the young pitching theme, moving Jenrry Mejia to the closers role and the success he’s having is tremendous. I have no doubt he can dominate in that role for years to come. That’s also good for the organization’s budget, since we know what a shut-down closer costs on the open market. A back end of the bullpen with Mejia, Jeurys Familia and Vic Black sounds pretty good for the next 5-7 years. Not to mention Bobby Parnell, who should be back in 2015.

Conversely, if you had to pick one disappointment thus far, please explain what or who it is?

Regarding the biggest negative: I was talking to Toby Hyde about this early this week. The offense has obviously been abysmal. The problem I have with the construction of this roster is they entered the season with so many question marks. Too many things need to go right for this offense to be successful. David Wright is a mainstay and will perform equivalent to the back of his baseball card. Curtis Granderson will likely do the same, although there were questions about his ability to hit at Citi Field. I think his performance in May has quieted those concerns. But aside from those two, there are so many factors that can sway their ability to score runs consistently.

chris young

There isn’t nearly enough offensive talent overall. To start the season with Ruben Tejada as the shortstop was unfair to the fans and the rest of the players on the roster. He’s not a starting shortstop and the organization knew that, yet they couldn’t find a way to replace him.

The first base situation is a complete mess. I’ve never thought Lucas Duda was the answer. I’m doubtful Ike Davis was either. Chris Young has been regressing for the last four years and has been terrible so far. They’re also playing two rookies who have to develop and contribute.

What’s most upsetting is seeing teams like the Dodgers, Rangers, Cubs, White Sox and Yankees signing premium International talent and the Mets not ever being mentioned in the conversation. Why would the Mets not consider signing Jose Abreu? Either the budget is too constrained or management didn’t have the foresight to see his ability to hit in the big leagues. Either way, it’s a problem. It certainly can’t be because they had Ike, Duda and Satin on the roster. One has since been traded, one in AAA and the other hitting .220. They never tried to bid on Yasiel Puig, Alexander Guerrero and Jorge Soler. Why not? They don’t cost prospects in trade.

Look out for Part 2 of my interview with Robert on Wednesday.

MMO

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Who’s To Blame For The Mets, Who Do Ya Think? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/whos-to-blame-for-the-mets-who-do-ya-think.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/whos-to-blame-for-the-mets-who-do-ya-think.html/#comments Tue, 27 May 2014 16:00:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=156750 new-york-mets braintrust collins, katz, wilpon alderson

A recent MMO post by Mike Simon got me to thinking. It was an excellent piece from Sunday that broke down the failures of the organization on the big league level this season. It detailed the contributions by Mets front office personnel to the Mets becoming what I feel is one of the worst-run organizations in baseball. Combine that with a big league roster fraught with underperforming and wildly inconsistent players and field managment, and you have a wonderful recipe for a habitually losing franchise.

Mike points out in his piece that the owners are very much to blame for the state of the team, as well as of course, the GM, the manager, and the players. And he’s right they all do share some of the blame. I’m sure even they might agree with that, except perhaps Collins of course, as he’s in his own world. But who out of this ample collection of suspects is the primary one? The biggest offender? Public Enemy #1? The one factor crippling the NY Mets organization?

Unquestionably, the blame starts at the top. I know it’s a radical concept, but in this case it holds water. Let me put it like this: Who is responsible for acquiring the players and manager who are failing on the field? And who is responsible for the player acquisitions that are never made? You guessed it, the General Manager! Good job. Now who is responsible for acquiring the GM? Are you thinking? Got something yet? That’s right, the owners! Way to go!

To my way of thinking if the owners had hired a better GM, we wouldn’t be in such a mess right now. I’m not saying that they couldn’t have hired a worse GM, they certainly could have. I mean that’s the beauty of it! When it comes to the type of mismanagement employed by the Wilpons they can always do worse, and Sandy is by no means the worst, he’s just not real good. Which is what the Mets need in a GM right now, real good. Really, really good.

But I’m going to go one step further and say that history tells us that not only was Sandy Alderson the wrong guy to rebuild the Mets, but the Wilpons have never made a good decision when hiring their GM. That would be why they have had three main General Managers over the last 14 years while only making it to the playoffs once, and only contending in two of those seasons.

Frank CashenWhen the Wilpons and Nelson Doubleday bought the Mets in 1980, their first hire as GM was a front office guy out of the Baltimore organization who came highly recommended by several prominent baseball minds at the time. It was a great hire. In 1983 Frank Cashen gave the Mets fans Darryl Strawberry, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez. By 1984 he had brought along Dwight Gooden, Rafael Santana and Ray Knight. In 1985 he presented to all of us Mets fans: Sid Fernandez, Roger McDowell, Lenny Dykstra, Howard Johnson, Rick Aguilera, Randy Myers and of course the late, great Gary Carter.

Then there was the year 1986. Cashen knew by the end of ’85 that the team was close, but not quite there yet. So for the ’86 season he added what he hoped would be the finishing touches to his masterpiece. Tim Teufel, Kevin Mitchell, Bob Ojeda, and always with a flair for the dramatic, he brought Lee Mazzilli home to finish his career where he had started it all, as a Met.

These guys along with some key players who were in the system when Cashen took over, guys like Mookie, Wally and Jesse, brought us to the pinnacle of the baseball world with one of the most breathtaking World Series victories in history. And that was nearly 30 years ago.

After Cashen, the Wilpons best hire of a GM could arguably have been Steve Phillips but that was three years before Doubleday sold his interests in the team making Fred and Saul principal owners. Phillips was okay but greatly flawed in his decision making and he could not maintain the brief success of two straight playoff appearances in 1999 and 2000, culminating in their World Series defeat to the hated Yankees.

Phillips spent the next three years making mostly bad baseball decisions and lying about the owners culpability in the downfall of the club. He did bring Jose Reyes and David Wright into the fold during those three years but that was it, and the team finished in last place in 2002 and 2003 leading up to his dismissal.

Mets Jim DuquetteThe Wilpons put Jim Duquette in charge of the club after dumping Phillips in June of 2003. That was probably one of the worst GM hires in baseball history. Duquette had never been a GM before, was only one for the Mets in 2003-4, and never was hired as a GM after leaving the Mets. But in the brief time the Mets had him running things he did manage to make one of the worst trades in team history. On July 30, 2004 Duquette inexplicably gave away the Mets top pitching prospect. One of the most coveted young left-handers in all of baseball, the fire-balling Scott Kazmir, was shipped to Tampa Bay for the scintillating talent of Victor Zambrano and the illustrious Bartolome Fortunato.

To stave off a riot by the fanbase, the Wilpons replaced the incompetent Duquette with a local favorite Omar Minaya. In hindsight, this was a poor signing too. He put a team together around Reyes and Wright as the core, but in six years he only managed to reach the playoffs once, and the team nose-dived after that. Now some four years after his departure, he is well represented by big league players he contributed to the present team. Omar’s guys that remain on the current roster are: Murphy, Gee, Niese, Duda, Tejada, Lagares, Flores, Campbell, Centeno, Montero, Familia, deGrom, and Parnell.

There are certainly a number of serviceable major leaguers there and a few good prospects, but this is still half of a last place team. As comprised these and the rest of the 2014 Mets are not going to compete this year. The only player who is presently worthy of any all-star consideration is Daniel Murphy.

And then after pulling Minaya’s plug following his sixth season at the helm, the Wilpons brought in our savior Richard Lynn Alderson, affectionately referred to by the fans as Sandy. After four years on the job Sandy has improved the farm system quite a bit. But Mets fans don’t want to go out to Brooklyn to see the Cyclones, they don’t want to travel to Binghamton to see the B-Mets play. They want to stay home in the greatest city in the world and go to Citi Field to see their Metsies play.

Now after four years lets take a closer look at what Sandy has contributed to getting the 2014 Mets to the next level. There are the three expensive free agents he brought in this year who have yet to distinguish themselves, Granderson, Colon, and Chris Young. And of course the complimentary pieces he brought in like Eric Young, Anthony Recker, Bobby Abreu, Vic Black, Scott Rice, Carlos Torres, Jose Valverde, and Dice K. Now he did bring in three terrific prospects in Wheeler, Syndergaard and d’Arnaud, but none of them have really contributed to the big league team in any significant way as of yet.

Mets Thank God It's OverThe fans have suffered for a long time but the front office gives no indication that there is any urgency to get better at all. Urgency is not in the Mets vocabulary. They feel they can string the fans along indefinitely. That the fans are gullible and not too bright. That they’ll throw their money away on bad baseball and overpriced concessions. Sure they might complain but as far as ownership is concerned, the fans will keep coming, and they will pay virtually any price for a ticket or a hot dog, they cannot help themselves.

But back to our savior. Sandy may not be terrible, but he’s certainly no Frank Cashen, and unfortunately that’s what it is going to take. A modern GM with the vision, aggressiveness and mentality of a Frank Cashen. I am not saying it will be easy to find someone like that, it won’t, it will be hard. But there are those kinds of individuals out there, some already serving as GM’s and others awaiting their chance.

We should be seeking the type of executives that understand the modern game, as well as the needs of the fans. The type that will act, and act decisively. A GM that wants to do the job the right way and build a perennial winner, not just one who talks about it. The kind not afraid to get his hands dirty. And most importantly, someone that speaks to the fans through their actions as opposed to their press conferences. That way there’s no lying, misinformation and deception.

But as long as the Wilpons are doing the firing, the searching, and the hiring, do you really believe they will get lucky all of a sudden and hire the right one for the job? Do you think that despite their terrible track record in hiring individuals to put together a winning franchise, that like a blind squirrel they can find a nut? Don’t bank on it. Remember these are the same one’s who decided to invest all their money with Bernie Madoff. How did that work out?

MMO

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MMO Doubleheader Thread: Diamondbacks vs Mets, 1:10 PM (SNY) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mmo-doubleheader-thread-diamondbacks-vs-mets-110-pm-sny.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mmo-doubleheader-thread-diamondbacks-vs-mets-110-pm-sny.html/#comments Sun, 25 May 2014 16:16:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=156708 dice-k montero

Lets play two…

The Mets play a Banner Day doubleheader today with Rafael Montero (0-2, 6.97 ERA) opposing Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Bronson Arroyo (4-3, 4.45) in the first game at 1:10 PM.

The single-admission doubleheader then continues with Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-0, 2.14) opposing right-hander Zeke Spruill (2-1, 4.72 at Triple-A Reno) in Game 2.

Daisuke Matsuzaka has a 1.71 ERA since September 8 of last season, the fourth best mark in the majors in that span (minimum 40 innings). Among pitchers with at least 20 innings pitched this season, Dice-K’s .130 opponent batting average is tied with Wade Davis for second best in the majors.

On the injury front, Travis d’Arnaud, who suffered a concussion on May 13 at Yankee Stadium, will begin a rehab assignment Sunday with Binghamton.

Meanwhile Dillon Gee looks like he will miss more than three turns in the rotation as he would have needed to make a rehab start today or Monday, if he were going to return next week.

David Wright has hit in seven straight games, going 13-29 (.448) with four multi-hit games, including three straight. He has 33 hits this month, the second-most in the NL, two behind Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers.

Game 2 Lineup

  1. Juan Lagares – CF
  2. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Curtis Granderson – LF
  5. Bobby Abreu – RF
  6. Eric Campbell – 1B
  7. Wilmer Flores – SS
  8. Anthony Recker – C
  9. Daisuke Matsuzaka – RHP

The Mets dropped Saturday’s game against the Diamondbacks, but have the chance to take the entire series on Sunday as they play two to make up for Friday Night’s game. Both Arizona and New York are making roster changes for the day with the Diamondbacks adding Spruill to the roster in game two as a starter and Vic Black  coming in for the Mets.

The first starter for the Mets, Rafael Montero, is 0-2 in his first two starts as a major leaguer. Overall he has allowed 8 ER over 10.1 innings with his last start being a tough one allowed 4 ER over 4.1 innings, mainly due to walks. If he can come in today and get ahead of his control, he should be fine today. This will be the first time he faces hitters from Arizona’s lineup in a major league game.

The Mets bats in the first game get to face Bronson Arroyo, who is 4-3 this year over 9 starts and 54.2 innings with a 4.45 ERA. He started off May on a roll allowing one earned run, two runs total, over 23.1 innings over three games. In his last outing he allowed 5 ER over 7.0 innings. His worst start of the season by far was against the Mets were he allowed 9 ER over 10 hits and 3.1 innings. The Mets have the following stats against Bronson:

  • Wright 11-41, HR
  • C Young 4-21, 2 2B
  • Abreu 3-14, 3B
  • Murphy 8-16, 2 2B
  • E Young 4-11

Daisuke Matsuzaka gets the start for the Mets in game two. He is ready to go about 100 pitches in his first start of the season. Over 14 games this year and 21.0 innings, he as a 2.14 ERA. Last year he had a 4.42 ERA over 7 starts and 38.2 innings. He did not play against the Diamondbacks earlier this year and the only three members of the Arizona club that have faced him are HIll (5-28, 2B, 2 HR), Pennington (2-7) and Chavez (2-3, HR).

In game two the Mets bats will get the first 2014 look at Zeke Spruill. He had limited time in the majors last season with a 0-2 record over 11.1 innings with a 5.56 ERA. The Mets have some stats against him:

  • Flores 0-1
  • Lagares 1-2
  • Murphy 0-2
  • Recker 1-2, 2B
  • E Young 0-1
  • Niese 1-1

Lets Go Mets!

banner day 2014

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Is Inexperience to Blame for Inconsistency? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/is-inexperience-to-blame-for-inconsistency.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/is-inexperience-to-blame-for-inconsistency.html/#comments Tue, 20 May 2014 17:15:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=156312 zack wheeler leaves

So much is being said about all the roster moves the Mets have made over the last couple of weeks.  The lineups don’t always reflect them but there has been some movement there is no denying that.  The questions is are the Mets really all-in on this movement?  Are you?

Mike Vorkunov of the Star Ledger writes about how the inexperience of some of the players on the roster can lead to inconsistency.  He also goes on to say that on the current roster, 16 players have spent time in the minor leagues over the past year for one reason or another.  Some of the veteran players, like David Wright, feel that having to rely on the young inexperienced guys could be one of the reasons the team struggles.

“Probably some of it,” he said of the inconsistency. “Especially, up and down the team, we are young. It’s going to be a lot of these guys are learning on the job, where they’re still making adjustments and developing at the major league level. That’s asking a lot of some of these guys. They’re ready for it, but you have to understand there’s going to be some ups and downs through the process. So I think that’s a little part of it.”

Calling a player up too early can be devastating if they don’t enjoy early success. On the other hand it could be exactly what the player/team needs.  Sometimes the fans and media can put too much pressure on a prospect to come in and be a savior. We have all seen and done it. In the end it needs to be taken for what it is, which is a team that has players capable of winning now mixed with many younger guys that are playing for their lives.

“I enjoy it because it brings a lot of excitement and it brings a lot of energy to the table,” Wright said. “But at the same time there’s going to be some inconsistency and kind of a learning curve that comes along with that because we have pitchers, we have position players that are learning on the fly.”

The hope is that they put it all together, become one unit and create the right chemistry, that translates into winning baseball.

Presented By Diehards

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Nieuwenhuis Could Go Down When Mets Activate Chris Young Today http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/nieuwenhuis-could-go-down-when-mets-activate-chris-young-today.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/nieuwenhuis-could-go-down-when-mets-activate-chris-young-today.html/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:47:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153525 kitk nieuwenhuis

April 18

Chris Young Is expected to be activated prior to tonight’s game. Young hit .667 (8-12) with two home runs, seven runs scored and five RBI in his three rehabilitation games with Las Vegas (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League.

He was placed on the DL on April 3 with a tight right groin.

A corresponding roster move will be announced prior to the game.

it will come down to lefty-hitting Kirk Nieuwenhuis and righty-hitting Andrew Brown.

But keep in mind that Nieuwenhuis will not burn any options if gets demoted because he would have been active less than 4 games. Nieuwenhuis has made his time with the team count, going 3-10 a home run and four RBI.

April 17

GM Sandy Alderson wouldn’t say which player is likely to depart when the team activates outfielder Chris Young from the disabled list on Friday, but we did learn that the Mets first base situation will be unaffected.

Alderson offered no indication the Mets would use the opportunity to demote a first baseman and alleviate crowding there.

“I wouldn’t say that’s a primary consideration,” Alderson said.

Since Terry Collins named Lucas Duda the everyday first baseman and adding that he wouldn’t be platooned, Ike Davis has started there once each series, and Josh Satin has started all three games against left-handed pitchers.

“There’s one first baseman and two guys off the bench,” Alderson insisted. “So I don’t really look at them as all first basemen. If you’re referring to Josh Satin, he can play a number of positions, and as a right-handed hitter off the bench. And, right now, Ike fills a role as a left-handed hitter off the bench.”

Although Duda is hitting .364 (8-for-22) with a homer and four RBIs in his past five starts, a report on ESPN New York indicated that Terry Collins started Davis on Wednesday for two reasons: Davis has four career homers in 36 at-bats at Chase Field, and the manager felt it appropriate to give Davis one start in his hometown.

As for who does go on Friday, it will come down to lefty-hitting Kirk Nieuwenhuis and righty-hitting Andrew Brown. But keep in mind that Nieuwenhuis will not burn any options if gets demoted because he would have been active less than 4 games.

mmo

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It’s Time to End the Ruben Tejada Era at Shortstop http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/its-time-to-end-the-ruben-tejada-era-at-shortstop.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/its-time-to-end-the-ruben-tejada-era-at-shortstop.html/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:43:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153478 New York Mets Spring Training at their Minor League practice facility located within Tradition Field in Florida

Since the beginning of the 2013 MLB season there have been exactly seven shortstops to amass at least 250 plate appearances and had their services be worth a negative WAR value.  Of those seven shortstops, two are currently on the Mets active roster.  The Magnificent 7 are as follows:

  1. Adeiny Hechavarria: 640 PA,  -1.4 WAR
  2. Eduardo Nunez: 340 PA,  -1.4 WAR
  3. Ruben Tejada: 272 PA,  -0.8 WAR
  4. Ronny Cedeno: 288 PA,  -0.7 WAR
  5. Brendan Ryan: 349 PA,   -0.6 WAR
  6. Daniel Descalso: 376 PA,  -0.4 WAR
  7. Omar Quintanilla: 371 PA,  -0.2 WAR

The worst number on this list is the -1.4 put up by Hechavarria with the Marlins, but he is scorching hot to start the 2014 season, and 2013 was his first full season in the major leagues. 

You could also make a case that if Tejada would have amassed 640 plate appearances at his current rate of awfulness, he would have been worth -1.6 WAR over the same time period, with 3 more years of experience than the young Marlins SS.

Eduardo Nunez only played SS for the Yankees because Jeter was out for most of the 2013 season recovering from ankle surgery.  He has recently been released.

Brendan Ryan has been released a couple of times, but has never been known for his bat.  He is a dynamite defensive SS, and is currently a backup.

Ronny Cedeno has been released multiple times and hasn’t been seen as a starter for several years, although he has been much better than Tejada.

Daniel Descalso split time with Pete Kozma, who was pretty bad in his own right, as both were replaced by Jhonny Peralta this offseason by the Cardinals.

That leaves Omar Quintanilla, who is currently our own backup, as the only other negative contributor with at least 250 plate appearances in 2013-2014.  Embarrassingly, he has been far better than Tejada at the plate, and only slightly worse defensively.  I am at a total loss for words that the position was not upgraded this offseason.  WOW.

I thought there was absolutely no way that Tejada would be as bad this season as he was in 2013, but Tejada has taken futility to a whole new level, and somehow has proven to be worse than he was last year.

Amazingly, through 14 games, Tejada has compiled a -0.4 fWAR, easily the worst in baseball at the position in the early part of the season.  He’s not getting better folks.  He’s getting worse.

We all have the same feeling when his spot in the lineup is approaching.  Its an automatic out.  I actually have more faith in Niese, Wheeler or even the 41 year old punch line in the batters box Bartolo Colon, to contribute something offensively than I do Tejada.

Travis d’Arnaud won’t see a pitch he can do anything with as long as the auto-out Tejada is hitting behind him in the lineup.

Tejada is still very young, but the fact is that he isn’t very talented.  There just aren’t any tools that suggest he’ll ever be a decent player.  He will never be a threat on the basepaths.  He will never hit for power or extra bases.  He will never be an elite defensive glove, or have a rocket arm, or great range, or be able to make the amazing defensive play.  He is what he is. He’s really bad.  He’s the worst starting position player in the game by a landslide right now.  What makes matters worse is that he doesn’t seem to want to put in the extra effort to better himself. So why is he still clogging up the roster and lineup card at this point?

We are 7-7 with what looks like a team that may be able to hang around in the Wild Card race with all the promising young talent on the horizon.  How long can we keep our heads above water with the black hole that is consuming the shortstop position for our beloved New York Mets?

Sandy, please get a shortstop that is a major league baseball player on this roster, and lets compete.

Our fanbase needs a team we can be proud of.

Its time to cut the BS and play some baseball.  The monitoring period for who can and who cannot play has expired.  Its time for a new era at the SS position.

mmo

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MMO Morning Grind: Understanding Strengths and Weaknesses http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-morning-grind-understanding-strengths-and-weaknesses.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-morning-grind-understanding-strengths-and-weaknesses.html/#comments Sat, 12 Apr 2014 12:22:37 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153103 dillon gee

Good morning, Mets fans!

Crazy game last night. Or this morning. I’m not even sure anymore. Anyway, as far as losses go, it wasn’t that bad. The Angels have a pretty imposing roster and we fought with them in a back-and-forth battle for 11 innings. What I think cost the Mets in this game, and what is definitely on my mind this morning, is New York’s inability to understand its strengths and weaknesses.

I’ve been watching the Knicks, the team with the lowest Basketball IQ I’ve ever seen, for the past 6 months. So seeing the Mets make several foolish decisions in the first couple weeks of the season hasn’t really been too much of a shock. But there was a lot of foolishness from our Mets last night, coming from both the coaching staff and the players.

First of all, Dillon Gee just isn’t a 100-pitch pitcher. He really starts to lose steam after the 5th or 6th inning, once he gets around 85, 90, maybe 95 pitches. The 3rd time around the order is usually worse than the first 2, and by the 4th time he sees a hitter, he usually has a lot of trouble getting the guy out. The Mets simply have to accept this and start pulling the plug on Gee earlier, instead of leaving him in to ruin what usually starts as a solid outing.

Second of all, Jeurys Familia is here because of his “stuff”. So when he comes in and waits until his 3rd inning of work to throw something other than a fastball, that’s a problem. When that first slider, his 36th pitch, bounces in the dirt and moves the winning run into scoring position, that’s an even bigger problem. Familia was basically throwing 100% fastballs, but even the heater was impossible for Jeurys to control tonight.

So with a wild pitcher on the mound, what did the Mets do? They intentionally loaded the bases, putting their young, erratic reliever in a situation where he could not walk a batter. To Familia’s credit, he did not walk Hank Conger. He hit him with the pitch. Game over.

So yeah, there were some frustrating decisions made on our side in this one. Why leave Gee in? Why would Familia stick with one pitch, when it wasn’t even working? Why would we force a young pitcher who can’t throw a strike to be in a situation where he has no safety net for his wild arm?

I get that we want to have Gee try to eat some innings and save the bullpen, and I get that walking the bases loaded sets up a force at the plate. But the bullpen, if managed correctly, should be able to last long enough to replace a tiring starter after 5 innings. And having runners on the corners isn’t that much different than loading the bases… you can still turn the double play and you just need 1 extra split-second to tag a runner if the play goes to the plate.

Anyway, like I said, while it was a frustrating loss, it wasn’t too bad in the end. There were definitely some positive signs. Travis d’Arnaud hit his first homer of the year and the bullpen was solid from innings 6 to 10. We’ll get ‘em next time.

Infuriating fact of the day: The Mets forfeited the 24th pick in the 2009 MLB draft as compensation for signing Francisco Rodriguez. Mike Trout was the 25th pick in the 2009 MLB draft. If it makes you feel any better, the Yankees sent the 25th pick to Anaheim when they signed Mark Teixeira.

Have a good day, Mets fans. Let’s get some revenge on the Angels tonight. Game time is nine or midnight, or something like that.

Presented By Diehards

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Mets Activate Niese From DL, Option Flores To Triple-A http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-activate-niese-from-dl-option-flores-to-triple-a.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-activate-niese-from-dl-option-flores-to-triple-a.html/#comments Sun, 06 Apr 2014 15:18:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=152681 Jon_Niese

After Saturday’s exciting walk-off win over the Cincinnati Reds, the Mets announced that they had activated Jon Niese from the 15-day disabled list.

To make room for him on the roster, the Mets optioned Wilmer Flores to Triple-A Las Vegas. This was widely expected and Flores will continue to get reps at both shortstop and second base while the Mets continue to monitor his progress.

Meanwhile, Niese will make his season debut on Sunday at Citi Field as the Mets look for a sweep of the Reds to close out their homestand.

Terry Collins told reporters that Niese will be limited to around 95 pitches, as they ease him back slowly after dealing with left shoulder and left elbow injury concerns during the Spring.

Niese was placed on the disabled list to start the season, and felt great after completing two minor league rehab starts.

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Bobby Abreu… the Bell that Tolls for Ike? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/bobby-abreu-the-bell-that-tolls-for-ike.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/bobby-abreu-the-bell-that-tolls-for-ike.html/#comments Sun, 06 Apr 2014 12:54:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=152666 USATSI_ ike davis  by brad barr

The Mets are coming to the realization that they are not going to get much in return via trade for Ike Davis. With Lucas Duda being named the starter (at least for now), one does have to wonder… was the signing of Bobby Abreu a harbinger of Ike’s ultimate release?

Sandy Alderson commented earlier in the week that Bobby could be a guy off the bench at some point this season. At the time of the initial signing, it seemed a bit of a head scratcher… Abreu? Really? Why?

Let’s take a look at how the Mets bench currently looks:

Backup Catcher – Anthony Recker
Backup Middle Infielder – Omar Quintanilla
Backup Corner Infielder – Josh Satin
Backup Outfielder – Andrew Brown

Then there’s Ike Davis.

Had Ike been named the Starting First Baseman, then Lucas Duda could have been the left handed hitting power bat off the bench that could also serve as the 5th outfielder. As the roster currently stands, there is no 5th outfielder unless Josh Satin was used in that role.

The 5th outfielder wouldn’t be used a tremendous amount other than a pinch hitter and very occasionally player in that role, but it is a role to be filled. Duda wasn’t a good outfielder, but he could be put there in an emergency basis. Ike isn’t playing the outfield. If Lucas is going to be called the official First Baseman, they aren’t going to be flipping him into the outfield from time to time. When Chris Young is ready to come off the DL, that will likely bump Andrew Brown back to the minors and the 4-man rotation in the outfield will come into play.

The team will still want a left handed bat off the bench, preferably with some pop in it. How much (if any) pop Bobby has left is up in the air, but he still gets on base. He can also be put into the outfield on an as-needed basis (which won’t be often). Simply from a roster flexibility standpoint, with Duda as the starting first baseman, Abreu makes more sense on the roster than Davis. Were Davis the starting first baseman, it would make more sense to have Duda in that role and Abreu may never have been signed.

Alderson admitted last Thursday that Abreu was signed because they love his approach. Right now, he is in AAA. He’s where the Mets can keep an eye on him and Wally Backman can provide feedback as to if Abreu has anything left in the tank to offer the Mets. If it turns out he does, can Bobby’s signing be the Bell that Tolls for Ike?

Or did his clutch Grand Slam win him a reprieve?

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Why Did Wheeler Throw 114 Pitches In First Start? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/why-did-wheeler-throw-114-pitches-in-first-start.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/why-did-wheeler-throw-114-pitches-in-first-start.html/#comments Fri, 04 Apr 2014 16:35:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=152588 zack wheeler

I’ve received two emails this morning asking me why Zack Wheeler was allowed to throw 114 pitches in Thursday’s 8-2 loss to the Washington Nationals – one short of his career high.

I couldn’t really tell you the exact reason why, but if I were to venture a guess I’d say it was because Terry Collins doesn’t trust his bullpen and also because he fears his offense can’t tack on runs.

Basically, the same two issues this team has suffered with over the last few seasons.

As to the first issue – the bullpen – in their first ten appearances this season, only one of them could be construed as good. The others were all bad. Shockingly bad.

bullpen

As to the second reason – the inability to tack on runs – the Mets have been outscored 22-4 after the first inning, through the first three games of the season. Hopefully, that changes, but this was not what anyone expected to see with the additions of Curtis Granderson and Chris Young over the Winter, the latter of which is already on the disabled list.

All three Mets starters (Gee, Colon and Wheeler) tossed 100 or more pitches in their first starts of the season, and while I don’t subscribe to babying pitchers, it was still surprising to see that so early in the season and especially with temperatures still so cold in New York.

But I do believe what we’re seeing is a lack of faith by the manager to go to his bullpen and a fear that his team can’t score runs later in the games. The combination of both is weighing heavily on Collins’ decision to go as long as he can with his starters even if he’s pushing it to their limits. And this is not exactly something Collins is unfamiliar with.  

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MLB Daily Fantasy Big Score: $100,000 Guaranteed Payout http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mlb-daily-fantasy-big-score-100000-guaranteed-payout.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mlb-daily-fantasy-big-score-100000-guaranteed-payout.html/#comments Thu, 03 Apr 2014 14:41:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=152445 draftstreet promo

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Will Terry Collins Survive The Year? Odds-Makers Say No… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/will-terry-collins-survive-the-year-odds-makers-say-no.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/will-terry-collins-survive-the-year-odds-makers-say-no.html/#comments Thu, 03 Apr 2014 13:19:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=152510 terry collins

Although I already posted on the Mets and their new modern MLB record of 31 strikeouts through the team’s first two games, it was late last night when I wrote that and I didn’t get a chance to throw in some of my own thoughts on the matter.

About three weeks ago I was at a friend’s engagement party. At one point most of the guys made their way to the bar area just outside the hall and we had some beers while watching the Dodgers play the D’Backs in a spring training game. As it so happened, the D’Backs had four or five straight hits in a big inning and I remember the announcer saying that Arizona was in attack mode and swinging at first pitch strikes.

This led to an interesting conversation where we discussed the Mets and Yankees and their own philosophies on plate approach. One of them joked that if any pitcher wanted to beat the Mets all they needed to do was throw strikes and put them in a hole. Coming from a Yankee fan, that wasn’t easy to listen to, but a part of me felt that he may be right.

I remember listening to a Daniel Murphy interview in February where he talked about the pressure of complying with the Mets organizational philosophy at the plate. He remarked at how difficult it was to resist swinging at a pitch he felt he could drive. Nevertheless he said his goal was to walk more this season.

I’m not a hitting coach so I won’t say whether the Mets approach is to blame for last year’s MLB leading strikeout total, or the awful start we’ve gotten off to after just two games. But I’m wondering if this whole hitting approach thing is messing with our hitter’s heads as Keith Hernandez speculated last night.

They seemed so tense last year and all through spring training, rather than loose and relaxed at the plate. Why?

Also, I haven’t researched this so don’t hold me to it, but it feels like whenever the middle of the order is up our sluggers are quickly immersed in 0-2 and 1-2 counts, giving a distinct advantage to the pitcher.

Now getting back to my story at the bar, I wondered if the Mets had it in them to go into “attack mode”. If a pitcher like Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez are fearlessly throwing first pitch strikes, why aren’t we up their looking fastball and swinging on the first pitch?

Anyway, it’s something that bothered me during the last two games.

Meanwhile, Terry Collins has been quick to downplay the strikeouts saying that the team faced two great strikeout pitchers. Really? Is that all you got? I would have expected him to be more concerned than he appeared to be. After all, it’s his neck on the line, not mine.

Las Vegas odds-maker Bovada placed Terry Collins third on their list of MLB managers most likely to be fired this season.

I would say that’s fair despite just signing a new two-year contract extension this past winter.

After two straight 74-win seasons and five consecutive losing seasons, Sandy Alderson has challenged Collins to win 90 games this season.

I thought that was simply a nice way of saying, “Hey Terry, you better win 82 or more games this season or else you’re fired.”

I think Collins could easily account for an extra 3-4 losses during the year just based on his in-game decisions. Collins is a great guy and his players love him, but that doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in the long run.

If the Mets don’t have a winning season in 2014, I predict he’ll be fired at the end of the season. Someone is going to pay the price for a sixth consecutive losing season, and in most cases it’s usually the manager.

So my advice to Terry is, Just win, baby…

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