Mets Merized Online » roster Sun, 05 Jul 2015 23:47:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Alderson Says Promoting Conforto Was Discussed But Unlikely For Now Sat, 04 Jul 2015 13:19:53 +0000 michael Conforto

Last night in Los Angeles, Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters that the team has considered promoting outfielder Michael Conforto but that it’s unlikely that it will happen in the near future.

“At this point, he’s still in Binghamton and I would expect him to be over there for the near term,” Alderson said.

“I don’t want everybody to go out and write that Conforto is coming up here next week. You asked me a question about whether it’s been discussed and it has.”

It sounds like Conforto was being considered as were a number of other options which I’m certain included Travis Taijeron, Alex Castellanos and maybe even Brandon Nimmo to a much lesser degree.

“One of the things we did the other day was try to explore all types of possibilities. How do we change things up a little bit, with the use of our players we have currently, bringing up other players, the possibility of trade acquisitions?”

“We’ve looked at a variety of different things. So I wouldn’t say anything is off the table.”

On Friday, Joel Sherman of the NY Post argued that it’s time for the Mets to call up the team’s top hitting prospect .

Conforto, the 10th overall pick in last year’s draft, has been on fire in Double-A this year with a .327 average and a .933 OPS.

“The Mets are worried that promoting Conforto now would set him up to be a savior. That is lots of pressure, potentially devastating if he fails. But I don’t buy that. Plenty of top young hitters have been promoted this year and no one thinks any who hit potholes — such as Byron Buxton or Joey Gallo — is permanently scarred.”

“The Mets outfield has a cumulative .689 OPS. If you think Conforto can provide even a .700 or .725 OPS, then he is an upgrade. And maybe he is a savant hitter who will be able to excel at any level.”

Thoughts from Brian

With the underwhelming options the Mets have on the bench and in Triple-A, Conforto is the best remaining option. The lineup is in dire need of help, and Conforto is someone who can handle the adjustment to the majors. He’s a very advanced college hitter.

I also think the concerns about rushing his development are extremely overblown. If his confidence is so easily crushed by failing,  then it’s hard to imagine him succeeding in the big market of New York anyway.

Thoughts from Joe D.

I completely disagree with the mounting groundswell to bring Michael Conforto up, a top prospect who has shined thus far in his pro career, but has only 30 games above Class-A.

I’ve already seen enough of these knee-jerk reactions this season that I’ve cared to see. I’m not sure I can handle another one. Both Kevin Plawecki and Dilson Herrera were each ranked ahead of Conforto on every prospect ranking entering this season. We heard the same clamoring for them earlier this season.

Herrera batted .195 and soon found himself back in Triple-A and Plawecki is batting .215 and will soon join him. And these two at least had some time in Triple-A which Conforto has yet to do.

And besides, Conforto has been coming back to earth lately and is 9-for-39 in his last ten games with nine strikeouts.

We’ve got to stop this incessant obsession with leaning on our top hitting prospects to salvage our season. Don’t we already have enough minor league talent and Quad-A players on our roster?

What this team lacks is true major league talent, not more kids who have yet to show they are MLB ready. That’s on Sandy Alderson and Fred Wilpon, not Michael Conforto.

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Mets Option Jack Leathersich To Las Vegas Mon, 29 Jun 2015 00:20:54 +0000 jack leathersich

After Sunday’s exciting 7-2 win over the Reds, the Mets announced that LHP Jack Leathersich was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas.

The move was necessitated to make room for Steven Matz and to bring the roster back to 25 active players after carrying an extra player for today’s quasi-doubleheader.

I thought Leathersich had some solid outings from the pen, so I’m sure we’ll see him again. He’ll get a chance to work on reducing his walks.

Leathersich posted a 2.31 ERA in 17 appearances out of the bullpen this season, allowing just three runs in 11 2/3 innings pitched with a 10.8 strikeout rate.

Expect another roster move on Tuesday when the Mets activate Daniel Murphy from the disabled list.

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Justin Turner: The One That Got Away Sat, 27 Jun 2015 15:36:54 +0000 WHITE SOX VS DODGERS

On December 2nd, 2013 the Mets made a decision that looms large on their current roster when they decided to non-tender Justin Turner.

At the time, Turner was coming off arguably his most productive season as he set a career high in WAR at 0.8 and OPS+ at 100 despite getting only 200 at-bats while playing seven different positions.

The move to cut a valuable utility infielder who was due to make less than $1 million through arbitration was a shock to fans, Mets beat writers, and even Turner as well who loved  being with the team and had developed a special relationship with the fan base.

“That caught me off guard. It was something I wasn’t expecting. I’ll tell you what, that was probably the worst offseason I’ve had – not knowing where or if I was going to be playing the next year. That was hard.”

The reasoning behind a seemingly unreasonable move was that Turner’s propensity for not running balls out hard enough had irked the Mets front office.

But the move read more like a team not wanting to pay a backup infielder more than the league minimum.

Since leaving the Mets and signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Turner has shown the propensity to hit the long ball (17 homeruns in 458 at bats) and the ability to hit in big spots, batting .419 in 14′ and .364 this season with runners in scoring position, something the Mets have struggled with over that span.

Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire told reporters on Thursday that Turner has emerged as ” one of our MVPs last year, if not the MVP,” and that his infectious enthusiasm for the game makes everyone around him better.

“Thank you, New York Mets, for letting him go,” said McGwire after Turner’s game winning homer against the Cubs.

“It’s nice to be on a good team that’s motivated by winning from the top on down and is willing to do whatever it takes to get the pieces to win,” says Turner who declined to draw a comparison to the Mets. “That chapter’s closed.”

The numbers tell the real story.

Since 2014, Justin Turner is batting .331 with a .398 on-base and .522 slugging percentage, while belting 17 home runs and amassing a 7.2 WAR.

During that same span, Mets third basemen combined have produced a .257/.319/.362 slash with just a 2.9 WAR.

Turner has taken over as the Dodgers’ number three hitter, and has homered five times in his last ten games. Nobody is wondering anymore if his power and run production last season was a fluke.

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Collins Calls For Team Meeting, Takes A Swipe At Alderson Wed, 24 Jun 2015 04:23:20 +0000 terry collins

With the team reeling and in the midst of a six game losing streak after another deflating loss, this time to the lowly Milwaukee Brewers, Mets manager Terry Collins has called for a team meeting on Wednesday.

With the team now sitting at 36-36 after starting the season 13-3, a frustrated Collins admitted that dropping to .500 really “stings.”

When reporters asked Collins what he intends to discuss when he addresses the team, he angrily responded and took a shot at Sandy Alderson saying, “Who do you want me to yell at the nine rookies over there? There’s nobody to yell at.”

“If there was a lack of hustle, or a lack of preparation, there would be something to yell at.”

This season is quickly evolving into a train wreck. As one beat writer put it, “the Mets are in a world of hurt.”

A team meeting isn’t going to change anything. The problem as I see it is that more than half of the position players in that dugout have no business being in the major leagues.

Unfortunately it’s the starting pitchers who keep paying the price in these ugly losses, as the defense and offense squander one solid outing after another.

The shit’s really starting to hit the fan and unless things change for the better soon, we might be entering the “heads are gonna roll” phase of the season. In June.

Oh and by the way… my once unwavering support for Sandy Alderson is starting to waver. Big time.

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Mets Activate Parnell and Herrera; Gee And Tejada Placed On Leave Thu, 11 Jun 2015 17:20:58 +0000 bobby parnell Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets have activated Bobby Parnell and Dilson Herrera from the disabled list, and both will join the Mets for tonight’s game.

To make room, the Mets have placed Dillon Gee, whose grandmother passed away, on the bereavement list. Ruben Tejada, whose significant other had a baby today, has been placed on paternity leave.

The Mets will be able to hold off on making any more permanent roster decisions until Tejada or Gee return to the team, but they will also continue to carry a short bench without a backup infielder. Also, with Plawecki continuing to experience dizziness, the Mets will be very short-handed for the next few days.

Parnell has been out since Opening Day last season recovering from Tommy John surgery. In 2013, Parnell had a 2.16 ERA over 50 innings in 49 appearances. He also recorded 22 saves in 41 games finished.

Herrera has been out since mid-may with a fracture middle finger. He was batting .235/.297/.353 with a home run in ten games before getting hurt.

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Kirk Nieuwenhuis Designated For Assignment, Darrell Ceciliani Promoted Tue, 19 May 2015 18:10:23 +0000 Ceciliani

Update, 2:10 pm

Adam Rubin of is now reporting that Kirk Nieuwenhuis will be the player designated for assignment.

Nieuwenhuis, 27, was hitting .079/.125/.132 with two doubles and two stolen bases in 40 plate appearances.

In parts of four seasons with the Mets, Nieuwenhuis has a .230/.302/.374 line with 13 homers, 31 doubles, three triples, and 12 stolen bases in 592 trips to the plate.

Original Post, 6:43 am

The New York Mets announced after Monday’s game that they will promote outfielder Darrell Ceciliani from Triple-A Las Vegas and add him to the major league roster.

A corresponding move has yet to be announced but the speculation seems to lean toward the team designating Kirk Nieuwenhuis for assignment. He struck out as a pinch hitter on Monday, dropping his average to .079 for the season.

Ceciliani, 24, is batting .336/.389/.584 in 113 at-bats for Triple-A Las Vegas and has a nice combination of power and speed.

The lefty-swinging outfielder has five home runs and 17 RBIs with 25 runs scored, and has six stolen bases.

He’s played the majority of his minor league career in center field and is regarded as a fine defender.

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Dilson Herrera Headed To 15-Day DL Sat, 16 May 2015 01:35:25 +0000 Dilson 0 Herrera

During the 6th inning of tonight’s broadcast, Gary Cohen announced that Dilson Herrera is heading to the 15-day disabled list.

He fractured the tip of his right middle finger on a ground ball during pre-game before Friday night’s game vs. the Brewers. The ball also tore off his fingernail.

Eric Campbell is being called up to replace him, so he will likely play third and Daniel Murphy will move back to second base.

“We shook our heads when they came to us and told us during the game that his finger was broken,” Collins said.

“I just said, ‘Of course it is. The way things have gone for us, we certainly couldn’t have just a fingernail issue, we’ve gotta break his finger.’”

In ten games, Herrera was batting .233/.287/.353 with one home run in 37 plate appearances.


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Mets Recall Dilson Herrera From Triple-A Las Vegas Fri, 01 May 2015 03:18:15 +0000 dilson herrera hr

According to the Mets Twitter account, the team has recalled Dilson Herrera from Triple-A Las Vegas, and a corresponding roster move will be made Friday.

Herrera was tearing it up for the 51′s at the time of his call-up, hitting at a .375/.407/.513 clip.

After a Wilmer Flores error tonight, as well as Daniel Murphy’s poor play, the Mets will call up Herrera, who appeared in 18 games and went 30-for-80.

Sandy Alderson had stated that they didn’t intend to call up Herrera unless he would “be getting regular playing time.”

So what does that mean? Will Murphy shift over to third until Wright comes back, and Herrera will man second base, which he has been playing exclusively?

Or do the Mets have something else planned? They aren’t going to call him up and sit him on the bench, I’ll tell you that much. He’ll be playing everyday at least for the time being.

I’m going to guess that Jack Leathersich will be sent back down to the minors, after he allowed a hard hit ball to the lone hitter he faced against the Marlins last night, and let up a three-run double to Bryce Harper tonight.

Thoughts from Joe D.

Whether you agree with this move or not, credit the front office for their boldness and quick reaction to Thursday night’s debacle.

As you know from our daily minor league coverage on MMO, Herrera was raking in Las Vegas as his .375 average and .919 OPS would attest. And just yesterday I posted Wally Backman’s comments on Herrera whom he called a future All Star second baseman.

As Rob speculated above, the front office confirmed that Daniel Murphy will be sliding all the way over to third base and Herrera will play every day at second base, relegating Eric Campbell to the bench which he’s best suited for.

The question is what happens when David Wright returns from the disabled list in about eight days? Obviously Herrera is not going to sit so it’s either back to the minors or is something else in the works? Perhaps a trade?

If Herrera goes back to Las Vegas then it’s back to Murphy and Flores up the middle and that brings us back to where we started from.

It’s obvious that Thursday night’s turn of events defensively is what precipitated the promotion of Herrera as perhaps the Mets patience is growing thin.

But the move for now appears only to be a stopgap measure and the next few days bears monitoring.

More to come on this.

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Danny Muno Optioned To Make Room For Rafael Montero Tue, 28 Apr 2015 01:48:50 +0000 daniel muno danny

After Monday night’s exciting comeback win against the Miami Marlins, the Mets officially recalled RHP Rafael Montero from Triple-A Las Vegas.

To make room for Montero on the active roster, the Mets optioned infielder Daniel Muno to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Muno was 1-for-6 with a stolen base in four games since he joined the team on April 17.

Montero (0-1, 4.15 ERA) will get the start tomorrow night and will oppose right-hander David Phelps (1-0, 3.55) for the Marlins.

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Montero To Return April 28, Fifth Starter Role Could Be Up For Grabs Sat, 18 Apr 2015 03:25:41 +0000 rafael montero

The Mets activated infielder Danny Muno after promoting him from Triple-A Las Vegas, and to clear a spot on the roster for him the team optioned starter turned reliever Rafael Montero to Triple A.

The move involving also allows the Mets to normalize their bench size back to five.

Montero, who competed with Dillon Gee for the No. 5 starter position in spring training, failed to supplant Gee and started the regular season in the bullpen.

He pitched 4 1/3 innings of relief and posted a 4.15 ERA. Montero’s last appearance was Thursday vs the Marlins at Citi Field and allowed an unearned run in 2/3 innings.

Some on MMO have been speculating that perhaps the plan is to stretch Montero out to be a starter again. It seems that is exactly the case.

Terry Collins just told reporters that the Mets will institute a six-man rotation, at least for one turn of the rotation.

When Montero is eligible to return in 10 days, the Mets will call him up and use him as a starter for an April 28 start against the Marlins in Miami.

After two shaky starts by Dillon Gee, the Mets could be taking some steps to be prepared in the event he continues to struggle.

In fact Adam Rubin writes:

“Of course, Mets officials are offering no assurances that Montero will be limited to one start. While there are no plans to go to a six-man rotation, it is at least conceivable the Mets bump Dillon Gee to allow Montero to remain in the rotation.”

The move will also give Matt Harvey a rest for one turn, something that Sandy Alderson said they’d do with Harvey during spring training.

I think serves as a wake-up call for Gee who may have one two more starts to justify his spot in the rotation to the team brass. He’ll need to ramp up his performance or risk losing his role to Montero.


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MMO 2015 Season Preview: National League Central Sun, 05 Apr 2015 14:16:07 +0000 World Series - Boston Red Sox v St Louis Cardinals - Game Three

Milwaukee Brewers – 5th Place

Key additions: Adam Lind… I guess?

Key subtractions: Yovani Gallardo, Rickie Weeks, Zach Duke, and Tom Gorzelanny

I was down on the Brewers before last year, and it’s impossible to deny that they proved me wrong. They collapsed and blew their chances at a playoff spot though. I don’t see how they improved last year’s team, and how they will be able to shake away from that feeling. To me, they were lucky to be in the position they were last year. Adding Lind COULD make the offense more potent as he will be surrounded by Braun, Lucroy, Gomez and Aramis Ramirez.

I’m not totally sold on Jimmy Nelson in the rotation and it’s my understanding that he was the reason Gallardo got sent packing.

The closer nobody seems to want (I wonder why) K-Rod returns for another year in Milwaukee. Overall, he and Broxton should provide decent relief at the end of the games.

Basically I’m picking them here because I think this is the best division in the NL top-to-bottom and I am just not sold on their rotation after Matt Garza at all.

Cincinnati Reds – 4th Place

Key additions: Marlon Byrd

Key subtractions: Ryan Ludwick, Mat Latos & Alfredo Simon

Really, so much of this team’s success depends on how healthy Joey Votto is and whether or not he can carry the offense. Another factor will be whether Billy Hamilton lives up to his hype and gets on base enough to impact games the way we all know he can.

Adding Byrd should give Votto protection in the heart of the order, something that he hasn’t really had much of. The lineup is filled with a bunch of decent hitters, and a declining Brandon Phillips.

The rotation is without Mat Latos who to me, gave the Reds a very reliable 1-2 punch with Cueto. Now, they are putting their eggs in the Michael Leake and Homer Bailey basket. I’m not sure I like either more than Latos to be honest.

Bailey will start the year on the DL which means Raisel Iglesias will join Jason Marquis at the bottom of the rotation. For some reason, the Reds decided to move Tony Cingrani from the rotation to the bullpen so that Iglesias can get a crack at a starting job. That decision will prove to be a big one if Iglesias fails and Cingrani is then forced out of the bullpen and back into the rotation.

Everybody knows Aroldis Chapman is downright nasty. The Reds finally seem comfortable with the fact that Chapman is a top 5 Closer, and won’t be a starter. He’s pretty much all they have in the bullpen though, and he can’t do it all.

The best case scenario is the Reds were right and Cueto-Bailey-Leake are as good of a 1-3 punch as they thought, I’m just afraid it might not be as good as they think, and their bullpen will likely lead to several blown 6th or 7th inning leads.

Pittsburgh Pirates – 3rd Place

Key additions: A.J. Burnett, Jung-Ho Kang, Francisco Cervelli, Antonio Bastardo, Corey Hart, and Sean Rodriguez

Key subtractions: Russell Martin, Edinson Volquez, and Travis Snider

The Pirates are becoming one of those teams that you just should not count out, ever. But they never seem to have enough talent to be seriously considered in the World Series contender conversation.

The addition of Jung-Ho Kang is really intriguing. He won’t start the year as the starting SS, but I think he’ll get that job by the summer’s start. He is a sleeper candidate for sure.

Can Gregory Polanco be a starting RF’er on a playoff caliber team? Players like Starling Marte have taken Polanco under their wing this spring, and they want to make him the final piece of a very dangerous outfield. If Polanco lives up to his Baseball America hype, you could be looking at the best offensive outfield in the sport.

The rotation is pretty good, nothing earth shattering but enough quality arms with Gerrit Cole, Francisco Liriano and A.J. Burnett leading the way to be a competitive team in this division.

Cole is coming off a 2014 campaign doomed by injury. How he bounces back in 2015 will be a major factor in whether the Pirates find their way into the playoff race again. The Pirates seem to be pegging Cole as the face of this franchise from the pitcher side of things, so now is his chance to start living up to that expectation.

The red flag with the rotation is that their 1-2 punch of Cole and Liriano has never (not a typo) pitched 200 innings in a season. It’s going to be hard to fight in this packed division if your two best pitchers cannot be relied on all year.

I’m not totally sold on the bullpen. But, to be honest Mark Melancon was doubted by me last year and he did a great job in 2014.

I think Pittsburgh needs a little help in the bullpen to make it through the summer and into the fall to break through this division. Still, this is an 84+ win team in a very tough division.

Chicago Cubs – 2nd Place

Key additions: Jon Lester, Miguel Montero, Dexter Fowler, Jason Hammel, David Ross, and Jason Motte

Key subtractions: Luis Valbuena, Justin Ruggiano, and Carlos Villanueva

The hype machine is in full effect when it comes to the Chicago Cubs. First of all, he isn’t mentioned above but to me the biggest addition for the Cubs was Manager Joe Maddon.

There isn’t a Manager in the sport who gets more out of his players than Maddon. Bringing him into Chicago was a clear warning shot to the rest of the NL that the Cubs fully intend on being a contender from this point forward.

Let me break some news for you though. This team is not going to win the World Series. They aren’t even built for a 2015 pennant yet. The Cubs intentions are to create a culture of winning so their young talent can push them over the top…next year. This team reminds me of the 2005 Mets.

This year will be Jorge Soler’s first full season in the big leagues, and in just a short time last year he looked like a significant middle of the order threat. Anthony Rizzo is going to hit in front of Soler, so basically, good luck NL pitchers.

There are some weak spots in this lineup. For example, I’m not sold on Chris Coghlan in LF and Mike Olt at 3B still has to prove he is a big leaguer. I’m not sure he is.

Miguel Montero brings a Yadier Molina-like vibe to the Cubs. He’s going to be a very valuable commodity for the Cubs in the field, and at the plate.

The rotation is obviously lead by Jon Lester. Lester is a big game pitcher in a city dying for a big game win. Jason Hammel returns to the Cubs after being traded away last year.

The sneakiest pitcher in this rotation though is Jake Arrieta. Arrieta was a top prospect for the Orioles who seemed to flame out. He posted an ERA over 5 with Baltimore over 3.5 years and 63 starts. Then he comes to Chicago in a barely noticeable July 2013 trade, and absolutely dominates in 2014.

25 Starts 10-5 2.53 ERA .989 WHIP 167K/41BB in 156.2 IP. Filthy.

If Arrieta continues that trend into 2015, then Jon Lester suddenly becomes the #2 pitcher on this staff and the Cubs are looking not just good, but scary good.

St. Louis Cardinals – 1st Place

Key additions: Jason Heyward, Jordan Walden, and Mark Reynolds

Key subtractions: Pat Neshek. Shelby Miller and Oscar Taveras (RIP). 

I think by now, if you count the Cardinals out then the joke is on you. They are the model franchise in this sport if you ask me. Seriously, what team goes through no true rebuilding phase since 2000 yet consistently pumps out young talent the way they do?

I’m going to say this right now, Jason Heyward is going to be an MVP candidate. I get why Atlanta traded him due to financial concerns, but gold glove power hitters don’t grow on trees. He’s only 25 years old, it’s not his fault he isn’t Mike Trout. I’d take Heyward over Harper though.

I know when the deal happened it seemed as though the Cardinals were getting a rental player. They are going to sign Heyward, mark my words. When Heyward experiences St. Louis baseball late in the year, and they realize giving him a 7 or 8 year deal is actually a great contract – he will be locked up.

The lineup simply does not have a hole in it. You can go across the entire diamond and say “yeah I’d take that guy on my team.” Doesn’t mean they are all the best player at their position, but they aren’t Jedd Gyorko either.

The rotation is lead once again by Adam Wainwright. As true of a veteran ace as you’ll find in baseball. They traded away Shelby Miller who never seemed to put together a consistent string of starts, but they are now plugging Carlos Martinez into the rotation in his spot. Martinez didn’t really do well as a reliever, at times he seemed unhittable and other times he seemed a little too Nathan Eovaldi for me. Knowing the Cardinals though, he’ll probably end up in the Cy Young conversation.

The bullpen is solid, and deep as well. Trevor Rosenthal may not be a household name in the Closer department, but he is very effective.

Overall, top to bottom – this is the best Opening Day roster in the National League.

NL Central MVP: Jason Heyward. I’m a believer not only in Heyward, but in the St. Louis effect.

NL Central Cy Young: I should pick Carlos Martinez for fun, but I am going to take the smart play here and grab Jon Lester since he is coming from the AL to the NL.

NL Central Sleeper: So many to choose from. Polanco & Soler could easily take this. Give me Jake Arrieta for the win. 

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XtreemIcon’s Picks

5th Place – Milwaukee Brewers

I really went back and forth here because I don’t much like the Reds or Cubs, either, but in the end Jessep is mostly right. This team will score a few runs but give up way more. The starting pitching is just not there. I’m not even counting on much out of Garza, who hasn’t had a season better than slightly-above-average since 2011. The bullpen is put together with spit, scotch tape and paperclips.  I just don’t see much from this team. Then again, that’s what most people said last season…

4th Place – Cincinnati Reds

The offense is about on par with the Brewers, but the Reds have the better front line pitcher and better closer. I also wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see not only Votto but also Jay Bruce bounce back and be threats in the middle of the lineup. Was anyone else surprised that Kevin Gregg was still in the league?

3rd Place – Chicago Cubs

There’s a lot of questions surrounding this team still and I don’t trust them to be that good, but I’d give them the nod above Milwaukee and Cincinnati because they’re young and full of potential and could be better. But right now, there’s just not enough of anything. Offensively, they’re thin. After Anthony Rizzo, who’s the threat? Castro has more power than most shortstops, but a .280/.320/.400 season with 17 home runs is still not a real offensive threat. Kris Bryant will slug all the home runs, but he still won’t hit for a high average or OBP. Fowler is decent at the top of the lineup, but there’s not one guy who can reasonably expect to hit .300 and I can only see Rizzo with an OBP above .350, so how many runs are they really going to score? Solid pitching in both the rotation and bullpen will make them a 78-80 win team and they could contend of they had one more hitter and one more starter. Maybe next year, if Baez and Soler progress.

2nd Place – St. Louis Cardinals

Wait, what? Look, I just think the Cards a little thin pitching-wise and Yadier Molina, Matt Holliday, and Adam Wainwright aren’t getting any younger. That’s not to say they won’t be good, and I certainly wouldn’t be shocked if they did win the division. But I don’t see a clear-cut superstar on this team and I think the Pirates have the two best players in the division. The wild card here is Carlos Martinez, who has ace stuff, and I think the Cards need every last bit of it if they want to win the division. There’s no pitching depth, and not one backup that doesn’t scare you. This team needs 150 games out of their eight starters and 30 starts from five pitchers to be really good.

1st Place – Pittsburgh Pirates

Cutch gonna Cutch. The best offensive threat in the National League by a wide margin will be joined in his quest for another MVP by Starling Marte, who will break through as elite. And I know it’s asking a lot of über prospect Gregory Polanco, but I’d be pretty excited to see the first starting outfield in major league history with 20+ home runs and 20+ stolen bases from each. I might have to wait a year. There’s offense from every position in the infield, if you think Jordy Mercer is more 2013 Jordy and less 2014 Jordy, though it would be asking a lot of Josh Harrison to repeat. Neil Walker is the second-worst defensive second baseman in the league, and they lost a big piece in Russell Martin, so there are issues. But Martin is the only real loss while they gained some nice pieces to go along with breakthroughs of Marte and Polanco. They have a very deep bullpen and a good rotation, with Gerrit Cole ready to break out. If the team stays status quo, the Cards will win the division. But I see too much talent in Marte, Polanco and Cole to expect status quo.

NL Central MVP: Cutch. Gonna. Cutch.

NL Central Cy Young: Gerrit Cole. His first full season will be special.

NL Central Sleeper: Francisco Cervelli. Don’t ask me why.


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Savannah Releases Initial Roster Thu, 02 Apr 2015 21:32:35 +0000 michael baron

Wuilmer Becerra (Photo by Michael Baron)

The Savannah Sand Gnats have announced its initial roster for the 2015 season and it has some exciting names on it.

The rotation will include Casey Meisner who was outstanding for Brooklyn last year and was #19 on MMO’s Top 25 Prospect list. Fellow Brooklyn starters Corey Oswalt, Martires Arias, and Alberto Baldonado should also join Meisner in Savannah.

The bullpen will feature Shane Bay who was a perfect 15-15 in save situations last year for Brooklyn and was selected to the All-Star game. Joining him the the Gnats bullpen will be two draftees from last year in Brad Wieck (7th round) and Josh Prevost (5th round). Returning to pitch in the Gnats bullpen for the 2nd year in a row are John Mincone, Darwin Frias, Chris Flexen, and Paul Paez. Other pitchers are the roster include Scarlyn Reyes, Gaither Bumgardner, James Duff, Cameron Griffin, David Roseboom, and Carlos Valdez.

The big position prospect landing in Savannah is MMO’s 18th best prospect Wuilmer Becerra who posted great numbers in Kingsport last year. Other outfielders on the team include fellow Kingsport teammate Vicente Lupo and Stefan Sabol and Patrick Biondi returning to Savannah. John Mora who played for Brooklyn last year will also be on the Gnats roster.

The infield will include slick fielding shortstop Luis Guillorme, Jonathon Johnson, and Jon Leroux who are returning to the Gnats. Joining them will be Pedro Perez who played in Kingsport and J.C. Rodriguez who played in Brooklyn.

To round out the roster will be the Mets 2014 6th round pick Tyler Moore who played in Brooklyn last year. Tomas Nido will also do some catching for the Sand Gnats after playing in Brooklyn the last two years.


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Who’s Hot, Who’s Not: Mayberry, Granderson, Lagares Sizzling Mon, 23 Mar 2015 19:10:15 +0000 john mayberry

Who’s Hot:

Matt Harvey – Harvey has come out swinging this spring. National League – be afraid. Be very afraid. In 14.1 innings this spring, he’s struck out 12 while walking 1 with a WHIP of 0.84 to go with a sparkling 1.26 ERA. He’s also been breezing through his starts. We missed you Matt. Welcome Home.

John Mayberry, Jr. – Mayberry has been hitting this spring at a .452 clip with 14 hits in 31 sprint at bats. He’s also walked 5 times and knocked in 2 HR’s and 8 RBI for a .514 OBP / .710 slugging line. The Mets signed Mayberry to give the team some pop from the right hand side against lefties – he’s struggled in his career against right handed pitching with a career .224/.293/.365 slash line. This spring he’s been tearing up right-handers going 9 for 18 with 4 walks. So is this spring an illusion? We’ll see once the bell rings on the regular season.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis – Kirk knows that it’s now or never for him. He has the upper hand in the 4th outfielder spot over Matt den Dekker since he’s out of options, but he also has to earn his roster spot. He’s playing like he wants on the team for sure, hitting .432 (16 for 37) with 5 doubles, 6 walks and a .512 OBP with a 1.079 OPS. He won’t hurt us at any of the outfield spots and he has left handed pop off the bench. No complaints about him breaking camp with team.

mmo feature original footerJuan Lagares – The Golden Man is flashing the bat this spring, too. He got an inside the park homer against the Yankees on Sunday and he’s hitting .417 with a .475 OBP. We want our leadoff hitter to get on base. Yep, he’s doing it. Well done, Juan.

Johnny Monell – He’s hoping to earn the Mets backup catcher spot. He’s making his case to do so, hitting .379 with 3 HR in 15 spring games. Do I think he’ll break camp with the team? Highly unlikely. Even if he does hit lefty and has some pop off the bench, Recker also has pop. Recker also threw out 37% of base stealers last season vs. just 17% for Monell. The Mets need someone who can throw out runners.

Curtis Granderson – The Grandy Man has been hitting a Ted Williams – esque .407 this spring with 2 HR, 6 walks, and just 4 strikeouts. Let’s see him take this north and continue!

Jacob deGrom – Hitters are batting just .162 off deGrom this spring. In 11 innings, he’s allowed 2 hits, 1 walk while striking out 12 batters. His WHIP of 0.64 isn’t too shabby, either.

Honorable MentionsDaniel Muno, Matt Reynolds, David Wright, Michael Cuddyer, Wilmer Flores

bartolo colon

Who’s Not:

Bartolo Colon – Bartolo has a 7.71 ERA this spring in 11.2 innings and batters are hitting .367 off him. I highly doubt he cares what his spring stats are. He’s a veteran and not trying to make the team. I won’t be worried unless we’re seeing these same numbers after 4 regular season starts.

Scott Rice – Rice isn’t stating his case very well for the wide open lefty spot in the bullpen. He’s no longer on the 40 man roster, and a 9.64 ERA in the spring isn’t likely to get it done, unless it’s entirely by default.

Sean Gilmartin – Rule 5 pick Gilmartin has his opportunity right in front of him. He’s made 6 appearances this spring with batters hitting .308 against him with 4 walks in 6.1 innings. Not exactly getting the job done.

Dario Alvarez – Alvarez also has an opportunity to win the lefty bullpen job. Hitters are hitting only .176 against him. Unfortunately he’s also walked 5 batters in 5 innings. No one is taking the lefty spot by the horns.

Anthony Recker – Recker is trying to hold onto his backup backstop role. He’s being chased by Monell and is batting just .148. Luckily for him, he’s the incumbent and as previously mentioned, throwing out 37% of base stealers is in his favor. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t go north, but he may be in danger as Plawecki progresses.

Dishonorable MentionsBrandon Allen (since sent to minor league camp), Travis d’Arnaud, Matt den Dekker

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Spring Training Roster Battles: 2nd Lefty Fri, 06 Mar 2015 14:00:35 +0000 sean gilmartin

It is only March 6th but the Mets 25 man roster is already very close to being wrapped up. With a few exceptions being the 4th OF, last bench spot, 2nd lefty, starting SS according to Terry Collins, and the long man in the bullpen if/when Gee gets traded.

The battle for the 2nd lefty has the most suitors and maybe the most important with the way Terry Collins likes to use his #1, presumably Josh Edgin this year.


Sean Gilmartin: Mets drafted him in the Rule 5 draft and seem like they will give him every opportunity to make the roster so they don’t have to return him to the Twins. While he has been used mostly as a starter in the Minor Leagues his splits against lefties suggest he could be a valuable loogy. Lefties only hit .201/.219/.235 against him last year in AAA.

Middle of the Pack: 

Jack Leathersich: If he could find his control (4.6 BB/9 last year) he could be a valuable part of the Mets bullpen for years to come. Leathersich strikes out alot of people (15.4 K/9 last year) and it has a lot to do with his delivery and how he hides the ball. He normally tops out around 93-94 MPH, but hitters say that it feels like 100 because of his arm angle and how fast the ball gets on top of them. He was added to the 40-man roster this offseason giving him a good chance if he can improve his control this spring.

Dario Alvarez: Made a name for himself last year by starting year in Savannah while ending it in Flushing. Tough not to root for Dario who was out of affiliated baseball for 3 years before pitching for Brooklyn in 2013. In 73 innings in Minors last year he struck out 114 hitters while only allowing 68 baserunners. He does have very limited experience with only 12 innings above A ball so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get more seasoning. He is on the 40-man roster giving him an edge over the NRI’s.

Long Shots:

Scott Rice: Thirty-three years old and coming off elbow surgery Scott finds his return to the Majors will be an uphill battle. He was awful last year probably because he was pitching with a bum elbow. He enters Mets camp as a non-roster invitee and would have to really impress this spring to get back on the 40. Maybe the best thing going to for him is how much Terry Collins seem to like overusing his arm.

Darin Gorski: After being in Major League camp last year he was not invited back making him an extreme longshot. He has pitched great at Binghamton the last two years (1.83 and 2.22 ERA respectively) but has struggled to get outs at Las Vegas evident by his 5.02 ERA.

The Mets could decide to start the season without a 2nd lefty in the bullpen like they did last year. I think that would be a mistake and troublesome for the left arm of Edgin.

Update: Leathersich started his Spring Training off rough walking the first 2 batters he faced on 8 pitches but was able to settle down and get the next three hitters 1-2-3.

Alvarez also allowed a walk and a single but finished the inning with a strikeout and a double play turned by Matt Reynolds and Wilfredo Tovar.

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Cesar Puello Deserves One Last Chance Wed, 04 Mar 2015 14:49:18 +0000 cesar puello howard simmons

It’s now or never for Mets outfield prospect Cesar Puello. The 23 year old Puello needs to break camp on the Mets 25 man roster this spring, or they will risk losing him to waivers.

Puello is coming off a very disappointing season last year with Triple-A Las Vegas. He batted .252 with just seven home runs in 105 games despite hitting in the favorable conditions of the Pacific Coast League. These numbers were a far cry from his breakout 2013 performance where he demolished Double-A pitching with a .326 average and .950 OPS.

The most common explanation for this drop-off in production is that his numbers in Double-A were fueled by PED’s. Puello was suspended for 50 games late in the 2013 season for his connection to the biogenesis scandal.

While this certainly casts doubt on his numbers that season, a lot of people seem overlooking another possible explanation. Puello advanced to a higher level of competition in 2014, and it is not uncommon for prospects to struggle while adjusting to the challenge.

Mets fans who follow the minors closely know this is a frequent occurrence. Prospects such as Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Matt den Dekker experienced similar growing pains after being called-up to AAA. Even Brandon Nimmo saw his numbers plummet substantially after making the jump to Double-A.

These players eventually made the necessary adjustments and showed improved results over time. The encouraging part of Puello’s season was that he was able to make similar progress.

During his last 51 games, Puello batted .279 with a .393 OBP and a.880 OPS. He also carried this momentum into winter ball where he batted .353 with four home runs in 51 at bats.

Puello’s primary competition this spring will likely be Eric Campbell. Campbell is an interesting option because of his ability to play multiple positions, but Puello possesses a far superior upside. Puello still has an exciting combination of raw skills that made him a Baseball America Top 100 prospect several years ago. He can provide good power, speed and defense in right field.

Puello may not be a perfect player, and he made a serious mistake using PED’s in the past. However, he still has the potential to succeed, and there is no harm in giving him a fair shot to make the team out of spring training. The final spot on the roster should be an open competition, and if Puello impresses, he should win the job.

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9 Things We Learned From Sandy Alderson Fri, 20 Feb 2015 22:43:06 +0000 sandy alderson

1. Sandy said he is pleased with his offseason and likes the mix of youth and veterans that will ultimately comprise the opening day roster. He believes the team has more depth now than at anytime since he’s been the GM. “We are very happy with the 25 guys who will makeup the roster.”

2. Matt Harvey should have a 95 percent normal routine and he is not anticipating any major adjustments to his schedule. He does not need Harvey to return to the pitcher we saw in 2013 to consider his return successful. His innings limit will be managed with the best interests of Harvey and the rest of the rotation in mind. “We expect Matt to have a solid season and we’re happy to have him back.”

3. David Wright took his physical today and is in outstanding shape and ready to go. He said there is no residual impact from the injury that derailed Wright’s season last year.

4. The Mets need to figure out a way to beat the Nationals. “We have to perform. We have quality players throughout our roster. They need to play up to their expectations and do it.”

5. There aren’t that many Spring Training deals and he does not foresee and is not planning any trades to move a starting pitcher. The team that is in camp now is what he expects to open the season with. “I don’t see us actively pursuing a spring training deal. If a deal is to arise, it will probably be for prospects and not for someone who is going to help us immediately.”

6. Sandy does not see the Mets going to a six man rotation, but they will use days off to effectively manage the workloads and routines for their six starters. He has no problem with a starter pitching out of the bullpen although he is not yet committing to using Dillon Gee out of the bullpen. “We’ll see how it works out during the course of spring training.”

7. Sandy said the team is “capable” of winning 89 or 90 games. He is impressed with the confidence level of his players in camp and how they are talking about the playoffs, but now they have to go out and do it. “We have higher expectations than we’ve had in previous years.”

8. Sandy said he would consider Rafael Montero as a candidate for the bullpen, but it is highly unlikely that either Steven Matz or Noah Syndergaard will be used in any bullpen role.

9. Bobby Parnell should be ready to join the team around the middle of April. We could have two long relievers rather than two lefty relievers. “We have a lot of good young talent in our bullpen and Parnell will add significantly to that when he returns.”


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Eric Campbell Wants To Add Catcher To Utility Belt Fri, 13 Feb 2015 16:44:43 +0000 eric campbell

Eric Campbell recently told reporter Paul Ivice that he wants to add catching to his skill set. “I realized years ago that was going to be my ticket as a utility guy, and if another position needs to be added, I’m all for it.” (Newsday Feb 13)

Campbell, 28, slashed .263/.322/.358 in 190 at bats last season. He also hit 3 home runs and drove in 16 runs, while stealing 3 bases. He appeared in 85 games playing every position except catcher, center field, and pitcher. On July 31 he had a .328 average, but slumped for the rest of the season, hitting an unimpressive .162.

“Soup” is one of the players on the roster bubble going into spring training. He will be fighting for a spot on the opening day roster. His versatility is already valuable as a bench player, and adding catcher to his repertoire would only increase that value.

Catching depth is not a concern for the Mets, who still have players like Kevin Plawecki waiting in the wings. However, Campbell being able to catch in the case of injury to Travis d’Arnaud or Anthony Recker would be a plus, as the Mets wouldn’t have to make any roster moves if the injury doesn’t merit a disabled list stint.

Six days until pitchers and catchers officially report! LET’S GO METS!

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6 Things We Learned From Sandy Alderson At Season Ticket Holders Event Thu, 05 Feb 2015 01:37:05 +0000 alderson ricciardi depo

Here’s a brief summary of what we learned from the Mets Season Ticket Holders event at Citi Field where Sandy Alderson, John Ricco, Paul DePodesta and J.P. Ricciardi fielded questions from the group.

  1. Matt Harvey will be held back to start the home opener against the Nationals and won’t pitch in the first two series of the season on the road. However, that isn’t written in stone.
  2. It’s very unlikely that either Brandon Nimmo or Michael Conforto see any time on the big league roster in 2015.
  3. The Mets will definitely not sign Cuban phenom Yoan Moncada due to affordability and roster issues despite being very impressed by what they saw from him.
  4. The Mets considered no less than 8-10 different shortstops this offseason, but in the end they felt all had flaws and that none were cost effective. There was no perfect option, some strong on offense and weak on defense, or vice versa for others.
  5. Alderson said that he never had any intention of trading Noah Syndergaard despite all the rumors that were circulating.
  6. Alderson said he isn’t going to make a trade just to make a trade, and if you’re going to judge his offseason, do it after you see how his team performs on the field this season.

I’ll probably add to this once I hear back from a couple more of my people.

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Wright Believes In His Team, Supports GM’s Decision Not To Trade Young Arm Sat, 24 Jan 2015 12:25:16 +0000 david-wright

Speaking to Newsday reporter Marc Carig at his fundraiser to benefit a children’s hospital in his hometown Friday night, Mets third baseman David Wright said he supports Sandy Alderson’s decision not to trade a young arm like Steven Matz, Rafael Montero or Noah Syndergaard to bring in a player that can fill or upgrade a vital position.

“My focus is short term,” he said. “But I understand the long-term view of this also. We spent some pretty miserable years getting to this point. The last thing you want to do is you spend all this time getting to this point, then all of a sudden you start trading it away to go all-in on one year.”

The team captain is confident in the current team and last week said he expects this group to be playing October baseball.

“Are there some places where we probably tried to upgrade that we couldn’t? I’m sure there is. But I believe in the group that we have. I believe in our guys that we do have continuing to get better.”

“Is Sandy still trying to upgrade the roster? I’m sure,” Wright said. “But I thought going into the season that we weren’t too far off. And we’ve definitely filled a big hole for us signing Michael Cuddyer.”


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Projecting Triple-A Las Vegas 51′s Roster Sun, 18 Jan 2015 18:49:09 +0000 wally backman las vegas review-journal

With the Major League roster pretty close to being set minus 2nd lefty and possibly the last bench spot, lets take a look at what could be the opening day roster for the Las Vegas 51′s.

Starting Rotation

Noah Syndergaard – Ace in Vegas until the Super Two cutoff.

Steven Matz – Started last year in St. Lucie but he is rising fast.

Rafael Montero – Seems like most the likely prospect to get traded.

Matthew Bowman – Rarely talked about but is very consistent.

Cory Mazzoni – Pitched good in 9 starts for Las Vegas last season.


Jack Leathersich – Needs to refine his control to see MLB, 15.1 SO/9 though.

Zack Thornton – Came over in the Ike trade, 9.8 SO/9 last year.

Erik Goeddel – Looked solid in limited time with Mets.

Darin Gorski – Will be the long relief/spot starter guy.

Chase Bradford – Only walked 4 in 46 innings for Vegas last year.

Scott Rice – I think Gilmartin gets a look firstm

Buddy Carlyle – First call up when someone gets hurt.


Kevin Plawecki – Keeps getting better, should see him in NY soon.

Johnny Monell – Nothing more than a veteran backup.


Brandon Allen –  .266/.368/.434 last year, will play some LF too.

Dustin Lawley – Could hit 30 HR’s in Vegas but strikes out a lot.

Matt Reynolds – Needs to prove last year wasn’t a fluke.

Dilson Herrera – Just biding his time until Murphy is traded.

Eric Campbell – Could be on Mets roster but I think they at least take a look at Puello.

Daniel Muno – Walks a bunch, utility guy with some pop.

T.J. Rivera – Hitting machine without a position.


Brandon Nimmo – I would start him at AA but Mets are being aggressive.

Matt den Dekker – Has options left so he will be odd man out on Mets bench.

Cory Vaughn – Struggled to a .647 OPS last year.

Alex Castellanos – Career .286/.360/.493 in Minors. Can play 1B, 2B, and 3B too.


They may decide to go with another outfielder like Darrell Ceciliani or Kyle Johnson, and have Rivera go back down to Binghamton. Starting infield is pretty set with Jayce Boyd probably getting some AB’s in Vegas at some point.

Mets have alot of back end of the bullpen depth with guys like Adam Kolarek, John Church, Cody Satterwhite, Dario Alvarez, Jon Velasquez, and Chase Huchingson most likely seeing Vegas at some point next season.

The big wild card is Hansel Robles who has been electric since converting to reliever last season. Ultimately I think he starts in Binghamton and gets the first call up to Vegas.

Overall a very impressive roster that includes 6 of the Mets Top 10 Prospects and lots of versatility that will help the big club in the coming years!

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