Mets Merized Online » Steven Matz http://metsmerizedonline.com Sat, 06 Feb 2016 23:29:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.13 Staying On Top Is More Difficult Than Getting There http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/staying-on-top-is-more-difficult-than-getting-there.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/staying-on-top-is-more-difficult-than-getting-there.html/#comments Wed, 06 Jan 2016 18:22:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=203496 jesse-orosco-winning-1986-world-series

When Jesse Orosco fanned Marty Barrett my dad and I instantaneously flew off the couch. This wasn’t the man who taught me how to ride a bike, how to drive a car and (tried to) teach me math. There wasn’t 23 years between us. Instead, at this frozen moment in time we were both two little kids, jumping up and down, relishing the fact our team was World Champions. I was too young to remember 1969 and after losing my dad nearly five years ago, this would be the only championship we’d share as father and son.

After my mom turned in he and I reminisced until sunup about the season that just concluded. We drank coffee, my dad smoked. And although I was a college senior and a few weeks shy of turning 21, I was still too embarrassed to light up around him. My smoking—of all kinds—remained on campus. My dad commented, “Now, we (the Mets) have to go home, rest up all winter and prepare for next year. We’re champions and everyone’s going to be coming after us.”

Wow! My dad seemed almost Yoda-like. Wise, knowledgeable. After all, he was the ripe old age of 44.

Today the Mets are not World Champions but NL Champions. And in 2016, 14 other clubs will once again be coming after us. Are we ready?

One thing that makes Baseball the greatest game ever devised is that it remains the most unpredictable sport there is. I, my fellow MMO bloggers, the best Baseball minds, the nation’s top sportswriters and the most ardent fans spend all winter theorizing, hypothesizing and conjecturing. Then comes the first pitch on Opening Day and it all goes out the window.

Coming into 2015, who would have imagined a player that had largely floundered for much of his career in Baltimore, Jake Arrieta, would emerge Cy Young Winner? Or that some guy named Dallas Kuechel would win only one less game than Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander combined?

AP NLCS METS CUBS BASEBALL S BBN USA IL

While many expected the Mets to be competitive and possibly reach 500, who expected a NL pennant? In 1969, the Mets were 100-1 underdogs. On the flipside, in 1985 and 2007 they were picked to win it all. That’s what makes this a beautiful game.

To digress for a moment I now apologize to Sandy Alderson. Almost from day one I’ve been extremely and perhaps unfairly harsh to the Mets GM. I preferred the approach of his predecessor. Big names, big bucks. I falsely blamed Alderson for the last several seasons of futility. After winning the pennant, I realized he can only do so much with what he is given. Blaming Alderson for several season of sub-500 baseball is like me blaming my boss for the fact I drive a Toyota and not a Lamborghini.

It is on his watch the Mets have developed a starting staff that is the envy of 29 other clubs. As good as Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard were in 2015, they will only get better. These young pitchers not only survived their first pennant race and post-season. They thrived. They excelled. Performing on Baseball’s biggest stage did not rattle the nerves of our young inexperienced staff.

Seaver-Koosman-Matlack-Copy-500x285

I’ve often said pitching allows you to compete, but pitching, in and of itself, does not win. From 1969 through 1976, the Mets had arguably the best 3-man rotation in the game. Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman teamed first with Nolan Ryan and then later Jon Matlack. Add Tug McGraw in the pen and it’s easy to see why for 8 years the Mets were always in the thick of things, always in a pennant race and always had a legitimate shot. Yet, during that 8 year span, despite the stellar staff, we captured just two pennants and one Championship. Good, not great. Not exactly a dynasty.

The Mets Achilles Heel in 2015 was offense. They say good hitting is contagious. On July 30, the Mets were 52-50, 3 GB of Washington. Then, Yoenis Cespedes arrived. The Mets caught fire, went 38-22 and left Washington in the dust.

Cespedes didn’t don a Mets jersey until July 31, yet finished 5th on the team in RBI’s (44), 3rd in HR’s (17) 2nd in BA (287) and 1st in slugging (604.) And when Cespedes cooled in the post-season, it was Daniel Murphy who put the team on his back and almost single-handedly carried them to the Promised Land. The Mets homegrown second baseman became the first player in history to go deep in six consecutive post-season games and joined Lou Gehrig as the only player ever to have a hit, run scored and RBI in seven straight post-season games.

This winter Mets ownership made a token effort to retain the two biggest offensive weapons a team with very little offense possesses in the first place.

In all fairness to the owners, I can understand their reluctance to open their wallets. After all, they forked over almost half a billion dollars—billion with a “B”—to Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran, Billy Wagner, Johan Santana, Jason Bay and Francisco Rodriguez and came away with just one post-season appearance. Not exactly a Bernie Madoff return on your investment.

The Mets are now on the cusp of becoming the dominant team in the game for the next 6-8 years, maybe longer. But money will need to be spent. Not for the sake of spending, but spent wisely. If ownership is reluctant to spend big bucks now, what does this say when it comes to retaining the pitchers we have? Are the Wilpons simply avoiding spending now and saving up for big contracts coming down the road? Or are we seeing a glimpse into the future?

eric hosmer scores

My concern is that when a team gets oh-so-close, when they get a taste of October Baseball, they ratchet it up. The 2014 Royals returned to the World Series for the first time in almost three decades. They came within one hit of winning it all. That winter they resigned Eric Hosmer, Yordano Ventura, Edinson Volquez, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas and added Alex Rios. And we all saw what happened in 2015. The Giants, after winning 3 times in 5 seasons, fell short in 2015. This winter they spent $210 million for Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija and now have the best staff in their division. Last off-season, after handing over $88 million to Hanley Ramirez and $100 million to Pablo Sandoval, Boston went out and finished last. Yet, they didn’t become gun-shy. This winter they signed David Price for $217 million.

And while Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera are nice additions and Michael Conforto can be a major asset, do you feel that, as of now, the Mets are better or weaker than the team we had on August 15? I’m not saying ownership should spend just for the sake of spending, and yes, I know we can trade a half dozen prospects next trade deadline. I am saying, however, that money will need to be spent eventually. As the saying goes, you can pay me now or pay me later. What kind of signal does this send to our young aces? If management is hesitant to reward Cespedes and Murphy for their accomplishments, will our pitchers be rewarded for theirs? And with anemic hitting and lack of run support, will our big three—and Matz–wind up as nothing more than a bunch of .500 pitchers? In time, the agents for our young stud pitchers will come calling? And when they do, will ownership pick up the phone?

The only thing more difficult than getting to the top is staying there.

MMO-footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/staying-on-top-is-more-difficult-than-getting-there.html/feed/ 0
Steven Matz Will Pitch Game 4 No Matter What Happens Tonight http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/steven-matz-will-pitch-game-4-no-matter-what-happens-tonight.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/steven-matz-will-pitch-game-4-no-matter-what-happens-tonight.html/#comments Fri, 30 Oct 2015 19:59:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=198040 steven matz

According to manager Terry Collins, rookie left-hander Steven Matz will start Game 4 of the World Series on Saturday no matter what the outcome of tonight’s game is.

They do not want Matt Harvey pitching on short rest even if the Mets were to lose tonight, making Game 4 an elimination game.

“It’s amazing that I am here in my first season. This is the dream,” Matz said moments ago. “This is what you think about when you’re playing Wiffle Ball in your back yard.”

October 26

With the World Series starting tomorrow at 8 PM, the Mets and Royals have announced their rotations for the World Series.

Here are the projected matchups for each of the first four games.

Game 1: Matt Harvey vs. Edinson Volquez at Kauffman Stadium

Game 2: Jacob deGrom vs. Johnny Cueto at Kauffman Stadium

Game 3: Noah Syndergaard vs Yordano Ventura at Citi Field

Game 4: Chris Young vs. Steven Matz at Citi Field

2015 world series logo banner

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/steven-matz-will-pitch-game-4-no-matter-what-happens-tonight.html/feed/ 0
Official NLDS Roster For The NL East Champion Mets! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/official-nlds-roster-for-the-nl-east-champion-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/official-nlds-roster-for-the-nl-east-champion-mets.html/#comments Fri, 09 Oct 2015 18:05:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=195692 nlds

It’s official, Steven Matz will be added to the New York Mets roster for the National League Division Series which begins tonight a 9:45 PM EST in Los Angeles. He will be our Game 4 starter.

So here is the official roster for your 2015 National League East Champs who will take it to the Los Angeles Dodgers with everything they’ve got. Get your game faces on!

travis d'Arnaud

Catchers (2)

Travis d’Arnaud

Kevin Plawecki

mets-celebrate-nl-east-wright

Infielders (6)

Lucas Duda

Daniel Murphy

Wilmer Flores

David Wright

Ruben Tejada

Kelly Johnson

yoenis cespedes

Outfielders (6)

Michael Conforto

Yoenis Cespedes

Curtis Granderson

Michael Cuddyer

Juan Lagares

Kirk Nieuwenhuis

noah syndergaard 2

Starting Pitchers (4)

Jacob deGrom

Noah Syndergaard

Matt Harvey

Steven Matz

jeurys familia

Bullpen (7)

Jeurys Familia

Tyler Clippard

Addison Reed

Hansel Robles

Jon Niese

Erik Goeddel

Bartolo Colon

I’m so proud of this team. Tonight is going to be an emotional culmination of a season’s worth of believing in this team and fighting for them against all haters and detractors over the last six months. Yeah, we did it!

They’ve shown me such tremendous perseverance in overcoming the many injuries, media-driven distractions, losing streaks, and basically any obstacle they were forced to deal with. They came into this with confidence and pride and now here they are – only a few hours away from their first postseason in nine years.

I tip my cap to all the true Orange & Blue die-hard Mets fans who believed in this team from day one and stuck with them through thick and thin. Tonight is your reward… Enjoy it and relish it. And to every Mets fan out there, big and tall, young or old, guys and gals… Here’s to a great NL Division Series that has our New York Mets coming out on top like we all believe they can… Mets Baby!

are you ready footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/official-nlds-roster-for-the-nl-east-champion-mets.html/feed/ 0
Still A Chance Steven Matz Can Start Game 4 Of NLDS http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/still-a-chance-steven-matz-can-start-game-4-of-nlds.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/still-a-chance-steven-matz-can-start-game-4-of-nlds.html/#comments Sat, 03 Oct 2015 14:59:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=195019 steven matz

According to manager Terry Collins, there’s still a chance that Steven Matz could pitch in Game 4 of the NLDS.

Speaking to reporters at Citi Field this morning, Collins said Matz met with doctors and received an injection in his upper back to try and relax the muscle spasms that have shelved him this past week.

If Matz can prove he can throw 90-100 pitches in an Instructional League game at Port St. Lucie by the middle of next week, he can still be tabbed as the Game 4 starter against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS.

October 2

Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters that LHP Steven Matz will have his back examined by team doctors and is no longer going to pitch this weekend.

Alderson admitted that he initially downplayed the severity of Matz’ back issue when he said it was just minor discomfort and not really a concern.

“The concern level has definitely gone up,” Alderson explained. “I probably downplayed the severity of it too much.”

Terry Collins added, “Matz is at the doctor right now and not doing a lot better. I don’t see how he’s going to be ready to pitch this is weekend.”

It is now unclear whether or not Matz will be ready for the postseason, but Alderson said it has not been decided yet.

The hope is that he will have recovered and be good to go and if that’s the case it could be he’ll pitch in relief rather than be the game four starter.

We’ll know more after his doctor’s examination is completed and they have a better diagnosis of the problem.

mets logo button footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/still-a-chance-steven-matz-can-start-game-4-of-nlds.html/feed/ 0
Todd Frazier Says Mets Are The Team To Beat http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/todd-frazier-says-the-mets-are-the-team-to-beat.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/todd-frazier-says-the-mets-are-the-team-to-beat.html/#comments Mon, 28 Sep 2015 15:53:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=194889 todd frazier

After getting swept by the Mets over the weekend, Todd Frazier of the Cincinnati Reds says that they should be favorites in the postseason. Frazier says New York’s rotation is the best he’s ever played against, and he compared them to the Braves’ dominating staff during the 1990′s.

“I remember watching the Braves back in the day when I was really little,’’ he said. “I can’t think of four guns who throw in the high 90s with nasty off-speed stuff so I really feel like they are the team to beat.’’

“They’ve got Steven Matz, I don’t know how you can’t start that kid. The other two guns with deGrom and Harvey, geez, it’s lethal.”

“If the Mets bring it like they brought it here, it’s going to be trouble for those other teams.’’ (Kevin Kernan, NY Post)

Frazier faced all four of the Mets’ young stars with Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz taking the hill against the Reds. He finished the series with a .214 average and seemed to have the most trouble against Syndergaard, who struck him out in all three at-bats.

“Noah Syndergaard is the real deal, he’s one of the nastiest guys I’ve faced, he’s No. 1 or No. 2 for sure.”

The Mets’ rotation will a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs, and everyone is starting to take notice. It’s going to be a lot of fun watching them battle it out in October as they have the ability to overpower even the best lineups in the league.

Storm footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/todd-frazier-says-the-mets-are-the-team-to-beat.html/feed/ 0
Steven Matz May Have Earned Spot On Postseason Rotation After Impressive Showing http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/steven-matz-may-have-earned-spot-on-postseason-rotation-after-impressive-showing.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/steven-matz-may-have-earned-spot-on-postseason-rotation-after-impressive-showing.html/#comments Fri, 25 Sep 2015 13:49:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=194561 new steven matz

Rookie lefthander Steven Matz received a no-decision against the Cincinnati Reds whom the Mets defeated by a score of 6-4 on Thursday night, reducing their magic number to three.

Matz gave up 10 hits while allowing three runs, all earned. He did show periods of dominance in the game and he struck out eight batters on the night.

The first inning, for the second consecutive start, was a bit of an issue for Matz as he gave up three hits while allowing a run in the opening frame. The Reds continued to chip away at him throughout the night, sprinkling hits here and there, but the pitcher was able to battle through and keep the game from getting out of hand.

“This is definitely the best I’ve felt with commanding the zone and everything,” Matz said after the game. “I felt really good. Today was the best fastball command I’ve had. And that’s really what I work off of. Everything else is getting there. My curveball is just a tick off, still a little up in the zone. But everything else, I feel like, is pretty on.”

Steven threw 93 pitches overall tonight, 68 of which were strikes and he displayed an explosive fastball with great late life although he needs to use his secondary pitches more and become less predictable as his manager pointed out. Otherwise, this was quite an impressive performance for Matz who maintained his perfect 4-0 record, but did see his  ERA rise to 2.27 on the season.

Terry Collins was quite impressed with his performance. “His stuff was better tonight than it was his last couple of starts. The arm action on his curveball was much better, much faster. He threw some pretty good sliders. This is just me, but he’s got an outstanding changeup.”

“But I thought he threw the ball very well tonight. It looks like he’s getting back in pretty good shape, to where he was when we first saw him. I thought this is the best stuff he’s had since he’s coming off the DL.”

Matz also continued to show his prowess at the plate by legging out an infield hit and scoring a run to help himself. Steven has been pretty impressive at the plate in his short major league career, currently owning a .286 batting average to lead the pitching staff.

Matz has certainly made a solid case for earning a possible rotation spot come the postseason. With so many great options, it will be interesting to see how the Mets will play this. But it does seems likely that Matz will join Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard to form an impressive postseason rotation.

mets logo button footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/steven-matz-may-have-earned-spot-on-postseason-rotation-after-impressive-showing.html/feed/ 0
Steven Matz: From Mets Fan to Being the Mets’ Man http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/steven-matz-from-mets-fan-to-being-the-mets-man.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/steven-matz-from-mets-fan-to-being-the-mets-man.html/#comments Sat, 19 Sep 2015 14:13:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=194036 Matz Steven

On Friday night, Long Island born Steven Matz made his subway series debut and in grand fashion. Matz provided his childhood team growing up with six innings of one-run ball and gained the win. The Stony Brook born Matz moved his overall record to 4-0 as a major leaguer, and lowered his ERA to 1.80 for the season.

Matz admitted to being a bit amped up in his first start against the New York Yankees in front of the second largest crowd in Citi Field history; 43,602.

“The atmosphere was great. It gets your adrenaline going,” Matz told MLB.com. “This is kind of what you want growing up. These are the games you play in your backyard and imagine that you’re really playing.

One of two rookies in the Mets starting rotation, the other being Noah Syndergaard, Matz struggled with his command early on, allowing a first inning run, and was not able to locate one of his biggest weapons, his curveball. No problem for the hard-throwing lefty, who unveiled a slider and kept the Yankees off the scoreboard for the next five innings.

“It was huge, it was the first time I knew he had it,” catcher Travis d’Arnaud said. “It was very effective today. He executed every time he threw it.” (Daily News)

Matz has been developing the slider during bullpen sessions with pitching coach Dan Warthen.

“I intended on throwing it, we talked about it before the game a little bit, and it ended up being a pretty decent pitch,” Matz said. “So we went with it.”

It must be quite a surreal feeling to grow up as a kid in New York rooting for the Mets and then one day finding yourself on the big stage pitching for them against the New York Yankees of all teams, in the midst of a pennant race.

A great job on Friday night by Steven Matz as he continues to prove he is going to be a big part of this rotation for years to come.

footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/steven-matz-from-mets-fan-to-being-the-mets-man.html/feed/ 0
Matz And Conforto Named Mets Prospects Of The Year http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/matz-and-conforto-named-mets-prospects-of-the-year.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/matz-and-conforto-named-mets-prospects-of-the-year.html/#comments Thu, 17 Sep 2015 20:59:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=193890 steven matz

 

MLB Pipeline recently named their Prospects of the Year for each team with pitcher Steven Matz and outfielder Michael Conforto getting the honors for the Mets. Both are no-brainers as they have excelled this year including at the Major League level.

Conforto will lose is prospect status very soon needing only 12 more at bats to get to his rookie eligibility. Matz will most likely hold onto his prospect label going into next season with 26 more innings necessary to cross the rookie threshold.

Conforto is currently ranked third among all Major League first year hitters with his .378 OBP and his .925 OPS. His .297 average ranks seventh while his .547 slugging percentage has him ranked fifth right now among rookies. He has also hit 11 doubles, seven homeruns, knocked in 22 and scored 26 runs in his 42 big league games.

Michael has exceeded most expectation with the bat and the glove with his ML slash line topping his .297/.378/.482 line he put up in the Minors this year. Overall this year he has 14 outfield assist with five for St. Lucie, four at Binghamton, and five more with the Mets.

Matz has now made four Major League starts quickly showing why MLB Pipeline has him listed as their #16 prospect in basbeall, he has gone 3-0 with 1.88 ERA and 1.083 WHIP. He has struck out 22 and allowed only 17 hits in his first 24 big league innings but has given up four homeruns in that span.

Steven dominated the Pacific Coast League for the Las Vegas 51′s this year going 7-4 with a 2.19 ERA and 1.107 WHIP, both would lead the league if he still had enough innings to qualify.

mmo footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/matz-and-conforto-named-mets-prospects-of-the-year.html/feed/ 0
Mets Midseason Prospects 5-1: Matz Atop The Class http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mets-midseason-prospects-5-1-matz-atop-the-class.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mets-midseason-prospects-5-1-matz-atop-the-class.html/#comments Fri, 11 Sep 2015 18:00:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=193141 michael Conforto

 

#5 Gavin Cecchini
Preseason: #12
Age: 21 – December 22, 1993
Drafted: First Round (12th overall) 2012
Bats/Throw: Right/Right

Cecchini had the breakout year offensively that the Mets have been waiting for being awarded as the Rookie of the Year in the Eastern League, he was also a midseason and postseason All-Star. He was named the EL player of the month for July after hitting .387/.453/.532 with six doubles, three triples, two homeruns and more RBI (18) than strikeouts (17).

Gavin finished this season hitting 26 doubles, four triples, seven homeruns, 51 RBI and slashed .317/.377/.442 while taking only three at bats against pitchers younger than him. His average was 2nd in league, OBP 4th, doubles were 9th, and his .819 OPS was 5th. All while playing the season over three years younger than the league average age.

Gavin was coming off a year combined for Savannah and St. Lucie that he hit .247/.328/.378 with 27 doubles, five triples, eight homeruns, 56 RBI, ten stolen bases and a 57/82 BB/SO. He also got a cup of coffee with the Binghamton Mets going 2-5 including 1-2 with a run scored in the playoffs.

His biggest obstacle this year has been his errors, 28 of them although a large majority came from errant throws. I watched Cecchini over 50 times this year (including 12 in person) and think that his throwing issue is both mental and mechanical. He has little problem throwing when he comes in on the ball or when ranging up the middle. He starts getting wild when sits back on balls and when he does a glove tap before he throws (something we have seen with Wilmer Flores). Both of these situations allow his footwork to get sloppy and ahead of his arm resulting in airmail throws.

Some scouts question his ability to stick at shortstop but I think that is overstated, he has the range and arm strength to play an average defensive shortstop. He comes in on the ball well, goes to backhand fairly well, and covers some ground going up the middle. He needs to get rid of the glove tap and learn when to eat the ball on plays he doesn’t have a chance. I think a Ruben Tejada with more athleticism is a fair comparison defensively.

On the offensive side of the ball there is very little not to like with Cecchini, he has a compact swing that allows him to hit the ball to all fields. He also has good plate discipline, only 55 strikeouts compared to 42 walks this year. This year he showed a propensity to hit in big spots with 46 RBI and a .957 OPS with runners in scoring position including batting .441 with 2 outs. He is never going to be a 15 homerun guy but his line drive swing would fit in nicely in the Citi Field gaps.

His season did end premature on August 19th when he suffered what they are calling a hip impingement. Video of homerun in July.

#4 Dominic Smith
Preseason: #11
Age: 20 – June 15, 1995
Drafted: First Round (11th overall) 2013
Bats/Throws: Left/Left

As much of you know by now Dominic Smith swung his way out of the prospect purgatory that some fans/gurus had put him in prematurely. Smith was batting .143/.194/.159 with three RBI on May 7th before going on a 101 game tear that produced a .332/.380/.459 slash line.

He led the Florida State League in doubles with 33, RBI with 79, 3rd in OPS at .771, 4th in average at .305 and 4th in the league with his .417 slugging percentage. Not bad for a kid who took two at bats all year against a pitcher younger than him.

Smith racked up the accolades this year winning FSL player of the month for June, player of the week for June 1st, postseason All-Star, and was named the 2015 Florida State League Player of the Year. He had a .918 OPS with runners in scoring position and fared well against lefties with a .314 albeit without a homerun.  Coming a year after he hit .271/.344/.338 for Savannah in the South Atlantic League which is a notoriously tough place for power numbers.

Smith finished with six homeruns in 2015 over 456 at bats which some will say still worries them but he showed great gap power this year which I think will translate into more long balls as he gets older. Getting out of the lower level minor leagues with ballparks and conditions that favor pitching will help as well.

He already hits the ball to the opposite field very well though he needs to show the ability to pull with authority when he gets his pitch. Smith has great hand-eye coordination and a solid knowledge of the strike zone (does like to argue quite a bit with homeplate ump). His defense is about as good as you can imagine for a 20-year old at first base, has great range and can really pick it. He was named the best defensive 1B in the league by the managers in the FSL.

You don’t see players come around everyday that have his all-around potential which is why Sandy drafted him. Smith had his season cut short with a non-serious shoulder injury that had him miss the final week. Here is video of him taking batting practice last year.

#3 Amed Rosario
Preseason: #6
Age: 19 – November 20, 1995
Signed: July 2nd, 2012 (Mets record $1.75 M)
Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Amed perhaps has the most raw potential of any player in the Mets farm system but he struggled to stay on the field this year battling nagging injuries that limited him to 105 games. The Mets decided that Rosario had shown enough in 2014 after hitting a combined .274/.320/.372 between the Brooklyn Cyclones and Savannah Sand Gnats (30 AB’s) to push him aggressively right to the St. Lucie Mets to start the 2015 campaign.

The season started rough for Rosario who hit only .238/.265/.300 with 16 strikeouts compared to just one walk in April for St. Lucie. He would then explode for an incredible May hitting .318/.370/.455 with nine RBI and a 8/21 BB/SO before slumping again in June.

Overall this year in 103 games in A-ball he hit .257/.307/.335 with 20 doubles, five triples, 25 RBI and 12 stolen bases. The league average slash line in FSL was .248/.313/.337 with the hitters average age being 22.6 years old.

He was promoted to Binghamton last week and has gone 2-14 with two RBI and a stolen base in three games (one playoff). I was surprised and happy at the same time to see Rosario head to the B’Mets. He needed to get some more at bats and playoff exposure can only help his development.

In talking with two people who watch Rosario on a daily basis all they did was rave about how smooth talented of a defensive player he is. I talked to a scout who didn’t like the length of his swing but loved the amount of hard contact he made when he wasn’t chasing pitches out of the zone. He has a rocket for an arm and has above average speed too that he has been unable to harness into base stealing yet. He has already shown that he can hit the ball to right field with some consistency.

He has climbed up to the #87 spot on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospect list ahead of Cecchini (#95) and Smith (#97). He was also voted as the best defensive shortstop in the FSL in recent pole Baseball America took. He was the #5 overall pick in the recent Dominican Winter League rookie draft.  Here is video of him last year in New York-Penn All-Star Game.

 

#2 Michael Conforto
Preseason: #7
Age: 22 – March 1, 1993
Drafted: First round (10th overall) 2014
Bats/Throws: Left/Right

Yes, Michael Conforto is still considered a prospect although not for much longer as he is approaching the 130 at bats (at 111) needed to qualify as a rookie in MLB. I don’t think I need the long drawn out overview of his season either as I’m sure most of you have been following it this year.

It took the Florida State League pitchers about two weeks to realize that they were not going to let Conforto beat them. They started pitching around him including the Fort Myers Miracle who intentionally walked him three times on April 24th. For the month of April he ended up hitting .313/.396/.566 with six homeruns and 19 RBI. He struggled in May with pitchers making other hitters in the lineup beat them, he hit .255 with just one homerun in 27 games.

Michael was promoted to Binghamton and made his debut for them on May 30th going 0-2 with three walks, he would reach base safely in 20 straight games to start B’Mets career. He was extremely impressive in his 45 games with the B’Mets hitting .312/.396/.503 with 12 doubles, three triples, five homeruns and 26 RBI. He also had four outfield assist giving up him nine on the season overall.

Michael was a midseason All-Star in the FSL, was selected to play in the 2015 Futures Game and showed off why he is such a talent offensively and defensively. He was also a three time player of the week this year receiving it twice in the FSL and once with Binghamton.

Conforto has exceeded my expectations at the plate and most definitely in the field in his short time with the Mets so far. He is hitting .278/.356/.522 with ten doubles, six homeruns, 20 RBI, and 24 runs scored in his first 37 big league games. He also has four outfield assists while making every play in left field. The highest OPS Michael had in a month this year was August with the Mets and a whopping 1.009. Here is video of his first Binghamton homerun.

 

#1 Steven Matz
Preseason: #2
Age: 24 – May 29, 1991
Drafted: Second round 2009
Bats/Throws: Right/Left

The Mets drafted Steven Matz on June 10th, 2009 although he didn’t throw his first pitch in a Mets uniform until June 20th, 2012 for Kingsport in the Appalachian League. He allowed only five runs in 29 innings that year and his career has taken off since then.

Last year he went 10-9 with a 2.25 ERA between St. Lucie and Binghamton. He lost a no-hitter in the 8th inning of the B’Mets EL Championship clinching game and finished with 11 strikeouts in 7.1 innings. He was also given the Mets Sterling Pitcher of the Year award for the entire Minors.

Matz impressed the Mets brass with a solid spring and then dominated the hitters heaven that is the Pacific Coast League. He was 7-4 with a 2.19 ERA and 1.11 WHIP, both would lead the league if he still had enough innings to qualify. He was also 7-23 with three RBI with the bat for the Las Vegas 51′s this year.

All he has done since being promoted to the big leagues is go 2-0 while allowing less runs (4) to the opposition than he has driven in (5) for the Mets. He has given up only 11 hits and struck out 20 compared to seven walks. His 3.3 B/9 inning in the big leagues (SSS) is his highest since 2013 with Savannah which gives him something he needs to work on.

I love his fastball, tough to square up and even harder to lift as you can tell by the measly 17 homeruns he has given up in 399.2 career innings. His curveball has improved over the last year or so getting more depth on the break while being able to keep in down in the zone. If he can improve his command of the fastball and the consistency of his changeup he has the opportunity to become the fourth ace on this Mets pitching staff. Video from his second MLB game. Matz is listed as the #16 prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline.

Mets Midseason Prospects 25-21
Mets Midseason Prospects 20-16
Mets Midseason Prospects 15-11
Mets Midseason Prospects 10-6

 

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mets-midseason-prospects-5-1-matz-atop-the-class.html/feed/ 0
Mets Minors: Matz One Step Closer, Black Blows Lead http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/mets-minors-matz-throws-41-pitches-black-blows-lead.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/mets-minors-matz-throws-41-pitches-black-blows-lead.html/#comments Fri, 21 Aug 2015 14:45:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=190990 steven matz

Omaha 5, Las Vegas (68-58) 4

Vic Black had a night he would like to forget as he blew a 3-1 lead in the 9th inning as the 51′s lost and fell out of first place for the first time since April 28th. He allowed three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out two. He threw 25 pitches with only 13 of them as strikes.

John Church saved Black from having an even worse night by striking out a batter with three of Vics’ runners on. Dillon Gee settled down after giving up a run in each of the first two innings to go 7 innings allowing two runs on seven hits. He walked nobody and struck out two on 97 pitches with 64 of them for strikes.

Las Vegas lineup produced only five hits with the big hit coming from Kirk Nieuwenhuis who doubled home two to take the lead with two outs in the bottom of the 7th inning. Travis Taijeron started off the inning with his 20th homerun of the year which you can see here. Brandon Nimmo went 0-4 but did have two outfield assists while playing right field.

Dilson Herrera, Kevin Plawecki, and Matt Reynolds combined to go 0-11 while the first two each had a walk. Box Score

St. Lucie (62-61) 5, Palm Beach 2

Steven Matz made his second rehab start going 2.2 innings allowing one run on four hits and a walk with one strikeout. He threw 41 pitches with 25 for strikes, with 7 of his last 9 being balls as he started to tire some. He was hitting 92/93 with his fastball on a gun that is generally a little slow. Probably more like 93/94 which is fine for this time in his rehab.

He also threw a couple of very sharp curveballs including one that got his only strikeout of the night. Got a swing and miss on the one changeup he threw. His next rehab start will be on Tuesday with Binghamton with a pitch count at/around 60 in his 3rd outing on his way back.

David Wright had a planned night off for St. Lucie. Jeff McNeil went 3-4 with a double, RBI, and run scored lifting his average to .315. Dominic Smith was 1-4 with his now league leading 73 RBI. Amed Rosario was 0-2 with a run scored and two walks including an impressive one that came after falling behind 0-2 to load the bases.

Jake Kuebler got the win throwing 4.1 scoreless innings of relief allowing two hits and striking out four. He is now 4-0 with a 1.23 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in 22 innings for the Mets. Box Score

Savannah (73-48) 6, Kannapolis 2

Sand Gnats scored four in the third and two in the fourth inning helping propel them to their 16th straight win which is currently the longest streak in the Minor Leagues. Casey Delgado pitched well going 7 innings giving up two runs on seven hits and seven strikeouts. He improved his record to 7-3 while lowering his ERA to 3.26 and WHIP to 1.11 in 14 games.

Paul Paez pitched a perfect 8th inning to bring his ERA down to 1.60 for Savannah. Luis Mateo continues to pitch well throwing a perfect 9th with a strikeout. Has allowed just nine hits and three runs in 18.1 innings this year coming back from injury.

Luis Guillorme was 3-4 with three RBI, run scored, and his 13th double. He is batting .415/.473/.508 with six doubles in August and leads the South Atlantic League with 130 hits. Wuilmer Becerra was 3-4 with two RBI, 14th stolen base, and two run scored. He has hit safely in 9 of 10 and has 16 hits during that span to go along with nine RBI.  Eudor Garcia was 1-4 with his 53rd RBI extending his hitting streak to 11 games. Box Score

Brooklyn (27-30) 4, Lowell 3 F/11

With nobody out and the bases loaded reserve outfielder Pedro Perez came up with a chance to win it for the Cyclones and he did getting plunked to bring Hengelbert Rojas home as the winning run in the walk-off victory. Brooklyn scored two runs to put the game into extra inning in the 9th inning on a rally started by a David Thompson leadoff double.

Perez finished the night 2-3 with an RBI and Thompson was 1-5 with his 8th double. Brandon Brosher was 2-5 with a double, two runs scored, and struck out three times. Vinny Siena went 0-5 with two strikeouts lowering his average to .282 on the year.

Kevin Canelon pitch 8 good innings allowing two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out four. Alex Palsha pitched a scoreless 10th with two strikeouts lowering his ERA to 0.42 with the league batting .143 against him. Box Score

Kingsport (30-25) 8, Bluefield 0

The Mets victory and a loss by Elizabethton puts them back into a tie for first place in the Western Division in the Appalachian League. Two 2015 draftees, Thomas McIlraith (20th RD) and Seth Davis (29th RD) combined to throw a four hit shutout with ten strikeouts. McIlraith went 7 shutout innings allowing a HBP and four hits while striking out five to move to 4-1 with a 2.05 ERA in 10 games (7 starts). Davis faced six batters and struck out five of them with all of them coming swinging.

Patrick Mazeika was 2-5 with two runs scored, his league leading 25th double, and boosted his leading average up to .368 for the year. Yet another 2015 draft pick Kevin Kaczmarski had a good night going 2-4 with two runs scored, two RBI, walk, 17th steal, and his fourth triple. Now second in league in hitting at .354 and second in runs scored as well with 40. Luis Carpio was 2-4 with two RBI, he is hitting .305/.371/.374 in 33 games.

Milton Ramos was 1-5 with two runs scored and two RBI, hitting .333 with ten RBI in his last 9 games. Dash Winningham was 1-4 with a walk, now hitting .269/.314/.505 for the season. Arnaldo Berrios was 3-5 with a run scored and two doubles. Box Score

GCL Nationals 4, GCL Mets (25-27) 3

The took a 3-1 lead headed to the top of the 9th inning as they looked to snap a 7-game losing streak but closer Alejandro Castro gave up three runs including a two-out two-run single for the game winner. Ali Sanchez (2-4, BB) led off the the bottom of the inning with a single before Dionis Paulino came into pinch run for him and was caught trying to steal second.

Joel Huertas pitched 5.2 innings giving up one run on fives hits while striking out seven and was in line for the victory. Mets 3rd round pick Max Wotell pitched a career high 2.1 innings, he did not allow a run on a walk, HBP, and two strikeouts. Over 9.1 innings to start his career he has allowed just two run on two hits and struck out thirteen.

Fellow 2015 draftee Desmond Lindsay had a good day as well going 2-4 with a run scored and his 2nd triple. Now hitting a cool .321/.406/.500 in 17 pro games. Franklin Correa and Luis Crisostomo each had two hits. Box Score

mmo footer

 

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/mets-minors-matz-throws-41-pitches-black-blows-lead.html/feed/ 0
Baseball America: Dominic Smith & Amed Rosario’s Defense Top Notch http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/baseball-amercia-dominic-smith-amed-rosarios-defense-top-notch.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/baseball-amercia-dominic-smith-amed-rosarios-defense-top-notch.html/#comments Thu, 20 Aug 2015 21:00:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=190956 german-ahmed-rosario 1

 

After the first half in the Minor Leagues, Baseball America asked managers and coaches to vote for who they thought has the best skills at every level in a variety of different categories. This year when they talked to the voters in the Florida State League the St. Lucie Mets infield stole the show winning every position besides third base.

Dominic Smith was voted as the best defensive first basemen in the FSL a year after compiling enough votes to garner the same award in the South Atlantic League. He was touted for his defense when the Mets drafted him 11th overall in 2013 despite his stocky frame. Smith is also bringing it with the bat this year hitting .310/.358/.422 with a league leading 32 doubles and second in the league with his 72 RBI.

Amed Rosario has missed time with a wrist injury but that hasn’t held him back from impressing personnel in the league who voted him as the best defensive shortstop they have seen all year. Error totals in the Minor Leagues should always be taken with a grain of salt, however it is nice to see Rosario with a career high .969 fielding percentage this year. In Baseball America’s recently updated Top 10 Mets prospects list they had Amed at #3 and called him the best athlete in the system before the season.

Rosario has held his own in the FSL hitting .260/.306/.342 with 12 stolen bases, 19 doubles, 5 triples, and 23 RBI in 94 games. The league average line is .248/.313/.338 and Rosario is over three years younger than the median age for the league.

He isn’t as highly touted as the other two, regardless Jeff McNeil is having a great season on both sides of the diamond and was awarded as the best defensive second basemen. Jeff has proved that he can play all over the infield sliding over to shortstop for 29 games when Rosario was hurt and manning third base in 27 games for a variety of reasons. He participated in the FSL All-Star game and has been in the top three in hitting virtually all season. He is currently batting .311/.372/.382 and leads the league with 75 runs scored.

Michael Conforto was named the best batting prospect in the league as well after hitting .283/.350/.462 in 46 games earlier this year for the St. Lucie Mets. Akeel Morris was voted as the best reliever after dominating in 32 innings allowing just eleven hits and six runs while striking out forty-six. Last but certainly not least was Luis Rojas taking the best manager prospect honors despite the team hovering around .500 all year.

The Binghamton Mets were shutout in the Eastern League honors this year after manager Pedro Lopez was named the best managing prospect in 2014.

Three Las Vegas 51′s garnered attention for their outstanding play this year in the Pacific Coast League including Steven Matz for best pitching prospect, Noah Syndergaard for best fastball, and Wilfredo Tovar as the best defensive second basemen.

The Savannah Sand Gnats had only one player who won but it was Jonathan Johnson and he was voted the best defensive second basemen as well as having the best strike-zone judgement. Jonathan has struggled in the second half after hitting .315/.426/.435 in the first 57 games and being named to the South Atlantic League All-Star roster. Sand Gnats first year manager Jose Leger was awarded as the best managing prospect in his first year in the year after coaching the Kingsport Mets for the last three seasons.

mmo footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/baseball-amercia-dominic-smith-amed-rosarios-defense-top-notch.html/feed/ 0
Mets Notes: Steven Matz Progressing, Rafael Montero Not Ready Yet http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/mets-notes-steven-matz-progressing-rafael-montero-not-ready-yet.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/mets-notes-steven-matz-progressing-rafael-montero-not-ready-yet.html/#comments Sat, 08 Aug 2015 14:58:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=189848 matz steven

Rookie left-hander Steven Matz is progressing from a lat strain and should begin throwing off a mound next week, New York Mets manager Terry Collins told reporters on Friday.

Matz long tossed on Thursday under the watchful eye of Collins who was visiting the team’s complex in Port St. Lucie to check up on all of the injured players.

Collins said Matz was throwing “free and easy” and that his long tosses were zipped and not arcing. The Mets are eyeing an early September for Matz, Who has been on the disabled list since July 5.

Once Matz rejoins the team, the Mets are expected to return to a six-man rotation.

rafael montero

Meanwhile the news is not as glowing for right-hander Rafael Montero, who tossed two scoreless innings in a Gulf Coast League game on Thursday, but is not close to being ready.

“I don’t even know when he’s going to get out of there,” manager Terry Collins said, referring to the GCL. “I saw him throw yesterday and there are some things he’s got to work on.”

Montero has been out since late April with rotator cuff inflammation that has kept him out far longer than doctors expected.

“He said his arm hurts,” Collins told ESPN New York. “I don’t know if it’s mental. If your arm hurts, it hurts. But after watching yesterday, he’s not ready yet.”

mets logo button footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/mets-notes-steven-matz-progressing-rafael-montero-not-ready-yet.html/feed/ 0
Top 10 Met Moments From the First Half http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/top-10-met-moments-from-the-first-half.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/top-10-met-moments-from-the-first-half.html/#comments Fri, 17 Jul 2015 17:11:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=187286 noah syndergaard

As we prepare for the final 73 games of the New York Mets’ (regular) season, this seems like as good a time as any to take a quick look back at the club’s ten best moments of the first three months of 2015.

Honorable Mention:

Noah Syndergaard’s Debut (May 12)

Though it may have been in a losing effort, Thor’s first time taking the mound for the Mets showcased why he belongs at this level and that he has the tools to be a future ace. Striking out the first batter faced of his career was just the start of a strong first five innings before finally tiring in the sixth. This day was a year-plus in the making for Syndergaard, and for Met fans, and allowed us to see with our own eyes what scouts have raved about for years.

Jeurys Familia Exceeding Expectations

Where, oh where, would the Mets be without this guy? One of the best closers in the MLB this season may never have gotten his chance should Bobby Parnell have been healthy earlier in the campaign, or if Jenrry Mejia hadn’t been suspended for 80 games. Though he has had many–probably too many–clutch five-out saves and been the near perfect fire extinguisher this team has needed more than it knows, there aren’t an excess of Familia performances that particularly stand out. And for a closer, that is more than alright with me. So here’s to Jeurys, being the boring, automatic rock he has been this far for the Mets.

kirk Nieuwenhuis

Number 10

Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ 3-Home Run Game (July 12)

Opening up our top 10 is a man who has had quite the past three months–hitting under .100 over his first Major League stint of 2015, being designated for assignment before being traded to the Angels for, as Randy Moss might say, straight cash, homie. Then, after only 10 games with Los Angeles, he is released and, to the dismay of many New York fans (myself included), is picked up by the Mets and sent directly to AAA. A hot streak in Las Vegas (2-22) leads to his promotion and a big game in San Francisco, and an even bigger game–a historical one too–against Arizona in the Mets’ final pre-All Star break contest. Congratulations, Kirk Nieuwenhuis. You are the only player on the team who may have had a weirder first three months of the season than the team itself. While the chances are that he will return to his .100 self post-break, at the very least his three homers and curtain call on Sunday gave Captain Kirk some momentary validation for his spot on the roster.

Number 9

Noah Syndergaard’s Home Run (May 27)

If only the Mets could play the Phillies 162 times this year… Just as Steven Matz did in his MLB debut (we’ll get to that in a bit), Syndergaard overshadowed a great pitching performance with his bat on this day late in May. I think Yeah Yeah from The Sandlot would be the best candidate to describe most people’s opinion of Noah’s stat line of 7.1 IP, 6 H, 0 BB, 6 K that day. Because with one out and the bases empty in the 4th inning, Thor swung his hammer and hit a pitch (one that was low and away, mind you) an estimated 430 feet, further than the average in-game home run distance of seven of the eight 2015 Derby participants. His 7+ scoreless innings on the mound were great, but what Met fan will forget Thor’s bomb to center that day?

Number 8

Noah Syndergaard’s 13 Strikeouts (July 10)

I promise, this entire piece is not an ode to Noah Syndergaard. But what the rookie did to the D-Backs about a week ago needs to be recognized. Easily the best start of his Major League career, he pitched 8 incredible innings, giving up only 4 hits, 2 walks, and a single 1st inning run over 116 pitches (74 strikes), a team-high for 2015. Oh, and he also struck out 13 batters, two more than any other Mets pitcher has up to this point in the season. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who can physically feel Ron Darling’s drool over Syndergaard coming through the TV each time he pitches. Thor’s start against Arizona gave us a glimpse at why 2016 should be the beginning of many years of 200+ strikeouts for him, as it looked like he was toying with hitters at times, choosing to finish off a batter with a curve instead of a fastball just because he felt like it.

Number 7

Bartolo Colon Doing Everything

For the purposes of this post, all Bartolo-related moments will be included here. Let me first mention his pitching, which has gone slightly downhill since his 4-0 start, but is still well above average for a 42-year old, back of the rotation pitcher. And while the term “veteran presence” is trending in the “he’s just a winner” direction of overused sports terms, Colon really does fill that role for this young team, especially when only one other starting pitcher (Jon Niese) has ever pitched a full season in the MLB. Now to the fun stuff. Where do I begin?… There was his first hit of the season (come on, of course his helmet fell off), a broken bat bloop in Atlanta. There’s his 3-game hitting streak, which included the longest RBI double, time wise, in MLB history.* His one-man pick off of A.J. Pierzynski. His quote about a blister on his finger affecting his breaking pitches, but being OK because he doesn’t throw breaking pitches. His childhood donkey named Pancho. Thank you, Bartolo.

*Completely unofficial, but highly probable

matt harvey

Number 6

Matt Harvey’s 2015 Citi Field Debut (April 14)

This one is a little personal for me, since I made the 10-hour bus ride from Columbus, OH to New York to see it in person. While Harvey may not have lived up to the somewhat unreasonable expectations thrust upon him for this year, he is still a borderline elite pitcher, and that night in mid-April was still a special one. For the first time in 20 months, New Yorkers got to see their Dark Knight pitch in his home stadium. A near sellout crowd did its best to power Harvey through a relatively rough start, with lots of “Har-vey, Har-vey” chants throughout, and he and the team were able to pull out the victory. No, it wasn’t the complete game, 2-hitter performance most of us had wanted to see. But it did signal that the Mets had their guy back, and their fans got to witness it in-person.

Number 5

Jacob deGrom”s Near Perfection (May 21)

After a single in the first, Jacob deGrom threw a perfect final 7 innings before leaving with a final stat line of 1 H, 0 BB, 11 K in 8 shutout innings. Arguably the finest (and most #deGrominant) start of his blossoming career, deGrom’s ace abilities were on full display. Starts like these have propelled him to become the staff’s uncontested best pitcher this year, a first-time All-Star, and a possible Cy Young candidate if he continues on his current trajectory. Keep the hair long and the great starts coming, Jacob.

Number 4

Mets Comeback vs. Atlanta (June 14)

Or, if it would help you rememeber, the Dilson-Herrera-wearing-paper-Gatorade-rally-cups-on-his-ears game. With New York in danger of dropping a third consecutive home series the night after losing a 5-3 heartbreaker in 11 innings, the Mets did the same thing I do when I’m struggling on the golf course and need to turn it around–draw a line on the scorecard to designate a fresh start. Though this was undoubtedly more of a metaphorical line for the Mets, it still represents the same belief– what’s done is done; the time to start over and turn it around is now. This line came in the middle of the 4th, at a time when the Mets trailed the Braves 8-3. And from the bottom of the 4th on, New York outscored Atlanta 7-0. Home runs from Darrell Ceciliani, Dilson Herrera, Travis d’Arnaud, and Juan Lagares paved the way for the rally. This was a huge win that brought out the fight in the club and made clear that they would not quit until out number 27. Or longer if the game goes into extras. Which leads me to…

Number 3

Mets Extra Inning Comeback vs. Toronto (June 15)

The following night, New York seemed to be riding the same clutch, come-from-behind hitting from the previous game. After trailing 1-0 from the get-go, the Mets retaliated in the 6th to take a 2-1 lead. It appeared as if that would be the game, and the narrative would be that they rally from a deficit once again, albeit a much smaller one this time. Instead, Jeurys Familia picked up the second of his two blown saves on the year, and the game went to extras. When the Blue Jays scored in the top of the 11th, it felt like a lost cause for the Mets. ‘Well, another loss after quality pitching and no offense. Plus the game was already in the bag, and even Familia couldn’t win this one.’ But then Ruben Tejada walked, and Lucas Duda took advantage of one of the most extreme shifts he’s faced and blooped a ball into left with two outs to tie the game before Wilmer Flores’ walk-off single. In back to back games, the Mets had stolen wins. This Mets squad would battle, not just be tossed aside as many previous versions of the team had.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at New York Mets

Number 2

Steven Matz Debut (June 28)

You know the story. Boy grows up playing baseball, gets drafted to play for his favorite childhood team, fights through injury to get there six years later, and notches four RBI while going 3-3 at the plate in his first game. Pretty incredible path, especially if he gets paid to pitch. Steven Matz’s hitting slightly overshadowed his impressive first outing as a Met, and for good reason. After all, it’s not every day (never before, in fact) that a pitcher records four RBI in his debut. But without his strong showing at the plate–his first at bat specifically–that great pitching performance may not have happened. Anyone watching the game could see how crushing that double over Billy Hamilton’s head helped him to really settle into the game and get through 7.2 IP, giving up just 2 runs.

Number 1

Mets 11-Game Win Streak (Apriil 12-23)

What could possibly be better than a fantastic, long-awaited debut from yet another young pitcher that also happened to drive in four runs? The answer is simple: winning. Thanks to April 2015, the Mets can now check “Have a 10-0 home stand” off of the franchise’s bucket list. That almost-two week stretch at the beginning of the season set the tone for the team early on and gave them the cushion that they needed and have unfortunately since blown. It’s slightly scary to think about where the Mets might be without it. Following the 11th and final win of the streak, New York sat at 13-3. Since then, they have gone 34-39, good for a win percentage below that of what the Braves have posted in 2015 (.466 vs .472). Even though the team’s record has taken a sizable hit since April, that 11 game stretch provided the Mets with an early spark and got them off on the right track. And for any of you on the pro-Terry Collins side of things, a strong start to the season was certainly a must.

Whatever happens between now and October, we can only hope that it’s as nerve-wracking and entertaining as the first half has been. No team endures as many ups and downs as the Mets seem to, but that’s what makes following them so special; you never know what is going to happen. Is Captain Kirk going to get DFA’d today or hit three home runs again? Will any of our young arms hurl a no hitter? Most importantly–might Bartolo break Twitter by going yard? All of these questions, and many more, will be answered in the remaining 73+ games this year. Here’s to “Reaching the Postseason” making the list of top ten moments from the entire 2015 season.

footer

Metsmerized, a Fan Site with Pride, Passion & Personality!

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/top-10-met-moments-from-the-first-half.html/feed/ 0
Featured Post: Alderson’s Conundrum vs Fans’ Expectations http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/featured-post-aldersons-conundrum-vs-fans-expectations.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/featured-post-aldersons-conundrum-vs-fans-expectations.html/#comments Fri, 17 Jul 2015 12:57:31 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=187186 Sandy Alderson

With the trade deadline fast approaching let’s talk about our options. Let’s talk about our needs. Let’s talk about availability. Let’s get all of these things out of the way so we can better understand what Sandy Alderson and the Mets are up against.

mmo feature original footerI’m pretty certain that everyone knows what the main problem is with the 2015 Mets. It’s not a subject that’s up for debate. This team desperately needs some offense, we all know that.

But what I find interesting is that the people screaming the loudest for that one big bat that’s going to suddenly put us over the top, cower into a corner when I asked them:

“Well who do you want to move to get that big bat; Steven Matz, Jacob deGromMatt Harvey or Noah Syndergaard?”

You see, therein lies the dilemma.

Obviously nobody wants to see us get burned like the San Francisco Giants did when they traded Zack Wheeler for 53 days of Carlos Beltran.

That said,  clearly, with the Mets only two games behind the Washington Nationals and just one game out of a wild-card spot we need to do something, but what do we do? And how much are we willing to pay for a rental?

I think it’s pretty clear now that Sandy has no intention of moving any of the young starters – at least not the ones that have already made it to the majors. And add to that list, Michael Conforto, who seems to have become an untouchable as well.

So that leaves position prospects like Brandon Nimmo or Gavin Cecchini or Amed Rosario. On the pitching side that leaves you with Michael Fulmer , Robert Gsellman or Gabriel Ynoa. Well guess what? None of those guys on their own are going to get you a big bat. Now we are talking about packaging 2 or 3 of those guys for a not so big bat.

We are not talking about Yasiel Puig or Justin Upton or Troy Tulowitzki… For second-tier prospects all you’re going to get are players like Gerardo Parra or Ben Zobrist or Martin Prado. And there’s nothing wrong with that… Either one of those players would help this team.

So that’s our dilemma. That’s our conundrum. That’s the big nut we have to crack.

Do you want to give up the 2-3 prospects it would take to get one or more of those lesser available players, even though they probably won’t be a true difference maker?

I’d say yes, and that’s because I think all we need to do is to get our offense from below average to average.

We don’t need a big superstar bat to accomplish that. So my preference is that we keep our elite young pitching and try to make it work for a player like Parra, Prado or Zobrist.

The real question is does Sandy Alderson feel the same way?  I guess we’ll all find out in about two weeks.

mmo footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/featured-post-aldersons-conundrum-vs-fans-expectations.html/feed/ 0
Alderson Press Conference Summary: Matz To Disabled List, Muno Recalled From Vegas http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/alderson-press-conference-wrapup-matz-to-disabled-list-muno-recalled-from-vegas.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/alderson-press-conference-wrapup-matz-to-disabled-list-muno-recalled-from-vegas.html/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2015 19:27:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=186752 1436558306745

The Mets will place Steven Matz on the disabled list with a partial tear of his left lat muscle. He received an injection of platelet rich plasma on Thursday at the Hospital for Special Surgery and has been told not to throw for three weeks.

Taking Matz’s place on the roster will be infielder Daniel Muno who has been recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Muno was batting .295 with nine doubles, two home runs and 16 RBI in 200 plate appearances for Las Vegas. He appeared in 13 games with the Mets earlier this season, hitting .083 over 27 plate appearances.

I will be updating this post during Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins and Steven Matz press conference beginning at 3:30 PM.

Steven Matz: It’s definitely frustrating but it could be worse.  I could still throw but then the risk is I could completely tear it.

Steven Matz: I will be doing conditioning for three weeks and then after that the doctors told me I will be reevaluated. I will have to build back up after three weeks and I don’t know how long that’s going to take.

Sandy Alderson: Let me reiterate that Steven will not throw for the three weeks. After three weeks he will be reevaluated and if the partial tear as healed then he’ll move in to another phase. If it hasn’t healed then he will be afforded more time until it does.

Sandy Alderson: there was some discomfort after the Cincinnati start but nothing that was too bad according to Steven. Subsequent to the Dodgers start there was a side session and there was nothing significant as far as pain in Stevens mind.

Sandy Alderson: The trainers consulted with our doctors in New York and then I made the decision to let him pitch against the Dodgers. That was based on confirmation from how Stephen felt as well as the information from the doctor’s consultation.

Sandy Alderson: We did say that after his start against the Dodgers if there was any discomfort we would have him examined in New York by our doctors, and that’s exactly what happened.

Sandy Alderson: There’s no way of knowing whether the tear was caused because of the start against the Dodgers. For all we know this could have existed for a while.

Sandy Alderson: So about the five-man rotation and the six man rotation you have to anticipate that there will be injuries. Because this is an injury to our sixth starter we have the option to go back to a five man rotation. We probably don’t have to address that until five or six days after the break.

Sandy wrapped it up by saying this injury will have no effect on how he approaches the trade deadline because he had no intention of trading any of his six starters anyway. <wink>

mets logo button footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/alderson-press-conference-wrapup-matz-to-disabled-list-muno-recalled-from-vegas.html/feed/ 0
Logan Verrett Earns First Save As A Met http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/logan-verrett-earns-first-save-as-a-met.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/logan-verrett-earns-first-save-as-a-met.html/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2015 15:25:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=186316 logan Verrett johnny Monell

Mets reliever Logan Verrett picked up his first major league save on Sunday, and continues to thrive out of the Mets bullpen.

After rookie Steven Matz threw six shutout innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Verrett relieved him and finished the game, throwing three more shutout innings to get the save and preserve the Mets 8-0 victory.

Verrett, 25, allowed just one hit and struck out three his outing and overall,  he’s allowed just four hits in six appearances since joining the Mets on June 18.

A third round pick in the 2011 draft, Verrett has 12 strikeouts over 12.1 innings this season with a 0.73 ERA and 0.641 WHIP.

The Mets nearly lost Verrett in the Rule 5 draft but were fortunate enough to get him back after he failed to stick with Baltimore and Texas.

footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/logan-verrett-earns-first-save-as-a-met.html/feed/ 0
MMO Game Recap: Mets 8, Dodgers 0 #LetsGoMatz http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mmo-game-recap-mets-8-dodgers-0-letsgomatz.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mmo-game-recap-mets-8-dodgers-0-letsgomatz.html/#comments Sun, 05 Jul 2015 23:47:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=186301 ruben tejada

The Mets (42-41) defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers (46-37) by a score of 8-0 this afternoon at Dodger Stadium.

Steven Matz was handed a lead before he even took the mound today, as the Mets got out to an early 1-0 lead in the top half of the first.

The Dodgers put on the shift against Curtis Granderson to lead off the game, and he made them pay as he reached first on a little dribbler to the left side. Daniel Murphy then contributed a single of his own to put runners on the corners with no out for Lucas Duda.

Duda hit a sharp liner to second, but the runners were able to scramble back to avoid being doubled off.

Wilmer Flores was able to get the run home on the next at-bat as he shot one into right field. Flores had a big day in L.A. going 4-for-5 with three RBI’s. His four hits are a career high, and he has also raised his OPS 47 points after going 10-for-13 in the series.

In the fourth inning, Johnny Monell and Ruben Tejada hit back-to-back singles to start the frame and put runners on first and third with Steven Matz coming to the plate.

Matz grounded out, but collected his 5th RBI of the season, the most for a pitcher in a two game span since Dwight Gooden.

Juan Lagares then reached on a single that hit off the umpire, and Curtis Granderson hit an RBI double down the third base line to score Ruben Tejada.

Daniel Murphy was intentionally walked to load the bases, as the Dodgers chose to pitch to the struggling Lucas Duda, who promptly struck out swinging.

Wilmer Flores collected his second RBI of the day on a single up the middle, which was fielded by Dodgers shortstop Enrique Hernandez, who was too late, leaving the bases loaded.

Michael Cuddyer, who is having an abysmal season, struck out to end the inning. Cuddyer went 0-for-5 on the day and left nine runners on base. He is now hitting .107 in his last 18 games.

matz Steven

Steven Matz pitched six strong innings, earning his second big league win. Though he didn’t look super comfortable up there at times, and fell behind in the counts a decent amount, he still managed to let up only two hits, two walks and struck out eight.

Matz’s 14 strike outs through his first career starts are second only to Matt Harvey, who struck out 18 in the same span.

Wilmer Flores lead off the seventh inning and hit a double to left field. After Michael Cuddyer struck out, Johnny Monell walked and Ruben Tejada drove in a run with a single to right field to give the Mets a 5-0 lead.

Juan Lagares then tripled to score two more on a play that was misjudged by Yasiel Puig, causing the ball to go over his head.

Daniel Murphy added another hit in the eighth inning, as he singled to lead off the frame. Murphy went 3-for-4 on the day.

Daniel was erased on a fielder’s choice from Lucas Duda, who in turn advanced to second on a throwing error from Enrique Hernandez.

Wilmer Flores doubled him in for the Mets eighth run of the day.

The Mets then loaded the bases, but Logan Verrett grounded out to end the inning.

Logan Verrett had a very good day on the mound, as he relieved Steven Matz to pitch the final three innings of the game, and sealing the win for the Amazin’s. He earned his first career save in the process, and the first save in his professional career.

The Mets thirteen hits is the most for them in a single game since June 14th, almost a month ago.

On deck:

The Mets travel to San Francisco and start a three game series with the Giants tomorrow night. Jon Niese (3-8, 3.90 ERA) takes the mound for the Mets and will go up against Chris Heston (8-5, 3.78 ERA) who no-hit the Mets the last time they saw him. First pitch is at 10:15 PM E.T.

mets logo button footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mmo-game-recap-mets-8-dodgers-0-letsgomatz.html/feed/ 0
Steven Matz MLB Debut Report Card http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/steven-matz-mlb-debut-report-card.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/steven-matz-mlb-debut-report-card.html/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 15:37:56 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=185813 matz collins

Stat Line:  7.2 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 6 K, 3 BB

Yesterday afternoon, Mets fans excitedly tuned in to watch the much anticipated Major League debut for Long Island native and top prospect left-handed pitcher Steven Matz.  In this article, I will touch upon the quality of movement within Matz pitches, high level of athleticism and inconsistency in command.

Positives

Repertoire of Pitches:  A

Matz showed his strong 94 to 96 mph fastball that had a little two-seam run at times along with a quality 85 mph changeup.  Matz’ most impressive pitch was his sharp 11 to 5 curveball which accounted for almost 25% of his pitches thrown yesterday.

In Joey Votto’s third and sixth inning at-bats, Votto took extremely uncomfortable swings against Matz’s curveball.  Later in the sixth inning, Todd Frazier struck out with a terrible swing and miss against a Matz curveball.  These defensive swings from two of the better hitters in the National League show that they were having difficulty picking up the pitch out of Matz delivery.  Matz ability to find this “out” pitch in his first outing will help the young lefty get out of troublesome innings and will translate to more consistent success in the second half of this season.

Athleticism:  A+

Matz success with the bat was well documented during the broadcast as he was 3-for-3 with 4 RBI but his athleticism on the mound was equally as excellent.  In the third inning, Billy Hamilton leadoff with a push bunt attempt down the first baseline but Matz quickly and calmly fielded the baseball and got the out at first base.  The following inning, Matz fielded a ground ball of the bat of Brayan Pena and was able to fluidly turn an inning ending double play.

One reason behind his successful defense can be attributed to his fluid and effortless pitching motion which allows Matz to finish in a balanced fielding position rather than many other MLB pitchers that tend to fall over towards their glove side.

Moxie:  A-

After giving up early home runs to both Brandon Phillips and Frazier, Matz didn’t shy away from his fastball.  That confidence or strong moxie is an attribute that cannot be taught and will help him down the stretch in September and October when hitters are typically more locked in or focused.

Negatives

Pitch Command:  B

Simply, Matz did look a bit erratic at times with his fastball, missing on the inside corner when the catcher was set up on the outside corner.  Matz also missed up in the zone with his curveball at times which if that continues, will account for more hard hit balls in future outings.  Additionally, Matz did put himself into three ball counts on six of the 29 Reds plate appearances.

I will give him a pass on this for now as I suspect this can be attributed to the jitters and excitement of his first MLB start in front of his entire family and friends.

Stat of the Day

ESPN Stats & Info tweets:  The Mets’ Steven Matz on Sunday became the first pitcher to record 4 RBI in his MLB debut.

Follow Chris Zaccherio on Twitter @ziography for more Mets pitching insight that goes beyond statistics.

mets cap footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/steven-matz-mlb-debut-report-card.html/feed/ 0
MMO Game Recap: Mets 7, Reds 2 (Game 2) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/mmo-game-recap-mets-7-reds-2-game-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/mmo-game-recap-mets-7-reds-2-game-2.html/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 00:24:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=185757 MLB: Cincinnati Reds at New York Mets

The Mets (39-37) completed the sweep of the Cincinnati Reds (34-39) this evening at Citi Field by a score of 7-2.

Brandon Phillips hit a lead off home run for the Reds off of Steven Matz, who was making his major league debut for the Mets today. It would turn out to be just a small blemish on what was otherwise a very successful day for Steven.

After the solo shot, Matz settled down and pitched very well, allowing just one more run, a solo home run to Todd Frazier in the fourth inning. His final line has him going 7.2 innings, allowing just the two runs on five hits, while walking three and striking out six. He also earned his first major league victory.

Steve Matz

Other than his pitching which was very impressive, Matz dazzled at the plate, and made history in the process. He went 3-3 with 4 RBI’s. No Mets player has ever had a more successful debut at the plate.

In the second inning, Darrell Ceciliani reached on an error, and advanced to third on two ground outs. The Reds then intentionally walked Eric Campbell to get to Matz.

Steven surely made them play, hitting a long double to center field, much to the pleasure of his parents and other family members and friends who were in attendance to see the young lefty and Long Island native make his major league debut.

In the fifth inning, Eric Campbell walked to lead off the inning, and went first to third on Steven Matz’s second hit of the day, a single up the middle.

Curtis Granderson put the Mets up 3-2 with a double to score Campbell and put runners at 2nd and 3rd with still nobody out.

Two batters later, Lucas Duda was intentionally walked to load the bases, as the Reds decided to pitch to Wilmer Flores with one out.

However, Flores flew out and Darrell Ceciliani struck out, as the Mets were unable to add on to their lead.

In the sixth inning, the Mets started the inning with John Mayberry and Johnny Monell singling, and Eric Campbell being hit by a pitch. Guess what that means? The bases were loaded for the second straight inning. And for who? None else than Steven Matz.

matz debut

And what did Matz do? He drove in two more runs with a single to right center field. He also contributed to the Mets scoring their third run of the inning when Ruben Tejada hit into a potential double play and Matz took out the second baseman, who throw wildly to first, causing Eric Campbell to score.

In the seventh inning, Matz let up a pair of singles, but got a big double play to erase the threat. He then struck out Jason Bourgeois to end the inning.

In a surprising move, Collins sent Matz, who already had a high pitch count and left on a high note in the seventh, back out for the eighth. He quickly recorded two outs, but then walked Joey Votto, and was pulled.

Carlos Torres got the last out of the inning, inducing a ground out from Todd Frazier.

In the eighth inning, Eric Campbell walked again, but was erased at second on a ground out from Michael Cuddyer.

Cuddyer stole second base with Curtis Granderson at the plate, and Curtis subsequently drove him in with a single to right field, giving the Mets a 7-2 lead.

Hansel Robles pitched the ninth inning, and shut the door for the Mets, topping off the sweep of the Reds and a brilliant debut from Steven Matz.

Thoughts:

There’s not much more to say about the Mets pitching staff other than they’ve been simply brilliant. With Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler coming back next year, and Rafael Montero also in the shuffle, this pitching staff is a force to be reckoned with. If we can get a few bats, this rotation is very capable of competing with the best of them.

What a debut. Definitely one of the most exciting and interesting games I’ve seen all season. I might just have to invest in a Steven Matz jersey now. :)

On deck:

The Mets are off tomorrow, but start a three game series with the Chicago Cubs Tuesday night. Jon Niese (3-7, 4.12 ERA) takes on Kyle Hendricks (2-4, 4.46 ERA) in the series opener. First pitch is at 7:10 PM.

button simply amazing footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/mmo-game-recap-mets-7-reds-2-game-2.html/feed/ 0
Matz Strokes Two-Run Double In First MLB At-Bat http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/matz-strokes-two-run-double-in-first-mlb-at-bat.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/matz-strokes-two-run-double-in-first-mlb-at-bat.html/#comments Sun, 28 Jun 2015 22:06:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=185745 Steven, Matz

While making his major league debut on Sunday, top prospect Steven Matz hit a two-run, two-out double off the Reds’ Josh Smith to give the Mets a 2-1 lead over the Reds.

The crowd at Citi Field went nuts and the place has been electric from the moment Matz threw his first pitch.

Check it out…

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/matz-strokes-two-run-double-in-first-mlb-at-bat.html/feed/ 0