Mets Merized Online » WHIP Wed, 03 Feb 2016 00:21:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mets Minors: Gsellman and Lugo Lead Our All Star Rotation Mon, 04 Jan 2016 20:57:11 +0000 tumblr_inline_nv38ewGYaK1r9qiw6_1280

This is the second part of our four part series in which we choose our best 25-man roster from the Mets minor leagues based on their 2015 statistics. This group took a major hit with the Mets trades during the deadline which included starters Michael FulmerLuis CessaRobert WhalenJohn Gant, and Miller Diaz.

Missing from the list is also Steven Matz (7-4, 2.19 ERA with 51’s) who didn’t pitch enough innings to qualify for the league leaders in Pacific Coast League. I left off Martires Arias (8-5, 2.29 ERA in A-ball) who is no longer part of the Mets system after becoming a free agent and signing with the San Diego Padres.

These selections are based on the statistics for each player and at what level/age they did them at. They are not an indication of how they would rank in a prospect list.

Here are my choices for the Top 5 Mets minor league starting pitchers in 2015:

1. Robert Gsellman – (Binghamton Mets) The 22-year old right-hander went 13-7 with a 2.89 ERA, 1.137 WHIP in 24 starts between the St. Lucie and Binghamton Mets. His ERA was second among Mets minor league full season qualified starters, his WHIP was third and the 13 wins were the most. He was named the Mets Sterling Organizational Pitcher of the Year and was also a Florida State League midseason All-Star.

2. Nicolas Debora – (DSL Mets) The Mets Sterling Award winner for the DSL Mets 2 had a great year going 5-2 with a 1.65 ERA and 0.943 WHIP in 15 appearances (10 starts) spanning 76.1 innings. The 21-year old right-handed pitcher also had a strong 5.38 BB and did not allow a home run the entire year. The Mets signed Nicolas out of the Dominican in 2012 for $115,000.

3. Nabil Crismatt – (GCL Mets) For the third straight year he pitched very well, this year for the Kingsport Mets in the Appalachian League going 6-1 with a 2.90 ERA and 1.032 WHIP. He allowed only 52 hits while striking out 63 in 62 innings spanning 12 appearances (8 starts). The right-hander from Barranquilla, Colombia turned 21-years old on Christmas.

4. Seth Lugo – (Las Vegas 51’s) The Mets 34th round pick in 2011 out of Centenary College of Louisiana made a name for himself this season pitching for the Binghamton Mets and 51’s. He finished going 8-7 with a 3.84 ERA and 1.250 WHIP (1.185 in Vegas). Lugo led all Mets minor league pitchers with the 127 batters he struck out in 136 innings spanning 24 starts. Here you can read my interview with Seth.

5. Casey Delgado – (Savannah Sand Gnats) The Mets signed the 25-year old righty out of the Frontier League on May 26th of this year and he made his debut just two days later throwing four scoreless innings with seven strikeouts. He finished the year going 8-4 with a 3.17 ERA, 1.095 WHIP, and walked just 21 batters in 105 innings. His ERA was 4th among Mets full season starters and his WHIP was 2nd behind only Martires Arias.

Other starters that were considered are Merandy Gonzalez (2.56 ERA, 1.065 WHIP),  Ricky Knapp (3.05 ERA, 1.298 WHIP), Corey Oswalt (11 wins, 3.36 ERA), Scarlyn Reyes (12 wins, 0.4 HR/9), Thomas McIlraith (1.71 ERA, only 58 innings), and Adonis Uceta (3.08 ERA, 1.24 WHIP).

Here you can read the top eight position players that were already chosen for the All-Star team including Dominic Smith and Gavin Cecchini.

For more Mets minor league coverage and last night’s Winter League Recap head over to

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Sporting News Names Matt Harvey NL Comeback Player of the Year Mon, 26 Oct 2015 17:10:23 +0000 matt harvey

New York Mets right-hander Matt Harvey has been named the Sporting News NL Comeback Player of the Year.

The award was voted on by MLB players, who had Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez finishing in second place.

1. Matt Harvey, Mets — 72

2. Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies — 66

3. Joey Votto, Reds — 25

4. Michael Wacha, Cardinals — 13

5. Andre Ethier, Dodgers — 3

6. A.J. Burnett, Pirates — 2

7. Others — 17

Harvey missed the 2014 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery and after a lengthy recovery process, he returned this season to make 29 starts for the NL East-winning Mets, going 13-8 with 188 strikeouts and a 4.3 WAR. His 2.71 ERA was good for sixth in the NL.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Matt and what he has accomplished this year, and coming back from that surgery, pitching as much as he has, as well as he has, and his determination to pitch in the postseason,” Mets GM Sandy Alderson told Sporting News.

Awesome… Congratulations to the Dark Knight…

October 2 – Harvey Deserves Comeback Player of the Year Award

Matt Harvey has been nominated for the comeback player of the year award in the National League along with Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies and Joey Votto of the Reds. (CBS New York)

Harvey, who missed all of 2014 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, has been excellent in his first year back from injury.

His record stands at 13-7, and he has an impressive 2.80 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 183 innings pitched. He’s undoubtedly been one of the best pitchers in baseball this year as his numbers rank towards the top of the charts in most categories. Harvey is 10th in the MLB in ERA, 8th in WHIP and has the 11th best strikeout to walk rate at 4.78.

However, Harvey will face some tough competition to win the award as Gonzalez and Votto have both had strong bounce back seasons. Gonzalez has crushed 40 home runs and 96 RBI for Colorado and has been almost unstoppable after the all-star break with a .643 slugging percentage and  .978 OPS.

Meanwhile, Votto has returned to his MVP from with a .317 average, 27 home runs and 79 RBI. He also leads the MLB in walks with 142 and has a tremendous 1.012 OPS.

Still, I think Harvey comes out on top. He’s faced so much more adversity than the other two candidates as he worked his way back from surgery and even had to deal with the intense media spotlight of New York. He overcame all of these issues and still pitched like an ace.

Gonzalez and Votto have certainly been great, but Harvey is more deserving of the award.

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Collins Believes Mets Rotation Will Soon Be The Talk Of Baseball Tue, 28 Jul 2015 17:55:37 +0000 harvey-degrom-2

According to Steven Marcus of Newsday, Terry Collins says that it’s only matter of time before the team’s rotation becomes the envy of the league.

“There’ll be a lot of talk about ‘well, we’ve got to face the Mets,’ ” Collins said Sunday. “When our young pitching — when they’re all healthy — there’s going to be a lot of compliments being handed out. In the big picture of things, for the fan base of the New York Mets, it’s going to be pretty fun to watch here in the very near future.”

Curtis Granderson says he’s already hearing praise from opposing players about the team’s promising rotation.

“I’ve heard other players from other teams say it already,” he said. “When I get to first base and talk to guys, when I get to second and talk to the second baseman and shortstop. It’s been a conversation that’s been happening.”

The Mets starters rank sixth in the majors in ERA, seventh in strikeouts and third in the league in WHIP.

The rotation is currently headlined by three excellent young starters in Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, but this is a staff that is just scratching the surface of their potential.

Once Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler return from the disabled list, New York will have five power pitchers who all have the ability to become front line starters.

Matz was ranked as the 33rd best prospect in baseball by Baseball America, and he had 2-0 record with a 1.38 ERA in two starts in the majors this year.  Wheeler, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery posted a 3.55 ERA and 187 strikeouts during 185 innings last season.


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Who’s Hot, Who’s Not: Las Vegas and Binghamton Mon, 06 Jul 2015 18:37:52 +0000 Boyd Jayce

Who’s Hot:

Jayce Boyd, Las Vegas – Boyd was riding a 6-game hitting streak entering into action on July 5th, batting .381 (8 for 21) with 3 doubles and 4 RBI over that span.

Alex Castellanos, Las Vegas – The Vegas outfielder has hit safely in 5 of his last 6 games through July 4th with 5 multi-hit games. Over this stretch, he’s hit .440 (11 for 25) with 5 runs scored, 4 doubles, 2 HR, and 5 RBI as well as 2 walks.

Darin Gorski, Las Vegas – In his last 2 starts, the 7th round pick of the 2009 draft has gone 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA. In 12.2 innings, he’s allowed 12 hits while walking 4 and striking out 7.

Chase Huchingson, Las Vegas – Since being promoted from Binghamton, Huchingson hasn’t allowed an earned run in 9 appearances. In Vegas, he’s pitched 10 innings while allowing 5 hits, 5 walks, and striking out 10.

Dario Alvarez, Binghamton – In Alvarez’s last 9 appearances, he hasn’t allowed an earned run. Over this span, he’s pitched 10 innings while allowing just 2 hits, 3 walks, and striking out 14.

Michael Fulmer, Binghamton – In Fulmer’s last 5 starts for Bingo, he has a record of 2-1 with an ERA of 0.59 in 30.1 innings. Over this stretch, he’s allowed 19 hits while walking 5 and striking out 34 with a WHIP of 0.79.

Who’s Not:

Dillon Gee, Las Vegas – Gee has fallen hard in the desert. In two starts for Vegas, he’s 1-1 with an ERA of 13.50. In 9.1 innings, he’s allowed 20 hits while walking 3 and striking out 8.

Brandon Nimmo, Binghamton – Over Nimmo’s last nine games, he’s managed just 3 singles, hitting .091 (3 for 33) while striking out 13 times.


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Reynolds, Cessa, Satterwhite Top This Week’s Hot List Sat, 13 Jun 2015 14:09:25 +0000 matt reynolds

Who’s Hot:

Matt Reynolds, Las Vegas: Reynolds has hit safely in 9 of his last 10 games, going 15 for 40 (.375 batting average) with 9 runs score, 9 RBI, 4 doubles and 1 HR.

Cody Satterwhite, Las Vegas: Satterwhite hasn’t been scored upon in 5 appearances out of the Vegas bullpen this June, pitching 6.1 innings, while striking out 6 to go with a 1.11 WHIP.

Luis Cessa, Binghamton: Over his last 3 starts, Cessa has allowed just one run over 19.2 innings, going 2-1 with a 0.46 ERA over that span. He’s also allowed just 10 hits and 2 walks while striking out 15 with a 0.61 WHIP over that span.

Michael Conforto, Binghamton: Over his last 10 games, the 2014 first round pick has hit .400 (10 for 35) with 8 walks, 8 runs scored, 5 doubles, 1 triple, 1 Home Run, and 9 RBI’s.

Matt Koch, Binghamton: Koch hasn’t been scored upon since May 13th. Over his last 8 appearances out of the Bingo bullpen, he’s pitched 12 innings with a 0.00 ERA, allowing 6 hits, 0 walks, 8 K’s, a WHIP of 0.50 with 2 wins.

Dominic Smith, St. Lucie: The 2013 first round pick has hit safely in 26 of his last 31 games dating back to May 9th, including a 16 game hitting streak from May 18th to June 3rd. Over this stretch, he’s hit .350 (43 for 123) including 14 multi-hit games while scoring 24 runs, 19 doubles, 2 HR, 30 RBI, and 7 walks.

Patrick Biondi, Savannah: Biondi was a 9th round pick in the 2013 draft. The Gnat outfielder has 5 multi-hit games since May 29th. Over his last 9 games, he’s hit .412 (14 for 34) with 6 runs scored, raising his average on the season to .317.

Casey Meisner, Savannah: The 6’7” third round pick in the 2013 draft is 4-0 over his last 4 starts dating back to May 21st. Over this stretch, he’s pitched 29.1 innings, allowing 19 hits, 8 walks, striking out 24 with a WHIP of 0.92.

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Who’s Not:

Brandon Allen, Las Vegas: Over his last 11 games dating back to May 28th, Allen is batting just .088 (3 for 34) with no extra base hits and 15 K’s.

Chasen Bradford, Las Vegas: Bradford has allowed 6 earned runs in his last three appearances out of the Vegas pen over 4.2 innings. Over this stretch, he’s pitched 4.2 innings with a 11.57 ERA, allowing 11 hits, two walks, and striking out six with a WHIP of 2.79.

Gabriel Ynoa, Binghamton: Over Ynoa’s last four starts, he’s 0-3 with an ERA of 9.30 in 20.1 innings. Over this span, he’s allowed 21 runs, 29 hits and four walks while striking out six.

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Dillon Gee Out Of Rotation, Told He’s Now A Reliever Sat, 06 Jun 2015 23:13:22 +0000 dillon gee

Terry Collins told reporters that right-hander Dillon Gee has been pulled from the rotation and will now work out of the bullpen as a reliever.

Gee was clearly frustrated by the news, telling reporters, “I feel like if I had any value before, it’s now gone.”

“I almost don’t even care anymore. I’m done trying to figure this whole situation out.”

Gee struggled upon his return from the disabled list on Thursday, allowing eight hits and seven runs (four earned) in four innings pitched.

On Friday, Terry Collins announced that he was abandoning the six-man rotation and with the way Jon Niese pitched last night, it was apparent that Gee would be the odd man out.

Adam Rubin reports that Collins apologized to Gee for having him make that extra rehab start when it wasn’t necessary.

Collins also admitted that his own staff raised some concerns with his six-man rotation plan.

(Updated by Joe D.)

June 4

During last night’s outing, Dillon Gee (0-3) allowed eight hits and seven runs (four earned) in four innings pitched. The disappointing start raised his ERA to 4.46 and WHIP to 1.46.

After the game, Terry Collins got defensive when asked if Gee will be skipped for his next start. (Mike Puma)

“If I say so, it’s a headline, so I’m not going to say so just yet,” Collins said.

Despite the rough game, Gee still has a positive outlook on the situation.

“I didn’t feel terrible tonight, but the end result wasn’t great,” Gee said. “It was a bad night. They squared up a lot of balls.”

“I will just get ready like I normally do and throw when they tell me to,” he said.

While it was only the first day of the six man rotation experiment, Collins sounded like he was ready to bail on it after the game. It was shocking how non-committal he was when pressed on Gee making his next start.

There were many wondering if the idea should be scrapped entirely while others called for adding top prospect Steven Matz to replace Gee or Jon Niese and going with our  best five or six.

Last night raised a few questions. It’s understandable that the Mets want to be cautious, but is limiting Matt Harvey or Jacob deGrom by four starts actually going to prevent injury?

Would Gee serve the team better as a long reliever out of the bullpen?

Is it counterproductive to give away precious starts to lesser pitchers at the expense of minimizing your top pitchers?

Was there ever a plan in place for how the younger pitchers would fit in knowing Syndergaard and Matz would be up by mid season as far back as spring training?

One thing seems clear, for a team with as many question marks as this one, it’s going to be hard to clinch a playoff spot without getting more innings out of their best arms.

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Mets Minors: Cecchini, Morris, Sewald Make This Week’s Hot List Tue, 02 Jun 2015 11:00:42 +0000 baseball grass spring training

Who’s Hot!

Duane Below – Las Vegas. In his last three outings, the 29 year old lefty is 2-1 with a 1.13 ERA and a WHIP of 0.88 in 24 innings. Two of his last three starts were complete games, including a shutout on May 25th.

Steven Matz – Las Vegas. Matz took the loss on 5/31 in a 1-0 game, but he still lowered his ERA on the season to a sparkling 1.98. Over his last two starts, he’s 1-1 with an ERA of 0.72 in 12 innings while allowing 6 hits, 3 walks, and 9 strikeouts with a WHIP of 0.75.

Gavin Cecchini – Binghamton. Entering Monday’s action, the 2012 first round pick had 4 straight multi-hit games, hitting .625 going (10 for 16) over that span.

Paul Sewald – Binghamton. Sewald hasn’t been scored upon in his last 5 outings dating back to May 19th. Over that span, he has 4 saves and allowed 4 hits with 1 walk and 5 K’s in 5 innings.

Jeff McNeil – St. Lucie. McNeil was riding an 8 game hitting streak entering Monday’s action during which he’s hitting (.444) 16 for 36 while scoring 9 runs with 3 doubles, 1 HR, and 3 walks.

Akeel Morris – St. Lucie. Morris may only be in A-ball, but he’s on the Mets 40-man roster and has continued his dominance. He hasn’t allowed a run in 10 appearances since May 2nd, a span of 12 innings, allowing just 3 hits, 5 walks, and striking out 14.

Dominic Smith – St. Lucie. Entering Monday’s action, the 2013 first round pick had a 13 game hitting streak which started May 18th. Over this stretch, he was hitting .377 (20 for 53) while scoring 10 runs, smacking 10 doubles, 1 HR, and 14 RBI.

David Roseboom – Savannah. Roseboom was a 17th round pick in the 2014. The lefty has been unscored upon in his last 5 outing out of the Savannah pen. Over this span, he’s pitched 5.2 innings, allowing 5 hits, 2 walks, and striking out 6.

Who’s Not!

Matt Bowman – Las Vegas. Bowman was a 13th round pick of the Mets in the 2012 draft. Over his last 4 starts, he’s 0-3 with a 6.33 ERA and an WHIP of 1.69 in 21.1 innings while allowing 8 walks and striking out 7.

Brooks Conrad – Las Vegas. The 35 year old infielder appeared in 13 games for the San Diego Padres last season. He’s struggled at the plate for the 51s this season and has been cold of late, hitless in his last 5 games since May 27th, going 0-14 over that span with 1 walk and 5 K’s.

T.J. Rivera – Las Vegas. After a hot start following his promotion to AAA, Rivera’s bat has cooled off. Entering Monday’s action, he was hitless in 5 straight games, going 0-15 with 1 walk.

Gabriel Ynoa – Binghamton. Ynoa’s 0-2 in his last two starts, allowing 13 hits (2 home runs) while walking out 3 and striking out just 3 batters in 11.1 innings, pitching to an ERA of 7.94 and a WHIP of 1.41.

Darwin Frias – Savannah. Entering play on Monday, Frias allowed runs in 4 straight appearances out of the Sand Gnats pen. In 4.1 innings over this span, he pitched to an ERA of 16.62, allowing 11 hits, walking 4, and striking out 3.

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Mets Minors: Conforto, Rivera, Smith, Morris Are Red Hot Tue, 26 May 2015 15:52:45 +0000 t.j. rivera homers

Who’s Hot:

John Church – Las Vegas. The 23rd round pick of the Mets in the 2009 draft may no longer be considered a “prospect” at age 28, but he’s putting together a very solid season in the Vegas pen. Entering Monday’s action, he hasn’t been scored upon in his last 6 appearances, and in his last 11 appearances dating back to April 28th, he has a record of 2-0 with an ERA of 0.59 in 15.1 innings with a WHIP of 0.72 with 4 walks and 11 K’s.

T.J. Rivera – Las Vegas. Since being promoted to Las Vegas, Rivera has appeared in 8 games through May 24th, hitting .414 (12 for 29). Prior to his promotion, he was hitting .318 at Binghamton in 22 games.

Jayce Boyd – Binghamton. Boyd was a 6th round pick of the Mets in the 2012 draft and is currently riding an 11 game hitting streak over which he’s hitting .386 (17 for 44) with 8 runs scored with 4 doubles and 1 HR.

Beck Wheeler – Binghamton. The Bingo reliever hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 5 outings. Since May 15th, he’s pitched 5 innings, allowing 2 hits, no walks, and 5 K’s and a WHIP of 0.40.

Michael Conforto – St. Lucie. Last year’s first round pick is on an 8 game hitting streak and has hit in 11 of the last 12 games, hitting .340 over that stretch (17 for 50). Over this span, he’s scored 9 runs with 8 doubles.

Akeel Morris – St. Lucie. Morris was a 10th round pick in the 2010 draft and has been outstanding over the last three minor league seasons. In 2014, he posted a 0.63 ERA while striking out 89 batters in 57 innings for Savannah. The 22 year old righty has allowed just 6 hits in 22 innings on the season. Over his last 8 games dating back to May 4th, he’s pitched 9.2 innings, allowing 2 hits, 4 walks, and striking out 11 to a WHIP of 0.62 and an ERA of 0.00.

Amed Rosario – St. Lucie. The 19 year old Dominican shortstop is on a 6 game hitting stream and has hit in 12 of his last 13 games, batting .360 (18 for 50) over that span while scoring 9 runs.

Dominic Smith – St. Lucie. The 19 year old first round pick of the 2013 draft is riding a 7 game hitting stream over which he’s hitting .370 (10 for 27) with 5 doubles.

Patrick Biondi – Savannah. Biondi was a 9th round pick in the 2013 draft. Through May 24th, Biondi had hit in 9 of the previous 10 games batting .419 (13 for 31) including 4 multi-hit games.

Who’s Not:

Kyle Johnson – Las Vegas. The 25 year old Vegas outfielder hasn’t had a hit or a walk since May 15th entering Monday’s action. He’s 0 for his last 15 with 5 K’s.

David Cooper – Binghamton. Cooper was a former 1st round pick of the Blue Jays who appeared in 72 major league games for Toronto in 2011-12. He was playing in the Independent Atlantic League earlier this season before being picked up by the Mets. In his last 7 games dating back to May 17th, he’s hitting .083 (2 for 24) while playing first base.

Julian Hilario – Binghamton. Hilario has struggled since being promoted from St. Lucie. In his four appearances since being promoted, he’s had an ERA of 13.50, allowing 6 earned runs in 4 innings, allowing 11 hits, walking 4 with a WHIP of 3.75 and opposing batters hitting .524 off him.

Darwin Frias – Savannah. The 23 year old Dominican pitcher has been scored upon in his last three appearances entering Monday’s action, allowing 5 earned runs in 2.2 innings while yielding 6 hits and 4 walks. Over his last three appearances dating back to May 17th, he’s pitched to an ERA of 16.88 and a WHIP of 3.75.

Jon Leroux – Savannah. The 24 year old infielder was hitting .197 on the season entering Monday’s action. Over his last 7 games dating back to May 15th, he’s hitting just .043 (1 for 23) with 9 strikeouts.

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Akeel Morris Is On The Fast Track Fri, 09 Jan 2015 14:34:49 +0000 Morris - Akeel

Mets farmhand Akeel Morris is someone you should keep a lookout for. After a rocky season at Kingsport where he went 0-6 and posted a 7.98 ERA in 38.1 innings, the 2010 10th round pick rebounded extremely well and was lights-out in 2013 and again in 2014.

By lights out, of course, I mean absolutely dominant. In 2013, pitching for the Short Season Brooklyn Cyclones, he went 4-1 while posting a 1.00 ERA. In 45 innings he allowed just 29 hits and struck out 60 batters. He started 3 games before he was moved to the bullpen, where he was extremely effective, finishing 7 games and saving one.

As impressive as the 1.00 ERA and the 12 K/9 are, his 2014 season was worlds better. He pitched for Single-A Savannah, and once again went 4-1. However, this time around, he posted an inhuman 0.63 ERA. In 57 innings, he allowed a mere 19 hits and struck out 89. He walked 22 batters, which brings his WHIP to a minuscule 0.719. This season, he didn’t start any games, coming in from the ‘pen exclusively in 41 games. He finished 28 of them and saved 16.

With all of these huge power arms we’ve been hearing so much about, such as Syndergaard, Montero, and Matz among others, it’s easy for some to get lost in the fray. We have a surplus of young potential closers on the team; Mejia, Parnell, Black, and Familia, but there is another one waiting in the wings. Morris is already on the 40-man roster as a 22-year old, and if he can continue to be this dominant, it shouldn’t be long until we see him pitching at Citi Field.


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Mets Considering Re-Signing LHP Dana Eveland Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:32:02 +0000 dana-eveland-mlb-philadelphia-phillies-new-york-mets-850x560

Yesterday we learned the Mets were interested in bringing back right-handed reliever Buddy Carlyle, which you can read here.

Today, Adam Rubin of ESPN NY reports that Sandy Alderson also has interest in re-signing left-hander Dana Eveland.

Eveland, 31, had a 2.63 ERA in 30 relief appearances for the Mets, striking out 27 and walking six in 27.1 innings pitched. Eveland had a career best 1.09 WHIP after last pitching in the majors in 2012. Over nine major league seasons his WHIP is 1.629 with a 5.27 ERA.

It’s not known how Eveland has progressed since after being shutdown with inflammation in his pitching elbow in early September and being subsequently released after the season. If healthy, he’s worth bringing back on a one year deal.

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Familia Might Be The Most Lethal Weapon In Mets Bullpen Fri, 21 Mar 2014 15:18:26 +0000 jeurys familia

Terry Collins says he’s getting ready to lock in the seven pitchers who will comprise the Mets’ Opening Day bullpen. “Nine guys vying for those seven spots, and they’re going to be getting a lot of pitching,” Collins said. “It’s time to play it like we’re getting ready for the season.”

In my opinion one reliever who has locked onto one of those spots is young righthander Jeurys Familia, who is quickly establishing himself as the most lethal weapon the Mets will have in the pen this season. While Bobby Parnell and Vic Black get most of the limelight, trust me, the rising star in this bunch is Familia.

The hard-throwing 24-year old came into camp fresh off a dominating performance in Winter Ball that had more than one scout raving about his 103 MPH fastball. And only a a week after pitchers and catchers reported, Collins got a glimpse of Familia when he tossed his first bullpen.

Familia is an imposing presence on the mound. When he hurls his 6-foot-4, 230 pound frame towards home plate and that ball flies out of his hand it’s a daunting task for opposing hitters to square up against him.

In early February, Mets VP of player development Paul DePodesta said Familia was the player he was most excited to see this spring. “We expect him to have a breakout year,” DePodesta said. “Now that he’s healthy, I am excited to see him in camp.”

As Spring Training comes to a close, Familia has let his pitching do all the talking. He’s unscored upon in six innings and has allowed just two hits and walk while striking out five.

The best relievers in the game all have that unmistakable swagger, it’s something that grows with experience. Familia’s got that.

What makes Familia stand out to me is how he is already oozing with confidence and pitches so fearlessly.

“I am confident, healthy and I trust my stuff,” said Familia. “When I see a hitter step into the batter’s box, it’s time for me to get serious and go after them.”

It’s going to be fun watching Familia dominate the NL East late in games this season. And my hunch is that by this time next year, he’ll be entering 2015 as the Mets closer.

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Mets Pitching Prospects Strutting Their Stuff Mon, 10 Mar 2014 14:55:14 +0000 Jeff Roberson Associated Press  steven matz

It’s nothing more than a glimpse of hope, a promise that the talk of better days ahead might just be more reality than simply talk. They have only thrown an inning here and an inning there over the Mets first ten spring training games, but collectively the young pitching prospects the Mets have compiled in Port St. Lucie are leaving Met fans shaking their heads with wonder.

To date twelve Met pitchers flash perfect 0.00 ERA’s and ten pitchers have WHIP’s of 1.00 or less. Jacob deGrom has been all about making a good first impression with the Mets. In three games he has pitched 6 innings averaging a strikeout per inning.

Since day one Zack Wheeler has indicated he would love to be the Opening Day pitcher . So far Wheeler has provided solid evidence for that argument throwing two scoreless three inning outings and matching deGrom’s strikeout average.

Noted for his pinpoint command, Rafael Montero has been spot on over his first four innings facing major league batters with a speck of a WHIP at 0.25, only slightly besting a big righthanded kid hoping to win a spot in the Met bullpen, Jeurys Familia with a WHIP of 0.33.

Then there is Steven Matz, with his rebuilt left arm, firing fastballs in the mid 90’s and looking like he’s simply having a blast on the mound. Matz has only appeared twice so far this spring, one inning each time, but the kid has already chalked up 5 strikeouts.

And, of course, the ground seems to tremble every time the ‘Thunder God’ steps on the diamond in St. Lucie. His numbers might not match those of the aforementioned but his inaugural appearances with the Mets have been a media sensation. With expectations soaring skyward, Noah Syndergaard has arrived.

This list in not all inclusive. Vic Black has nasty stuff when he gets it over the plate. Jeff Walters shows glimpses of why people in Binghamton were so excited last season when Pedro Lopez handed him the ball to close games for the B-Mets. And, Joel Carreno is acting like he would at least like to be considered as part of the Met pitching conversation.

Everyone knows spring training can be relaxed and casual. The numbers a pitcher puts in the books can be short lived, casual, almost fleeting. Experienced pitchers are not generally concerned with actual outputs, toying with their stuff by adding a new pitch or tinkering with their mechanics.

Yet, every time a pitcher is handed the ball his purpose on the mound is to get batters out without allowing runs to cross the plate. Against that standard, the Met cadre of young arms in St. Lucie has been tantalizing, an alluring blend of baseball slight-of-hand that entices this beguiled Met fan to awaken each morning with only one baseball thought on my mind, ‘What young Met arm will be handed the ball and asked to pitch today?’

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Carlos Torres A Lock For Mets Bullpen Wed, 05 Mar 2014 07:48:26 +0000 torres

Team sources have told Adam Rubin that the Mets are planning to have reliever Carlos Torres break camp with the big-league roster.

The right-hander is out of options, meaning he would need to clear waivers to be sent to the minors. After a solid season for the Mets in 2013, there’s no chance he wouldn’t get claimed by another team.

Torres, 31, went 4-6 with a 3.44 ERA and 1.112 WHIP in 33 appearances including nine starts last season.

Along with Torres, Ruben Tejada and Eric Young Jr. are the only Mets out of options, writes Rubin.

I like Torres… He was a nice pickup by Sandy Alderson last offseason…

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Jenrry Mejia Suddenly Appears To Be On The Outside Looking In Sat, 15 Feb 2014 01:17:50 +0000 jenrry mejia

It appears that Jenrry Mejia, who was previously considered a lock for the fifth spot in the rotation, is now clearly behind behind veterans Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lannan who were signed to minor league deals two weeks ago.

“I’ve always said those veterans can really get you out of the blocks,” Terry Collins said Friday. “Then, when those kids are ready, they’re the ones a lot of times that bring you that extra energy, especially late in the summer.”

Mejia, 24, impressed fans and scouts alike with a dominant showing late last season before shutting it down to have a pre-planned procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow. Here’s a video of his dominating season debut:

The homegrown righty posted a 2.30 ERA and 1.17 WHIP with 27 strikeouts and just four walks in 27.1 innings pitched after his promotion from the minors where he posted a 2.55 ERA and 9.5 K/9.

Mejia was one of the first arrivals to camp last month and showed up feeling great and ready to compete.

“The only thing I know is that’s going to be a competition,” Mejia said this week. “I am here, my arm feels good. I’ll be ready to be there. Whatever they want me to do, that’s what I have to do. But I want to be in the fifth spot.”

If Collins gets his way, both Lannan and Dice-K will likely make the team, meaning a certain trip to Triple-A for Mejia and a couple of cuts from the team’s 40-man roster as well.

The Mets manager also sounded like Kyle Farnsworth and Jose Valverde were virtual locks for the bullpen, which would likely mean that Jeurys Familia will also be heading to Las Vegas along with Mejia. Familia wowed the scouts at Winter Ball and his fastball frequently clocked in over 100 mph.

I don’t usually put a lot of credence into anything Terry Collins says, except for when he’s waving his “I gotta go with my veterans” flag. He usually means business when he’s touting that malarkey.

Of course it would be a real shame if both Mejia and Familia were to pitch well this Spring only to end up on a plane to Nevada when the Mets break camp. But given the recent history and track records of these veterans that were supposedly here only to provide some competition, Mejia and Familia should keep their suitcases handy.

Presented By Diehards

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Free Agent Update: Brewers Sign K-Rod, Mets Scouted Hanrahan Today Fri, 07 Feb 2014 14:28:33 +0000 Minnesota Twins v Boston Red Sox

MLBTR confirmed that the Mets did attend a light bullpen today to watch Joel Hanrahan as Buster Olney reported on Thursday.

Hanrahan’s agent Mike Dillon of Reynolds Sports Management tells MLBTR:

“Reports of a showcase workout with Joel Hanrahan are inaccurate. Teams that have been interested in watching his light bullpens have been welcome and the Mets are watching him today. We do not anticipate Joel throwing for multiple clubs in a ‘showcase’ type of workout until early March when he will be closer to 100%. Having said that, we are excited and very encouraged with Joel’s progress.”

It looks like even if the Mets were to land Hanrahan, he might be looking at a potential May or June return to the majors.

Hanrahan, 32, underwent Tommy John surgery last May and also had the flexor tendon in his right elbow repaired. 

The veteran reliever had two solid seasons for the Pirates saving 36 games and posting a 2.72 ERA in 2012, and saving 40 contests with a 1.83 ERA in 2011.


MLB Trade Rumors is also reporting that the Brewers have agreed on a one year major league deal with former Met Francisco Rodriguez.. K-Rod will earn $3.25 million with another $550K in incentive bonuses according to Adam McCalvy of

Rodriguez delivered a solid season for the Brew Crew in 2013 posting a 1.09 ERA in 25 appearances with ten saves. But he didn’t fare as well after being traded to the Orioles where his ERA climbed to 4.50 in 22 innings for the O’s.

Tampa Bay signed the best contract of this past off-season

The Seattle Mariners have agreed to sign free agent closer Fernando Rodney to a two-year, $14 million deal, according to Jonah Keri of Grantland.

Rodney, 36, was reportedly being pursued by the Mets despite being downplayed by Sandy Alderson.

Last season, Rodney saved 37 games for the Rays with a 3.38 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 82 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings. Down the stretch, Rodney bore down and posted a  0.82 ERA and 0.82 WHIP in September.

Lastly, relievers Carlos Marmol agreed to a one-year deal with the Miami Marlins, and Mitchell Boggs signed a one year pact with the Chicago White Sox. Neither were strong considerations by the Mets.

Presented By Diehards

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Are We Better In 2014: The Bullpen Sun, 02 Feb 2014 18:38:21 +0000 latroy hawkins

In the final part of the “Are We Better?” series, we’ll focus on the bullpen.

On the outside looking in, the 2013 Mets pitching staff seemed like a strength of the organization.  Our rotation finished with the 8th best ERA amongst all teams, and the bullpen seemed to be average, with good seasons from Bobby Parnell, LaTroy Hawkins and Carlos Torres, as well as decent showings from guys like Josh Edgin, Scott Rice, Vic Black and Gonzalez German.

The reality of it is that even though our starting pitching had a good collective ERA on paper, we were actually 7th of 15 teams in the NL.  One thing to remember when comparing team staffs is that the NL pitchers get to face the opposing pitcher in the batters box twice per game on average. The bullpen, on the other hand, is more comparable between leagues because the pitchers spot in the lineup is usually a pinch hitter late in NL games.  Either way, it is much more accurate to compare a team vs same league opponents than it is across all teams in baseball, as a whole.

That being said, the 2013 Mets bullpen finished with a -0.1 fWAR, which was good for 27th among the 30 teams last season. Another thing to keep in mind, is that even though it seems like games are won and lost with the bullpen, it has much less impact on the outcome of games when you take everything into account.  Individually, a good reliever pitches between 60-80 innings per season with no at-bats.  In comparison, a starting position player plays in the field for nine innings and has 4+ ABs per game, and a good starting pitcher can throw 200 IP or more and be in the batter’s box a couple of times a game, in the NL anyway.

2013 Opening Day: B. Parnell, L. Hawkins, S. Atchison, B. Lyon, J. Edgin, S. Rice, G. Burke, J. Familia

2014 Projected: B. Parnell, V. Black, J. Familia, G. German, J. Edgin, S. Rice, R. Reid, C. Torres

Bobby Parnell was outstanding last season.  He made his last appearance for the 2013 Mets on July 30th, and is recovering from neck surgery.  Parnell should be ready for opening day, and is currently throwing, and preparing for the 2014 season.

2013: 5-5, 2.16 ERA, 22 Saves, 50 IP, .211 BAA, 1.00 WHIP

Parnell was worth 1.2 fWAR & 0.7 rWAR in 2013. He may not be quite as dominating as he was last year, but if he pitches 60 IP and is close to as effective as he was last season, then he should be worth about 1.0.  Even

Vic - Black, RHP

There is definitely some buzz and excitement amongst fans about the August 2013 trade that brought Vic Black into the organization.  He has a big arm, killer instinct, and a pretty cool late inning reliever name.  There is no question that Vic has the “stuff” and the arm to be successful in a late inning role at the major league level.  The only question with Black is “Will he throw enough quality strikes?”.  He has struggled with command at times, and he does have enough on his fastball to get away with the occasional mistake, but he will have to refine his command.

Black reminds me of Bobby Parnell from a few years ago.  Big arm, oozing potential, with plenty of room for improvement.  If he can locate on the corners consistently, he can close games at the big league level.  We have to come up with a nasty nickname for Vic.  Obviously, if he would’ve remained with the Pirates, “Black Beard” was the no brainer, there.  Anyway, he was worth 0.1 fWAR & rWAR in 13 IP for the Mets last year.

2013: 3-0, 3.46 ERA, 1 Save, .224 BAA, 1.15 WHIP

I feel like Black will cover the 13 innings he pitched with the Mets last season, and at least cover the 34 IP that Brandon Lyon was responsible for even if he doesn’t refine his command at all.  Lyon was worth -0.4 WAR in 2013.  That would put Black pitching right around 50 innings in 2014.  If he is 0.1 or 0.2, which I think is a very realistic and reasonable. +0.5 wins

Gonzalez German showed flashes of potential last season, but he faded a bit down the stretch.  Was it because he was tired, overused, or the league figured out his arsenal a bit?  That remains to be seen, but I do like German in the 2014 bullpen, as he has uses a change up at his 2nd pitch which isn’t very common for RP in today’s game.  I think it will complement the other members of the pen well, since most are fastball-sliders types.  “Gonzo” managed 34.1 IP in his first taste of major league action.  He was worth 0.5 fWAR & 0.0 rWAR.  He can cover that in 2014.  Even

scott rice 2

Scott Rice was a really great story in 2013 as he made the team out of spring training after spending well over a decade in the minor leagues.  He made 73 appearances before having season ending surgery for a sports hernia.  Someone is gonna have to sit beside Collins in the dugout, and just flat out tell him “Rice isn’t available tonight, Terry”.  It seemed like Rice pitched every game, and earned the nickname “Everyday Rice” last season.  He will be more effective if he doesn’t have to warm up in the bullpen every night to face one batter in the actual game.  I realize he is a loogy, but we have to find a RH reliever that can be effective against both RH & LH hitters to take some of the stress off of Rice.  A healthy season of Josh Edgin should help to remedy that as well.  2013 Rice fWAR 0.3 rWAR 0.2.  Even

Speaking of Edgin, I don’t know exactly what to expect from him in 2014.  He started out his 2013 season about as bad as he could, sporting a 9.64 ERA, 1.82 WHIP and opponents were hitting a robust .325 BAA as the calendar turned to May.  He was sent to the minor leagues to work out his “confidence” problems, although he wasn’t throwing the 95 MPH fastball he showed in 2012.  Whatever he focused on during his demotion worked, as he sported an ERA of 0.93, a 1.09 WHIP and a .224 BAA in June & July before his season ended early due to a stress fracture.  He was basically worth 0.0 in 2013 over 28 IP.  I think Edgin can cover his 28 IP from last season + the 19 IP that Feliciano, Byrdak, and Sean Henn completed in 2013 at -0.2  If he’s anywhere close to the Edgin that came back in June & July, +0.5 Wins should be no problem.

Jeurys Familia is a guy that’s been as high as #2 on our top prospect list as he dominated AA as a SP in 2011.  He has struggled with his command, but there is little doubt he has the pure stuff to dominate in the back end of any bullpen.  He had surgery last season to remove bone chips from his elbow, and should be ready for a breakout 2014 and secure a role in the Mets pen for the next several years.  I’m going to temper expectations until I see him throw enough strikes and call him a 0.0, but he should easily cover his 10 IP from last season and the -0.5 that Atchison gave us over 45.1 innings. +0.5 Wins

carlos torres

Carlos Torres was an unbelievable, out of nowhere, complete head-turner in 2013.  He really saved our staff last season and after making his first appearance on June 16th, he ended up pitching 86.0 innings between the rotation and the bullpen.  Overall, he fared far better out of the bullpen than he did as a starter, but other than two horrid starts against the Nationals in which he gave up 14 ER over 7 IP, he was really good as a starter too.

2013 Reliever: 1-1, 1.47 ERA, .203  BAA, 0.87 WHIP, 36.2 IP

2013 Starter: 3-5, 4.89  ERA, .269 BAA, 1.29 WHIP, 49.2 IP

If you remove those 2 starts vs the Nationals 3-3,  2.74  ERA

He was actually really good in whatever role in which he was used last season.  Nonetheless, I feel like we have enough SP depth in 2014 that Torres won’t be relied on to make nearly as many starts.  He might make a spot start or two, but for the most part I think the Mets are counting on him to be a big part of the 2014 bullpen.  I’m not going to compare Torres to himself last season because I think the majority of his innings will come out of the bullpen.  I think Torres will replace the 70 IP that Latroy Hawkins gave us at 0.7, roughly.  -0.5 Wins

Ryan Reid was recently added to the 40 man roster after being claimed by the Pirates.  Reid put up a 1.64 ERA over 11 IP with the Pirates in 2013, and pitched very well in a relief role in their AAA affiliate.  He could be really good, or he could be nothing special, but we’ll predict he gets roughly 36.2 IP that Torres threw out of the Mets bullpen last year that was worth +0.5.  -0.5 Wins

Jeff Walters was also added to the 40 man roster prior to the Rule V draft, and he set a Mets AA record at Binghamton last season with 38 Saves.  It’s been reported that he touched 96 MPH on the gun several times last year.  It’s pretty safe to say the velocity is plus.  If he can refine his breaking ball, and command his pitches, he could be another fire balling back end of the bullpen type that joins Familia & Black to secure the back end for years to come.  Its OK to get excited about it, but certainly not to count on it.  In any case, I think Walters will be a little better than the -0.5 Aardsma was worth over 40 IP. +0.5 Wins

Jack Leathersich is our top LH relief prospect, and he has posted eye popping K numbers throughout his minor league career.  He doesn’t throw that hard, but he has tremendous deception.  Between AA & AAA in 2013 “The Leather Rocket” struck out 102 batters in 58.1 IP.  WOW.  That’s ridiculous.  Almost 2.0 K/9.  He dominated AA, but he gave up 32 hits in 29 IP at Vegas and walked 29 for a WHIP 2.10.  He needs some serious work on his command to succeed at the big league level.  Surely, he can’t be worse than Robert Carson was last season (-1.0) in 20 IP. +0.5 Wins

The Mets signed Joel Carreno this offseason who got glowing reviews from Baseball America as a guy who should be able to provide solid innings in a major league bullpen. To be honest, I don’t know much about him, but I find it hard to believe he will be worse than Greg Burke was last year over roughly 30 IP.(-1.4 rWAR & 0.0 fWAR).  If we value him at -0.25 that would put us at: +0.5 Wins

Erik Goeddel, Cory Mazzoni, & Jacob deGrom are three arms that have been at least semi successful as SP in the minor leagues.  At some point we will have to start moving some of these guys to the bullpen or moving them for proven players, as the Mets will face a serious roster crunch next offseason when its time to protect players from the Rule V draft.

Goeddel was a closer at UCLA, but has been used exclusively as a starter so far.  I think this is the year he moves to the bullpen.  He hit 95 MPH out of the pen at UCLA, but works in the low 90′s as a SP.  I think he can get that velocity back up with a move to the pen.  Cory Mazzoni & deGrom both have the stuff to pitch in the back end of a rotation, but again, we’re lucky enough to have Montero & Syndergaard poised to make their major league debut in the rotation this year along with Gee, Niese, Colon, Mejia and Dice-K.  Mazzoni is another guy that had more velocity in college and is projected to go from 91-93 MPH as a starter to 93-95 MPH as a RP.  He also has a splitter that could end up being at least an average pitch.

We have roughly 20 IP unaccounted for from 2013 from Laffey, Recker(Ha), Francisco, McHugh & Marcum that was worth -0.2  I don’t think Goeddel, Mazzoni or deGrom would do any worse in 20 IP, and they could be better by leaps and bounds. Even

Trying to predict how a major league bullpen performs over the course of a full season is next to impossible.  I was really excited about the Brandon Lyon signing last year, and he was awful.

I would love for the Mets to add Joel Hanrahan and gamble on a bounce back season after missing most of 2013.  It would be a pretty big gamble as Hanrahan had TJ surgery, and had bone chips removed from his elbow.  He may not be ready until the All-Star break.  It would have to be a low base, incentive laden deal.

Whether we add someone else or not, we have much more depth throughout the organization this year than we did at this time last year.  Relievers are a huge gamble either way as the variance from year to year is vast.  If guys like Black, Familia and German can build on their 2013 seasons, and Parnell, Edgin and Rice come back healthy, we could have a really strong bullpen in 2014.  If guys like Reid, Walters, Goeddel, deGrom & Leathersich can come up and be called upon to deliver solid innings, then we could have a dominant bullpen.  I’m not worried about the bullpen either way.  If we are in the race around the trade deadline, we can add a RP or two with relative ease via trade.  We should be a couple of wins better in the bullpen department in 2014.  It would be hard for us to be worse.

Presented By Diehards

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Are We Better In 2014 Than 2013: The Mets’ Starting Rotation Thu, 30 Jan 2014 14:00:47 +0000 harvey gee wheeler

We recently ran through the position players on the current Mets roster, and projected the opening day position players vs the 2013 opening day Mets.  It’s pretty safe to say that we are in much better shape, on paper at least, than we were last year at this time.  Let’s see how the arms stack up compared to 2013.

2013Johan Santana (Out for Season), Jon Niese, Matt Harvey, Dillon Gee, Jeremy Hefner, Aaron Laffey, Shaun Marcum (DL)

2014 – Matt Harvey (Out for Season), Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, Zack Wheeler, Bartolo Colon, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jenrry Mejia, John Lannan

Last season was a very odd start, to say the least, in regard to our rotation.  After trading the reigning NL CY Young Award Winner to the Blue Jays, for what looks to be a really nice haul of young talent, our presumed No. 1 starter goes on the shelf and is done for the year before the 2013 season started, which included a very bizarre, seemingly angry and impromptu bullpen session.  What looked like an area of strength became a position of scarcity overnight.

On top of that, with $25 million tied up in Johan Santana, and moving R.A. Dickey to Toronto, Shaun Marcum wasn’t available to join the rotation until April 27th, and he wasn’t exactly 100% as his season ended in early June.

 ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

The 2013 Mets actually went with a four-man rotation to start the season as we did not have enough healthy starters to fill out a big league rotation. It wasn’t until we signed Aaron Laffey, who made his debut on April 7th, that we actually had a full staff, and that included Jeremy Hefner pitching out of the bullpen in game two and starting game four.  Luckily for the Mets, the team had nine off days in the first five weeks of the season, as five of their scheduled games were postponed due to inclement weather.

It looks like we will begin our second consecutive season with our Ace hurler under the knife and out for the season.  We’re not gonna talk much about this.  I’m still heart broken.

Jon Niese

jon nieseNiese was the opening day starter in 2013, and has a good chance of getting the opening day nod again in 2014.  Niese took a small step back in 2013, as he dealt with a shoulder injury that sidelined him for three weeks in late June.  Niese was 3-6 with a 4.32 ERA over 77 innings pitched when he went on the DL, but was sharp after returning, going 5-2 with a 3.00 ERA over 66 innings pitched in his final 10 starts of the season.  Niese was diagnosed with a slight tear in his rotator cuff.  As long as the tear doesn’t worsen, he will be able to pitch normally, but he will most likely need to rest a few starts if his shoulder flares up, similar to the 3 weeks he was unavailable in 2013.

Niese finished the year with 24 GS, 8-8, 3.71 ERA, 143 IP, 105 K, .281 BAA, 1.44 WHIP.

For his career he has a 3.99 ERA, .272  BAA, 1.38 WHIP

I want to believe that Niese will take a big step forward next season and post numbers similar to 2012  13-9  3.40, but I think the best we can expect from Niese is somewhere between 2012 & 2013. He was worth 1.6 fWAR and 0.7 rWAR last year.  He will probably be right around 1.5 range in 2014.

2014 WAR: Even

Dillon Gee

dillon geeGee started the 3rd game of the 2013 season and looked like he was fully recovered from the blood clot in his shoulder, and subsequent surgery, that ended his 2012 campaign at the All-Star Break when he opened the season with 6.1 innings pitched, allowing three hits and one earned run against San Diego. If you recall, Dillon was pitching so well heading into the break in 2012 that he had been named the starter of the first game of the second half.

Bad news…Blood clot…DL.  You know the story.

Gee was not quite back to where he was in 2012, as he struggled mightily over his next 9 starts and carried a 2-6 record and a 6.34 ERA into Yankee Stadium on May 30th.  Coincidentally, the Mets were going for a four game sweep against their cross-town rivals.  Gee was brilliant as he needed only 88 pitches to spin 7.1 innings pitched, allowing three hits and an earned run while striking out 12 Yankee hitters, or non-hitters on that particular night, to finish off the four game sweep.  Anthony Recker happened to be catching that night and Buck was behind the plate in all of Gee’s previous starts.

From that dominating performance through the rest of the season, Gee was 10-5 with a  2.71 ERA in 22 games started. Across 149.1 innings pitched he complied a 4:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

He probably should’ve had at least three more wins over that stretch—two versus Atlanta alone.

For the season, Gee ended with a 12-11 record, a 3.62 ERA, and 1.28 WHIP over 199 innings pitched (Collins should’ve let him pitch the 7th in his last start).

Gee was one of the best pitchers in the NL over the season’s final four months.  He’s not gonna blow people away with 98 MPH heat, but he has pinpoint control, as he walked only 25 over his final 22 starts. He has movement on his fastball, deception with his change, and he can throw his breaking ball at any time in the count.  I really think 2014 will be a big year for Gee, but just to be safe, we’ll call 2013 Gee 1.2 fWar and 2.2 rWAR versus 2014 Gee (2.0-2.5).

2014 WAR: Even

Zack Wheeler

zack wheeler 3I’m pretty excited to see how Wheeler progresses in the upcoming season.  Let’s all get one thing very clear right now—he is not Matt Harvey.  It is not fair to this kid to put the expectations of what Harvey accomplished in his first 36 starts on Wheeler’s shoulders, or arm I guess.

Matt Harvey isn’t even the Matt Harvey we saw over the course of the last season plus.  Harvey was pitching at such a high level, game in and game out, with such intimidation and emotion.  There is no way his arm was able to hold up at that level.  We may never see the Matt Harvey of 2013 again.  He may have to tone it down a notch to prolong his career when he returns.

Wheeler does have good stuff.  He will really need to work hard on his command this spring, and his off-speed pitches will need to become much more consistent and refined.  However, 7-5 with a 3.42 ERA in his first 100 innings pitched in the big leagues is nothing to take lightly.  He will, most likely, be on an innings limit similar to Harvey in 2013, especially considering he throws a high amount of pitches per inning.  He can lower that number with better command.  Wheeler started 17 games last season (0.6 & 1.1), and Marcum started 12 (1.2 & -1.0).  Those 29 starts combined produced a WAR of roughly 1.0.  I’m pretty sure Wheeler can make somewhere between 25-30 starts and top that number quite easily.

2014 WAR: +1.5

Jenrry Mejia

Phillies Mets BaseballMejia seems like he’s been around forever.  I’m still a touch upset at Jerry Manuel for selfishly rushing this kid to a major league bullpen at age 20.  He most likely would’ve had Tommy John at some point, but being jerked back and forth between the rotation and bullpen, with seemingly no plan in place didn’t do this kid any good, physically or mentally.

The good news, he will pitch the 2014 season at age 24, and he looked really, really good in his five starts last season.  The bad news, he’s coming off yet another surgery, this time to remove bone chips from his elbow, and could open the season at AAA.  He only has one option left, so it may be wise to keep him on the big club, and if he struggles, or isn’t fully recovered, we can send him down one last time.

As much as I love this kids stuff, I just can’t find any evidence to convince me that he will stay healthy for more than a handful of starts.  There is no doubt he will be on an innings limit, and closely monitored.  He has never thrown more than 108 innings pitched in any season thus far, and managed only 50 innings last year.  If he gets to 100 I’ll be stunned…excited, elated, and overjoyed, but stunned.

His five starts last season were worth about 0.5 WAR, so 10-12 starts from Mejia will still be better than five, and much better than the seven starts we got from Laffey, Collin McHugh and Harang that produced -0.3 WAR in 2013.

2014 WAR: +1.0

Daisuke Matsuzaka

daisuke matsuzakaThe Mets recently inked Matsuzaka to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training.  He will compete for the fifth spot in the rotation with Mejia & John Lannan.  I actually really like this signing. It’s low-risk and he looked really good over his last several starts.  Worst case scenario, he is insurance if one of the starters goes down with an injury, but that would never happen……….

Let’s say he makes 10-15 starts and covers his seven starts from last season, and the nine starts Carlos Torres made.  I realize that Carlos Torres pitched very well last season, but he was much better in a relief role.  Torres compiled a 1.47 ERA, .203  BAA , 0.87 WHIP from the bullpen, and 4.89 ERA, .269 BAA, 1.29 WHIP as a starter.

2014 WAR: Even (but +1.0 is very possible.)

Bartolo Colon

BartoloColonThere have been mixed reviews over the Colon signing, 2yr/$20mil($9-2014 $11-2015).  Personally, I like it.  I don’t love it, but I do like it.  Look, starters go down with injury every year.  Last winter we assumed our rotation was a strength and we had plenty of depth, but after unloading Dickey, we could barely fill out a major league rotation.  What would we have done if Harvey didn’t turn out to be superman last year?

Twelve pitchers made at least one start for the Mets in 2013, and Anthony Recker pitched an inning.  There are worse ways we could’ve spent the money.  Is he old?  Yeah, 41 in May.  Is he overweight?  Yeah, 5-foot-11 and 265.  PEDs?  Check.

We can’t discount the fact that he was really good last year though, and with the contracts being handed out to starting pitchers this offseason, $215 & $155 million for Kershaw & Tanaka respectively, it’s a pretty small gamble in comparison.  I also think Sandy will move him at the deadline if we aren’t in the race, and next offseason, if we are.  Hopefully, he can bring back a high end shortstop, outfield or pitching prospect.

In 2013, Colon pitched 190 innings, compiling an 18-6 record, 2.65 ERA, 3 CG (Shutouts), 29 BB, and a 1.17 WHIP while facing a DH every night.

There have been many CY Young Awards handed out to pitchers with seasons that weren’t as good as Colon’s 2013.

Harvey was worth roughly 6.0 WAR last season in 26 starts.  Bartolo Colon was worth 4.5 in 30 in a much tougher league for pitchers.  I think Colon will regress this season, but I also know he won’t face a DH every time out.  He could certainly be worth 4.0 WAR in 2014 if he is anywhere close to the Colon of 2013, but let’s be conservative on this one.

2014 WAR: -3.5

Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard

jeremy hefnerSo we have all of the starts covered from 2013 with the exception of the 23 made by Jeremy Hefner.  From what I gather, Jeremy Hefner is not exactly a fan favorite, and I feel what he did last season went largely unnoticed.

Looking at his numbers as a whole, they seem rather pedestrian.  Fifth starter numbers or similar, but there was stretch last season heading into the All-Star Break when Hefner was throwing the ball as good as anyone in the NL.

He finished up the first half in the top 10 in ERA at 3.33 over 108 innings pitched in 18 starts, and from May 31-July 18, over his last eight starts heading into the break, he was 3-1 with a 1.76 ERA over 51 innings pitched. He allowed 42 hits and eight walks while striking out 40 over that span.  He had four no decisions in which he gave up a total of five earned runs, and sported a 5:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Hefner was hitting 93 MPH with his fastball, and complemented it with a cutter, curveball, slider, and change up.  He came back after the All-Star break with an 87 MPH fastball, and had Tommy John in August.  He could potentially be back at the end of August to make some starts as the younger guys start hitting their innings limits.  Overall his production will not be hard to replace since he started eight games after the break when he was clearly injured, and those eight starts were as bad, as the previous eight were good.

Rafael Montero should make 10-15 starts, and prized possession Noah Syndergaard should make around 10 at the major league level.  Montero threw 155 innings across AA and AAA in 2013 and should be on a limit of 175 in 2014, while “Thor” pitched only 117.  He will be capped around 150.  We should see both of these guys by late June or July.  If these two are as good as advertised, they should have no problem covering the -0.2 WAR that Hefner’s 23 starts were ultimately worth.

2014 WAR: +1.5

Replacing Harvey is impossible.  We won’t have one starter that produces 26 starts like he did last year, but I think, as a whole, the rotation will be at least AS good as the 2013 rotation with the potential to be better.  Something would have to go decidedly wrong for it not to be.  If nothing else, we should have enough arms to start the season with a full rotation.  We have some exciting young arms about to show off their stuff in 2014. If even a couple of guys can take a step forward, we could have as much rotation depth as anyone in baseball when 2015 rolls around.  A rotation of Harvey, Wheeler, Syndergaard, Montero and Mejia/Niese/Gee/Colon with several intriguing arms in lower levels of the minors, is a bit overwhelming.  The future appears to be just on the horizon.

We’ll have something up on the bullpen in the coming days.

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Mets Sign Dice-K To A Minor League Deal Fri, 24 Jan 2014 20:39:56 +0000 daisuke matsuzaka

The Mets just announced that they have signed righthander Daisuke Matsuzaka to a minor league deal. Of course that includes a Spring Training invite.

I like having the 33-year old Dice-K back, who seemed to rediscover his old self after three bad starts and a fix by pitching coach Dan Warthen.

After allowing 15 earned runs in his first 12.1 innings pitched, the former Japanese phenom held the opposition to just four runs in his next 26.1 inning spanning four starts.

That resulted in a 3-0 record with a 1.37 ERA with a 0.835 WHIP to close out the season and finish with a flourish. Not bad, huh?

Overall he posted a 4.42 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in seven starts with the Mets.

Looks like this will wrap it up as far as adding fifth starter types..

Welcome back, Dice-K…

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2014 Mets Top Prospects: No.14. Jeurys Familia, RHP Fri, 24 Jan 2014 17:20:41 +0000 Top 25 Prospects familia 14

14. Jeurys Familia

Height: 6’4”
Weight: 230 lbs.
Age: 24
Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Jeurys Familia probably has the highest ceiling of any true reliever in the Mets system. His fastball is unequivocally electric as it consistently sits in the mid 90’s and has recently been clocked at triple digits. You might be saying okay, what’s the big deal, plenty of pitchers can throw that hard. Well, when a pitch is coming in at 95-100 mph with the amount of movement that Familia’s arm action generates, said pitch is virtually unhittable. Watching videos of him completely baffling hitters with just his fastball is mind-boggling. His slider is not quite plus, but its short and quick bite make it an above average pitch that works quite well in cahoots with his fastball. When you throw in a changeup that will most likely develop into an average offering, you’re talking about a pitcher with an arsenal to become one of the top closers in baseball.

There is a catch, however. Familia has struggled to stay healthy up to this point in his career and his command has always been rather deficient. In 9 major league games (10.2 IP) last season, Familia registered a 4.22 ERA and 1.9 WHIP. He also walked 9 batters and only struck out 8. There is hope on the horizon though because in 6 Dominican Winter League games (6.2 IP), Familia only gave up 2 ER with a 12:3 K:BB ratio. This recent success suggests he may have been completely healthy and found a rhythm.

Outlook: Familia has every chance to make the opening day roster. In fact, if the Mets fail to add a veteran bullpen arm by the start of the season, it’s almost a certainty. He has a leg up on some of the young relievers coming to camp because unlike most of them, he’s had a taste of the big leagues the last two seasons. The only way I see Familia starting the season in Las Vegas is if he has a dreadful spring training. I’m hopeful his winter league performance will carry into the spring and he’ll slot into the very young and promising 2014 Mets bullpen. If Familia shows an improved ability to throw the ball over the plate, his pitches are destined to miss bats and he might even give Vic Black some competition as the potential set-up man behind Bobby Parnell.


25. Wilfredo Tovar, SS

24. Juan Centeno, C

23. Cory Mazzoni, RHP

22. Jeff Walters, RHP

21. Jack Leathersich, LHP

20. Luis Mateo, RHP

19. Jayce Boyd, 1B

18. Domingo Tapia, RHP

17. Gabriel Ynoa, RHP

16. Vic Black, RHP

15. Michael Fulmer, RHP

14. Jeurys Familia, RHP














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Balfour Turns Down Mets Offer, Signs For $12 Million With Rays Fri, 24 Jan 2014 01:43:38 +0000 Balfour

3:45 PM Update:

Adam Rubin writes on Twitter, “I’m told point blank from ultra-reliable Mets source: Mets had same offer to Balfour as Rays, but he preferred living in Florida.”

3:00 PM Original Post:

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, reports that the Mets offered RHP  Grant Balfour a larger deal than the two-year, $12 million contract he signed with the Tampa Bay Rays.

The former Oakland A’s closer chose the Rays because of its proximity to his Clearwater, Florida home, says Rosenthal. Balfour also pitched for the Rays from 2007-10, so I’m sure that was a consideration as well.

Balfour, 36, had an All Star season in 2013, saving 38 games and posting a 2.59 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 72 strikeouts in 62.2 innings for the A’s.

Obviously, this would have been a nice grab by the Mets, but I’m a little surprised that they were willing to add a reliever with this pedigree and at these prices to be quite honest. I wonder if something is up with Bobby Parnell

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