Mets Merized Online » Wilfredo Tovar http://metsmerizedonline.com Thu, 04 Feb 2016 21:14:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.13 Mets Part Ways With Wilfredo Tovar and Anthony Recker http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/wilfredo-tovar-and-anthony-recker-both-outrighted-from-40-man-roster.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/wilfredo-tovar-and-anthony-recker-both-outrighted-from-40-man-roster.html/#comments Fri, 06 Nov 2015 18:42:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=199383 anthony recker

Middle infielder Wilfredo Tovar and catcher Anthony Recker cleared waivers and were both outrighted by the New York Mets on Thursday. The move cleared two spots on the 40-man roster.

Tovar was hitting .283 in 102 games for Triple-A Las Vegas but he had a concussion early in the season. It’s not clear if he will be ready to play next season but this move will take him off the New York Mets 40-man roster.

Recker made 32 appearances with the Mets at catcher this season and was mainly a backup catcher to Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.

He failed to have at least 100 at-bats in a season for the first time since 2012, mainly because of the emergence of Plawecki. He has the option to enter free agency this offseason but he likely won’t get much interest after hitting only .125/.213/.235 in 80 at-bats this season.

The Mets added reliever Josh Smoker to the 40-man roster on Thursday, and are expected to add outfield prospect Brandon Nimmo in the next day or two. The roster currently stands at 38.

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Mets Option RHP Logan Verrett To Las Vegas http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/mets-option-rhp-logan-verrett-to-las-vegas.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/mets-option-rhp-logan-verrett-to-las-vegas.html/#comments Sun, 30 Aug 2015 22:46:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=191887 logan Verrett

Earlier today the Mets transferred infielder Wilfredo Tovar  to the 60 day disabled list to make room for newly acquired reliever Addison Reed on the 40 man roster.

After Sunday’s 5-4 victory against the Boston Red Sox, the Mets optioned RHP Logan Verrett to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Reed on the 25 man active roster.

In ten appearances for the Mets this season, including a stellar spot start filling in for Matt Harvey against the Colorado Rockies a week ago, Verrett has a 1.93 ERA and a 0.651 WHIP over a 23.1 innings span.

Verrett hurled eight impressive innings and allowed just one run on four hits while striking out eight against the Rockies to earn his first major league win.

The Mets will likely recall Verrett after ten days or sooner if they were to place another player on the disabled list.

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Wilfredo Tovar: The Mets Answer at Shortstop? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/wilfredo-tovar-the-mets-answer-at-shortstop.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/wilfredo-tovar-the-mets-answer-at-shortstop.html/#comments Sat, 02 May 2015 16:39:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=180529 wilfredo-tovar1

Coming into this season, there was much doubt surrounding whether a Wilmer Flores and Daniel Murphy shortstop and second base combination could holdup over a full season. And while the Mets eleven game winning streak gave the clumsy duo a bit more leeway, two big losses against the Marlins earlier this week exacerbated the Mets middle infield conundrum.

mmo feature original footerThe Front Office took action last night, recalling second base prospect Dilson Herrera from Vegas to help out. During the interim, Murphy will shift over to third, Flores will stay at short, Herrera will slide into second and Soup will hit the bench. But once captain David Wright returns from the Disabled List, Herrera will likely head back to Vegas and we are left with the same problem.

If the Mets want to be serious playoff contenders, there is no way the team can rely on Flores and Murphy to turn double plays and make all the routine plays. And while Herrera will eventually supplant Murphy as the full-time second baseman later this year, a Flores-Herrera pairing does not placate me much either. Herrera is far from a polished defender at this point in his career, as I expanded on earlier this week, and Flores is third among National League shortstops with seven errors.

In short, Flores needs to go. He’s a decent batter and I appreciate the lineup length he provides, but on a pitching-oriented ball club his defense is detrimental.

But where should the Mets go from here assuming Flores cannot play short? Matt Reynolds’ name has been discussed as a potential successor for the job. But while Reynolds is a better defender than Flores, he is a merely average fielder and projects similarly with the bat. I do not mean this in a negative way, but Reynolds looks more like an excellent sub on a good team than a future first-division starter.

Some have also speculated Sandy Alderson could make a play for the Brewers’ Jean Segura. But that would likely require dealing some of our talented young pitching, something the Mets might not be willing to do. And even if the Mets could acquire Segura for a reasonable price, it remains to be seen if the Brewers shortstop can even provide a significant upgrade over Flores. He’s continued to underwhelm ever since his all-star sophomore season. And Segura is one of only two NL shortstops (Ian Desmond being the other) that has committed more errors than Wilmer in 2015.

Barring a blockbuster trade, there does not seem to be many palatable and realistic options for the Mets’ shortstop problem. But one option we have not considered, as we wait for the highly-touted Amed Rosario to debut, is an underrated defender just a phone call away from the major leagues, Wilfredo Tovar.

When evaluating Tovar’s measurables, he’s easy to overlook. He does not have plus speed or even an elite arm, but the 23-year-old knows how to play the game and has the skills and IQ to be an above-average major league defender at shortstop right now.

Take a look at this clip from Tovar with the B-Mets last season. He showcases great instincts and makes a play that neither Flores or Murphy would come near completing.

Below is another video of Tovar’s defense: he made this play made during a cup of coffee with the Mets late in 2013 .

Tovar understands that a strong righty like Tom Frazier will likely pull Jon Niese’s 90 mile per hour fastball, so he shifts more to the left side of the infield in preparation. Once the ball comes off the bat of Frazier, Tovar continues to exhibit great baseball instincts, acts quickly, and robs the Reds third baseman of a hit.

Offensively, Tovar’s production would certainly pale in comparison to that of Flores. He’s a slap-heavy, pesky hitter: Tovar might even have less power than Ruben Tejada. And at only 5’10” and 180 lbs, the Venezuelan’s body leaves little room for more projection.

Still, Tovar is not a total negative on offense. He owns a respectable minor league batting average of .260 and a career .663 OPS. Plus, Tovar is currently amidst a breakout year in Vegas, bating .288 with a .740 OPS.

And while Tovar cannot hit for power, the stocky infielder has demonstrated excellent plate discipline in his minor league career: he could be that leadoff hitter the Mets so desperately need. At Single-A St. Lucie in 2012, Tovar walked nearly twice as much as he struck out in over 250 at-bats. Last year on the B-Mets championship team, Tovar again forged more walks than strikeouts in more than 300 trips to the plate.

As we discussed earlier, Tovar has never blown away scouts with his speed. Nevertheless, his high baseball IQ should allow him to swipe upwards of twenty bases in the major leagues. He stole 24 bags total back in 2014, and has already  notched 5 steals in just 16 games thus far in Triple-A Vegas.

In short, Tovar can bring a lot to the Mets, even if he does not have the tools to be an everyday starter. He understands baseball, something we can’t exactly say about the current Mets middle infielders, plays great shortstop defense, which should allow Herrera some margin for error, and can get on base and swipe a bag with good consistency.

He reminds me of the 1969 Mets starting shortstop Bud Harrelson. During the Mets championship campaign, Harrelson batted just .248 with zero home runs. Regardless, Bud was a crucial player for the World Series-winning Mets. He got on base using a 1:1 K/B ratio and played stellar defense behind a great Mets staff.

Wilfredo Tovar may not be the sexiest option from the Mets prospect well, and he certainly is not the best offensive one but he may still give the Mets the best shot at winning right now.

The Mets current roster is built on stellar pitching: it only makes sense to support these coveted arms with a solid defense, especially when contact-hurlers like Jonathon Niese, Dillon Gee, and Bartolo Colon take the hill.

Wilmer Flores is a good player, but he is not a shortstop and his offense hardly justifies his deficiencies. The same can be said for Daniel Murphy. The Mets should act before their middle infield lets the division slip away. Is it Tovar Time?

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Dillon Gee Throws Four Scoreless In B Game http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/dillon-gee-throws-four-scoreless-in-b-game.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/dillon-gee-throws-four-scoreless-in-b-game.html/#comments Mon, 10 Mar 2014 13:14:14 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=150065 dillon gee

In a game that won’t count in the standings, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that Dillon Gee tossed four scoreless innings and Wilfredo Tovar and Cory Vaughn contributed two-run doubles against Kevin Slowey as the Mets beat the Marlins, 8-0, this morning in a “B” game at the Mets’ complex.

Rubin adds that Gee was thrilled with his performance after allowing only two infield singles and a great diving catch in right-center by Brandon Nimmo that completed the outing.

Gee indicated that he also made an adjustment that involves when he separates his hands during his delivery, which helps prevent his arm from dragging.

“The ball was coming out of my hand a lot better than normal,” Gee said.

You can read the full “B” game recap from Adam Rubin here.

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Notes From Thursday’s Mets Intrasquad Game http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/notes-from-thursdays-mets-intrasquad-game.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/notes-from-thursdays-mets-intrasquad-game.html/#comments Thu, 27 Feb 2014 17:08:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=149187 david wright

David Wright refused to say which Mets team he was rooting for today.

The Mets played a 7 1/2 inning intrasquad game this morning and there were some items worth noting. Dillon Gee, Jenrry Mejia, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Jose Valverde, Carlos Torres, Jeurys Familia and Joel Carreño all logged at least an inning.  The lineups were as follows:

Home

Matt den Dekker, cf
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, lf
Wilmer Flores, 2b
Andrew Brown, dh
Cesar Puello, rf
Matt Clark, 1b
Zach Lutz, 3b
Juan Centeno, c
Anthony Seratelli, ss

Away

Brandon Nimmo, cf
Danny Muno, 2b
Brandon Allen, 1b
Anthony Recker, dh
Eric Campbell, 3b
Cory Vaughn, rf
Dustin Lawley, lf
Kevin Plawecki, c
Wilfredo Tovar, ss

Here are some blurbs from beat reporters on Twitter:

Syndergaard tossed two innings and allowed four hits, one earned run and struck out five. He was hitting 96-97 with his fastball and his first batter of the spring was leadoff man Brandon Nimmo who struck out on a hook from hell. Wilfredo Tovar had an RBI single to score Cory Vaughn for Thor’s only run.

Jeurys Familia looked very sharp and pitched a 1-2-3 fifth, striking out Matt Clark and Zach Lutz.

Danny Muno. went 2-for-2 with a home run, a walk and a stolen base. His homer came off Dillon Gee.

Carlos Torres, who was a pleasant surprise for the Mets last season, tossed two perfect innings, retiring Wilmer Flores, Andrew Brown and Cesar Puello in 4th and striking out three.

Daisuke Matsuzaka was a little wild allowed two unearned runs in his first inning of work on an errant throw and a passed ball. However he retired Dustin Lawley, Kevin Plawecki, and Wilfredo Tovar in order in his second and final inning of work.

Jenrry Mejia pitched two scoreless innings and allowed a Matt Clark single, two walks and whiffed four of his teammates.

By the way, Wilmer Flores started at second base and went 0-for-3.

Tweets apropos of nothing but funny nonetheless:

Tomorrow the Mets play the Nationals, can’t wait..

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Mets Spring Training Battles: The Infield http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mets-spring-training-battles-the-infield.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mets-spring-training-battles-the-infield.html/#comments Thu, 23 Jan 2014 15:48:37 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=140528 ike davis david wright

Now that the Mets’ arbitration slate has been wiped clean and all seven players have agreed to deals that they will undoubtedly repay tenfold in Wins Above Replacement (one can always hope), the only thing left to do is wait for those pitchers and catchers to report already. Hurry up, guys…

I know the offseason is still not over, but it certainly feels that way doesn’t it?

I think we’re close enough to the end of this hot stove season that we can at least examine what will most likely be some of the more interesting Spring Training battles in camp. I want to go around the diamond and review the catchers and infielders first, tomorrow I will consider the outfield, and then pitchers on Saturday.

Catcher - Travis d’ArnaudAnthony ReckerTaylor Teagarden, Juan Centeno 

For most of this offseason, it appeared that the Mets were going with a tandem that included D’Arnaud as the starting backstop and Recker as his caddy. Juan Centeno was in the family photo too, but the buzz was that he’d likely serve as the first line of defense in Las Vegas should something go wrong in Flushing. But then the Mets decided to sign Teagarden to a minor league deal and bring him into the fold. You can never have enough catchers, especially if you can never have enough pitchers, right? (ducks) It looks to me like Recker now has some stiff competition for backup duties. May the best man win and all that jazz, but I’m pulling for Recker here, although neither one of them is going to bring home a Silver Slugger anytime soon.

First Base – Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Josh Satin

So what went wrong? Back in September we learned that Duda wasn’t a core player, that the Mets were unhappy with Davis and some in the organization wanted him gone, and that Satin is well, uh, he’s just Satin. The only sure thing here is that Satin will likely get the lion’s share of playing time against lefthanded pitching – and that’s a good thing. As for the other two, it looks like they’ll be putting on their gloves (not those gloves) and duking it out in the ring, that small circle of dirt around the first base bag. Who would’ve believed that these two would both be in camp together come February? Ron Davis (Ike’s dad) certainly didn’t see it coming and he’s kind of ticked off about it. But he assures us that Ike’s attitude is just fine. Here’s the thing in my opinion… Who ever wins this battle of offensive futility doesn’t really matter because either way the Mets lose. We needed a legitimate masher at first base and the Mets had four months to try and find one.

Second Base – Daniel Murphy, Eric Young?

This isn’t really a battle at all, but there have been some cries to bring Eric Young into the picture at second base, with a possible move to first by Murphy. That may have been something to think about had the Mets traded Davis, but as it stands now, Murphy will stay put at second. Young will likely serve in a super utility role covering all three outfield positions and spelling Murphy at second occasionally.

Shortstop – Ruben Tejada, Omar Quintanilla, Wilfredo Tovar

As of right now, Tejada has the hold on the job. The real battle here will be between Quintanilla and Tovar for the backup infielder role. Given his experience and Terry Collins‘ propensity of going with the veterans regardless of performance, Quintanilla is the solid play here. Tovar is the best defender of the three, but that alone won’t get him on the Opening Day roster. In the meantime, between now and Opening Day, many fans hold out hope that it’s Tejada who will be the backup and that someone better than him will start at short.

Third Base – The Captain

David Wright is like the Alpha Male on the plains of the Serengeti, and as long as he’s in his prime he will remain unchallenged. He is the Mets’ Lion King. Hail Satin will likely get some starts at third to keep Wright fresh, but this is the only position where the Mets are undoubtedly set and good to go.

On Deck: The Outfield

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Mets Announce They Have Re-signed Omar Quintanilla http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mets-announce-they-have-re-signed-omar-quintanilla.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mets-announce-they-have-re-signed-omar-quintanilla.html/#comments Tue, 21 Jan 2014 00:14:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=140159 Omar- Quintanilla

The Mets officially announced they have re-signed shortstop Omar Quintanilla to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. The club had non-tendered Quintanilla earlier this offseason.

Quintanilla played the majority of games at shortstop after claiming the job from Ruben Tejada once he was injured, and then ended up staying the starting shortstop for the Mets after Tejada was demoted to Triple-A.

In 95 games for the Mets he batted .222/.306/.283 with two home runs and 21 RBI in 359 plate appearances. I’ve never seen a slugging percentage that low in quite some time. Wow…

Quintanilla will likely give Tejada some competition in camp with a chance to make the team as a backup over Wilfredo Tovar.

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Mets Avoid Arbitration With Tejada, Agree To $1.1 Million Deal http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mets-avoid-arbitration-with-tejada-agree-to-1-1-million-deal.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mets-avoid-arbitration-with-tejada-agree-to-1-1-million-deal.html/#comments Thu, 16 Jan 2014 03:12:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=139746 ruben tejada

The Mets avoided arbitration with shortstop Ruben Tejada and signed him to a reported one-year deal for $1.1 million according to Jorge Castillo of the Star Ledger.

That leaves six more players, and odds are the Mets will reach an agreement with all of them. Ike DavisLucas DudaDillon GeeDaniel Murphy,Bobby Parnell and Eric Young Jr.. all filed for salary arbitration.

Tejada, 24, batted .202 last season with a .519 OPS in 57 games played. He missed time to a right quad injury and then was demoted to the Minor Leagues once he was activated from the DL.

I asked some of the writers on our staff what their thoughts were on Ruben Tejada as the starting shortstop a couple of weeks ago, and here is what they said:

Jim M. – I know there may not be a lot of Ruben fans, but unless the Mets are willing to pay big money for Stephen Drew I would be fine with him getting a second chance. He had a career low BABIP and also had his lowest K% in his career so I believe he will bounce back like he did after his poor 2010 season that had similar numbers.

Peter K. - I would rather give Ruben Tejada one more chance to shine at shortstop than sign Stephen Drew to a three year deal that he will NEVER live up to. I was happy to see the front office call him out for what seemed to be a player who was resting on his laurels from the previous year. Will it motivate him? Time will tell. But he is young enough, has not reached his prime, and could yet become a serviceable piece to the team.

Big Mets Fan – I’d be OK with having Ruben be the opening day shortstop. He was good two years ago before regressing last year. This is a make or break year for him, so he’ll be plenty motivated. If he’s not, he shouldn’t be here. And there’s nothing to say that if the Mets are in contention, they won’t upgrade mid season like pretty much every other contender out there.

Gerry – I believe that Reuben Tejada is young enough and has enough potential to take another chance on as a shortstop. I think some players simply need to mature in order to appreciate the opportunities they are given, and given his tools the Mets could do worse than to give him another flyer.

Andrew – Tejada has not done enough to warrant a starting role, but he might be our best option at SS nonetheless. Mets fans had to be excited when they heard the recent Stephen Drew whispers, but I’m still not buying it. Tejada has the skillset to be better than he played last year, so even if we don’t envision him as a long term answer I think it’s better to build up his value than it is to sell low. Best case scenario, Tejada hits .290 with decent defense and either cements himself as a starter or builds up his trade value. Worst case scenario, he’s still a decent backup middle-infielder.

Matthew B. – Yes, but he needs to be on a short leash. Here’s the thing about Rubin, last year, he didn’t hit much but the big issue was his fielding, which was awful. I can live with him not hitting a ton if he fields his position well, which I believe he’s capable of as long as he stops trying to “bulk up.”

Joe S. – I believe in second chances but you have to wonder why almost all of last season even after he was cleared to play after his injury, why the team chose to start a 30-something journeyman over Tejada? That speaks volumes about his work ethic I would assume and like Alderson has said recently not all decisions are financially based. But again, if Alderson wants to move Tejada and get the most for him, do you announce to the league that he’s lazy? I would prefer Asdrubal Cabrerabut he may be too rich for the Mets’ blood.

John G. – Well the Mets haven’t done anything to really address this position so it looks like it will be Tejada’s. I haven’t really been sold on him entirely so I still say there is time to make a move to upgrade. I would suggest an early arrival at Spring Training so he can prove to the team that he is ready to be the guy.

Barry – The Mets need at least someone to compete with/push Tejada for the shortstop job. I wouldn’t give up on him, but the Mets can’t go into spring training with no alternative if Tejada doesn’t show enough to merit the full-time job.

Tom W. – Well, absent the budget or the will or the creativity to bring in a major league shortstop, Tejada on a second chance is probably the best move.

Jessep – With Tejada to me, it’s all about the glove and who is playing next to him. I don’t mind the guy if his glove keeps him in the lineup and his 2B counterpart is providing enough of a balance to make the middle formidable. My issue with him is his bat is nowhere near as good as Daniel Murphy and he hasn’t shown enough with his glove. I think he deserves a chance in Spring Training – but to pen him in as a starter in 2014 to me is a mistake.

Zack – For me, the question is not whether Ruben Tejada has done enough to be the starting shortstop, but rather who else if not him? If the Mets don’t add a shortstop (I hope they do), there isn’t much standing in Tejada’s way. Wilfredo Tovar has an outside chance but probably needs to start the season in Triple-A.

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2014 Mets Top Prospects: No. 25 Wilfredo Tovar, SS http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-25-wilfredo-tovar-ss.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-25-wilfredo-tovar-ss.html/#comments Fri, 10 Jan 2014 13:00:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=139307 Top 25 Prospects Tovar

25. Wilfredo Tovar

Height: 5’6”
Weight: 160 lbs.
Age: 22
Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Mets fans got a small taste of Wilfredo Tovar last season when he came up for 7 games, going 3-for-15 with 2 RBI’s, 1 SB, 1 BB, and 3 K’s. He is not a toolsy shortstop in any light. With virtually non-existent power and below average speed he will never hit more than a handful of home runs or steal more than a few bases per season. Tovar will forever be a singles hitter who will most likely struggle to stand up against major league pitching so his hit tool isn’t much to be excited about.

Where Tovar excels is defensively and instinctively. He is a great defensive minded player with a quick first step, soft hands, and a solid arm. Although, he’ll never be at the top of the league defensively due to lack of tools, he knows what he’s doing out there for sure.

Outlook: Wilfredo Tovar will probably never put up numbers that will justify him in a starting role for any team. With Justin Turner being non-tendered, there is every chance Tovar makes the team out of spring training where he should have good value as a backup utility infielder. With the ability to play above average defense at shortstop and second base, he is the kind of player that all winning teams seem to have on the bench. A player that could come in late in the game or in extra innings for defense to lock up a win. He could probably be a somewhat sufficient starter at the bottom of the order if a player were to go down with an injury but there’s no doubt he’s best suited as a backup. Think of an Omar Quintanilla type with more range.

MMO TOP 25 PROSPECTS

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MMO Roundtable: Ruben Tejada As The Starting Shortstop In 2014 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mmo-roundtable-ruben-tejada-as-the-starting-shortstop-in-2014.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mmo-roundtable-ruben-tejada-as-the-starting-shortstop-in-2014.html/#comments Wed, 08 Jan 2014 04:13:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=135633 MLB: New York Mets at Minnesota Twins

A team official told Adam Rubin that Ruben Tejada is planning to return this month to a fitness and nutrition program near Ann Arbor, Mich. on Jan. 13. The 24-year old infielder spent four weeks in November at the program.

With the increasing likelihood that Tejada enters camp this Spring as the everyday shortstop, I asked some of our writers how they would feel about that scenario playing out.

What are your thoughts on Tejada as the starting shortstop in 2014?

Jim M. – I know there may not be a lot of Ruben fans, but unless the Mets are willing to pay big money for Stephen Drew I would be fine with him getting a second chance. He had a career low BABIP and also had his lowest K% in his career so I believe he will bounce back like he did after his poor 2010 season that had similar numbers.

Peter K. - I would rather give Ruben Tejada one more chance to shine at shortstop than sign Stephen Drew to a three year deal that he will NEVER live up to. I was happy to see the front office call him out for what seemed to be a player who was resting on his laurels from the previous year. Will it motivate him? Time will tell. But he is young enough, has not reached his prime, and could yet become a serviceable piece to the team.

Big Mets Fan – I’d be OK with having Ruben be the opening day shortstop. He was good two years ago before regressing last year. This is a make or break year for him, so he’ll be plenty motivated. If he’s not, he shouldn’t be here. And there’s nothing to say that if the Mets are in contention, they won’t upgrade mid season like pretty much every other contender out there.

Gerry – I believe that Reuben Tejada is young enough and has enough potential to take another chance on as a shortstop. I think some players simply need to mature in order to appreciate the opportunities they are given, and given his tools the Mets could do worse than to give him another flyer.

Andrew – Tejada has not done enough to warrant a starting role, but he might be our best option at SS nonetheless. Mets fans had to be excited when they heard the recent Stephen Drew whispers, but I’m still not buying it. Tejada has the skillset to be better than he played last year, so even if we don’t envision him as a long term answer I think it’s better to build up his value than it is to sell low. Best case scenario, Tejada hits .290 with decent defense and either cements himself as a starter or builds up his trade value. Worst case scenario, he’s still a decent backup middle-infielder.

Matthew B. – Yes, but he needs to be on a short leash. Here’s the thing about Rubin, last year, he didn’t hit much but the big issue was his fielding, which was awful. I can live with him not hitting a ton if he fields his position well, which I believe he’s capable of as long as he stops trying to “bulk up.”

Joe S. – I believe in second chances but you have to wonder why almost all of last season even after he was cleared to play after his injury, why the team chose to start a 30-something journeyman over Tejada? That speaks volumes about his work ethic I would assume and like Alderson has said recently not all decisions are financially based. But again, if Alderson wants to move Tejada and get the most for him, do you announce to the league that he’s lazy? I would prefer Asdrubal Cabrera but he may be too rich for the Mets’ blood.

John G. – Well the Mets haven’t done anything to really address this position so it looks like it will be Tejada’s. I haven’t really been sold on him entirely so I still say there is time to make a move to upgrade. I would suggest an early arrival at Spring Training so he can prove to the team that he is ready to be the guy.

Barry – The Mets need at least someone to compete with/push Tejada for the shortstop job. I wouldn’t give up on him, but the Mets can’t go into spring training with no alternative if Tejada doesn’t show enough to merit the full-time job.

Tom W. – Well, absent the budget or the will or the creativity to bring in a major league shortstop, Tejada on a second chance is probably the best move.

Jessep – With Tejada to me, it’s all about the glove and who is playing next to him. I don’t mind the guy if his glove keeps him in the lineup and his 2B counterpart is providing enough of a balance to make the middle formidable. My issue with him is his bat is nowhere near as good as Daniel Murphy and he hasn’t shown enough with his glove. I think he deserves a chance in Spring Training – but to pen him in as a starter in 2014 to me is a mistake.

Zack – For me, the question is not whether Ruben Tejada has done enough to be the starting shortstop, but rather who else if not him? If the Mets don’t add a shortstop (I hope they do), there isn’t much standing in Tejada’s way. Wilfredo Tovar has an outside chance but probably needs to start the season in Triple-A.

Presented By Diehards

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MMO Mailbag: Add Zobrist to the Fold? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mmo-mailbag-add-zobrist-to-the-fold.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mmo-mailbag-add-zobrist-to-the-fold.html/#comments Wed, 11 Dec 2013 14:47:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=135239 ben zobrist

David asks: The Rays are looking for a first baseman. Do you think they could consider trading Ben Zobrist, who would be a real upgrade, for a package like Ike Davis, Daniel Murphy and a pitching prospect?

I’m not sure how this makes sense right now, David. Sure, Zobrist is better than Murphy, but the Mets’ needs are deeper at other areas. Second base is low on the list of priorities for the Mets. If they can get a return for Murphy and/or Ike, they should be looking for a shortstop or a legit first baseman, neither of which are on Zobrist’s résumé.

Daniel  Murphy pointAnother factor going against this is the relative lack of interest in both Ike and Murphy. There have been rumblings from Orlando that there’s not much buzz surrounding either player. In Ike’s case, that may be due to an unrealistic price tag, but the fact does remain.

Now, Zobrist is a terrific ball player. He’s a two-time All Star and has a top-10 and two other top-20 MVP finishes. He’s a career .263/.354/.435 hitter with a 75% stolen base success rate and he plays great defense at both second base and right field.

So it makes me wonder how strong the pitching prospect has to be to pry him away from a competitive team. Since the prospect isn’t going to contribute this season, or at least contribute minimally later in the season, he must have one heck of a ceiling for the Rays to unload an All Star for him and two guys that aren’t really generating any interest. It would be a significant downgrade for this season. And if it’s going to take a top prospect, is it worth it to use him for a guy that’s going to free agency after this season at a position that’s not dire?

I could see taking the chance if the Mets were a strong contender and second base was a big weakness for them, but they’re not and it’s not. If the two teams want to discuss a trade, the Mets should inquire about shortstop prospect Hak-Ju Lee. Wilmer Flores, Wilfredo Tovar and Ruben Tejada would be more than adequate second basemen in the event that the Mets acquire Lee (or any other legit shortstop) and Murphy has been traded for another area of need. I feel Zobrist is a poor allocation of resources at this time.

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Mets Winter League Update http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mets-winter-league-update.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mets-winter-league-update.html/#comments Sat, 30 Nov 2013 11:55:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134114 Here are the updated stats for Mets players and prospects currently playing in the various Winter Baseball Leagues.

All stats are updated through games of 11/29/2013

Dominican Winter League

Juan lagaresJuan Lagares - OF

2013 Winter League - 25 games; (36 for 101), .356/.391/.436, 14 R, 5 Doubles, 1 HR, 14 RBI, 5 SB

 

 

 

 

jordany-valdespin2Jordany Valdespin - OF

2013 Winter League - 28 games; (16 for 84),  .190/.346/.345, 2 Double, 1 Triple, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 16 BB

 

 

 

 

Cesar_PuelloCesar Puello - OF

2013 Winter League – 25 games; (13 for 72), .181/.213/.264, 5 R, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 3 SB 

 

 

 

 

ny_a_gonzalez-germen_mb_576Gonzalez Germen – P

2013 Winter League - 9 games; 2-0, 2.08 ERA, 5 K, 8.2 Inn, .323 AVG

 

 

 

 

joel carenoJoel Carreno – P

2013 Winter League – 9 games; 0-0, 2.16 ERA, 2 BB, 11 K, 8.1 inn, .258 AVG

 

 

 

 

Mexican Winter League

Marcos CamarenaMarcos Camarena - RP

2013 Winter League - 13 games; 0-3, 1.72 ERA, 1 SV, 13 K, in 15.2 innings,  .176 AVG

 

 

 

 

xorge carrilloXorge Carrillo - C

2013 Winter League - 33 games; (31 for 103), .301/.365/.398, 9 R, 7 Doubles, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 8 BB

 

 

 

 

juan gamboaJuan Carlos Gamboa – 2B

2013 Winter League – 15 games; (10 for 29), .345/.429/.586, 5 R, 1 Double, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 5 BB

 

 

 

 

Puerto Rico Winter League

Juan Centeno – C

2013 Winter League - 12 games; (6 for 33), .182/.243/.203, 6 R, 1 Double, 3 BB, 3 RBI

 

 

 

 

Randy+Fontanez+World+Baseball+ClassicRandy Fontanez – P

2013 Winter League - 2 games; 1-0, 0.00, 1 K, 2.0 inn, .333 AVG

 

 

 

 

Venezuelan Winter League

Wilfredo-TovarWilfredo Tovar - SS

2013 Winter League - 15 games; (13 for 53),  .245/.273/.396, 4 R, 3 Doubles, 1 Triple, 1 HR, 8 RBI

 

 

 

 

miller diazMiller Diaz- P

2013 Winter League – 8 games; 0-0, 1.50 ERA, 1 SV, 5 K, 6.0 IP, .250 AVG

 

 

 

 

Colombian Winter League

herrera1

Dilson Herrera – 2B

2013 Winter League: 11 games, (11 for 42), .262 AVG, .357 SLUG, 5 R, 4 Doubles, 8 RBI, 6 BB

 

 

 

 

Pedro-PerezPedro Perez – OF

2013 Winter League: 8 games, (4 for 23), .174 AVG, .304 SLUG, 3 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4 BB

 

 

 

 

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What The 2015 Mets Will Look Like If Built Entirely From Prospects http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/what-the-2015-mets-will-look-like-if-built-entirely-from-prospects.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/what-the-2015-mets-will-look-like-if-built-entirely-from-prospects.html/#comments Sat, 26 Oct 2013 19:49:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131767 punt

With news floating around that the Mets may indeed punt again in 2014, and with Matt Harvey sidelined the entire year; maybe it’s time to start looking at what the New York Mets may look like in 2015.  I know it’s a depressing thought, and I’m sorry for bringing it up.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun with this.

The reason why 2015 will actually make for an interesting season is because a lot of the current Mets prospects that are tearing up the minor leagues should be major league ready.

That would mean that Sandy Alderson, or whoever is the GM at that point, can arguably build a team entirely from Mets prospects. But we don’t have to wait that long, because I am going to build that team for you guys right now.  That’s right, let’s mark this day down in history and look back in 2015 to see how close I am to predicting what the Mets team will look like in 2015. Just a reminder, I am building this team entirely from prospects (and existing homegrown Mets players).

rafael montero travis d'arnaud

The 2015 New York Mets

Catchers: Travis d’Arnaud & Juan Centeno

D’Arnaud has the potential to be an All-Star caliber catcher…but so does Kevin Plawecki if d’Arnaud continues to suffer injuries.

Sleeper Candidate: Plawecki is the sleeper candidate to be the starter by 2016, but as it stands, d’Arnaud will literally have to play himself out of town for that to happen.

First Base: Wilmer Flores

That’s right, Flores will ultimately be moved over to first base. This will allow the team to bring up a more solid defensive second baseman.

Sleeper Candidate: Jayce Boyd has all the makings of a future major leaguer, and he could be a good one.

Second Base: T.J. Rivera

Rivera is an excellent defensive second baseman and I would actually like to see if the team could move him over to shortstop to take advantage of his offensive skill set–but that is not likely to happen. Rivera made great strides adjusting to hitting leadoff this year in St. Lucie, and he should split time between Binghamton and Las Vegas in 2014 setting him up for a 2015 MLB debut.

Sleeper Candidate: Dilson Herrera is only 19, but with his skill set he could be a fast mover through the organization. However, with Rivera and Flores already playing second base, the Mets may take it slow with him.

Shortstop: Wilfredo Tovar

As I’ve said before, shortstop is a position that will always be one where the glove is more important than the bat, and Wilfredo Tovar brings his glove with him to the ballpark every day. Tovar is the best internal option for the Mets at shortstop right now.

Sleeper Candidate: TJ Rivera is my starting second baseman, but he is also my sleeper candidate at shortstop. In an interview back in August when David Conde of MMO asked Rivera which position he was most comfortable playing, he responded that he is comfortable at all three infield spots (2B, 3B, SS).

Third Base: David Wright

Nothing more to add here.

Left Field: Dustin Lawley

Lawley could provide some much needed pop to the lineup and be the future left fielder of the Mets. You won’t find him on any top prospect lists, but he was signed in 2011 and made it to Triple-A within two seasons. He also led all Mets minor leaguers in homeruns and RBI in 2013.

Center Field: Toss-up between Juan Lagares and Matt den Dekker

Lagares flashed enough leather in 2013 to be the centerfielder of the future for the Mets. Offensively, he struggled to adjust to major league pitching. Matt den Dekker also flashes enough leather to be the future centerfielder of the Mets. In fact, if not for a wrist injury during 2013 spring training, den Dekker may have made the team out of spring training. The job will ultimately go to the guy who produces better with the stick. This position battle could get interesting.

Right Field: Cesar Puello

The arrival of Puello in 2013 was marred by a 50 game PED suspension–just a blip on the radar. Puello has legit 20/20 potential and is a five tool player…the Mets aren’t exactly stocked with five tool talent these days.

wheeler harvey

Starting Rotation:

Matt Harvey

Zack Wheeler

Noah Syndergaard

Rafael Montero

Jonathon Niese

Bullpen:

Vic Black (Closer)

Jeff Walters

Jack Leathersich

Jennry Mejia

Cory Mazzoni

Michael Fulmer

Starting Lineup

1.  Rivera, 2B
2.  Puello, RF
3.  Wright, 3B
4.  D’Arnaud, C
5.  Flores, 1B
6.  Lawley, LF
7.  Lagares/Den Dekker, CF
8.  Tovar, SS

Manager: Wally Backman

If we’re building a team from prospects, what better person to have manage the team than a guy that has worked with the majority of them the past few years, and knows what makes them tick?

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Agreeing To Disagree On Allan Dykstra vs. Ike Davis http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/agreeing-to-disagree-on-allan-dykatsra-vs-ike-davis.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/agreeing-to-disagree-on-allan-dykatsra-vs-ike-davis.html/#comments Thu, 24 Oct 2013 17:15:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131676 Kudos to our own Joe DeCaro for his keen insights as a radio guest on “The Sounds Of Shea” last week.  Joe proved why his baseball observations, particularly in reference to our Mets, bring hordes of Met fans to Mets Merized Online each and every day.

There is always room for viewpoints across the spectrum on a sports blog or in any walk of life.  What Joe does is state his opinions and back them up with facts.  He may disagree with you, but always argues about the point and not the person.  When my father-in-law was alive he used to say, “It’s a sign of intelligence when people can disagree without being disagreeable.”  Guess who may have been his intended target with that piece of advice.  Just kidding, he was a great guy, someone I will always respect and admire.

The other night, Joe went to town covering the Mets and Met issues from every angle.  He referred to opinions folks express here on MetsMerized Online, discussions he’s held with Mets personnel, and previous posts he’s made on this blog.  Like it is with any radio guest, with some of the points made you agree and with some you disagree.  But, even when I disagree, I found myself, admiring the way Joe uses his experiences and varied reference points to support an idea.

Joe, my biggest point of contention has to do with first base.  It’s pretty apparent you have lost faith with any notion of returning either Ike Davis or Lucas Duda at first base.  I can understand that.  The first base situation on the Mets is a huge bone of contention with legions of Met fans.

Yet, you proposed that should the Mets not seek reinforcement from outside the organization, Allan Dykstra and Josh Satin would make a productive platoon.  I don’t think so.  Over the last several years, I’ve watched each of the Met internal first base options for an extended period of time in Double-A.  In my opinion, Ike Davis, by far and away, has the greatest chance of being an impact major leaguer at first base.

Yes, Allan Dykstra had a terrific season in Binghamton as the Eastern League’s Most Valuable Player and up for consideration as the best offensive player in all of the major leagues.  Dykstra is a great kid who has earned a shot.  But, it’s far from certain what he’ll do with that shot should it arrive.

Dykstra had a huge season going into the All-Star game.  His numbers tailed off dramatically after the Eastern League mid-season classic when he hit only .209.  That average included a .189 mark in August.

There are many factors that may have helped divide Dykstra’s batting statistics into the “Tale of Two Seasons.”  Perhaps the biggest delineator might have been Cesar Puello’s suspension.  With Puello hitting in front of Dykstra through most of July, Dykstra blossomed.  With Puello’s Eastern League leading average .326 and EL best OPS of .950, Dykstra was transformed into a slugging beast.  Without Puello setting the table it was something else again.  It’s a great example of the difference one monster power bat can mean to a lineup.  Everybody gets better.

Ike Davis had pretty impressive batting numbers during his B-Met stay back in 2009.  In 207 at-bats, Ike hit .309 with 13 HR’s and 43 RBI’s.  More important is the fact Ike blasted 32 HR’s with 90 HR’s in a major league season not that far removed from today.  Regardless of his recent troubles at the plate, Ike is only 26 years old and those home runs and power numbers are no small potatoes.

Defensively, even with his brain lapses last season, Davis is a decided upgrade over both Dykstra and Satin, an important constant on a team built around pitching success.

So, on that point, Joe, we agree to disagree.  If the Mets elect to fill the first base slot in-house, a platoon of Davis and Satin is far tastier to my palette than one of Dykstra and Satin.

By the way, Joe, I loved your observations about Wilfredo Tovar and Juan Lagares.  Tovar is a tough kid and someone I think could fit in well as a major league shortstop, but, as you noted, only on a team with a roster with power hitting players at other positions.  And, Lagares should be a fixture in centerfield, our defensive wizard.  We should build our outfield around him looking for power options in at least one, and, perhaps, two of the corner positions.

Thanks, Joe, for a great night of listening and learning about our Mets.

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MMO Fan Shot: A Mets Offseason Plan Using The Red Sox Model http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/mmo-fan-shot-a-mets-offseason-plan-using-the-red-sox-model.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/mmo-fan-shot-a-mets-offseason-plan-using-the-red-sox-model.html/#comments Sat, 05 Oct 2013 17:07:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130552 stephen drew

Here’s a post from diehardmets who gives a good example of what the Mets offseason might look like using the Boston Red Sox model from last Winter.

The question is where do you want to spend. Overpaying on Shin-Soo Choo or Jacoby Ellsbury is just repeating the mistakes of the past. I would think our fans are intelligent enough to remember Jason Bay and realize that repeating that mistake for even more years and money is not something we want to do.

Conversely, the trade market does not really offer any great offensive options. Giancarlo Stanton isn’t going anywhere, nor are Carlos Gonzalez or Troy Tulowitzki. Furthermore, trading any of our young pitching is probably a foolish move; winners are built on fountains of pitching, something we finally have for the first time in recent memory. Additionally, we must remember the fickle nature of pitchers and how easily they get injured, which puts even more value on depth. Trading these players for the marginal offensive upgrades available is a bad move.

So where does that leave us? The majority of free agents and plausible trades probably don’t help. However, there are still plenty of good moves we can make.

Jose Abreu would appear to be the best solution. However, we must keep in mind what scouts say about him. That being said, for a financial commitment of five years and maybe $60 million, I would hope we roll the dice.

At shortstop, Stephen Drew or Jhonny Peralta are ideal signings, potentially bridging the gap to Wilfredo Tovar, Gavin Cecchini, or even Amed Rosario.

carlos beltran

In the outfield, Carlos Beltran seems to be the best target and he’s willing to entertain a reunion according to Mike Puma of the New York Post who also adds that Sandy Alderson is interested as well and that Jeff Wilpon and Beltran patched things up during the All Star break. I would also re-sign soon to be free agent Marlon Byrd to a reasonable deal as well. Beltran probably gets a contract near the two-year, $26 million deal signed by Torii Hunter last offseason.

Bring back LaTroy Hawkins for $1 million or so in the bullpen, and grab a couple of inexpensive veteran starters (Dice-K, Harang, etc.) on the cheap until Montero is ready.

My Mets Off-Season Plan:

  • Jose Abreu: 5 years, $60 million
  • Carlos Beltran: 2 years, $26 million
  • Stephen Drew: 2 years, $20 million
  • Marlon Byrd: 1 year, $3 million w/option
  • LaTroy Hawkins: 1 year, $1 million

This is the Boston model. Five free agents that vastly improve the team for a cost of around $40 million. Given the salary coming off the books, this seems rather reasonable.

The best team in baseball? No.

A contender? Certainly.

Reasonable financially? It would seem so.

Hopefully the Wilpons give Alderson the money he needs.

* * * * * * * *

This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader, diehardmets. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 22,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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Mets Minors Week in Review: Smith and Rosario Earn Top Prospect Honors http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mets-minors-week-in-review-smith-and-rosario-earn-top-prospect-honors.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mets-minors-week-in-review-smith-and-rosario-earn-top-prospect-honors.html/#comments Mon, 30 Sep 2013 12:12:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130385 german-ahmed-rosario-1

Well, with the Mets wrapping up their regular season schedule with a 3-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers yesterday at Citi Field, it’s officially the off-season. In the last official week of the season, Wilfredo Tovar made his MLB debut, and immediately made an impact against the Phillies and Cliff Lee.

Meanwhile, Baseball America began rolling out their top prospect countdowns per league, and Dominic Smith was tabbed as the fourth-best prospect in the GCL. In addition, Jhoan Urena made his way onto BA’s top-ten sleeper list in the GCL. The two-week instructional league for selected prospects is in full swing, and you can catch the schedule and rosters right here.

In the Appalachian League prospect countdown, the K-Mets got a lot of love from Baseball America; Robert Whalen, Chris Flexen, and Amed Rosario all cracked the top 20, with Rosario being ranked number one.

At this point, Bobby Parnell is expected to be ready for 2014 spring training after recently having surgery. If he’s not, the PTBNL in the Marlon Byrd-John Buck trade with the Pirates, Vic Black, will be tabbed as the closer for the time being.

The Mets also awarded their organizational awards to minor leaguers this week. Kevin Plawecki and Allan Dykstra were named co-players of the year, while Gabriel Ynoa took home pitcher of the year.

While Jose Abreu was busy becoming an official MLB free agent, Terry Collins mentioned that pitchers Rafael Montero, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard probably won’t be breaking spring training in the big leagues.

MMN Original Content:

Exclusive Interview with Dustin Lawley

Should Pedro Lopez Be Considered for MLB Managerial Openings in 2014?

Wilfredo Tovar Impresses in MLB Debut

Prospect Time Machine: Jason Tyner

Who Was Binghamton’s Most Valuable Pitcher in 2013?

Which B-Met Took the Biggest Step in Their Development This Year?

Exclusive: Talking with Aderlin Rodriguez About Life and his Future in Baseball

Who Was the Best Position Player for the B-Mets?

Let’s Talk About The Future

Prospect Face-Off: Dustin Lawley vs. Cesar Puello

Is Vic Black Our Future Closer?

Exclusive Interview with B-Mets Outfielder Travis Taijeron

Collins Should Play the Future Difference Makers

Q&A With Wally Murphy, Our Sand Gnats Beat Writer

Allan Dykstra: The Promotion Never Came

Prospect Review: Cesar Puello Shows His Potential in 2013

The Brooklyn Beat: End of the Year Q&A With Jim Mancari

The Mets Have Played .500 Baseball Since Wheeler’s MLB Debut

What Factors Engineered a Record-Breaking Season in Binghamton?

For the most comprehensive coverage of the Mets minor league system, give us a visit at Mets Minors!

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Mets End Season On High Note, Besting Brewers In Season Finale 3-2 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mets-end-season-on-high-note-besting-brewers-in-season-finale-3-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mets-end-season-on-high-note-besting-brewers-in-season-finale-3-2.html/#comments Sun, 29 Sep 2013 20:59:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130355 photo (39)

Photo By Clayton Collier

That’s a Wrap!

In a game in which the Mets honored one of the greatest players to ever play in Flushing, the Amazin’s played like a contending baseball team, concluding their 2013 season on a high note, besting the Brewers 3-2.

Eric Young Jr. led things off with a soft single to center for the first hit of the game. He then proceeded to swipe second, in doing so also grabbing the NL Stolen Base lead over Milwaukee’s Jean Segura. Young wasn’t done as he then stole third for good measure, and finally scored on a short fly ball from David Wright to give the Mets a 1-0 advantage. Young becomes the second Met to win the Stolen Base crown, the first being Jose Reyes who did so three times.

Jon Niese pitched well in his final start, going six innings, allowing two runs on six hits while walking two and punching out a pair. Niese actually got Sean Halton to ground into an inning-ending double play in the fourth, however first-base ump C.B. Bucknor called him safe, inciting an argument with Terry Collins. The blown call resulted in the go-ahead run to score, making it a 2-1 Milwaukee lead.

Terry  Collins

Come bottom of the eighth, the Mets rallied. Juan Lagares reached on a throwing error by shortstop Jeff Bianchi to get the ball rolling. Following that, Juan Centeno bunted himself on, allowing Lagares to score the tying run on yet another throwing error, this time by Jonathan Lucroy. The bunting game continued to be effective as Wilfredo Tovar reached base as well, sending Matt den Dekker–who pinch ran for Centeno–over to third. Eric Young Jr. came up and ripped a comebacker to the pitcher Brandon Kintzler, scoring den Dekker with the lead run and making it a one-run advantage.

Frank Francisco entered for the ninth and put together a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts including a 2-2 four-seamer that froze Aramis Ramirez to end the 2013 season with a victory, defeating Milwaukee 3-2.

Young and Lagares each threw out a runner at home plate in the fourth. In doing so, Lagares notched his 15th outfield assist, a franchise rookie record and the most for a first-year player since Delmon Young who had 16 with Tampa Bay in 2007.

Daniel Murphy extended his hitting streak to 11 games and stole his 22nd consecutive base, the second longest stretch in team history.

Today’s attendance was 41,891, the third sell-out this season, bringing the Mets grand total to 2,135,657 for 2013.

terry collins

Photo By Clayton Collier

After the game, Terry Collins thanked reporters for their work this year and told them that next season we will see something “fun”. When asked if we would be seeing him next year, he laughed and quipped “you’ll find out Monday”.

True to his word, we will indeed find out his future Monday as the Mets plan to announce Collins’ two-year extension tomorrow at noon.

It has been a year of highs and a fair share of lows, but the 2013 season is now officially in the books in Flushing, and nothing but positives lie ahead.

We thank all of our readers and writers for an incredible 2013 and look forward to this winter in which we will continue to bring you the best of all your New York Mets coverage here on MetsMerized.

Until then, buckle up, because October baseball is about to begin!

piazza wright

 

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Hey Terry, Please Play The Future Difference Makers… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/hey-terry-please-play-the-future-difference-makers.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/hey-terry-please-play-the-future-difference-makers.html/#comments Thu, 26 Sep 2013 15:08:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130072 terry_collins--300x300

Any franchise, any team, any general manager, any manager plays the game to win. That’s as it should be. Every day the Mets put on the uniform and take the field, I’m pulling for them to win. That’s the case in the first week of the season and the last.

There is no escaping the altered dynamics during the final month of a baseball season when your team has no realistic chance of post season play. Two kinds of baseball players round off the rosters of under performing teams at the close of the season. These teams are willing to sign on ‘second chancers,’ guys who once excelled on major league diamonds, fell from grace, and are looking for at least one more go around. They also seek to elevate youngsters from the minor leagues on an upward climb hoping to get a jump on seeing if they belong in the big leagues.

Managing a team going nowhere in September has to be a tricky proposition. How do you fit everybody in? You can’t totally ignore the everyday players, guys hoping to use their stats to squeeze out a better deal the next time they sign a contract. And, a lost September seems like a perfect opportunity to evaluate young prospects or ‘second chancers’ who could figure into future improvement plans. What’s a manager to do?

Perplexing is the only word I can use when trying to determine why the Mets have started Mike Baxter in the last two games against right hand starting pitchers in Cincinnati. Like all Met fans, Mike Baxter holds a special status as the guy who saved our one-and-only no-hitter with his courageous catch in left field. But, like him or not, Mike Baxter has no real place as a day-to-day option in the future plans of the Mets. In fact, down the stretch, if the Mets wanted to utilize Baxter realistically, it would be in an off the bench role, a possible role he could play in Flushing next year.

matt den dekker

That’s not the case for Matt den Dekker. Unlike Baxter, MDD is brimming with potential. Athleticism equates to speed on the base paths, pop in his bat, and defensive theatrics in the outfield. In addition, his professional baseball pattern is to struggle in his first stop at every level of professional play, then excel during his second stay at the same level. It makes sense in a lost September for the Mets to maximize every opportunity to see what the young outfielder can do.

Placing den Dekker in the lineup is also playing to win. In his limited time with the big squad, he has batted at least as well as Baxter and his outfield play is decidedly better. Try as I might, I’m struggling coming up with a rationale to justify
omitting him from the lineup.

The same could be said today during the ninth inning when Terry Collins called on LaTroy Hawkins to save the game. Hawkins has been brilliant pinch-hitting as a closer for the Mets after Bobby Parnell went down. The Hawkins story is inspirational, a 40-year old pitcher finding his groove and still throwing his fastball at 95 and 96 mph. It made sense that Hawkins gave the Mets their best chance to win Wednesday’s game.

Vic - Black

Yet, nursing a one run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning, I was excited to think the Mets might hand the ball to young Vic Black. Black had earned his first major league save the night before in an impressive ninth inning of the Mets 4-2 win. The kid was bold, confident, and attacking on the mound. When Collins had him up and warming in the eighth, I was genuinely excited thinking we might get a chance to see if Black could make it two in a row.

What a boost that would have been for the young flame thrower. Imagine earning two saves against a team headed into post season play, your first two saves in your first two tries in the big leagues. From an organizational perspective, with Parnell recovering from surgery and Collins openly worried about his health in his post game press conference the night before, why not use a 1-0 ninth inning lead as a chance to see what you might have in Black. No matter how brilliantly Hawkins has filled in as a closer this season, no one expects a 40-year old seventh or eighth inning reliever to take the
closer role into St. Lucie next spring. That’s not necessarily the case for Vic Black.

wilfredo tovar slides

With that said, kudos to Terry for staring Wilfredo Tovar two games in a row. We have seen enough of Omar Quintanilla this year to adequately evaluate his potential future role on the Mets. Not so with Wilfredo Tovar. In a minuscule playing sample, Tovar continues to exhibit that same gritty playing style he showed in Binghamton all summer long. You have to love his double play transfers, his gritty at bats, and his always dirty uniform.

With four games to go, I’m pulling for a four game sweep over the Brewers. Play to win, that’s how it should always be. But, the jury is out, there are many questions about who might be a part of a future Met roster. Play to win but use our final games to sneak a peak at some kids who might someday be difference makers.

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Road Warriors: Mets Take Down The Reds In 1-0 Thriller At Great American http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/road-warriors-mets-take-down-the-reds-in-1-0-thriller-at-great-american.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/road-warriors-mets-take-down-the-reds-in-1-0-thriller-at-great-american.html/#comments Wed, 25 Sep 2013 20:12:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130014 matsuzaka centeno

Daisuke Matsuzaka hurled 7.2 shutout innings as the New York Mets beat the Cincinnati Reds 1-0 this afternoon at Great American Ball Park.

Dice-K was superb, holding the Reds to just four hits and two walks in what was undoubtedly his best performance of the season. Dice-K was an intimidating presence on the mound and displayed improved command while owning the inside part of the plate. He struck out six.

Before I get into the offense (what offense?), I gotta give props to Juan Centeno who called one of the most amazing games I’ve seen all year. Dice-K shook him off just once the whole game and it led to a a hard-hit single by Jay Bruce in the second inning. After that, Dice-K let the rookie call the shots the rest of the way. Centeno also showed off that arm I’ve raved about for two years on MMO when he became the first catcher to throw out speedster Billy Hamilton in the fifth inning. Hamilton may just be the fastest baserunner the game has seen since… wait for it… Rickey Henderson. It was a huge out. Outstanding job by Centeno who should be the backup to Travis d’Arnaud next season.

eric young jr

Eric Young Jr. drove in the only run in the game when he singled to right field to drive home Wilfredo Tovar after reaching on a hit-by-pitch. That was it for the Amazins offensively as Matt Latos and the Reds bullpen held the Mets do just four hits.

Another nice job by the Mets bullpen although Pedro Feliciano made things interesting in the eighth inning, but with runners on 2nd and 3rd he retired the always dangerous Joey VottoLaTroy Hawkins finished things off and pitched a 1-2-3 9th to earn his 13th save of the season. Wow, what a season for the Hawk…

The Mets wrap up their final game on the road with a series win and a 41-40 road record on the season.

Tomorrow they head back to Citi Field where they begin their final series of the season against the Milwaukee Brewers. Dillon Gee (12-10, 3.54) will oppose Johnny Hellweg (1-4, 7.43) in a 7:10 PM start.

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Lets Talk About The Mets’ Future http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/lets-talk-about-the-mets-future.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/lets-talk-about-the-mets-future.html/#comments Wed, 25 Sep 2013 12:00:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=129981 future stars lagares

If there’s anything we’ve become good at these last four years it’s saying “just wait till 2014, 2015, etc.” More specifically, yet ironically lacking specifics, is that we generally say “We’re building for the future” and “Next year.” There’s always this concept of a Master Plan, or something resembling the religious concept of Intelligent Design–that Sandy Alderson has been building this team from the farm up, evolving our philosophies, shifting our statistical focus, and player management.

When it all comes down to it, each year could’ve been “our year” since Alderson’s taken over. There was always a fluke chance of everything suddenly falling together, even with a ragtag team, and our Mets showing signs of climbing from their rut. While the 2006 Mets saw huge years from Delgado and Beltran, we can’t forget that Wright and Reyes were only 23 years old, that we had Jose Valentin starting, and Xavier Nady as our starting right fielder. My point is, sometimes things fall nicely into place, and sometimes, as we’ve seen: they can fall into place one year, and then hit a downward spiral of injuries.

So when we look at 2014, we should consider that our pitching staff in the glorious year that was 2006 featured the likes of Tom Glavine (15-7, 3.82 ERA), Steve Trachsel (15-8, 4.97 ERA), Pedro Martinez (9-8, 4.48 ERA), El Duque (9-7, 4.09 ERA), and John Maine (6-5, 3.60 ERA). They all had pretty nice-looking records, but their ERAs show that they were saved by teammates who scored at a ridiculous clip (i.e: a majority of them having career years).

zack to the future - CopyCompare that to our pitchers this year, albeit with almost no run support and the all-too-often bullpen flaws early on: Matt Harvey (9-5, 2.27 ERA), Zack Wheeler (7-5, 3.42 ERA), Dillon Gee (12-10, 3.54 ERA), Jonathon Niese (7-8, 3.81 ERA). Obviously, I’m neglecting to include those who aren’t going to be part of our future starting rotation (but let’s not forget Jenrry Mejia 1-2, 2.30 ERA in 5 starts).

We have Rafael MonteroNoah Syndergaard, and Jacob deGrom on their way, as soon as 2014 for all three. We have so much solid pitching depth throughout the organization that it would make other teams cry for their futures against us (Steven MatzGabriel YnoaDarin GorskiJacob LugoRobert WhalenChris Flexen).

Honestly, we should have solid pitching for years to come. As for the lineup in 2014, we shouldn’t be underselling the talent our “rookies” have. They’re getting their feet wet for the first time in the majors, and will then spend the off-season figuring out how to adjust.

A roster that includes David WrightDaniel MurphyMatt den DekkerJuan LagaresWilmer FloresTravis d’Arnaud, and Wilfredo Tovar would be incredibly talented defensively, and stocked with line drive, gap-to-gap hitters. Wright, Murphy, MdD,TdA and Flores are all very capable of between 12-20 home runs. What’s even more impressive is the age of a roster like that: 30, 28, 26, 24, 22, 24, 22.

That group of guys still allows for an outside addition if need be, but I definitely believe that those guys (presuming that Tovar can prove he belongs–he’s already shown he’s the only player who can drop a sac bunt, apparently).

As for offensive help from within, there’s still the likes of Kevin PlaweckiDominic SmithBrandon NimmoDustin Lawley (who IS a power hitter), Allan DykstraCesar Puello, etc. We aren’t as completely void offensively as fans like to think. Just because we don’t have a #1 draft pick, doesn’t mean we haven’t reaped the benefits of some talented kids.

The point is: here comes the future. That one we’ve been waiting for with bated breath. There WILL be talented players in Citi Field next year, not just infamous ReplaceMets/AAAA Mets. And there will be good teams to root for and enjoy for years to come.

Obviously, this post shouldn’t be misconstrued as comparing the 2006 team to any future Mets team, next year or thereafter. The idea is to show the potential our team could have for the future. The idea is to show how break out years, career years, or just expected years can put everything right back on track. I’m not saying to expect someone to fill the Delgado role, the Beltran role, the Floyd role, the Reyes role–no. What I’m saying is that the talent, the youth, the drive to succeed and be great is there.

Like we say after every season: just wait til next year. And this time, we should be right.

the future

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