Jose Reyes – A Hall of Famer?

I have to admit I thought of this prior to last night’s embarrassing walk of shame to second base.  I couldn’t believe Terry did not pull him out of the game after being doubled up.  Of course he drove in 5 runs and Terry won’t be criticized for keeping him in the game but there should be some consequences for the lack luster play.

So my answer to the hall of fame question is no he is not; but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.  He is 10 hits shy of 2,000 in his career (32 hits shy of passing Ed Kranepool for number 2 on the Mets all-time list).

Ok, 2,000 hits doesn’t get you in the hall but 3,000 is an automatic entrance.  So, at 33 years old, can Jose get another 1,000 hits?  If you watched his April performance, you were probably wondering if he get another 10 hits let alone 1,000.  Jose has averaged 196 hits over 162 games over his career.  He clearly will not play 162 games a year so nor would you expect his production to remain the same as he ages, so he would need more than 5 years after this season to get to 3,000.  It’s not out of the question that he gets between 125 and 150 hits this year bringing his total to 2,100.  He would then need to play another 6 years averaging 150 per year or 7 years averaging 129 hits per year.  Clearly a tall order for a player with the history of health issues but not out of the realm of possibility.  I just don’t think it’s in the cards, especially not as a Met, after last night’s walk of shame!

 

Surmising the first month of the season

Well as many Mets fans know, optimism at the start of the season doesn’t always work out.  This April would be considered a colossal failure.  We all had the World Series in mind back on opening day.  What a difference a month makes.  At 10 -14 it’s not too late to look for answers and more importantly, look for solutions.

The Blame

There is plenty that can go around:

 Jose Reyes got off to a slow start to say the least.  Fans and bloggers were looking for solutions three weeks into the season.  He seems to have gotten passed his offensive struggles, now let’s hope he stays hot and improves his defense.

The Defense, I think everyone knew the defense wouldn’t be great but it has been especially disappointing.  Two plays stick out to me, the Reyes drop of a pop fly.  This cost the Mets a game and I also wasn’t impressed with d’arnaud just standing watching Reyes drop the ball.  It would have been nicer if he was in position for a possible reaction to Reyes drop.  (I know its nit picking, but I’ve seen plenty of plays where a popup was dropped and then caught by the teammate standing nearby).  The other play that sticks out to me was Cabrera letting a sure double play ball go under his glove, it let the flood gates open up when the Mets could have gotten out of an inning.  Last word on the defense is a glaring one, when we don’t have Lagares in centerfield, our outfield defense is compromised.

Neil Walker – $17 million for this?  He seems to have gotten a free pass from the fans so far but he hit .197 with 2 home runs in April.  Sandy has some explaining to do on this one.  Murphy’s gone but 3 years at $36 million looks like a better investment so far than the 2 years and $28 million we’re paying Walker.  How do you offer arbitration to a guy coming off back surgery?   I like Walker and hopes he turns it around but a hot Walker in April would have helped for sure.

Curtis Granderson – $16 million for this?  Sure he has a history of a slow start and is a great clubhouse guy but .128 with 1 homerun?  How long do you wait to pull the plug and go with Lagares/Conforto in Center?

Terry Collins – he’s the manager, so he is naturally the guy to blame.  A lot of times the manager gets the blame when he doesn’t deserve it but in this case I think he’s earned it!  He burned out his bullpen again just like he did last year.  The Mets brought up and sent down Gilmartin like 3 times in April and didn’t use him.  For example, they brought him up a day after 16 inning game with the Marlins.  Terry indicated he would use him if they went to extra innings the next day.  Instead he pitched Montero/Blevins/Edgin all of whom pitched the night before.  I’m not boasting about Gilmartin being a great pitcher but if you don’t have confidence in him to pitch to give guys rest don’t call him up in case of an emergency.

The manger has some responsibility to protect the players from themselves, Terry clearly lets the players dictate how and when he uses them when it comes to injuries.  Cespedes came back too early and Terry used him when he said he was ready to go regardless of the weather conditions.  Syndergaard had no business starting on Sunday, you could argue the Mets should have forced him to have an MRI but Terry let him pitch, how about using some discretion as a manger?  Terry doesn’t seem to look at the big picture and gets caught up in “must win” games in April.  I know April game count, but Terry seems to have put a lot of emphasis on winning in April the last couple of years and has gotten players hurt in the process.  Remember Jim Henderson’s 17 pitch at bat last year, when he brought him in the next day and he went from throwing 95 mph to 88mph and then to the DL.  He’s out of baseball now.

As far as I’m concerned Terry’s on the clock, I don’t expect the Mets to pull the trigger anytime soon but I’d be looking for his replacement if I had Sandy’s job.

Not all has been Bad this year

The Mets have their challenges after their April start but not is all lost.  They got off to a slow start last year and still managed to make the playoff and they certainly can do it again.  A lot of players have excelled and they will need to continue to if the Mets have a chance to go to the playoffs for the third year in a row.

The Positives

Jay Bruce – has quickly made fans forget about his failures after he arrived last August.  Honestly, if he continues to produce, The Mets could consider to cut the cord on Granderson.  And we all should be thankful the Mets couldn’t trade him after signing Cespedes.

Jacob Degrom – He found his velocity and has pitch the way we all expected him to.  With Syndergaard out for months, the Mets will need him and Harvey to continue to pitch the way they have been.

Michael Conforto – His comeback after a very tough year has been refreshing to Met fans for sure.  I hope he continues to produce and not repeat what happened last year.  Last year he hit .365 with 4 HR’s so His .321 and 6 HR’s this year have me hopeful but cautiously optimistic.  Of course hitting his 7th homerun last night helps.

Travis d’arnaud – His average may be low but he equaled his home run production in April from all of last year.

Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith –  if the Mets continue to slump through May and Early June, these guys may be our only option to save the year.  Rosario is batting .409 and Smith is at .343 in Vegas.  I would not be surprised if Smith is at first with Rosario at short by the end of June. Terry then can use Walker/Flores/Cabrera/Reyes in some combination at second and short and then roll the dice.

My Mets Christmas List!

Ok so it’s the GM meetings this week and it’s the week to talk trades. Si I’ve looked over teams rosters and came up with players the Mets might be interested in and perhaps should talk to their respective teams general manager to check on their availability.  Of course, since its Christmas I won’t mention any players the Mets might have to give up!

NL East – since no one would probably deal with the Mets from the east other than the Phillies, I’ll take a pass on contacting any of the GM’s here.

NL Central

Pirates – Andrew McCutchen, see my earlier post but it’s worth looking into for sure.

Cubs –Jayson Hayward – ok he’s a centerfielder we could probably use but no one would take that salary after his production last year.

Brewers – Ryan Braun – would be nice in the outfield but he plays left field and has $80 million left on his contract – so pass.

Cardinals – Trevor Rosenthal – he lost his closer job last year and may be available, isn’t a Free Agent until 2019.

NL West:

Diamondbacks – Paul Goldschmidt, ok he’s not available but I would call them anyway. I’d probably have them on speed dial if that still exists.

Rockies – Carlos Gomez, probably can’t play centerfield but at $20 million next year and a free agent in 2018 – he may not cost much and would be an upgrade over Granderson and Bruce if they can trade them.

Charlie Blackman – he isn’t a FA until 2019 and doesn’t make a lot of money so the Mets would have to give up a lot to get him but he is they type of player I like.

AL East:

Blue Jays – Russell Martin – would be a great addition but not at the $60 million he is owed. Kevin Pillar – see my earlier post, young controllable player who would add speed to the team

Rays – Evan Longoria – unfortunately too expensive with a long term contract have to pass but Kevin Kiermairer would be a good addition for centerfield to platoon with Lagarus

AL Central:

White Sox – See the post on Todd Frazier, can add David Robertson as a closer but he is owed $25 million over the next 2 years so I would put him out of our salary. Brett Lawrie wouldn’t be a bad addition if we make trades that open up a need for a guy to play 2nd and 3rd base. He is only making $3.5 million and is a free agent in 2018.

Indians – Michael Brantley would be a great addition, unfortunately I don’t think he is available

Tigers – JD Martinez would be a good additional in Right Field and is a free agent in 2018

Twins – Trevor Ploufe, ok so he is a free agent and won’t cost anything but money could play 1st and 3rd base but is he really an upgrade over Flores?   Brian Dozier appears to be available but would cost a lot and we have Walker so we have to pass for now.

Royals – Lorenzo Cain – if he’s available, I’m calling would be a perfect addition to centerfield but at what cost to a guy who is slated to be a free agent in 2018.

AL West:

Seattle – Steve Cishek would be a nice addition to the bullpen with his side arm action and he could close during Familia’s anticipated suspension. Earn $6 million this year and is a free agent next.

Angels – Houston Street – same as Steve Cishek, but $9 million next year with an option in 2018. Kole Calhoun – would be a nice player to add in right field and is controllable but would cost us prospects.

A’s – John Axford, Same category as Cishek and Street, he’s making $5.5 million in 2017 and is free agent in 2018. Jed Lowrie would be a nice addition but we probably don’t have room for him on our roster.

Whos on your Christmas list?

Should the Mets make a play for Todd Frazier?

Todd Frazier is in his last year of arbitration eligibility and is a free agent after this this year. Typically the Mets would have little interest in a player so close to free agency but it does make sense to pursue him if the price is right! The White Sox seem to be in a sell mode and even thought Sandy Alderson indicated that David Wright is his third baseman next year, we all know the odds of that happening isn’t that great. The Mets wouldn’t go out and acquire a 40 home run guy as an insurance policy but here is how it can work. If Wright isn’t healthy enough to go at the start of the season Frazier plays third and the Mets are in good shape. If Wright can go next year, he starts at third, with Reyes spelling him when needed and Frazier becomes our full time first baseman where he has played 90 games at over his career.

The Next question is what would the Mets have to give up to get a big bat, one year away from Free agency and what do the Mets have that would interest the White Sox? Well, we would all like it if they would take Lucas Duda off our hands but somehow I don’t see that happening but I would not hesitate starting off the deal with Wilmer Flores and a prospect or two not named Amed Rosario. This Deal would require the Mets to deal Duda in all likelihood but it would clear up the infield question and balance the lineup.

What’s your View?

Granderson or Bruce?

So now that Cespedes is signed, the biggest question among Met fans is who they are going to trade – Granderson or Bruce. On first look, it’s pretty simple, Bruce came to the Mets and was a bust and there is no other way to put it. He didn’t help Mets down the stretch and was benched most of September.  Granderson didn’t come near having the season he had in 2015 but he still had 30 home runs, 74 walks and he is a proven NY baseball player over the years. Simple answer and safe option is to trade Bruce and keep Granderson. However is this really the best move for the Mets? As far as age goes, Granderson will 36 to Bruce’s 30. As a Met fan, I’m pretty much tired of seeing base runners going from first to third on a given basis with Granderson out in rightfield. As far as his offence goes the home runs are great but his run production isn’t there and I think he will always be a .220 to .250 hitter. Basically what I’m saying is Jay Bruce may not be the answer but if we get the opportunity to unload Granderson and his $16 million dollor contract I would not be upset.

Should the Mets look to unload both Bruce and Granderson? If the opportunity arises and we can get some MLB talent in return I would say go for it! Could the Mets then move Cespedes (assuming he would be willing to do so) to Right field, and put Conforto back in left? Could the Mets land a decent outfielder in return for either Bruce or Granderson and get better while doing so? I personally like Kevin Pillar, he’s younger than both Bruce and Granderson, He can play all three outfield positions and he is under team control until 2021. I also like Kevin Kiermair of the Tampa Rays, He a hard nose player who plays centerfield, has the speed the Mets sorely need and can platoon with Lagaris. The problem with Kiermair is that the Rays probably don’t have much interest in either Granderson or Bruce. To a lesser extent, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Mets trade Brett Gardner, he’s a hard nose player who could bring some energy to the top of the Mets line-up. He’s salary wouldn’t be an issue as he is signed through 2018 with an option for 2019 at $26 million or $13 million average per year.

As a Met fan, I would be amiss if I didn’t dream a little bit and mention Andrew McCutchen, he is rumored to be available and having an outfield of Conforto/McCutchen/Cespedes would make most Met dream big. But at what cost? We thankfully don’t have Steve Phillips as our GM would have gladly traded our future in a deal like this but Sandy Alderson isn’t Steve Phillips so I think this would stay as a pipe dream for now!

What’s your view?

Neil Walker Takes the Qualifying offer, Is this good news?

Absolutely

Neil Walker give the Mets the right handed bat they need in a line-up dominated by lefties. The Mets need to balance their line-up and after trading Dilson Herrera last season to get Bruce they didn’t have any one who could take over the second base job that that could be trusted, Flores, Reyes and Rivera can fill in at second but there is no way I would want to go into the season counting on any of them. With Walker and Cabrera up the middle we have a solid defense and two guys that can go deep 40 to 50 times next year (combined total that is)

Thanks but I’ll pass

Don’t get me wrong I like Walker but did the Mets really give a guy $17.2 to a guy with a bad back? So next year the Mets potentially can have two guys on the DL making a total of $37 million? That’s not exactly how I would want to see Mets spend their money. Even if Walker stays healthy, there is no guarantee that he won’t look more like Edgardo Alfonso after his back went out. And here’s the real question, why are the Mets willing to pay Walker $27.75 million the last two years but were not willing to give Murphy $37.5 for three years? For the record, Murphy is making $20 million combined in 2016 and 2017. Most Met Fans would have preferred to sign the home grown Murphy than give Walker his money. This is clearly another example of Mets mismanagement at the front office level.

What’s your View?

Thank You Bartolo!

 

The Bart era came to an end last week when he signed with Atlanta for $12.5 million. The question among Mets fans is: should the Mets have resigned him? This would have been an easy question for me to answer a year ago. It would have been a resounding NO THANK YOU! I actually wasn’t in favor of the Mets resigning him last year at the $7.25 million they gave him. We had the stud pitchers lines and Zack Wheeler coming back in June. The Mets signed him to be a starter for half a season and $7.25 million is a lot of money for a half a season. Well it turned out that I was 100% wrong about signing Bart last year, the Mets wouldn’t have made the play-offs without him.

So when the reports at the end of the year came out that he would get a contract offer around $12 million, I was on the fence about signing him:

Absolutely The Mets should have signed Bart

Sure $12.5 million is a lot of money to you and me but in terms of baseball, it’s very reasonable to pay a guy who has proven to be healthy over the last three years throwing close to 600 innings and 44 wins.   There is no guarantee that Harvey, DeGrom and Matz come back healthy. Even if Wheeler comes back healthy, his innings will be very limited and although Lugo and Gsellman pitched great last year when they were called up, chances are MLB hitters will catch up to them and their ERA’s will be closer to how they performed in the minor leagues with ERA’s over 5.

 

Thanks but No Thanks

Bart was and is a great story but $12.5 million for a soon to be 44 year old pitcher is too much to spend when the Mets have other areas of concern. Sure most of the starting five is coming off injury but with the exception of Wheeler they are all expected to be ready to go in the spring. Lugo, Gsellman and even Montero can fill in as number five starters. Gsellman and Lugo both pitch exceptionally well down the stretch and Vegas is known for the thin air and not an easy place to pitch. Especially in the case for Lugo whose curveball was clearly effected. As far as Bartolo is concerned, Thanks but no Thanks, I’ll take the money saved from letting him go and spend in on our line-up – More specifically, Cespedes or whoever we sign to replace him.

 

What’s your view?

The Disappointment

Obviously, the game didn’t end the way Met fans would have like it and I’ve heard all the comments like Familia isn’t a big time pitcher, Cespedes did nothing, what a friggen disaster!, I thought he was going to pitch a no hitter and even a I consider it a good year for the Mets.

Here are my views of the game:

  • The Mets lost the game for one simple reason and his name was Madison Bumgarner. Sure he is a great playoff pitcher who doesn’t give up any runs when he pitches.  The one thing that the crackerjack ESPN announcers didn’t mention (more on them next) was how he worked the home plate umpire.  It was the difference in the game.  He threw 21 pitches in the first three innings, 64 the next three, in my view the turning point of the game occurred in the sixth inning, in top of the sixth Syndergaard struck him out looking and complained to the umpire that the ball was low and was not a strike!  Then I believe it was the bottom of the sixth when he started to complain to the home plate umpire again about balls and strikes.  The Ump even walked out to the mound to talk to him about it.  I didn’t think you could argue balls and strikes with the umpire but whatever he said it worked.  The umpire started to call the high strikes (balls that were not strikes according to the ESPN pitch tracker) and just about every other pitch he threw near the strike zone.  The result was he only threw 34 pitches the last three innings.  On the flip side, the umpire, for whatever reason, was not giving the Met pitchers the same calls.  Pitches that looked like they were right down the middle of the plate and strikes according to the ESPN pitch tracker were called balls.  None bigger than the Joe Panik at bat in the ninth, where a couple pitches looked like strike that were called balls.  Needless to say Familia’s walking of panic changed the game completely, if Panik was called out, Conner would have be intentionally walked which would have forced the Giants to make a decision on letting Bumgarner hit or to pitch hit for him.  We will never know what they would have done but the Mets pitchers take away should be to work the umpire to get some calls.  Collins could take a lesson from Bochy, as he was barking from the doug out on balls and strikes as well.

 

  • Ok, I never thought I would agree with Michael Kay but baseball should have three feeds so home town fans can hear their local broadcasters. ESPN was awful and offered little to no insight to the game or the teams.  Aaron Boone and Jessica Mendoza are at the bottom of the barrel as color commentators.  No disrespect to Jessica, but she played softball and there are probably hundreds of ex ballplayers that actually played in the major leagues that could offer more insight to the game than she can.  Although, I guess I would rather have her add her trivial comments than hear three hours Tom Veducci offer his “expert” analysis.

TJ Rivera – Really?

Should the Mets have promoted TJ Rivera over signing Juan Uribe?

Absolutely

What’s your obsession with Uribe?  He was hitting .200 with Cleveland when they let him go.  Sure, he had some big hits for the Mets last year down the stretch but from all accounts, he is done and is going to have to call it a career.  As a Fan I like to see guys get promoted and Rivera has earned the promotion by hitting .349 in Las Vegas.  The last thing the Mets offense needs is another .200 hitter at this point!

OR

No Thanks, I’ll take the Veteran down the stretch

Sure he wasn’t hitting well for the Indians but neither was Kelly Johnson when the Mets picked him up for the Braves.  Those Big hits he got for the Mets last year won games for them.  I would have liked to have seen him at the plate last night in extra innings over TJ Rivera.  Nothing against Rivera but this isn’t April, it August and the Mets could use a guy with big league experience who has proven it before.  I have no inside information on this but I think he helped gel the team last year when he came here, especially Cespedes and we missed him in the playoffs!  He may not be an everyday player anymore but he could start games and is a guy I want to see up in the clutch over a rookie.

 

What’s your view?

What about Carlos Gomez?

Should the Mets look to get Carlos Gomez, when he clears waivers?

Thanks, but I’ll Pass

He’s half the player he was a couple years ago and he won’t add anything more than what d’Aza is giving us now!  The Mets were unbelievably fortunate to cancel the trade last year.  They never would have seen the playoffs last year if they acquired him.  They never would have traded for Cespedes.  Besides, the Astros are a playoff team again and they are letting him go for nothing, they wouldn’t do this for nothing, clearly he was seen as addition by subtraction.  The Mets should steer clear!

Absolutely

Are you kidding me? Sure he is having a bad year but he isn’t ARod!  A change of scenery and a trip back to the NL may help him.  He was injured earlier this year and is now healthy.  No matter how bad Gomez is he is worth the league minimum for the rest of the year to see if he can give us something more than d’Aza.  Gary and keith might have been singing praises to Granderson for how he has played center but come on! STOP be HOMERS and tell it like it is.  We don’t have a centerfielder with the exception of d’Aza and I’ve seen enough of him to move on.  Plus Gomez will add speed to the lineup that the Mets desperately need.  Adding  Gomez  to the line-up behind Reyes when he returns, followed by Cespedes and Bruce could add life to the line-up!  To me this move is a no brainer!

 

What’s your  View?