Tag Archives: New York Mets

Should Mets Be Buyers, Sellers, or Stand Pat?

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A lot has happened since the Mets 46-40 first half start to the season. The team went on a 6-game losing streak, failed to win a single game on a 6-game homestand, and let various late leads get away. All of this resulted in the Mets losing 13 of their last 17 games. At 50-53, they are 12 games behind the Washington Nationals, and 8.5 games behind the final wildcard spot which currently belongs to the Atlanta Braves.

It is a tough position to be in right now as the Mets are in between being buyers and sellers. While New York has been struggling, the season is not over just yet. Think back to last year when the St. Louis Cardinals overtook the Braves after being 10.5 games behind on the 24th of August. Of course, anything can happen in baseball. And we have seen the Mets have two consecutive historic collapses. So why can’t it happen to the Braves?

I’m not saying they should trade away a Zack Wheeler or any other big prospect to acquire a top player at the trade deadline, but they can afford to make a small trade to acquire a reliever like Grant Balfour or Jonathon Broxton. If Sandy Alderson does not make a move, the Mets terrible bullpen will prevent the team from even cooming close to a wildcard spot.

In terms of hitting, they can also try to trade for a right-handed catcher like Yorvit Torrealba to help out the offense.The Mets could not land Geovany Soto but they might just be able to get Torrealba for cheap. He will be available after being designated for assignment as a result of Soto’s arrival in Texas.

If Alderson decides to sell, the Mets biggest commodity is Scott Hairston who has had a terrific season this year. He  has 14 home runs while playing part-time in the outfield, and he is a monster against left-handed pitching. I don’t think the Mets should trade him, however, because they would only receive a mid-level prospect in return. Hairston is too important to the team right now.

The Mets have also been trying to trade Daniel Murphy, but again, other teams do not value him as highly as the Mets do. As a result, New York would most likely get a relief pitcher in return for a quality hitter in Murphy. Surely that is not enough for an everyday player who is important to the lineup.

The best way to go about it for the Mets according to Sandy Alderson  is to keep the team they have right now and stand pat. By no means will they trade Harvey, or Wheeler at the deadline. Also, it would not be smart to start trading away guys like Murphy and Hairston for mid-level prospects and relief pitchers. New York fans do not appreciate fire sales while their team is still in contention.

The trade deadline is just a few hours away and sources are reporting that the Mets will not trade away Hairston but they will also not look to make any big moves. It looks like they will indeed stay where they are and possibly use the waiver wire to improve their roster if they are still in the hunt down the road. It is a tricky call for Alderson, but is it the right one for the Mets?

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Mets Could Release Jason Bay

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Terry Collins has given Jason Bay yet another opportunity to start in left field for the Mets, but the Canadian-born player has failed to prove himself once again after coming back from the DL. The fans have lost patience with Bay a long time ago and now it seems as though Collins is growing tired of the lack of production from the $16.5 million man.

Bay is hitting a measly .164 with 5 HRs and only 8 RBI so far in 2012. If these numbers aren’t pathetic enough, he has struck out 35 times in just 33 games. Obviously the Mets need more from Bay who was supposed to be a dangerous right-handed bat in the middle of the lineup when he signed back in 2009.

Collins has told Bay that he will have less playing time due to his incredible struggles this season, as he will likely platoon with Jordany Valdespin in left-field. Bay will play vs. left-handers while Valdepin will get the start against right-handers. There has, however, been speculation that Sandy Alderson might just cut ties with Bay before his hefty contract expires after the 2013 season.

If they do release him they will still have to pay his remaining $35 million, but Mets fans would no longer have to witness such a frustrating player who strikeouts out virtually every at-bat. It is a very possible scenario as the the Mets aren’t afraid of releasing players before their contracts expire. They cut Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez who were making a combined $18 million with a year left on both of their contracts. Bay is already giving contributing absolutely nothing, so why not get rid of him? The team was playing better without him with Hairston and Baxter in left-field.

Mets fans, you might just get your wish. New York might just move on and release Bay if no team wants to trade for him this season. It is unlikely that anyone would take on his contract in a trade and it is also unlikely that he will be traded through waivers. As a result, the only option is handing him the pink slip.

Hopefully the Mets learned from this situation and they will think twice before throwing a boat-load of money at a free agent.

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Matt Harvey Shines in MLB Debut

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In the most anticipated Mets debut since Doc Gooden in 1984, Matt Harvey did not disappoint in his start vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Mets young prospect took the mound in a familiar stadium, Chase Field, where he appeared in the 2011 MLB All Stars Futures Game. He showed no nerves whatsoever and pitched a quality game in a hitters haven.

Harvey’s final line is impressive as he pitched 5 1/3 innings with zero runs on three hits and 11 strikeouts, while picking up his first career major league win. Despite his control issues in AAA, the right-hander only walked two and had a good feel for the strike zone.

The 24-year old came out firing darts, reaching 98 MPH on several occasions. He also had good control of his fastball and mixed in his off speed pitches well, something that was not the case in his time with Buffalo. To add to his impressive debut, Harvey also picked up his first two hits as a pro with a double in his first plate appearance and a single in his second at-bat.

Matt Harvey finally brought a bit of excitement to this team after New York’s six game winning streak put a damper on things. The Mets hope he can spark the club and provide the jolt they need to get back in the playoff spot. If he can continue his success, the rotation will be impressive with R.A. Dickey, Jon Niese, and a rested Johan Santana coming back from the DL. Don’t give up yet, Mets fans! There is still hope.

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Mets Make Roster Changes, Harvey Could Debut Thursday Vs. Arizona

41-year old Miguel Batista claimed that the Mets were “the best team in baseball” last week. Now he will no longer be part of the club as he has been designated for assignment after yesterday’s start in which he surrendered 4 ER in 3.2 innings. The Mets clearly saw enough out of Batista the last few times around to earn him a demotion. This season he has a 4.82 ERA while starting and relieving games in the absence of Mike Pelfrey and Dillon Gee.

New York has announced corresponding moves with RHP Elvin Ramirez being promoted back to the majors after struggling with his control in his first stint with the big league team. He will go to the bullpen while the Mets will need a starter for Thursday’s game in Arizona.

Jeremy Hefner, who was called up to replace Johan Santana, will start on Wednesday and could also work out of the bullpen if they need him to. There is speculation about whether Matt Harvey will be called upon to pitch in Arizona, but after his last start for Buffalo, the Mets are having second thoughts about handing him the ball. He was roughed up in an outing in which he allowed 6 runs on seven hits. Harvey threw 96 pitches but only 61 for strikes as his heavy pitch count has ruled him out of starting Wednesday for the Mets.

With Harvey being lit up in AAA, Sandy Alderson and the Mets front office is a little frustrated with the recent slew of injuries that has devastated the starting rotation. Surprisingly, the team is considering calling up Collin McHugh instead of Harvey for Thursday’s start. McHugh, who is not as highly touted a prospect, is similar to Dillon Gee in that he does not throw hard but has good breaking pitches. He is 1-3 in seven starts for AAA Buffalo, with an ERA of 4.54 after being called up from AA Binghamton.

The Mets rotation is getting really thin all of a sudden with three out of the five opening day starters on the DL. New York is running low on options and needs to make a move to help the struggling rotation and horrendous bullpen. Whether it is Harvey or McHugh, it is hard to expect either to do much in their first major league experience. The season is fading fast and this might be the last chance for the Mets to stay relevant this season. Pitching needs to be better than it has been so far in the second half of the season and it needs to give the team a chance to win on a regular basis.

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Is It Time to Start Worrying About Johan Santana?

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Just over a month ago, Johan Santana did the unthinkable and threw the first no-hitter in Mets history. While in the moment, fans pushed for Terry Collins to leave him in to complete the no-hitter despite a high pitch count. Collins had a dilemma and let everyone know that he would feel awful if the 135-pitch no-hitter had a negative impact on Santana’s health in the future.

Though Mets fans were ecstatic about the no-no, many are far less impressed with Johan as of late. The man who came off serious shoulder surgery has an ERA of 6.54 and a record of 3-5 since throwing the no-hitter on June 1. He has allowed 6 or more earned runs in 3 straight starts, earning him a 13.54 ERA in 3 straight losing decisions.

This is the worst stretch of Santana’s career and many are beginning to question how much the southpaw has left in the tank after the shoulder surgery. Certainly he is not the pitcher he was in Minnesota, but his recent struggles are concerning as the Mets are beginning to question how much left they will get from him with $25.5 million owed to him next season. It will cost New York another $6 million to buy out his contract after the 2013 season, totaling a $31.5 million investment in a fading Santana.

It is clear that he needs rest as he looks tired on the mound and he is missing his spots badly. Maybe the Mets might decide to put him on the 15-day DL to give him some time to recover from whatever seems to be bothering him. While Santana insists there is nothing wrong with him physically, you have to think that Johan’s ultimate competitive attitude is holding him back from admitting that he is injured.

Whether he is simply hitting a rough patch or suffering from an injury, the Mets have to be concerned about what they are seeing from their $25+ million ace. At this point the team cannot trade him because there is no one out there who would take on such a large contract for a 33-year old pitcher that is coming off major shoulder surgery.

As Mets fans speculate on Johan’s future with the Mets, Matt Harvey looms in AAA Buffalo. Worst case scenario Harvey takes Santana’s place in the rotation and he gets to gain some major league experience without the pressure of competing for a playoff spot.

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Mets in Free Fall With Season Hanging in Balance

The first half of the 2012 season couldn’t have gone any better for the New York Mets. The team of unknown young ballplayers surpassed all expectation and finished the first half six games over .500, which was a whole lot better than a team which was expected to lose 100 games by the end of the season.

However, all of the positive momentum from the first half has been undone by some very poor play by the Mets to open up the second half. With two extremely important series against the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals, it was crucial for the team to win games to stay in the playoff race. Unfortunately, things have gone south in a hurry as the Mets have lost six in a row and have fallen eight games behind the Nationals and 3.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves.

After being swept in Atlanta, the Mets are now in danger of having the same happen to them in Washington. The team is in a complete free fall and they are fading fast as the playoff race heats up. The atrocious bullpen has coughed up many games this season, but none bigger than the one two days ago against the Nationals where they blew a save in the 9th and 10th innings. There is no one in the entire bullpen who can be called on to hold a small lead late.

Aside from the awful bullpen. another reason for the Mets struggles of late is the inconsistent starting pitching, which is coming back down to earth after an amazing first half of the season. R.A. Dickey has finished with no decisions in three of his last four starts while allowing five runs each of those starts. Ace Johan Santana has also struggled 25 earned runs in 7 games since his no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals. Injury has gotten to Dillon Gee and now the Mets will have to find a capable replacement for the underrated Gee.

If the Mets continue to have poor starting pitching, they will have no chance at making the playoffs. And even with good starting pitch, they will go nowhere with a leaky bullpen that blows games late. This is the Mets first real test of the season. It is now when they will either pack it in and wait for the off season, or turn it around and compete for a playoff spot. While there is still plenty of baseball left but New York cannot afford to fall any further behind. Terry Collins needs to turn it around now and it starts with today’s series finale against Gio Gonzalez and the Wsahington Nationals.

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Harvey Sparkles in Buffalo

If you’re a Met fan today, be happy.  Yes I know the Mets just got swept by the Atlanta Braves.  And yes I’m aware the Mets are three games over .500 and are going through a rough part of their schedule.  But put that all aside for now because the Mets should be excited.

Highly lauded Met prospect Matt Harvey pitched last night for AAA Buffalo Bison.  Harvey was under the microscope this particular start.  Since the injury of Dillon Gee, the Mets are looking for someone to take his spot and ultimately be the number five starter for the Mets.  Some of the candidates include Jeremy Heffner, Miguel Batista, and Matt Harvey.

We’ve all seen what Heffner and Batista could do in the starting rotation.  Both of them had a couple of moments where they looked like a great pitcher to have in your starting rotation.  Other times you just want to turn away from what you are seeing from them.

Met fans have been hearing Harvey’s name for a while now.  The young right-hander out of North Carolina was picked seventh.  He was known to have electric stuff, but at times could be erratic.  Well Harvey has been working on his command and seems to have much more control than what he had once he was drafted.

Matt Harvey has had a spectacular season.  This season Harvey has a 2.53 ERA in the minors.  He has 106 strikeouts in 105 innings.  He’s the type of pitcher that could get out of trouble with his command of his pitches.  On Monday, Harvey gave up two runs over six innings pitched.  Not to mention he brought a no-hitter into the sixth inning.

Look, the best option to replace Gee with is easily Harvey.  I have a lot of faith in the type of pitcher he is.  I wouldn’t want Batista or Heffner to start for my team.  The organization has been talking about Harvey for the longest time now.  Isn’t it about time they gave him a chance to pitch in the majors?

I get that the Mets don’t want to rush Harvey.  And neither would I.  But he’s ready.  Look at the numbers he has put up in the minors.  They’ve been impressive.  The guy strikes out a bunch of hitters and he’s proven to have much better command of his pitches.  Wally Backman agrees that Harvey is ready for the majors.  The Mets are flirting with going a couple of games under .500 so Harvey might be the spark the Mets need.  Now is the time of season when teams go from contenders to pretenders so the Mets need to stay in the thick of things to make it to October this year.

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Jason Bay: Time to Put Up or Shut Up

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It is not for lack of effort that Jason Bay has been struggling in his time with the Mets. The man ran into a wall on two occasions to show to Mets fans that he is at least trying. The problem with Bay is that he is trying too hard. He seems to be putting too much pressure on himself with the weight of an $80 million dollar contract on his shoulders. The odd part about Bay is that the media attention in Boston should have prepared him for New York but he doesn’t seem to know how to deal with the media and fans of the Mets.

I really do not understand how a player of Bay’s caliber can be this poor in a Mets uniform. I mean, he was is a three-time All-Starand was a beast in the middle of Pittsburgh and Boston’s lineup. In 2009 he hit .267 with 36 home runs and 119 RBIs. Since signing with the Mets he has only managed to hit 22 home runs in three seasons at Citi Field. Granted Citi Field isn’t a very hitter friendly park. But come on! Maybe this is all an issue of confidence because it is impossible for his skills to drop off this badly.

Bay has been an absolute disaster since joining the Mets. Every season he seems to miss months at a time with injuries. In his brief Mets career he has missed 165 games so far at the mid-point of the 2012 season. And when he is on the field he strikes out in the worst possible situations, with 223 strikeouts in 240 at-bats. He has completely lost his power and is content on settling for singles. He is basically an overpaid fourth outfielder with no pop while taking up a spot at the bottom of the batting order.

Throw all of the negativity of Bay’s past out the window though.  Forget how bad he was the last 2 seasons because it is all about the here and the now. The Mets are finally competitive again for the first time since Bay’s arrival and the team is desperate for a right-handed hitter to challenge left-handed pitchers. They need Bay to contribute at least something close to what he provided in Pittsburgh and Boston. I’m not saying he has to be the slugger he was when he hit 36 home runs; he just needs to be half of that player.

Bay is currently rehabbing in Class-A St. Lucie and is set to return to the Mets soon. The reality is that this might be his last chance to win over the fans. Everyone is frustrated with him and his ridiculous contract, and now is the time for him to show fans what he is capable of. If he comes back from the DL and provides the Mets with a quality bat in the middle of the lineup, fans will forget about his struggles. Helping the team to a playoff spot for the first time in six years would probably be enough to get him off the hook. But if he comes back and strikeouts every at-bat like he has been doing, he will find himself either on the bench or out of New York. With two years left on his contract he hasn’t accomplished anything in New York.

It’s time to put up or shut up, Jason Bay. No more excuses. Go out there and play like you know how to play.

Take a look at Bay’s career stats:

 Batting
 Year Team G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
 2003 SD 3 8 2 2 1 0 1 2 1 1 0 0 .250 .400 .750 1.150
 2003 PIT 27 79 13 23 6 1 3 12 18 28 3 1 .291 .423 .506 .929
 2004 PIT 120 411 61 116 24 4 26 82 41 129 4 6 .282 .358 .550 .907
 2005 PIT 162 599 110 183 44 6 32 101 95 142 21 1 .306 .402 .559 .961
 2006 PIT 159 570 101 163 29 3 35 109 102 156 11 2 .286 .396 .532 .928
 2007 PIT 145 538 78 133 25 2 21 84 59 141 4 1 .247 .327 .418 .746
 2008 PIT 106 393 72 111 23 2 22 64 59 86 7 0 .282 .375 .519 .894
 2008 BOS 49 184 39 54 12 2 9 37 22 51 3 0 .293 .370 .527 .897
 2009 BOS 151 531 103 142 29 3 36 119 94 162 13 3 .267 .384 .537 .921
 2010 NYM 95 348 48 90 20 6 6 47 44 91 10 0 .259 .347 .402 .749
 2011 NYM 123 444 59 109 19 1 12 57 56 109 11 1 .246 .329 .374 .703
 2012 NYM 22 75 10 14 2 0 4 6 7 23 2 1 .187 .253 .373 .626
 Career 1162 4180 696 1140 234 30 207 720 598 1119 89 16 .273 .367 .492 .859

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Bring Up Matt Harvey!

The inevitable bad news of Dillon Gee and his surgery for his blood clot in his right shoulder was a huge blow to the Amazin’s.  Ultimately, the Mets fifth starter will most likely miss the remainder of the of the season and look toward a 2013 comeback.  Yes Gee was a great fifth starter for the Mets.  He was all you could ask for from an end of the rotation starter.  Basically the  role of a fifth starter is to eat up innings plus keep his team in the game.  Dillon Gee did just that.  Gee will be missed but there is hope.  It’s not Miguel Batista nor is it Jeremy Hefner.  In fact he’s not in the majors at the moment.  Matt Harvey, who is in AAA Buffalo at the moment, should be the guy that gets the chance to start for the Mets.

Most reporters following the Mets will say it’s not a matter of if Harvey will be in the majors this year; it’s a matter of when.  Do the Mets want to leave him in AAA where he might get a couple of more starts for mechanical tuning or do they want to bring him up to give the Mets some spunk and productivity.  Miguel Batista will get the ball against the Braves on Friday but what if he has a poor start.  We all saw what he can do this year.  At times he looks like a great starter who could be an inning eater as well as keep his team in the game.  We saw flashes of that when Batista went 7 shutout innings against the Brewers.  We also so the bad side of Miguel Batista.  In 5+ innings against Philly he allowed 4 runs.  He also walked a boat load of people allowing many base runners,  That’s not keeping your team in the game.

The good thing about the Mets is that the team doesn’t allow injuries to effect them on the field.  Terry Collins has a great philosophy with managing.  He doesn’t let injuries get in the way of how his team plays.  Even with injuries to Carlos Beltran and Joe Reyes last year Collins still managed to walk the .500 line.  Gee was an important piece to the starting rotation but Terry won’t let this injury get in the way of winning.  Instead of going to Sandy Alderson and begging him to shop for a new starter, Collins is the type of manager to work with what he has.

Here’s a surprising fact.  It’s Matt Harvey’s second year in the minors and he has already made the AAA All-Star Game.  Pretty impressive, huh?  With Harvey you know what you’ll get.  Last season in AA Binghamton, Harvey had control issues.  This off-season he worked hard on improving his command.  And boy did the hard work pay off.  In 98 innings pitched this season, Harvey has 102 strikeouts as well as allowing 42 walks.  That’s equivalent to 9+ strikeouts/9 innings as well as about 2.5 base on balls/9 innings.  This kid is one of the Mets’ top prospects and has showed the Mets organization why he deserves to be in the big leagues.  So is he ready?  Bring him to Citi Field and he’ll show Met fans he, in fact, is.

Well the last thing you want to do is bring up a young minor leaguer before he’s ready.  If he doesn’t find early success, he could become bewildered and in way over his head.  Look what happened to Mike Pelfrey.  The Mets showed a lot of confidence in him but he didn’t find quick success.  This could really demoralize a guy and Pelf had some confidence issues.  I think this is a perfect time to bring up Harvey.  He’s shown success in both Buffalo and Binghamton.  Just like the Cubs and Anthony Rizzo, a young player can really light a fire under a team.  For the Mets, I think coming out of the break strong would be the best thing to happen.

 

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Josh Edgin Promoted to Mets

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After Dillon Gee’s trip to the DL, the Mets need help in their rotation. For the time being they have decided to make Miguel Batista spot start until Gee is ready to return. With Batista being slotted into the starting rotation, the Mets have called up LHP Josh Edgin from AAA Buffalo to replace him in the bullpen.

Edgin impressed during spring training and nearly made the team despite being completely under the radar before the start of spring ball. The lefty earned himself a place on AAA this season, boasting a 3.89 ERA with a record of 3-2 in 35 games. He previously did not play higher than A ball before the start of 2012 but he is now viewed as one of the best prospects in the Mets organization.

He throws a hard fastball and slider, and he will surely give the Mets help in the bullpen by adding a second left-hander to Terry Collins’ ‘pen. Edgin will join the team Friday in Atlanta and get his first taste of major league competition against division rivals at Turner Field.

Edgin really impressed me during spring training and now I am excited to see what he can do in the majors. The team really needs a second lefty in the bullpen and he seems to be a good fit. Edgin will get the first crack at solving the bullpen issue. If he does not perform, then the Mets will try to make a trade to bolster their bullpen. It is nice to see the Mets use their farm system this season instead of going out to sign old washed up players like they have in the past. Give the young kids a try! Maybe Edgin will turn out to be a Johnny Venters or Eric O’Flaherty.

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