Category Archives: Dailies

METBLOGFEVER: Rotation still not decided

published by Keith Gendron           March 24, 2014.

It became official today, as manager Terry Collins  named Dillon Gee the opening day starter next Monday at Citifield against the Washington Nationals. He has pitched well against them in his career and was 4-2 in 2013. But, after Gee no announcements have been made. The thinking is Bartolo Colon will be the #2, followed by Zach Wheeler and either Daisuke Matsuzaka or Jenrry Mejia to pitch game 4. With the off day on April 1st, the Mets won’t need 5 starters the first time through. On April 6th if Jon Niese is finally healthy, he is supposed to get slotted in the rotation against the Cincinnati Reds.

Mejia and Matsuzaka have made the decision harder to make who will get penciled in as the number 5 in the rotation with their most recent starts in Florida. Yesterday, Mejia pitched 5 innings versus the Nationals giving up 1 run on 2 hits, striking out 6 and walking one. Today, Matsuzaka pitched 6 innings against the Cardinals giving up 1 run on 3 hits, walking 3 and striking out 5. I have been in Mejia’s corner to be in the Mets’ rotation since last year when he pitched 5 effective games before succumbing to bone chips in his elbow. Unfortunately, Mejia will likely begin the season in Vegas as Matsuzaka would get $100,000 retainer if he isn’t on the Mets major league roster or released by noon tomorrow. With that in mind, expect Dice-K to be the number 5, but if an injury occurs Mejia will get the call.

At some point in July, the rotation will have the additions of Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard. This graduation will most likely lead to Niese(if he has been healthy and pitched well)and possibly Colon(if he hasn’t hurt himself running bases)to be trade chips. Montero, Mejia or Syndergaard could possibly end up in the bullpen when approaching their innings cap.

This season should remain entertaining deeper into summer  than in recent seasons, but 2015 with the return of Matt Harvey will be one in which the Mets may have the best rotation in the league.

Syndergaard impact maybe sooner rather than later

March 5, 2014 published by Keith Gendron

Last week, when Sandy Alderson mentioned the Mets as a 90 win team in 2014, it was said behind closed doors and not mentioned during a news conference. The response from Mets owner Fred Wilpon, “we better win 90”, according to a source, can lead you to believe a few things.

One, as presently constituted so much would have to go right, that winning the actual 90 games would be the most believable thing to happen, not mentioning the stars being in alignment. They would need absolute health throughout the roster. No extended stays on the disabled list. Rebound seasons by Ike Davis, Chris Young and to a lesser extent Ruben Tejada. Good defense which will be improved by their new outfield cast. Good relief and Parnell to continue where he left off last summer. No sophomore jinx from Wheeler and for their starters to pitch efficiently in order not to rely on the bullpen to get too many outs. See what I am saying? That is a lot to expect. I believe some of these things will happen. Injuries though, are part of the game and hopefully they are not the type that sees anyone getting surgery.

But, If what Alderson and Wilpon said wasn’t just lip service or a publicity stunt and was not a hypothetical conversation that occurred during a staff meeting, then maybe their will be additions at or near the end of spring training. Are the Mets really satisfied going into the season with Tejada as their shortstop? Stephen Drew is running out of time if he expects to play on opening day for a team. Is he willing to continue sitting in hopes of an injury to happen to a team and then signs him out of desperation? What about the Mariner’s Nick Franklin? the Mets have shown interest in him as well, but word is, defensively he may be more suited as a second basemen. But he has played most of his career as a shortstop and one with pop in his bat. The Mets are keeping an eye on him, for proof he can handle the position. But, what do the Mariners want in return? getting Franklin, may require Rafael Montero.

Word lately has been that John Lannan and Daisuke Matsuzaka have the lead in getting the 5th spot in the rotation over Jennry Mejia. This would slide Mejia in the bullpen, which may be a good idea.  I wouldn’t mind seeing him on the hill every 5th day after his 5 impressive starts last summer before his elbow bone spurs shut him down. So why would they see the possibility of 90 wins for this team? Well, if you add a solid hitting and fielding shortstop, that would help. What if they are planning to bring Noah Syndergaard up with the team to start the season. I know management has wanted to bring him up in July as they did Harvey and Wheeler, in order to delay their service time starting and extending the length of  control during their arbitration eligibility. But, to make such a statement it seems to me that they may be relaxing their feelings about this regarding Syndergaard. I mean he is not the sole reason they would win 90, but maybe they feel that he is ready now. If Syndergaard gets rocked the rest of the way in Spring training, then the point is moot. He has dominated at every level thus far, not pitching to an era above 3.11 in the minors since pitching as a 17-year-old in the rookie league in 2010. In his 4 seasons in the minors he has a record of 22-12 and 2.64 era and 329 strikeouts in 293.2 innings. Where does he fit in ? I don’t know. Are the Mets going to trade one of their starters to get a shortstop? Even, if he doesn’t make the team out of camp, It will be hard to keep him motivated they way he has blown through the competition to this point. But, we the fans didn’t make this statement, management and ownership did, so it is up to them to do what it takes to get there.

Alderson: Mets should win 90 games in 2014

published by Keith Gendron

It was reported by multiple sources in the media today that Mets’ GM, Sandy Alderson proclaimed the Metsies to win 90 games this season. Unless, he has some last minute signings or tricks up his sleeve, I will assume this proclamation is for the presently constituted 2014 team. Although, Alderson is usually measured in most things he says, he didn’t make these comments to the media, but rather team brass. Where in fact it was also stated that Jeff Wilpon said, “They better win 90”. Is this because Mets’ ownership thinks they broke open the bank this year and set spending records for a franchise in major league baseball ? Truth is they did do some spending this year as they tried to address some of their flaws in outfield defense, power and a veteran starting pitcher to cover the Harvey void. Was it enough to have this team jump to a 16 game improvement over last season? Probably not. They would have to remain healthy and get a few player’s to turn around their careers. I do think this team may finish at .500 for the first time since 2008, though. Which would be an improvement of 6 games from last year.

But do you remember the 2006 San diego Padres? No, me either. That team won their division in 2005 at 82-80. In the winter of 2006, Sports Illustrated along with other experts(?)picked the Padres to finish 3rd behind the Dodgers and Giants. They brought in some older position players Mike Piazza,37 yrs old, Mike Cameron, 33 and Vinny Castilla, 38. I wouldn’t expect much from that group either, especially a 37 year old catcher to join the likes of 35 year old Ryan Klesko, Brian Giles 35 and outfielder, Dave Roberts, 34(who still relied on his speed). They had an ace in Jake Peavy, followed by a rather not-so-glamorous 2 through 5 in the rotation. They did still have Trevor Hoffman, if they would even need to rely on him that much. I mean they had a geriatric lineup, filled with players past their prime and for the most part a no-name rotation.

Now, the 2014 edition of the Mets is far from old and in recent years far from talented. But, their are similarities between the two teams, that could make for an argument that the Mets could be playing meaningful games in September and possibly further. You see, that 2006 Padres team won their division again by finishing 88-74. Their offense was far from explosive….or youthful, but that mediocre pitching staff finished first in the league with a 3.87 era. Their defense ranked 13th in all of baseball in errors, so that was mediocre as well. Both teams play in ballparks favoring pitching. The Mets have an experienced staff in Colon, Niese, Gee and if necessary Lannan and Matsuzaka. Zach Wheeler will hopefully continue growth. He seems to have the makeup and talent to be an ace or a number 2. This along with Mejia showing last seasons display isn’t a fluke and the debuts of Syndergaard and Montero has Mets fans excited! This staff can be great for years to come. The Mets outfield defense is greatly improved with the additions of Chris Young and Curtis Granderson to join Eric Young, Jr. and Juan Lagares. The Padres had 2 players lead the team in rbi in Cameron and Giles with 83 and Adrian Gonzalez had 82. They hit 161 homers, led by Gonzalez’ 24, Cameron and Piazza with 22 a piece. Certainly not overwhelming and the fact that much of the offensive production did come from the guys they brought in and past their prime, shows that stranger things do happen every once in a while. The Padres were 26th in runs produced at 4.51/game and they didn’t get on base, with a team OBP of .332, 21st in the league. You go through their lineup and you can see some of the Mets players putting up similar numbers. Cameron was 33 and played his first year with the Padres in 2006 as Granderson is coming to the Mets and the production may be similar. I don’t expect too much from the Mets offensively, but with a few players rebounding can greatly assist in them winning more than another projected sub-80 victorys.

I don’t think the Mets staff will finish number 1 in the league, but, if healthy and their veteran signings  assist in the development in their power arm’s future, they can finish in the top 1/3. That Padres pitching staff was led by Woody Williams with 12 wins, Peavy 11-14, 4.09, Clay Hensley 11-12, 3.71 and Chris Young 11-5, 3.46. Trevor Hoffman saved 46 games.

I am expecting a bounce back from Ike Davis, Curtis Granderson should have a good season and will provide protection for David Wright. Wright has to be healthy for the Mets to succeed as he is great defensively as well and is the face of the organization. Wright’s success will trickle down to Daniel Murphy as well and Met’s fans are eager to see what Travis D’arnaud can bring to the plate and behind it. If you can be lucky enough to get a productive season from Chris Young too, then the Mets can certainly be lucky enough to reach the high 80’s in wins. But, it may be really dreaming too big, to even consider so many things to go well, but it would all make Alderson’s proclamation not seem so far fetched afterall.

Alderson thinks its a Joke?

Published by Keith Gendron
Sandy Alderson had the line of the night at the annual New York chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America dinner at the New York Hilton…again. Last year at the same gathering he made reference about the “talent” level of the outfield or the lack there of. Last night ,in reference to the Yankees signing Tanaka and the Mets signing of Matsuzaka he stated, “We each signed Japanese pitchers this week,” Alderson said. “They’re paying $155 million and we’re paying our guy month to month.”
I can feel for him that even as money conscious as he is and trying to get as much as he can from the talent the team has, that he is probably even frustrated that he has his hands tied. I mean, how much longer until he gets a veteran relief arm here. Or, how about that Stephen Drew guy? I don’t mind if it takes some more time with Drew, but you better not lose him out to someone else…say the Yankees! The Yankees have retooled their whole team and look like they have what it takes to return to the top of their division. I can certainly see the Yankees just, ya know..adding Drew as well, because well…they WANT him and are serious in getting to the postseason again.
Last week the Mets supposedly lost out on acquiring, Grant Balfour but offered similar money to the 2 yr/12 million he got from Tampa. So if its true that their is some money left, lets INVEST IT into the team and your fans. Chances are that the Mets will be off the hook for Colons second year of his 2 yr/20 million as I can see him being traded away in August. Chris Young’s 7.25 million is just for this year, so lets get Drew an upgrade to Tejada and get the veteran bullpen arm(kevin gregg, francisco rodriguez etc).

Kershaw: The 215 Million dollar man

Published by Keith Gendron

The Los Angeles Dodgers made Clayton Kershaw the wealthiest pitcher ever in Major League Baseball last week, by signing the 26 -year -old southpaw to a seven-year $215 million dollar contract.

Yes, the current owners of the Dodgers are spending money these days and I think it is great and the fans should be thrilled. It is important to sign players that you need and certain ones to build a team around.

This deal does come with great risk. It’s the length of the contract concerns me. I mean seven years? Granted, Kershaw has been as solid as they come and if not the best pitcher in baseball, he is the best in the national league. He has been a model of health and he has youth on his side. But, in this era where players seem to spend so much time on the disabled list even with all the gym time and knowledge out there, what are the chances the Dodgers get a high rate of return? Kershaw wasn’t a free agent yet, so typically you would give a multi-year deal before he tests the market at a discounted rate, but one that is an upgrade and fair for everyone. He made $11,000,000 last year, winning his second Cy-Young award going 16-9, 1.83 era and 232 strikeouts. Awesome numbers…but you couldn’t have had him for 5 years and 120-125 million? giving him maybe 17 million next year and build it from there?

Here is the structure of the contract as per CBSLA.com

LOS ANGELES – (CBSLA.com)  –  The Los Angeles Dodgers officially locked their ace through the 2020 season on Friday morning, making it the largest contract in MLB history.

Kershaw would have been eligible for free agency after the upcoming season if the new deal hadn’t been reached. He was eligible for salary arbitration, and those figures were set to be exchanged on Friday. He was coming off a two-year, $20 million deal that included $200,000 in bonuses in 2012, a $500,000 escalator to his 2013 base salary, and $300,000 in bonuses last year.

Below is how his contract is structured:

$18 million, payable in $6 million installments on April 15, July 15 and Sept. 15, 2014.

Salary 2014–$4 million 2015–$30 million 2016–$32 million 2017–$33 million 2018–$33 million 2019–$32 million 2020–$33 million Award Bonuses Cy Young 1st place–$1 million Cy Young 2nd place–$500,000 Cy Young 3rd place–$500,000

 I mean it’s not my money right? I can appreciate a team doing what it needs to get the job done, but what kind of negotiation tactic was here! take the money!….There, should be some fiscal responsibility as well. Maybe, they could sign a relief pitcher or fill another hole if they gave him 22-25 million a year. I suppose they had to surpass Felix Hernandez contract of 7/175 million signed in feb. 2013.
Maybe, it’s just me being a Met fan and seeing how they nickel and dime everything and I am just out of the loop now. I can appreciate wanting to hold on to an ace, but since they weren’t signing him during free agency, i just think they threw away more money than necessary and could have awarded him for less in salary and in terms of length of contract.

Mets, Murphy and an All-Star Appearance

By Keith Gendron
       Daniel Murphy has been a pretty solid ball player for the New York Mets since he has been in the lineup everyday since 2009.
Earlier, there was the experiment with him in the outfield which proved futile, moved to first base soon after until the arrival of Ike Davis and has found a home at second base the past 2 years, He won’t be winning a gold glove award anytime soon, but he has progressed nicely and is a competent middle infielder,
        Celebrating his 29th birthday on the team’s scheduled off day after the home opener, 2014 may be Daniel Murphy’s break out season. Could an all-star appearance be far away?  Murphy was never drafted for his glove. He is mostly a gap hitter that has done a good job of driving in runs without showing much power. He has averaged 63 rbi the past 4 seasons including one in which he only played 109 games. Last year, he reached career highs with 13 homeruns and 78 rbi in 161 games, including 38 doubles.
With the addition of Curtis Granderson in the lineup for the next 4 years, most likely batting clean up, his presence should have a positive benefit to David Wright and Daniel Murphy before him. This should and could increase the amount of hittable pitches he sees and if he improves his approach at swinging at hitter’s pitches in hitter’s counts, I don’t see why he couldn’t approach 20 hrs and 85 rbi. Only, time will tell. But, Murphy entering the peak years athletically and the addition of another professional bat in the lineup, talk of becoming an all-star for the first time is not a ridiculous conversation.

If, If, If…

With 25 days until the season opener in Miami, the New York Mets are playing out their spring exhibition season like everybody else, looking to see who should be brought up North or actually South this year to make the final cut.

Despite all the attention ownership is receiving about their financial woes and past investments, the team has been playing daily, without any major injuries under new management and coaching staff.

The Mets are hoping to fly under the radar this season as nobody is expecting big things with a team relying on a handful of ifs. The rotation will not be headed by Johan Santana for the first time in four years, relying instead on last years 15 game winner Mike Pelfrey to be their number 1, followed by R.A Dickey, Jonathan Neise, Chris Young and Chris Capuano. R.A. Dickey was a pleasant surprise last year winning 11 games and a sub 3.00 ERA. Neise first full year in the bigs was a good one, however the last month he wore down and had an era over 7.00. Young and Capuano were low risk pick-ups in the off season hoping to eat innings and provide some leadership. Both, have been allstars in the past before arm issues plagued them.

The lineup looks rather solid,”If” Beltran can play a full season on his ailing knees. “If” Jason Bay can bounce back from a late summer concussion and be the hitter they signed for 4yrs/ 65 million. “If” Jose Reyes can remain healthy in his walk year and be the base threat that he has been in the past. And “if” they can find the second baseman who can get the job done defensively, which is currently a battle between Luis Castillo, Daniel Murphy, Justin Turner and rule V draft Brad Emaus.

The bullpen…well, we will see how that pans out. They do still have Frankie Rodriguez closing games at the moment. Will he make over 55 appearances putting into effect the $17 million dollars he  would be due? Does Reyes get traded if he is having a great season, so the Mets can get something in return?

I think alot has to go right this season for the Mets to be a considered a wild card team. They arent even the 3rd best team in their division. Does the new manager Terry Collins keep the team motivated and hold the team’s collective ear? Can Josh Thole become the every day catcher the Mets believe he will?

Anyway, as a die hard Mets fan, I know that alot is expected to happen for this team to be competitive longer than just the All Star break.

Prediction for 2011: fourth place 82-80

Beltran the right move for 2011

This morning Terry Collins and Carlos Beltran agreed upon Angel Pagan as being the everyday centerfielder. This move should help keep Beltran’s bat in the lineup longer this year and possibly assist in extending his career. Beltran is in the final year of his 7 year contract signed with the Mets in the offseason before 2005.

Rightfield at Citifield is not routine by any means with angled outfield walls that vary in height and the extremely limited foul territory. There is plenty of field to roam in the gap but with Pagan in center, the gaps will be shrunk some.

With a healthy Beltran, Jose Reyes and Jason Bay along with David Wright and sophomore year from Ike Davis the Mets are leaning heavy on this lineup to produce  in order to have any chance of improving on last year’s 79-83 mark.

Two weeks until Pitchers & catchers…………….show up?

Its February 1st and pitchers and catchers report in 2 weeks at Port St. Lucie for spring training 2011. The Mets ownership is in the headlines these days moreso than the team. Friday, Fred Wilpon stated that they are looking to take on a partner or two, to buy roughly 25% of the team. This, due to their relationship with convicted ponsey scheemer Bernie Madoff and their apparent successful investments with this felon and their suspiscious selling off shares a few weeks before Madoff was taken down….generally speaking.

New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson has said this situation will have no bearing on his job. The Wilpon’s continue their mantra how none of this will affect future signings along with all other baseball operations and to continue to run the organization,”first class”.

Alderson has already stated that the Mets payroll at roughly 150 million is a higher than they would like to be operating at. So does this mean beginning in 2012(the same year according to the Mayan calender the world will end)that the Mets will not go out and aggressively pursue free agents? If they spend less and spend smart, ok i can deal with that. But, I dont want to see the Mets lose out on free agents because the Braves and Phillies out bid them.

Anyway, maybe this distraction will take any attention, off of the team this year as they try to compete with a rotation that has a few questions at the very least. Carlos Beltran hoping to have a healthy walk year, Jason Bay’s return from a concussion that shortened his difficult first year. And at some point for sure, bidding adieu to Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez(together making 18 million this year).

Jose Reyes is playing out an 11 million option year….will he A. be traded in season to a contender? B.stay for the duration,C. stay healthy or D. have a career year? Well its early yet…the team could actually improve on last seasons 79-83 record. Frankie Rodriguez has a 17.5 million option year for 2012 if he makes a certain amount of appearances this season with a 3.5 million dollar buy-out, so you know the Mets will use him sparingly or trade him during the season. So does Bobby Parnell step up from set up man this year? Does he do the job as set up man this year? Alot of questions going in…So Please stay tuned to upcoming Blogs.

Postseason is Here!….but, not for Mets fans

Well 4 straight seasons now since the Mets last appeared in the post season. While the Phillies and Braves from the NL East get to continue their season with hopes of a ring, the pretenders have gone home to their families to ponder 2010….for a few minutes anyway. The Wilpons on Monday fired their manager of the past 2-1/2 years Jerry Manuel and released GM Omar Minaya.

The organization has roughly the rest of the month to find replacements, that will hopefully reinvigorate the franchise which has known utter disappointment since the last pitch of 2006. The Wilpon’s say the new GM will have full autonomy in running the team, but that also means he will have to run everything through the Wilpons before he can pull the trigger. I dont know who the Mets should get as GM. It has been reported that they have allready narrowed it down to roughly 7 candidates. I know that i like Bobby Valentine and/or Wally Backman as the manager or a similar alternative. Their is some young talent in this organization as seen by the likes of Ruben Tejada, Josh Thole, John Niese, Ike Davis, Dillon Gee and even Lucas Duda.

I would not be objectionable to trading either of their”core” players. Wright is a relative bargain at this time and Reyes has an option for $11 million in 2011. Can Reyes remain healthy? or can they get some proven infielder along with some young arms in return? Beltran’s value is low, so the Mets are on the hook for his $18.5 million next year, but may get some takers if he gets off to a fast start and proves to be healthy. 2011 is his walk year. They need some talented run producers that play the game right and are relentless in their efforts to win….you know, kinda like Wally Backman. Its too soon to know how this whole thing pans out. The pitching did well last year, but they could definitely use another reliable starter…maybe John Maine? hahahaha  Just kidding. All options should be explored and hopefully next season can be a step in the right direction in turning this sinking ship around.