Tag Archives: Curtis Granderson

METBLOGFEVER: Are the Mets wildcard worthy?

published by Keith Gendron                                      March 27, 2014.

 

There are 4 days left until the home opener to the 2014 season at Citifield versus the Washington Nationals. This spring training seemed to last forever. Two exhibition games at the old Olympic Stadium in Montreal against the Toronto Blue jays and an off day remain. Hopefully there will be no casualties during the series, in an attempt to draw baseball back to Montreal, an old division rival, Montreal Expos(now Washington Nationals).

But enough talk of exhibitions and games that don’t count. Lets do this already. The 2014 Mets will have new additions Bartolo Colon, Curtis Granderson and Chris Young, along with Jose Valverde. Gone for 2014 is Matt Harvey as he recoups from Tommy John surgery. Ruben Tejada is the shortstop for the time being and Ike Davis and Lucas Duda are both on the roster as well. The shortstop issue was not addressed as Stephen Drew has been dangling for months with no takers. I am assuming Ike Davis will be the left-handed complement to Josh Satin as Duda is a late inning bat off the bench and designated hitter, getting occasional starts at first base. Daniel Murphy survived trade rumors as well and now entering his prime, I expect even more production from him. David Wright should benefit the most from the Granderson signing offering him protection he hasn’t had since the second half of 2012. Wright needs to be healthy this year, along with Davis if their are any designs on reaching the post-season. Travis d’Arnaud will be playing his first full season in the Majors and I hope he just focuses on defense and managing the pitching staff and let the hitting just come. This year will be about constantly making adjustments in a league that overwhelmed him last September. Chris Young bouncing back and being productive again would solidify the lineup as a right handed power threat and he plays good defense as well. Eric Young Jr. hopefully buys in to pitch selection and getting on base more in order to cause havoc as a base stealer. Granderson should hit 25-30 homers this year and his presence trickles down to Wright and Murphy. He strikes out a ton as does half the lineup, but a power bat will also drive in runs. Juan Lagares is their best defender in the outfield, but I dont know if he gets bumped off the roster or not. I hope he gets an opportunity as the pitchers can relax when a ball is hit in the gaps with  out there.

The rotation is pretty good with Gee, Colon, Wheeler, Matsuzaka or Mejia and Niese. The reserves Syndergaard and Montero will be up in July and will excite the crowd. Colon’s condition worries me and I expect some sort of hamstring or leg injury when he has to run the bases. The bullpen is questionable. Parnell still recovering from neck surgery has pitched well in spring training, but he is still trying to build velocity. Vic Black was optioned to the minors to work on his mechanics and will hopefully be back in a few weeks. Valverde will be the set up man for now and spell Parnell early in the season on occasion. Jeurys Familia has pitched better in a limited sample this spring and Lannan has been added to the roster as a reliever. The rest are not that remarkable and hopefully can bridge the gap successfully.

The schedule will be tough in April facing playoff caliber teams in Washington, Atlanta, Arizona, Cincinnati and the Los Angeles Angels. Do the Mets have enough to make the post-season? Well, a lot has to go right. The chances of them all happening between health and career resurgences, I as a fan will say Yes!!! but as an analytical student of the game I say NO.

As far as what i project the positions of the National League East in 2014

Washington      95-67

Atlanta               85-77

Mets                  78-84

Miami                 70-92

Philadelphia       70-92

Nothing expert about this….I like to go against conventional wisdom at times and this appears to be what everyone that isn’t a Mets fan is predicting. I hope I am wrong, for the Mets and My sake, It would make  for one Hell Of A Season. Believe me, I will be watching every game this year, hoping for a hot start and some great individual contributions to get them to the Post-Season for the first time since 2006! It is about time and has been way too long!

Duda to break- out and become offensive threat in 2014

published by Keith Gendron
 
Most Mets fans, including myself have seen and heard enough of Lucas Duda. Especially when the topic is defense, any fly ball his way, has fans gasping. But, since Ike Davis appears to be sticking around as well, if not at first base, Duda will again see time in the Outfield as well as DH opportunities in interleague series. However, injuries and the possibility of even platooning at leftfield with Chris Young if he doesn’t start the season at centerfield, Duda may just be growing into his own……offensively.
You see, Duda turns 28 years young tomorrow and he is entering his prime years, athletically. Although his confidence has always been a deterrent from him reaching his potential, he has been showing improvement each year……offensively. From 2011, in his first “full season”, he averaged 1 homer/30 atbats and 1 bb/per 10.5 plate appearances. Improving on his numbers in 2012 and in 2013 progressing to 1 homer/per 21.2 ab and 1 bb/7 ab. That is an improvement in power of almost 30% and patience at the plate of 35%. These numbers are playing against both left-handed and right-handed pitching. Against right-handed pitching only in 2013 his homerun ratio was 1 every 18.8 ab. Giving Duda 400 ab against righties this year only he could potentially hit 20 homers, strictly platooning. He also hit at a.462 slg clip against righties last year in comparison to .301 vs. lefties. His obp was higher than slugging pct. against lefties with a .309 obp. Just putrid numbers, confirming his obvious platoon player future.
With gold-glove caliber centerfielders in Lagares or Chris Young to his left, some of the pressure should be removed from Duda defensively. Also, the addition of Curtis Granderson should help Duda’s approach and hopefully assist in the progression of Duda….offensively.

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.