Tag Archives: Matt Harvey

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!

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.

Mets to commemorate Kiner and other notes

published Keith Gendron

Kiner Remembered:

The Mets will commemorate Ralph Kiner’s fifty years as their broadcaster, with a patch displayed on the right shoulder of their jersey this year. On opening day at citifield there will also be a tribute unveiled upon the left field wall bearing the logo as well. The Mets have also said there will be an exhibit entitled, “Kiner’s Korner” to be located within Jackie Robinson rotunda.

Harvey arrives in camp:

Matt Harvey arrived at Port St. Lucie, Fla. complex today. Soon after, coming to terms that this spring training will be different. As much as Harvey wants to progress his throwing and rehab program, the Mets brass are hearing none of it. Thinking of the long term health for Harvey and that they and the doctors will be calling the shots on when and how fast he advances. Alderson has said on more than one occasion that this year is NOT about Matt Harvey, but about 2014 and how this team can succeed with the players available on the roster. He is not going to answer questions on a daily basis on Matt Harvey’s progress on rehab and when he will be available to return.

On the Tommy John surgery rehab front, Jeremy Hefner who had the surgery to his pitching arm roughly 2 months earlier than Harvey, has been cleared to begin tossing a baseball. Hefner was 4-8 4.34 era last season with 99 strikeouts in 130.2 innings walking 37.

Valverde always wanted to play in NY:

As per Mike Puma of the NY Post, Jose Valverde says, “New York is awesome. I can go shopping every morning.” If not for his agent Scott Boras, would have signed with the Mets last year but was steered to Detroit.

Ike Davis:

Ike has been hitting since November, to eliminate his sluggish starts to the season. He spent many hours going through video and uncovered an issue with his swing that was not addressed last year. To me, this sounds all positive. I was looking all last fall for information on whether or not Ike was doing anything to get back to where he was a few years ago and to eliminate the bad habits he picked up. He also has said that he wants to be the Mets first baseman. All these things I was hoping to hear. We won’t know what it translates to, but he has the right attitude and seemed self motivated to recapture what he had lost. I look for Davis to return close to form and was glad he wasn’t traded, because he is young(26), talented, he had shown he could perform at this level previously and that he was inexpensive. Not to mention how many times teams give up on young talent too soon and they rediscover the promise and talent elsewhere.