Tag Archives: Sandy Alderson

METBLOGFEVER: Davis and Duda opening day roster definites

published by Keith Gendron                                   March 25, 2014.

Not that this is the biggest news regarding the Mets these days, but Ike Davis and Lucas Duda have made the opening day roster as confirmed by Sandy Alderson today. The competition for first base continues however. The challenge for these two has been staying healthy this spring and with just 4 exhibition games remaining, hopefully they can make it to Flushing in one piece. Not all that long ago, Alderson was still shopping Davis to teams such as Milwaukee and Pittsburgh, but the general manager couldn’t get the player he seeked in return.

When Davis has been healthy, he has been the better all around player and I expect him to be the other half of the platoon with Josh Satin. Duda has been a defensive liability in the outfield and a little smoother at first base. The Mets had planned to give him more reps this spring in the outfield, but his absence due to a hamstring injury squashed that idea. Duda will get some spot starts at first in April, but will primarily be a power bat off the bench. He’ll also DH when they face the Angels in the middle of April.

I have said for months that I expect a rebound for Ike this year as he has worked and watched tape in the off-season to correct his batting. If it is a strict platoon for the season, I think he can approach 20 homers and 60 rbis. Duda also has trended positively the last couple of years, although most people only see his strike outs and poor defense in the outfield. His average dropped 16 points from 2012 to 2013, but his home run total was the same and he had one more double in 75 less plate appearances than 2012. He also walked more, so his OBP increased 23 points, eventhough his batting average dropped. So these numbers will continue to grow, especially if he doesn’t see another drop in average.

This coupled with Josh Satin’s success against southpaws last year, should lend to decent production from the first base position offensively in 2014. Is it the perfect situation? no, but it can be productive.

Continue reading METBLOGFEVER: Davis and Duda opening day roster definites

METBLOGFEVER : Tejada has good game against Braves

published by Keith Gendron         March 20, 2014.

Although springtraining has been going on for over a month, Ruben Tejada played a solid offensive and defensive game for the first time, finally. Maybe a new season had something to do with it. Not baseball season, but today is the first day of Spring. With it usually brings hope, sounds of lawn mowers and birth. Apparently, today it led to the creation of Tejada bearing semblance of a professional ball player. In todays walk-off 7-6 victory over the Atlanta Braves, Rubin Tejada went 3 for 3 at the plate with a double, rbi and wait for it…..flawless defense. The latter being of utmost importance, if he is to stick around in the starting lineup. Playing amidst rumors of the Mets seeking trades with Arizona and Seattle to bring in a young shortstop, Tejada’s defense has been horrible( 4 errors) and equally pathetic his batting( 3 hits) entering today’s game.

I hope the Mets continue considering alternatives to Tejada. But, the Mets do not seem willing to pay Stephen Drew and do not seem open to trading away any of their minor league pitching to acquire Gregorius, Owings or Franklin. So, for one day it isn’t as urgent for Sandy Alderson to find a solution, which may help with negotiating a trade. Arizona is more desperate at this time, since they have lost their ace, Patrick Corbin. They are “all in” for 2014 and could use a dependable veteran arm that eats innings. The Mets have one in Dillon Gee, with being affordable, productive and coming off 199+ innings pitched in 2013. But, with Jon Niese starting the season on the DL to get his pitch count and shoulder strength to where it belongs, the Mets quite possibly may be leaning on Gee for opening day and won’t trade him unless this season spirals out of control, or possibly in 2015.

As per Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News, Jose Reyes gave Tejada a pep talk yesterday and told him to keep working hard despite trade rumors.Hopefully, Tejada can build off this performance and give the team one less thing to deal with short term.

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.

MLB: making the game safer? or confusing the play at the plate

Well, major league baseball is going to try to put in words, rules governing plays at the plate in the next few days. Today Sandy Alderson tried to explain and show Mets catchers the technique he requests of them, regardless of the rule in order to keep their catching prospect, Travis d’Arnaud healthy and able to play a full season of baseball.

 Anthony DiComo of MLB.com wrote, Alderson expects a rule to be ratified soon requiring baserunners to slide into
home plate on close plays and, by extension, requiring catchers to leave runners a lane to do so. But a gray area will exist in which catchers need to lunge across the plate to receive a throw, a situation that will be reviewable on instant replay.

This seems extremely tough to call. I understand the need for safety in sports, especially with limiting concussions, but it sounds over the top, micro-managing. I mean, essentially it’s like a play at second base or even third base for that matter, so the same rules should apply. Are they going to call the neighborhood play at the plate? Where the catcher doesn’t REALLY have to touch the base on a force or maybe not even tag the baserunner trying to score at all as long as the ball beats the runner? What if the catcher tags the baserunner too hard when he is sliding home and gets a charlie horse?

Catcher’s typically arent on the DL due to homeplate collisions. It’s due to the nicks and foul balls off of them and being hit by bats. Granted, their are injuries due to collisions at the plate as well but not all of them are at the level of leg breaks such as the one Buster Posey suffered.

Maybe I am the dumbo here and I should just button my lip and wait for the powers that be, make their decision on how this will be written and then enforced. Can you imagine the mayhem this will cause, especially early on in the season? runs being taken away because a slide was questionable in its intention or angle coming in? How about d’Arnaud tags the runner out and the Mets WIN….OH wait, The home plate umpire calls the runner safe, because Travis sort of trespassed onto the sliding path to home and thus interference is called and the METS LOSE!!!!!!! not to mention the baserunner got clay in his eyes! LET THEM PLAY THE GAME!

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.

Mets sign utility man Matt Clark

Published by Keith Gendron

As just reported by AP Sports…

The Mets have signed 27-year old, Matt Clark to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. He was drafted in 2008 by San Diego, so you can see where this opportunity is coming from… The familiarity with the Alderson regime. A left handed batting, right handed thrower who played in Japan last year hit 25 homers and drove in 70 while batting .238.

Yes, there is nothing else worth blogging about these days concerning the Mets. Their refinance on the loan they have to pay off their debts? …Totally disinterested.

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).

Will D’arnaud get it done at bat?

By Keith Gendron

From the moment New York Mets General Manager, Sandy Alderson received Travis D’arnaud as part of the multiple player deal, that included Noah Syndergaard from the Toronto BlueJays in the R.A. Dickey trade in December 2012, D’arnaud has been touted as an offensive force.  A catcher that hits with power gets on base and is solid defensively. Even comparisons to Mike Piazza were made, which weren’t fair but regardless, they were made.

So when he was called up finally last year after getting over another injury(fractured foot), we were excited  to get a glimpse of this force, as Mets fans haven’t seen much raking in years. But in his very short sample up at the major league level was mostly mediocre and looked overmatched by fastballs even.

But, this is to be expected. It seemed like he was pressing to impress everyone. He was solid defensively and showed off a gun of an arm.
This February he will begin his first major league spring training knowing he is the everyday catcher. He’ll become more familiar with teammates and his surroundings and hopefully remain healthy. Not many people consider that he will be another right handed bat to complement the many lefties in the lineup.
So, I think there is no reason to worry, or go shopping for a third string catcher. This is his time to flourish. And in time will become more comfortable and confident which will slow the game down and will alleviate the overthinking that went on last year at bat. I see no reason if Travis remains healthy, that he can catch 120-130 games and put up numbers like .260, .325, .400….12-15 hrs and 50-60 rbis. Expect slumps, but overall growth this season from the Mets catcher.
 
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