Archive for April, 2014

Mets rained out in Philly

Posted: April 30, 2014 in News
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By Steven Inmanimages

The Mets have announced that they will not play tonight’s scheduled game in Philly due to rain. The game is expected to be made up on June 2nd. Bartolo Colon was expected to start tonight but instead will face Juan Nicasio in Denver Thursday night.

By Steven Inman

The Phillies have had a nice start to the 2014 season just like the Mets

The Phillies have had a nice start to the 2014 season just like the Mets

 

The New York Mets (14-11) head down the turnpike to face their arch rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies (13-12) starting on Tuesday. Both the Mets and the Phillies have gotten off to unexpected solid starts so far through the season’s first month. Met fans know how they have gotten to this point, great pitching and a strong defense early on. So how are the Phillies getting it done?

Well for starters the team has gotten a resurgence from older players such as Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz. Utley is hitting a National league high .360 with three homers and has scored 14 runs. Utley finally looks healthy which can be a problem for the Mets in this short two game series. Ryan Howard is also looking much better physically on the field and has already hit 5 homers. As Met fans know the ball can fly out of Citizens Bank Park, even in April.

Former Met Marlon Byrd has kept hitting even after a career season last year. The 36-year old outfielder is hitting .278 with two dingers and 16 RBI’s.

The Philly pitching staff has also been very good despite losing Roy Halladay to retirement. Cole Hamels came off the DL last week and had a strong start against the Dodgers. He will face the Mets tonight against fellow southpaw Jon Niese. Hamels has struggled in his career against the Mets. That’s probably because the Mets two best hitters David Wright and Daniel Murphy have hit Hamels hard over the years. Wright is .370 with four homers in his last 46 at bats vs. Hamels. Murphy is hitting .353 with a homer in his last 34 career at bats vs. Hamels according to MLB.com.

Wednesday night’s matchup will be Bartolo Colon up against Kyle Kendrick. Luckily for Met fans the Amazins will miss Cliff Lee who will face the Nationals on Thursday instead.

The key to beating this Phillies team is driving up their starters pitch count. Philly relievers have the worst ERA (5.14) in the entire National league and really have no answers in their pen other than all-star closer Jonathan Papelbon. Just for comparison the Mets who also have a struggling bullpen have a 4.08 ERA out of their relievers which is 13th in the National League.

How do you see this Phillies series playing out for the Mets?

By Steven Inman

After making the team as a reserve in 2013, Brandon Nimmo could earn a spot in the starting lineup during the Futures Game this July if he keeps hitting

After making the team as a reserve in 2013, Brandon Nimmo could earn a spot in the starting lineup during the Futures Game this July if he keeps up his torrid pace

The first pick in the Sandy Alderson era, Brandon Nimmo was seemingly forgotten by Met fans after a very slow start to his professional career. After being drafted 13th overall as a high school kid out of Wyoming, Nimmo was seen as a disappointment by Met fans after Jose Fernandez burst onto the scene down in Miami last season while Nimmo was still in extended spring training. Fernandez was taken one pick after Nimmo and already has Cy Young votes on his resume.

Nimmo came into the season as the Mets fourth best prospect according to MLB.com.

Nimmo is finally starting to pick it up however. The 21-year old had a monster game Monday night, going 4-4 with a homerun for the High-A St. Lucie Mets. Nimmo is hitting a scorching .407 with 2 homers and 16 RBI’s in 91 at bats for the St. Lucie Mets. Nimmo has an OBP of over .500 and has shown he can handle centerfield.

What also is important here is the lefty swinging Nimmo has been hitting southpaws well, at a .345 clip with an OBP of over .400 vs. left-handers.

This is great news for the Mets as the team really needs him to get going. Nimmo is really their only legitimate outfield prospect and could be promoted to Double-AA Binghamton as early as June. If Nimmo can show he can hit in the AA Eastern League, then he will get back on the map as a legitimate outfield prospect.

By Steven Inmanimages

Despite losing Juan Lagares for a few weeks due to a hamstring injury, the team has not skipped a beat. The team is multiple games over .500 (13-11) for the first time since April of 2013. Lagares, who was leading the team with a .314 average hasn’t been missed all that much thanks to a great stretch of starting pitching and a much improved Mets defense. That defense should only get even better when Lagares comes back.

Lagares will begin his rehab assignment in Port St. Lucie Sunday according to ESPN’s Adam Rubin. and could come back as soon as next week. With the other three outfielders on the Mets not hitting for much of an average, Lagares should go back to being an everyday player should he not hit a snag in his rehab.

By Steven Inman

The Mets will not succeed in 2014 without a productive Curtis Granderson (Photo by NY Post)

The Mets will not succeed in 2014 without a productive Curtis Granderson (Photo by NY Post)

Curtis Granderson is 0 for his last 19 and has badly struggled to simply put the ball in play during his brief tenure as a New York Met. Granderson is batting just .121 with a homer and only 5 RBI’s. Granderson leads the team in most base runners stranded and has been a major rally killer often for the offensively challenged Mets.

When Jason Bay first got to the Mets four years ago he was driving the ball and simply wasn’t able to hit the baseball out of Citi Field’s large dimensions. That really isn’t the case with Granderson who is having a lot of trouble simply putting the ball in play. Granderson is striking out in over 30% of his plate appearances.

Bay hit .259 with six homers and 47 RBI’s in his first season with the Mets.

The Mets have moved Granderson out of the cleanup spot into the two hole in the hope of getting him more fastballs ahead of David Wright. Granderson had most of his success with the Yankees out of the two hole. The Mets don’t really have a cleanup hitter as Granderson is better off hitting sixth or so.

Granderson is learning a new position and a new league for the first time so it would be unfair to call him the next Bay already. Bay actually got off to a better start as a Met than Granderson has through his first 19 games. The Mets need Granderson to drive in runs or the Mets offense will be even worse than it was last year.

It’s amazing that half the Mets lineup including Granderson is hitting under .200 yet the team has stayed afloat early on at 10-9.

Granderson is on the first year of a 4-year $60 million deal.

Granderson is a very streaky hitter so hopefully he is just getting his first big cold streak out of the way early on.

Are you worried about Curtis Granderson???

By Steven Inmanimages

The Mets bullpen has been rightfully criticized so far in this young season. The bullpen has been amongst the worst in baseball. Another problem could be brewing and that is the overuse of the Mets two best relievers, Carlos Torres and Scott Rice. Torres is tied for the lead in baseball with 10 appearances out of the bullpen. Those appearances are often for more than one inning including an eight out save vs. the Diamondbacks last week. Torres has a rubber arm but this workload will not help him this summer. Torres had an ERA of 1.54 going into Monday’s contest and has easily been the Mets best reliever. Terry Collins needs to limit his work load.

Rice came into the season already overworked from 2013 according to Collins. He also has made 10 appearances like Torres although only in 4 1/3rd innings. For both pitchers to be effective all season the Mets must find other relievers to get key outs going forward.

Also while the Mets starting staff has been good, they have not been able to go deep in games, further depleting the bullpen.

Who can step up for in the Mets bullpen?

By Steven Inman

The Mets hope that Ike Davis won't breakout after leaving New York

The Mets hope that Ike Davis won’t breakout after leaving New York

The Mets have traded 1B Ike Davis to the Pittsburgh Pirates for RHP Zack Thornton and a player to be named later.

Thornton, a right handed reliever, is 25 years old. He was pitching in Triple-A Indy for the Pirates, and has posted a 1.23 ERA and 1.091 WHIP in 7 1/3 innings this season. The 6-3, 220-pounder has issued one walk and struck out eight.

Thornton is considered a soft-tosser and isn’t much of a prospect. He was left off the Pirates 40-man roster over the winter so the Mets or any other team could have claimed him in the Rule 5 draft if they wanted. He went unclaimed at the time and will report to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Last season, Thornton pitched at three levels in the Pirates system, posting a 2.63 ERA over 75 1/3 innings. He had 90 strikeouts and walked just 12.

Thornton was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 23rd round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft from the University of Oregon. He was traded to the Pirates in exchange for righthanded pitcher Chris Resop on November 30, 2012.

Davis was hitting .208 (5-for-24) with a double, home run, five RBI and four runs scored in 12 games this year.

The other prospect the Mets should get should be more significant but the main incentive for New York is the team will save around $3.14 million by trading Davis.

So why is the other player to be named? It could be for four reasons. The first is that information just isn’t available yet and should be public shortly.Secondly and most likely the player was just drafted in the last draft and can’t be traded for a full year.
Third would be after the trade deadline and the player is on the 40 man and must go thru waivers like Vic Black last season.
Lastly and the teams haven’t decided on the player yet and have given the acquiring team (mets) a list of players they can take after further scouting.

It is the end of an era in Queens with Davis, a former first rounder being traded out of town. The Pirates were desperate for a first basemen and getting a guy who could succeed with a change of scenery makes a lot of sense.

“You can’t play a major league season with three first basemen” Davis told reporters after hearing the news.

It is pretty clear that the Mets are buying into Lucas Duda and he will now get even more playing time after being named the everyday first basemen last week.

We said last week that the Mets have put off the Davis/Duda dilemma for two years now. Well on April 18th, 2014 the franchise has finally made their decision.