Posts Tagged ‘David Wright’

By Steven Inman ima

As the 2015 season gets closer and closer optimism continues to grow in Port St. Lucie. Last season as the Mets prepared to break camp, the two biggest weaknesses appeared to be the bullpen and too many strikeouts up and down the lineup. While the bullpen got better as the season went on, it was the main reason why the Mets fell out of the race quickly in 2014. By the time the young arms were contributing it was too late.

The strikeouts were a problem as players who normally offset their highs strikeout totals with a lot of extra base hits such as David Wright and Curtis Granderson had down years. These two factors were key in the 2014 Mets being a losing team. The players the Mets are adding to their 2015 lineup are not classsified as strikeout guys and tend to put the ball in play more often than most.  Neither the strikeout nor the bullpen issues should be much of a problem this season.

The Mets main problem in 2015 will be their horrendous defense.

The Mets defense was very poor in 2014 and would have been a whole lot worse without the amount of range that Juan Lagares covers in center. The Mets made 104 errors in 2014, which was 4th most in the National League. While errors don’t tell the full story, only one player had even an average year defensively and that was obviously, the gold glover Lagares.

Other than Wright and Lagares the Amazin’s really don’t posses an everyday player here who has the track record of an above average defender. This defense will be a problem for Terry Collins’ club.

The two new additions to the 2015 Mets lineup are OF Michael Cuddyer, (who is not very good defensively in either corner) and Wilmer Flores. (Not a SS) While the offense should improve in 2015 with these two hitters playing everyday the defense should be even weaker, especially at shortstop. Daniel Murphy has worked ultra hard on his defense and because of his bat is now one of the better second basemen in the National League but a Flores/ Murphy double play combo has to make even the most optimistic Met fan cringe.

While the Mets have fixed most of their holes from 2014 internally, one hole is still as big as ever. The question is will this issue be large enough to derail the Mets promising season?

Spring 2013 014Optimism is surrounding the New York Mets as Spring Training 2015 begins. After six straight losing seasons, the Mets are very happy with the progress being shown by a lot of their youngsters. The question is, can they actually put it all together this upcoming year? The National League East will be tough, headlined by the Washington Nationals, but the Mets will show some promise.

On paper, it has been a relatively quiet offseason for New York’s National League team. The only notable name they went out and got was Michael Cuddyer. People know he is a solid hitter, but his value in fantasy baseball 2015 will drop a little away from Coors Field. Not only should he produce on the field, but he very well could be a leader in the clubhouse along with David Wright.

Speaking of Wright, he will once again be the face of the franchise. This team will likely struggle on offense, so they need him to still be playing like he is in his prime. There are too many talented teams in the National League East to win with just pitching.

As of right now, New York might have the best young talent in the game as far as pitchers are concerned. Matt Harvey should be ready to return at some point from arm surgery, and he will instantly be their ace in fantasy baseball 2015. Rookie of the year Jake deGrom is solid, and Zack Wheeler along with Noah Syndergaard could really take off. Along with a nice rotation, they have a slew of arms in the pen that will be able to hold leads.

Washington looks like one of the best teams in baseball, but the other four teams in the division have their own specific holes. It would not be a shocker to see New York in the mix for the wild card for most of the year. They are probably still one season away from really making some playoff noise.

Big thanks to our guest blogger Mark Jenkins on how the Mets are viewed in the fantasy baseball landscape. If you’re interested in getting involved in fantasy baseball check out fanduel.com.

By Steven Inman

With Spring Training officially underway lets take a look at who is expected to make the Mets Opening Day Roster. With grapefruit league games not even starting yet, this group will change slightly. Injuries could also change who makes the cut to join the Mets against the defending N.L. East champs, the Washington Nationals on April 6th.

The Infield

The Mets infield appears set. Three of the four players have played key roles in previous seasons while Wilmer Flores looks to break out as the teams starting shortstop. This may not be the best defensive infield the Mets have ever had by any stretch of the imagination but they should be able to drive in some runs.

1. 3B David Wright

Daniel Murphy enters 2015 in a contract year and is highly unlikely to be resigned by the Mets

Daniel Murphy enters 2015 in a contract year and is highly unlikely to be resigned by the Mets

2. 2B Daniel Murphy

3. 1B Lucas Duda

4. SS Wilmer Flores

5. C Travis d’Arnaud

The Outfield

The Mets only made two major league signings this winter and they both happen to be outfielders. The Mets outfield was horrendous in 2014 and must improve, especially offensively if the club wants to be contenders.

6. LF Curtis Granderson

7. CF Juan Lagares

8. Michael Cuddyer

The Mets don't have many quality options to replace Curtis Granderson if struggles again like he did in '14

The Mets don’t have many quality options to replace Curtis Granderson if struggles again like he did in ’14

The Starting Rotation

The strength of this 2015 Mets club will be their starting staff. With a key member back from injury and plenty of starting pitching depth in the minors, expect this to be one of the better rotations in the National League.

9. RHP Matt Harvey

10. RHP Zack Wheeler

11. RHP Jacob deGrom

12. LHP Jon Niese

13. RHP Bartolo Colon

The Bullpen

This is where things get a little cloudy. The Mets bullpen is very much undecided thanks to Dillon Gee being the odd man out of the rotation. Gee is not pleased with going to the bullpen and has stated he would prefer to start somewhere. While we aren’t going to rule out a trade it is very unlikely at this point as most teams have their budgets set going into the season and don’t want to spend an additional $5 million on a back end starter like Gee in Spring Training.

While the Mets would love to see a second left-hander emerge into the bullpen out of camp, expect six right-handers to be in the Mets bullpen in Washington for Opening Day. The Mets will give Rafael Montero a shot to be a reliever in camp and that may be his only shot to pitch in the big leagues for the foreseeable future. Expect Bobby Parnell to help this group out in a couple months as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.

14. RHP (CL) Jenrry Mejia

15. RHP Jeruys Familia

16. LHP Josh Edgin

17. RHP Vic Black

18.  RHP Carlos Torres

19. RHP Dillon Gee

20. RHP Rafael Montero

The Bench

After hitting well in his rookie season, Eric Campbell will likely see time in both infield and outfield corners this season

After hitting well in his rookie season, Eric Campbell will likely see time in both infield and outfield corners this season

The Mets have had very weak benches over the past few seasons and expect 2015 to be no different. The team did a nice job in bringing in Jon Mayberry Jr. and as long as Terry Collins only plays him against lefties he should perform well. Expect Kirk Nieuwenhuis to make the club over a player like Matt Den Dekker as he is out of options. If Kirk does not make the club the Mets will most likely lose him to another team.

21. OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

22. OF John Mayberry Jr.

23. SS-2B Ruben Tejada

24. IF-OF Eric Campbell

25. C Anthony Recker

Do you think we got the list right?

By Steven InmanSpring 2013 014

With less than a week left in 2014, lets go back and look over the most important moments of the 2014 Mets year, on and off the field.

We did this the previous two years. The 2013 post can be found here and the 2012 article can be found here. In case you were living in a cave over the last year here is everything you need to know about the Mets in 2014. There were a lot of positives for the Mets but the team also had a lot of negatives. Here’s the list.

6. Bobby Parnell undergoes Tommy John surgery: Parnell didn’t look right all spring as his velocity was way down in Florida but the Mets elected to put him on the Opening Day roster anyway. Parnell blew the save on Opening Day against the eventual division champion Nationals and was sent for an MRI shortly after that revealed the need for season-ending surgery. The bullpen was a major liability for the Mets for much of the first half after Parnell went down as place holders such as Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth were ineffective as late inning options. Both players were let go midway through the season. The Parnell injury was a major reason the Mets fell in such a large early season hole that they were never able to climb out of. Bobby Parnell will not be ready for Opening Day but for some reason, the Mets elected to pay his arbitration price again.

5. Jacob deGrom win NL Rookie Of the Year: The most pleasant surprise of the 2014 Mets was their

Jacob deGrom was magnificent as a rookie in 2014

Jacob deGrom was magnificent as a rookie in 2014

ninth round pick of the 2010 draft, Jacob deGrom. The right-hander was dominant all season and was easily the Mets best pitcher in 2014. If deGrom can perform as well as a second year player, the Mets rotation should be a force in 2015. DeGrom’s special year was capped off when he was awarded NL Rookie of the Year. Jacob is the first Met to win Rookie of the Year since Doc Gooden in 1984.

4. Mets will bring in the Citi Field Fences once again: In what has become a common discussion in recent years, the Mets have elected to bring in the Citi Field fences yet again. The new dimensions are very similar to Shea Stadium but if the Mets had the money to bring in better hitters, this probably wouldn’t be #4 on our list. The Mets needed to get creative to solve their need for power bats. Regardless David Wright and Curtis Granderson should benefit in 2015 from the more hitter friendly dimensions at Citi Field.

3. Mets sign Michael Cuddyer: The Mets made the first move of the MLB offseason by signing outfielder Michael Cuddyer to a two year contract worth $21 million. Cuddyer will cost the Mets the 15th overall pick in the 2015 draft but will provide a much needed bat to the middle of the New York lineup ,should he stay healthy. When the Mets struck unusually quickly to sign the former All-Star most expected this to be a busy offseason for Sandy Alderson and company. That has not been the case as the Mets have been quiet since that move in November.

2. Mets trade Ike Davis to Pittsburgh: The debate over who should be the Mets first basemen mercifully came to an end when the Mets traded shipped the former first round draft pick to Pittsburgh. While the Mets didn’t get much back in exchange for Ike Davis, the move freed up such much needed money and more importantly allowed Lucas Duda to play first everyday.  The left-handed slugger blossomed after being handed the job and hit 30 homers to go with 92 RBI’s for the Mets. Duda will be critical for the 2015 Mets.

Davis did not play well in Pittsburgh and has since been moved to Oakland as a salary dump where he will serve as depth in the A’s first base puzzle.

1. Sandy Alderson’s 2013 offseason signings don’t pan out: Unfortunately the Mets most significant moment of 2014 is a negative one. Last offseason Alderson and company signed OF Curtis Granderson and Chris Young along with P Bartolo Colon to lucrative deals, none of which have worked out. When you are operating at such a small payroll like the Mets, you must hit on all of your free agent acquisitions and the Mets hit on none from last winter. Granderson had a dismal year and received the boo birds often at Citi Field. The former Yankee is still owed $47 million over three years by the Mets. The Grandy Man has now not hit over .232 since the 2011 season. Granderson should benefit from the fences coming in power-wise but must improve on his .227/.326/.388 triple slash in his first season in Queens.

Chris Young was a disaster for the Mets and was released midway through the season. Young was the worst signing in Sandy Alderson’s tenure as Mets General Manager. Young badly struggled even just putting the ball in play as a member of the Mets.

While Bartolo Colon was a reliable veteran presence for the Mets in 2014, but the team simply over payed him. Colon,41, is still owed $11 million in 2015 which is far too much money for a 5th starter on a team that doesn’t want payroll to exceed $90-95 million. The Mets attempted to trade Colon but couldn’t find a team willing to take on his entire salary. Signing Colon last winter is preventing the Mets from finding a shortstop now.

The 2014 Mets year was mostly uneventful but expect 2015 to be a much more interesting year in Queens. With Matt Harvey back along with a rejuvenated David Wright this Met team should improve on 2014’s 79 wins.

Opening Night is now only 100 days away….

What are you looking forward to most from the 2015 Mets?

By Steven Inman

With the acquisition of Michael Cuddyer to a two-year $21 million deal, the Mets lineup now looks more balanced than it has in a few seasons. The Mets are now likely over budget going into 2015 but if they can just somehow keep Daniel Murphy another season, than this Mets lineup may not be a liability as it has been in the previous few years

Projected 2015 Mets lineupima

CF           Juan Lagares                  Right

2B          Daniel Murphy                   Left

3B          David Wright                      Right

1B          Lucas Duda                        Left

RF           Michael Cuddyer              Right

LF           Curtis Granderson            Left

C             Travis d’Arnaud                 Right

SS           Wilmer Flores                    Right

Again with the rising arbitration cost of Daniel Murphy, who could be up to $9 million in 2015, it is likely that Murphy is on another team next season. However if the team could trade someone else, such as Bartolo Colon’s salary and keep Murphy’s bat in the lineup than they could balance left-right-left-right throughout the entire lineup. It should be very interesting to see the Mets offseason approach in terms of their lineup during December’s Winter Meetings.

Ideally the Mets can still find a starting shortstop, moving Wilmer Flores to the bench and Juan Lagares out of the leadoff spot. Flores is out of options so he will make the 25-man roster regardless.

By Steven Inman index

David Wright endured a career worst season in most statistical categories in 2014. The Mets captain suffered from a serious shoulder injury early on in 2014 and was never able to get back on track before officially ending his season in early September.

Wright wouldn’t admit his shoulder was seriously bothering him until the Mets were all but out of the race, although to the media and his teammates it appeared obvious that Wright was hurting and winded up doing more harm than good for the Mets lineup.

Talking to a former Met today who played with Wright during their contending years, he said an issue that wasn’t really talked about was there wasn’t a teammate that was willing to stand up to Wright this year and basically tell him he needs to go get healthy on the DL because he is hurting the team playing injured.

The Mets are already two bats short now entering the off-season. They are unlikely to be able to find two more middle of the order hitters, if they can’t count on their third basemen next year the offense is almost assured to ruin any chance the club had to contend in 2015.

The team may also lose Daniel Murphy to a trade so the Mets will be counting on David Wright to stay healthy and productive more than ever before as the club hopes to contend for a playoff spot for the first time since 2008.

The Mets enter 2015 with fewer question marks than they have had in some time but one of the biggest concerns will be how productive their seven-time All-Star will be in 2015.

By Steven Inmanindex

Sandy Alderson recently discussed how the team could bring in the Citi Field fences again this winter. “I think it’s going to help us a little bit confidence-wise when you get in that batter’s box and say, ‘Hey, look, I can use the field and do some damage here,’ because that’s what a lot of guys in this lineup are paid to do, and that’s get big hits. I think it would be great for us.” -Alderson said to reporters recently. That full article of Alderson quotes can be found here.

Based on these comments I would bet the Mets do tweak the dimensions again this winter, especially in right field. The move would help Curtis Granderson and David Wright more than anybody. Sandy Alderson said the team believes the new dimensions, that haven’t been announced yet, would have given Granderson seven more homers this season according to an Adam Rubin article on ESPN NY.

When Wright is at his best he is driving the ball to right center.

Granderson has badly struggled at home this season. In 77 home games this season, the outfielder is hitting .200 with seven homers and 26 RBI. Compare that to a .259 average with 13 homers and 40 RBI in one less game on the road. The Mets should keep this a pitcher friendly park with all of their great young pitching but it could help the Mets offense a lot if the team brought in right field, even if it was just a few feet.

If the team doesn’t plan on adding offense by spending, it could make sense to add offense by moving the fences in a little.