Posts Tagged ‘Jon Niese’

By Steven Inman  

  Every March on this site, we grade the Mets winter and it usually involves the word “incomplete”. Sandy Alderson and his front office don’t usually do enough in the offseason to have fans and media change their tune when it comes to the outlook of the New York Mets. After reaching the World Series for the first time in 15 years last season, expectations were at an all-time high for the Mets to put on the finishing touches to what could be a world champion roster. Sandy Alderson and his staff will not be getting an “incomplete” for the acquisitions they put in the blue and orange this winter.

Additions:

As you know the Mets big moves this winter were the re-signings of both Yoenis Cespedes as well as Bartolo Colon. Cespedes was a key cog in the Mets revitalized offense back in July. While the slugger did struggle in the postseason, the Mets are very fortunate to have him returning to their lineup. Expect Cespedes to have another quality year in New York before trying to cash in on the open market next offseason. The ageless Bartolo Colon is returning for his third season in Queens, the right-hander was solid for the Mets over his previous contract and reportedly turned down larger offers to return to the Mets. While Bartolo doesn’t have the same potential this season that the Mets other four starters possess, Colon should be able to eat innings for the Mets this season.

The Mets most underrated move this winter was the trade that sent Jonathon Niese to Pittsburgh in exchange for long-time Pirate Neil Walker. The switch-hitting Pirate is an upgrade defensively for the Mets at second base and is a solid hitter. While Walker has never made an All-Star team in his career, the 30-year old has the potential to continue to be a top 5 second basemen in the National League this season.

Walker’s new double play partner Asdrubal Cabrera gives the Mets some much needed depth. While Cabrera isn’t the most “rangy” of shortstops, he is an upgrade defensively over Wilmer Flores. The move allows Flores to play all over the infield. Perhaps most importantly Flores can now spell David Wright a few days a week at third base. Having Flores as the primary right-handed hitter off the bench is a huge upgrade to what the Mets were throwing out there in May and June last season.

Antonio Bastardo will also be a solid late-inning option for the Mets. Terry Collins has said the 8th inning will belong to Addison Reed to start the season but if he struggles Bastardo is more than capable of getting the job done.

Subtractions:

While the Mets spent more money this winter than they seemingly have in a decade, they did lose some key contributors from last year’s pennant winning team.

The subtractions start with Daniel Murphy, who was the second-longest tenured Met behind David Wright before the infielder left for a three-year contract with the Mets biggest rival. Murphy had the greatest postseason a Met has ever had, and the Mets certainly do not reach the postseason without Murphy. With that said the Mets made the right decision to move on from No. 28. Murphy is a good player and he should have a solid season in Washington but Neil Walker is just as good of a player as Murphy and the Mets didn’t have to commit to him long term. Throughout his career Walker has shown better power and higher on-base percentages than Murphy. The Mets also get a compensation pick back for losing their NLCS MVP.

Like Murphy, Jonathon Niese was also one of the longest tenured Mets. Niese had an up and down career with the Mets so it was strange to see the front office was able to spin him for Walker straight up. Trading Niese also freed up a rotation spot to let Bartolo Colon return. The Pirates are hoping for a breakout season from Niese after some work this spring with pitching coach Ray Searage. Niese’s contract wasn’t bad for the Mets but he was certainly expendable. The Mets being able to fill a hole like second base in the process made this move even better.

When the Mets acquired Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson back in July the club really seemed to take off. Both players played well as Mets but once Asdrubal Cabrera signed and Ruben Tejada was tenured a contract, it seemed very unlikely either Johnson or Uribe would be back. Johnson re-signed with the Braves while Juan Uribe went to Cleveland to fill the Indians third base hole.

Veteran outfielder Michael Cuddyer also announced his retirement, forfeiting a majority of his $12.5M 2016 salary. Cuddyer’s sudden retirement likely had an impact on the Mets spending.

Mets Offseason Grade: A+

Yes the Mets had a borderline perfect offseason. They filled all of their holes without trading away key prospects or tying up long-term money. The Mets were able to retain or upgrade every spot on their team. Sandy Alderson and company deserve a ton of credit for the turnaround of the New York Mets. While the Mets look impressive on the field, they must now execute as we get closer and closer to Opening Day.

By Steven InmanEzopb0DF_400x400

It has happened. After two collapses and six seasons of just pitiful baseball, the Mets are heading back to the postseason. The club has been dominant since Sandy Alderson upgraded the club’s offense back in late July. The Nationals had a golden opportunity to put the Mets away in the first half of the season but never played consistent enough to get on any kind of win streak. Once the Mets added thump to the lineup, they zoomed past the underachieving Nationals. All the Nationals frustration boiled over on Sunday when Jonathon Papelbon attacked Bryce Harper in the Nats dugout during another difficult loss.

The return of David Wright to the New York lineup was pivotal in addition to the acquisitions the Mets made at the trade deadline but it was the Mets starting pitching that was able to give the Mets a huge advantage on most nights. Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey were even better than expected in their first full seasons with the Mets. Veterans Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon were very up and down this season but were able to provide some solid moments for a Met club in the midst of a special season. However one of the biggest reasons the Mets have had a resurgence is the promotions of Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz.

Both former top prospects were even more polished than advertised and were key to the Mets going on their second half run. No other club had two top flight pitching prospects that were able to step into a major league rotation and contribute like this right away. Having two rookies contribute in the starting rotation the way Matz and Syndergaard have is extremely rare and should not be taken for granted.

All of these pieces had to fit together for the Mets to win their 5th division title in franchise history. They will face the Dodgers in the NLDS starting Friday October 9th.

BrokeMets will have a full scouting report on what the Mets can expect from the eventual NL West champs next week.

By Steven InmanSpring 2013 014

With Steven Matz’s incredible debut Sunday the countdown to Jon Niese being kicked out of the Mets rotation has already begun.

Niese has had a subpar season although he has been a lot better recently. He clearly is the next guy to lose his spot but Jon still has a pivotal role in the 2015 Mets season.

Niese is the Mets trade bait.

Teams like the Cubs (who Niese faces tonight) and Dodgers have shown some interest in Niese. The Mets won’t be getting all that much in a deal for Niese but clearing his $7 million salary could help the Mets go out and get the bat they are going to need. The Mets aren’t going to be trading one of their top prospects like Noah Syndergaard or Steven Matz to get the bat they are looking at the trade deadline and they won’t be adding significant payroll which really prevents them from doing nearly anything. However if the Mets can clear Niese’s $7 million then they can use that money along with lesser prospects to go get a versatile bat in a separate deal.

The Mets waited far too long in similar situations with players like Ike Davis and Dillon Gee, overvaluing their market which forced them to give away Davis and DFA Gee.

The perfect fit for the Mets on the trade market is Ben Zobrist. He can play many positions including shortstop, second base or the outfield. Zobrist won’t cost Sandy Alderson a player like Matz or Thor to get as he is 34 and a free agent to be. He is also on a reasonable contract as he is making just $7.5 million in the final year of his contract. Expect the A’s to get a ton of interest in the Zorilla but his best fit is clearly with the Mets because he can play so many different positions and he has also hit everywhere in the batting order in his career. (Including 120 starts as a leadoff batter)

Zobrist is hitting .383 with three homers and 13 RBI over his last 14 games. He had a slow start thanks to April knee surgery but he seems to be back in his All-Star form and the A’s are 10 games out of first place in the A.L. West at 35-44. They should be ready to sell soon and the Mets should be knocking on their door to acquire Zobrist once they clear Niese’s money.

By Steven Inman

Michael Cuddyer and the Mets have had trouble putting the ball in play on most nights

Michael Cuddyer and the Mets have had trouble putting the ball in play on most nights

With the Mets hanging around the Nationals for first place in the N.L. East there is plenty to be happy about in Metland. However the team has obvious holes up and down the lineup and all of the talk from media and fans has been about what the club should do to fix these offensive problems. While adding a big bat to bolster the lineup couldn’t hurt it isn’t something the club is likely to do so we should simply stop talking about it.

After being no-hit in ugly fashion by Chris Heston, the trade talk around the club will only get louder.

This Met club is at the absolute max their payroll is going to be at for awhile so talking about adding payroll is just a waste of breathe. The team also isn’t going to give up a Steven Matz or a Noah Syndergaard to get that big bat so we really are just wasting our time talking about outside additions.

The Mets will be getting reinforcements when Dilson Herrera and Travis d’Arnaud are activated off the DL this week. If Travis can get into a rhythm and get back to the way he was hitting pre-injury, then that is a huge bat to help a struggling Met offense. It isn’t known if Herrera will be back with the big league club immediately or if he will be optioned to Las Vegas (AAA) for a little while.

Ideally the Mets will get Daniel Murphy back too in the next couple of weeks but the lineup is going to be an issue for the club all year. They aren’t trading Jon Niese or Dillon Gee to acquire the offense they are going to need. That is just a pipe dream as those two pitchers don’t have any value. Any trade involving either pitcher is just to dump salary. If the Mets make anymore offensive changes, expect them to be internal. Maybe things change as we get closer to the trade deadline on July 31st but that is what to expect from the Mets at the moment.

The talk around this team should be about what they do have, and what they are getting back not what they don’t have or what they can’t afford. The Mets have an elite pitching staff and if the club is able to scratch out just four runs that should be enough to win on a majority of nights. It is not ideal but the Giants won multiple championships with great pitching and that ability to scratch out runs, there is no reason the Mets can’t do the same when healthy.

By Steven Inman

The Mets can further cement their case as kings of New York this weekend

The Mets can further cement their case as kings of New York this weekend

The Mets, possibly playing their best ball in nearly a decade, head to Yankee Stadium to face their crosstown rivals, the Yankees for a three game set in the Bronx. The Yankees have been playing well as their offense has really kicked it into gear. The Yankees have won six of their last seven games and have averaged over 5.7 runs per game in that span.

Alex Rodriguez and former Met Chris Young have been the two best hitters for the bombers despite the Yanks not expecting either one to play every day when the season started a few weeks ago.

A win Friday would give the Mets their longest winning streak ever with 12 in a row.

Probable Starters 

Jacob deGrom (2-1, 0.93) vs, Michael Pineda (2-0, 5.00)

Matt Harvey (3-0, 3,50) vs. C.C. Sabathia (0-3, 4.35)

Jon Niese (2-0, 1.50) vs. Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 3.12)

The middle of the Yankee order has not helped out much in the early season as former all-star hitters like Brian McCann and Mark Teixeira look like shells of their former selves. Both McCann (.294 OBP) and Teixeira (.204 BA) have been plagued by teams shifting on them.

The Yankee starting staff has also been pretty mediocre led by C.C. Sabathia who has gotten roughed up in two of his three starts this season.

The Mets should capitalize on a Yankee team that really hasn’t found its identity yet which was supposed to be their starting pitching. The Mets have taken their last four games at Yankee Stadium which includes a pair of 2 game sweeps in 2013 and 2014.

How do you think the Mets will fare in the Bronx this weekend?

By Steven Inman

The 2015 season is finally here. Barring some sort of bizarre injury, here is your 2015 Mets Opening Day roster.

Starting pitchers: 

Matt Harvey will start Game 3 on the road as well as the Mets second Citi Field Game next week

Matt Harvey will start Game 3 on the road as well as the Mets second Citi Field Game next week

1. Bartolo Colon

 2. Jacob deGrom

 3. Matt Harvey

 4. Jonathon Niese 

5. Dillon Gee

This is the order the Mets will go the first couple times through the rotation. The team will start arguably their worst starter on Opening Day in Colon. There are probably many reasons for this but the most public one at the moment is that way Harvey doesn’t start the home opener and will start the second Citi Field game which the Mets believe will maximize ticket sales. This is a clueless, idiotic way to run a franchise IF true, but hey its Opening Day so we won’t harp on the negatives today.

Relievers: 

Jenrry Mejia had a rough spring but will it carry over into the season?

Jenrry Mejia had a rough spring but will it carry over into the season?

6. Jenrry Mejia

7. Jeurys Familia 

8. Carlos Torres

9. Jerry Blevins

10. Alex Torres

11. Rafael Montero

12. Sean Gilmartin

13. Buddy Carlyle

Sean Gilmartin pitched well as Spring Training came to a close and will not be offered back to the Twins just yet, If he can make it all season on the Mets roster or DL he will become Mets property. The Mets didn’t want to lose Buddy Carlyle either who had an opt-out date coming up so the club elected to keep him and go with 8 relievers, Bobby Parnell and Vic Black will start the year on the DL but both should be ready to contribute at some point in the first half with Black likely ready soon. 

Starting Position Players: 

One thing to watch early on is if the Daniel Murphy-Wilmer Flores combo are able to sucessfully turn double plays

One thing to watch early on is if the Daniel Murphy-Wilmer Flores combo are able to sucessfully turn double plays

14. Travis d’Arnaud

15. Lucas Duda

16. Daniel Murphy

17.  David Wright

18.  Wilmer Flores

19.  Michael Cuddyer

20.  Juan Lagares 

21. Curtis Granderson

After much debate Daniel Murphy will in fact be ready for Opening Day and will meet his teammates in Washington for Monday’s opener. Terry Collins is planning on moving Murphy down in the order to get him more RBI opportunities but he is probably better off in his usual #2 spot in my opinion. 

Bench: 

22. Anthony Recker

23.  Ruben Tejada

24.  John Mayberry Jr

25. Kirk Nieuwenhuis

With the Mets carrying 8 relievers, they will go with a 4-man bench to start the season. Eric Campbell would have been the 5th man on the bench but was optioned to Vegas instead. Campbell even worked on catching this spring to make himself even more versatile. A four man bench isn’t the Mets brightest idea but it likely won’t stay like this for more than a few weeks. Collins would use Jacob deGrom as a pinch hitter should he use the rest of his bench first. 

 

Should be a fun season and Lets Go Mets!

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?