Posts Tagged ‘Juan Lagares’

By Steven Inman

With less than 2 weeks before Opening Day, the Mets Opening Day roster is pretty much set. The only questions left are with a few injuries along with spots on the bench and the bullpen still to be determined. Here’s how we expect it to all shake out.

The Starting Rotationdownload

  1. Matt Harvey
  2. Noah Syndergaard
  3. Jacob deGrom
  4. Bartolo Colon
  5. Steven Matz

Matt Harvey has already been named the Mets opening night starter in Kansas City. After a strong 2015 season along with a brilliant performance in WS Game 5 against KC, Harvey has certainly earned the honor of starting opening night.  Jacob deGrom’s wife is expected to give birth around April 5th so Noah Syndergaard will start the second game. If deGrom is back from his expected paternity leave he will likely start Game 3 with 3rd year Met Bartolo Colon and rookie Steven Matz behind him in the rotation.

The Starting Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson RFdownload (1)
  2. Neil Walker 2B
  3. Yoenis Cespedes CF
  4. Lucas Duda 1B
  5. David Wright 3B
  6. Michael Conforto LF
  7. Travis d’Arnaud C
  8. Asdrubal Cabrera SS

Asdrubal Cabrera (hamstring) is questionable for Opening Day. It is unknown if he will get the at-bats needed this spring to be able to be ready for the season. The Mets seem to believe that he will be ready so we will put him in the starting lineup for now. After releasing Ruben Tejada the Mets don’t have much shortstop depth with major league experience.

If Cabrera is not ready Wilmer Flores will likely step in to the starting lineup at shortstop. The Mets will need Wilmer to play third base a few days a week for the aging David Wright. This could be a very big year for the Mets two youngest starting position players, Travis d’Arnaud and Michael Conforto.

The Bullpen

  1. Jeurys Familiadownload (2)
  2. Addison Reed
  3. Antonio Bastardo
  4. Jerry Blevins
  5. Hansel Robles
  6. Sean Gilmartin
  7. Jim Henderson

Terry Collins said a few weeks ago that the first five on this lists already had spots cemented in the Opening Day bullpen. Hansel Robles will be suspended for the KC series but the Mets will not be able to replace him on the roster while he is out. Gilmartin was very solid last year as a long man for the Mets after coming over from the Twins as a Rule 5 pick. Jim Henderson, the former Brewers closer, has regained velocity and looks very sharp this spring. While the Mets can send Henderson to the minors, he has looked very solid and if the Mets believe he can go back to being the reliever he was when he pitched the 9th for Milwaukee, then he certainly would be a fine addition to the Mets bullpen. Other candidates are Erik Goeddel who has been injured most of the spring and Logan Verrett who is likely competing with Gilmartin for the Mets long man role.

The Bench

  1. Wilmer Floresdownload (3)
  2. Juan Lagares
  3. Alejandro De Aza
  4. Kevin Plawecki
  5. Eric Campbell

Thanks to additions to the Mets starting lineup, players that were expected to get major at-bats like De Aza and Flores now become solid and versatile bench players. Flores will help Wright at third and will back up at short and second. Neil Walker didn’t hit lefties much last season so Flores could get at-bats at second vs. lefties. Expect Flores to play a lot this season even though he isn’t an “everyday player” anymore.

While Juan Lagares is a very good center fielder expect him to play some left field as a defensive replacement for Conforto. Terry Collins is wary of moving Cespedes all around the outfield so Lagares may not play much center field while Yoenis is in the game.

The Mets were interested in finding a backup catcher so Kevin Plawecki wouldn’t be sitting on the bench so often but they haven’t found a player they like yet so Kevin stays on this list. The Mets believe an extra 200 plate appearances for Plawecki in the minors would really help his development offensively. Thanks to the trade of Ruben Tejada, Eric Campbell makes the club as the 25th man. Campbell has struggled in the majors the past few seasons but has had a strong spring and can play the infield and outfield corners. A majority of Terry Collins’ bench can play multiple positions.

With two weeks to go still before the season, injuries can alter this list. On paper this is a very strong roster that should have Citi Field buzzing all summer. Do you agree with this 25-man roster projection?

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 InmanimagesCANTDGDW

According to various media reports the Mets have agreed to a four-year contract extension with CF Juan Lagares that also has a club option for the centerfielder’s first free agent year. The deal is pending a physical. The contract is expected to be worth around $23 million and is expected to start during the 2016 season.

Lagares would have been a Super Two player this upcoming winter which meant he would have filed for arbitration four times instead of three before becoming a free agent.

Lagares, 26, slashed .281/.324/.382 in 452 plate appearances in 2014 but its his glove that made him one of the Mets better players. Lagares became the third Met outfielder behind Tommy Agee and Carlos Beltran to win a Gold Glove.

On the surface this looks like a questionable decison for the Mets as Lagares’ speciality, which is his defense, doesn’t pay much in arbitration. Lagares has walked just 20 times in each of his two big league seasons. He doesn’t hit many homers or steal many bases so he wasn’t likely to get more than the $20-25 million in arbitration should his offense stay at its current level.

The Mets don’t believe it will. The front office has been very impressed with the work Lagares has done in camp with new hitting coach Kevin Long and believe he will hit better this upcoming year.

The Brewers gave a simialr contract to former Met Carlos Gomez a few years ago before his breakout season. That deal looks like one of the best decisions Brewers GM Doug Melvin has ever made.

Lagares just turned 26 a few weeks ago so there is still time in his bat for improvements. The deal only gives the Mets the possibility of one more year of control over their gold glover with the club option for 2020 worth $9.5 million.

Do you like this aggressive move by the New York Mets?

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?

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

Juan Lagares is coming off his best game as a major-league player. The centerfielder went 4-4 with a walk and stole two bases. Lagares has played so well that not even Terry Collins can take him out of the lineup.

Based on defensive runs saved Juan Lagares is rated as the best defensive outfielder in baseball. Lagares has a 5.6 WAR according to baseball reference. Usually when a player has a five win season, it means he is an All-Star caliber player.

Lagares’ WAR easily leads the Mets.

Lagares’ 5.6 WAR ranks 9th in baseball and is ahead of players like Troy Tulowitzki and Andrew McCutchen. Keep in mind that Lagares has missed 36 games this season as well so his WAR could be in even higher.

Am I saying that Lagares is as good as those two players? Absolutely not those guys are superstars who can change the game with one swing of the bat. Just keep in mind that Lagares has been great for the Mets this year and as his offensive game continues to improve, the future gold glove winner will emerge as a star.

Lagares reminds me of Carlos Gomez who also came up with the Mets before being traded in a package for Johan Santana. I could see Lagares developing the power that Gomez has, which would make him a complete All-Star player. Lagares’ numbers offensively are by far better than when Gomez was in his second big league season.

The 25-year old Lagares is under Met control through at least the 2019 season and should keep getting better and better.

The Mets have told Juan Lagares they want him to steal more bases to become a better offensive threat. The Mets figure since he can get such good jumps in the outfield, why can’t he get them on the bases.

After attempting just seven steals in his previous 94 games, Lagares has five steals in his last five games.

The sky is the limit for the man his teammates call “King”

 

 

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.