Posts Tagged ‘Ruben Tejada’

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 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 the non-tender deadline Tuesday night, the Mets made decisions on their seven arbitration eligible players. The team elected to keep all except Eric Young Jr. Young, 29, hit .229 with a .299 OBP and 30 SB in 100 games for the Mets in 2014. The Mets originally got Young in the summer of 2013 in exchange for Collin McHugh, who had a breakout ’14 season for the Houston Astros. With Young getting a raise in arbitration, his speed was a luxury that the Mets couldn’t afford.

In a surprising move the Mets elected to keep Ruben Tejada who is coming off another tough season. Tejada should get close to $2 million in arbitration so it is surprising that the Mets who are trying to save every dollar they can to find a shortstop elected to keep Tejada at that price range.

MLB Trade Rumors Projected 2015 Mets salaries

  • Bobby Parnell (5.132) – $3.7MM
  • Daniel Murphy (5.109) – $8.3MM
  • Eric Young Jr. (4.123) – $2.3MM
  • Dillon Gee (4.028) – $5.1MM
  • Ruben Tejada (3.171) – $1.7MM
  • Lucas Duda (3.137) – $4.3MM
  • Jenrry Mejia (2.140) – $3.1MM

*Young Jr: Non-tendered on Tuesday

The Mets also made a mistake in tendering a contract to Bobby Parnell. Parnell is coming off Tommy John surgery and will not be ready for Opening Day. He is also a luxury  the Mets can’t afford right now. If they had non-tendered him they could have brought him back at a cheaper salary.

Did the Mets make the right decisions at the non-tender deadline?

By Steven Inmanimages

The title of this article is a sentence Mets fans have become too familiar with over the past eight seasons… The Mets have been eliminated from playoff contention. The Mets are 74-80 this season after winning 74 games the previous two seasons. While the record isn’t much bfametter, the team has made a number of improvements with key players while learning that other won’t be part of the solutions.

2015 Pieces

Lucas Duda: The Mets best (and only) real power threat in the lineup in 2014 was the emergence of Lucas Duda. It has always been a confidence issue for the 28-year old but he has begun to fix that. The move to first base, his natural position certainly helped his offense and Duda should be a big part of the Mets offense in 2015.Duda’s power hasn’t really increased he is just getting his first real opportunity to play every day all season. The team may need to find a backup first basemen in the winter who crushes lefties. A player like Danny Valencia could fit in very well at first base. Valencia hit .324 this season against left-handers with an.813 OPS.

Jeurys Familia: Familia was flat out dominant in 2014. He neutralized even the greatest of right-handed batters and went from not being able to throw strikes in 2013 to being “effectively wild” in 2014. Whether he becomes the closer or stays as the set-up man Familia should be effective in the Mets bullpen in 2015 while making the league minimum, should he stay healthy.

Travis d’Arnaud: The 2014 season started as a disaster for the 25-year old d’Arnaud. Travis was batting .180 on June 4th when the Mets made the wise decision to send him down. They called him back up around three weeks later. Since his recall the rookie backstop is hitting .273/.320/.482 with ten homers and 32 RBI. He has become one of the Mets better hitters and is now batting third. D’Arnaud has looked very comfortable in the #3 spot. The Mets have a very good problem with d’Arnaud’s offensive growth at the major league level and Kevin Plawecki’s impressive minor league season. The one issue with d’Arnaud is he has a hitch in his throws to second and has become very easy to run on. Keith Hernandez on the SNY broadcasts noted that it will be very difficult to get that hitch out over the winter and in Spring Training.

Other notable players are Juan Lagares and Jacob deGrom who should be a part of the Mets future for years to come. I’m going to have a separate post on both of these future award winners once the season ends.

Players that took a step back in 2015

Ruben Tejada: Tejada came to major league camp with something to prove. He instead proved that the Mets wasted another year hoping he could be the answer at shortstop for some reason. Tejada will likely be a non-tender guy and will join another team as a backup middle infielder, a role that he should be much better in.

Dillon Gee: Gee looked like he was on his way to another strong season before a lat injury took out a few months for the right-hander. Since Gee has returned he has struggled to the point that he could be on his way out of town. Gee will surely get a hefty raise on his $3.6 million 2014 salary through arbitration. With all the Mets pitching now up or near the major league level the Mets might find Gee’s increasing salary to be better used elsewhere. The Mets will shop around Gee along with Jonathan Niese this winter.

Bobby Parnell: To no fault of his own, Bobby Parnell threw in one game for the Mets before undergoing Tommy John surgery. Parnell’s velocity was down a lot in spring training but the Mets publicly said they were not concerned. Parnell will make at least $3.7 million next season in his final year of salary arbitration. Again with the Mets hamstrung for cash, it makes little sense to pay a reliever that kind of money coming off Tommy John. The Mets also have Jenrry Mejia and Familia to be the back end of the bullpen. It is far from a guarantee that Parnell will be ready to pitch in a big league game by April. The Mets would be much better off non-tendering their former closer and try to bring him back on an incentive laden contract.

Curtis Granderson: The Mets are hamstrung on Granderson’s huge back loaded contract. He hit even worse than he did when he broke his hand twice last season with the Yankees while the Mets thought he would hit much better. While the Mets would surely like a redo on this deal to get that money back to put into a corner outfielder on the upswing, no team will take on this 33-year olds deal when he has 3-years and 47 million left on his deal after this season with a slash line of .221/.322/.376. The Grandy Man’s 19 homers this season should go up a little when the Mets likely move the right-field fence in.

By Steven Inman

Photo by Baseball America

Photo by Baseball America

The Mets have gotten zero production from the shortstop position. Both Omar Quintanilla and Ruben Tejada have both badly struggled offensively. Mets shortstops have a hard to believe .194 average with a .303 OBP, zero homers and an OPS of .526. That wouldn’t be that bad if they were pitchers, which they are not. It looks like a change can finally be coming though with Quintanilla being designated for assignment Wednesday. No call up has been announced but it is widely expected to be infielder Wilmer Flores. The Mets want Flores to play every day so if he really is the call up it would be to play shortstop every day.

Flores was still playing in the Las Vegas 51’s game when the news about Quintanilla broke. The 22-year-old is 1-for-3 on the night with 2 RBI after he hit a double to left. Flores has hit .296 in 28 games in Las Vegas with 25 RBI, five doubles and five home runs. He has been very hot of late. He has also had seven errors in 24 appearances in the field, a majority of them at shortstop.

Ruben Tejada was seen visibly frustrated after Wednesday’s matinee against the Marlins so it seems likely that he is about to lose playing time.

Flores isn’t a shortstop but it makes more sense to try him there then to expect Tejada or Quintanilla would magically get better and start hitting. The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That what the Mets were hoping for when they patrolled the same duo at short that badly struggled all of last year. Flores at least has the potential to hit and it wasn’t like Tejada or Quintanilla was lighting it up defensively either.

Of course we wouldn’t be having this discussion if the Mets just did the logical thing and signed Stephen Drew months ago as a free agent. Drew is still a free agent and is now expected to wait until after the draft to sign with a team so he won’t be tied to a draft pick.

Do you want to see Wilmer Flores everyday at shortstop?

By Steven Inman

David Wright and Daniel Murphy will once again be relied upon to carry the Mets lineup Photo by NY Post

David Wright and Daniel Murphy will once again be relied upon to carry the Mets lineup
Photo by NY Post

It is almost here, the greatest day of the year, Opening Day. Just 48 hours from now we will be enjoying Mets baseball once again. So now it is time to breakdown their upcoming season.

Infield: The infield is the only part of the team that Sandy Alderson didn’t address this winter. Ike Davis likely gets the first crack at being the lefty platoon at first base with Josh Satin. With the team going to play the LA Angels in the second week of the season they will need a DH so Lucas Duda should still see plenty of at-bats early on in April.  Having three first basemen on the roster certainly hurts Terry Collins’ roster flexibility which may need to be addressed at some point.

Ruben Tejada is still here and looks to be the guy at shortstop despite a poor 2013 season and a rough Spring Training to say the least. Wilmer Flores with a strong spring has put himself in a position to be Plan B at shortstop despite being sent to the minors. Omar Quintanilla will make the team as the backup middle infielder.

Travis d’Arnaud goes into the season with a lot to prove but is still just a rookie. He was having a rough spring with the bat until this past week so it looks like he is getting hot at the perfect time for New York. Many expect him to compete for Rookie of the Year in the National League. He likely will start the year down near the bottom of the order.

Obviously the Mets have two quality hitters at third base and second base with David Wright and Daniel Murphy respectively. The duo just needs to stay healthy as they will be expected to continue to anchor the Mets lineup. Murphy needs to improve upon his OBP if he wants to stay a Met long-term.

Outfield: The Mets spent most of their offseason budget on their outfield which looks to have improved. Curtis Granderson was an overpay coming off a lost year but he will certainly help give David Wright protection and put less pressure on guys like Ike Davis and Travis d’Arnaud who can bat lower in the lineup now.

Chris Young is the X-Factor for this Mets team. He is coming off a lost year for the AL West champion Athletics but has looked very good offensively and defensively this spring. He doesn’t have the elite outfield arm he once had but is still a good outfielder. It will be important for him to adjust to Citi Field’s unique dimensions quickly especially playing in a corner outfield spot, a position he isn’t all that familiar with. Young was given a 1-year “prove it” contract so he has a lot to prove to not just the Mets but to all of baseball this season. He was still given $7.25 million however and for a team like the Mets with a very small payroll ($87 million) they badly need him to produce. When Eric Young Jr. is in the lineup Chris Young will bat 5th and when Juan Lagares is in the lineup Chris Young will likely bat leadoff. Lagares should play every day as his defense is just too good to keep on the bench. There has been a power struggle between Collins and Sandy Alderson on which outfielder should play more. Collins wants EY Jr. in their as he doesn’t believe anyone else can hit leadoff on this team. Both outfielders should see a lot of playing time.

Starting Rotation: Obviously the talk about the Mets starting rotation is about the guy who isn’t here and that is Matt Harvey. He expects to be back before September but it would be very irresponsible for the Mets to let Harvey rush back like that. Besides who know if they will even be in the race that long. At the top of the Mets rotation is a pair of strike throwers in Dillon Gee and Bartolo Colon. Both have looked good this spring and could be ready for big seasons.

As the only left-hander on the staff Jon Niese must stay healthy if the team has any desire to stay in contention. Zack Wheeler continues to fly under the radar and if he can throw enough strikes, could be a candidate for the All-Star team in Minnesota this season. Wheeler has a dynamic arm. Daisuke Matsuzaka will start the year in the minors but will be used as rotation depth if Jenrry Mejia struggles in the fifth spot or gets injured.

Bobby Parnell has lacked the velocity he needs to be an effective closer Photo by NY Daily News

Bobby Parnell has lacked the velocity he needs to be an effective closer
Photo by NY Daily News

Bullpen: The Mets bullpen is their biggest weakness and will likely become their downfall this season. It all starts with the closer and Bobby Parnell doesn’t look like the same guy that was an All-Star candidate last summer. His velocity is down big and the team is already talking about him not pitching anything more than back to back games. Jose Valverde will be relied on to start the year as the 8th inning guy. He is an older pitcher and is a prime suspect for overuse to start the season should he have a few successful outings. Remember this is a guy who was released by Detroit last season, a team that was desperate for bullpen help.

Scott Rice will be depended on heavily as well after a strong rookie campaign. He is also a suspect for overuse as he was overused badly by Collins in 2013 and scouts have all said his velocity has been down as well. John Lannan will hope to assist Rice in the lefty specialist role, a role that Lannan has no experience in. Jeurys Familia has an elite arm and it would a major surprise if he isn’t near the back end of the bullpen by Memorial Day, likely as the 8th inning guy. Collins wants to ease Familia into that role.

Bench: The Mets bench will be very interchangeable. It will include one of EY Jr./ Lagares and two of Satin/Davis/Duda. It also will have backup catcher Anthony Recker as well as Omar Quintanilla. Andrew Brown is expected to make the team as the 5th outfielder until they need the roster spot for Jon Niese.

Prospects: The Mets have many prospects that will make their major league debuts in 2014. Unfortunately due to service time, none will make their debuts any time soon. Rafael Montero is the pitcher closest to the big leagues but likely won’t be up until mid-June for arbitration purposes. The same goes for Noah Syndergaard. We have already seen Wilmer Flores but the infielder will be up after the first infield injury or if Tejada struggles. He is not in the minors because of service time simply to get an opportunity to play every day. Jack Leathersich is a left-handed reliever the team thinks can get big league lefties out soon.

Projection: 80-82 Third Place This Met team looks better than the past few years because of depth. If they lose a starter early on in the season they don’t have to go to an Aaron Laffey or someone like him. They have legitimate pitching prospects in the system. The N.L. East is not what it once was but the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves both have much more talent than the Mets currently. Also if the Mets find themselves in it at the trade deadline, do they have the money to go take on a contract to go get the hitter they likely will need? The Mets are improving but this doesn’t look to be their year.

Strengths: Starting pitching, Depth

Weaknesses: Bullpen, Shortstop, Payroll flexibility

Breakout Candidates: Travis d’Arnaud, Wilmer Flores, Zack Wheeler, Dillon Gee

Regression Candidates: Jon Niese, All of the first basemen, Curtis Granderson, Bobby Parnell

  1. Washington Nationals
  2. Atlanta Braves
  3. New York Mets
  4. Philadelphia Phillies
  5. Miami Marlins