Monday, August 3, 2015

Did Mets GM Trade 5 Prospects for Some Summer Excitement & Better Attendance?

In less than a week New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson added three likely summer rentals to the team, Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson, and the biggest name, Yoenis Cespedes, weakening the farm system in the process, one of the prospects traded away, Michael Fulmer, a top ten prospect. Fulmer was part of the trade for Cespedes, who is eligible for free agency at season's end. If Cespedes signs with another team, the Mets will not be eligible for free agent compensation.

Though the Cespedes trade gained media attention, Alderson's action that gained the most publicity was his mishandling of the almost-trade for Carlos Gomez, a cancelled deal that made me question what Alderson was doing. If Gomez has such a significant hip problem then why did the Astros trade for him the day after Alderson backed out of the Gomez deal?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Brandon Nimmo's Triple-A Promotion Might Answer a Lot of Questions has released its midseason ranking of the Mets' top 30 prospects and #3, Brandon Nimmo, surprises me. It further surprised me that the Mets just elevated Nimmo to their Triple-A team. Yes, he recently appeared in the 2015 Futures Game along with Michael Conforto, where Nimmo went 1-2, but in March he was mentioned in SB Nation's article, "Victims of the hype machine: Overrated prospects in baseball." Reasons given for his inclusion: cannot hit lefties, has average power, and does not run "efficiently."

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Newest New York Mets Hit, Field, Help Team Win

In their first games as New York Mets, Juan Uribe went 1-2 and Kelly Johnson went 2-6, Johnson starting at second base and Uribe replacing Murphy at third in the seventh inning. Further, neither made an error in the field.

Some facts about Johnson:
  • According to, the MLB player most similar statistically to Kelly Johnson is Ben Zobrist. 
  • In 2015, Johnson has played only two games at second base, once for the Braves and once for the Mets.
  • This season, Johnson has batted cleanup 21 times, one more time than he has batted sixth. In yesterday's Mets game, he batted cleanup.
  • As a starter (50 games), his BA is .290. As a sub (13 games), it is .083.
  • In 19 At Bats this season at Citi Field, he has hit .333.
  • His BA on ground balls hit is .250; on fly balls, it's .277; on line drives, it's .591.
  • In yesterday's At Bats, Johnson singled, grounded out, homered, grounded out, and struck out swinging twice, the first time on six pitches, the second time on five.
On a separate note, the Mets need to start platooning Granderson ASAP. His BA against lefties is only .125; whereas, against righties, it is .280. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

In Their Last 30 Games, the Mets Offense Looks Bad

The chart below indicates one of the Mets biggest problems. In their last 30 games through July 23, 2015, the Mets scored only 2.5 runs per game. Luckily, their pitching allowed only about three runs a game. Otherwise, their record would be worse than 13-17, which means their winning percentage in their last 30 games is just .433.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Mets Need to Strengthen Weaknesses Without Weakening Strengths

It seems that that New York sportswriters are panicking much more than is Mets management, those sportswriters screaming for the team to give away prospects in the hopes of getting someone who might make a difference. The problem is that unless that "someone" is Mike Trout or a comparable player, the team will just be patching a dike with holes: The problem is the whole "center" of the team: catcher, shortstop, second base, centerfield. With D'arnaud AGAIN recuperating from an injury, the Mets are not getting much offense from their catching position. Their starting catcher, Kevin Plawecki, is hitting .239. And their starting shortstop, Ruben Tejada, is hitting .254, their secondbaseman, Wilmer Flores, is hitting, .252, and their starting centerfielder, Juan Lagares, is hitting .255. Add to that the fact that their corner infielders, who are supposed to add punch to a lineup, are hitting .239 and .256. More significant, in the National League the Mets have the lowest OPS (.660), the lowest slugging percentage (.390), the lowest batting average (.235). Because of the scope of the team's weaknesses, they cannot afford to trade away their current "Nolan Ryans" in the hope that weakening a strength will strengthen a weakness. Trades need to be based on something more substantive than hope.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Their Starting Pitching Is What's Keeping the Mets Ship Afloat

I find it amusing when people, including at least one sportswriter at a name NYC publication, write that the Mets should start trading their starting pitchers for offensive help. Whenever I read that, I remember the Mets trade of Nolan Ryan for Jim Fregosi, a shortstop. But Ryan wasn't the only player the Mets traded. Also included in the deal were outfielder Leroy Stanton, pitcher Don Rose. and catcher Francisco Estrada. After the trade, the New York Times quoted Mets GM Bob Scheffing as saying about Ryan, "I really can't say I quit on him. But we've had him three full years and, although he's a hell of a prospect, he hasn't done it for us. How long can you wait? I can't rate him in the same category with Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman or Gary Gentry." That statement says something about Scheffing's ability to judge talent. That statement also makes me think that the Dodgers were lucky that Scheffing wasn't Brooklyn's GM during the early years of Sandy Koufax's career. In his first 3 seasons, Koufax had a 9-10 record. He walked 108 batters, pitched 204.66 innings, and gave up 91 earned runs for an ERA of 4.00. In contrast, Ryan had a 12-13 record, walked 131 batters, pitched 226.33 innings, and gave up 86 earned runs for an ERA of 3.42.

Returning to the current Mets team, next season the starting rotation could include Harvey, deGrom, Wheeler, Syndergaard, and Matz, which would make it the best starting rotation in baseball. One reason it would be foolish to trade any of them is that injuries happen: Harvey and Wheeler already have had Tommy John surgery. Further, it would be foolish to weaken a strength at a time when the offense, in the season's ahead, should only get stronger. A key is for Mets current GM Sandy Alderson to improve the free agents he signs. He needs to do better than Cuddyer (who he essentially traded a first-round pick for and who is currently batting .250 with a slugging percentage of .380) and Mayberry .182.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

It's Been 9 Years Since a New York Met Hit 40 Homers

It has been nine years since a New York Met has hit at least 40 home runs in a season: In 2006, Beltran hit 41. Before that, Piazza hit 40 in 1999, and Hundley hit 41 in 1996. However, before 1996 no Met had hit 40. Darryl Strawberry came closest in 1988, hitting 39.

Since 2006, the most homers hit in a season by a hit is 32, done in 2012 by Ike Davis. Since leaving the Mets in 2014, Davis has hit only 13 homers.

On the current team, after emerging last season as a power hitter with 30 homers, Lucas Duda has regressed. Through 88 games this season, he has hit only 12. If he continues at that pace and has the same number of plate appearances as in 2014, Duda's projected to knock 19 balls out of the park in 2015. If that is the case, Duda might regret not signing the contract the Mets offered before this season began.