Back in 2015, Hansel Robles was a revelation for a Mets bullpen needing an additional arm.
He made some further strides in 2016. After that, he was much worse. What made it so frustrating was his stretches of just absolute dominance.
As we all know, he’d follow that with a complete and utter inability to get an out. Inevitably, he’d be there pointing to the sky again and again and again.
It was the finger point that was the most frustrating. In his mind, that 500 foot blast was a pop up to second.
Part of the frustration really was how despite his talent, he just couldn’t get the results. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t trying.
Maybe it was too many cooks in the kitchen. Maybe it was him ignoring all four and doing his own thing. Who knows with him?
As always with Robles, no one quite knew the answer.
Robles being designated for assignment makes the second time this season the famed pitching gurus failed to get through to a pitcher. The other time was Matt Harvey.
At the moment, the Mets decision to designate Harvey for assignment does not seem to have come back to haunt them even with Harvey showing flashes. It also helps Devin Mesoraco has been much better than the Mets could have ever imagined.
That doesn’t mean it was the right decision to designate Harvey for assignment. It wasn’t.
For proof of that, look no further than Jason Vargas, who is 2-6 with an 8.60 ERA and a 1.832 WHIP while averaging just over four innings per start. Really, when he takes the mound, the only people he’s fooling is the Mets front office and coaching staff.
This same coaching staff and front office are once again fooling themselves by replacing one of their guys with another AL Central pitcher.
Heading into this season, Chris Beck had a career 6.38 ERA, 1.760 WHIP, and a 5.2 BB/9. To that end, this year is his career year with him posting a 4.18 ERA, 1.479 WHIP, and a 4.2 BB/9.
Despite these being career bests, they’re poor numbers, which is why a very bad White Sox team released him. For some reason, despite trusting their internal talent, the Mets picked him up, and he’s been worse.
And yet, it’s Robles, a guy who has actually performed well in his career and had some glimpses this year, who would be designated for assignment.
It should also be noted Marcos Molina still keeps his spot on the 40 man roster despite his losing his velocity and pitching very poorly this year. In fact, his last start for Binghamton lasted just 3.1 innings. In that start, he allowed 13 runs (10 earned) on 11 hits.
How do you look at either Molina or Beck and decide Robles is the real problem?
Sure, you can be frustrated with Robles and believe he has done more than enough to be designated for assignment. What he hasn’t been is worse than Beck or Molina.
We shouldn’t be surprised by this at all as this front office constantly makes just plain decisions like this all the time. After all, Jose Reyes and Rafael Montero continue to be members of this organization while a score of more talented players have left this organization in their stead.
For the second straight season, the Mets are launching a write-in campaign for one of their outfielders left off the ballot. Last year, it was Michael Conforto. This year, it is Brandon Nimmo. While the write-in campaign will likely be unsuccessful, it is likely Nimmo will join Jacob deGrom on this year’s All Star roster.
While deGrom has previously been an All Star, he has not been one in consecutive seasons, which is partially due to his stepping aside for Bartolo Colon in 2007. In any event, the Mets have had 20 players be named All Stars in consecutive years. Can you name them? Good luck!
Tom Seaver Jerry Koosman Bud Harrelson Willie Mays Jon Matlack John Stearns Jesse Orosco Keith Hernandez Dwight Gooden Darryl Strawberry Gary Carter Sid Fernandez Frank Viola Todd Hundley Mike Piazza Pedro Martinez Carlos Beltran Jose Reyes David Wright Billy Wagner
There’s shooting yourself in the foot, and then there is doing what the Mets did against the Rockies today.
Somehow, the Mets grounded into five . . . FIVE! . . . double plays.
Each one of them were brutal.
Bautista would be erased when Kevin Plawecki grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.
In the third, after Brandon Nimmo hit an RBI single to pull the Mets within 5-2, Frazier would hit into the inning ending 5-4-3 double play.
Speaking of Reyes, he can’t field and doesn’t know how to use sunglasses:
How is Reyes to know to put his sunglasses on? He's only been alive for 35 years. pic.twitter.com/5GbS3AvmIs
— Good Fundies is short for Good Fundamentals (@goodfundies) June 21, 2018
Finally in the eighth, after the Mets pulled themselves to within 6-3 on a Flores sacrifice fly, Devin Mesoraco hit into the inning ending 5-4-3 double play.
You combine all of these double plays with Steven Matz allowing five runs on eight hits and two walks in 5.2 innings, and you have all the makings of a 6-4 loss.
Much of the game was deja vu back to the previous game.
That really put the Mets behind the right ball despite their breaking out for three runs in the first.
Still, despite falling behind 6-4, the Mets would take the lead with a four run fifth.
Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two RBI single to give the Mets a 8-6 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, right after the Mets retook the lead, the Rockies took it back with Ryan McMahon hitting a three run homer to give the Rockies a 9-8 lead.
At this point in time, it appeared like this was going to be a classic back-and-forth Coors Field game. It certainly felt that way in the sixth as the Mets loaded the bases with one out and Rockies reliever Harrison Musgrave having lost the strike zone.
In a surprise decision, Callaway tabbed Kevin Plawecki to pinch hit instead of Amed Rosario. Perhaps it was the reliever having lost the strike zone and Callaway wanting a hitter who has a better read of the strike zone.
In any event, the choice was Plawecki, who worked a full count, swung at a borderline pitch which was probably ball four, and he hit into the inning ending double play.
That was it from the Mets. After that, there were no more rallies. With the Rockies scoring a run off Anthony Swarzak in the bottom of the sixth, the final score would be 10-8.
Suddenly, a Mets team who appeared poised to make a little run is now just hoping to earn a split.
The Mets Fan
I’m Justin Weiss, an 18-year-old aspiring journalist from Long Island. In addition to writing about the Mets, Islanders and Knicks for Elite Sports NY, I’ve been credentialed to cover the Brooklyn Cyclones.
How You Became a Mets Fan
My father, who is the contrarian in the family, became a Mets fan because his father was a Yankees fan, and I guess that I just stuck with it. My earliest memories are of Endy Chavez’s miraculous catch in the 2006 NLCS and my first game — a 5-3 loss (no shocker there) to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Favorite Mets Player
I’m not really sure why, or when, or how, but I became the de facto president of the Logan Verrett Fan Club (membership: 1), and my love for him has grown ever since.
Favorite Moment in Mets History
Message to Mets Fans
In the eighteen years of my life, I’ve seen not so much Amazin’, and way too much failure. But sticking with this team has been worth it, because the highs are so much sweeter. Hang in there, because when the Metsies finally enjoy some success, so will you.
The hapless Mets offense had gone searching for a place to have an offensive breakout. Their tour took them to hitter’s parks like Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Arizona. All hitter’s parks, but form them to be hitter’s parks, you need to have hitters. The Mets haven’t, at least not until recently.
Finally, the Mets made it to the hitter’s paradise that is Coors Field. After two good performances to close out their series against the Diamondbacks, this Mets team was primed for an offensive explosion. That would begin with Brandon Nimmo leading off the game:
Over-the-fence home runs are becoming a little too easy and conventional for Brandon Nimmo. pic.twitter.com/52B07uHPWa
— New York Mets (@Mets) June 19, 2018
It was Nimmo who hit the go-ahead homer in Sunday’s big comeback against the Diamondbacks, and it was him homering again to lead-off the game.
With that Nimmo homer, Jacob deGrom was in a rare position. He had a lead with himself on the mound. If you had any concern about how deGrom would handle these uncharted waters in a ballpark like Coors Field, you shouldn’t. One again, deGrom was great.
Through eight innings, deGrom limited the Rockies to two runs (one earned) on five hits while walking one and striking out seven. This made deGrom the rare pitcher who came to Coors Field and actually lowered his ERA. It now stands at an MLB best 1.51.
Though it’s criminal it took this long, deGrom finally got his fifth win of the season. That happened because the Mets offense finally exploded.
One important thing to note about this game is the Mets organization has long shied away from having either Nimmo or Conforto face Major League left-handed pitching. In a game started by the left-handed Tyler Anderson, both Nimmo and Conforto had great games:
- Nimmo: 4-6, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI
- Conforto: 3-4, 2 R, 2B, BB, SB
At that point, the Mets lead 6-2, and the game was pretty much on hand. That said, with this being Coors Field, it didn’t hurt the Mets added on some insurance runs.
In a six run ninth inning, the Mets batted around, and the Mets would score runs on:
- Mesoraco bases loaded walk
- Bautista bases loaded walk
- Amed Rosario two run double
- Nimmo two RBI single
After that, it was 12-2. After a scoreless ninth from Paul Sewald, the Mets have finally have won three games in a row. That is in no small part due to their bats waking up scoring 22 runs over three games. To put that in perspective, the Mets offense only scored 21 runs over the 13 games prior to Saturday’s victory over the Diamondbacks.
Game Notes: Bautista replaced Jay Bruce from the starting lineup after he was once again scratched due to injury.
Well, with two outs in the ninth, this once again appeared to be a typical Mets loss.
After Todd Frazier‘s first inning sacrifice fly, the Mets couldn’t muster more than a run.
The offense couldn’t muster more than a run.
While Zack Wheeler pitched well allowing just two earned on three hits in six innings, for the fourth time in five starts, he couldn’t hold onto a narrow margin.
Jay Bruce came up to the plate as the go-ahead run on two different occasions,and he failed to deliver.
In his first game off the disabled list, Jeurys Familia performed like most of the bullpen allowing the Diamondbacks to score an eighth inning insurance run to give them a seemingly insurmountable 3-1 lead.
After two quick outs in the ninth, the Diamondbacks choked this one away.
This set the stage for Brandon Nimmo to hit the go-ahead two run homer.
While Brad Boxberger and the Diamondbacks were still dazed from the events leading to them blowing a two run lead with two outs in the ninth against an inept Mets offense, Asdrubal Cabrera would go back-to-back increasing the now Mets lead to 5-3.
This was enough room for Robert Gsellman to record his third save of the season.
With that, the Mets have won consecutive games for the first time in a month. Coincidentally, that time was also against the Diamondbacks.
This team looks better the last few days, and it will be interesting to see where the Mets go from here.
Game Notes: With his drawing two walks, Michael Conforto has reached safely in four of his last five games.
Before I turned six, I lost my grandfather in his battle against cancer. With my mother’s parents dead long before I was born, I lived most of my de without a grandfather.
In many ways, my Uncle Pat filled that role. In many ways, he was well suited for it as the larger than life figure he was.
My Uncle Pat was extremely successful in life, and he had a number of absolutely gorgeous suits.
As I for older and got to be his size, he just gave me five of them so I could have them for special occasions, job interviews, and for work.
In time, I grew to be an even taller man than he was, and the suits because a snug fit. As a result, the last time I would wear one of them was at his funeral almost a decade ago.
I then put them away carefully knowing I never would wear them again. I put them away because I didn’t know quite what to do with them.
As my wife and I have begun cleaning out our house to make more and more room for our boys’ stuff, I came across the suits again.
This time, I knew what to do with him.
My uncle’s grandson lost more than a grandfather the day my uncle died. He lost a father figure too because years before my uncle’s death, his own father died of cancer.
Not even a teenager, and he lost father and grandfather.
Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of watching this boy become a man. A big strong man much in the build of his grandfather.
I knew my uncle would want him to have these suits, and so, I loaded them in the car and drove to my cousin’s house.
On the way, I bought a couple of Sam Adams, the same beer my uncle got me on the day I graduated high school.
Upon arriving, I showed him the suits. Gave him a couple of bucks to get them tailored. We popped open the Sam Adams, and we toasted to my uncle’s memory.
After that, I came home and had fun with my boys. As I went to bed that night I thought about how lucky I am to be father. More than that, I thought about how lucky I was to not only have a father, but to have my father be a part of my boys’ lives.
I get to celebrate all of that today.
For others, they don’t get to celebrate it unless someone finds some old suits and is in the mood for a cold Sam Adams.
Last night, despite the Mets being mired in what was become an absurd slump, the entire Mets team was on the top railing. They were almost willing something to happen.
In the postgame, Mickey Callawaytalked about how much closer the Mets team was. It was a sentiment met with derision or eye rolling.
With the Diamondbacks starting the left-handed Patrick Corbin and with the Mets ineptitude against left-handed pitching, it seemed like the Mets offense was going to have to wait another day to finally break out.
Well, baseball is a funny game because this was the day the Mets offense broke out.
Actually, it wasn’t really the Mets offense. It was really Michael Conforto:
— New York Mets (@Mets) June 17, 2018
The homer coming off a LHP, which the Mets told us Confurto could turn hit, gave fans all the more reason for optimism.
It was more than just the three run homer from Conforto. In the sixth, he would also double home Devin Mesoraco.
That increased the Mets lead to 5-1 with the five runs scored being the most amount of runs scored by this Mets team since the McKinley administration.
The fourth run was scored on a Corbin wild pitch in the third. Just so you know the Mets are still the Mets, that wild pitch also put Todd Frazier at second with just one out. The Mets could not get him home.
The five run lead held up because Steven Matz was terrific. He kept the Diamondbacks at bat limiting them to just one run on six hits and one walk through 6.2 innings.
He would get into a bit of trouble in the seventh with Deven Marrero and Daniel Descalso hitting back-to-back one out singles. The second of which was deflected by a diving Dominic Smith, who could not make the play.
The Nick Ahmed grounder up the middle looked like trouble, but Asdrubal Cabrera showed more range than he has in over a fortnight. Cabrera got the ball and flipped it to Amed Rosario out raced Jay to the bag for the final out of the inning.
Believe it or not, it was smooth sailing from there with the Mets pulling out a 5-1 victory.
Game Notes: Gsellman became the first Met to use the Diamondbacks bullpen cart
With the way things are going with the New York Mets, it is becoming increasingly clear this team will be in position to sell at the trade deadline. The question is what in the world do the Mets have to sell.
Well, the biggest asset the Mets have right now is Jacob deGrom. If he was ever truly available, you would have 29 teams lining up to give you their best prospects. The problem with that is, you could assume the Mets will not deal with either the Yankees or the Nationals. With the Yankees, you are taking one deep farm system off the table, and that is assuming the Yankees would part with their top prospects in a trade with the Mets.
Overall, based on recent comments from Sandy Alderson, it does not appear the Mets are trading deGrom anytime soon, which is a relief because Sandy really does poor work at the trade deadline. He’s much better working deals in the offseason.
So when looking at players to trade, you obviously begin with guys on the last year of their deals. Well, the Mets don’t have much to offer there:
Jerry Blevins – the LOOGY has a 5.28 ERA, 1.761 WHIP, and a 6.5 BB/9. Worse than that, left-handed batters are hitting .351/.415/.514 off of him.
Jose Bautista – When he was released, the Mets were seemingly the only team who called him, and it’s hard to imagine teams giving up much for a second division bench player with a .366 SLG.
Asdrubal Cabrera – A year after the Mets found no takers for him, they may be in the same position after having him play through injuries. Since April 24th, he’s hitting .233/.269/.423 while playing the worst defensive second base in the majors (-10 DRS).
Jeurys Familia – If he returns from the DL healthy, Familia has real value because he has once again shown himself to be a good reliever and closer. The issue with him is Sandy Alderson flipped Addison Reed, who was healthier and having a better year, for an uninspiring group of Gerson Bautista, Jamie Callahan, and Stephen Nogosek.
Devin Mesoraco – Briefly, Mesoraco was a revelation showing power and helping buttress a struggling Mets lineup. The hot streak has worn off, and he’s hitting .107 with no extra base hits over his last nine games.
AJ Ramos – Ramos is contemplating season ending shoulder surgery. That would take him off the table. The same can be said for his 6.41 ERA.
Jose Reyes – He’s the worst player in all of baseball this year; one the Mets are reportedly asking to retire.
Alright, so the Mets don’t have much in terms of players on expiring deals. Maybe, the team can look at players whose deals are expiring after the 2019 season:
Todd Frazier – The normally durable Frazier landed on the DL, and he has not been the power hitter he has been in his career. The positives are he’s kept a solid walk rate while playing a solid third base. Overall, he’s the type of player who is of more value to you than to what you would get back in a deal.
Jason Vargas – He’s now a five inning pitcher with a 7.39 ERA.
Zack Wheeler – Wheeler is an interesting case because he has shown promise, but he is still prone to the occasional hiccups. He’s probably not due for a large arbitration increase from his $1.8 million, which should be enticing for a Mets team who probably doesn’t want to spend $8 million to replace him with next year’s Vargas.
So, right now, looking at the expiring deals by the end of the 2019 season, the Mets assets basically amount to Familia and maybe Frazier and Wheeler. Arguably, Frazier and Wheeler are not bringing back the type of players who would be key pieces of a rebuild. To that extent, you at least have to question why you would move them on a Mets team with a fairly solid core which includes Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, Noah Syndergaard, and deGrom.
And really, past that group, there isn’t much else available for the Mets to trade to justify blowing it up.
Jay Bruce is injured, and he already looks like he’s in a group with Jason Bay and Vince Coleman for the worst free agent mistake in Mets history. Yoenis Cespedes is both injury prone and has a no trade deal, which will likely limit their ability to move him.
Really, what the Mets need to be doing is some soul searching.
Much like they did when they extended David Wright, the team needs to assess whether players like deGrom and Syndergaard will be here when promising young players like Andres Gimenez, David Peterson, Justin Dunn, Mark Vientos, and Jarred Kelenic are here to open the Mets next World Series window.
If they’re not, you’re doing the franchise a complete disservice by hanging in this if everything breaks right structure. Really, things only broke right in 2015, and the team has been ill designed every since.
Blow it up now, or start spending money on players like Manny Machado this offseaosn. If you’re not doing that, this Mets team isn’t going anywhere for at least the next decade.