Dodgers Postseason Offense

Unlike the Mets, the Dodgers have a wealth (pun intended) of postseason experience. Here’s how they fared:

Adrian Gonzalez (18 games) .294/.360/.500 with four homeruns and 10 RBIs

Howie Kendrick (16 games) .186/.197/.288 with one homerun and two RBIs

Jimmy Rollins (46 games) .250/.314/.372 with three homeruns and 15 RBIs

Carl Crawford (35 games) .275/.309/.472 with seven homeruns and 16 RBIs

Yasiel Puig (14 games) .314/.364/.412 with zero homeruns and five RBIs

Andre Ethier (30 games) .231/.333/.407 with three homeruns and six RBIs

Scott Van Slyke (3 games) .000/.000/.000

A.J. Ellis (14 games) .386/.481/.682 with two homeruns and five RBIs

Chase Utley (46 games) .262/.402/.500 with 10 homeruns and 25 RBIs

Justin Turner (2 games) .000/.000/.000

Alberto Callaspo (7 games) .222/.222/.333 with no homeruns and one RBI
Chris Heisey (6 games) .000/.000/.000

From this we learn what we already knew, Gonzalez and Puig (if healthy) are the Mets biggest problems. Shutting them down will the key to winning the NLDS.

With that said, I’m confident in the Mets pitching staff. It’s why I think the Mets will win this series. 

Players Not on the Taxi Squad

Yesterday, the Mets announced the players they are putting on the taxi squadEric Young, Jr.Anthony ReckerLogan VerrettEric Campbell, and Bobby Parnell. I think we can separate the remaining players into three categories: (1) players definitely on the roster; (2) players who are in consideration for the roster; and (3) players who are just being sent home. The players definitely on the roster has already been addressed. Here’s the other two categories:

Players under Consideration 

Juan Uribe – the Mets want him on the roster, but it does not appear he’s healthy enough to play. I hope that August 23rd pinch hitting appearance was worth it.

Steven Matz – had he not slept on a couch, he would’ve been on the roster. Now the Mets have their fingers crossed he can pitch. 

Kirk Nieuwenhuis – he seems to be the front runner for Uribe’s spot. He plays all three OF positions, has speed, and has some pop in his bat. He’s had a rough year, but he’s had some big hits since returning to the Mets. 

Dilson Herrera – he’s the Mets best defensive infielder even if he only plays 2B. He’s got potential offensively and defensively.  He has not realized his potential yet, but he’s still a right handed bat with pop going into a series with good left handed pitching. 

Erik Goeddel – he seems to be a favorite to get a spot in the bullpen if Matz can’t pitch. In limited time, he’s shown a great splitter which has helped him with a 9.2 K/9. He could help with a strikeout in a big spot. 

Sean Gilmartin – he’s been the long man, but he has reverse splits with a series with a series with huge left-handed bats. His spot is tenuous mostly with the presence of Colon, Niese, and possibly Matz on the roster. 

Players Done for the Year

Johnny Monell – the Mets made their choice with Recker as the third catcher. 

Carlos Torres – he took the ball whenever he was asked until he got hurt. He had a skill that helps in the regular season, but he has no room on the playoff roster. 

Dario Alvarez – when he finally got a chance to pitch, he was effective. He got a huge strikeout of Bryce Harper back when the division was still in doubt. He go hurt, fought his way back, and he was ineffective. 

Eric O’Flaherty – there’s not enough words to describe how bad he’s been, so I’ll keep it short. He’s horrendous. 

There are still important decisions to be made. I know a lot of it hinges on Matz. I anticipate this will be a tight series, and these final choices may have a real impact. I hope they pick the right players. 

Does Uribe’s Injury Hurt the Mets?

Right now, it appears that Juan Uribe will miss the NLDS with torn cartilage in his rib cage. He won’t be on the roster, but the better question is, “Will the Mets miss him?”

Despite rumors to the contrary, Uribe is not a good postseason player. He’s hit .204/.241/.338 in 44 postseason games. As a Met, he’s hit .219/.301/.430 in 44 games.  He has hit lefties well going .272/.350/.543. As a pinch hitter, he’s 4-21 with a homer, four walks, and nine strikeouts. 

He’s 3-11 against Clayton Kershaw with a double, a homerun, and three strikeouts. He’s 5-20 against Zack Greinke with a double, a homerun, a walk, and a strikeout.  He’s 1-3 with a strikeout against Alex Wood. He’s 1-2 with a double against Brett Anderson. He’s never faced Kenly Jansen

Overall, Uribe has not been good with the Mets, even if he’s had his moments.  However, he wasn’t going to play in the NLDS even with all of the Dodgers’ lefties. The Mets are not going to sit Daniel Murphy. If they were inclined to sit Lucas DudaMichael Cuddyer would play first with Juan Lagares in center and Yoenis Cespedes in left. At best, Uribe would be a pinch hitter. 

Whether or not he can play, Uribe still has an important role on this team. He has won two World Series. He’s a veteran leader. He keeps the clubhouse loose. I appreciate players feel more a part of a team while being able to play, but Uribe has shown he’s a special clubhouse guy. He’s needed in the dugout and in the clubhouse. 

So no, the Mets aren’t hurt by Uribe’s inability to play. That still doesn’t mean he’s not needed. 

UPDATE: Uribe is definitely out

Re-Revised NLDS Roster

Well, it seems I was wrong about Eric Young, Jr.  I can’t say I am too upset about it. It seems like the last man on the roster will be Kirk Nieuwenhuis, although I still think Dilson Herrera is getting a long look as he’s not on the taxi squad. 

With that said, here’s my re-revised NLDS roster projection. 

Catchers

1. Travis d’Arnaud

2. Kevin Plawecki

Infielders

3. Lucas Duda

4. Daniel Murphy

5. David Wright

6. Ruben Tejada

7. Wilmer Flores

8. Kelly Johnson

Outfielders

9. Michael Conforto

10. Yoenis Cespedes

11. Curtis Granderson

12. Michael Cuddyer

13. Juan Lagares

14. Kirk Nieuwenhuis 

Starting Pitchers

15. Jacob deGrom

16. Noah Sundergaard

17. Matt Harvey

18. Bartolo Colon

Bullpen

19. Jeurys Familia

20. Addison Reed

21. Tyler Clippard

22. Hansel Robles

23. Jon Niese

24. Erik Goeddel

25. Sean Gilmartin

If he’s healthy, and he won’t be, Juan Uribe would replace Nieuwenhuis. Also, I’m not putting Steven Matz on my projected roster because he didn’t pitch. If I hear differently with the Instructuonal League appearance, I may still leave him off the projected roster. 

I can’t trust the Mets to be honest on the topic. If I’m convinced, then I would slot him in the rotation moving Colon to the bullpen. That would then bump Gilmartin from the roster. 

My IBWAA Ballot

AL MVP

  1. Josh Donaldson
  2. Mike Trout
  3. Lorenzo Cain
  4. Manny Machado
  5. Jose Bautista
  6. Mookie Betts
  7. Xander Bogaerts
  8. Jason Kipnis
  9. David Price
  10. Dallas Keuchel

AL Cy Young

  1. Chris Sale
  2. David Price 
  3. Dallas Keuchel
  4. Corey Kluber
  5. Chris Archer

AL Rookie of the Year

  1. Francisco Lindor
  2. Carlos Correa
  3. Aaron Sanchez

AL Manager of the Year

  1. Joe Girardi
  2. Terry Francona
  3. Jeff Banister

AL Reliever of the Year

  1. Dellin Betances
  2. Huston Street
  3. Bryan Shaw

NL MVP

  1. Bryce Harper
  2. Jayson Heyward
  3. Anthony Rizzo
  4. Paul Goldschmidt
  5. Zack Greinke
  6. Curtis Granderson
  7. Buster Posey
  8. Kris Bryant
  9. Clayton Kershaw
  10. Joey Votto

NL Cy Young

  1. Zack Greinke
  2. Clayton Kershaw
  3. Jake Arrieta
  4. Gerrit Cole
  5. Jacob deGrom

NL Rookie of the Year

  1. Kris Bryant
  2. Matt Duffy
  3. Jung Ho Kang

NL Manager of the Year

  1. Bruce Bochy
  2. Joe Maddon
  3. Clint Hurdle

NL Reliever of the Year

  1. Jeurys Familia
  2. Mark Melancon
  3. Kevin Siegrist

My NL IBWAA Winners

After releasing my AL choices earlier, here are my NL choices:

NL MVP – Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper lead the NL in runs, homeruns, slugging, OPS, OPS+, and WAR. He was second in batting average. He’s the main reason the Nationals even competed in the NL East.

NL Cy Young – Zack Greinke

This was a tight race, but I ultimately selected Zack Greinke. He lead the league in ERA, ERA+, WHIP, adjusted pitching runs, and WAR. He’s second in hits per nine. He’s fifth in walks per nine, innings pitched, and FIP. Overall, he had a great year. 

NL Rookie of the Year – Kris Bryant

With all the awards votes this year, I thought this one was the easiest. Kris Bryant lead all rookies in WAR, runs, hits, doubles, homeruns, and RBIs. With all that, there’s nothing else that needs to be said. 

NL Manager of the Year – Bruce Bochy

Bruce Bochy is considered the best manager in baseball. He’s done nothing to disprove that this year. He’s dealt with players leaving and injuries. He kept the Giants competitive into October. If this award is truly supposed to go to the best manager, it should go to the best manager. That’s Bruce Bochy. 

NL Reliever of the Year – Jeurys Familia

Jeurys Familia has been a dominant closer this year. He lead the league in one plus inning saves. He was third in appearances, but he was first in reliever innings pitched. He was third in saves. Of all the relievers in the NL, he made the biggest impact on his team. 

My AL IBWAA Winners

I will publish my entire ballot later, but I’m only going to do a write-up on why I chose people to win these awards. I will also publish something on the Mets I selected on my ballots. Here are my AL selections:

AL MVP – Josh Donaldson

Josh Donaldson has been amazing this season hitting .300/.375/.577 with 41 homeruns and 123 RBIs. He leads the league in runs scored, RBIs, and total bases. He’s second in WAR. He’s the best player on the best team. 

AL Cy Young – Chris Sale

I didn’t buy into the whole it’s either David Price or Dallas Keuchel. They’re being discussed because they’re on winning teams, but this isn’t a pitcher MVP Award. Chris Sale leads the league in strikeouts, FIP, and K/9. This is evident that he’s pitching in front of a weaker team than Price or Keuchel. I don’t think he should be penalized for it. 

AL Rookie of the Year – Francisco Lindor

Francisco Lindor has been incredible this year hitting .319/.357/.491 with good defense. He leads all AL rookies in WAR. He’s having a better overall year than Carlos Correa. The overall stats were close enough that the defense of Lindor’s defense put him over the top. 

AL Manager of the Year – Joe Girardi

Joe Girardi previously won this award in the NL. He is a good manager. He’s had to deal with the first post-Derek Jeter season and the return of A-Rod. He’s managed old players on the decline. He’s managed through injuries. He brought a Yankee team predicted to finish under .500 and brought them to the playoffs. 

AL Reliever of the Year – Dellin Betances

Dellin Betances leads the league in appearances. He’s second in K/9. Hes got a FIP of 2.11. He’s set-up and closed. He’s been the best reliever in the AL two years running. 

Mets Youngster Wins the Game

On the last game of the season, the Mets had a young kid came up to help them. They needed him after losing six straight and getting no hit. Before entering the ballpark, he visited the bricks to remind himself of who he was playing for:

  
He had a pregame meeting with Mr. and Mrs. Met to get prepare:

  
Mr. Met would be with him the entire game:

  
With shades of Sidd Finch, he would eschew the traditional uniform. He would wear his lucky hat:

   

 
He waited for his moment, and then he got to the plate. He took two mighty swings, but the third time was the charm:

 
The ball didn’t quite make it out of the park, so he would have to hustle to give the Mets a shot to win:

  
AN INSIDE THE PARK HOMERUN!  His hit would help the Mets win 1-0 and secure 90 wins en route to the division series. After the game, he would be carried across the Shea Bridge on his biggest fan’sshoulders as he celebrated with Mets fans:

 

Congrats on a great season. I can’t wait for the playoffs. Lets Go Mets! 

 

Wilmer Flores

Now batting for the New York Mets, the second baseman, Wilmer Flores!

The Todd Hundley Cap Incident

In 1996, Todd Hundley had set the major league single season record for homeruns by a catcher. On a somewhat lesser note, he also set the Mets single season record for homeruns. Unfortunately, the Mets still finished 20 games under .500 and in fourth place. 

Nevertheless, my brother, father, and I went to the last game of the season. It seemed like we were the only ones.  We took advantage of it. We started the game in the mezzanine and slowly made our way down. By the end of the game, we were within 10 rows of the Mets dugout. Believe it or not, you used to be allowed to do this. 

Anyway, the game ended with a Mets loss. A fitting end to another lost season. As was the norm, we stayed in our seats. You see my Dad would like to stay in the seats until we were kicked out. He found it easier to leave Shea with two kids when no one was around, and he liked the traffic dissipating while we relaxed. 

While we were sitting there, something incredible happened. The Mets players came out of the dugout and started tossing their gear into the stands. Batting gloves, wrist bands, hats, etc. With a record setting year, anything from Hundley was a prized item. Initially, we struck out. Then, Todd Hundley took the cap off his head, and he threw it in the stands. 

My brother was perfectly situated. He was on a seat. He caught it and brought it to his chest. He was then TACKLED by two men, who started to fight him for the hat. This 14 year old kid held onto the cap until the ushers arrived to break it up. 

They came in, took the hat from my brother, and then brought it to a family seated right by the dugout. I don’t know the denomination, but I saw money exchange hands. I went off, and my brother and I were told to get out of a ballpark that was already closed. 

We told my Dad, who missed everything because he went to the bathroom. I remember him looking for someone’s head. Unfortunately, there was literally no one left in the stadium.  I still think of this from time to time, especially now that I’m a parent bringing a child to a game. It still bothers me because:

  1. How can an adult tackle a child for a cap?
  2. Where was the integrity of that usher and/or the family?
  3. The Mets still owe my brother a hat. 

Today, no one will have this problem because the Mets will need their gear for the playoffs. If something does get thrown out there today, I’m not saying to let the kid have it if it’s within your reach. I’m just saying don’t tackle the kid to get it. I shouldn’t have to say it, but based upon past events, I know that I do.