Wilmer Flores

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

Cleaning Up the Roster to Make a Room for the Bull

Yesterday, the Mets acquired Addison ReedErik Goeddel is on the 60 day DL, and he’s in the middle of his rehab assignment. Finally, the Mets need to make room for Eric Young, Jr.  At a minimum, this means the Mets need to make three moves on the 40 man roster, and two of these changes must be made before September 1st. 

Previously, I wrote a fairly lengthy piece on the issue. I won’t regurgitate the analysis here. You can click the link and read it. Instead, I’ll list the players who may see themselves removed from the 40 man roster in the order of what I think is most likely:

  1. Johnny Monell
  2. Darrell Ceciliani
  3. Wilfredo Tovar
  4. Danny Muno

If I’m correct, three of these players will be gone. Now, there is the possibility, the Mets can designate Eric O’Flaherty for assignment, thereby clearing room for Reed on the 25 and 40 man rosters. O’Flaherty has been bad with the Mets, but he’s been put in tough spots by Terry Collins. 

Keep in mind that O’Flaherty is the only true LOOGY the Mets have right now. He’s only supposed to pitch to lefties. He hasn’t been treated that way by Collins. For his career, lefties hit .208/.271/.270. This season those numbers are .258/.333/.290. He’s been worse this year, but there is still evidence in the numbers that the Mets should stick with him. 

There are 33 games left in the season. With the expanded rosters, O’Flaherty should never see a righty except when there’s one beside him warming up in the bullpen.  If you can’t get O’Flaherty right in the final 33 games, you can leave him off the postseason roster. Once you DFA him, he’s forever gone. He’s no longer an asset. You can’t work with him to improve.  It’s better to keep him now rather than move him two days before you could’ve kept him with expanded rosters. 

The better choice is Logan Verrett. The Mets seemingly wanted to see if he could be a seventh inning option, but that plan went away with a spot start. Sure Verrett made two appearances since; one good, one terrible. With Steven Matz being a good bet to join the rotation soon, and the trade for Addison Reed, there appears to be no room for Verrett on the 25 man roster for the time being. 

The other realistic option with options left is Hansel Robles. He has trouble with the strike zone at times. However, he’s got good peripheral stats, and he’s shown he can give some length. Accordingly, I’d send down Verrett. He would then be available 10 days later or September 9th. This is enough time for another start or a few relief appearances. 

As for Goeddel and EY, I wouldn’t take any actions on the 25 man roster to accommodate them. Rather, I would wait the two days and call them up when rosters expand on September 1st. 

Therefore, while there are three 40 man decisions to be made, the Mets really only need to make one move with the 25 man roster. Here’s hoping they keep O’Flaherty Nd get him right for the playoffs. 

Looking Through the Reeds for a Reliever

After today’s game, the Mets completed a trade for Addison Reed, while not being able to acquire Marc Rzepczynski. While I’m disappointed in my getting Rzepczynski, I’m glad I’m not going to have a repeat of Doug Mientkiewicz, i.e. mastering how to spell his name right before he’s gone. 

I like the addition of Reed. For his career, he has an FIP of 3.45, which suggests he’s a good pitcher. His K/9 is 9.3, which is pretty good. He’s got experience closing games with the White Sox and Diamondbacks the past three seasons. Therefore, he’s used to high leverage situations. 

This year, his ERA is 4.20, which is in line with his career numbers. However, his FIP is 3.12, which suggests he’s been a very good reliever this year. However, his results don’t match the advanced statistics. One possible reason is he’s had a career worst K/9 of 7.5. This means there are more balls in play, and when there are more balls in play, there are more chances for bad things to happen. 

Sure enough, his BABIP is .344. This is well above the league average.  It’s also above his career average of .306. Translation: he’s been unlucky. This means behind a better team, his numbers may improve. The Mets are a better team . . . especially with him on the roster. He’s a great choice for the seventh inning. I expect his numbers will start to come more in line with what his FIP suggests. 

In exchange, the Mets gave up Matt Koch and Miller Diaz. I know nothing about them, which usually indicates they aren’t really prospect. However, the Reed surname caused me to take a step back and realize that’s not a good way of looking at things. You see the Mets once traded Jason Bay and the other Bobby Jones as part of a package for Jason Middlebrook and Steve REED. Note to Mets fans, this was trading Bay before he became a Rookie of the Year and three time All Star. This wasn’t trading the Bay that Mets fans came to know. 
Chances are this Reed trade is much better. First of all, Addison is under team control for two more seasons. Second, the prospect package seems much weaker. For this, I will rely upon Jeffrey Paternostro, who tweeted his analysis of them:

What I can glean from this is that if everything breaks right, either one of these guys can become a reliever the caliber of Reed. If it doesn’t break right, they won’t become major leaguers. This is more the Uribe/Johnson trade than the Cespedes trade

That means this is a very good trade with little downside, even if Reed doesn’t perform. This is a great move by Sandy Alderson. Let’s hope Reed takes over the seventh and sites up the seventh. If he doesn’t, the Mets bullpen is still is in as much trouble as it was in the Reed/Middlebrooks days. 

What My Blog is Missing

i was looking over my blog the other day. I think it’s a good idea for anyone who writes to do that. You learn what you like, what you don’t like, and any crutches or patterns you have. If you’re being honest, whenever you read something you wrote, you want to edit and/or rewrite everything. 

On thing I’ve noticed is this blog has been a little more Mets-centric than I anticipated. I suppose it’s only natural. Baseball is pretty much a daily sport, and it takes a lot of time and energy – blog or no blog.  With that said, when re-reading my blog, I really wish there were some more pieces on my son. 

I want this blog to be a snapshot in time. I want to go back and be able to see my thoughts at a particular time. I want my son to see it as well. What I lament most thus far is I haven’t really spoken about how proud and amazed I am. Each and every day, he does something that amazes me. 

I guess it’s easy to be complacent with my amazement of him.  He’s advanced. In daycare, he was promoted to the toddler room ahead of older children. He’s the only one in his class that knows all of his colors, all of the animal sounds, can speak in sentences, and can count to three. The teachers and other kids love him.  

Also, he’s adorable. That’s mostly because he looks like his mother, but with my eye color . . . hey there was a reason a mook(ie) like me could actually marry a beautiful woman. Not a day goes by that I’m not stopped by someone telling me how cute he is. That’s not hyperbole. I really get stopped at least once a day. At today’s Mets game, it happened several times. 

I assume most people, other than my wife and other family members have stopped reading by now. That’s fine. This piece is reall for my son when he’s much older. If you’re reading this buddy, I am so proud of you and love you very much. I may not say it enough, but that’s because if I said it as often as it needed to be said, I wouldn’t be able tosay anything else. 

Anyway, back to talking about the Mets and how much fun it is raising a Mets fan.  Before I get back, I’m proud of you, and I love you buddy. 

Where’s My Bobblehead?

When I saw today’s game on the promotional schedule, I knew that I was going to this game. A 1986 Jesse Orosco Bobblehead giveaway on a game against the Red Sox?  Amazin’.  

The fact that it’s only available to 15,000 fans? It may me think – same old cheap Wilpons. Teams like the Brewers order enough Bobbleheads for everyone with some left over for donations and the like. The average cost of a Bobblehead to a team is $3. Therefore, the cost to the Mets is $45,000. Citi Field has a capacity of 41,800. It would cost the Mets $125,40 to order enough Bobbleheads for everyone. 

Bobbleheads can increase tickets sales by 6,000 tickets. The tickets for today’s game ranges from $41.00 for standing room only to $410.00. Let’s assume all 6,000 people purchase a standing room only ticket. That means the Mets generated an additional $246,000 in revenue. That doesn’t include the price of parking and food. I know teams have their budgets, but as you can see, Verizon sponsorship aside, the Bobbleheads pay for themselves. 

I’ve never missed out on a promotion. I’ve always been there for batting practice. I like going early because I can settle in. I hate going early on Bobblehead days because people get there early too and they become unnecessarily aggressive. That’s not fun when you have small children. Speaking of small children, is it good business to limit a promotion creating a chance a small child doesn’t get one? 

I’m not taking that risk. I’m getting there early because I get to games early. I’m getting there earlier due to the Bobblehead. I’m getting there even earlier because of Arthur Ashe Kid’s Day. My son loves his Lucas Duda Growth Chart, and I hope he’ll love his new Bobblehead. 

Mostly, I hope we’ll have fun today. As I’m going to be at the game, my game recap today will be quite late. It’s worth it because I’m going to a Mets game with my son. It doesn’t get better than that . . . Bobblehead or no Bobblehead. 

Wilmer Flores

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

Mets Finally Burned by Collins

If you keep playing with fire, you’re eventually going to get burned. Terry Collins’ poor managing has been masked by a seven game winning streak that came off the two worst teams in baseball. The fifth worst team in baseball would capitalize on Collins’ mistakes. 

Tonight, the Mets got a dominant start from Matt Harvey. He only allowed two hits over six innings with eight strikeouts. Lucky for the Mets, the extra rest didn’t have a negative impact on Harvey. I don’t know if it was the rest or the last place Red Sox lineup. Either way, Harvey was Harvey. 

Unfortunately for the Mets Terry Collins was Terry Collins. He put Juan Lagares and his .290 OBP in the leadoff spot. He was followed by Curtis Granderson and his .220 OBP against LHP. They combine to go 0-8 with two walks. The Mets would only score two runs against Henry Owens and his 4.50 ERA. 

Then he brought in Logan Verrett to pitch in a second straight game. He’s never done that before, so Collins decided it was best to do it with a two game lead. However, yesterday with Verrett fully stretched out, he wouldn’t let Verrett go multiple innings. I don’t get it. 

Verrett would give the lead away. His stuff looked flat, and the Red Sox teed off of him to the tune of three runs. The first run was a homer juiced by David Ortiz. The next two runs came off a homer by Jackie Bradley, Jr.

The Mets would rally off the Red Sox bullpen. It’s what they have been doing. They’ve been feasting off bad pitching to beat bad teams. The Mets loaded the bases and tied the score at three a piece on a two out bases loaded walk to Travis d’Arnaud. Rather than pinch hit Daniel Murphy, Collins let human rally killer Ruben Tejada bat. Unsurprisingly, the man who is hitting .227 in August popped out to end the rally.

The Mets two big guns out of the bullpen, Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia shut the door in the eighth and ninth. They kept the game tied. It didn’t matter. Because of the mismanaged tired bullpen, Carlos Torres had to come in. 

He gave up a home run to the first batter he saw, Blake Swihart hit an inside the park homerun. Or did he?  On a ball Lagares makes a play on last year, he went to play it off the wall. After it came off the wall, he never went to play it. Tejada and Granderson would go after it. Yoenis Cespedes never flinched in LF. By the time Tejada reached the ball, it was obvious Swihart was going to score. 

Initially, I was irate with Lagares. How could he not go after it?  Replays showed the ball went over the orange line in CF. It was going to be a HR anyway. The exhausted Torres, who pitched 2.1 innings last night, was letting up line drives left and right. I can’t blame him he was set up to fail. He was finally lifted with two outs in the tenth with the score 6-3. At least Eric O’Flaherty got a lefty out to end the inning.   

The Mets rallied in the tenth. Tejada singled. Michael Conforto had a good AB and a well earned walk. Juan Uribe pinch hit for Lagares, and he walked to load the bases. Granderson walked giving the Mets their second run vis bases loaded walk on the night. Cespedes fm gave one a ride, but his flyball fell short. With that, the Mets luck finally ran out. 

In other news, of course the fans gave David Wright a nice standing ovation. He went 2-4 with a run scored. I also noticed he has begun throwing the ball more side armed. I wonder if that has anything to do with the back injury. 

Also, the Mets first two runs were with questionable calls by Tim Teufel’s at third base. The first time was Wilmer Flores [standing ovation] going through s stop sign. The second time was off of a fifth inning Michael Cuddyer single and a misplay by Rusney Castillo allowing Wright to score from first. Teufel sent Wright when most thought the stop sign should’ve been applied. To be honest, I haven’t noticed Teufel much at third this year, which usually means he’s been doing a good job. 

The Mets missed an opportunity to go 7.5 games up on the Nationals. Overall, they missed a lot of opportunities tonight. It’s not the end of the world, but the Mets need to fix the bullpen and Collins in-game management. It’s going to burn them worse than it did tonight, whether it’s in September or October. 

Hopefully, tomorrow will be the start of another long winning streak. 

Welcome Home David

Tonight is David Wright‘s first game back since he was injured on April 14th, only eight games into the season. 

Lucky, I don’t need to use this blog to tell the fans they need to give Wright a standing ovation. It’s coming anyway. They’ll give him the standing ovation. Wright will be forced to give a wave or hat tip to acknowledge the fans. We see it all the time, but that doesn’t change the genuineness of the exchange of emotion. 

Anyway, it feels “Wright” having him back and having him be a major contributor to the team. Keep in mind, the Mets need him to contribute. When Wright was gone, the Mets defensive option was Juan Uribe, who has hit .181/.261/.410 since joining the Mets. The other option is Daniel Murphy, which forces either Kelly Johnson (.260/.308/.437) or Wilmer Flores (.264/.294/.414) to play second base. 

Needless to say, the Mets need Wright. They need him to contribute. Based upon the other   options, the bar is not high. Regardless, it’s great having Wright in a pennant race again. In 2006, it seemed like his birthright. Now, with the losing and spinal stenosis, it seems like redemption. 

Harvey or deGrom?

Whenever Matt Harvey starts a home game, the Mets advertise it as “Happy Harvey Day.”  Jacob deGrom doesn’t receive the same type of advertising. I wonder why. I also wonder who Mets fans prefer. 

I thought the best way to look at it was by attendance figures. My experience as a fan is more people come to the ballpark when the ace is on the mound. Luckily, the Mets have two. I used the attendance figures from MLB.com. 

Harvey has had 13 total home starts. In these home starts, the Mets average attendance is 33,109. He has had eight weekend starts (Friday – Sunday). In this eight games, the Mets have averaged 36,627. In his five weekend starts, the Mets average 27,485. 

deGrom has had 12 total home starts. In these home starts, the Mets average attendance is 32,867. He has had only five weekend starts, and in those starts the average attendance is 37,775. In the seven weekday starts, the average attendance is 26,344. 

Honestly, these numbers don’t tell us anything. More fans come out for deGrom on the weekend, but Harvey does better on the weekdays. While Harvey gets the help from “Happy Harvey Day”, deGrom does get some help with things like his own t-shirt

Overall, Mets fans love them fairly equally. I know I do. I love being able to root for them with my son as the Mets are on the upswing, and hopefully, on their way towards the World Series. 

Mets Need a New Manager

In 2008, the Milwaukee Brewers went all-in. They traded their best prospects for CC Sabathia. They rode him hard down the stretch. They were doing everything to make the playoffs. They even fired their manager with 12 games left in the season. It might’ve been reactionary to a late losing streak. It might’ve been a response to their current manager being over his head. 

Before continuing, I feel it’s important to note that Terry Collins is a good man. I also need to note, Collins should be commended for holding this team together when the season was seemingly falling apart. However, this is a different roster. There are different stakes. 

The first issue is the lineup construction. Here’s last night’s lineup with their OBPs for this year and their career: 

  1. Curtis Granderson .352/.340
  2. Yoenis Cespedes .328/.318
  3. Daniel Murphy .332/.333
  4. David Wright .377/.377
  5. Kelly Johnson .303/.330
  6. Travis d’Arnaud .348/.310
  7. Michael Conforto .360
  8. Ruben Tejada .331/.328
  9. Pitcher’s Spot

Note, I gave Johnson’s numbers against RHP because he’s being used as a platoon player. Due to the small sample size, I gave Conforto’s total OBP even though he’s a platoon player. 

This lineup doesn’t make sense. You want higher OBP hitters ahead of the big bats. That’s why Cespedes should hit cleanup with Wright batting second. Wouldn’t you rather have Wright on base for one of Cespedes’ “Feats of Strength“?  The answer is yes. It makes sense. Look at it this way: if Wright is going to single or double and Cespedes is going to hit a homerun, in which order would you like that to happen?

Now, I’ve heard the argument that the Mets have won seven in a row scoring a lot of runs; why change anything?  My first response is that’s not a good reason. Just because the Mets scored a lot of runs doesn’t mean you couldn’t have scored more runs with a better lineup. My next response is you beat the two worst teams in the NL in their bandbox ballparks. They’re one and two in most runs allowed in the NL. OF COURSE YOU’RE GOING TO SCORE RUNS!

My other problem with Collins is the in-game strategy. He’s had some problems this season, but last night was a new low. It’s like he didn’t know you could double switch. When Logan Verrett could’ve given multiple innings with a short bullpen and no Tyler Clippard, Collins didn’t double switch him into the game. As a result, Verrett went one inning and was pinch hit for as we was due up second. This led to some more odd decisions. 

With Sean Gilmartin due up third in the tenth, and Collins wanting multiple innings from him, he let Gilmartin bat even though he still had Wilmer Flores [standing ovation], Juan Uribe, and Anthony Recker on the bench. By the way, they never entered a game in which two relievers got an AB. 

Then in the same inning it was so important to have Gilmartin in, Collins brought in Carlos Torres. I can’t imagine any situation in which it was alright for Gilmartin to bat and that includes his .400 batting average. The Mets won despite Collins’ terrible managing. Could you imagine if that happened in October against a much better team?  The Mets probably won’t be as lucky as they were last night. 

Look, Collins has done a nice job here. He was handed a thankless job, and he did a good job. In most seasons, the Mets outperformed their expectations. A few times, they were competitive to the point where we actually considered that they may make a deadline trade. Now, they have a real roster, and they may need a better manager. 

The problem is who becomes the next manager. No, it’s not Wally Backman. You don’t turn to someone with no major league managerial experience now. I think the answer is Bob Geren. He has prior managerial experience, and he’s the bench coach. It would be a smoother transition. 

Now, I understand if people want to keep Collins. As I’ve said, he has some positive attributes. However, if your reason is you want to keep the status quo because things are working now, I can’t agree with you. You make decisions to try to win the World Series, not seven games against bad baseball teams. 

Seriously, when people are now advocating for Collins to be named the Manager of the Year, we should really be talking about if a change is necessary. When Collins can’t double switch and lets his relievers bat with good options in the bench, the time for a switch may have arrived.