Should Niese Be on the NLDS Roster?

In an effort to pitch in the playoffs, Jon Niese volunteered to pitch in the bullpen. His first two appearances did not go well, but not all hope is lost. There are still some reasons why the Mets may want him on the NLDS roster, namely:

With those numbers against the Dodgers best hitter, there’s a spot for you on the team. He would most likely get the call when/if Gonzalez is up in a big spot. 

Here’s his head-to-head data against some of the other Dodger players:

Jimmy Rollins 12-54, 3 doubles, 4 walks, 8 strikeouts
Carl Crawford 0-3
Andre Ethier 4-10, 2 strikeouts
A.J.Ellis 2-11, 1 double, two walks, 1 strikeout
Chris Heisey 3-10, 1 homerun, 1 strikeout
Howie Kendrick 1-7, 1 strikeout
Basically, he pitched pretty well against them. If not for 2015 arguably being his worst year and the presence of better options, you could make the argument he could start.

Besides his success against the Dodgers, Steven Matz has been dealing with a balky back. This means the Mets will need to have Bartolo Colon start Game Four or be ready to pitch in Game Four if Marz goes down. This means Niese may need to be ready as the long man in Colon’s stead 

The other reason why he may be out there is the Mets don’t have a true LOOGY. They’re going to need someone to get those lefties out in the NLDS, and I’m not sure they’re going to trust Hansel Robles, even if he has the best numbers against lefties. If you’re going to insist on a lefty against a lefty, you might as well use one who’s had success against the Dodgers. 

With three games left, there’s not much time to get him fully up to speed in the bullpen. At best, he probably can pitch in two more games. No matter what happens in those games, it will be a gamble to put Niese in the bullpen. 

I’ll take that gamble over the gamble of having someone else pitching to Gonzalez in a big spot. 

Should We Be Nervous about Cespedes?

Mets fans let out a collective sigh of relief when we discovered Yoenis Cespedes didn’t suffer a fracture after being hit by a pitch. However, that doesn’t mean he’s alright:

As Keith Law stated the problem is even if Cespedes can play, he may lose his power. That’s problematic because his power is what makes him a special player. Without the power, he’s a guy who has a .319 career OBP that doesn’t have the range to play CF. I hate to say it, but without the power it suddenly becomes a debate as to whether the Mets should start Juan Lagares

I’d still start Cespedes. I’m hopeful that a week will be enough for his fingers to heal. I’m hopeful because Cespedes said he’s ready to play now. I’m hopeful because Terry Collins is doing the right thing and giving Cespedes time to heal. It’s important to keep him healthy because he’s been a terrific playoff performer

The Mets will need him. They will need him at full strength. If he’s not, the Mets are in trouble. Until we know Cespedes is Cespedes, Mets fans should be nervous. 

Trivia Friday

The Mets are officially one week away from Game One of the NLDS. I figured with the core of this team being so young, I was wondering if you could name the Mets players who have prior postseason experience. Good luck!

What Type of October Will it Be?

In 2013, Michael Wacha burst on the scene in the playoffs, and it was declared “Wachtober.”  If the Mets go far in the postseason, here are some suggestions for the new Wachtober:

Matt Harvey – Mattober or Dark Knightober

Jacob deGrom -Jaketober

Noah Syndergaard – Thortober

Steven Matz – Matztober

Bartolo Colon – Bartober

Curtis Granderson – Curtober

Daniel Murphy – Murphtober

David Wright – Wrightober

Michael Conforto – Confortober

Yoenis Cespedes – Yotober
Of course, this is dependent on the Mets making a deep run and one, or more of these guys being a major contributor. I hope I get to use these. 

If you have a suggestion (even to an existing one), please pass it along. If I like it, I will update the list and credit your Twitter handle. 

Mets Did Everything But Win

As we saw last night, the most important thing the Mets needed to do was stay healthy today. Mission accomplished. Everything after that was gravy. 

With that said, Sean Gilmartin did well in his first career start. He stretched himself out for five innings allowing three hits, two earned, one walk, and three strikeouts. He pitched well, and he saved the bullpen. Unfortunately, since the Mets didn’t score, he was tagged with the loss. 

In other important developments from the game, Kirk Nieuwenhuis had a strong game in his attempt to make the postseason roster. He was 3-4 with a double, and he played RF. Unfortunately, he’s left handed going into a series with a heavy lefty Dodgers starting rotation. 

Eric Young, Jr. failed to get a hit in two at bats. That puts him at nine runs scored and no hits with the Mets this season. Eric Campbell also had a tough game. He went 0-4 with two strikeouts. He grounded into a double play to end the game, and he showed limited range at third base. Dario Alvarez allowed a homerun to a switch hitter (batting right). He did get the one left out he faced. On the whole, these three hurt their chances to make the playoff roster today. 

As for the game, the best thing I can say say for it was it went by quickly. It allowed the Mets to get out of town before the rains come. They lost 3-0 in a game that didn’t mean all that much. It’s now time to come home and get ready for the playoffs. 

Wilmer Flores

Now batting for the New York Mets, the shortstop, Wilmer Flores!

Homefield Magic Number is 3

With all due respect to Rafael Santana, the only choice for Homefield Magic Number 3 is Bud Harrelson:

He has been involved in more postseason and World Series games than anyone in Mets history. He was the SS on the 1969 Miracle Mets and the 1973 Mets. He was the third base coach for the 1986 World Series winning team, and the 1988 team.  He was the inaugural member of the Mets Hall of Fame. 

He’s the biggest winner the Mets have ever known. He’s one of the few who had two Mets World Series rings. He was never one to back down. He embodies the spirit these Mets will need in order to win the World Series this year. 

Hopefully, the Mets on this team will win multiple World Series like Harrelson did. 

If Not EY Then Who?

The Mets have already begun the process of putting together the NLDS roster. The Mets are now starting to address Eric Young, Jr.:

Essentially, the Mets would like to add him and what he brings, but they are afraid to put him on the roster.  The reason is right now he is viewed as a nothing more than a pinch runner.  On an NL roster that is limiting with the need to pinch hit for a pitcher and/or double switch to help get multiple innings from a reliever. EY is no longer a good hitter (if he ever was one), but he can play the OF and 2B. 

Before Juan Uribe‘s back injury, I assumed he would be on the roster leaving no room for EY. However, Uribe is hurt, so choices need to be made. 

The first option is Kirk Nieuwenhuis. He doesn’t have EY’s speed, but he can run. He can play all three defensive outfield positions well, which is important with Yoenis Cespedes‘ recent injury. He has some if homeruns, but overall he has not hit well this year. The Dodgers lefty pitchers presents a problem for Nieuwenhuis, who is hitting lefties .000/.100/.000. That’s right. He has no hits against a lefty this year. 

The next option option would be Eric Campbell. Campbell plays each infield position, which could be important with Wilmer Flores‘ recent back troubles. He can also play both corner OF spots, and he can be an emergency catcher. For all the versatility he has around the field defensively, he is very limited offensively. Campbell is hitting .210/.318/.302. There’s no way to spin this even with him hitting the ball hard

So, if the Mets are looking for offense, they could look at Dilson Herrera. He’s still only 21 years old, but he shows a lot of promise at the plate. Unfortunately, his .218/.320/.379 triple slash line makes him a better offensive weapon than EY, Kirk, and Campbell. He hadn’t played much since his call-up, but he did have quite the game in Cincinnati last week going 3-4 with a walk, two runs, two RBIs, and a homerun. 

The problem with Herrera is versatility. He’s only played 2B. If you’re on the bench, you may be needed to play somewhere other than where you’re most comfortable. However, that issue may be assuaged with Daniel Murphy‘s and Kelly Johnson‘s versatility. 

I’m not sure which direction the Mets are going on now. Each choice has problems of its own. I don’t dven know which way I would go right now. What I do know is that this may be the biggest decision the Mets had since getting Cespedes. 

I hope this choice will work out just as well. 

The Only Thing That Matters is Cespedes is Alright

Sure, the Mets are seeking Homefield advantage in the NLDS, but more importantly, they want to enter the postseason healthy. Tonight, the Mets health was seriously called into question with one pitch:

For an eternity (which is how long this game seemed to last), we waited for the result of Yoenis Cespedes‘ x-ray:

Whew!  In the meantime, the Phillies hit two more batters before the Mets bothered to retaliate. After the retaliation, and the benches were warned, Hansel Robles threw one near Cameron Rupp‘s head. Note, I don’t think it was intentional, and Ruf swing at it. However, Robles was tossed and:

There was no fight, but I’m still happy the Mets held him back. The rest of the game was just bad baseball and bad news:

On top of the injuries, a series of relievers, including Jon Niese and Dario Alvarez, showed why they should not be on the postseason roster. It took them five pitchers, including Robles, to get through the sixth. They entered the inning up 5-3 and left it down 6-5. 

The Mets would lose by the score of 7-5.  At least they came out of the game almost intact. Tomorrow’s game is at 12:05. Hopefully, there will be no carry over from Robles’ last pitch. 

Wilmer Flores

Now batting for the New York Mets, the shortstop, Wilmer Flores!