Adam Wilk

For Thanksgiving, What Each Met Should Be Thankful For

On Thanksgiving, it’s time to go around the Mets 2017 roster and name something each player should be thankful for:

Nori AokiHe looked so much better in September than he did in all of 2017 by being competent while playing on a dysfunctional team.

Jerry BlevinsThroughout all the stress of the season and his extreme workload, the man didn’t even put on one pound.

Chasen BradfordWith his call-up to the majors, he’s now on the short list for best beards in Mets history.

Jay BruceHe learned from his experience last year, and he played well for a team that acquired him in a trade.

Asdrubal CabreraAs we found out this season, all he wanted the Mets to do was to pick up his option so he could provide for him family.  With the Mets having done that, he can now rest easy.

Jamie CallahanOne day when bards tell the tale of the six right-handed relievers the Mets acquired at the 2017 deadline, they will regale us all with stories of how Callahan was the first of them to finish out a game the Mets won.

Gavin CecchiniHe made the switch from short to second where it will be easier for him to make it to the majors.  That goes double if the Mets who are tightening payroll off a poor season don’t bring in a free agent to play the position.

Yoenis CespedesWith Cespedes missing half the season, that left a lot of time for him to hit the course.

Michael Conforto – Collins is gone meaning no one is standing in his way from being a superstar anymore.

Travis d’Arnaud – He became the greatest defensive second baseman in Mets history by posting a 1.000 fielding percentage at the position.

Jacob deGromWith him pitching so well this year, he knows he will finally be able to cash in in arbitration thereby allowing him to afford a haircut.

Lucas Duda – The slugger was the first Mets player traded at the deadline, and he temporarily got to avoid the We Follow Lucas Duda filming.

Josh EdginHe could be the only pitcher in the history of the Mets organization who is capable of getting both Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy out.

Phillip EvansAfter winning a batting title in 2016, having a good Spring Training, and a good second half for Vegas, the Mets finally decided to let him post similarly good numbers for them in September.

Jeurys FamiliaBlood clots in his shoulder costing him most of the season made most people forget why he missed the beginning of the season.

Chris FlexenAs we learned with Mike Pelfrey, being a Mets pitcher who struggled in the majors after completely skipping Triple-A will get you career earnings of roughly $47 million.

Wilmer FloresHe fouled a ball off his face, and he lived to tell about it.

Sean GilmartinWith his going from the Mets to the Cardinals, he was able to prove he wasn’t bad.  It was just the Mets as an organization did not employ anyone capable of knowing he was actually injured.

Erik GoeddelNo matter how much he struggled this season, he will never be the most hated person in pro sports with the last name pronounced GO-dell\n
Curtis GrandersonHe had a front row seat to seeing Chase Utley fail in the postseason.

Robert GsellmanHe has so much self confidence he doesn’t care what anyone things of him.

Matt HarveyBetween the Tommy John, TOS, and the Mets rushing him into the rotation with atrophied muscles in his throwing arm knowing he wouldn’t really be ready until a month into the season, he should be thankful for getting out of the season with his right arm still attached.

Ty Kelly He got out of here after one game thereby preventing Nurse Ratched from getting to him and ending his season.

Juan LagaresWith all the injuries and the Mets looking to cut payroll, he is once again the center fielder of the future.

Seth LugoAs we learned in the WBC and regular season, when he’s blonde, he’s Cy Young the first two times through the order.

Steven MatzWith him suffering the same injury deGrom suffered last year, we all know he can come back from this to be the same exact injury prone pitcher he was before the surgery.

Kevin McGowanHe will always have a special place in Mets fans hearts as it was his call-up that forced Ramirez off the roster.

Tommy MiloneHe was able to find a team that was okay with him having an ERA over 8.00.

Rafael Montero For the first time in his life, he wasn’t a complete abomination as a pitcher.

Tomas NidoEven with his struggles at the plate in Binghamton, he can rest easy knowing the Mets don’t expect an OBP over .300 from their catchers.

Brandon NimmoNo one, not matter what, has been able to wipe that smile off of his face.

Tyler PillIn a year of embarrassing pitching performances by Mets pitchers, Pill actually acquitted himself quite well before suffering his season ending injury.

Kevin Plawecki – He’s so well liked by his teammates that someone left him a present in his locker, which apparently has inspired him to hit the ball harder and longer thereby resurrecting his career.

Neil RamirezSomehow, someway, he was not the absolute worst pitcher on a team’s pitching staff.

AJ RamosTo him, getting traded to the Mets meant he was traded to a team that actually spends money in the offseason.

Addison ReedHe was so good this year he was worth not just one but three right-handed relievers.

Jose ReyesThe Mets didn’t cut him or his playing time no matter how horrible he played during the 2017 season.

Matt ReynoldsHe got that long look in September Sandy Alderson promised him.  Unfortunately, that only amounted to him getting 10 games to show what he could do at the MLB level.

Jacob RhameHe’s with an organization that has had success getting flame throwing right-handed pitchers who have slimmed down since getting drafted reach their full potential.

Rene RiveraAfter failing to whisper loud enough to help the Mets pitchers pitch better, he was able to go to the Cubs to help their pitchers lead them to an NLCS berth.

T.J. Rivera – With Warthen and Ramirez gone, he’s not going to have to worry about anyone mishandling his return from Tommy John.

Hansel RoblesIn his mind every ball hit in the air is an inning ending pop up.

Amed RosarioHe didn’t have to have his development hampered by being expected to be the savior when he was called-up to the majors as the Mets were well out of contention on August 1st.

Fernando SalasDespite his rough stint with the Mets, he was able to land with the Angels to end the season thereby proving it was the Mets handling of pitchers and not him that was terrible.

Paul SewaldAs a reward for all of his hard work in Vegas, he got the privilege of being the arm Collins loved to abuse during the season.

Dominic SmithHe finally got his call-up in August in Philadelphia of all places allowing him to celebrate the accomplishment and the win with a cheesesteak from Pat’s.  (NOTE: not a cheapshot at his weight, this actually happened)

Josh SmokerAfter the Mets finally gave up on using a pitcher with a history of shoulder issues as the long man in the pen, he showed the team in September that he could be as a lefty out of the pen to get lefties out.

Noah SyndergaardMr. Met flipped off someone this year other than him.

Travis TaijeronWith the Dodgers just signing him to a minor league deal, he is now all but assured of becoming the next Justin Turner.

Neil Walker – The Mets moved him to the Brewers where he was able to re-establish his free agency value by being productive and by staying healthy, which was coincidentally was when he was away from the Mets medical team.

Adam WilkBecause Harvey was at home one day in his pajamas, he set off on a path where he would become eligible to earn a share of the postseason money awarded to the Twins for claiming the second Wild Card.

Zack WheelerInstead of missing two years due to injury, he missed two months.

David WrightDespite all evidence to the contrary, the Mets still have not given up on him.

Terry CollinsAt the end of the day, he was able to make a friend of Fred Wilpon who had his back no matter what.  We should all be so lucky.

Dan WarthenHe found a new group of pitchers in Texas who have elbows waiting to learn how to throw that Warthen Slider.

Kevin LongAfter departing the Mets, he was able to smuggle the page out of his binders that showed exactly how he turned Daniel Murphy into Babe Ruth.  He can now bring that with him to Washington.

Sandy AldersonCollins was so poor at managing, he was able to convince ownership it was all Collins’ fault and not his for poorly constructing a roster.

Mets FansWell, even if it wasn’t at this post, we all still have a sense of humor, and we can still laugh at what we put up with from this team on a daily basis.

Happy Thanksgiving.

 

Mets Last Chance

The Mets have a number of excuses why they are in the position they are.  Those excuses mostly surround the pitching.  Noah Syndergaard went down in April with a torn lat.  Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom haven’t been the same since returning from their season ending surgeries.  There has been a revolving door at the fifth starter spot that has seen the likes of Rafael Montero, Adam Wilk, Tommy Milone, and Tyler Pill.  This has put stress on the bullpen, and the bullpen broke.

They broke because Jeurys Familia went down for the season.  Hansel Robles couldn’t keep up with the workload and fell apart.  Josh Smoker hasn’t been able to figure it out this year.  Addison Reed is a much better set-up man than a closer.

Through all of this, despite playing a weak schedule, the Mets are seven games under .500.  The Mets are THIS CLOSE to being sellers.

However, there is hope.  Seth Lugo and Steven Matz are coming off the Disabled List.  Last year, Lugo was 5-1 with a 2.68 ERA and a 1.149 WHIP.  He followed that breakout performance with a breakout performance in the World Baseball Classic.

Matz is even better than Lugo.  Before succumbing to the bone spur in his elbow last year, Matz had a stretch from April 17th to June 18th where he was 7-2 with a 1.91 ERA and a 1.047 WHIP.  That was after his rookie season where he was 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA and a 1.234 WHIP.

That combination of Lugo and Matz vastly improves the Mets rotation.  It also bumps a good pitcher like Robert Gsellman into the bullpen.  Lately, Gsellman has figured it out.  In his last four appearances, he’s 2-0 with hold posting a 2.66 ERA and a 1.082 WHIP.  This will give the bullpen a fresh arm.  More than that, it means one of Smoker or Neil Ramirez is going to be gone from the bullpen.

Finally, the Mets will have the pitching to help an offense that has tried to carry this team.  In May, the Mets averaged the second most runs per game (5.7) in the National League.  Things promise to get better with Yoenis Cespedes having played in his first rull rehab game for St. Lucie last night.

With that, the Mets will have as complete a team as they can expect for the reason for the season.  Now, they just have to take advantage of their opportunities.  That starts with the four game series with a Braves team who is a half game up on the Mets for second place in the National League East.  Sweep them, and the Mets will find themselves just three games under .500.

After that, the Mets have a seven game home stand.  First, there are the Chicago Cubs, who are not the same team they were last year.  After that, the Mets have a four game set with the Washington Nationals.

If the Mets take care of business against the Braves and Cubs, that could be a HUGE series for this Mets team.  Sweep the Nationals at home, and all of a sudden the Mets could be just eight games back in the division or better.  That’s still a large deficit to overcome, but it’s not as daunting as the 12 games they are now.

The Mets don’t take advantage of this opportunity?  It’s time to sell.  At that point, the team should look to move everyone to pave the way for Amed Rosario, who frankly should be here now, and Dominic Smith to become the David Wright and Jose Reyes of this generation.

If the Mets don’t want to do that, it’s time to take care of business.  That starts tonight with a huge start for Matt Harvey.  This used to be the exact moment you wanted him on the mound.  It is time for that to happen again. 

How Did Wheeler Become The Mets Ace?

Back when the Mets traded Carlos Beltran for Zack Wheeler, the Mets touted the trade as the team adding another potential ace that would one day serve as one of the cornerstones of a rotation that would bring the Mets their third World Series title.  Unfortunately, with Wheeler missing two years after his Tommy John surgery, it hasn’t happened that way.

In the time he was gone, he almost became expendable.  Matt Harvey was the ace in 2013, and he was well on his way in 2015 to re-claiming that spot.  Jacob deGrom went from 2014 Rookie of the Year to the Game 1 starter of the 2015 NLDS.  Noah Syndergaard brought a repertoire that included a 100 MPH fastball and a mid 90s slider.  Throw in the tantalizing talent of Steven Matz, and the Mets almost moved Wheeler in 2015 as part of the ill-fated Carlos Gomez deal.  With Gomez’s hips, Wheeler remained a Met, but after he missed all of 2016 as well, he was almost an afterthought.

Now, he has gone from damaged goods to the staff ace.  After shaking off some rust in the early part of the season, he really has been a dominant starting pitchers.  Since May, Wheeler has made six starts going 2-1 with a 2.48 ERA, 1.431 WHIP, and a 7.7 K/9 while averaging over six inning per start.  Last night, we watched Wheeler play the part of the stopper with him going seven strong and giving the Mets a chance to snap the Mets out of a funk that saw the team lose five out of its last six games.

Now, many would point to the fact Wheeler is now the staff ace because the rest of the rotation is either injured or has struggled.  Syndergaard is likely gone for the year with a torn lat.  Matz and Seth Lugo have yet to throw a pitch this season.  Harvey and deGrom have not been the same pitchers after last year’s season ending surgeries.  And frankly, anyone is better than Rafael Montero, Adam Wilk, and Tommy MiloneStill, even if everyone was pitching to their best abilities, Wheeler would stand out.

It’s easy to forget, but we did get a taste of this with Wheeler.  In 2014, Wheeler had a stretch from July until September 6th where he made 12 terrific starts.  In those starts, Wheeler was 7-1 with a 2.28 ERA, 1.213 WHIP, and an 8.9 K/9.  During that stretch, Wheeler looked like the ace the Mets thought they were getting when they traded away Beltran.  It was during that stretch where you believed the three starters who would carry the Mets to the World Series were Harvey, deGrom, and Wheeler.

It seems as if Wheeler is recapturing some of what he was back in that terrific 2014 stretch.  If he is, he is certainly becoming the ace the Mets believed he could be.  More than anything, he is the ace the Mets need right now.

Tyler Pill Isn’t The Answer To The Pitching Problems

With Tommy Milone posting a 10.50 ERA in his three starts with the Mets, the team has begun discussing releasing him and having someone else take his spot in the rotation until Steven Matz is ready to return from the Disabled List. Considering at various points this season Milone, Adam Wilk, and Rafael Montero were given starts, it’s fair to say there is a dearth of major league ready prospects in the Mets minor league system.

Well, the name that has been publicly bandied about is Tyler Pill. The reason Pill’s name has been mentioned is he’s had a great start to the 2017 season.

Between Binghamton and Las Vegas, Pill is 4-1 with a 1.60 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP while averaging over six innings per start. That includes Pill no allowing any runs in his two starts for the 51s. If you’re purely scouting the stat lines, Pill should be called up immediately.

There is a reason Pill hasn’t been immediately called to the majors. After all, this is the same pitcher who was 9-10 with a 4.02 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP in 22 starts for Binghamton last year. In five starts for Vegas, he was 1-1 with a 5.60 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP. After that season, he wasn’t even ranked on MMN‘s Top 100.

Nor should he have been. Pill is four pitch pitcher who touches the low 90s. As a result, he has to mostly rely on control to get batters out. With none of his pitches being outstanding, he does not generate a lot of swing and misses. Since his 2013 should surgery to repair a Bennett lesion in his pitching shoulder, Pill has not posted an ERA under 3.97. This naturally begs the question about what’s different about Pill this year.

In a word, luck.

Through his first seven starts, Pill is allowing just a .265 BABIP, including a .255 BABIP in Triple-A. Typically, pitchers don’t have BABIPs under .300, especially those that pitch to as much contact as Pill. In fact, in his minor league career, Pill has allowed a .317 BABIP.

And batters have been putting a lot more balls in play off Pill. So far this year, Pill has just a 4.2 K/9, which would stand as the lowest K/9 in his career. His 2.4 BB/9, while encouraging, only further serves to show there are more balls in play against Pill than there had been in prior years. This creates further concerns there will be a stark regression.

These numbers all factor into his 4.01 FIP for the 2017 season. That’s closer to the pitcher who wasn’t even considered one of the Mets Top 100 prospects than the one who has yet to allow a run for Vegas this year.

Overall, Pill has had terrific numbers to start the 2017 season. However, as you dig deeper, it does not appear Pill is any different than the pitcher who has struggled the past few seasons.  Still, the run he’s on has gotten him promoted to the majors.  Unfortunately, unless he makes some adjustments with Dan Warthen, he is not going to be successful at the major league level.

Travis d’Arnaud Is Better Than Rene Rivera

We saw it again.  When Travis d’Arnaud is healthy, he has the talent to be an All-Star.  However, yet again, he is injured, and his injury has once again created an opportunity for another player.  In the past, Kevin Plawecki wasted those opportunities.  This year, it is Rene Rivera, and he has taken full advantage of the opportunity.

Since d’Arnaud went back on the Disabled List, Rivera is hitting .357/.400/.452 with a double, homer, and 11 RBI.  Right now, Rivera is exactly what the Mets thought they would be getting from a healthy d’Arnaud.  Because of that Terry Collins has basically said d’Ranud is not getting his starting job back when he returns from the Disabled List.  Specifically, Collins said, “When Travis gets back, we’ll have to make some decisions, but obviously Rene Rivera has earned a spot, has earned a job catching, and we’re going to play him as much as possible.”  (Mike Puma, New York Post).

If Collins follows through with that plan, it is going to be problematic.  It is Collins confusing a hot streak at the plate from a veteran to a player transforming themselves.  There are two things that are true here: (1) It is hard to trust in d’Arnaud because of his injury history; and (2) Rivera is playing some of the best baseball in his career.  To say anything different is to read too much into everything.

In fact, this isn’t the first time we have seen this from Rivera.  In July 2016, Rivera hit .323/.400/.581 with two doubles, two homers, and seven RBI.  With that hot streak and another injury prone season from d’Arnaud, Rivera would be the starter the rest of the way.  In the ensuing 34 games, Rivera would hit .216/.278/.295 with one double, two homers, and nine RBI.

We shouldn’t be surprised by this.  Rivera is not a good hitter.  In his career, he is a .219/.269/.338 hitter who has just one season with double digit homers.  He has been slightly better in his one plus season with the Mets hitting .247/.304/.361 with eight homers and 40 RBI in 89 games played.  Even is you were to argue Rivera is a better hitter with the Mets, he is still not a good enough hitter to play everyday.

The obvious argument is Rivera should be starting because he is a strong defensive catcher that gets the most out of his staff.  Unfortunately, the data does not support this notion.

In April, with d’Arnaud catching 16 out of the 24 games, the Mets pitching staff had a 4.53 ERA and were walking 3.5 batters per nine innings and striking out 9.5 batters per nine innings.  In May, the Mets pitching has fallen apart.  In the month, the Mets pitchers have a 6.02 ERA while walking 4.4 batters per nine and striking out just 8.3 batters per nine.

Now, there are a number of reasons why this happened.  First of all, Noah Syndergaard has not thrown a pitch in the Month of May, and his replacement in the rotation was Tommy Milone.  We have also Adam Wilk make a disasterous spot start due to Matt Harvey being suspended.  That’s another thing.  Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Robert Gsellman have all regressed in May.

April May
       ERA     WHIP      BB/9        ERA     WHIP       BB/9
deGrom 2.84 1.17 3.20 4.50 1.50 4.50
Harvey 4.25 1.15 3.00 8.04 2.11 6.90
Gsellman 6.23 1.71 3.70 7.41 1.77 2.60

Now, there is always a real danger in trying to draw too many conclusions from a small sample size even if that is what Collins is doing in naming Rivera a starter right now.  However, there might be one big reason why these pitchers have struggled since d’Arnaud went on the Disabled List.  It could just be because d’Arnaud is a better pitch framer than Rivera.  In fact, between d’Arnaud, Plawecki, and Rivera, Rivera is the worst pitch framer on the roster.

Now, it might be difficult to accept d’Arnaud is better handling this Mets pitching staff than Rivera because that’s not the narrative.  The narrative is Rivera is the defensive specialist.  If you are looking for proof, look no further than his 36% caught stealing rate.  Actually, people rarely do look further than that.  While Rivera has his strong points as a catcher, he is not a great defensive catcher.  His pitch framing holds him back.  If he’s not getting that extra strike for his pitching staff on a per at-bat basis, it is hard to defend playing him everyday with his offensive ineptitude.

Overall, d’Arnaud is the better pitcher for this Mets pitching staff.  His pitch framing skills help turn balls into strikes.  This get his pitchers into advantageous counts.  This shortens at-bats.  It keeps runners off the bases.  Ultimately, pitchers can now go deeper into games.  Also, the pitchers can have leads when they leave the game with the help of d’Arnaud’s bat in the lineup.  Looking at d’Arnaud’s bat and his pitch framing, there should be no doubt he should play everyday.

The Noise Distracts From How Good The Mets Have Been

It started early for the Mets. Steven Matz was injured before Opening Day, and the Mets again wondering what is really wrong with him. Seth Lugo pitched in the World Baseball Classic, partially tore his UCL, and he is going to try to rehab it rather than having Tommy John surgery. Indirectly, this led to Rafael Montero pitching like, well, Montero. It also led to a less than inspiring performance by Adam Wilk.

Noah Syndergaard is gone for an extended period of time with a torn lat. Matt Harvey has been suspended three games for failing to show up at the ballpark. Yoenis Cespedes and Lucas Duda have not played in a few weeks, and there are just rumors that they are soon to return. Travis d’Arnaud is yet again on the disabled list himself, and as usual we are unaware when he can return. Once again, Asdrubal Cabrera has been hobbled in the early part of the season leading everyone to wonder when the Mets finally put him on the disabled list.

Jeurys Familia was suspended for the first few weeks of the season, and he was not sharp immediately upon his return. Addison Reed struggled in his adaption to closer and again in his transition to the eighth inning reliever. Fernando Salas just struggled, and Josh Smoker has probably struggled more than Reed and Salas combined.

Jose Reyes was hitting .095 midway through April. Curtis Granderson entered the month hitting just .128. Neil Walker is under the Mendoza Line against right-handed pitching, and he entered the month of May hitting just .195. Wilmer Flores cannot his right-handed pitching. Juan Lagares can’t hit any pitching.

The end result was the Mets losing six in a row and 10 of 11. Already, people were starting to wonder if this team was similar to the 1992 or the 2009 Mets teams. Despite all of this, the Mets are back at .500 and second place in the National League East. How did it happen?

Well, for starters young and under utilized players have stepped up. Michael Conforto went from the bench to one of the best hitters in baseball. For the second straight season, T.J. Rivera has taken complete advantage of an unexpected opportunity being given to him. Josh Edgin has become a dominant LOOGY in the bullpen. We have even seen Paul Sewald step up pitching terrifically after some initial hiccups.

Then there are the veterans who have had career best seasons so far. Jay Bruce is on base to put up career best numbers in every offensive category. Jerry Blevins has been used almost every game, and he is putting up better numbers than he did last year’s career best season for him. Rene Rivera is hitting over .300. Hansel Robles is 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA in 16 appearances.

More than there, the Mets have exhibited some professional pride. Reyes is hitting .282/.341/.564 with three doubles, a triple, two homers, nine RBI and a stolen base over his last 10 games. Granderson has hit .250/.368/.625 with three doubles, a homer, and four RBI over his last five games. Walker has hit .276/.364/.414 with four doubles and four RBI in the month of May.

In addition, the bullpen has been much better of late. Familia has had five straight scoreless outings. Reed has allowed just two hits with no runs in the month of May. Terry Collins has been more judicious in his use of Salas, and Salas has not allowed any runs in his last five appearances. With Blevins, Edgin, and Robles continuing their outstanding seasons, this has become the dominant bullpen everyone envisioned it would be to start the year.

With the combination of the resurgent veterans and the outstanding young player, the Mets are winning again. In the month of May, the Mets lead the majors in runs scored. They are fifth in the National League in homers. However, unlike last year, the Mets do not need homers to score runs. The Mets .320 team batting average and .517 slugging with runners in scoring position is second best in the majors, and its .419 OBP with runners in scoring position is the best in baseball.

Despite all the noise around the Mets, this team is playing its best baseball of the season. Once their pitching gets relatively healthy, and their current pitchers pitch close to their true talent levels, this team will once again be one of the best teams in all of baseball. Until then, this current group of Mets will make sure the Washington Nationals will be within shouting distance allowing the Mets to compete for the division.

 

Sandy Alderson Miscalculated

Yet again, the Mets have had to turn to Rafael Montero to make a start because there weren’t better options for the Mets.  There weren’t better options because Sandy Alderson believed the Mets had enough starting pitching to never need to sign a veteran signing pitcher.  As we have seen, this was a miscalculation.

Lost in the excitement of the Mets having seven starting pitchers was the fact that pitchers break down.  This pitching staff exemplifies this axiom.  Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, and Steven Matz were coming off season ending surgeries.  For his part, Matz is seemingly never healthy.  Zack Wheeler hadn’t pitched in over two years due to his having Tommy John surgery and the ensuing complications therefrom.  Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo were terrific in September of last year, but it was against some fairly weak competition.  Also, it is likely both were going to be on some form of an innings limit.  Finally, there was Noah Syndergaard, who seemed indestructible.

Now, we could have anticipated Matz doing down, but the other manner in which the Mets have turned to Montero and Adam Wilk has been a surprise.  No one expected Lugo to suffer a torn UCL.  Syndergaard tearing his lat never could have been reasonably anticipated, nor was the Mets needing to suspend Harvey.  Still, given the relative injury histories, it was certainly plausible the Mets would be down three plus pitchers at any point of the season.  It was also plausible because pitchers break.

Despite this, Alderson moved both Logan Verrett and Gabriel Ynoa to the Orioles in separate deals.  Both moves were defensible because the Mets needed space on the 40 man roster to accommodate free agent signings.  Still, those arms needed to be replaced by cheap veterans who could be stashed in Triple-A, or the Mets could have signed a swingman who could have served in long relief and be available to make a spot start.

Now, we know players like Doug Fister and Colby Lewis likely weren’t signing unless they got minor league deals.  Still, there were pitchers like Jon Niese and Dillon Gee available.  Mets fans may not love them, but they are certainly better than Montero.  There was also Scott Feldman who has served in both relief and long man roles, and he signed with the Reds for just $2.3 million.  There are several other names like Jake Peavy who at least has the veteran guile to gut through five innings.  Instead, the Mets stuck with Sean Gilmartin, who they won’t even trust to make a start, and they signed Wilk who is not a viable major league pitcher.

And now, the once vaunted Mets starting pitching is a mess, and it is up to Alderson to fix it.  This is the same Alderson who has been very cavalier in moving pitching the past few seasons to help fix the weaknesses in teams he has built.  So far, his answer has been Milone who has a 6.43 ERA in six starts this season.  That’s hardly an answer.

Likely, Alderson’s real answer is to hope for some health with presumably both Matz and Lugo will be ready by the end of the month.  Maybe this time the health plan with work.

No One Showed Up Today

There are a million rumors why, but the one thing we do know is Matt Harvey did not make the start today. He was suspended for three games and sent away from Citi Field. Accordingly, someone else would have to make his start. 

That fell on Adam Wilk who was making his first major league start in five years. In 2012, he made five starts pitching to an 8.18 ERA. If you feared home he’d fare against Giancarlo Stanton you should:

Stanton hit the longest HR in Citi Field history at 468 feet. Stanton hit two of the three homers the Marlins would hit off Wilk. Stanton had more homers than the Mets had hits.

While Wilk was giving up six runs (five earned) off eight hits over 3.2 innings, Jose Urena and the rest of the Marlins bullpen allowed just one hit to Rene Rivera. Urena pitched six innings of one hit ball in his first start of the year. 

Overall, Harvey was not the only Met who wasn’t there today. Harvey and the entire Mets offense were nowhere to be seen. Overall, the only Met today who showed up was Paul Sewald

With Wilk not getting out of the fourth, and the Mets not getting much length from their starters, someone had to step up. Sewald did that in a big way. He pitched 3.1 innings allowing just one run on four hits while walking none and striking out six. It was an outstanding performance overshadowed by some pretty lousy ones. 

For the second straight week, the Mets got pounded on a Sunday leaving a sour taste in your mouth after what had been an impressive series win. 

Game Notes: Putting Harvey on the restricted list created the space in the 40 man roster to call up Wilk. The Mets claimed Tommy Milone off waivers. He was 1-0 with a 6.43 ERA and a 1.476 WHIP in six starts.