Alex Torres

Thank You Sean Gilmartin

When you have a magical season like the Mets had in 2015, there are a number of players that step forward to have remarkable seasons.  For the Mets, one of those seasons came from the unlikeliest of sources in Sean Gilmartin.

With the return of Matt Harvey and the signing of Michael Cuddyer, the Mets were letting the baseball world know 2015 was going to be their season.  There was just one small problem.  They never could quite get the LOOGY they needed.  Jerry Blevins was supposed to have that role, but he broke his pitching arm.  Josh Edgin and Jack Leathersich would join him on the disabled list.  The team traded for Alex Torres, but he was a disaster.  That meant the only real lefty they had in the bullpen was Rule 5 pick Gilmartin.

Except, Gilmartin wasn’t a LOOGY.  In essence, Gilmartin was a pitcher.  In fact, prior to joining the Mets, Gilmarting had spent the entirety of his minor league career with the Braves as a starting pitcher.  As a starter, Gilmartin had neutral to almost reverse splits.  To that end, he wasn’t the guy you wanted as the LOOGY.  Still, Gilmartin knew how to pitch, and when he was given the opportunity, he showed that to the Mets.

It took about a month and a half, but Terry Collins finally figured out Gilmartin’s role.  Gilamartin becaume the long man out of the pen.  It may not be the most glamorous of bullpen jobs, but it is of vital importance.  You need a pitcher who can go out there and keep his team in the game.  If there is an injury or a starter that just doesn’t have it, you need the long man to give the team an opportunity to make the comeback.  In extra innings, you need the guy who can go out there and reliably soak up two or even three innings and put up zeros.  Mostly, you need someone reliable who can save the bullpen.

Gilmartin was exception in that role.  During the 2015 season, Gilmartin made 18 multiple inning relief appearances accounting for 37% of his relief appearances.  Beginning on May 20th, which was really when he was made the long man, Gilmartin made 16 multiple inning relief appearances over his final 33 relief appearances of the season.  Essentially, half the time Gilmartin was used for multiple innings about half the time thereby saving the bullpen.  Namely, Gilmartin was saving Jeurys Familia, who Collins used over and over again because he was just about the only guy Collins trusted out there.

In Gilmartin’s multiple inning appearances, he was dominant.  When he pitched multiple innings, he pitched 32.2 innings going 3-1 with a 1.38 ERA, and a 0.704 WHIP.  Perhaps the key to this was the fact Gilmartin grew stronger as he pitched.  He did his best work between pitches 26 – 50 limiting batters to a .161/.235/.194 batting line.

As for a highlight, pick one. There was his first career win.  The Mets found themselves in a rare slugfest after Dillon Gee was bounced after 3.2 innings having allowed eight earned.  Torres wasn’t much better.  Gilmartin was the first pitcher to enter that game to put up multiple scoreless innings.  He stabilized the game, and he put the Mets in position to win.

There was the July 19th 18 inning game against the St. Louis Cardinals.  At that time, the Mets were so inept offensively, you could load the bases with no outs and start the batter with a 3-0 count, and the Mets still couldn’t score a run.  Gilmartin came on in the 14th inning, and he pitched three scoreless to give the Mets a chance to win that game, which they eventually did with two runs in the 18th.

On August 24th, Gilmartin was overshadowed every which was possible.  The Mets were off and running afte rthe team obtained Yoenis Cespedes.  It was David Wright‘s first game since he came off the Disabled List, and he homered in his first at-bat back with the team.  Lost in the shuffle was this was the rare poor start for Jacob deGrom with him being unable to get out of the fourth.  Gilmartin came on and pitched 3.1 scoreless to give the Mets a chance to come back from an early 7-2 deficit.

More than that, Gilmartin got his first career hit and run scored.  His sixth inning single got yet another rally started.  He scored on a Daniel Murphy three run homer, the Mets lead had actually expanded to 12-7.

Ultimately, it was Gilmartin’s August 24th relief appearance that was the essence of what it means to be a long man in the pen.  He not only went out there and saved the bullpen by tossing 3.1 innings, but he also gave his team a chance to win.  It was a tremendous effort that was overlooked because Wright played in his first game in four months, and the Mets overcame a five run deficit to blow out the Phillies.

Initially, Gilmartin was left off the postseason roster, but after Erik Goeddel‘s struggles in the NLDS, the Mets did the right thing and put Gilmartin back on the roster.  He’d make just one appearance pitching 0.2 scoreless in Game Two of the World Series.  Part of the shame of that World Series was there were multiple occasions to bring on Gilmartin.  Instead his role had gone to Bartolo Colon, who just wasn’t as effective in the role as Gilmartin.

After the 2015 season, the Mets wanted to use Gilmartin as a starter.  With a loaded major league rotation, that meant Gilmartin started the year in Vegas.  He was doing well there until the Mets started messing with him.  With the bullpen not having the effective long man that Gilmartin was in 2015, this meant the team had to call him up to the majors on multiple occasions.  This meant Gilmartin would have to fly cross-country, and the Mets would insert him into games despite his not having had full rest.  He’d develop a shoulder injury.  It may not have been enough to need surgery, but Gilmartin was never the same.

Instead of putting Gilmartin in a position to succeed, the Mets messed around with him until the point they felt his was expendable.  For some reason, with this Mets team again needing a Gilmartin in the bullpen, they refused to give him a chance instead going with Josh Smoker and Neil Ramirez and their pair of ERAs over 7.00.

Gilmartin deserved better than this.  He was a good pitcher who had a significant impact on a pennant winning team.  It disappointing the Mets never again put him in a position to succeed.  With that said, getting designated for assignment by the Mets was probably the best thing for his career.  He will once again have an opportunity to be a good major league pitcher.

While the Mets have overlooked his importance, and fans have become frustrated with him, there are those that never forgot what he once meant to this team.  Personally, I will always be grateful for his 2015 season, and I hope him nothing but success.  He’s still a good pitcher, and he should soon remind everyone of that.

Thank  you and good luck Sean Gilmartin.

 

Mets Need Bryce Harper

Of course, the Mets could use Bryce Harper.  Any team could as Harper is one of the best players in the game.  With that said, the Mets could use Harper because he is a player willing to do this:

Naturally, if you are a Nationals player or fan, you are left a little frustrated by this offseason.  It seems like every player went to another team.

This offseason alone free agents like Yoenis Cespedes, Kenley Jansen, .  On top of that, they were unable to secured trades for Chris Sale, Andrew McCutchen, and Charlie Blackmon leading to them sending a big haul of prospects to the White Sox for Adam Eaton.  By the way, in that deal, the Nationals were not able to get the White Sox to include David Robertson.

What makes this all the more frustrating is this comes of a similar experience for the Nationals last season, which was capped off with Brandon Phillips refusing to waive his no trade clause.

Even with the Eaton acquisition, the Nationals still have two holes due to both Mark Melancon and Wilson Ramos departing in free agency.  This has led to the Nationals pursuit of both Matt Wieters, even with the Derek Norris trade, and Greg Holland.  Arguably, both players could fill the voids in the Nationals roster.

However, the team is stuck in a standstill for budgetary reasons, and they are armed with excuses.  This has led to their best player calling them out publicly.

The Nationals situation is not too different from the Mets situation.  This Mets team has failed to completely address the holes on their roster.  Even more aggravating is the Mets once again citing budgetary reasons as their excuse for not going out and signing even a mid-tier relief pitcher like Brad Ziegler.  Instead, the Mets were content to let him go to a a team in their division.

This pattern of (spending) behavior by the Mets has been maddening since Sandy Alderson took over as General Manager after the conclusion of the 2010 season.  Now, this isn’t Alderson’s fault per se.  It is more on the Wilpons and how they have chosen to spend their money, and their lies about restrictions on payroll.  Sometimes, you want a player to speak out and scream they don’t want another season with an Eric Campbell on the bench or the team having to trade for bad relievers like Alex Torres on the eve of Opening Day because you didn’t have the money to spend on quality arms.

With the Mets not adding arms this offseason, you want someone to scream.

Now, admittedly, Harper can be a bit much.  We saw that with his asking where his ring was when the Nationals signed Max Scherzer.  Even with that said, wouldn’t it be better for the Mets to have a player that would keep them accountable?  Wouldn’t it be better if the Mets felt like they needed to aggressively attack the window in the offseason rather than trading away minor league arms with upside for Kelly Johnson when the Mets easily could have signed him in the offseason?

For me, the answer is yes especially when you consider how close Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard are to being split up due to their respective free agencies on the horizon.

Mets Don’t Need To Sign Left-Handed Reliever

In 2015, the Mets not only won the National League East, but they went all the way to the World Series.  During that wonderfully unexpected run, the team left a bevvy of left-handed relievers in their wake.  Time and again, the team tried to solve their presumed issues with not having a left-handed reliever to no avail.  Here is a look at all the left-handed relievers they went through that season:

  • Josh Edgin – needed Tommy John surgery before the season began
  • Jerry Blevins – appeared in seven games before suffering a broken arm
  • Alex Torres – pitched to a 1.515 WHIP and was released on August 4th
  • Sean Gilmartin – used as a long man in the bullpen due in part to his reverse splits
  • Jack Leathersich – shuttled back and forth between New York and Las Vegas before his season ended due to him needing Tommy John surgery
  • Dario Alvarez – appeared in six games before suffering a groin injury that cost him the rest of the season
  • Eric O’Flaherty – 13.50 ERA and left off the postseason roster

The lack of the left-handed pitcher did not prevent this team from making it to the postseason or to going to the World Series.  The main reason is that team’s right-handed relievers could pitch to left-handed batters.  In fact, the batting lines suggests the right-handed relievers performed just as well as a LOOGY would:

The moral of the story is that you do not need a left-handed pitcher to get out left-handed batters.  Rather, you need pitchers who are effective at pitching against left-handed batters to get them out.

There are some caveats.  First, the Mets did go with Jon Niese as the left-hander in the bullpen during the 2015 postseason, and he did get some big outs including a key strike out of Anthony Rizzo in the NLCS.  Second, Blevins was an extremely important part of the 2016 bullpen.  Without Blevins in the bullpen, it is quite possible the Mets do not get one of the two Wild Card spots.  This creates a problem as Blevins is now a free agent – a free agent that is about to cash in on a terrific year.

So far, we have seen arguably less talented left-handed relievers get big contracts.  Brett Cecil received a four year $30.5 million contract from the Cardinals.  Marc Rzepczynski received a two year $11 million contract from the Mariners.  Mike Dunn received a three year $19 million from the Colorado Rockies.   According to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, Blevins was already seeking a three year deal worth $5-$6 million per season.  Based upon the contracts already handed out, it is easy to assume Blevins will get the deal he is seeking.

However, it should be noted that deal is likely not coming from the Mets.  As already noted, Sandy Alderson does not want to give out multi-year deals to relievers.  Furthermore, it does not not appear the Mets are interested in investing $6 million a year on a left-handed reliever.  With that being the case, the Mets best chance might be to revert to the 2015 model thrust upon them.

From that team, Familia, Reed, and Robles still remain, and they are still effective as ever in getting left-handed batters out.  Here were their stats from the 2016 season:

  • Familia .239/.315/.313
  • Reed .210/.264/.269
  • Robles .179/.287/.299

There is also some promise with Edgin.  Despite him not fully regaining his velocity after his Tommy John surgery, he still showed the ability to get left-handed batters out in a very small sample size.  In 2016, he faced 20 left-handed batters, and he limited them to a .235/.300/.235 batting line.

Between, Familia, Reed, Robles, and Edgin, the 2017 Mets may already have sufficient bullpen depth to get left-handed batters out.  Moreover, with the Mets resportedly wanting to cut payroll from where it currently stands, the team may be forced to stick in-house and instead seek a seventh inning reliever.

That is certainly a justifiable route because the bullpen as constructed already has enough depth to get left-handed batters out.  As such, the team does not need to add a left-hander for the sake of adding a left-hander.

Good Luck Dario Alvarez

Dario Alvarez we hardly knew ye. Due to necessary roster machinations due a number of Mets injuries, including but not limited to Lucas Duda‘s stress fracture, Alvarez was put on waivers to make room for Ty Kelly. On Wednesday, Alvarez was claimed by the Braves

Alvarez’s line highlight was in his first game last year. On September 7th, the Mets were four games up in the division with a three game set in Washington. The Mets and Nationals were tied 5-5 in the sixth inning, and soon to be named MVP Bryce Harper stepped to the plate. Terry Collins summoned Alvarez. Alvarez battled back from a 3-0 count to strike out Harper. When the Mets scored three in the top of the seventh, Alvarez would earn his first career win. 

After the Mets had gone through Jerry Blevins (injury), Josh Edgin (injury), Jack Leathersich (Wally Backmaned), Alex Torres (terrible), and Eric O’Flaherty (words cannot describe how bad he was), it seemed like the Mets finally found their LOOGY. It turns out they didn’t. Alvarez hurt his groin soon thereafter. He tried to come back, but he wasn’t effective. The Mets went to Jon Niese for the postseason. 

Coming into this season, Alvarez wasn’t given much of a chance to make the team. Blevins was brought back on a one year, and Antonio Bastardo was signed to a two year deal. With Edgin’s impending return from Tommy John surgery, Alvarez was once again buried on the depth chart. Unfortunately, exposing him to waivers made sense. That still doesn’t mean the Mets won’t miss him. He was further buried last year, and he still made an impact. 

It’s impressive Alvarez even got that far. He was a failed Phillies prospect who was released in 2009. Four years later, the Mets signed him to a minor league deal, and he reported to Brooklyn. Alvarez quickly worked his way through the the Mets minor league system. He was mostly powered by a very good slider. However, he could never quite break through and make the Mets roster. 

Now, he’s the Braves property, and he’s reported to AAA. Hopefully, he will get his chance soon. He’s earned it. 

The Eric O’Flaherty Era Is Officially Over

Normally, when a player leaves the Mets, I like to take stock of all the good things they did with the Mets. With Eric O’Flaherty it’s near impossible. 

When the Mets acquired him, I thought  he was the missing piece to the Mets bullpen. He was going to be the LOOGY the Mets needed. Instead, O’Flaherty was just terrible. He had a 13.50 ERA and a 2.654 WHIP. Honestly, I’m not even sure he was that good. To put it in perspective, his ERA+ was 29.  TWENTY-NINE!  While I could say that there are no words to describe how poorly he pitched with the Mets, I think saying 29 describes it perfectly. 

To be fair, there was one good thing that came from the O’Flaherty trade. The corresponding move was the Mets designating Alex Torres and all his hats for assignment. For that, Mets fans do owe him a little bit of gratitude. 

Now, he’s off to Pittsburgh on a minor league deal. I’m sure now that he’s completed his post-Tommy John season and his being under the tutelage of Ray Searage, O’Flaherty will return to the effective LOOGY he once was. I’m positive hell revert back to the guy that has a 1.69 career ERA against the Mets. 

In any event, O’Flaherty is a Pittsburgh Pirate ending his reign with the New York Mets. I think I speak for everyone when I say that’s best for everyone. 

Mets Diminishing Pitching Depth

Going into last year, the Mets were well noted for their organizational pitching depth. It wasn’t just the pitchers that were in the majors, but it was also the pitchers on the way. The thought process was the Mets could select the pitchers to keep to help the rotation and trade the others for a bat. 

Well, the Mets are going into the 2016 season, and their depth isn’t the same as this regime seems comfortable jettisoning this team’s pitching depth. A large part of the reason was the unwillingness and/or inability to spend in the offseason last year. Here is the list of pitchers gone from the Mets organization:

  1. Greg Peavey
  2. Randy Fontanez
  3. Cory Mazzoni
  4. Brad Wieck
  5. Casey Meisner
  6. John Gant
  7. Robert Whalen
  8. Michael Fulmer
  9. Luis Cessa
  10. Matt Koch
  11. Miller Diaz
  12. Dawrin Frias
  13. Jack Leathersich
  14. Jon Niese
  15. Matthew Bowman

This list doesn’t include Logan Verrett, who was selected in last year Rule 5 draft and returned. It also doesn’t include Tyler ClippardBartolo ColonEric O’Flaherty, Bobby Parnell, and Alex Torres because, at least in theory, they all could return to the Mets next year. In any event, that’s a lot of pitchers gone and/or potentially gone from the 2014 Winter Meetings and the 2015 Winter Meetings. 

After losing all these pitchers, the Mets only have two . . . TWO . . . players on their 2016 major league roster resulting from these moves: Addison Reed and Neil Walker. Also, the Mets still need a fifth starter and possibly bullpen help. You would think after losing 15 pitchers in a year, you’d be in a better position. 

Now, the important caveat here is not all of these pitchers are of the same caliber. For example, Peavey and Fontanez were selected in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft. Also, I did defend the trade that brought in Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson. On the flip side, I did not like the trades which brought in Clippard and Yoenis Cespedes

I’m not in the crowd that justifies these deals due to the Mets winning the pennant. You win the World Series, you’re untouchable because you did what was necessary. However, the Mets lost all that pitching and still fell short. Think of it another way. Do you think the Tigers would’ve traded winning the AL East for John Smoltz‘ career?

With all that said, the Mets still deserve some credit here. Even though they lost all that pitching, they still have good pitching prospects like Robert Gsellman. I just wish they spent more money last offseason and kept some of those pitchers to give them more options to make deals this winter or this upcoming summer. 

Keep in mind that sooner or later losing all this pitching will eventually catch up with them. I’m not looking forward to the day that happens. 

Have the Cubs Really Beat the Mets Pitching?

As I pointed out earlier, the regular season numbers should be discounted coming into the playoffs. The Mets lineup is completely different. The pitching staff appears to be as well. Here is who pitched against the Cubs, and how they fared (* not on the postseason roster):

May 11, 2015 – Wrigley Field
Jacob deGrom L, 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 5 K
Hansel Robles 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Sean Gilmartin* 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
Buddy Carlyle* 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
Erik Goeddel 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
May 12, 2015 – Wrigley Field
Noah Syndergaard (first career start) L, 5.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 6 K
Alex Torres* 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
Sean Gilmartin* 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Hansel Robles 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

May 13, 2015 – Wrigley Field
Matt Harvey 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K
Carlos Torres* BS, L, 1.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

Jeurys Familia 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

May 14, 2015 – Wrigley Field
Jon Niese L, 6.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Hansel Robles 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

Jack Leathersich* 0.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

Erik Goeddel 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

June 30, 2015 – Citi Field
Jon Niese L, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 5 K

Bobby Parnell* 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Sean Gilmartin* 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

July 1, 2015 – Citi Field
Bartolo Colon 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
Bobby Parnell* 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

Jeurys Familia 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Hansel Robles 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

Carlos Torres* L, 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

Sean Gilmartin* 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

July 2, 2015 – Citi Field
Jacob deGrom L, 5.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

Logan Verrett* 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

Alex Torres* 1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

The Cubs beat the Mets seven times. Of those losses, two were by Jacob deGrom, two were by Niese, two were by Carlos Torres, and one was by Thor. Only deGrom and Thor remain in the rotation. 

So to sum up, the Dodgers did do well against deGrom. Conversely, deGrom has reached another gear in the playoffs. The Cubs couldn’t hit Harvey. They never faced Steven Matz. They faced Thor in his first career start. Thor has gotten much better since that game:

Also, the Mets bullpen is significantly different. It’s important to note considering that Torres blew two games. They now have Addison Reed and Tyler Clippard

While we know the Mets are a different team than, the Cubs are very similar. The only real change is Kyle Schwarber, who is just mashing the ball. However, I doubt he is enough to overcome the Mets pitching upgrades.  

The Mets are vastly improved. I think it’s enough. 

Mets Pitchers Against Dodgers Hitters

Earlier posts addressed the Mets postseason pitching experience as well as the Dodgers postseason offense. While it is interesting to see how theses players fared in October’s past, I’m more interested in seeing how the Mets pitchers have performed against the Dodgers (* – not on team, ** – not on projected roster):

July 3, 2015 Dodger Stadium

Noah Syndergaard ND, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K

Hansel Robles W, 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

Jeurys Familia S, 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K

July 4, 2015 Dodger Stadium

Matt Harvey L, 5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 4

Alex Torres* 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

Carlos Torres** 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Sean Gilmartin 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

June 5, 2015 Dodger Stadium
Steven Matz W, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
Logan Verrett** S, 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
July 23, 2015 Citi Field
Bartolo Colon L, 8.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
Sean Gilmartin, 0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

Carlos Torres** 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

July 24, 2015 Citi Field
Jon Niese L, 3.0 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Carlos Torres** 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Hansel Robles 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Alex Torres* 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

July 25, 2015 Citi Field
Matt Harvey W, 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

Jenrry Mejia* 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
Jeurys Familia 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

July 26, 2015 Citi Field 
Jacob deGrom ND, 7.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
Jeurys Familia, BS, 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Jenrry Mejia, W, 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Cumulative

Here are the cumulative stats for the pitchers who are projected to make the playoff roster:

Noah Syndergaard, 0-0, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K

Matt Harvey 1-1, 12.0 IP, 13 H, 5 ER, 6 BB, 8 K

Steven Matz 1-0, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K

Bartolo Colon 0-1, 8.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

Jon Niese 0-1, 3.0 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Jacob deGrom 0-0, 7.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K

Hansel Robles 1-0, 4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K

Jeurys Familia S, BS, 3.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

Sean Gilmartin 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Overall, with the exception of Niese, who will not start in the NLDS, have pitched well against the Dodgers. The Mets pitchers faced most of the Dodgers batters they will face in the playoffs. These stats give me confidence the Mets can win this series. 

Montero & deGrom

Jacob deGrom is taking the mound tonight.  Mets fans are all excited for his start tonight.  Why shouldn’t we be.  The man has been “deGrominant,” whether it was him winning Rookie of the Year, his All Star Game appearance, or his terrific 2015 season.  How quickly we all forget that this was never supposed to happen.

When deGrom was first called-up to the Mets, he was supposed to be in the bullpen while Rafael Montero was supposed to be in the rotation.  As we know, deGrom had a strong rookie season, and in the beginning of 2015, it was Montero who was assigned to the bullpen (at least initially).  It turns out that would have been a colossal mistake.  In fact, this should make Mets fans question every pitching move this front office makes.

To be fair, Montero did enter last year ranked ahead of deGrom.  However, that is an independent rating of those two players.  Each organization should know their prospects better than fine sites like Baseball America.  Additionally, this is the same team that gave up on Collin McHugh, a very dependable major league starter for a team that wants to go to a six man rotation, for Eric Young, Jr., who is a part time player on an under .500 Braves team.

It didn’t stop there. Right before the season began, the Mets traded for Alex Torres, who pitched so well he’s in AAA right now. The cost was Cory Mazzoni, who was a prospect the Mets became frustrated with due to his injury history. It should be noted these were non-arm related injuries. Mazzoni has a decent repertoire that makes the 2011 former second round pick a back end starter or reliever. This is something the Mets need now. Instead, the Padres have the prospect and the Mets have dead weight. I just hope we don’t have another Heath Bell situation here. 

This is why I wasn’t happy with the Tyler Clippard and Yoenis Cespedes trades. These are both rentals, who aren’t resigning with the team. If the A’s didn’t trade Clippard to the Mets, then the Nationals overpay or Billy Beane finally accepts the Mets offer. Overall, this is bad negotiation. 

It’s also bad valuation of assets. Remember if not for injuries deGrom would be setting up for Jeurys Familia, or possibly closing while the Mets are figuring out the rotation on a sub .500 team. 

This is why I question this front office. People may disagree with me, but this is partially why I question their treatment of Michael Conforto and Kevin Plawecki. Given their other moves, I think they invite this skepticism. I hope I’m not the only one. 

O’Flaherty Our New Lefty Man

Finally, the Mets are addressing their second biggest roster hole: the lack of a LOOGY.  The Mets have added Eric O’Flaherty for a player to be named later. I’m assuming the prospect will be of no consequence (although I’m leery with the Mets receiving cash), and accordingly, I love the trade. 

Jerry Blevins had been brilliant to start the year. However, he broke his arm, and it took longer to heal than anticipated. He’s finally been cleared to throw, but there is no timetable for his return. If he does come back, it’ll give the Mets two LOOGYs. That’ll be a nice weapon when you still have six games remaining  against Bryce Harper and the Nationals. 

For his part, O’Flaherty should only be used against lefties. He’s holding lefties to a triple slash line of .186/.286/.209. He has not given up a homerun to a LHB. Conversely, he’s gotten mauled by righties to the tune of .420/.491/.620. 

This is also addition by subtraction because the Mets designated Alex Torres for assignment. At first glance, Torres‘ 3.15 ERA suggests he’s pitched well. However, his peripherals are scary. He has an FIP of 5.68 and a 1.515 WHIP. Furthermore, he’s a lefty who can’t get out lefties. They’re hitting a triple slash line of .268/.406/.393. 

Overall, this is a good trade that addresses a real team need. The only downside is that it’ll drive me even crazier that I can’t get a personalized jersey.