Jacob deGrom

Re-Revised NLDS Roster

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

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

Catchers

1. Travis d’Arnaud

2. Kevin Plawecki

Infielders

3. Lucas Duda

4. Daniel Murphy

5. David Wright

6. Ruben Tejada

7. Wilmer Flores

8. Kelly Johnson

Outfielders

9. Michael Conforto

10. Yoenis Cespedes

11. Curtis Granderson

12. Michael Cuddyer

13. Juan Lagares

14. Kirk Nieuwenhuis 

Starting Pitchers

15. Jacob deGrom

16. Noah Sundergaard

17. Matt Harvey

18. Bartolo Colon

Bullpen

19. Jeurys Familia

20. Addison Reed

21. Tyler Clippard

22. Hansel Robles

23. Jon Niese

24. Erik Goeddel

25. Sean Gilmartin

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

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

Why I’m Going Today

In actuality, these tickets were a birthday gift from my wife and son. My wife said she might be getting me tickets, and I requested a Sunday game so I might be able to bring my son into the field for the Mr. Met Dash. 

I’m happy she picked the last game of the season. Tomorrow, I get to go to Citi Field and salute the improbable 2015 NL East Champions. Even after an ugly loss, the mood should still be jubilant. This team should be saluted for an incredible season. I’m happy that I’ll be able to get this snapshot to remember this year by. 

The problem is that unless the Mets win the World Series, their year will end on a down note. I remember 1999 for the Kenny Rogers‘ walk. I remember 2000 for Timo Perez not running, Roger Clemens‘ [alleged] roid rage, and a Mike Piazza ball that did not travel quite far enough. I remember 2006 for the Adam Wainwright curveball. 

It’s a shame because those were terrific Mets seasons. What they did is no small feat, especially for a franchise that has gone to the playoffs eight times in 53 years. I want to remember 2015 for more than just how the season ends, even if the Mets win the World Series. 

There was the 11 game winning streak. There was the return of Matt Harvey from Tommy John surgery. There was the deGrominance of Jacob deGrom including his amazing All Star Game appearance. There was the amazing rookies seasons of Noah Syndergaard and Michael Conforto. There was “A Cespedes for the Rest of Us.”  There was the David Wright homerun on his return from spinal stenosis. 

On a personal note, it’s the year I finally came to love Citi Field.  I brought my son to a few games. He got to meet Mr. Met TWICE!  He got to play baseball. He had Shake Shack. He learned the Mets lineup. He watched games with me. He saw the Mets celebrate a division title. I may have loved the 1999 and 2006 teams more, but this has been my favorite season. 

The Mets had a lot to do with it by winning. However, to me, this year has been about my son and I bonding over baseball. It started with a Spring Training Game with him imitating Gary Cohen’s excited, “LUCAS DUDA!” call. He’s learning the game. He loves the Mets. 

I want to go to the game to celebrate all of that. The icing on the cake would be if we can run the bases. I know he will love it much like he loved this season. This is the last game of the year we can go to and just enjoy the day. We’re going to. I hope you will too. It was a great season. 

Lets Go Mets!

Revised NLDS Roster Projection

I’m not calling this 2.0. To me that would indicate that I will make a number of changes, but I wanted to show you my work product. There’s nothing wrong with that, but that’s not my intention when I share my projections

However, there has been another major development with Steven Matz‘s back. As I said yesterday, I was not going to trust he was going to pitch until he actually pitches

Catchers

1. Travis d’Arnaud

2. Kevin Plawecki

Infielders

3. Lucas Duda

4. Daniel Murphy

5. Kelly Johnson

6. David Wright

7. Ruben Tejada

8. Wilmer Flores

Outfielders

9. Michael Conforto

10. Michael Cuddyer

11. Yoenis Cespedes

12. Juan Lagares

13. Curtis Granderson

Pinch Runner

14. Eric Young, Jr.

Starting Pitchers

15. Jacob deGrom

16. Noah Syndergaard

17. Matt Harvey

18. Bartolo Colon

Relief Pitchers

19. Jeurys Familia

20. Addison Reed

21. Tyler Clippard

22. Hansel Robles

23. Jon Niese

24. Sean Gilmartin

25. Erik Goeddel

As you can see, the only change I made between the projections was exchanging Matz for Goeddel. I chose Goeddel because he’s been pretty good lately, and he can generate strikeouts with his splitter. 

I still think there are two other players under consideration: Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Dilson Herrera. Kirk has been good lately, has some power, can run, and can play all three OF positions. However, since he’s a left handed bat going into a series with a lot of LHP, I don’t think the Mets will put him on the roster. 

I think Dilson is getting consideration because he’s a right handed bat and definitively the team’s best defensive second baseman.  With Flores’ back injury, Herrera is a definite possibility. What hurts him most is he only plays 2B. As I said in another post, the presence of Murphy and Johnson could alleviate those concerns. 

However, for right now, I think the Mets give EY the edge, especially because he’s a Terry Collins favorite. If anything else happens, I’ll put out another revised projection. 

Mets Priorities 

Quick question for everyone: what is the Mets goal for the rest of the season?  Wrong. It’s not getting Homefield advantage. It’s getting the team ready for the playoffs. 

In order for that to happen, here’s what needs to get done:

  1. Steven Matz needs to get five innings on Saturday or Sunday meaning a short start for either Jacob deGrom or Matt Harvey;
  2. You don’t risk David Wright‘s back playing on a sloppy or wet field;
  3. Yoenis Cespedes needs to be in Germany or anywhere that can aggressively treat a bruise;
  4. Jon Niese needs to pitch in two games this weekend;
  5. Play Dilson Herrera at multiple positions to see if he can make the playoff roster;
  6. No wasted at bats to Eric CampbellAnthony ReckerJohnny Monell, or anyone that the Mets are not considering putting on the playoff roster;
  7. Same goes for the relievers even if there is a blowout. They need to stay fresh;
  8. Get Travis d’Arnaud back on track;
  9. Allow Michael Conforto to hit against some lefties because he’s eventually going to have to face one in October; and
  10. Get out of the weekend healthy. 

If the Mets accomplish the above, they will be in a strong position entering the playoffs. Homefield advantage is secondary to this. If the Mets get it, great. If they don’t, it may inure to their benefit. Overall, I’m absolutely convinced the Mets do not need homefield advantage in the NLDS to win. 

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. 

deGrom Earned the Game One Start

Overall, Matt Harvey may be the best pitcher on the Mets. He may have the best stuff he may have that clutch gene. However, he had not been the Mets pitcher this year. That honor goes to Jacob deGrom

deGrom leads the Mets in ERA, strikeouts, WHIP, ERA+, WHIP, and hair. By every measure, he is the logical choice to be the Game One starter. He’s the guy the Mets want on the mound to start the playoffs. He’s the guy you want in Game a Five if I comes to it. However, it sounds like he’s getting it by default:

No one except the Game One NLDS starter could possibly pitch in six postseason games. The only other way it could happen is if the Mets started someone on three day’s rest, which is something the Mets are probably not going to do. The effect of this statement is to say Harvey’s our best pitcher, but with innings limits, we’re going with deGrom. 

That’s not fair to deGrom, who has had a great year. He was an All Star. He leads the Mets in almost every statistical category. He’s earned the Game One start. 

The Mets should just come out and say that. 

Postseason Pitching Experience

If rumors are correct, the Mets will go with the four man rotation of Jacob deGromNoah SyndergaardMatt Harvey, and Steven Matz. I put them purposefully in that order because that’s how the Nets intend to line them up in the playoffs. 

These four pitchers have had zero postseason appearances. In fact, as a group, they have less than five years of experience. This just highlights the total lack of postseason experience for the entire Mets staff. Overall, there are only three pitchers on the Mets who have any playoff experience:

  1. Bartolo Colon (10 starts) 2-4, 3.70 ERA, 58.1 IP, 1.389 WHIP
  2. Tyler Clippard (3 appearances) 0-0, 1.50 ERA, 6 IP, 0 SV, 0.667 WHIP
  3. Eric O’Flaherty (1 appearance) 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 IP, 0 SV, 2.00 WHIP

Unless his back prevents him, Clippard will be on the postseason roster. I believe the Mets will find a spot for Colon even if he isn’t starting. There’s no shot that O’Flaherty makes the team. 

I’m not concerned at all. This was the case with the 1991 Braves rotation,nand they went to the World Series. The same goes for the 2003 Marlins.  The 2008 Giants had a young core of starting pitchers they relied upon to win their first World Series in San Francisco.  K-Rod burst on the scene on the 2002 Angels World Series Championship team. There’s another, better example for Mets fans. 1986. 

In 1986, the Mets had Dwight Gooden (3 major league seasons), Ron Darling (4 major league seasons), Bobby Ojeda (7 major league season), and Sid Fernandez (4 major league seasons) make starts. Combined they had more than triple the major league experience of this current group of pitchers. However, they were still young and had zero postseason experience. The lack of postseason experience didn’t hold them back. The reason was their talent. 

That’s right. For all the talk about what wins in the playoffs, we always forget the talent gap. This Mets rotation is the most talented in the NL, most likely all of baseball. If I have to choose between experience and talent, I pick talent every time. 

It looks like the Mets are as well. Then again what choice do they have?

Thank You Omar

Look, this is Sandy Alderson’s team. He decided to keep the players he kept and trade the players he traded. He pulled off the trades and signed the free agents. However, he was able to do a lot of what he did because he was left with good players after Omar Minaya was terminated. 

Here are the players in the 40 man roster who have a link to Omar Minaya (asterisked players are players obtained with players combined by Minaya and Alderson):

Jerry Blevins – obtained for 2010 draft pick Matt den Dekker

Eric Campbell – 2008 draft pick. 

Darrell Ceciliani – 2009 draft pick. 

Travis d’Arnaud – part of the R.A. Dickey trade. Dickey was a free agent signing. Josh Thole was a 2005 draft pick. Mike Nickeas was initially obtained by trade in 2006.

Jacob deGrom – 2010 draft pick. 

Lucas Duda – 2007 draft pick. 

Jeurys Familia – 2007 amateur free agent signing. 

Wilmer Flores – 2007 amateur free agent signing. 

Erik Goeddel – 2010 draft pick. 

Matt Harvey – 2010 draft pick  

Dilson Herrera* – part of Marlon Byrd/John Buck trade. Buck was part of the Dickey trade (see d’Arnaud). 

Juan Lagares – 2006 amateur free agent signing. 

Steven Matz – 2009 draft pick. 

Jenrry Mejia – 2007 amateur free agent signing. 

Akeel Morris -2010 draft pick. 

Daniel Murphy – 2006 draft pick. 

Bobby Parnell – 2005 draft pick. 

Addison Reed* – obtained in exchange for Matt Koch and Miller Diaz (signed by Mets in 2009).

Hansel Robles – 2008 amateur free agent.

Noah Syndergaard – part of Dickey trade (see d’Arnaud). 

Ruben Tejada – 2006 amateur free agent. 

Again, these players are in the roster because Alderson kept them. The decision of who to keep and trade is important. That is what makes them Alderson’s players and team. Additionally, while It was Alderson that hired Terry Collins, it was Minaya who brought him into the Mets organization. 

However, it is important to truly acknowledge Minaya’s role, especially when he has been unfairlyand wrongly   marginalized. 

You see I was on the same Jet Blue flight as Omar Minaya. The photo with this post was Minaya and me in the terminal before the flight. He was accessible to Mets fans who wanted to shake his hand and take a picture. No one, and I mean no one, had the “courage” to mock him on the flight.

Additionally, this should dispel the notion that Minaya left the Mets with a depleted farm system. On the contrary, he built a strong farm system that helped make up this team.  Minaya had his faults, and he probably deserved to be fired when he was. That doesn’t mean we should ignore his work. 

It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t extend our gratitude to him for what he left behind. 

The Projected NLDS Roster

Now that the Mets have clinched the NL East, the time is fast approaching to set the NLDS roster. Keep in mind, this is for the NLDS only. The Mets can the roster if they advance to the NLCS. 

I’ve made some changes to my prior analysis. The reason is due to injuries to players like Juan Uribe. Another reason was the possibility that Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon may move to the bullpen. 

Note, this is not what I would do, but rather, what I think the Mets will do. I am taking into consideration the Dodgers lefty heavy starting rotation and lineup. Without further ado, here’s my best guess:

Catchers

1.  Travis d’Arnaud 

2.  Kevin Plawecki

Infielders

3.  Lucas Duda

4.  Daniel Murphy

5.  Kelly Johnson

6.  David Wright

7.  Ruben Tejada

8.  Wilmer Flores

Outfielders

9.  Michael Conforto

10. Michael Cuddyer

11. Yoenis Cespedes

12. Juan Lagares

13. Curtis Granderson

Pinch Runner

14. Eric Young, Jr.

Rotation

15. Matt Harvey

16. Jacob deGrom

17. Noah Syndergaard

18. Steven Matz

Bullpen

19. Jeurys Familia

20. Tyler Clippard

21. Addison Reed

22. Hansel Robles

23. Sean Gilmartin

24. Jon Niese

25. Bartolo Colon

I’m not 100% confident in this. I could see Uribe getting healthy enough to play knocking EY, Lagares, or Johnson out of the lineup. With all the lefties, I could see Eric Campbell or Dilson Herrera (3-4 with a walk, a homer, two runs, and a two RBIs on Sunday) making the team as well. 

I also think there is real competition and consideration for the last three bullpen spots. Erik Goeddel has been great all year (when healthy). Carlos Torres is a Terry Collins’ favorite, who may make the team if healthy. Logan Verrett has made his car all year bouncing between starting and reliever. If Colon takes Matz’s spot in the rotation, there will be more bullpen spots because the Mets won’t put Matz in the bullpen

No matter who is on the roster I’m excited for the playoffs again. Lets Go Mets!

Harvey for the Win

Its fitting that Matt Harvey is taking the mound today with the Mets having an opportunity to clinch a playoff spot. His absence last year was presumed to be a reason why the Mets didn’t go all out last year to try to get into the playoffs. 

With Harvey healthy, along with the emergence of Jacob deGrom last year and Noah Syndergaard this year, the Mets will be going to the playoffs. No matter what you think of Harvey, and how everything has gone down, you can’t deny the wonderful season he’s had. 

In his first post-Tommy John season, he’s gone 12-7 with a 2.80 ERA, 171 strikeouts (8.7 per nine), and a 1.019 WHIP in 176.2 innings. Keep in mind that today he’s going over 180 with a other start in the season before the playoffs. If the Mets go to the World Series, he may very well go over the 200-215 “loose cap” Sandy Alderdon wanted. 

In any event, Harvey gave the Mets their first glimmer of hope in 2013. His absence was a dark cloud over the 2014 season. His return was a big part of the 2015 turn around. After last year, he promised the playoffs to Terry Collins:

Harvey can now make good on that promise today. With his hard work and dedication, Harvey has earned this. There’s no one I would rather have on that mound to start the game. 

Lets Go Mets!