Jarred Kelenic

Mets Trading Jarred Kelenic Remains A Disaster

With Jarred Kelenic and the Seattle Mariners coming to town, many will attempt to re-litigate the shocking trade which sent Kelenic to the Seattle Mariners organization as a part of a trade package for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz. Of course, 2022 performances invite revisionist history here.

This season, Diaz has clearly been the top performer from this trade. Through 14 appearances, he is 1-0 with seven saves, a 1.93 ERA, 0.857 WHIP, 3.2 BB/9, and a 15.4 K/9. He looks like he’s having a career year, but it’s important to note much of that is due to Jeremy Hefner.

Hefner has diligently worked with Diaz on his mechanics making sure his delivery has been repeatable, and he’s landing with his foot pointed towards home plate. He’s also helped Diaz create more break and spin leading to a 55. Whiff%. Really, it took four years for Diaz to be what the Mets expected him to be.

In many ways, Diaz is not the same pitcher he was in his first three years with the Mets. That’s very good to a certain extent because that Diaz was not the difference maker he was advertised to be.

On that point, it is important to remember the trade to obtain him was a win-now deal for the Wilpons who were nearing being forced to sell the New York Mets to the highest bidder. Really, the deal smelled like a one last shot to try to win a World Series, and ironically, it was the trade that prevented the Mets from winning that World Series.

In 2019, Diaz was dreadful with a career worst 5.59 ERA, 74 ERA+, and 4.51 FIP. He blew seven saves and lost seven games for a Mets team which missed the postseason by three games. Really, Diaz was a big reason why the Mets missed the postseason that year.

Cano might’ve been a bigger reason. Cano was the target as Brodie Van Wagenen sought to bring his former client back to New York as Cano wanted. Cano responded with a career worst season with a 0.6 WAR and a 94 wRC+. This was supposed to be a key bat in the lineup, and Cano was terrible while Van Wagenen ensured Mickey Callaway batted his former client third.

With Cano, it is the gift which keeps on giving. Yes, he had a bounce-back 2020 season, but as we learned, he was using PEDs again. That cost him the 2021 season, and with him able to physically return, it was $40.5 million the Mets did not get to spend.

Instead of keeping Aaron Loup or further addressing the bullpen, the Mets were restricted to Adam Ottavino and Chasen Shreve. Instead of a Kris Bryant, Michael Conforto, or Seiya Suzuki, the Mets obtained Mark Canha and Eduardo Escobar, who have so far underwhelmed this season.

Really, that has been the theme of Cano’s time on the Mets. It’s been the organization wasting resources on him that could have been better spent. The biggest example of that is Zack Wheeler desperately wanted to stay with the Mets, but they couldn’t keep him because the money was going to Cano.

As a result, the Mets dead weight became the Phillies ace. The Wilpons didn’t have any money to spend in the ensuing offseasons, and Steve Cohen has $20.25 million per year he can’t spend on better talent through next season.

There’s also the matter of this season. The Mets completely wasted plate appearances over the first month of the season trying to see what they had in Cano. The answer was nothing, and they were happy to part with him and his onerous contract. However, that came with a consequence with Dominic Smith and J.D. Davis not getting the playing time they needed to succeed this season.

There were some who wanted to defend the trade because the Mets moved “untradeable contracts.” The Mariners had no problem trading Jay Bruce whatsoever. They also traded Anthony Swarzak, who helped the Atlanta Braves win the division.

Also, keep in mind the Mets parted with two Top 100 prospects in Kelenic and Justin Dunn. Certainly, Kelenic has struggled early in his career, and Dunn is dealing with a shoulder injury. Certainly, that is part of a very suspect Mariners player development system where we constantly ask why their prospects never seem to pan out.

However, this is also very much besides the point. Back in the 2018 offseason, that duo could have gotten the Mets anything they wanted. Teams would have been literally lining topping one another to get Kelenic and Dunn.

Remember, this deal came in the same offseason the Miami Marlins traded J.T. Realmuto. Instead, the Mets hastily accepted a closer and an albatross.

That deal cost the Mets the 2019 postseason. It cost them the opportunity to compete in 2020. It cost them the ability to make deadline deals in 2021 because that trade and all of Van Wagenen’s trades cost them valuable prospect depth needed to swing the trades the Mets needed. It was also $40.5 million the Mets did not have to spend on free agents.

It will again impact the Mets at the trade deadline and this ensuring offseason. All told, this deal remains an unmitigated disaster no matter how great Diaz is or how much Kelenic struggles.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Take Two From Nationals

The New York Mets are now 9-0-1 in their 10 season series, and they are on pace to win 108 games. After another series against the Nationals, the Mets look all the more like a World Series caliber team:

1.  The incredible 5-6-1-9-6 double play was punctuated by Taijuan Walker knocking down Juan Soto, who went in hard. That’s the way it is with this Mets team, they’re there to beat you, and they’re not stepping down.

2.  It just seems like the Mets have something special store in each series. There was the co-no, the epic comeback, and now that double play. These are the things fun and special teams do.

3.  Luis Guillorme had a heads up play to start that double play, and he’s really earning more playing time. Over his last 10 games, he’s batting ..321/.387/.536 with five runs, three doubles, a homer, and two RBI while playing exceptional defense. Perhaps, he needs to play everyday.

4.  Eduardo Escobar is in a real bad place. Over his last 15 games, Escobar is hitting .167/.231/.200, and he has struggled defensively with a -2 OAA and -3 DRS at third. The good news is he usually has a bad May and breaks out in June.

5.  The Mets can’t seem to hit left-handed pitching even when it’s Patrick Corbin. Corbin has a 2.00 ERA, and against the rest of baseball, he has a 7.60 ERA. Overall, the Mets are the fifth worst NL team against left-handed pitching with a 90 wRC+.

6.  We can save the J.D. Davis needs to be the everyday DH narrative. He’s batting .217/.362/.326 driving the ball on the ground with a 51.5% ground ball rate so far this season. With that, he’s now back to a much more reasonable .286 BABIP. Really, this is the batter he is.

7.  Mark Canha snapped out of it just when the Mets needed him. His 3-for-4 game with a homer and three RBI snapped a streak where he hit .231/.292/.292 over his previous 19 games.

8.  Canha is still a player in decline with him seeing a steady decline in barrels, hard hit rate, exit velocities, whiff%, chase rate, and really all metrics. A game like he had is fun, but overall, there is a reason Buck Showalter removes him late in games and was transitioning him to a part-time player.

9.  Brandon Nimmo has an eight game hitting streak, and he has reached base safely in all but one game this season. He’s the Mets best player, and the way he is playing, he is not only going to get All-Star consideration, but he will get MVP consideration as well.

10. Carlos Carrasco has continued his terrific bounceback season. He is again the pitcher he was in Cleveland, and the Mets are on a different level because of it.

11. Not enough can be said about the job Trevor Williams and Stephen Nogosek did. They saved the bullpen in what was a lost game in more ways than one. These are the unheralded moments which helps teams win divisions and World Series.

12. Trevor Megill had a bad start. It happens. It’s best not to over-analyze it. Just move on and reassess after his next start.

13. The Mets have missed James McCann, who has been out with an injury. He’s been quite good this year, and Tomas Nido has not shown he can replicate what he can give. Now seeing its a hammate bone injury, for all intents and purposes McCann may be done for the year.

14. We can probably now add catcher to third base for trade deadline needs because it is way too soon for Francisco Alvarez. That goes double with Alvarez’s recent slump.

15. Jeff McNeil has been great this year. He has been versatile, and this is the best he has ever hit. He’s learned to combine some patience at the plate with his hit everything approach.

16. This upcoming series was going to be about Jarred Kelenic and Edwin Diaz, but with Kelenic getting sent down, it’s not. Whatever the case, the trade remains an unmitigated disaster.

17. Robinson Cano turned down a chance to go to Triple-A to help get back up to speed and help the Mets in the long term. Instead, he’s going to the San Diego Padres. This is not remotely a player grateful for the Mets keeping tabs on him last year and making sure he was alright and for giving him an undeserved chance again this year.

18. The Mets can beat teams in just so many ways. They can do it with power, with singles and timely hitting, with speed and defense, and with pitching. When you get that rare mix, you’re a special team. This is a special team.

19. No one should care what Noah Syndergaard has to say about the co-no or anything Mets. Just be grateful he was a Met, hope he pitches well this season, and mostly, hope he returns next year.

20. Mets in the black jerseys on Friday the 13th with Max Scherzer on the mound. Mariners are going to be frightened as is the rest of baseball when they see the Mets on their schedule.

Mariners Still Resoundingly Won Trade Even With Jarred Kelenic’s Struggles

Honestly, everyone thought Jarred Kelenic was a no-doubt future star. At a minimum, his floor was solid regular. So far, it just hasn’t happened. In fact, Kelenic looks like one of the worst players in baseball.

Through 97 career games, he has a -1.8 WAR. He has a 70 wRC+ and -2 OAA. The future five tool center fielder is a poor hitter not playing all that great defense in left field. Breaking it down, it is hard to find something positive with his career up to this point.

Of course, he’s a 22 year old player who is allowed to struggle. There are countless examples in Major League history. If you’ve ever heard a New York Mets broadcast, you’ll hear Keith Hernandez talk about struggling when he was first called up and getting sent back down was the best thing that ever happened to him.

Keep in mind, Hernandez won an MVP, was part of two World Series champions, is in the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame, will have his number retired by the Mets, and he will one day be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Case-in-point, early career struggles from a player in his early 20s is far from dispositive on how his entire career pans out.

For some reason, people seem to want to take Kelenic’s struggles and want to play revisionist history on the Robinson Cano trade. That’s just ridiculous.

As noted, Kelenic’s career is far from over and treating it so it plain dumb. More than that, Kelenic’s value at the time was through the roof. The Mets literally could’ve gotten anyone they wanted had it been known he was available in trades. Because Cano was his former client, Brodie Van Wagenen opted to pursue him.

Keep in mind, the Mets return on this trade has been pretty lousy.

With respect to Cano, he has a had a 1.7 WAR< 107 wRC+, 3 OAA, and a season long PED suspension. More to the point, Cano was supposed to be a key piece of a win now Mets team in 2019. Instead, he had by far the worst season of his career. When you break it all down, he has done NOTHING to help this Mets team be a contender.

It’s worse than that. Cano displaced Jeff McNeil from his natural position. Now, he has a manager in Buck Showalter who is giving Cano playing time over players like Luis Guillorme and Dominic Smith. It’s ridiculous, but it is what happens when you are paying a player $20.25 million through his age 40 season.

With respect to Edwin Diaz, he was one of the bigger reasons the Mets missed that 2019 postseason. Like Cano, he had by far the worst year of his career with a 74 ERA+ and a 4.51 FIP. In that season, he blew seven saves and took the loss in seven games. The Mets missed the Wild Card by three games. Diaz has been good since then even if he’s had the propensity for blown saves.

Really, that 2019 team probably makes the postseason if that trade was never made. The Mets as a franchise would’ve been far better off because they wouldn’t have Cano eating up a roster spot and a significant chunk of payroll. Really, when you break it down, it is complete and utter tomfoolery to suggest the trade doesn’t look as bad because a 22 year old outfielder needs more time.

Overall, this trade was a disaster for the Mets and will continue being one. If you don’t believe that, you’re lying to yourself.

Mets Fans Issues With Robinson Cano Isn’t Rocket Science

Once again SNY ran with pure garbage from Andy Martino. He once again levied libelous accusations accusing a loyal fan base of being racist with zero evidence to support the bone-headed contention. This is exactly what he does.

He says Mets fans should support Chase Utley. Its racist to boo a vastly underperforming Luis Castillo even if Martino, himself, called Yoenis Cespedes lazy for getting double heel surgery. Now, he wants us all to tell him why Mets fans don’t like Robinson Cano while again accusing Mets fans of being racist.

Before delving further on Cano, go back to 2019. You could argue Cano not performing up to standards was a key factor why the Mets missed the postseason that year. No, it wasn’t the only reason, but it was certainly a factor.

After all, the could be Hall of Famer had one of the worst years of his career with a 94 wRC+ and a -2 DRS. Cano was supposed to be a big bat in the lineup and steadying influence in the infield for a young Amed Rosario. Instead, in what was an injury plagued season, he underachieved and was at times a liability.

In year one, following that horrific trade where the Mets gave up both Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn while assuming nearly all of his contract, Cano was already the liability many thought he would be before the end of his career. What’s funny is despite that fans were not booing him when he took the field or came to the plate.

This was far from a Francisco Lindor situation. Mets fans may not have fully embraced Cano, but they certainly did not jeer him. No, he was treated with some level of reverence for all he accomplished in his career while many hoped getting away from Chili Davis could rejuvenate his career.

While you could’ve given Cano credit for his 2020 resurgence, we found out it was because of PEDs. His using PEDs that season did lead to his second suspension costing him the entirety of the 2021 season.

When Mets fans look at Cano now, they’re not angry with him or booing him. They’re not demanding he get released or traded. Sure, there are fans who want that, but if you go back to the 1970s, you could assuredly find Mets fans who were happy the team traded Tom Seaver. Mistaking a vocal minority or giving the lunatic fringe credit is always disingenuous and irresponsible (to be fair, that is what this article does in part by even addressing Martino).

When Mets fans look at Cano, they see a player who was the key return in one of the worst trades in franchise history. It was his contract which was yet another excuse why the Wilpons refused to spend to help get the Mets to the World Series. Now, he’s just an odd fit who is 39 trying to become a real everyday contributor to a Major League team for the first time since the 2017 season.

Mets fans don’t hate Cano. Saying they dislike him is a stretch. No, they’ve been frustrated with him, and now, they don’t know how he fits. When he does come back, he’s not going to immediately be booed, and if he contributes everything related to the trade and suspension will quickly be forgotten. Really, proferring otherwise is just plain wrong.

Then again, the Wilpons still own SNY, and as we know, they have nothing but contempt for Mets fans. This is why they pay Martino to go forth and spew pure unsubstantiated garbage like this.

 

Chaim Bloom Wouldn’t Have Traded Jarred Kelenic

There was always a lot of baseless narratives surrounding the New York Mets not hiring Chaim Bloom. We’ve heard that he was going to seek a rebuild instead of trying to win a World Series. We also saw assertions he was definitely going to trade Jacob deGrom.

Of course, no one knew this as fact. Yet, because those were the purposeful leaks in support of Brodie Van Wagenen, the myths have persisted. The other evidence presented was how Bloom traded Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers. That persisted despite trading Betts being a condition precedent for any incoming general manager.

So, Bloom did what he was told to do. The end result of that was a dreadful 2020 season wherein the Red Sox finished the season in dead last in the AL East. Of course, there were mitigating circumstances. First and foremost, it was a pandemic shortened season. Mostly, Chris Sale missed the season due to Tommy John, and Eduardo Rodriguez suffered COVID induced myocarditis. You’re not winning with 2/5 of your rotation missing like that, especially in a 60 game season.

What happened from there was Bloom went to work. He brought in players like Enrique Hernandez and Hunter Renfroe. In his first full season at the helm, Bloom built a 92 win Red Sox team. That team beat the New York Yankees in the Wild Card Game, and they just defeated the defending pennant winners, the 100 win Tampa Bay Rays, to advance to the ALCS.

Meanwhile, the Mets hired Brodie Van Wagenen, who needlessly ravaged the Mets farm system. He did it for the glory of missing the postseason twice. He did it because he had no idea what he was doing. Now, the Mets have to live with the outright dumb and amateur decisions. That includes Zack Wheeler pitching with the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Mets being saddled with Robinson Cano‘s contract, after he had his second PED suspension, while Jarred Kelenic had a big September for the Seattle Mariners. Of course, Cano’s contract is back on the books and Kelenic had a breakout just as Michael Conforto hits free agency.

Knowing what we know of Bloom, we really don’t know if he trades deGrom. After all, while he traded Betts, he didn’t look to move other Red Sox superstars, like J.D. Martinez, in the name of rebuilding or saving money. What we do know is Bloom did acquire a very good player in Alex Verdugo, who has been a key contributor to a Red Sox team now in the ALCS.

We also know from his history, he wouldn’t have traded Kelenic. The reason is he is not stupid. In fact, he’s brilliant. It’s how he built the core of that Rays team who won 100 games and is coming off a pennant, and it is how he built a Red Sox team which beat his old team in the ALDS. So sure, continue on with the false narratives about how Bloom would’ve traded deGrom while the Mets are trying to figure out how to fix what’s broken, and the Red Sox are winning.

Kevin Long Again Made Case To Be Mets Manager

It was a very poorly kept secret back in 2017 if he had his druthers Sandy Alderson wanted to hire Kevin Long to succeed Terry Collins as the New York Mets manager. Long didn’t take anything for granted coming extremely prepared for the interview with binders of information. More than that, he had already had a profound impact on the Mets organization rejuvenating Curtis Granderson while transforming Yoenis Cespedes and Daniel Murphy.

However, it wasn’t to be. Instead, Jeff Wilpon got it in his mind he wanted to have Mickey Callaway as the manager. Despite Callaway interviewing poorly, it was enough for Wilpon to hire Callaway after one interview because the Philadelphia Phillies showed interest. As Mets fans can recall, this went over about as well as when the Mets included Jarred Kelenic in the Robinson Cano trade because the Phillies showed interest in Edwin Diaz.

Since then, the managerial position has been a disaster for the Mets. Callaway proved to be an awful human being harassing female reporters. After him, the Mets hired and then were effectively forced to fire Carlos Beltran. In a mad scramble, they hired Luis Rojas while completely failing to give him any chance to succeed in the position. Rather that let him continue to grow, the team has decided they need to go in a different direction.

Now, there are many moving pieces before the Mets get to hire a new manager. The biggest is the need to hire a new president of baseball operations. Presumably, that is the person who will and should have the biggest input on who the Mets next manager will be. Whatever the case, the Mets have the right to correct the mistake they made in 2017 and hire Long.

For his part, Long served the world with a reminder why he was managerial material. During the National League Wild Card Game, he was sitting next to superstar Juan Soto, a player Long has helped get the most out of his ability. Soto was wearing a Trea Turner jersey (another player Long has helped immensely) while Long wore a Max Scherzer jersey.

In that moment, you saw everything you could have possibly wanted to see from a future manager of your team. He was standing there with his star player, a player in Soto he helped take from a 19 year old wunderkind to a bona fide Major League superstar. More than that, he showed the incredibly great relationship he fostered with his superstar player, the very type of relationship a manager absolutely needs to have any level of success.

We also saw the sense of loyalty he has for his players. He went out there to support both Turner and Scherzer. It was a moment which meant so much to them Scherzer made sure to go over to the stands to celebrate his team’s walk-off win with them. Keep in mind here, Scherzer is a free agent who should be on everyone’s radar.

When we look at the modern game and the current status of the managerial role, it is increasingly about relationships with the players and the ability to communicate. It’s no longer about Gil Hodges playing a hunch or Davey Johnson trusting his eyes over the data. Increasingly, it’s about taking the game plan prepared by the front office and not just executing it, but getting the players to buy in on the plan.

Putting aside what happened in the NL Wild Card Game, this is exactly what Long does. He helped transform Cespedes from a wild swinger to a player better able to identify his pitch and become a monster at the plate. There was also Murphy who went from gap to gap hitter to a legitimate threat at the plate. Murphy showed the 2015 postseason wasn’t a fluke by any means when he became an All-Star and MVP candidate with the Washington Nationals. It should be noted Long followed Murphy to Washington, D.C.

In total, Long is what you want in a manager. He can process data and translate it to players in a way where they can understand and execute it. We also see he is a coach who can foster great relationships with this players. He is also loyal to his players, and they love him. Short of being able to steal away the Bob Melvins of the world, you’re not going to find a better managerial candidate than Long.

Alderson knew it in 2017, and he can do what he wanted to do back then and make Long the Mets manager. If that is the case, we can expect the maddening Mets offense to finally click and for this team to reach the World Series potential we know they have.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Show They’re Better Than Padres

Just like looking at the records, the San Diego Padres were a much better team than the New York Mets. It certainly didn’t play out this way in the weekend series:

1. Over the first two games of this series, the Padres had Yu Darvish and Blake Snell against Taijuan Walker and Joey Lucchesi. It took everything the Padres had to beat a Mets team with 17 players on the IL.

2. Give Lucchesi credit. He’s fixing his release points, optimizing the churve, and he’s turned his season around.

3. Did it look like Darvish was cheating? Who knows, and really we should stop these witch hunts because: (1) you don’t know; and (2) you don’t know who is and who is not cheating.

4. The exception of course is Jacob deGrom. When one idiot looking for attention, clearly still sore over the 2015 NLDS, the Mets came out en mass to shut him up.

5. deGrom is taking another run at Bob Gibson. In 2017, it was the quality start streak. Now, deGrom has had a better nine start beginning to his season than Gibson had in the Year of the Pitcher.

6. For that matter, deGrom has had a better start to his season than Pedro Martinez had in either of his best seasons.

7. Honestly, it was a treat to watch Fernando Tatis, Jr. for four games.

8. The Tatis for James Shields trade was not worse than the Jarred Kelenic trade. Those saying that don’t understand either trade or how value works.

9. We have another example why GKR are the best with Gary Cohen asking where the Bartolo Colon home run plaque is calling it the most significant event in Petco Park history.

10. Not to be sour grapes, but while the Steve Gelbs segment was funny, we should be reminded he’s the guy who gets to ask the first question at every press conference. If he’s just the sideline guy or in the studio, this is all well and good, but he’s not trying to be just that.

11. Marcus Stroman reminded us again he’s a terrific pitcher who can beat you in so many ways. Also, he showed how mentally tough he was to shut down the Padres after than Bob Brenly fiasco.

12. When Stroman talks about how good the clubhouse is we should listen. It should also be noted this is one of the more likable Mets teams we’ve seen in years.

13. Jose Peraza doesn’t hit many homers, but when he does, it gives the Mets the lead.

14. Brandon Drury is perhaps the perfect encapsulation of this team right now. He probably hasn’t been a viable Major Leaguer since 2017, so, of course, he makes a game changing double play.

15. For those questioning why the Mets are still winning games right now, the answer is pitching and defense. Pitching and defense always wins more games than optimizing your offensive lineups.

16. It took a while, but we’re seeing the real Francisco Lindor, and it’s glorious. Phenomenal defense. Great offense. Unparalleled leadership.

17. Someone awoke the power in Dominic Smith‘s bat.

18. Sometimes you get lucky finding the right guy at the right time. That might’ve just happened for the Mets with Billy McKinney who is playing a good right field and has a 148 OPS+ with the Mets so far.

19. Between the Pete Alonso 9/11 jokes and mocking Kevin Pillar‘s face mask, who knew Padres fans were such trash?

20. The Mets are on pace for 90 wins right now, and that’s while they’re incredibly injured. Who knows just how good this team can and will be.

GAME RECAPS

Mets Just Had Bad Luck

Mets Had Just Three Hits

Jacob deGrom Made Padres Look Like Children

Chris Paddack Not Winning NL Pitcher of the Week

Jarred Kelenic Debuts On Day Mets Need An OF

The Seattle Mariners waited that extra couple of weeks, and they have called up Jarred Kelenic at a time when they get an extra year of control over him. It also happens to be at a time when the New York Mets need some outfield depth.

Brandon Nimmo and Albert Almora have landed on the IL. Fortunately, Kevin Pillar is proving himself to be excellent depth, and the Mets did have Khalil Lee to call up.

Still, none of that group is what Kelenic could be. It’s also not just about this year. Michael Conforto is a pending free agent, and no one knows if the Mets will be able to keep him.

That goes double with Robinson Cano‘s contract coming back onto the books. Again, this is just a reminder of his epically stupid and short sighted this trade was. It didn’t just cost the Mets the opportunity see Kelenic.

No, the Mets are also going to be in a tight spot when also looking to sign Marcus Stroman and Noah Syndergaard. The Mets will be stuck with Cano and his awful contract as they await the next positive PED test while trying to find a way to keep everyone.

What makes it all the more unpalatable is how the team is coveted. Pete Alonso‘s fun Donnie Stevenson bit was blamed for firing Chili Davis (despite being told it was not a factor).

Francisco Lindor has put a target on his back over the rat or raccoon debate because he wouldn’t say what happened between him and Jeff McNeil.

We’re even at the point where some writers are questioning how Jacob deGrom was put on the IL. That was something never done when Jeff Wilpon played doctor.

However, we won’t see articles about how the Wilpons knew they were selling, so they were willing to strip down the farm to win one last World Series. They even went out and hired the GM who was either clueless or similarly lacked integrity.

The end result is the Mets need an outfielder now, and they’re going to need one for 2022. That outfielder should have been Jarred Kelenic.

The only problem is he’s in Seattle. Fortunately, the people who put him there are out of baseball and will remain so.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Sweep Orioles

After sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks, the New York Mets swept the Baltimore Orioles to complete a perfect 5-0 homestand:

1. What’s the over/under on game winning RBI Patrick Mazeika gets before finally collecting his first Major League hit?

2. Mazeika is the first player with two walk-off RBI in his first four games, and it’s been well over a century before someone had multiple walk-offs before a hit.

3. Mazeika is why Old Timer’s Days are great. Some random player who most of baseball history will overlook gets to come back to a huge ovation and be treated like a legend.

4. That sentiment may apply perfectly to Mike Baxter.

5. Players and plays like this are a testament that you need contributions from up and down your roster. The Mets are getting that and then some right now.

6. Certainly, it helps the Mets experienced those injuries during a soft spot in their schedule. Then again, in years past when they didn’t have players like Kevin Pillar on the bench, they would fall completely apart anyway.

7. One annoying GKR trait is when a player like Pillar makes a good defensive play, they’ll mock defensive metrics.

8. We can talk about a number of reasons why the Mets are doing well, but defense is front and center. This has gone from a dreadful defensive team to a top 12 team.

9. When you’re playing good defense, your pitching can shine, and you only need four runs per game. When the Mets hit that mark, they’re 15-2.

10. If Jeff McNeil really only had cramps, and this front office has actually been upfront about injuries, the Mets dodged a huge bullet.

11. Albert Almora‘s collision with the wall is one of the scariest you’ll see. And yes, he did catch that ball.

12. It’s amazing after all the years of Jeff Wilpon laying waste to careers like Pedro Martinez, Ryan Church, Jason Bay, and many more with his playing doctor, people like Buster Olney only now take issue with the Mets handling injuries with Jacob deGrom landing on the IL.

13. We’re truly living in bizarre times when deGrom is on the IL, and Matt Harvey is pitching at Citi Field.

14. Harvey deserved each and every one of those standing ovations, and it was wonderful to hear how much it meant to him. Certainly, he meant the world to us.

15. Dominic Smith has started hitting again, and not a moment too soon with that clutch game tying RBI.

16. Contrary to previously held beliefs, Michael Conforto is indeed clutch.

17. Taijuan Walker continues to pitch great, and he’s probably been the best free agent starter. That said, he embarrasses the game of baseball when he doesn’t even try at the plate.

18. Marcus Stroman continues to be phenomenal both on the mound and as a fielder. As we’ve seen, he’s an even better teammate.

19. With deGrom, Stroman, and Walker, the Mets have three of the top seven in ERA.

20. The sting of Jarred Kelenic getting called up and the sheer stupidity of all things Brodie Van Wagenen will dull if the Mets keep playing like this.

Game Recaps

Patrick Mazeika With Another Walk-Off

Matt Harvey’s Sad Return

Theo Epstein Should Have No Place In Baseball

One day, Cooperstown is going to come calling for Theo Epstein. After all, he was the leader for two franchises who broke curses.

Epstein was the GM for the 2004 Boston Red Sox who won a World Series for the first time in 86 years. Winning with the Red Sox apparently wasn’t challenging enough for him.

No, Epstein took over as the President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs. Whereas with the Red Sox he fortified an already great roster, he built the Cubs from the bottom up to lead them to their first World Series title in 108 years.

Now, that he’s stepped aside, everyone wants him in another important role. As jobs open up, more and more people will push for him.

Currently, he’s a consultant for Major League Baseball. There’s a push for many to name him the next commissioner. There was a push for the Mets to hire him, and there was an article from Larry Stone of the Seattle Times about how the Seattle Mariners need to hire Epstein in the wake of the Kevin Mather fallout.

There’s a certain irony in the push for anyone to hire Epstein right now, as he is emblematic of many of the problems baseball currently faces.

In terms of the Mariners, Mather “re-signed” partially as a result of his admitting to service time manipulation of Jarred Kelenic and other prospects. In some ways, Epstein is really the worst hire.

With the Cubs, Epstein dealt with the same issues with Kris Bryant. Like the Mariners intended to do with Kelenic, the team didn’t call up Bryant until they could gain another year of control.

That led to Bryant filing a grievance, which he eventually lost. He also rejected numerous attempts to sign a contract extension with the team.

In terms of the Mets, they’re still dealing with the fallout of the Mickey Callaway and Jared Porter harassment claims. Notably, the Porter harassment didn’t occur when he was with the Mets. Rather, it happened when he was with the Cubs.

As we learned, the Cubs first advised the victim to not go further with the complaint. Instead, they advised her to try to leverage her position. On multiple occasions, they followed up to ensure there would be no embarrassing law suit.

This was somewhat emblematic of how little regard the Cubs held women. In addition to Porter, the Cubs traded for Aroldis Chapman, and they tendered Addison Russell a contract.

Seeing what happened under his leadership, it’s clear he has no place in baseball right now. He’s not the guy to clean up the problems. Rather, he’s the guy who helped create, and at a minimum, led organizations who actively disregarded and cover-up problems.

Unless we get an investigation and answers to very pointed questions, Epstein should not return to any MLB front office in any role. He’s created and perpetuated problems.

There may come a time for his return to baseball, but that time has not yet arrived. It can’t until he had