Luis Guillorme

Mets Should Not Trade Jeff McNeil For Francisco Lindor

The Mets have been linked to Francisco Lindor leading to various outlets comprising trade proposals. One such proposal from MLB Network has Jeff McNeil headlining a trade for Lindor.

Simply put, it makes zero sense for the Mets to trade Jeff McNeil even in a deal for a Lindor.

The need for Lindor is obvious, and the Mets would match-up very well with the Cleveland Indians. One reason why is the Mets have logjams at different positions with cost controlled players. Those players could fulfill a reciprocal need for the Indians.

At first base, the Mets have Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith. Both would be a replacement and upgrade over the free agent Carlos Santana.

At shortstop, the Mets have Andres Gimenez, Luis Guillorme, and Amed Rosario. Any one of these three could be a short to long term replacement for Lindor.

At catcher, the Mets have defensive specialists in Tomas Nido and Ali Sanchez. That would at least seem to be of interest to an Indians team who puts a priority on catcher defense and framing. Notably, Roberto Perez will be a free agent after this year, and Austin Hedges will be one the ensuing season.

With the caveat of not knowing how the Indians value these players, or whether they’d take J.D. Davis off the Mets hands, it would seem mixing and matching from these groups could largely get a deal done.

Honestly, this is trading at its best. The Mets have a surplus of quality Major Leaguers at different positions. Those players would fulfill very specific needs the Indians have. This is why the Mets and Indians match up so well.

Of course, this assumes this isn’t an Indians fire-sale. Considering the Indians aren’t looking to trade Jose Ramirez, even with his being a free agent after the 2021 season, this appears to be a very safe assumption. That assumption would be bolstered by a presumed pursuit of McNeil.

The reasons why the Indians would want McNeil are obvious. He’s as versatile a player as there is in the game. He plays well defensively at second and both corner outfield spots. With work on his throws, he could be a very good third baseman.

In addition to his defense and versatility, he’s a good hitter. Since his MLB debut, McNeil has a 139 OPS+. Over the past three years, that ranks him as the 13th best hitter in all of baseball.

If the Mets are going to be bold and add players like Lindor, they need McNeil. They need his versatility, defense, and bat. Moreover, any deals the Mets make need to clear surplus and not detract from other areas.

In the end, the Mets have more than enough pieces to make a very good trade for both teams without including McNeil. With that being the case, there is absolutely no reason for the Mets to include McNeil in a trade for Lindor.

2020 Mets Did Not Underachieve

As the season wound to a close, there was much talk about how the Mets were too talented for this season to have unfolded the way it did. Certainly, some players struggled, but in the end, the Mets missing even an expanded postseason should not have shocked anyone.

Things changed dramatically for the Mets the day Noah Syndergaard had to shut it down due to Tommy John surgery. It was at that point the Mets went from possible postseason contender to a team who was likely going to miss the postseason.

Syndergaard presented, along with Jacob deGrom, two top of the rotation, swing and miss pitchers. The Mets desperately needed this as this was a team with far too many pitchers who pitched to contact in front of a terrible defensive team.

In 2019, the Mets were last in the National League with an 86 DRS. Despite planning on going into 2020 with Marcus Stroman and Rick Porcello, two pitchers who pitch to a high rate of contact, the Mets affirmatively opted not to improve their defense. In actuality, they probably made t worse.

Remember, the plan was to always have two first basemen in the field with Pete Alonso and J.D. Davis. Based on what we saw of Robinson Cano in 2019, you could’ve argued, the Mets were really putting three first basemen in the field. That’s beyond ill advised.

An important thing to remember here was not only were the Mets playing three first basemen, they were playing three poor ones at that, at least in terms of their respective positions.

By OAA, Alonso was the worst defensive first baseman in the NL last year. Davis was the 26th ranked LF with the second worst success rate. Cano was also ranked 26th.

The good news is Cano rebounded by OAA but not DRS. Past him, well, it was a complete disaster.

Davis didn’t last long in LF because he was even worse, which you could not imagine to be possible. He then moved to third where he was again an unmitigated disaster. That was a precipitous drop from the good, albeit declining defense, provided from Todd Frazier last year.

Alonso too regressed leading him to lose his everyday job at first. Instead, he split time with Dominic Smith at the position. When Dom wasn’t at first, he was in left. That meant the Mets had FOUR first basemen in the field.

You can’t win games that way.

What makes this even worse is the Mets didn’t really surround these players with plus defenders to offset the terrible defense.

Brandon Nimmo isn’t a center fielder. That was again proven by his -4 OAA and -5 DRS. Wilson Ramos was just about the worst catcher there was in baseball behind the plate. His framing numbers were poor, his ability to block the ball worse, and his ability to tag out runners nonexistent.

Essentially, that made the pitchers mound look more like a tiny island with a bunch of people around him just letting him drown.

Really, when you look at the Mets, the only position they had good defense was short with Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario providing very good defense there. Other than that this was a terrible defensive ballclub with the fourth worst DRS in all of baseball.

The sad thing is it didn’t have to be this way. There were very good defenders on this roster who earned playing time. Case in point was Luis Guillorme. He had a very good defensive season with a 1 OAA and DRS, and he posted a 144 wRC+ at the plate. Playing him up the middle with Gimenez or Rosario could’ve had a profound impact on this suspect pitching staff.

On that note, Porcello struggled with terrible defense behind him. Stroman opting out certainly hurt, but he also might’ve struggled in front of a flat out terrible defensive team.

Throw in Michael Wacha being predictably bad and injured and Steven Matz regressing, and this wasn’t even close to being a team being built to compete over a 162 or 60 game season.

Truth be told, the only way this team could’ve competed was by having a starting staff of swing and miss pitchers who induced soft contact. Unfortunately, Syndergaard was injured, and the Mets didn’t want Zack Wheeler. Once the latter two were gone so were the Mets chances.

In the end, Brodie Van Wagenen and Jeff Wilpon treated the Mets like they were a fantasy team. With the Mets having an MLB best team 122 wRC+, they probably won their fantasy league.

However, on the field, where things like defense and base running matter, they built a flawed and arguably bad baseball team. Certainly, this was not a team truly built to compete, and in the end the Mets didn’t.

That’s why Van Wagenen will be gone and why Steve Cohen has zero interest in keeping Jeff Wilpon around in any decision making capacity when the sale is officially ratified by MLB.

Overall, the 2020 New York Mets didn’t underachieve. No, this team did EXACTLY what they were built to do. That was have deGrom be great, the offense hit, and get horrendous defense and suspect starting pitching.

Wilpon Era Ends Most Fitting Way Possible

Could you believe all the things the Mets needed to happen for them to make the postseason actually happened? It literally had a less than 2% chance of happening at one point, but it did happen!

Actually, no, that’s not entirely correct. The Mets making the postseason was contingent on them winning out. The Mets didn’t do that part. In fact, they lost their last three, four of five, and seven of their last 10.

By losing their last three games, they finished in last place in the NL East. To add insult to injury, they got completely blown out in the final game of the season.

Seth Lugo, Brad Brach, Steven Matz, and Dellin Betances simply didn’t have it. Each one of these pitchers allowed three runs with Lugo allowing six. This set the stage for a 15-5 loss.

While it’s terrible having to watch the Mets lose a game like this, there is solace in the fact this is the last game of the Wilpon era. For all they put this fanbase through for nearly two decades, their lasting memory as majority owners is getting their doors blown off with their team being completely embarrassed.

Yes, the Mets will lose games like this is the future. It’s unavoidable. That said, we’ve just seen the last time the Wilpons get to react to this kind of loss. Actually, that time has already passed. Now, they just have to watch and be powerless to do anything about it.

Now, Mets fans have an owner with actual resources to operate a baseball team. He’s hired someone who knows what he’s doing, and he’s going to show both Jeff Wilpon and Brodie Van Wagenen the door, which will make the Mets infinitely better.

As Brandon Nimmo said before the game, “I’m glad that somebody who is a lifelong Mets fan is going to end up owning the team.” We all feel the same way.

The Wilpons being gone wasn’t the only highlight of the day. Luis Guillorme sports an incredible fu manchu, and he was 2-for-3 with a double, walk, and run.

Pete Alonso was also great hitting two homers. It was fun seeing fan favorites perform this way. It’s even better when it leads to a Mets win. But that didn’t happen.

Instead, we saw the Mets lose just like Jeff Wilpon did. Now, (we ,@6$!@)see him go witwell is as

No Rays Of Hope Left After This Mets Loss

Well, if the miracles were going to happen, it needed to start tonight. Fortunately, Jacob deGrom was on the mound. Unfortunately, the Mets are still the Mets.

It started with Michael Conforto going from routine day off in a must win game to having hamstring tightness. Then, it was the Mets calling up Guillermo Heredia to replace the yet again injured Jake Marisnick while leaving Luis Guillorme in Brooklyn. Finally, it was the game.

The run in the second inning never should have scored against deGrom.

After deGrom issued a rare leadoff walk to Nate Lowe, Joey Wendle doubled. On the play, Lowe overran third and was dead to rights. However, that mattered little as Amed Rosario flat out dropped the relay throw. That allowed Lowe to not only retreat back safely but also to score on the ensuing Manuel Margot sacrifice fly.

That meant it was 2-0 Rays and not 1-0 Rays when Lowe homered off deGrom in the fourth.

The real shame is deGrom was otherwise phenomenal striking out 14 Rays. He rose to the occasion to keep the Mets in the game and the season. That included his working around a Wilson Ramos passed ball putting Lowe on third with one out in the sixth.

It didn’t matter as the Mets offense was stymied by the bullpenning Rays. The Mets were limited to just four hits and could only muster a two out rally in the fifth.

In that fifth inning, Heredia drew a two out walk. The bases were loaded after a Ramos single, and Brandon Nimmo was hit by a pitch.

Jeff McNeil came through with what should’ve been a game tying single. However, Willy Adames made a great sliding play up the middle to smother the ball. It was still an RBI single, but it was 2-1 instead of 2-2.

That was magnified when J.D. Davis lined out to end the inning. Overall, Davis was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a walk dropping his plummeting OPS to .777.

After Davis failed to deliver there, the Mets didn’t get another hit. In the end, the Mets went down weakly in this 2-1 loss and have now lost three out of four to all but destroy their postseason chances.

Game Notes: deGrom became the first Mets pitcher since Dwight Gooden in 1985 to strike out 14 twice in a season.

Mets Don’t Put Best Team On Field In Braves Embarrassing Route

Before the game, the New York Mets optioned Luis Guillorme to the alternate site to make room for Franklyn Kilome on the roster.

The Mets made that option despite Guillorme having a 0.7 WAR, 143 wRC+, and having a 2 OAA. He’s been a good hitter and an even better fielder. He’s also been a good pinch hitter on his career with a .364 OBP.

It should be noted J.D. Davis continues to be the worst fielder in baseball. Since August 1, he’s hitting .262/.374/.404. Overall, he’s at a 0.0 WAR.

As bad as Davis has been, Amed Rosario has been worse. He’s lost his starting job to Andres Gimenez, and he’s hitting just .250/.268/.367. Arguably, he’s been the worst player on the Mets this year.

Put another way, Guillorme was optioned despite there being worse players with options remaining staying on the roster. That means the Mets didn’t put their best roster out there at a time when they’re supposedly trying to make the postseason.

With a rusty and possibly not quite fully healthy yet Steven Matz starting and imploding, the Mets were in a 6-0 hole through three. Seeing the Mets overcame bug deficits against the Phillies, there was some hope the Mets could come back.

Kilome took care of that hope allowing six runs over 1.1 innings putting the Mets in a 12-0 hole. Seeing Kilome pitch, you need to remember the Mets optioned their best bench player quite possibly losing him for the rest of the season for this performance.

Adding insult to injury, Travis d’Arnaud was 3-for-4 with a run, homer, two RBI, and two walks. The player Van Wagenen didn’t think was good enough for his team is batting cleanup for one of the best teams in baseball, and he’s killing the Mets.

All told, this was an embarrassing and demoralizing 15-2 loss. Make no mistake, this was a direct reflection of just how inept Van Wagenen has been as the Mets GM.

Game Notes: Todd Frazier pitched a scoreless inning.

Mets Second Straight Big Comeback

For a second straight game, a Mets starter didn’t see the third inning, and for the second straight game, the Mets made an improbable comeback.

After being staked to a 3-0 first inning lead thanks to Dominic Smith and Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo had a terrible first inning. Flat out terrible.

After Lugo allowed three straight homers to Bryce Harper, Alec Bohm, and Didi Gregorius, he allowed another run in the inning turning a 3-0 lead into a 4-3 deficit.

At least for tonight, Harper owned Lugo homering off of him again in the second inning. Gregorius then knocked out Lugo with an RBI single.

It was 6-3 Phillies, and it was in the hands of the Mets bullpen. Starting with Erasmo Ramirez, they were brilliant. He and Chasen Shreve would each pitch 2.1 scoreless before handing the ball to Jeurys Familia who pitched 1.1 scoreless.

Their pitching kept the Mets in the game, and it gave them a chance to comeback against what has been a terrible Phillies bullpen.

While the Mets weren’t able to put up more runs off Aaron Nola from the second through fifth, they made him work. He ran out of gas in the sixth, and that Mets took advantage starting with a Pete Alonso one out homer:

Jeff McNeil walked leading to the Phillies going to their bullpen. Andres Gimenez walked, and after Luis Guillorme lined out, it was up to Brandon Nimmo. He tied the score on what is arguably the biggest hit of his career . . . up until that point.

Things would get really dicey in the eighth. With two outs, Familia walked Andrew McCutcheon. Luis Rojas brought in Justin Wilson to face the left-handed Harper to get the Mets out of the inning.

Instead, Wilson walked the bases loaded. Due to the three batter rule, the Mets couldn’t even contemplate lifting him. Fortunately for the Mets, Wilson retired Gregorius to end the inning.

After escalating the jam, it was time for Nimmo to come up huge again. This time, it was a go-ahead homer with a rare pimping of the homer from Nimmo:

That ninth inning leadoff homer off Brandon Workman sparked the Mets offense like Alonso’s did in the sixth. It was a four run ninth with Smith tripling in Michael Conforto, and Cano hitting a two run homer.

While not a save situation, the Mets went to Edwin Diaz. Diaz would make it interesting by loading the bases and bringing the tying run to the plate. Diaz, who was pitching three days in a row, got McCutheon to ground out to end the game.

With that, the Mets have won a series against a team other than the Marlins this year. They’re alive and ready to fight another day as the schedule gets insanely difficult now.

Game Notes: Wilson earned the win.

Jeff McNeil Exits To Observe Mets 2020 Season

The New York Mets never cease to be completely ridiculous and absurd. They never cease to amaze and shock you.

Today, Jeff McNeil picked up a bat and headed off the field, and Luis Guillorme would have to pinch hit and take over for him in the leadoff spot and second base.

Believe it or not, this was due to “gastrointestinal discomfort,” which is probably just another way of saying he had to use the bathroom.

With the one man who scored a run over the first seven innings gone, the Mets had their own runs issues.

David Peterson had allowed two earned over five, but he had retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced. Despite his being at 81 pitches, he was lifted as the Mets went to the bullpen.

Brad Brach and Jared Hughes imploded in the sixth allowing five runs putting the game completely out of reach.

The Mets added two cosmetic runs in the eighth, but all that did was make the score 7-3 giving the allusion it was much closer than it was.

The Mets now have the fourth worst record in the NL, and they’re two games behind the Giants in the loss column for the final postseason spot with 13 games remaining.

Essentially, we’re watching the 2020 Mets season being flushed down the drain while McNeil is standing there watching with a bat.

Game Notes: Dominic Smith has an eight game hitting streak, and he knocked in two of the Mets three runs.

Have Sympathy For Rick Porcello

Like you and me, Rick Porcello grew up loving the Mets. Unlike you and me, he was not only talented enough to make it to the majors, but he was also able to win a World Series and a Cy Young.

Due to that pedigree, there were teams still interested in him when he became a free agent despite his having the worst ERA in baseball last year. Having his first real chance at free agency in his career, he decided to turn down better offers to fulfill his childhood dream of pitching for the New York Mets.

Porcello was getting his chance to realize his dream. Unfortunately, it’s been a nightmare for him.

Through nine starts, he’s 1-4 with a 6.07 ERA. He’s given up the most hits and earned runs in the league. Opposing batters are hitting .318/.356/.436 off of him. He’s only averaging 4.2 innings per start.

Now, the Mets haven’t done him many favors. For example, given how Porcello is your classic pitch to contact sinkerball pitcher, you need to optimize your defense with him on the mound.

When he had Luis Guillorme and Andres Gimenez up the middle in his August 5 start, he was terrific allowing one run over seven. It was the same alignment up the middle for his August 16 start when he allowed four over six against the Phillies.

We’ve also seen him struggle without that strong up the middle combination. For example, last night, Robinson Cano was at second for his poor start where he allowed five earned over four. In his first Mets start, he allowed seven runs (six earned) with Cano and Amed Rosario up the middle against the Braves.

It must be so frustrating to have success and return to the form where you were considered a bona fide middle to front end starter to getting your brains beaten in with a lackluster defense behind you.

It has to be worse when this is happening to you when this was your dream. Perhaps more than any pitcher in this Mets rotation, he wanted to win a World Series and celebrate with the fans. After all, he’s one of us.

Sadly, he’s not well respected by his fellow Mets fans. They see his putting up similarly poor numbers than he did last year. In some ways, he’s become a poster boy for Brodie Van Wagenen’s dismantling of this once great Mets rotation.

After all, Porcello got a chunk of the money that didn’t go to Zack Wheeler. Wheeler has been great in Philadelphia whereas Porcello hasn’t been so much in New York.

As a fan, if we were allowed in the park, we’d boo him mercilessly. His performance has warranted it even though he’s not always been put in a position to succeed.

Overall, you’re allowed to be frustrated with him. If we were at the park, you’d be well within your right to boo him. Still, we should all realize this has to be painful for Porcello.

Porcello wanted to be a New York Met more than anything. His dreams are becoming nightmares. Certainly, we can identify with that, and because of that, we should have some sympathy for him.

And obviously, we hope his last few starts for the Mets are great, and he still gets that opportunity to win a World Series with the New York Mets.

Mets Complete Comeback

This wasn’t your typical Mets script. This is a team who finds a way to get close enough to just rip your heart out. Tonight, they were doing that to the Orioles instead of their fans.

For a while, it seemed there was no shot for the Mets to win this one as the Orioles were teeing off on Rick Porcello. At one point, they were 9-for-15 off Porcello, and seemingly the only way for the Mets to record an out was to throw out a runner looking to stretch a single into a double as Michael Conforto did to Chance Sisco to lead off the second.

Through three, the Orioles were up 5-1. That one run came in the second when Jeff McNeil singled home Dominic Smith, who led off the inning with his MLB leading 17th double.

The score would be 6-3 heading into the bottom of the fifth after McNeil and DJ Stewart traded a pair of homers. In the bottom of the fifth, Conforto would ignite the Mets with a solo homer.

The rally didn’t end with the homer. Later in the inning, Cano snapped out of his slump to hit an RBI single to pull the Mets to within 6-5. That’s when the Mets defense would shine and keep the Mets in the game.

The first came from McNeil who robbed Jose Iglesias of an extra base hit:

Even though that was the second out and there was no one on, Jared Hughes had trouble getting out of that inning. He’d load the bases, and Luis Rojas would bring in the struggling Justin Wilson to face Rio Ruiz. For a moment, it looked like Ruiz hit a bases clearing double:

After those pair of great defensive plays, the Mets would get the big hits they needed. First, it was Andres Gimenez tying the game in the bottom of the sixth with his second career homer:

Then, it was Pete Alonso hitting his 11th homer of the year in the bottom of the eighth to give the Mets a 7-6 lead.

Being the Mets, they weren’t quite out of the woods yet. Edwin Diaz allowed a lead-off single, and for a moment, it looked like the first two would reach. That was until Luis Guillorme, who was brought in for defense, made another great defensive play.

Diaz retired the last two to earn his third save of the year. It was a dramatic and needed win to help keep the Mets postseason hopes alive.

Game Notes: McNeil has homered in four straight. Diaz, Seth Lugo, and bullpen coach Ricky Bones wore 21 today in honor of Roberto Clemente.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Earn Disappointing Split With Phillies

The New York Mets had an opportunity to make some headway in the postseason race with a four game series against the Phillies. They had their chance, but instead, they could only muster a split.

1. Jacob deGrom AGAIN established he’s the best pitcher in baseball by striking out 12 Phillies over seven.

2. deGrom and Zack Wheeler would’ve been the best 1-2 punch in baseball, but unfortunately, Brodie Van Wagenen is a terrible GM.

3. If the Mets had the starting pitching, they’d easily be the top team in the division. It’s weird saying that knowing where the Mets have been, and downright hilarious considering Van Wagenen’s preseason declarations.

4. As we continue to see, Seth Lugo can start. That wasn’t really the issue. The issue always was who takes over his role. The answer so far is nobody.

5. Miguel Castro looks like a modern day Mel Rojas or Guillermo Mota.

6. It was past time for Andres Gimenez to take the starting job from Amed Rosario. Now, it’s time to make Rosario the 2021 center fielder.

7. Obtaining Todd Frazier made sense because he gave the Mets the third baseman they didn’t have, and apparently, he was a great presence for this Mets team.

8. The Mets didn’t obtain Frazier for his bat, but maybe they should’ve because Pete Alonso started hitting again using Frazier’s bats.

9. Speaking of hitting again, it’s nice to see Jeff McNeil raking again.

10. Game-in, game-out, Michael Conforto proves the Mets need to extend him.

11. Somehow, someway, Dominic Smith has emerged as the Mets best hitter so far this year, and he’s leading the league in doubles. He wasn’t given an opportunity. He forced it.

12. Luis Guillorme is batting .395, and he plays good to great defense at three different positions. His not being able to crack this starting lineup is another example of why Van Wagenen has to go.

13. J.D. Davis has proven he can’t play in the field. Without the juiced ball, his GB rate is climbing back up to career norms, and his BABIP is dropping. In total, he’s regressing to the mean. Insisting on playing him everyday is holding this team back.

14. The rally yesterday was great, but it doesn’t mean a whole lot when you see the Mets lose in extras.

15. Right now, the only Mets reliever you might be able to trust is Brad Brach, who has been having a very good year. You’d like to see him more, but that may not be possible when his dealing with the after effects of COVID19.

16. To be fair, Edwin Diaz appears to be returning to form. The Mets just need to find a way to prevent those Armando Benitez like blown saves and to have him have fewer of those incidents.

17. The Tom Seaver patch is nice, but it’s perfunctory. It seems Mets fans want more with renaming Citi Field in his honor as a popular one. Personally, I’d like to see the dirt patch be permanent, and/or a 41 permanently on the pitching rubber at Citi Field.

18. It’s funny to think the Toronto Blue Jays are currently the best team in New York. One of the reasons why is Anthony Kay who has a 176 ERA+. The Mets sure could’ve used him this year.

19. We’re counting down the days until the Wilpons are gone. Hopefully, Van Wagenen, who turned a great core and minor league depth into a team four games under .500 f outside looking in on an expanded postseason, follows them out the door.

20. Despite everything, the Mets are just two games out of a postseason spot (five in the loss column). They’re better than the Marlins, Giants, Rockies, and Brewers (or should be). There’s still a chance.