Matt Reynolds

Matz Picks Up A Grandy Win

Another Steven Matz start and another seven innings. Since coming off the Disabled List, Matz has pitched seven innings in three of his four starts. Tonight might’ve been the best start of the lot. 

Matz pitched seven shut out innings befuddling the Marlins. No Marlins player would even make it to third base.  He pitched mainly to contact, weak contact, which permitted him to once again go deep in the game. Over the seven innings, he needed just 110 pitches. 

His final line was seven innings, six hits, no runs, one walk, and four strikeouts. 

And Matz would get the win in this game with some help of some veterans looking to boost their trade value. 

Curtis Granderson was great just like he’s been all June. In fact, he’s been among the top three hitters in the majors during the Month of June. 

To start the game, Granderson battled back from a 1-2 count to draw a nine pitch walk against Marlins starter Jeff LockeAsdrubal Cabrera followed with a home run:

He’s been much better since moving to second base. 

The rally continued with a Jay Bruce single and a Travis d’Arnaud two out walk. In what might’ve been his best game of the season Jose Reyes delivered with an RBI single making it 3-1. 

Overall, Reyes was 3-4 with a double and an RBI. With his seventh inning single, he passed Ed Kranepool for second on the Mets all-time hit list. 

The Mets offense would go silent from there until the Marlins brought Dustin McGowan into the game. d’Arnaud got it started with an RBI single, and he’d go to third on the aforementioned Reyes single. If that ball does not hit McGowan, Reyes has an RBI. 

That RBI would go to T.J. Rivera with his RBI groundout. It appeared to be a sure fire double play ball, but at the last second, it took a strange hop on Marlins shortstop JT Riddle

After a Matz sacrifice bunt, the Marlins brought in the left-handed Justin Nicolino to face Granderson. Granderson responded by hitting a bomb:

This was the third straight game Granderson hit a home run. 

The Mets would build on this 6-0 lead in the eighth. Brandon Nimmo continued his terrific work as a pinch hitter delivering a two out RBI single giving the Mets an 8-0 lead. That’s a lead not even this Mets bullpen could blow. 

Mets are back on track for at least one day, and they look to take the series tomorrow. 

Game Notes: Robert Gsellman was put on the DL, and Matt Reynolds was called-up to take his place on the roster. Reynolds came on for defense for Cabrera in the eighth. 

Sandy Didn’t Want To Call-Up Michael Conforto Either

Back in 2015, the New York Mets season was falling apart at the seams.  The Mets needed offense, and the fans wanted Michael Conforto.  Scouts and talent evaluators said the Mets 2014 first round draft pick was ready, but the Mets consistently insisted Conforto wasn’t ready.

Instead of Conforto, the Mets trotted out people who weren’t good and weren’t ready.  The Mets were happy trotting out John Mayberry, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and Darrell Ceciliani in the outfield.  Briefly, the Mets would even try Eric Campbell in left field.  For the most part, the Mets mostly stuck with a clearly injured and hobbled Michael Cuddyer in left field.  He fell apart in June hitting just .211/.237/.311 in 25 games.

Finally, both Cuddyer and the Mets both had enough, Cuddyer would go the Disabled List, and Conforto would finally get called-up to the majors.  At that time, the Mets had lost two in a row and five of their last seven.  For a team that once had a 4.5 game lead in the division, they would fall to three games back.

It turns out Conforto was indeed ready.  He would play 56 games hitting .270/.335/.506 with 14 doubles nine homers, and 26 RBI.  He was a big part of the Mets turn-arond with the team having been 10 games over .500 in the games he played.  He was also a big part of the Mets postseason run.  He hit three homers in the postseason including two in Game Four of the World Series.

It’s possible Conforto needed every bit the time he had in Double-A.  Maybe the extra time he spent in Doube-A put him in position to succeed when he came to the majors.  It’s also likely Conforto was ready well before the Mets did what they didn’t want to do when they called him up.  Fact is, we’ll never know.  The only thing we do know is Conforto was very good when he was called up to the majors, and he has an important part of the Mets success in 2015.

The Mets are in the same exact situation in 2017.

The team has seen Asdrubal Cabrera struggled offensively and defensively, and he has landed on the Disabled List twice.  His primary back-up, Jose Reyes, has statistically been the worst infielder in the major leagues this year, and he appears to be getting worse.  Now, Neil Walker has suffered an injury that will keep him on the Disabled List for an extended time frame.

Unlike 2015, the real issue for this Mets team is defense.  As a team, the Mets rank last in the majors with a -13 DRS, and it is not likely to improve.  Reyes is not only struggling offensively, but he is struggling defensively as well.  The other players on the roster aren’t much better.

The Mets took the starting shortstop position away from Wilmer Flores for a reason.  The Mets also transitioned T.J. Rivera from shortstop to other positions because he couldn’t handle the position defensively.  Same goes for Gavin Cecchini who is now a second baseman.  Matt Reynolds is actually a good defensive shortstop, but he can’t hit enough to play everyday.

Like in 2015, the fans are clamoring for the Mets top prospect, and like in 2015, everyone but Sandy Alderson seems to believe he’s ready.  In 65 games for Las Vegas, he’s hitting .336/.378/.500 with 15 doubles, four triples, seven homers, 47 RBI, and 12 stolen bases.  Based on the offensive statistics, he seems ready, but that’s not an in depth analysis.  Truth is considering the hitting environment that is the Pacific Coast League, we probably don’t know how much improvement a player is making until they get to the majors.

However, the Mets don’t need Rosario for his offense even if anything else is likely better than what Reyes is providing.  No, the Mets need him for his defense, and the Mets need him sooner rather than later.

After losing last night’s game, the Mets are five games under .500, and they are 10.5 games back in the division.  Like in 2015, the Mets promising season is falling apart.  Instead of the team calling up the player who could help address the team’s needs, they are being stubborn in insisting the top prospect isn’t ready.  They are once again letting the season slip away.  Unlike 2015, things are much more dire.

Sure, the Mets could be right in saying Rosario isn’t ready.  After all, it is very well likely they know more than anyone about where Rosario stands in his development.  Maybe, just maybe, the Mets know what they’re doing, and when they finally bring Rosario up to the majors, he will have the success and impact Conforto did in 2015.

Hopefully, there is still a season to salvage whenever the Mets get around to calling up Rosario.

Mets Squandering Chances In Game . . . East

There’s one fatal flaw if the strategy against the Nationals is to get into their bullpen – you have to actually get into their bullpen. With how dominant Max Scherzer has been against the Mets, and how dominant he’s been this year, that wasn’t happening tonight. 

That’s not to say the Mets didn’t have their chances. The Mets grounding into three double plays only confirms the Mets had their chances. Like all double plays, these were back breakers. 

In the second, Mets had first and second with no outs and a chance to take the lead. Travis d’Arnaud grounded into the double play. The Mets wouldn’t score when Jose Reyes flew out to end the threat. 

The following inning, Steven Matz tried to help his own cause with a lead-off single, but he was erased when Michael Conforto grounded into the double play. The shock here was that entering tonight’s game, Conforto actually hit Scherzer well going 6-15 with three homers off him. Tonight, Conforto was 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. 

Finally in the sixth, the Mets had runners on first and second with one out. That rally ended with Wilmer Flores grounding into the inning ending double play. It was the latest sign Flores is cold. After scorching through May and earning a starting job, Flores is 2-19. 

The squandered opportunities cost the Mets. It put Matz, who was making his second start off the Disabled List, in the unenviable position of having to be perfect. Unfortunately, Matz was just good. 

While he generally kept the Nationals off the basepaths, he was victimized by the long ball. Matt Wieters and Michael Taylor went back-to-back to start the third. In the sixth, Anthony Rendon hit an opposite field two run homer that just cleared the wall. 

With that, the Nationals were up 4-0 and in position to win despite the Matz pitching fairly well. His final line was seven innings, eight hits, four runs, four earned, no walks, and four strikeouts. 

With Dusty Baker understandably not wanting to go to his bullpen, a tiring Scherzer pitched the eighth. Things got a little interesting with Reyes leading off the inning with a homer, and Curtis Granderson sending one to the wall in his pinch hitting appearance. 

This is where Scherzer showed how great he is. He was clearly on fumes, but he bore down. He made quick work of Conforto before entering a battle with Yoenis Cespedes. Despite Scherzer quickly getting up 1-2 in the count, Cespedes fouled off a number of pitches, and the count would go full. On the 11th pitch, Scherzer finally got his strikeout. 

Still, it was within striking distance at 4-1. That’s when the Mets defense blew their chances. 

Taylor led off the inning with a well placed bunt single. Flores made a nice play, but with his arm, he had no shot at Taylor. Same went for d’Arnaud when Taylor stole second.  Taylor was certainly helped by Fernando Salas not even bothering to hold him on. 

Despite all of that, the Mets had a chance to get out of the ninth inning unscathed. There were runners at the corners with one out, and Brian Goodwin hit a tailor made double play ball.  For some reason, T.J. Rivera lollipopped it over to Reyes, who had no shot to get the speedy Goodwin. 

After a Bryce Harper single, Ryan Zimmerman hit a single to left. Goodwin seemed like he would score with ease, and for some reason, Harper headed to third. Cespedes made a one hop throw to third Flores could not field. It at least appeared if Flores fielded it cleanly, Harper would’ve been out before Goodwin scored thereby negating the run. 

It didn’t happen that way and because official scorers do that the do, Cespedes was charged with the error despite his heads-up play and good throw. 

Then Terry Collins does what he does best. He made a questionable move. 

After walking Daniel Murphy intentionally to load the bases, Collins brought in Neil Ramirez and his 7.3 BB/9 into the game. To a surprise to no one, Ramirez walked in a run to make it 7-1. 

Despite the Nationals bullpen being bad, they’re not six runs in the ninth inning bad. The real shame is the Nationals bullpen pitched as expected with Jay Bruce greeting Shawn Kelley with a lead-off home run in the ninth to make it 7-2. The Mets would get no closer. 

The Mets have had two cracks at the Nationals to help them make some headway in the National League East. They responded by playing some of their worst baseball this month. They were not fundamentally sound, nor were they smart. They didn’t effectively work counts to get into that bullpen, and they played poor defense. 

The most the Mets can hope for now is a split. If they continue playing like this, it won’t happen. 

Game Notes: Mets pitchers have allowed 13 home runs over the last four games. Brandon Nimmo and Matt Reynolds were called up, but they did not play. 

Five Mets Not Alive

Through the first four innings, this was a game. The Nationals got to Robert Gsellman, but the damage wasn’t as bad as it could have been. 

He made two mistakes. The first Bryce Harper hit for a long first inning home run. The second was a Matt Wieters fourth inning double. He came home to score on a Gio Gonzalez single. That’s problematic because Gonzalez is terrific at Citi Field. 

He was again tonight. The Mets had just one hit through the first three innings, and he looked like he was going to make that 2-0 lead stick. 

Still it was only 2-0 because in the third inning, Juan Lagares nailed Harper at the plate:

In the fourth, Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce hit back-to-back one out doubles to bring the Mets within 2-1. Considering how terrible the Nationals bullpen has been, that isn’t a bad position for the Mets.  If they kept it close, you had to like their chances. 

The Mets didn’t keep it close as the Nationals went to work in the fifth inning. 

Daniel Murphy continued to torture the Mets hitting a two run triple with a ball Lucas Duda couldn’t knock down and Jay Bruce couldn’t pick up. Murphy then scored on an Anthony Rendon single that tipped Lagares glove as he dove for it. The Nationals capped off the inning with a Michael Taylor homer. 

At that point, it was 7-1 Nationals. The only thing left was to add some injury to insult. 

Because this is the Mets that happened. On Lagares’ dive, he broke his left thumb, the same one he injured last year. 

It really just kept getting better and better. With Gary, Keith, and Ron discussing Amed RosarioWilmer Flores made an error. With all the injuries the Mets have had, there was a Hospital for Special Surgery advertisement behind home plate. I

After that, there was insult to injury. Rafael Montero came on in the sixth, and he dominated the Nationals. He had three straight 1-2-3 innings, and he struck out three batters. 

All the Mets had to do was keep it close, and they couldn’t do that. The Wilmer Flores homer off Joe Blanton was a stark reminder of that. 

But no, the Mets lost to the Nationals, and they lost badly. With Lagares getting hurt and Neil Walker and Matt Harvey landing on the DL, it’s once again hard to see how things are going to get better.

Game Notes: Rene Rivera hit an opposite field homer in the fifth. Gavin Cecchini struck out in his pinch hitting attempt. Matt Reynolds was scratched from the Vegas lineup meaning he’s likely ticketed for the Mets. 

Collins Decision Has Blevins Vulturing Wheeler

Tonight, it was a battle of the aces. For the Rangers, it was Yu Darvish who is having another fine season. For the Mets, it was Zack Wheeler. Yes, Zack Wheeler. 

While we watch Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom struggle, and with Noah Syndergaard gone for most of the year, it has been Wheeler. He’s been the most consistent starter, and he’s getting better as the season progresses. 

Tonight’s start was a microcosm of Wheeler’s season. In the first, the Rangers loaded the bases with no outs, but they only came away with one run on a Nomar Mazara RBI groundout. It was initially ruled a double play, but upon replay, he was ruled safe. It didn’t matter much, as Wheeler got out of the inning by inducing Robinson Chirinos to hit into the inning ending double play. 

From there, Wheeler was brilliant. He mowed down the Rangers, and he pitched into the seventh.  The Rangers put Wheeler on the ropes with runners on first and second with two out, and Delino DeShields coming to the plate. At that point in the game, DeShields was 2-2 with a run and a walk.  Despite this, Wheeler dug deep, and on his 108th pitch of the night, he got DeShields to fly out to right. 

The 108 pitches matched a season high for Wheeler. His final line on the night was seven innings, six hits, one run, one earned, three walks, and five strikeouts. Simply put, he was terrific. 

On the opposite side, Darvish probably had better stuff. He was perfect through three, and the Mets didn’t look like they had much of a chance on the night. Things changed in the fourth. 

Michael Conforto got hit by a pitch in the dirt thereby ending the perfect game. He then scored on what was initially a Jay Bruce triple. Upon replay, it was ruled Bruce hit a two run homer:

Darvish would not make another mistake until Bruce came up again in the sixth. Bruce took a slider off the plate, and he drove it opposite field for a solo home run making it 3-1. 

Overall, Darvish was nearly unhittable over his 7.1 innings pitched. In fact, other than Bruce, Juan Lagares was the only Met to get a hit off Darvish. That hit chased Darvish. Former Met Dario Alvarez would walk Conforto before getting Asdrubal Cabrera to hit into the inning ending double play. 

The Mets would rue failing to tack on runs there. Jerry Blevins got the first two out before allowing a Mazara single. That’s where Terry Collins poor managing reared its ugly head. 

Despite Blevins having a terrific year with a 1.42 ERA, he has struggled against righties. On the season, righties are hitting .364/.481/.591 off of him. The batter, Chirinos, the Rangers version of Wilmer Flores, is hitting .353/.389/.529 off lefties. Chirinos struggles against righties hitting just .210/.310/.460 off them. Looking at the splits, it was an obvious spot for Addison Reed to go with the four out save with the Mets having a day off tomorrow. 

If not Reed, at least Fernando Salas, who was warming in the bullpen. Instead of Salas, Collins stuck with Blevins, who hung one to Chirinos. Tie game. 

For the second straight night, the Mets would make Matt Bush in the ninth. Lucas Duda hit a one out double, and Curtis Granderson worked out a two out walk to put the game in Jose Reyes‘ hands. 

Reyes hit a bouncer to Rougned Odor who spiked the throw to Elvis Andrus. Andrus could not come up with the throw, and on the throw, Matt Reynolds, who came on to pinch run for Duda, never stopped and scored from second on the play. 

With the Rangers failing to make the play, and with Reynolds’ hustle, the Mets reclaimed the lead at 4-3. Reed came on in the ninth, and he pitched a rare 1-2-3 save for him.

If nothing else, this win shows this team has heart. They blew a game yesterday.  They had their stomach punched on the Chirinos homer. And yet, they pulled this one out. Maybe, just maybe, there’s still room for hope. 

Game Notes: Reyes got the start with Neil Walker out of the lineup. While Collins said it was a routine day off, reports indicated Walker may have a knee injury. 

Montero Was Not The Reason The Mets Lost

Due to the rain, the Mets played it safe and started Rafael Montero over Jacob deGrom. While it is smart to protect the best pitcher in your team so you can win games down the road, putting Montero into any game severely hampers your chances of winning that game

That was evident when Montero needed 45 pitches to get through the inning. Of note, the Mets wanted to limit him to 75 pitches due to his throwing 3.1 innings on Sunday. Montero needed 45 pitches because he was usual terrible self. 

In the first, he allowed three walks including one with the bases loaded. He allowed three singles with two of those being infield singles. Despite the mayhem, the Mets were only down 2-0 after the first. Believe it or not, that would be all the runs the Padres needed despite them starting Dimelson Lamet, who was making his first career start. 

The only run the Mets would score would be on a second inning Lucas Duda home run. After that, the Mets would squander opportunity after opportunity. 

After the Duda homer, the Mets stranded Curtis Granderson on second after his two out double. 

In the third, Matt Reynolds, who earned a lead-off walk pinch hitting for Montero. The Padres would execute a perfect relay and get the tag down just before Reynolds touched home as he tried to score from first on a Jose Reyes double. The Mets then stranded Reyes on second. 

Hunter Renfroe handed the Mets a gift in the fifth. He couldn’t get to a Travis d’Arnaud shallow pop up, and then his throw pulled Chase d’Arnaud off the bag. Then for some reason, Terry Collins opted to go with the butcher boy with Paul Sewald instead of a straight sacrifice bunt attempt. Sewald struck out. Michael Conforto, who had a golden sombrero, struck out as well.  Reyes popped out to end the rally. 

Jay Bruce and Neil Walker led off the sixth with back-to-back singles off Padres left-handed reliever Jose Torres. Duda then grounded into the 3-6-3 double play. The Mets were still alive in the inning putting runners at the corners after a Wilmer Flores walked against Kevin Quackenbush. With Granderson coming up to the plate, the Padres brought in Ryan Buchter, and Collins countered with T.J. Rivera. Rivera flew out to end the inning. 
There were runners and first and second and two out in the seventh, but Bruce was unable to cash in grounding out to short. 

The shame of this is this was an extremely winnable game. Even as bad as Montero was, the Mets were still in position to win. Montero’s final line was three innings, five hits, three runs, three earned, three walks, and four strikeouts. 

The score remained at 3-1 because Sewald was brilliant. Sewald was stretched to three innings and 41 pitches due in part to Montero’s ineffectiveness. Sewald once again answered the call pitching three scoreless allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out four. It should be noted Collins deemed him unavailable yesterday. 

Josh Edgin was nearly as good as Sewald pitching two shut out innings himself. Overall, while the bullpen has struggled, they did their job tonight. 

Finally, in the eighth, the Meys offense broke through. Walker hit a lead-off double off Padres reliever Brandon Maurer, and he would score on a Duda seeing eye RBI single. Still, that rally would fizzle as Asdrubal Cabrera would ground into an inning ending double play. 

The Padres added a run off the struggling Addison Reed in the ninth making it 4-2. That run would loom large. 

Juan Lagares walked off Padres closer Brad Hand tostart the ninth inning rally, and he would go to third on a Conforto single. Reyes hit a high chopper which was enough to score Lagares and prevent the double play. Still, it was the second out of the inning. Bruce then fouled out to end the game. 

The foul out put a capper on a frustrating night at the plate going 1-10 with RISP. It does not matter who the Mets did and did not start in this three game series. The Padres are terrible. The Mets should have swept them or at least taken two of three. Instead, they blew a five run lead last night and couldn’t hit with RISP tonight. 

The entire Mets organization needs to do some soul searching after this series. 

Game Notes: Cabrera was activated from the Disabled List but did not start. Kevin Plawecki was sent down to make room for him on the roster. 

Quality Start Begets Brutal Loss

Due to the ineffectiveness and injury to Tommy Milone, the Mets put Robert Gsellman back in the rotation. 

Gsellman went out there and gave the Mets what is technically considered a quality start, which is three earned over six innings. Things might’ve gone better for him, but Yangervis Solarte got to him twice knocking in all three runs against Gsellman. 

After the top of the sixth, Gsellman had thrown just 84 pitches. There would be no seventh inning though because Gsellman was due to lead off the inning. That and the fact Gsellman hasn’t started in a while. 

Still, it should not have mattered. The Mets were up 5-3 against the team with arguable the worst offense in the National League. 

Well, the Mets look like the worst bullpen in the National League, and Terry Collins used all the quality arms last night. Well push came to shove, and Fernando Salas was the one who got hit. 

Salas loaded the bases with two outs following a pinch hit single by Chase d’Arnaud with back-to-back walks to Matt Szczur and Solarte. At that point, Collins decided to make the worst possible move he could’ve made. He went with Neil Ramirez and his 10.32 ERA to pitch to Wil Myers:

Thanks in part to a little luck and some Timo Perez-esque base running, the Padres only tied the score. Fortunately, Josh Edgin got the Mets out of the jam. 

Unfortunately, Collins went to Josh Smoker to pitch the eighth. For the second straight night he was greeted with a long home run. This one was hit by Hunter Renfroe

Renfroe would return the favor to the Mets in the bottom of the eighth. He flat out dropped a Juan Lagares fly ball. To his credit, Lagares hustled on the play and got to second base. The Mets would strand him there. 

That was about all that the Mets offense had done wrong on the night. Michael Conforto continued to rake going 2-3 with a run, RBI, and two walks. Wilmer Flores hit a bases clearing double in the third. He scored on a Curtis Granderson single. Overall, every Mets starter except Rene Rivera reached base at least once. 

The Mets offense would get one last chance against Brad Hand who came on to save the Padres 6-5 lead. 

Neil Walker got the rally started with a lead-off single. Lucas Duda had a tough at-bat drawing a well earned walk, his third of the game. He came off for Matt Reynolds. The bases were then loaded as Flores hit a seeing eye single just past the shortstop. 
Granderson and Rivera then struck out putting the game in Lagares’ hands. Renfroe wouldn’t drop this flyball leading to yet another brutal loss created by a bullpen meltdown. At least we know Collins won’t learn from this game either. 

Game Notes: Jay Bruce sat with a back injury. 

Debunking The Rosario Excuses

Fact is, the Mets season is on the brink.  They need to upgrade anywhere they can in order to help get the Mets season back on track.  For many, that starts with calling up Amed Rosario.  In response, many have offered excuses as to why the Mets shouldn’t call-up Rosario.  In reality, they are flimsy excuses.  Let’s go through them one-by-one:

EXCUSE #1: The Pitching Is the Problem and Rosario Doesn’t Pitch

Yes, the Mets and their MLB worst ERA is a big problem, and no, Rosario doesn’t pitch.  However, the Mets right now are playing Jose Reyes and his .189/.269/.310 batting line at shortstop.  Assuming the pitching doesn’t get any better, the Mets are going to have to out-slug teams to win games.  Reyes is not going to help that.

Also, the Mets defense at short has been terrible.  They rank dead last with a -9 DRS.  Better defense at an important defensive position like shortstop will only serve to help a pitching staff.  Take Robert Gsellman for example.  He has a 58% ground ball rate, and he is allowing a .368 BABIP.  With a better shortstop, especially one like Rosario who projects to be a very good defender, that BABIP can go down.  That is the result of Rosario being able to get to more balls and the rest of the infield being better positioned as a result.  That could result in a lower BABIP, which means base hits becomes outs.  Rallies thereby end sooner or don’t begin in the first place.  Gsellman can then go deeper into games and take pressure off the bullpen.

EXCUSE #2 You Don’t Want Rosario Up On a Short-Term Basis

Who says is has to be on a short-term basis?  Even assuming Asdrubal Cabrera is ready to come back at the end of his 10 day disabled list stint, why couldn’t Rosario stay in the major leagues?  You have the option to move Rosario to third base if you so choose.  You also have the option of moving Cabrera and his poor range to third base.  If Rosario comes up, and he’s shown he can play well defensively and hit well, he has shown he belongs to play at the major league level.  If that is the case, keep him up.

EXCUSE #3 He Doesn’t Have Enough Triple-A At-Bats

There is no precise formula detailing how many at-bats are needed in Triple-A.  Miguel Cabrera never played in Triple-A before his call-up, and he is well on his way to the Hall of Fame.  Matt Reynolds has 1,145 at-bats in Triple-A, and he is still not ready to consistently hit major league pitching.  There is no tried and true formula to follow.  Rosario has shown he can hit in Triple-A.  You either believe in him, or you don’t.

Excuse #4 You Don’t Want Him to Struggle and Be Sent Down

Why?  Keith Hernandez struggled as a 21 year old, and he was sent down.  After that, Hernandez won an MVP, 11 Gold Gloves, and two World Series titles.  After jumping on the scene in 2015, Michael Conforto had a nightmare of a 2016.  So far this year, he is hitting .327/.413/.654 with nine homers and 24 RBI.  Overall, if you are going to be great at the major league level like many believe Rosario will be, one set-back is not going to prevent you from fulfilling your potential.

EXCUSE #5 You Don’t Want to Bring Him Up into a Losing Situation

The corollary of this is you don’t want to bring up a prospect expecting him to be a savior.  In 1983, the Mets were nine games under .500 when Darryl Strawberry was called-up to the majors.  In 2003, the Mets were seven games under .500 when Reyes was called-up.  In 2004, the Mets were one game under .500 when David Wright was called-up to the majors.

Each of these players were immensely talented, and they have each had successful careers.  Being called-up into a losing situation or being asked to be a savior didn’t prevent them from being terrific players.

EXCUSE #6 He’s Had Too Many Errors This Year

Reyes and Cabrera have combined to post a -9 DRS, which again, is the worst in the majors.  Looking at how the team was built top to bottom, defense has been not incentivized.  Now all of a sudden, the Mets are going to care about defense when it comes to a player with plus range for the position?  Further, if he’s struggling, get him away from the terrible infield at Cashman Field, and get him some major league coaching.  You’re likely going to see a better defender out there.

EXCUSE #7 Calling Him Up Sends a Signal the Team is Panicking

Shouldn’t the Mets be panicking at this point?  The team has the worst ERA in baseball.  Their ace and closer are likely gone for the season.  They are already nine games behind the Nationals.  By all means, the Mets should be panicking.  Even if they aren’t panicking, they should be concerned.  The best way to address this would be to address the concerns the team has.  One of those concerns is the offensive and defensive production they get from shortstop.  Rosario can alleviate those concerns.

EXCUSE #8 He’s Not Ready to Hit Major League Pitching

On this front, you have to defer to the front office.  Despite Rosario’s terrific Triple-A numbers, we don’t really have a breakdown on his ability to hit a fastball or breaking pitches.  They can justifiably be seeing something we don’t see.  Still, the team is willing to go with Reyes, his poor defense, and his .189 batting average at the position.  Even if Rosario were to put up similar offensive numbers to Reyes, he’s going to do that with much better defense.  As a result, the Mets would be a better team with him on the field.  Furthermore, it should be noted that if he needs to make some improvements at the plate, he would be better served by working with Kevin Long.  \n

EXCUSE #9 What Do You Do With Him When Cabrera Returns?

Thumb issues like this are tricky.  We saw Juan Lagares try to play through a torn ligament in his thumb until he was finally forced to have surgery to repair the tear.  We still do not know if Cabrera needs surgery.  We don’t know if this is a two week or two month injury.

Assume for a minute Cabrera will be back sooner rather than later, the Mets have an opportunity to give Rosario a brief look at shortstop.  At the very least, it’s a reward for him being the time in to become an improved player.  It presents an opportunity to see if Rosario is ready.  When and if Cabrera comes back, the Mets can then judge if Rosario should stay up with the team or go back down to Triple-A.  If he were to go back down, he will have a better idea of what he needs to work on in order to stick at the major league level.

EXCUSE #10 You Don’t Want to Have Rosario Become a Super Two Player

So what?  Now the Mets aren’t all-in?  Did that only apply to signing Jerry Blevins and Fernando Salas?  If you are all-in, be all-in regardless of Super Two deadlines.

Overall, that’s the point.  If you are truly all-in, you do everything you can do to improve your team.  You do everything you can do to win games.  Every day the Mets keep Rosario in Vegas is another day this team is not all-in.  Rather, the team is letting everyone know they would rather lose with what they have this year.

Gsellman And Montero Were Used In Pivotal Spots

For the past seven games, the Mets have found new and interesting ways to lose. Today, it was a tried and true method for this team. Not getting hits with RISP and some truly bizarre managerial decisions from Terry Collins

Like most of the games on this road trip, things started well for the Mets. Michael Conforto, who Collins has spent the better part of two years telling us can’t hit lefties, hit a two run homer off Patrick Corbin to give the Mets a 2-0 first inning lead.  

From that point forward, the Mets would go 1-6 with RISP. 

Matt Harvey would give up that lead. In the first, he allowed a lead-off triple to Rey Fuentes. Fuentes then scored on a Chris Owings ground-out. In the third, Harvey allowed an opposite field two run homer off the bat of Jake Lamb
It was all part of a maddening start by Harvey. He did not have one 1-2-3 inning. He walked four batters including the opposing pitcher. He allowed his 11th homer of the season. He needed 95 pitches to get through 5.1 innings. 

And yet, there were positive signs. He didn’t allow a hit with RISP. He had big strikeouts of Paul Goldschmidt and Yasmany Tomas. He left the game in line for the win. 

The Mets had a 4-3 lead when Harvey departed. The additional two runs came in the fourth. Juan Lagares hit a long home run to tie the score at three. Matt Reynolds followed with a walk, and he would score on a Jose Reyes RBI double. As we know, the Mets wouldn’t win this one. 

For some reason, Collins went to Robert Gsellman and his 7.07 ERA to pitch the seventh. This is the same Gsellman the Mets have just removed from the rotation for the next couple of weeks. Depending on the ETA of Steven Matz and/or Seth Lugo, Gsellman may not start another game this year. Despite this, Collins felt Gsellman was the right man to protect a one run lead to help the Mets break a six game losing streak. 

Gsellman would walk Goldschmidt, and he would score on a Tomas RBI double. Just like that, the score was tied. 

The Mets would mount subsequent rallies to try to get another lead. In the eighth, there were runners on first and second with two outs, and Lagares grounded out. In the eleventh, the Mets had the same situation, and Reyes struck out. That would be the Mets last chance. 

The real part of the Mets bullpen had done a good job. Josh Edgin got Harvey out of the sixth unscathed. Jerry Blevins (8)and Addison Reed (9 & 10) pitched perfect innings to get the Mets to the 11th. At that point, Collins did the complete opposite of what he should have done. 

He brought in Rafael Montero. Not the red hot Paul Sewald. Not Fernando Salas who has been better of late. Not Neil Ramirez who the Mets signed to help the bullpen. No, he brought in Montero, and his rationale was absurd:

First batter Montero faced was Chris Herrmann. Herrmann is a career .207/.277/.338 hitter who entered the game hitting .160/.250/.280.  He injured his hand in this game. Naturally, he did this:

To recap, Collins brought in a guy with a 7.07 ERA to preserve a one run lead, and he used a guy with a 9.00 ERA to keep the game scoreless. At this point, you have to wonder if he’s trying to get fired. 

Game Notes: Reyes tried to go to second on a play in the second on a throw to the cut-off man. The play wasn’t even close, and it killed what could have been a big rally. 

Reynolds Is Here To Replace One Of The Many Injured Or Under-Performing Players

Betsy Helfand of the Review Journal reports utility player Matt Reynolds has flown to New York presumably to join the Mets. As of this moment, the Mets have not announced a corresponding move. Normally, in these situations, you can surmise what the corresponding move will be. However, given the current state of the Mets, we really have no idea what that move will be.

First and foremost. Yoenis Cespedes has been injured, and he has insisted that he could play today. Before letting him do that, the Mets were supposedly going to really make Cespedes test out that hamstring to make sure he is healthy enough to play. It is possible Cespedes is not healthy enough to play, and as a result, the Mets are going to move him to the disabled list.

If not Cespedes, it’s possible the Mets could move Asdrubal Cabrera to the disabled list. The shortstop has been clearly hobbled and limited. After each play on the field, he noticeably winces, and he takes time to get back to his position. Over the last two games, there have been multiple instances where you question if he could continue playing in the game. Given how he’s played, it’s possible he could be headed to the disabled list.

Then again, this is the time of year Travis d’Arnaud usually heads to the disabled list. On Wednesday, he hit his arm on a bat trying to throw out a base stealer. In every game since, Terry Collins has penciled his name in the lineup only to remove him afterwards when d’Arnaud said he couldn’t throw (insert your own joke here). With him not being able to do more than pinch hit for a solid week, it’s possible the Mets move him to the disabled list.

Then again with the way things are going, it’s possible someone got hurt on an off day. It wouldn’t be the first time in franchise history. You never know with this team.

Maybe the aforementioned players are healthy and ready to go, and the Mets are just moving the deck chairs due to some under-performing players. Although he has received limited opportunities, T.J. Rivera is just 1-10 on the season with no extra base hits or RBI. Maybe the move will be for Kevin Plawecki, who once again looked over powered by major league pitching in the one game he played. Save for Michael Conforto and Jay Bruce, you can really make a case for any one of the Mets players to be sent down or designated for assignment. With that said, no one really believes at this juncture that either Jose Reyes or Curtis Granderson will suffer that indignity yet.

It’s also possible Reynolds is here as a precaution. There is so much wrong with the Mets in terms of injury and under-performance. The Mets may look to see how Cespedes, Cabrera, and d’Arnaud respond to the off-day, and if any one of them can’t go, Reynolds will. At this juncture, we just don’t know.

Ulimately, Reynolds getting called-up to the majors is a microcosm of the 2017 season.  He’s here because we don’t know who can play.  We don’t know who’s too hurt to play, and we don’t know who’s capable of playing at this level.  Sooner or later, this is nonsense is going to have to end.