Peter Alonso

Mets Might Be Only Team Who Can’t Figure Out Dominic Smith Playing Time

If you’ve been paying attention, Dominic Smith has been great in camp, and Luis Rojas has been talking about how the team needs to find him playing time. This being a conundrum for the Mets is almost comical.

Look, we all get Pete Alonso is the first baseman. Also due to a myriad of factors, Yoenis Cespedes is the DH. That does impact Smith’s playing time opportunities as he should be at first with Alonso at DH, but the Mets aren’t going to just write off Cespedes. It’s a justifiable stance.

That said, if the Mets actually paid attention to the numbers and respective talent levels, the answer as to where Smith should play is painstakingly obvious.

At the moment, the Mets have written in J.D. Davis as the starting left fielder in pen, wrote over it in Sharpee, and then laminated it. If you look at it, this is a mistake.

In 2019, Davis was terrible in left. He was a Major League worst -11 DRS out of any left fielder who played at least 500 innings. His -7 OAA ranked 138th in the Majors. His success rate of 78% was among the worst in baseball as well. It’s by no means hyperbole to suggest he is the worst defensive outfielder in all of baseball.

Now, Smith isn’t great in left by any means. Ideally speaking, he shouldn’t be out there everyday. That said, he’s a significantly better left field option than Davis.

In 2019, Smith was a -3 OAA. He had a 86% success rate. He also had a -2 DRS. Make no mistake here, Smith is not a good left fielder. However, even with his not being a good left fielder, he’s significantly better than Davis with a very comparable arm.

While it seems incredulous to say, Smith in left is a significantly better option than Davis. Of course, we know the Mets eschew defense for offense despite the data standing in direct opposition to that approach.

Last year, Davis had a 136 wRC+ and a 138 OPS+. Smith had a 133 wRC+ and a 134 OPS+. The difference between their offense production last year was negligible.

In total, Smith gives you the same level of offensive production as Davis, and he hit better in the clutch last year. He’s a significantly better defender in left field. Looking at this, the question needs to be asked how in the world are the Mets perplexed over how to get Smith more playing time?

Really, the answer is obvious to anyone who has bothered to check the numbers. It’s more obvious when you look at talent, age, and who gives you the best chance to win.

If the Mets need to figure out what to do with Smith, they should play him everyday in left field. It’s the only rational choice.

Citi Bracket: (2) Jacob deGrom vs. (11) Pete Alonso

(2) Jacob deGrom – 2014 Rookie of the Year winner. Two time All-Star who would’ve been three had he not stepped aside for Bartolo Colon in 2016. Struck out three batters on 10 pitches in 2015 All-Star Game. Had phenomenal postseason start in Game 1 of 2015 NLDS. Followed that up with gutsy win in Game 5. Was 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA in the 2015 postseason helping the Mets win the pennant. First ever Mets pitcher to win back-to-back Cy Young awards. Only pitcher in MLB history to win the Rookie of the Year and back-to-back Cy Youngs. Joins Tom Seaver and Justin Verlander as the only pitchers in MLB history to have a Rookie of the Year and two Cy Youngs. Arguably the second best starter in Mets history.

(11) Pete Alonso – Had rookie season so great people are already envisioning him as the next captain of the Mets. Near unanimous NL Rookie of the Year. Set Mets and MLB rookie record for homers. Also set Mets single-season record for total bases and extra base hits. Won the 2019 Home Run Derby and provided portion of winnings to charity. When MLB once again denied the Mets request to wear the first resopnders’ caps, he took it upon himself to get cleats honoring the first responders.

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Yankees Fans Can Compare Judge To Alonso All They Want

We must be getting to baseball season because Yankees fans are going out of their way to tell everyone Aaron Judge is better than Pete Alonso. Clearly, you can see Alonso winning the Home Run Derby and breaking Judge’s rookie home run record is bothering that fan base. As we have seen, they do not like sharing the spotlight.

We’ve seen them talk about how there was a juiced ball last year, which there was. Of note, there was also a juiced ball in Judge’s rookie year of 2017. Of course, 2017 was also the year the Yankees were fined for sign stealing, and they’re fighting tooth and nail to keep what they’ve done secret.

Aside from all that, Alonso broke Judge’s record, and that doesn’t sit well with some Yankees fans. It also apparently doesn’t sit well with them how Alonso is grabbing all of the attention as well he should.

In addition, to setting the rookie home run record, he’s shown himself to be a great person. Instead of starting off on the wrong foot with Dominic Smith, a player he was purportedly battling with for the first base job, he reached out to Smith, and the two became good friend. Really, anyone who has ever played with Alonso will tell you he’s a great teammate.

When Alonso won the Home Run Derby, he donated $50,000 to the Wounded Warrior Project and $50,000 to Tunnel to Towers. Later in the season, when MLB again refused to allow Mets players to wear the caps, Alonso, on his own accord, got first responder cleats for his teammates.

Because of all of this, and what the future holds, Mets fans rightfully adore Alonso. It’s the same thing with Yankees fans, they rightfully adore Judge.

Here’s the thing. Judge is a better baseball player. Alonso had a 5.2 WAR last year. In his three full seasons, Judge has not posted lower than a 5.5 WAR.

Notably, that 5.5 WAR was last year as injuries would limit Judge to just 102 games. That’s after a year he had a 5.7 WAR after injuries limited him to 112 games. Putting up WAR to that level in those few games is an astonishing feat. Make no mistake, Judge is a truly great player.

He’s also an increasingly injured one. In 2018, he was hit by a pitch and missed time with a broken wrist. In 2019, he missed time with an oblique strain. If the 2020 season had started on time, there’s a legitimate question whether he’d been playing right now as he’s been dealing with a stress fracture in his ribs. In fact, it’s still not clear whether he’ll be ready for this new Opening Day.

Instead of Yankees fans comparing Alonso to Judge, they should really be concerned about whether Judge can play again. The Yankees will certainly need him in this shortened season which will feature far too many AL/NL East matchups.

When and if Judge plays, and if he’s at full health, he will likely be better than Alonso. Still, Alonso should put up the better numbers as he’ll be fully healthy and ready to go from Opening Day. If both are healthy and ready Opening Day, it may be fun to watch them battle all season long.

No matter what the result one thing needs to be perfectly clear. Even if Judge is far better than Alonso, he will still fall well short of being the best baseball player in New York. That honor goes to Jacob deGrom, and in those comparisons just like in 31.6% of his plate appearances, Judge strikes out.

Simulated Recap: Typical deGrom Win

This is exactly the type of game we have come to expect with Jacob deGrom on the mound. He shut out the Giants for eight innings while allowing just one hit and striking out 11 batters. While deGrom was shutting down the Giants offense, the Mets couldn’t really muster any run support for their ace.

Finally, in the seventh, Brandon Nimmo hit a two run homer to give the Mets a lead. In the eighth, Pete Alonso hit a homer of his own to increase the Mets lead to 3-0. That would be the final score after Edwin Diaz recorded the save.

Mets Fan Favorite Tournament: Sweet 16

After the first two rounds, the Sweet 16 in each of the four brackets is set, and there are going to be some fun and difficult match-ups. So far, all of those who have had their numbers retired and have been captains in team history have survived.

In the Miracle Bracket, Tom Seaver should be expected to advance. To secure a spot in the Final Four, he is going to have to face the winner of Jerry Koosman/Cleon Jones, which has Mets fans deciding which of the somewhat unlikely heroes of 1969 (and 1973) should advance.

The Amazin Bracket kicks off with a battle between the first two captains in team history – Keith Hernandez and Gary Carter. As if deciding between them isn’t tough enough, fans have to decide whether they love Dwight Gooden or Darryl Strawberry more.

The Mojo Rising Bracket only has members of the 1999 Mets remaining, which is appropriate given how the region was named after that team. The first match-up is between the helmeted ones in the catcher Mike Piazza and the first baseman John Olerud. Then, it is a match-up between Al Leiter and Edgardo Alfonzo, who were the heros of the play-in game against the Reds.

Finally, in the Citi Bracket, we have two Cinderella runs from Wilmer Flores and Pete Alonso. Flores faces David Wright in a match-up of the emotional stories from the 2015 season. With Alonso, he squares off against Jacob deGrom to see which current Mets player fans adore more.

Voting begins tomorrow with Seaver and Ed Kranepool.

Simulated Recap: Alonso Hits Two Giant Homers

Rick Porcello and Dereck Rodriguez had a pitcher’s duel, and for a moment it looked like Robinson Cano‘s first inning RBI single scoring Michael Conforto was going to be all the runs the Mets would score.

For a while that was enough, at least until Dellin Betances allowed a two run homer to Mike Yastrzemski in the eighth. However, the Mets would not lose as Pete Alonso homered off Reyes Moronta with two outs in the ninth.

The Giants had two on with one out in the 12th, but Robert Gsellman would get out of the jam. He’d then become the winning pitcher when Alonso hit a two run homer off Shaun Anderson in the 13th.

That lead grew to 5-2 when on the very next pitch Conforto would homer. That would be the final score with Edwin Diaz recording the save.

Citi Bracket: (3) Carlos Beltran vs. (11) Pete Alonso

(3) Carlos Beltran – Mentored David Wright and Jose Reyes from day one. By WAR, had the second best ever season a Mets player ever had in 2006. Tied then season season record for homers and extra base hits. Set team record for runs scored in a season. Hit three homers in NLCS against Cardinals helping Mets get to Game 7 before that final at-bat. Hit last ever homer for Mets player at Shea Stadium. Had great catch on Tal’s Hill. Was a five time All-Star and three time Gold Glove winner with Mets. Stood up to Wilpons and got surgery he needed to save career. Willingly moved to right field to help team. Played at Hall of Fame level and could one day be next player inducted into Hall of Fame and possibly have number retired by team.

(11) Pete Alonso – Had rookie season so great people are already envisioning him as the next captain of the Mets. Near unanimous NL Rookie of the Year. Set Mets and MLB rookie record for homers. Also set Mets single-season record for total bases and extra base hits. Won the 2019 Home Run Derby and provided portion of winnings to charity. When MLB once again denied the Mets request to wear the first resopnders’ caps, he took it upon himself to get cleats honoring the first responders.

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Simulated Recap: Stroman And Alonso Dominate Phillies

Marcus Stroman was brilliant in this game shutting out the Phillies over 7.2 innings. Jake Arrieta and the Phillies bullpen? Not so much?

When Pete Alonso hit the first of his two homers in the first, the Mets pitchers had all the run support they needed in this 11-0 route.

In addition to Alonso, Michael Conforto and Wilson Ramos also homered.

Simulated Recap: Familia Loses It Late

Pete Alonso hit a first inning opposite field two run homer off Jon Lester, but Rick Porcello was unable to hold onto that lead.

The big blow was a Willson Contreras three run homer in the fourth which gave the Cubs a 4-2 lead. That lead wouldn’t last long as the Mets tied it in the sixth.

The Mets had the bases loaded with no outs. Yoenis Cespedes drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly. Wilson Ramos tied the score with an RBI single putting runners at the corners with one out. Dominic Smith hit what could’ve been a go-ahead sacrifice fly, but the Cubs nailed Alonso at the plate.

Jeurys Familia wound up taking the loss with his allowing a three run homer to Jason Heyward in the seventh.

The Mets came close with Michael Conforto hitting a two run homer in the ninth off Craig Kimbrel. The Mets couldn’t push another run across, and they would lose 7-6.

Simulated Recap: deGrom Strikes Out 12

Why is it pitching duels always seem to disappoint? That was the case with Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer in today’s simulated game.

There was a combined five runs in the first inning. Fortunately, the Mets were ahead thanks to a Robinson Cano bases loaded two RBI single followed by a Wilson Ramos RBI single.

For deGrom, he was his typical great day game self striking out 12 Nationals over seven innings. He’d pick up the win even after allowing three runs.

Scherzer wasn’t Mad Max allowing six runs in just four innings. The Mets really went on the attack against him and the Nationals bullpen in this 8-3 victory.

Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, and Jeff McNeil homered and combined to knock in four of the Mets runs.