Robinson Cano

Pete Alonso Should Be Mets Initial DH In 2020

With the universal DH coming in 2020 (to the extent there even is a 2020), the common refrain is the Mets are one of the few NL teams well situated for this. After all, J.D. Davis is a positionless player who was terrible at third and LF last yearRo, Yoenis Cespedes is coming off double heel surgery and a broken ankle,and Robinson Cano is 37 years old. They also have a player like Dominic Smith who may well be an everyday first baseman for many Major League teams.

While we hear those names in the mix, one name we don’t hear as a DH possibility in 2020 is Pete Alonso. While the possibility is ignored, it shouldn’t.

Looking at Alonso’s rookie season, he was much better than he had been advertised in some circles. Before his rookie season, some gave the impression Alonso could little more than just stand a first base. Truth be told, Alonso put in a lot of work on his defense, and he made very clear strides. As a result, we saw him make many highlight defensive plays in 2020:

This caused many to question those scouting reports and just how much those scouts knew. However, when you peel back the highlights, while Alonso is FAR from the inept defensive player he was portrayed in some circles, he was still not a good defensive player.

On the year, he was a -3 DRS and a -7 OAA. That had Alonso ranked as the third worst defensive first baseman in the game by DRS and the worst defensive first baseman by OAA. In the end, even with the defensive gems, Alonso was just not good at first base in 2019.

On the other hand, Smith was very good at first base. In his limited attempts there, Smith had a 1 DRS and 1 OAA. Both marks put Smith in the top 20 out of the 84 players who played first base in the majors last year. With Smith, his defensive reputation in the minors proved true as he played a good defensive first base.

Just looking at Alonso and Smith, if you are going to put one in the field and one at DH, wouldn’t it make sense to put the far superior player in the field? There really isn’t an argument on how playing Alonso at first base with Smith at DH helps the team win more than by putting the vastly superior defender in the field.

Admittedly, there are caveats to this.

With the Mets selecting Alonso as their first baseman of now and the future, you can understand the impetus to keep Alonso at first. After all, why would you sacrifice one year of development for Alonso at first for the sake of trying to win in 2020?

There is also the Cespedes factor. At the moment, no one knows if he can play at all in 2020. If he can play, no one is quite sure what he can contribute. However, if he can hit, we have seen they type of dynamic game changing bat he can be, and it is going to be difficult to keep him out of the lineup, especially when you can certainly play Alonso at first.

Even if Cespedes can play the field and play it at a near facsimile to how well he played it in his career, he is still likely going to need his days off. In the end, if Cespedes can play and hit, he is the obvious and probably the best choice for DH.

If he can’t the Mets are likely juggling between a group of first basemen and designated hitters on their team. While many see this as a possibility to load the Mets lineup with bats, the reality is this should be a way for the Mets to be able to put a very good defensive team on the field and surround them with very good bats.

With that being the case, the Mets ideally should have Alonso at DH, Jake Marisnick in CF, and Smith at first base. They can certainly move that around as needed based on match-ups and to give players like Cano a day off here and there. Certainly, injuries are going to play a factor. However, in the end this is the Mets best lineup to try to win the 2020 World Series . . . assuming the 2020 season ever gets played.

Simulated Recap: McNeil Homers Mets To Comeback Win

The Braves got out to a 6-1 lead against Marcus Stroman and the Mets. However, Stroman would not get saddled with the loss.

In the sixth, the Mets pulled to within 6-4 after homers by Jeff McNeil and Robinson Cano.

In the ninth, Amed Rosario got the game winning rally started with a lead-off double. Later in the inning, McNeil hit his second homer of the game. This one was a go-ahead three run homer giving the Mets a 7-6 lead.

After a Yoenis Cespedes sacrifice fly scoring Pete Alonso, the Mets led 8-6. With Justin Wilson pitching a scoreless eighth, he picked up the win. Edwin Diaz recorded the save.

Simulated Recap: Mets Back In Black

Well, it might be just a gimmick for the MLB The Show, but it was once again Friday Night Black Jerseys at Citi Field. These Mets looked good in them beating the Pirates 2-0.

Michael Wacha allowed one earned over five getting the no decision. After he allowed a run in the top of the fifth, Jeff McNeil homered to even the game.

Walker Lockett came on in relief, and he’d get the win after pitching a scoreless inning, and Robinson Cano scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth. Edwin Diaz picked up the save.

Best Mets Of All Time: No 24 Art Shamsky

Joan Payson, the original Mets owner, loved Willie Mays so much that not only did she have the Mets trade to get him in 1972, she unofficially retired the number. In fact, since Mays retired after the 1973 World Series, the number has only been worn by Kelvin Torve (who switched his number in-season), Rickey Henderson, and now Robinson Cano.

Beyond that group, there were Mets players who wore the number briefly. Ed Charles wore it for one season before switching to 5. Ken Boswell switched from that number to 12. Jim Beauchamp gave up his 24 to Mays. Then, there was Art Shamsky who wore it throughout his three year Mets career.

Shamsky first came to the Mets in the same offseason as Gil Hodges. Things could not have been worse for Shamsky. He was leaving a good Reds team who already had Tony Perez and Pete Rose, and he was going to what was the worst baseball franchise in the history of baseball.

In his first year with the Mets, he was little more than a league average hitter, but this was an improved Mets team who seemed to pull off the impossible by not losing 90 games for the first time in their history. To that end, things seemed to be improving for Shamsky and the Mets, but that was only momentary.

Shamsky hurt his back entering the 1969 season, and he started late. What he couldn’t have known at the time was he was about to embark on the best season of his life. That 1969 season would prove not only to be his most memorable but also his best individual season.

While being platooned with Ron Swoboda, Shamsky hit .300/.375/.488 with nine doubles, three triples, 14 homers, and 47 RBI in 100 games. Nearly each of those marks were a career best for him including the 139 OPS+. Included in those 47 RBI were game winners.

Where Shamsky would really shine that season was the postseason. In the NLCS against the Braves, he was a difficult out hitting .538 in the series. When he reached base in his final NLCS at-bat, that would be the final time he would reach base in that postseason. Even if he didn’t get another hit, that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have an impact.

Never known for his defense, it was a terrific diving play. It was one of the miraculous diving defensive plays from the Mets in that series which helped them pull off the miracle that was the 1969 World Series. Like the rest of his teammates, he would become a World Series champion.

Shamsky would play two more years with the Mets after that 1969 World Series with him having another good year in 1970 before being released in 1971. Through his career, he is the 50th best Mets position player by WAR putting him ahead of any other Mets player who wore the number 24. Overall, even if legends like Mays and Henderson wore the number 24 with the Mets, it was Shamsky who was the best Mets player to wear that number.

Previous

1.Mookie Wilson
2.Mackey Sasser
3. Curtis Granderson
4. Lenny Dykstra
5. David Wright
6. Wally Backman
7. Jose Reyes
8. Gary Carter

9. Todd Hundley
10. Rey Ordonez
11. Wayne Garrett
12. John Stearns

13. Edgardo Alfonzo
14. Gil Hodges
15. Carlos Beltran

16. Dwight Gooden
17. Keith Hernandez
18. Darryl Strawberry

19. Bob Ojeda
20. Howard Johnson
21. Cleon Jones
22. Al Leiter
23. Bernard Gilkey

Simulated Recap: Mets Beat Braves By 10

In last night’s game, it took the Mets until the later innings for their offense to explode and route the Braves. Tonight, the Mets scored in each of the first three innings with a seven spot in the third.

Jeff McNeil homered yesterday, and he had a two home run game tonight. He had a four RBI game. Wilson Ramos had five, and Robinson Cano had three.

With Rick Porcello holding the Braves to three earned over six, this was an easy 15-5 victory.

Mets Should Be Mailing Fans Their Bobbleheads

To date, despite the Mets already having 20+ games from their 2020 season canceled, they have yet to issue one refund to their fans. They have not issued a refund despite the fact MLB already has announced it will have a shortened season, and early indications are the season may be played at a neutral site meaning Mets fans may never get to see the Mets play at Citi Field this year.

Still, the Mets, like the other 29 teams and the secondary market, are holding onto your money. The reason is MLB is using the very dishonest practice of calling games which will never be played postponed instead of cancelled. As reported by Bill Shakin of the LA Times, that has already led to a class action lawsuit.

Despite the pending lawsuit, all 30 of the Major League Baseball teams are keeping their fans money. They’re keeping the money of both season and single game ticket holders. At the moment, those fans are getting absolutely NOTHING in return, and it is unclear when, or if, those fans are ever going to get a refund.

While these games have come and gone unplayed, there have been a number of notable promotions for each team. For the Mets, there have already been a number of popular promotions which have come and gone with not one being distributed to the fans.

Those promotions include the Jacob deGrom back-to-back Cy Young bobblehead, the Pete Alonso Rookie of the Year bobblehead, and the Jeff McNeil bobblehead.

On the horizon is the Amed Rosario bobblehead which is purportedly a two part bobblehead which will link up with Robinson Cano. For the Cano one, you have to go to a game in late August. Of course, there is the matter of whether that game ever gets played.

There have also been Free T-Shirt Fridays with a Noah Syndergaard replica jersey among those items which were supposed to be given to fans. There would have been other promotions as well like player posters and magnetic schedules. These were all promotional items which were supposed to be distributed to fans as part of an incentive to get them to spend money on Mets tickets.

Keep in mind, not only are the Mets holding onto their fans money, but they are also holding onto the promotions which would have been distributed at those games. While the Mets may not be able to unilaterally refund their fans money as this is likely a larger MLB policy, there is nothing preventing them from doing the right thing and sending their fans the promotional items for those games.

Overall, if the Mets and the other MLB teams are going to keep their fans money, they should be forced to give the fans some return for their purchase. While the Mets cannot play games in this environment, they can send the promotional items to fans.

No, it is not likely they can do that now. That is unrealistic due to the myriad of safety concerns, and with the shutdown, the Mets cannot possibly have enough employees on site to perform this task. However, that does not mean they should not be preparing to do right by their fans by preparing to send them the promotions they would have received had the games actually been played.

Simulated Recap: Mets Torch Marlins

Last night, the Mets blew a 3-0 lead. Tonight, the Mets were not going to repeat that performance. No, this time Michael Wacha and the Mets made sure to put the Marlins away:

Before you could blink it was 7-1 Mets.

In the first, Robinson Cano hit a bases loaded single giving the Mets a 1-0 lead. In that four run inning, we’d also see Dominic Smith and Amed Rosario deliver RBI single. Smith would knock in another run with a sacrifice fly in the three run second.

Later in the game, Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto would homer in the Mets 9-2 win.

Simulated Recap: Mets Unearned Win

The Mets fell behind 3-0 with the Brewers putting up three through the fourth against Marcus Stroman. The Mets would take the lead in the fifth.

The first run was scored on a comically bad throw to the pitcher on a Michael Conforto grounder. Yoenis Cespedes, Robinson Cano, and Wilson Ramos followed with RBI singles. The Mets didn’t push another across with J.D. Davis striking out with the bases loaded.

With that comically bad error, all the runs were unearned. Whether earned or not, the Mets won 4-3.

Simulated Recap: Mets Bullpen Shuts Down Braves

In the third, Pete Alonso ripped an RBI single, and later that inning, Robinson Cano hit a sacrifice fly scoring Michael Conforto giving the Mets a 2-0 lead over the Braves.

Michael Wacha would make that lead stand holding the Braves to one run over 5.1 innings. Brad Brach, Jeurys Familia, Seth Lugo, and Edwin Diaz combined to pitch 3.2 scoreless to preserve the 2-1 victory.

Simulated Recap: Mets Brew Up Comeback Victory

The Mets blew a few leads in this one including a 2-0 first inning lead courtesy of solo homers by Pete Alonso and Yoenis Cespedes. Unfortunately, Rick Porcello wouldn’t get out of the inning without the Brewers tying the game up.

A Brandon Nimmo two run shot in the second gave the Mets another two run lead. However, the Brewers would not only tie it, but they’d also take the lead heading into the ninth.

With Josh Hader on the mound, the Mets staged a great comeback in the top of the ninth.

The Mets tied the score with back-to-back doubles from Cespedes and Robinson Cano. Nimmo hit one which ate up Keston Hiura to give the Mets a 6-5 lead.

That chased Hader, and the Brewers went to David Phelps. Amed Rosario doubled, and Dominic Smith hit a pinch hit sacrifice fly to give the Mets a 7-5 lead.

Edwin Diaz got the first two out in the ninth before getting into trouble, allowing a run to score, and Luis Rojas going to Seth Lugo for the one out save. When Lugo got the only batter he faced out, the Mets won 7-6.