Terry Collins

METS NO-HIT PHILLIES

Tylor Megill 5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K

Drew Smith, 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, BB, 4 K

Joely Rodriguez 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0 K

Seth Lugo 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

Edwin Diaz 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER. 0 BB, 3 K

There’s so much to talk about with this game.

Robinson Cano started and was booed. Mark Canha finally got his first extra base hit as a Met in the fifth. He was driven home on a Jeff McNeil RBI single. Not bad for your eighth hitter.

After a power drought, we saw Pete Alonso homer in the sixth. It gave the Mets a 3-0 lead.

This was all great. Fantastic even because it allowed what happen to happen. For just the second time in New York Mets history, they pitched a no-hitter.

This was entirely different than the first.

There was no Johan Santana/Terry Collins drama. In fact, Megill was out after throwing 88 pitches over five innings.

The Mike Baxter moment was Brandon Nimmo making a diving catch to rob Jean Segura of a hit. It wasn’t as dramatic, but it certainly was a great defensive play.

This one wasn’t in doubt with a Carlos Beltran type play. Really, this was just pure and utter domination. The Phillies struck out 12 times. Oh, and by the way, they had no hits. The last out was J.T. Realmuto.

This was a special moment in a special season.

LETS GO METS!

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Win Fifth Straight Series

Another series and another series win for the New York Mets. That’s five in a row to start the season.

1.  As Starling Marte said, Brandon Nimmo‘s hustle rubs off on other people. That’s what makes this team great. They’re making each other play better and harder.

2.  While the extra inning rule stinks, with Marte’s infield single and Pete Alonso‘s stretch, you can get used to extra inning replays for the Mets.

3.  Marte gave the Mets two wins with his speed. It was the infield single, and then, it was the go-ahead run with the double, stolen base, and error on the throw. We’re seeing he can have an impact while still struggling at the plate.

4.  Seth Lugo is back. He’s throwing strikes, getting spin on his curve, and dominating again.

5.  As we saw with the homer, so is Edwin Diaz. He’s always a mixed bag, so we just have to ride the wave this season.

6.  Tylor Megill shook off a rough start to have a very good start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He may very well be a special pitcher.

7.  David Peterson did not deserve the demotion. He showed he is a Major League caliber pitcher right now, but he’s still seventh on the depth chart with Taijuan Walker set to return. This is a good problem to have for the Mets.

8.  With the rosters shrinking May 1, Trevor Williams is putting himself on the bubble with his struggles. Part of that is Buck Showalter‘s usage of him not allowing him to get into the flow of the season.

9.  In some ways, the Mets biggest hit of the season was the James McCann homer. If he gets going at the plate, this is a truly elite team with the way he has framed this season.

10. There aren’t a lot of positives with Trevor May‘s performance so far, but much of that is explainable. He dealt with arms issues, and Showalter is just asking him to do things he has never been comfortable doing in his career.

11. Showalter needs to stop shoehorning Robinson Cano into the lineup. While he can still contribute some, he is just not an everyday player or semi-regular right now. Other players deserve the playing time.

12. Luis Guillorme has earned his playing time, and he should be getting more. The DH allows to get his bat into the lineup and get rest for the outfielders who have been injury prone in their careers.

13. Mark Canha has cooled off, and he still doesn’t have an extra base hit. His hard hit rates are also concerning as is his poor defense to start the season.

14. While he’s had his moments, Alonso has been mostly poor to start the season. His defense has slipped completely, and he’s swinging at a lot of the zone. In some ways, this is very promising because once he gets going, watch out!

15. The Mets are beating bad teams, which is the key to making the postseason. In fact, that’s basically all they did in 2015, and they came within Terry Collins of winning the World Series that year.

16. It is a real shame Michael Conforto is done for the year. Not only is this costing him a year of his prime, but it is also costing the Mets a draft pick and pool money because Conforto had turned down the qualifying offer.

17. Given the year he had, Conforto probably should’ve accepted the qualifying offer and built back his value. That said, the talk around him rejecting the extension is plain wrong. That was a severely discounted offer anyone would’ve rejected.

18. Noah Syndergaard has been excellent to start the season, and Marcus Stroman has been quite bad. This hasn’t been discussed much because the Mets have been excellent with a very good rotation. That’s something the Wilpons never figured out. Make those decisions but make other ones to justify it.

19. In some ways, the Mets are about to get their real first test of the season with a long flight to play the St. Louis Cardinals on the road. This is a true measuring stick of where they are, especially with the Mets having Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt pitching in the series.

20. The Mets are the only team in baseball with 12 wins. It is a really good time to be a Mets fan right now.

Carlos Beltran Would Be Odd Fit For Mets Coaching Staff

One of the more interesting rumors which emerged during Buck Showalter‘s interview process was he’d be willing to have Carlos Beltran as his bench coach. It was an odd rumor.

When looking at a bench coach, you have someone responsible for running QC during a game. They’re making sure batters bat in order, keeping tabs on who is available, and chatting strategy with the manager.

The entirety of Beltran’s coaching experience is 76 days as the Mets manager. In that time, he had zero team meetings and managed zero games. Put another way, he has zero experience.

Putting him in a position to be Showalter’s right-hand man makes little sense. He’s ill equipped. Moreover, there’s no pre-existing relationship where they’re able to have a synergistic relationship.

It would also be bizarre to have Beltrán in place as a manager in training. Showalter wasn’t just hired to win in 2022. He was hired to be in place and win for as many seasons as he’s capable of doing the job.

The Mets hired the then 62 year old Terry Collins in 2011. He would manage seven more years with the Mets.

Tony La Russa managed the St. Louis Cardinals until he was 66 years old. After being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, he returned to the Chicago White Sox in 2021 as a 76 year old.

Showalter is 65. Looking at Collins and La Russa, he has as many years as he can do the job. With Showalter taking the job, we can presume he’s in for the long haul.

That’s just the thing. Showalter wants to win. He’s been in this game as a manager for 20 years. He knows people, and more importantly, he knows who he wants for different roles.

Maybe he likes Beltrán. It would make sense with Beltran being a noted leader and hard worker who is very intelligent. However, no one knows if Beltrán can coach.

Can he be a hitting coach? Can he be an outfield coach? Does he know how to interpret, apply, and communicate analytics?

No one knows, not even Beltrán. That’s why putting him on a staff makes little to no sense. Grooming an inexperienced coach for a role he may never be suited doesn’t make much sense.

Unfortunately, bringing Beltran back doesn’t make much sense. If Beltran does indeed want to come back and eventually manage, he will have to do the work and go to the minors much like Edgardo Alfonzo did.

When and if Beltran does that, then maybe Showalter can and should add him to a Major League coaching staff. Until that point, it just doesn’t make any sense.

Bob Geren Return To Mets Enticing

When Bob Geren left the pennant winning New York Mets for the Los Angeles Dodgers, it seemed like that was the last we’d see of him. After all, Geren made a lateral move to be closer to his family.

If Geren is willing to return to New York for the managerial job, that’s very good news for the Mets.

Geren, 60, had a very positive influence when he was last on the Mets bench. He was the analytically driven and versed coach who served as the confident and counter-balance to Terry Collins.

Geren’s positive impact went beyond just aiding with decision making. He had a very strong impact on making their catchers vastly improved.

Under Geren’s tutelage, Travis d’Arnaud went from raw behind the plate to a terrific framer. He had a similar impact on Kevin Plawecki, and really, anyone who suited up behind the plate for the Mets.

Geren continued this work in Los Angeles. He did it with both Yasmani Grandal and Will Smith. Unlike most of the managerial candidates, with Geren you have something tangible to point to as to how he improves a team.

Part and parcel with that is his ability to communicate. While it was a purported issue in Oakland, Anthony Recker indicated it hasn’t been one since, and he’s one of the reasons he’s advocating Geren for the job:

In many ways, Recker states the case succinctly. Not only can Geren communicate and coach, but he knows better than most how to use analytics.

There’s a reason smart teams want him. Billy Beane chose him to manage. After that stint ended, Sandy Alderson with his vaunted front office moved quick to hire him. The Los Angeles Dodgers poached him away from the Mets.

Really, Geren understands this job better than anyone the Mets will interview. He knows the amount of input Alderson wants and the wriggle room, if any, a manager gets.

Geren understands the New York media and all the duties of a Mets manager. He knows what it’s like to lose and win with the Mets. In many ways, he checks all of the boxes of what the Mets covet in a manager.

With all that said, Geren likely isn’t the front-runner. Where he ranks is anyone’s guess. That said, if the Mets were to hire him, they would be getting someone who understands how to succeed in this job better than anyone.

Based On Recent Inductions, David Wright’s Career Now Hall Of Fame Worthy

The Veteran’s Committee inducted six new members to the Baseball Hall of Fame: Bud Fowler, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, and Buck O’Neil. For most of these players, their induction righted a long standing wrong. However, it did something else. It lowered the bar on what is truly a Hall of Fame level player.

Putting aside O’Neil, who spent his career in the Negro Leagues and was inducted for more than just his playing days, and Fowler, who played in the 1800s, the players inducted were not up to the level of what we have seen of recent Hall of Famers. Of course, that’s not really news with players like Harold Baines being inducted three years ago.

This is what the Veteran’s Committee typically does. For every wrong they right, they also proceed to lower the bar on what is and what is not a Hall of Famer. Consider, the WAR/WAR7/JAWS for each of the new inductees:

  • Hodges 43.9/33.7/38.8
  • Kaat 50.5/38.1/34.4
  • Minoso 53.8/39.7/46.7
  • Oliva 43.0/38.6/40.8

By standards for each position, each one of these players falls far short. As a result, it does open the door for players who were once seen not Hall of Fame worthy for various reasons. One such player would be David Wright, who would’ve probably been a lock for the Hall of Fame if not for his back injury robbing him the rest of his career.

In his 14 year career, Wright posted a 49.2/39.5/44.3. His WAR would be third highest amongst that group despite his career being far shorter than that group. His WAR7 would be second best and his JAWS second best despite the end of his prime being robbed from him. Just think about that. Wright didn’t get to have a full career, and he still posted better numbers than players who had lengthy and storied careers.

What Wright was able to do in his brief career was remarkable. If he was able to have 1-2 more full seasons, he very likely would have easily cleared the bar for Hall of Fame induction. That goes double when you consider he would have had the benefit of being able to be inducted after spending his entire career with the Mets, and perhaps, some boost from his play in the World Baseball Classic (not all that likely).

In the end, Wright’s career will always be defined by what ifs. What if Jon Niese covered third. What if the Wilpons treated his career with more concern. What if Carlos Beltran doesn’t strike out. What if Terry Collins had a clue in the 2015 World Series. Mostly, what if he stayed healthy.

Whatever the case, based on what we saw with the recent inductions, Wright’s career has now risen to the caliber of Hall of Fame worthy. While it’s likely the writers will overlook him, based on recent standards, we may very well see him inducted by the Veteran’s Committee one day.

 

Kevin Long Again Made Case To Be Mets Manager

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chris Flexen And Paul Sewald Thrived Away From Mets

In what might’ve been his last start of the season, Chris Flexen picked up his 14th win of the year. Now, there are better ways to adjudge pitchers, but those 14 wins is good for fifth best in all of baseball.

Overall, he had a good year. In 30 starts, he was 14-6 with a 3.67 ERA, 1.250 WHIP, 2.0 BB/9, and a 6.4 K/9. He averaged 5.2 innings per start with a 114 ERA+ and a 3.82 FIP.

Overall, Flexen had a very good year, and he appears poised to build on this. With his being under team control through 2026, the Seattle Mariners have a solid rotation arm as they emerge from this rebuild.

The Mariners also have a closer. Paul Sewald has been a great closer for the Mariners. In 58 appearances, he is 9-3 with 11 saves, a 2.83 ERA, 1.011 WHIP, 3.1 BB/9, and a 14.6 K/9.

Flexen and Sewald are a big reason why the Mariners are in the postseason picture. Frankly, they are two pitchers who would help any of the 30 Major League teams make the postseason.

The Mariners were smart to pounce on the opportunity to sign them. They look like geniuses for taking former low round picks and got the most out of their talent.

The Mets? Well, again, they look bad here.

The Mets had Flexen and Sewald, and they just gave them away for nothing. They sent Flexen to Korea. Sewald was a straight DFA making him a free agent.

Flexen was unnecessarily rushed to the majors after just seven Double-A starts. He was bounced between the minors and majors and starting and relieving. He’d make an emergency relief appearance not long after a start and then not pitch for nearly two weeks.

Unlike Flexen, Sewald had occasional flashes of brilliance. That was his downfall in the Terry Collins ride the hot hand guide to managing.

One day, he’d be in a pressure spot. In another, he’d pitch three innings in long relief. He’d pitch multiple days in a row and then struggle. Then, he’d be punished and benched.

Mostly due to their usage and how their development wasn’t prioritized, Flexen and Sewald never had a chance with the Mets. No one could really succeed with how they were treated, and as a result, they failed.

Notably, this season especially, Mets pitchers are thriving elsewhere. Steven Matz is also having a good year. While his struggles were different in nature, they were similarly something which could’ve been rectified with the Mets.

You see, far too often, people want to brush players succeeding elsewhere as they couldn’t handle New York. Certainly, this is something which does occur, but it happens far less frequently than people believe.

This isn’t can succeed in New York. It’s can’t succeed with the Mets. That’s a Mets problem and not a player problem.

Some of the culprits are gone from the organization. Jeremy Hefner appears well poised to put the Mets in position to not allow these mistakes to happen again.

As the Mets organization continues to overturn and build, they need an eye towards how to build the best possible organization for players to thrive. Part of that is adapting new practices learned from other places.

Seeing Flexen and Sewald, it’s also taking a look at the Mets previous regime. They need to learn how the Mets were so successful locating these overlooked talents and getting them to the majors. They also need to see how they can make sure they have this success in Flushing.

Mets Blame Players For Injuries And Have Them Play In Rain

For New York Mets fans salivating for one of those good old fashioned Terry Collins throw the players under the bus press conferences, interim GM Zack Scott gave it to them. While it lacked the flair, the substance was on point.

Scott said the Mets have been mediocre, and their play of late has been unacceptable. In all honesty, both were true, and there’s no issues with him saying that.

Then, Scott went on to say the soft tissue injuries were really the result of players not following designed protocols from the team. Essentially, the Mets washed their hands from the vast majority of injuries their players faced.

What’s hilarious about that is the Mets started a game with a threat of rain. Remember, before first pitch, the home team decides whether or not to proceed. After that, it’s the umpires.

With the Mets proceeding, they got one inning from Carlos Carrasco. After he sat around a bit, he had to simulate a game to continue with the process of stretching out.

Because the game was suspended, the Mets bullpen, starting with Drew Smith, has to pitch eight innings. And, that’s before the second game of a doubleheader.

Keep in mind, the day after that, Rich Hill takes the mound. The Mets learned the hard way Hill is just a five inning pitcher. That means even more stress for the bullpen. That means they’ll be overtaxed as they hop on a plane to head out west.

So yes, Scott and the Mets can put these injuries on the players. They are in charge and can say whatever they want. However, behind that is a series of pitching decisions and decisions like tonight which have led to pitcher injury after pitcher injury after pitcher injury.

For all we know, it’s these types of decisions and missed opportunities which have trickled down to the position players. Overall, the Mets are right in saying the players have their share in the injures. However, as the Carrasco one inning suspended game shows, this front office isn’t as innocent as they told us they are.

Mets Received Additional Time To Extend Michael Conforto

Before the season, Michael Conforto said he did not want to have contract extension talks during the season. While some have intimated he relaxed that Opening Day deadline, Conforto did once say he wanted to resolve his contract status by Opening Day.

Right now, we know Francisco Lindor has a 10 year $341 million contract. What we don’t know is what impact that will have on the Mets willingness and ability to hand out extensions to their other important players. On that note, the Mets were simultaneously having extension discussions with Lindor and Conforto with Lindor obviously being the priority.

With Lindor, the Mets had a future Hall of Famer who they parted with some good young players and prospects to obtain. For Conforto, it’s different. He is the homegrown player who could be a future captain and break a number of Mets records. He is also the player who hit two home runs in a World Series game at Citi Field.

Being further away from that shoulder injury, and being further away from Terry Collins, Conforto has re-emerged as an All-Star caliber player. While his career has not been on par with Lindor’s Conforto does have Hall of Fame talent. This is a player with one of the sweetest swings you’ve seen in Mets history this side of Darryl Strawberry. He has also been a good outfielder.

How we all remember Conforto’s career is going to be dictated by what he does in his prime and beyond. With the Mets, he has a comfort level, and now, he has a front office which is going to give him to the tools to really succeed. He can now get even more out of his talent with the data and training the Mets can now put in place. That many not only make his peak higher, but it may also lengthen his career.

Of course, the Mets have to entice him to stay in terms of dollars. While the narrative on Scott Boras is overstated, he has been reluctant to have his players sign extensions. Still, we have seen it with superstars like Greg Maddux, Stephen Strasburg, and Jose Altuve. The key is that Boras wants a real deal for his clients and not the hometown discount.

Seeing Conforto, he shouldn’t be pressured into the hometown discount. That goes double when they gave Lindor the third highest contract in the game. Conforto is a Met through and through, and he deserves to be treated as such.

The Mets were gifted an extra couple of days to focus in on Conforto and get a deal done. With Boras and the extremely weak outfield free agent class, that is going to be very difficult. However, as we saw with Lindor, all it takes is to make the offer to make Conforto feel like the wanted star he truly is. The Mets now have 48 more hours to get it done.

Jacob deGrom Paying It Forward

The changing point in Jacob deGrom‘s career as a pitcher was arguably at its darkest moment. No, that wasn’t the pep talks he received from Frank Viola in the minors or Terry Collins in the majors. It was when deGrom, a 23 year old ninth round draft pick out of Stetson University, was rehabbing from Tommy John.

deGrom was at an age when big time prospects are already pitching in the Major Leagues. To put it in perspective, his current teammate Noah Syndergaard was a 22 year old rookie pitching in the World Series. His other teammate, Marcus Stroman, who also went to college, was a 23 year old rookie for the Toronto Blue Jays.

But deGrom, well he was a 23 year old pitcher who had not thrown a pitch in even full season Single-A. His career was potentially over before it started with his needing Tommy John. However, during that rehab stint, he was there with Johan Santana, who was rehabbing from his own career threatening injury. It was during this time Santana taught deGrom how to throw the changeup. It is a pitch which has completely altered the trajectory of deGrom’s career.

Well, it is a nearly a full decade later, and deGrom is following Santana’s lead, and he is taking the next generation of Mets players under his wing.

Specifically, he has taken fellow Stetson alum Patrick Mazeika under his wing, and he has worked with Mets top pitching prospect Matthew Allan. That was work which began during the offseason, and it is something which has continued into Spring Training. It is genuine with deGrom with him not only providing pointed advice but also insisting Allan “wear him out with questions.”

For Mazeika, a player who is very much in the same shoes deGrom once did, this is an invaluable experience. He gets to further understand what Major League pitchers look for in their catchers. He gets to experience catching the best pitcher in the game, and he can learn how to better work with not just other Major League pitchers, but also he can help out his minor league teammates down in Syracuse.

For Allan, he is getting a master’s course in how to pitch. He is not just learning how to throw this pitch or that pitch. He is learning when you need to throw those pitches. He is learning how to better comport himself and get the most out of his ability, and Allan has immense ability. It is not even arguable he has better stuff coming out of the draft than deGrom did.

As with deGrom, the question is what he does with his natural ability, and how he continues to develop as a pitcher. For deGrom, working with Santana taught him not only how to throw the changeup. It also taught him about preparation and developing your pitches. For Allan, it can be so much more.

In some ways, we are seeing this link that should be the envy of every organization. Santana, who was once the best pitcher in baseball, helped mentor deGrom. We have seen deGrom take that experience and himself become the best pitcher in baseball. Perhaps, not too long into the future, we will one day talk about Allan as the best pitcher in baseball. Not only should we be excited about that happening, but we should also be excited to see the pitcher Allan may one day help become great.