12/31/19

OPEN THREAD - New Year's Resolutions

9 comments


Okay...

Here's your chance to put down on paper your 2020 Mets resolutions.

Who...

will be the Mets MVP?

will hit the most home runs?

will have the highest batting average?

will pitch and have the most wins?

will be the biggest surprise (high)?

will be the biggest disappointment?

How many wins will the team have at the end of the regular season?
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Tony Plate Mets Possible Choice as 2020 NL Division Winner

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In my opinion, the New York Mets will have an excellent chance to win the National League Eastern Division in 2020. There starting rotation is one of the best in the league and is the strength of the team, which just added depth with the signings of free agent pitchers Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha.



They will have a vastly improved bullpen with the addition of Dellin Betances who signed a one-year guaranteed deal of $10.5 million. He has been one of the best setup pitchers in baseball in recent years. 
The contract was worth the gamble, even though he encountered injuries last year. I feel he can be a potential difference-maker, which is what the Mets need to compete with the other teams in the division.
The other week I said “I was surprised the Mets didn’t show an interest in former New York Yankee Dellin Betances who would still be worth the risk even though he was injured in 2019,” then hours afterwards the Mets signed him. 
I think Edwin Diaz can bounce back close to his 2018 form, because he is determined to work very hard this off-season and in spring training to prove his doubters wrong.
Since teams are calling the Mets to acquire Yoenis Cespedes I’m bewildered as to why the Mets are not  immediately trying to work out a trade and attach a prospect to a deal in exchange for a team taking Cespedes salary off of their hands.

He is coming off a serious injury and there is no guarantee that he will return in 2020.  Also, it is surprising that the Mets have not been able to trade away Jed Lowrie’s contract to shed some salary.


The National League East has a chance to become one of the best divisions in baseball in 2020. 

The World Champion Washington Nationals re-signed Stephen Strasburg and Howie Kendrick. 



The defending National League Eastern Division Champion Atlanta Braves signed Cole Hamels and Will Smith to free agent contracts. 

As all New York sports fans know by now the Philadelphia Phillies signed Zack Wheeler and Didi Gregorius.


Since all four teams improved themselves, the bottom line is that the division will be up for grabs. The Mets are still talking to the Pittsburgh Pirates about a trade for Starling Marte. 



Both the Nationals and Braves are still looking for a third baseman, and the Phillies are probably looking to add another starting pitcher. 


All four teams are in win now mode, especially the Nationals who are looking to repeat, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more transactions such as a blockbuster type of trade to come before spring training.



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Reese Kaplan -- The Happy End of a Rough Year

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Through sidebar comments and replies to others’ posts I’ve let it be know that I’m indeed going through a rather unexpected set of symptoms related to what would otherwise seem to be a fair typical circumstance.  

I was at home just after the company Christmas party and the following late evening I passed out in my home, smacking my thankfully bare face already without my eyeglasses onto the edge of one of the pieces of furniture giving myself more of a Halloween-appropriate shiner rather than a look and feel more appropriate for the December holiday season.  


After reviving me and getting me into bed I apparently kept drifting in and out of consciousness until my wife decided to call in the experts and off I went via ambulance to the hospital.  That was on December 7th and Sunday, December 29th, I finally got discharged. 

I don’t mean to make it sound overly simple or straightforward.  I went from an emergency specialty center for about a week onto a rehab hospital for almost three weeks, then onto a discharge into an outpatient center.  In between there was a brief moment of civility with a Sunday brunch at a local Mexican restaurant during which I felt “normal” for a brief interval for the first time in nearly 4 weeks.  

From there it was a quick drive to my next new home where a private apartment style accommodation was awaiting me along with a day full of interviews and forms to fill out.  All the initial slaughtering of trees has been done and I’ve inked enough puzzling responses to their questions that it should provide a few hours worth of mystery as they try to understand.


In the interim, it seems the Mets went into the Winter Meetings with a number of interesting if non All-Star level moves.  They added folks like Jake Marisnick, Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello, all of whom should help, though none who defined notable improvements over the current roster.  

The big one (and an act few of us saw coming) was the addition of former superstar reliever Dellin Betances from a near season-long disabled list stint into the bullpen.  Considering his close relationship with new manager Carlos Beltran and the rumored heavy bidding for his services, the transition from the beach towel, err, the Bronx to Citifield came as something of a surprise, but one that was greeted by universal approval by the faithful fans.


The roster is far from done, of course.  

There is no question about who’s playing first base, too much money in who’s playing second, a great stride forward by the shortstop and a big question mark about if it’s Jeff McNeil, J.D. Davis or the nearly invisible Jed Lowrie at 3rd base.  

Then there’s the outfield question between Michael Conforto, somewhat reborn Yoenis Cespedes, semi-healthy Brandon Nimmo, remaining ex-third basemen Davis, McNeil and Lowrie, as well as newcomer Jake Marisnick.  

Is there room for improvement?  Absolutely!  

Will there be?  Probably not. 

So what’s been going on in your lives?

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Fleeting Thoughts - The Dead Zone Edition

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Good Morning, Mets' fans!

Well, we are entering the worst possible time for a baseball fan and that is what I like to call "The Dead Zone".  No, it isn't a spin off series from the Walking Dead, nor is it a new ride at Universal Studios.  Instead, it is the time period that takes place after the Winter Meetings and before the time that pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in February.

As of this morning, the first wave of Mets' players will report to Port St. Lucie in a mere 43 days, with the first Spring Training game taking place 10 days later.  I know that doesn't sound like much, but there will be very little news or player transactions taking place between now and then so it will likely feel a bit longer.

With that said, here is "The Dead Zone" edition of my semi-regular Fleeting Thoughts series;

1.  With most of 2019 now behind us, it is a time to reflect on what took place in each of our lives over the past year.  Most of us have good and bad days and our own personal "issues" that pop up from time to time that can seem daunting.  However, it likely pales in comparison to what Mack's Mets writing Reese has been through recently.  Not to get overly sappy, but I am glad that he is on the comeback trail and it is nice to see his comments popping up in a variety of articles of late.  Continue to get well, Reese.......it is great to have you back.

2.  The offseason is an interesting time of the baseball calendar. Fans' emotions can swing wildly from one day to the next depending on the various player transactions that take place. 

A perfect example is the state of the Mets' pitching staff, both starters and relievers.  One day, Zack Wheeler defects to Philadelphia and most of the reaction from Mets' land was one of dismay and outrage towards the club. Then, a few days pass and the team adds veteran starters Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha.  Suddenly, we have more pitchers then open spots in the rotation.

Or, look at the bullpen situation and how things went from dire to downright optimistic with the simple addition of Dellin Betances.  I am not sure what else may take place during the next seven weeks, but I am starting to like the Mets' chances in 2020 (health permitting, of course).

3.  Speaking of the bullpen, a lot will depend on health AND a return to statistical averages for the collection of relievers that Brodie has put together for Carlos and his coaching staff. With that said, I think the team will carry 8 relievers now that the rosters will expand to 26 total players. If that is the case, take a look at this bullpen;

Michael Wacha (long reliever, spot starter), Robert Gsellman (long reliever, spot starter), Justin Wilson (lefty reliever, set up man), Brad Brach (righty reliever, set up man), Seth Lugo (righty reliever, set up man), Dellin Betances (righty reliever/set up or closer), Jeurys Familia (righty reliever/set up or closer) and Edwin Diaz (closer).

That group has the potential to be dominant!  I think it is a little too right handed, but who do you take out in order to insert someone like Daniel Zamora or Stephen Gonsalves?  I think an upcoming trade might clear up the logjam a bit, but it is nice to have quality depth for a change.

4.  In my estimation, the Mets' roster is pretty much finished as we head into the 2020 season.  In addition to the pitching staff that I touched on previously, the offensive side of things is looking pretty good, as well.  Yes, there are still a few positions where we have an excess of players, but I don't see any major additions coming down the proverbial pike.

Perhaps, the team looks to upgrade the back up catcher position and give Wilson Ramos a bit more rest next year. Any outgoing talent (extra utility players, bullpen arms or even an excess starter), will likely be moved for prospects or straight up salary relief. In other words, the 2020 roster is starting to come into sharper focus and it is unlikely to include the popular names like Starling Marte or Nolan Arenado.

Lastly, let me be one of the first to wish each of you a safe and Happy New Year!  Oh and a taxi cab or an Uber are a whole lot cheaper then a DUI if you find yourself weighing the alternatives later this evening.

See you in 2020!
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John From Albany – Mets Breakfast Links 12/31/2019

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The biggest story yesterday seemed to follow a story I linked yesterday from MLB.com that said the Mets Bullpen is projected to be NLs Best.  The key term here is “on paper” and projecting big bounce back years from Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz and Jeurys Familia.


Metsmerized also noted that all eyes will be on the Mets Bullpen management. “Handling a bullpen like this will be a challenge for a first-year manager like Carlos Beltran. It won’t be an easy task, but the former all-star outfielder always showed excellent baseball savviness during his playing days, so he should be able to put his relievers in the best position to succeed.”

MetsBlog had that ZIPS projections sees a dominant 2020 for Edwin Diaz. They also note that FANGRAPHS sees another tremendous year from Pete Alonso (43 homers and a .551 slugging percentage), and a bounceback from Noah Syndergaard coming.

Also on SNY.TV, John Harper had the 10 most memorable Mets moments of the decade.  He also listed the top 5 moments to forget including the Jason Bay signing.

The NY Post had the top 10 NY Teams of the decade.  The 2015 Mets made the list.


Blogging Mets had the list of biggest Mets trade with each team. The list spans big trades like the one for Gary Carter to trades for players like Addison Reed.     
  
NBC sports continued to run down the top Baseball stories of the decade.  The latest story, #4 also includes links to numbers 5-25.  Here are the ones posted yesterday:

Number 4, Bud Selig retires and Rob Manfred takes over.  The article runs down all of Bud Selig’s and Rob Manfred’s accomplishments.  It does not talk about Manfred’s current idea to shut down 42 minor league teams. 




MLB.com had the biggest dates and questions for the Mets entering 2020.  Next biggest date: “Jan. 10: This is the deadline for the Mets to exchange arbitration figures with their eight eligible players: Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Marcus Stroman, Edwin Díaz, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo. Deals tend to come together quickly after that.”  The article had the biggest question for the Mets being “Will any more major roster changes occur?”



No games last night in the Puerto Rican Winter League last night and no current Mets played last night in the Dominican.  Here are some notable ex-Mets that played last night:

In one game last night, the Leones del Escogido beat the Tigres del Licey beat 6-2 (box).  In that game -

Former Binghamton Mets and Las Vegas 51 Cesar Puello went 3 for 4 with a walk and a strikeout.

Former Binghamton Rumble Ponies Joey Terdoslavich went 0 for 1 with 3 walks, 1 strikeout and a run scored.

Gerson Bautista got the win for Leones del Escogido pitching 1 plus innings giving up 2 hits, 2 walks, and no runs. 

In the other game Aguilas Cibaenas beat Toros Del Este 6-5 (box). 

Juan Lagares was back in the lineup playing center field and went 1 for 5 with a run scored. He also was charged with a throwing error.

Carlos Gomez played right field and went 1 for 4 with a solo home run, a walk, a strikeout, and 2 runs scored. 

Jonathan Niese started for Aguilas Cibaenas going 5 innings giving up 4 hits, 2 runs, 1 earned run on a solo homer. 

Former Mets and Syracuse Mets Tim Peterson pitched for Toros Del Este where Phil Regan is the pitching coach.  Currently a free agent, Tim did not record an out giving up two runs on a walk and a home run. 

Former Met Dario Alvarez also did not record an out walking the only batter he faced. 

In keeping with the year-end lists that everyone is posting, we end 2019 Mack’s blast from the past with the top 10 most read Mack’s Mets posts of the year as chosen by you – the loyal Mack’s Mets readers (Please note there were many great posts this past year from the Mack's team that are not listed.  I simply listed the posts the same way the web site has the top recent posts on the right side of the web page.  Either way, I think it gives us a great re-cap.) :









#2: From May 21, 2019: Mack New Weekly Post.  This includes an interesting note on former Binghamton Rumble Ponies pitcher Matt Pobereyko.


UltimateMets has this date in Mets History:

Born on this date:
Died on this date:
Transactions:

Los Angeles Dodgers signed Claudio Vargas of the New York Mets as a free agent on December 31, 2008.


Want something else tracked here each day?  Please leave a comment below.

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12/30/19

METS TO INTRODUCE DELLIN BETANCES ON THURSDAY, JANUARY 2 AT CITI FIELD

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MediaAdvisory

METS TO INTRODUCE DELLIN BETANCES
ON THURSDAY, JANUARY 2 AT CITI FIELD


DETAILS:       The New York Mets will introduce four-time All-Star RHP Dellin Betances in a press conference on Thursday, January 2, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Citi Field.


WHEN:           Thursday, January 2
                        11 a.m.


WHERE:         The Press Conference Room at Citi Field.


PARKING:     Media members can park in Lot G and enter through the Hodges Entrance.
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OPEN THREAD - A Real Centerfielder

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There is a bunch of Twitter chatter regarding whether we need to improve our centerfield position.

It would probably cost us an outfielder like Brandon Nimmo or Dominic Smith... and... a pitcher like Seth Lugo or Justin Wilson.


Got any thoughts on a deal like this? 
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John from Albany - The Alternative 50 Mets Prospects, Numbers 50-46.

8 comments


First a disclaimer: In putting this list together, I gave more credit to players I have seen play.  I also have tried to highlight players that others have not put on their lists, especially Tom and Mack.  Some may be a surprise.  Hence, I refrained from using the word “Top Prospects”.  If a player has shown flashes or excels in one area, and no one else is talking about them, they might have made the list over others that show up on all the other lists.  Hopefully, it will give awareness to some of the “other guys” in the Mets minors.  With prospects, you never know.  For every sure thing there are the Jeff McNeils of the world that go from unknown to All-Star.  With that in mind I start with -


#50: Braxton Lee – Center Fielder, Bats Left, Throws Right.  Braxton, the Mets December 2018 Minor League Rule 5 pick from the Marlins, turned 26 in August.  Last year, he showed excellent skill in centerfield including a great arm.  Splitting time last year between Binghamton and Syracuse, he hit a combined .271 with a .342 on base average and a .357 slugging percentage.  For his career, he only has played 8 games in the majors, going 3 for 17 for the Marlins in 2018.  In this day and age where players now strikeout more than get hits, Braxton has more career minor league hits, 568, to career minor league strikeouts, 422 (believe it or not, that is rarer than it should be).  That, and his defense, puts him on my list.  He will probably be the starting centerfielder in Syracuse, and should there be an injury or injuries in Flushing, an option to come up and contribute. 




#49: Antoine Duplantis – Left Fielder, Bats Left, Throws Left.  2019 12th round draft pick from Louisiana State; Antoine played mostly left field and led off for Brooklyn hitting .237 BA, .286 OBP, .294 SLG, 20 RBIs, 5 SBs, 46 hits, 12 walks, 31 Ks.  He has good speed and runs the bases well, as I saw him go first to third in a game when the defense was shifted and third base was not covered, later scoring on a wild pitch.  He tripled in the tying run and scored the winning run in Brooklyn’s championship game.  A good defender, Antoine had 153 putouts, 16 assists, and just one error. 




#48: Frank Valentino – Right Handed Starting Pitcher.  The Mets signed the West Islip native in 2019 as a non-drafted free agent.  After graduating from the New York Institute of Technology, Frank pitched in the Pacific Association in 2018 and went 4-3 with a 2.10 ERA in eight starts in 2019 for Florence in the Frontier League. Frank made 11 starts for Brooklyn last year but none bigger was the last game of the regular season against the Staten Island Yankees.  With first place and a playoff appearance on the line, Frank pitched 5.1 innings giving up just one hit, two walks, and one run, with 9 strikeouts.  For the year, Frank was 2-4, with 63 Ks and 13 walks in 58 innings with a 3.41 ERA. What I like most about Frank?  His low walks per 9 innings, 2.02; his Ks per 9 innings, 9.78; and low Home Runs per 9 innings, just 0.47. 




#47: Ranfy Adon, B-R/T-R; Outfield; Signed out of the Dominican in October 2014, Ranfy was one of the fastest players on a fast Brooklyn team last year.  Ranfy stole 11 bases while playing all three outfield positions.  If Ranfy did not start the game, he would be the first player off the bench to pinch run.  Ranfy had a big homerun and the walk-off double to give the Cyclones a 4-3 win in the deciding game against Hudson Valley in the first playoff round. Then in the first game of the Championship series, with a man on first and the game tied 0-0, Ranfy doubled in the eighth to put runners on second and third.  The two runners scored on sacrifice flies as Brooklyn won that game 2-1. In the regular season Ranfy hit .270, with two homers and 13 RBIs.  Though his numbers haven’t shown it yet, Ranfy has speed and power, and is fun to watch.  This is the type of player I look forward to seeing when I go to a game.  I hope he continues to develop. 



#46: Joe Genord – B-R/T-R; 2019 9th round draft pick from South Florida; First Base.  Joe led the Brooklyn Cyclones team with 44 RBIs (third in league) and 9 HRs (tied for fifth in league).  Joe struggled getting hits at home, hitting just .140 in Brooklyn while .266 on the road for a .206 total average.  Joe has tremendous power.  I saw him pull a ball down the left field line in Troy that had to go close to 450 feet in about five seconds.  A bullet.  Joe hit 5 home runs the first three weeks of the season and was hitting over .300.  Then pitchers figured out that you can’t throw him a fastball anywhere near the inside part of the plate.  From then on it was lots of off-speed pitches on the outside of the plate.  Through it all, Joe still had the ability to drive in runs even when he made outs.  He had six sacrifice flies.  In the first playoff game, Joe hit a pop up to the infield that the Hudson Valley catcher did not handle.  Genord never stopped running and wound up on second base later scoring on a single. Sorry, this day and age, plays like this make a player stand out.  Remember former number one Mets Prospect Fernando Martinez hitting a pop-up that landed in fair territory as he watched it fall and was tagged out?  It is his hustle, his power, and his ability to get runs home on outs that puts Joe on this list for me. 


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