6/30/20

Tony Plate Tebow - Left Off 60 Man Summer Roster

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  As it now stands the 2020 MLB season is scheduled to start on July 23rd The Mets have left Tim Tebow off of the 60-man roster. The commissioner enacted a plan for a sixty-game schedule. That is a start. A short while ago the 2020 year for all professional sports looked bleak when there was talk that all of the sports leagues were going to cancel the rest of their seasons.

 The NBA was thinking about canceling the rest of their season. If they made that decision, then the other sports teams would have done the same thing. The concern was a scenario in which players and those connected to the sport would have been placed at risk.

There are many hurdles baseball would have to jump over just to start the season. Once they do start the season, there is also the chance that a problem can occur if a player tested positive on his team during the season while it was going on. There is a possibility that some of the fans might not come back once the season finally gets underway which will add to the financial crisis of the teams. We’ll see what happens. Only time will tell.

 Tebow’s goal since day one was to make the team roster, which will now be a big challenge for him to accomplish. Unless MLB puts in a rule change due to the nature of the season, the Mets will have to decide this offseason whether to add the 33-year-old Tebow to the 40-man roster or leave him unprotected during the Rule 5 draft. He isn’t going to walk away. There is no quit in him. He is still determined to give it his best shot.

Some might ponder, since the team is in win now mode, they should leave him unprotected in order to fill a roster spot with a veteran that has playoff experience. At the same time, would another team claim him and place him on their roster? If nobody claims him, he could return to the Mets, but would Tebow want to go back to minor league life? 


Perhaps he could go to a non-contending American League team and be a DH. He started off good when he made the All- Star team in Double A ball, but injuries took its toll on him recently. The likelihood of another team being interested in Tebow remains to be seen.


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Tom Brennan - WOW, WHAT A 2020 METS LINEUP

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Maybe the Mets don’t have enough to win a pennant or World Series in this, the shortest scheduled season since at least the 19th century.


And maybe this isn’t the best defensive Mets squad ever...nah, not even close.


But, as a long time fan with an equally long memory, I have a painful memory in recalling the mere 3.6 runs per game that the Mets averaged in their first TWENTY ONE SEASONS!


BUT FOR 2020?  I LOVE THIS TEAM’S OFFENSE! WOW!


First Base?  Number 53, Pete Alonso.  I don’t know what number he wears, AND I DONT CARE.  He bopped 53 in 2019 in his first 160 MLB games.  THAT is his number. "Maestro?  ENCORE!"


Second Base? Robbie Cano, dontcha  know.   His bad 2019 was more due to injuries than anything else like age.  Sweet stroke returns in 2020, I'm betting.  And he’ll do some DH, which will keep him healthy.


Shortstop?  Amed Rosario was on fire after the All Star break last year.  He restocked on rocket fuel for 2020 and plans to use it.


Third Base?  Jeff McNeil, quickly turning into one of the best offensive players in Mets history.


Right Field?  Michael "MC Hammer" Conforto, who hammered a ton of long balls (33) in 2019.  Prime time production lies ahead for this lefty slugger.


Center Field?  Brandon Nimmo...an on base MACHINE, with some pop to boot.  When healthy, he challenges to be in the top 5 in all of baseball in on base %.


Left Field and DH?  A combo of a healthy Yoenis Cespedes, back to feared slugger form, and ready to match Alonso’s prodigious drives with his own; JD Davis, who had one heck of a terrific break out offensive season in 2019; and Dominic Smith, who wants (in my mind) to prove he is prime time Adrian Gonzalez equivalent.


Catcher?  Wilson Ramos, who had a top quartile offensive year for a Mets starting catcher in 2019.


WOW!  THAT’S SOME OFFENSE TO LOOK FORWARD TO!

What do you think, ignoring their defense, and just focusing on the offense?

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John From Albany – Mets Breakfast Links 6/30/2020

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Good Morning.  Happy Birthday Ron Swoboda and Carlos Cortes, the Mets sign 2nd Round pick J.T. Ginn, the Mets sign more players for “Summer Camp”,  and some MLB players are opt-outing for 2020


Mets Links:

As we had last night on Mack’s Mets: Mets Sign Second-Rounder J.T. Ginn.

Mets.com: The Mets were able to offer Ginn so much because they signed their final four picks of the Draft to below-slot -- and in two cases, significantly below-slot -- deals. That left more than $1.1 million in extra funds to offer Ginn on top of his $1.4 million slot value. The Mets then added additional money to push the total deal to $2.9 million.



SNY.tv (MetsBlog): Brodie Van Wagenen explains how Mets plan to conduct 'Summer Camp' at Citi Field. Roster configurations and intersquad games will continue to be evaluated throughout.





NY Daily News: Mets player on 40-man roster and other minor leaguers test positive for coronavirus. One player on the Mets’ current 40-man roster has tested positive for the coronavirus, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said during a conference call on Monday. A number of minor leaguers within the team’s farm system, but not currently on the 40-man, have also tested positive. Van Wagenen said the player who tested positive is “recovering” and the team thinks he is “in a good position.”

Brian Joura Mets 360.com: Pete Alonso and player solidarity in labor issues. Brian’s thought is that “Pete Alonso would make a good player rep...he certainly seems to exude leadership qualities, whether that was leading the walkoff rip-off-the-shirt celebrations or coming up with #LFGM. And on top of that, Alonso was one of the first athletes to voice support for MLBPA leader Tony Clark’s statement of, “Tell us when and where” with regards to beginning the 2020 season.”


Mike Puma NY Post: Mets mailbag: What it would take to trade Dominic Smith. “Smith is only 25 and won’t be arbitration eligible until after the 2021 season. He adapted nicely to a part-time and pinch-hitting role last year and is exactly the type of player winning teams need. That said, if the Mets could get a near-major league ready starting pitcher for Smith, they would have to consider it. But such a deal would probably involve additional pieces.”







MLB LINKS:





MLB Trade Rumors: Major League Baseball Formally Announces Rule Changes For 2020 Season.  Runner on second in extra innings, National League DH, the roster rules, are all discussed. 

MLB Trade Rumors: The Phillies and pending free-agent catcher J.T. Realmuto discussed a contract extension before Major League Baseball put a freeze on transactions in March because of the COVID-19 shutdown. That freeze lifted last week, but the Phillies and Realmuto have not restarted talks.


MLB Trade Rumors: Brewers Announce Initial Player Pool.  Keon Broxton and the man the Mets traded for him, Bobby Wahl, both make the list.





Minor League Baseball:

MLB Trade Rumors: Minor League Baseball’s 2020 Fate Could Be Decided Tuesday. “No official decision has come down, but that may be on the verge of changing. Minor League Baseball’s board of trustees are scheduled to meet Tuesday, when they could make an official announcement on whether a season will take place.”



Asian Baseball:

Amazing Avenue: NPB Update, June 21 to June 27: Tiger Kings. We check in on our adopted NPB team, the Yakult Swallows.

Today’s Yakult Swallows game has been rained out.  Gabriel Ynoa was scheduled to pitch, Nori Aoki in LF.





Here is how the ex-Mets are doing in the KBO:

Aaron Altherr Through 46 games Aaron’s stats were .295/.368/.596 - .964 OPS, 12 HR, 42 RBI, 49K, 12BB.

Chris Flexen: In 9 games this year Chris is 3-2, 3.46 ERA, 52 innings, 48 hits, 20 earned runs, 17 BB, 50 Ks.

Drew Gagnon: 9 games this year Drew is 4-3, 3.88 ERA, 51 innings, 47 hits, 22 earned runs, 15 BB, 52 Ks.

Aaron Altherr is back in CF today and is so far 0 for 1 (Box Score).






Mack’s Blast from the Past comes from 6/30/2012: Welcome to Brooklyn, Brandon. Brandon Nimmo's seventh inning grand slam sent a capacity crowd of 7,939 home happy as the Cyclones knocked off the Aberdeen IronBirds 6-2 in the rubber match of a three game series on Saturday night at MCU Park. Gabriel Ynoa pitched a solid game, going 6.0 innings while giving up three hits, surrendering two runs and striking out a career-high six batters. Tim Peterson (1-0) was the first pitcher out of the bullpen making his professional debut, and he earned the win after tossing 2.0 perfect innings.


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

New York Mets traded 
Ed Lynch to the Chicago Cubs for Dave Liddell and Dave Lenderman on June 30, 1986.



1962
Sandy Koufax becomes the first Dodger southpaw to throw a no-hitter since Nap Rucker accomplished the feat in 1908 when he keeps the expansion Mets hitless in the team's 5-0 victory in Los Angeles. The 26 year-old left-hander, en route to fanning 13, strikes out the first three batters he faces - Richie Ashburn, Rod Kanehl, and Felix Mantilla, on nine pitches to start the game with an immaculate inning.
2000
Trailing 8-2 with two outs in the eighth inning, Mike Piazza's tiebreaking three-run homer completes a ten-run miracle comeback as the Mets stun the Braves, 11-8. Nine of the runs were driven in with two outs, and the ten runs equal the most ever scored in an inning by the Mets.





1962: With the aid of 13 strikeouts and a Frank Howard home run, Sandy Koufax no-hits Bob Miller and the Mets, 5 - 0 in Los Angeles. Sandy starts off the game by fanning the side on nine pitches in the 1st inning, the first National League pitcher to strike out the side on nine pitches since Brooklyn's Dazzy Vance, in 1924. It will be the first of four career no-hitters thrown by Koufax.

1973: The Cubs, leading by seven games, lose to the Mets and Jon Matlack, 2 - 1.

1979: Despite a Home Run by Ex-Met Dave Kingman and Ex-Met Mike Vail's grand slam, the Mets score six runs in the top of the 11th to break a 3 - 3 tie with the Cubs. Chicago storms back with five runs in the bottom of the frame including the grand slam by Mike Vail, but New York hangs on to win the game, 9 - 8. (Box Score).

1993: The Mets defeat the Marlins, 7 - 1, to win consecutive contests for the first time in 65 games.

1997: Bobby Higginson belts three home runs and drives in seven runs and Justin Thompson allows four hits in eight innings as Detroit kicks the Mets, 14 - 0. It is the most lopsided shutout in Mets history. Detroit hits more homers (6) than the Mets have hits (5), and it is the most home runs given up by Mets pitchers since April 291978.

2000: After trailing 8 - 2 with two outs in the 8th inning, Mike Piazza's tie-breaking three-run homer completes a 10-run miracle comeback as the Mets stun the Braves, 11 - 8. Nine of the runs are driven in with two outs and the ten runs equal the most ever scored in an inning by the Mets.


2012: Johan Santana shuts out the Dodgers, 5 - 0, allowing 3 hits over 8 innings. It is the Dodgers' seventh consecutive loss. Ike Davis hits a three-run homer for the Mets.





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6/29/20

Breaking News - Mets Sign Second-Rounder J.T. Ginn

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The Mets have signed their Second Round draft Pick, J. T. Ginn.




The day he was drafted Mack said:  Observation –    This is a great pick!

Ginn would have easily been a Top 10 pick but went down early this year that resulted in TJS. He probably won’t be back for the beginning of next season but you have to still project him as a potential starter for the Mets in three years. If not, huge upside as a future reliever.


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BREAKING NEWS - Mets Sign OF Ryan Cordell and RP Hunter Strickland

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The Mets have signed and added two players to their 2020 Player's pool.

OF Ryan Cordell was an 11th round pick in the 2013 draft by the Texas Rangers, out of  Liberty University.

He played parts of nine seasons for both the Rangers and White Sox affiliates (1,195-AB, 70-HR, ,273). His best season was in 2016 for the AA-Frisco Texas affiliate (19-HR, 70-RBI)

Last year, for the MLB-White Sox, he hit .221 in 217-AB.


Strickland was selected in the 18th round of the 2007 draft, by the Boston Reds Sox, out of Pike County HS (TX).

He has pitched for five teams. His best years were from 2015-2017 for the Giants, where he posted ERAs of 2.45, 3.10, and 2.64, in  195-appearances.

He finished up last year for Washington, going 2-0, 5.14, in 24-appearances.
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Mike's Mets - More Opportunity for Platoons in 2020

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More Opportunity for Platoons in 2020


In writing my piece about Mike Vail yesterday, I noted the success Vail enjoyed in a platoon situation while with the Cubs. It called to mind a time when you were much more likely to see two players share a position in a platoon.

It definitely was a part of Mets history, including both world Series winners. In 1969, manager Gil Hodges utilized platoons at first base (Ed Kranepool and Donn Clendenon, second base (primarily Ken Boswell and Al Weis), third base (Wayne Garrett and Ed Charles) and right field (Art Shamsky and Ron Swoboda). In 1986, manager Davey Johnson used platoons, also. Wally Backman and Tim Tuefel shared second base, Hojo and Ray Knight at 3B (not a strict platoon as Knight enjoyed a solid offensive year), and, particularly after George Foster was released, Davey Johnson mixed and matched in LF with Danny Heep, Kevin Mitchell and Mookie Wilson. Wilson would also spell Dykstra in CF occasionally against lefties.

The reason both managers chose to utilize platooning was to boost offense. The 1969 Mets were not an offensive juggernaut by any means. By using platoons, Hodges was able to coax a few extra runs out of the team. With Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman and Gary Gentry leading the rotation, an extra run or two was all that was needed. As for Davey Johnson, he always looked for ways to maximize offense. I remember former Mets beat writer Marty Noble saying that Johnson always told him that you couldn't win a 0-0 game. Besides platooning, Johnson would famously play Howard Johnson or Kevin Mitchell at shortstop when extreme fly ball pitcher Sid Fernandez was pitching to try to tweak out some extra offense.

Platooning has become less common, particularly at multiple positions. Changes in the way both starters and relievers are used necessitated carrying more pitchers and fewer position players. Your bench needs to have at least one backup catcher and another guy capable of catching in an emergency. You need to have backups at key positions. In the National League you need pinch hitters and, at least before this year, had to have players available to double switch into games. Having versatile bench players became more important than having platoon options.

I'd be interested to see if more platooning comes back into the game. Now that the DH is in the National League, and rosters have grown to 26, the opportunity would seem to be there to construct a roster favorable to that strategy. Even if a team elected to carry 12 pitchers, that would still allow for 5 bench players. I could easily see a team electing to straight platoon at a couple of positions.

The arguments for platooning are pretty simple. The vast majority of right-handed hitters hit much better off of left handers than against righties. The opposite is true for left-handed hitters. You're not going to platoon your best players, of course, they do enough damage against all pitchers. You're going to use platoons to shore up positions where you don't have a top talent.

In the case of those Mets teams from the 80s, you had a player like Wally Backman. Even though he was a switch hitter, he was much, much better as a left-handed hitter. For his career, Backman slashed .294/.364 /362 against righties and .165 /.258/.201 vs. lefties. As long as you paired Wally with a solid right-handed hitting second baseman you could be sure of really solid numbers from that position. The offense would have taken a huge hit if Backman played every day. I'm sure Wally would have argued that he would have hit lefties better if he played every day, but he would have had to have picked it up quite a bit to be anything more than a second pitcher in the lineup facing lefties.

Most teams don't have the budget to play stars at every position. Platooning is a way to combine 2 pretty good ballplayers and create the offensive output of a much better ballplayer. It's a way of deepening your lineup without breaking the bank. I'd love to see a team like the Mets utilize this strategy going forward.



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