Thursday, March 23, 2017

THE CATCHING CONUNDRUM

 This is a post I did for Mack's Metsa month or so ago.

My favorite position on the field is catcher.  I love the art , the science of catching.  It is in my blood, my father was a catcher, my brother and I were catchers. There is just something about that position that appeals to me.  I always watch and pay attention to the catchers, study the movements, the foot work, releases, just enjoy it all.  The Mets have been blessed over the years  with some terrific catchers.  Jerry Grote, Gary Carter, Mike Piazza, Todd Hundley.  Even some of the backups while not always great were solid .  Duffy Dyer, Ed Hearn, Barry Lyons. And if only Mackey Sasser could throw back to the pitcher !

Now, we have the trio of Travis d’Arnaud, Rene Rivera, and Kevin Plawecki.  None have distinguished themselves last season. d’Arnaud is the incumbent and will have the job.  At 28 years of age he is facing a turning point in his career. After struggling  last year, d'Arnaud when into the offseason knowing he had to improve his offense and his defense in order to stay in the lineup.  It was clear he missed Bob Geren who  left the Mets coaching staff and left the Mets without a catching coach.  There were times Travis  looked lost behind the plate and that defensive failure affected his offense. The Mets now have a catching instructor on their staff to work with both d'Arnaud and the other catchers.. Glenn Sherlock was hired away from the Diamondbacks in order to help New York's catchers, and Sandy Alderson is confident the hiring will prove to be successful.  The pressure is definitely on d’Arnaud to prove that he can do what he showed us in 2015 and can handle this talented pitching staff.  He also has to stay healthy.  Travis has had a history of injuries and must prove he can avoid injuries.  d’Arnaud will be the starting catcher.

Rene Rivera was picked up by the Mets , and went on to be the personal catcher ofNoah Syndergaard, and was the best defensive catcher on the staff.  His offense was non existent, except for a few key hits, he clearly was on the team for his defense.  He projects as the Opening Day backup.

What to do with Kevin Plawecki?  The young catcher did not perform as well offensively, as we all thought.  However, he did an admirable job working with the pitchers, running games, and defensive prowess. He has reworked his swing ,over the past two winters and had a decent spring with the bat last year however, not playing every day hurt him and he did not hit at all and was sent down to the minors.  He hit pretty well at Vegas clearly showing he needs to play regularly.  While I like Plawecki, I see him starting the season in Las Vegas waiting for the call to the bigs whether with the Mets or with someone else.  

And lets not forget the pitching staff needs to help out a little bit, by holding runners on base better, and giving the catchers a better chance of throwing out runners.


It sure is going to be a fun spring and a fun season to see how all of this plays out.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Did Sandy Misread Trade Market 12-14-2016

Did Sandy misread the trade market and value of Jay Bruce?  It seems he may have as the bottom keeps dropping on outfielders . 

Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnocion still unsigned, players like Andrew McCutchen,Lorenzo Cain, and Charlie Blackmon, rumored to be on the trading block, where does that leave Alderson. The Bruce trade was a waste to begin with and now if they can't move him  for anything but low level prospects will really make it a disaster.



Will Noah end the "Santa Curse"? Noah Syndergaard, portrayed Santa during yesterday's Holiday Party. 

This from MetsBlog:

Have you heard of the Curse of the Santa Suit? It began in 2004, when Mike Cameron played Santa Claus at the team's Kids Holiday Party after joining the Mets.

The next season, an outfield collision with Carlos Beltran gave him a concussion and broke his nose and cheekbones.

This was only the beginning... 

In 2005, Santa was played by Kris Benson, after which he was traded to the O's.

The Curse sort of skipped David Wright's Santa in Dec. 2006, though the team did collapse the end of the next season and it's hardly been smooth sailing for Wright since then.

In 2007, Santa was John Maine, after which his shoulder started barking and, well, that was that.

Mike Pelfrey was Santa in 2008, after which he had a 5.03 ERA.

In 2009, Jeff Francoeur was Santa, he struggled that season and was soon traded to the Rangers.

David Wright reprised the role in 2010, then broke his back.

In Dec. 2011, it was Daniel Murphy, and, though he had a good season, most of his numbers were all down in 2012.

In 2012, John Franco emerged to play Santa, so the Curse jumped to his elf, R.A. Dickey, who talked bad about the team and was traded two weeks later.

Murphy returned in 2013, and seemingly stopped the Curse by having a terrific season and making the All-Star team.

Murphy is the excepetion, though, because Jenrry Mejia was Santa in 2014, after which he was injured and suspended twice for PEDs.

Last year, rookie LHP Steven Matz wore the Santa hat, started 2016 strong, but fell apart during the summer before having season-ending surgery to remove a bone spur in his elbow.

Oh Boy, doesn't bode well for Thor after all he did have an issue with bones spurslast year, this one deserves watching!









Thursday, December 8, 2016

METS LOSE TWO IN RULE 5 DRAFT 12-8-2016

The Mets today lost two minor league players, Paul Paez and Adrian Almeida,  both left handed pitchers, in this year's MLB  Rule 5 Draft according to MLB.com.  Both had some stints with the Brooklyn Cyclones and were left unprotected.  

Paez, a lefty reliever, spent 2016 with St. Lucie and Binghamton going 4-1 with a 3.88 ERA, all in relief.  Almeida split 2016 with Kingsport and Brooklyn and was 0-4 and hada 5.92 ERA with the two squads. Paez will go to the Seattle Mariners with Almeida reporting to the Los Angeles Angels.  

The Mets did not make any picks, as they had no room on their 40 man roster.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

I DIDN'T THINK IT WOULD HURT THIS BAD 10-6-2016


I didn't think it would hurt this bad.  I kept telling myself, all day, that  it was great no matter what happens, it  doesn't matter we didn't think the Mets would get this far and here we are in the wild card game . But then like any other game as it progressed you wanted to win and it was a game for the ages.  With Bumgarner throwing up zeros, Syndergaard pitching his heart out , to Terry Collins making every correct move (though I did scratch my head over pinch hitting  Eric Campbell for James Loney). Then there was the ninth.

I didn't think it would hurt this bad.  It happened so suddenly like a punch to the stomach.  Sure, the Giants had loaded the bases in the ninth, but you had the feeling Reed would get out of it. When Familia came in to start the ninth , I had an uneasy feeling.  I got a lot of angry emails earlier in the year when I suggested that Familia reminded me of Armando Benitez, you know, gaudy numbers but disappears in crunch time.  That's the feeling I had and when  Crawford led off with a double, well...........

I didn't think it would hurt this bad. After a  and a one-out walk to Joe Panik , I felt worse, here it goes slipping away , I just don't trust Familia, and then Conor Gillaspie,  hits Familia's 1-1 sinker deep over the right-center field fence to give the Giants a 3-0 lead.


I didn't think it would hurt this bad, after the season of injuries and offensive highs and lows, I felt lucky to be in the race and in the wild card game.  I know overall it was a great season, one that we will probably look back back on fondly, but I didn't think it would hurt this bad,  but it does.

Friday, September 30, 2016

HELLO AGAIN ! 9-30-2016

It's been sometime since I put up a blog post.  I said in the beginning ,that it was an experiment, that I'm not a writer and did not know how often I would be posting.  Well, there have been gaps between posts, but I have decided to continue and work on improving the blog for next year.  I hope you , that have enjoyed the blog, will stick by me and spread the word.

The season is rapidly coming to a close and the Mets need two more wins to gain the first playoff spot. I'm sure the Phillies will have something to say about that, but really the Mets are on a mission and should be able to take 2 of 3 and sew this thing up.

Hard to believe that about 5/6 weeks ago this team looked dead in the water.  No offense, injuries, just did not seem to be their year.  And then, Terry blew up in a press conference, Cespedes returned, Reyes and Cabrera returned, Lugo and Gsellman surprised, and Rivera was a revelation.  Now, with three games left, Grandy is hot, Bruce is showing signs of finding a stroke, Duda looks to be warming up and Cespedes is heating his bat for a run.  Going to be an exciting weekend and postseason.

Check out the podcast at metsmusings.com 


See you soon!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

WINTER IS COMING FOR JAY BRUCE 9-21-2016

What to do with Jay Bruce?  That seems to be the million dollar question. Right now, he is a detriment to this team.  They need to put out on the field,the best nine that they can to win games and he is not amongst them.  He  has been awful since he was traded here, and is showing no signs of "coming around".  They have to continue to win games to stay in the wild card hunt and Jay Bruce in the lineup does not help.

The final straw may have come on Tuesday night as Terry Collins, pinch hit Eric Campbell for Bruce in the 8th inning.  The Mets were staging a rally and the Braves went with a lefty, and the Terry pulled Bruce for "Soup", who delivered with a single driving in a run. 

"I always think I'm the best choice ... but he's the manager and I respect his decision," Bruce said after the game. "I don't deserve any explanation from the manager.

You're right, you don't deserve an explanation from the manager,  it should be clear, you are not hitting , you are not playing!

The Mets have an option on his contract for next season.  Please DO NOT exercise the option,give him his buyout and cut him loose, he is not worth the money you would have to pay him and, money better suited elsewhere.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

HALFWAY HOME 7-14-2016

Here we are at the "traditional" halfway point of the season and the Mets are still in the race.  Honestly, I thought they would be in better shape in the pennant race but it is what it is. They can still make a run at the division, being only 6 games back, but don't forget the wildcard is still within their grasp.  The keys to a better second half are:

A stable bullpen
More consistent offense 
Better fundies
Stay healthy

I believe if they can accomplish these (no brainer) goals then they have have a shot at being right there when the dust settles.

They managed to take 2 out of three from the Phillies, but now the job gets tougher.  Cubs, Marlins, St. Louis, no breaks in this schedule.

Matt Harvey has chosen to have season-ending surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome.
The surgery will be performed this week, we believe, by preeminent TOS surgeon Dr. Robert Thompson in St. Louis, Boras told ESPN.com.

Harvey said via Twitter:
"I'm extremely disappointed to learn that I'll be out for the season, but I'm relieved to have answers and get back to doing what I love"

The surgery will remove a rib that is constricting nerves and blood vessels - that travel through his shoulder - where the rib connects to the upper spine. Removing the rib creates space and alleviates the constriction, which will restore feeling in Harvey's pitching arm and fingers.

Good luck to him hope all goes well as we will need him down the road.


Noah Syndergaard said that after the break, he is going to be like Bartolo Colon.  No, he's not going to start eating donuts and bulk up but, he will adjust his off-day work routines to keep his arm fresh and back off his bullpen work like Big Sexy does.
“I am going to take a step back, look at my routine every five days and take a play out of Bartolo’s playbook,” Syndergaard said. “He doesn’t throw bullpens, he takes it really light on his arm and every fifth day he is fresh as can be.
“I am at the point of the season where I don’t need to be throwing 30-35 pitch bullpens anymore,” Syndergaard added. “I am going to taper it back to 15-20, if that.”
Syndergaard, who left his last start Friday against the Nats with  arm/shoulder fatigue, said Monday he will just play catch before Tuesday’s All-Star Game to see how the arm is feeling . He says he will be ready to go for the Cubs series, on Monday.