Tag:

Majors

The Mets have named Hitting Coach Luis Natera, who is beginning his 24th (!) season with the Mets to the new position of assistant hitting coach for the big league team. ?Natera, who had been the AA Binghamton hitting coach for seven years, had been already named to the same position for 2014. So, now the B-Mets will get a new hitting coach this year.

Natera began the 2009 season in AAA Buffalo, but was sent to AA Binghamton in June when the Bisons' offense was anemic. At the time, I argued that had more to do with the fact that there were too many guys on the AAA roster who did not belong in AAA rather than a reflection of Natera's coaching.

Andy Martino reports that some Mets players had lobbied?pushed for AAA hitting coach George Greer to get the job.

Tags: Majors, Toby Hyde
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I enjoyed Ralph Kiner, the broadcaster. I didn't know Ralph Kiner, the Man. From the remembrances today, that sounds like my loss.

On air, he was insightful and entertaining. He didn't make me a Mets fan, he just made the game better. In recent years, the SNY crew clearly looked up to him, and he returned the favor with grace and humility. Just hearing his voice was like hearing that of an old friend.

- Marty Noble remembers the Gentleman.

Tags: Majors, News, Toby Hyde
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Yesterday, MetsBlog ran a lengthy piece I wrote about Bartolo Colon.

I wanted to share a few other takes from around the web. All discuss his age, fastballing tendencies, "risk," and the relatively small commitment in dollars and years the Mets made to Colon.

At Fangraphs, Eno Sarris takes an even-handed view of the contract, calling Bartolo Colon an "unreliable workhorse." He has some fun with words, "So the Mets got an older pitcher for fewer dollars or fewer years than comparable pitchers on the free agent market. And he?s a reliable risk. Or a firm flyer. Or a predictable plunge. Or a steadfast speculation.?Or maybe a cheap, old pitcher."

Tags: Majors, Toby Hyde
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I wrote a lengthy piece on the Mets' interest in Curtis Granderson on November 13. I wrote that a four-year deal was a bad idea?based on his top comparables and rising strikeout and whiff rates. That has not changed.

Basically, if you like this deal, you're arguing one or both of: that Granderson will not age like the hitters he is most similar to, and that 2013 didn't happen and any results from 2013 should be thrown out because they are tarnished by his hand and shoulder injuries.

Edit: Or perhaps you're arguing that by the fourth year of Granderson's contract (2017) the Mets will be in a position to run larger payrolls, and a likely 1.5 win player (max) making $15 million will not interfere with any other roster priorities.

Tags: Majors, Toby Hyde

More in a bit...

 

Link to Metsblog.

Tags: Majors, Toby Hyde

Last week, Mets GM Sandy Alderson told the world that the Mets' 2014?payroll would be higher than their 2013 payroll, calculated at $87 million. This was reported as major Mets news. It's really just a promise to spend in the neighborhood of $15 million in additional money on the 2014 team.

Forget what you've read elsewhere about the Mets' payroll flexibility this winter. It is exaggerated. The Mets already have over $70 million committed to their 2014 payroll already. They should surpass that $87 million with ease. In fact, that $87 million is just a floor, and a very low one given the team's existing commitments.

I confess that November's $87 million number was new to me, but that's my fault. Alderson first used it at the Mets' September 30 end-of-season press conference.

Tags: Analysis, Majors, Toby Hyde
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The reaction around the Mets' Chris Young signing was wonderfully hyperbolic. It was a solid, short-term move that improves the product on the field in the near term with little longterm risk.

At Fangraphs, Dave Cameron praises the move, "I continue to believe that this will likely go down as one of the best free agent signings of the off-season....Young isn?t a sexy addition, but this is the kind of solid low cost move that smart teams are making these days." Cameron believes that Young will bounce back to become roughly a league average hitter.

At ESPN, Keith Law doesn't like the fit as much. Law argues that Young has not been the same player since his 2012 shoulder injury and that with Juan Lagares in center, moving Young to a corner will erode so much of his defensive value that he will be unable make up for it with his bat. ? "He's an upgrade over any of the Mets' internal options for those spots, but they won't get maximum value from him if he's not in center. Coming off of a year of replacement-level offense, there's more risk involved in an investment in his bat than $7.25 million guaranteed would seem to indicate."

Tags: Majors, Toby Hyde
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The Mets have reportedly come to terms with OF Chris Young on a one-year, $6 million contract for 2014. ESPN places the value of the contract at $7.25 million.

Young, who turned 30 in September, had a bad 2013 with Oakland, hitting .200/.280/.379 with 18 doubles, 12 homers, 36 walks and 93 strikeouts in 107 games. He was worth 0.2 bWAR and 0.5fWAR. And yet, this is a solid signing.

Young was a very productive player from 2010-11 with the Diamondbacks, putting up fWAR of 4.1 and 4.5 in 2010 and 2011 respectively, and bWAR of 5.5 and 5.0 for those same seasons. (The point is not that one WAR system is right or wrong, but that they both saw his contributions in 2010-11 as in the range of "very good.") He hit a little above average, running a wRC+ of 109 and 102 in 2010 and 2011 respectively, combined with excellent defense in center. Young was, at that time, the player Mets' fans hope Juan Lagares can be.

Tags: Analysis, Majors, Toby Hyde
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Now we're talking.

Two years of Fowler for three of Davis?

Obviously Fowler has his warts, but he's 27, runs well, draws walks, and plays the outfield. Both UZR and Total Zone rate him below average in center, but he should be strong in a corner spot. I heartily endorse this kind of move.

Tags: Majors, Toby Hyde

The Silver Slugger is awarded to a single player per position, determined to be the most valuable offensively, in both the American and National Leagues as determined by Major League Baseball's coaches and managers.

When it comes to thirdbase in the National League in 2013, the League's managers and coaches picked extremely poorly in selecting Pedro Alvarez. In his age-26 season, Alvarez hit .233/.296/.473 in 152 games for the playoff-bound Pirates. He led the National League in two categories: homeruns (36) and strikeouts (186).

On a plate appearances basis, he was a mid-pack thirdbaseman offensively. By wOBA, Alvarez (.330) was seventh in the NL behind David Wright (.391), Aramis Ramirez (.366), Chris Johnson (.354), Ryan Zimmerman (.353), Juan Uribe (.334), and Pablo Sandoval (.331). wRC+ tells the identical story, slotting Alvarez seventh among Nation League hot-corner handlers.

Tags: Analysis, Majors, Toby Hyde
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[tweet https://twitter.com/JeffPassan/status/279833417292591104]

So, the Mets look to be getting just about the best catching prospect in the minor leagues for the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner. Passan notes that there will be plenty of other players in the deal. That makes sense; Jays' GM Alex Anthopoulos pulled off some of the biggest multi-player deals recently.

If the Mets were going to move Dickey, d'Arnaud is the kind of prospect, a nearly ready, up the middle player with legit Major League power, they had to have in return.

Tags: Majors, Toby Hyde
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Let me be clear: I love what the Tampa Bay Rays did Sunday night and I hate what the Royals did.

The Rays sent RHP James Shields and RHP Wade Davis to Kansas City for OF prospect Wil Myers, RHP Jake Odorizzi, LHP Mike Montgomery and 3B Mike Montgomery.

Myers, the reigning 2012 Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year, is ready. He hit .314/.387/.600 with 37 bombs as a 21-year old between double-A and triple-A last year. The 140 strikeouts in 134 games suggest that his average will come down in an important way in the big leagues, but the game power, at that age, and that level are real. He was one of the select few prospects, I would have been pleased to see the Mets trade either Jon Niese or RA Dickey for in a 1-for-1 deal.

Tags: Analysis, Majors, Toby Hyde
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Last night, Ed Coleman of WFAN broke the news that the Mets and David Wright had agreed on an eight-year deal for $138 million. The deal begins immediately, replacing Wright's previous $16 million option for 2013.

It is an extraordinary amount of money for an extraordinary baseball player.

 

Tags: Analysis, Majors, Toby Hyde
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Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio are heading from the Miami Marlins to the Toronto Blue Jays for a collection of lousy big leaguers Yunel Escobar, Jeff Mathis and Henderson Alvarez, and interesting prospects Jake Marisnick, Adeiny Hechavarria, Justin Nicolino and Anthony DeSclafani.

When he signed with Miami last year, Jose Reyes?said, "They met with me at 12:01, and they showed me their plan that they have. It showed me they wanted to win, and I want to win, too. That's why I made the decision to play in Miami." I suspect the plan the Marlins showed Reyes did not include a trade before Thanksgiving 2012.

Leaving aside arbitration cases, Hechavarria is now the third-highest paid Marlin on the books for 2013. Mathis is the only Marlin on a multi-year contract through 2014. The Marlins are brutal.

Tags: Majors, Toby Hyde
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Everyone reading this should know that the Mets have been through severe financial problems in the last few years. Some were a result of the ownership group's relationship with Bernard Madoff, but some were not.

Last night, Michael Salfino, who writes for the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo! Sports and used to have a blog around these SNY parts (the now defunct SNYWhyGuys) tweeted that the Mets were broke.

[tweet https://twitter.com/tobyhyde/status/267768551505539072]

Tags: Majors, Toby Hyde
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By now, Mets fans know that Lucas Duda has surgery on his right wrist which he broke while moving furniture after the team announced it. Damn, couches are dangerous.

This is not the first time Duda has had wrist problems. As a freshman at USC, he broke his left wrist on a collision at first base back in 2005. He went on to hit just .208/.322/.299 in 91 PA over 34 games that year as a 19-year old. His sophomore year, his batting average and his OBP rose, but his power did not as he hit .298/.391/.398 in 226 PA over 56 games. By his junior year, he hit for a little more power: .280/.378/.468 in 223 PA over 53 games.

Here's his College Isolated slugging, calculated by subtracting batting average from slugging to measure a batter's power, by year:

Tags: Analysis, Lucas Duda, Majors, Toby Hyde
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Well, I didn't see that coming. I really had no idea who would win a Tigers-Giants series. That's the thing about a seven-game series in baseball. I thought in many respects, the Giants' contact ability combined with the Tigers' lousy defense made it a good matchup for the Giants. On the other hand, I thought Detroit had two starts of Verlander and the series' best two bats. Whoops.

The really surprising thing is that the Giants' swept the Tigers. The Giants held the Tigers scoreless in two games and to a .159/.243/.246 line in four world series games. That's a really good way to do business if you're a Giant, and a bad way to do business if you're a Tiger.

I loved the ending. Sergio Romo had thrown nothing but sliders to the two right-handed batters he faced in the Detroit 10th inning, until his final pitch. Then, he painted a fastball on the inside black to straighten up Miguel Cabrera for a called third strike. You can see on the video here (around the 0:28 mark) that Cabrera is has started his hands out, and is about to dive over the plate to go get a slider. Romo fooled him.

Tags: Majors, Toby Hyde

Ok, if you weren't watching baseball Wednesday night you lose.

One quick thing from the ninth inning of the Yankees' win over the Orioles (Raul Ibanez's party).

Pinch-hitting Ibanez for Rodriguez was absolutely the right tactical move given that Yankees needed one run to tie the game. The best way to get one run? A solo homer.

Tags: Analysis, Majors, Toby Hyde
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I brought this up on yesterday's podcast, but did not get it right at the time. Since the Mets last made the playoffs in 2006, they are one of only eight teams to miss the playoffs in all of the last six years. I said the Mets were one of six teams and Patrick and Ted both rightly told me that did not sound right.

The futile eight: the Mets, Marlins, Pirates, Astros, Padres, Jays, Royals and Mariners. Every division in baseball is represented among this group.

In breaking news, it's been a long time since the Mets were in the playoffs. Most other teams have been better than the Mets in the last six years.

Tags: Analysis, Majors, Toby Hyde
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Opened up Tweetdeck at 4:30 on Tuesday and saw this string of Tweets in my "Mets Beatwriter" column.

That's one Santana will not start Thursday tweet (which was retweeted) versus one, "it has not been ruled out."

And the clarification moments later.

Tags: Majors, Toby Hyde
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Matt Harvey's Major League debut was not just a fun night for the Mets. Instead, his 11-strikeout two-hit outing turned into something historic. He became the first Mets pitcher to every strikeout 11 in his big league debut. He became the first pitcher in the "modern era" to strike out 11 and pick up two hits in his big league debut.

How did he do it? He was throwing hard. After regularly sitting 93-95 at AAA Buffalo, he averaged at the high end of that range - 94.9 last night with his four-seam fastball, sitting 92.5-96 and touching 98.

His slider averaged 85 mph, and was as high as 90. This is a pitch has some a long, long way in the last 12 months. It's more or less a new offering for him, and it's very good.

Tags: Majors, Matt Harvey, Toby Hyde
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Sometime during the 10th inning from Monday's Mets 8-2 loss in 10 innings:

Tags: Majors, Toby Hyde

If you missed it while you were out with friends, you missed an ugly Friday night in the Mets' world. It started at the top, where Johan Santana allowed six runs on seven hits, including a pair of homeruns, and walked three in the Mets' 7-6 loss to the Dodgers. Then, he was placed on the disabled list with a right ankle problem. I thought today should have been Matt Harvey time in the big leagues. Instead, Harvey is starting in AAA, and Miguel Batista is throwing in Queens. The Mets have added Jeremy Hefner to the roster as Batista insurance and potentially to make Santana's next start next Wednesday. Will the Mets turn to Harvey now? ? Don't ask me, I thought he should be starting for the Mets today.

 

AAA: Charlotte Knights 4, @ Buffalo Bisons 0

Tags: Binghamton Mets, Buffalo Bisons, Majors, Toby Hyde
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Presented without comment.

Tags: Majors, Matt Harvey, Toby Hyde

On June 1, Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in Mets history. It was glorious. It also took him 134 pitches. Since that date, his performance is appreciably worse. His ERA is over two and a half runs per game higher, he's striking out fewer batters, walking more and giving up more hits and more homeruns.

Basic

ERAG/GSIPHRERHRBBSOHBPAVGOBPSLG
Opening Day - June 12.3811/1168492018421680.200.262.306
June 8 - July 155.677/739.67462525914340.291.345.544
 

Advanced

BB/9SO/9SO/BBHR/9H/9R/9BB%SO%IP/StartTBF
Opening Day - May 262.89.03.20.56.52.67.725.16.2271
June 1 - July 153.27.72.42.010.45.78.019.55.7174
 

Tags: Analysis, Majors, Toby Hyde
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Dillon Gee is in the hospital with a blood clot in his pitching shoulder. At the very least, he will miss at least one start.

The Mets current official statement:

"On Sunday, Dillon Gee complained of numbness in the fingers of his right hand. Yesterday, after extensive testing, Dillon was found to have a clot in an artery in his right shoulder and doctors at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City used a catheter to break up the clot. Dillon will remain hospitalized for the next day or two to ensure that the clot is fully resolved. Dillon will not make his next start and will be placed on the disabled list. The timing of his return to baseball activity is currently undetermined."

Tags: Majors, Matt Harvey, Toby Hyde
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Nope, that's not your eyes deceiving you. The Mets defense, which has cost them perhaps two games in the last week, has been somewhere between bad and the worst in baseball depending on your advanced metric of choice.

According to Fangraphs' UZRbase, the Mets are dead last, at -24.3 runs below average. Roughly, 10 runs counts as a win, so this suggests the Mets have cost themselves two and half wins versus playing average defense this year.

By Defensive Runs Saved, the Mets are only the 24th worst team in baseball defensively, -19 runs below average.

Tags: Analysis, Majors, Toby Hyde
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The Mets' quest for a no-hitter taught me to keep score.

Every Mets game I ever attended with my dad, we kept score. Well, initially, when I was young, he kept score with a scorecard he bought at Shea on the way into the game. At some point, I asked him why he always kept score. He told me that if we were there for the first Mets no-hitter, he wanted the scorecard. He didn't want to miss history. I also grew to suspect that he wanted something to keep himself busy at the game. But this was how I learned to keep score; hoping for a Mets' no-hitter. It was a big deal, to me at least, when he let me use his "real" scorecard when I was nine years old or so.

Later, when we went to games, we'd pick up a scorecard. We'd look at each other and say, "just in case." It was a tradition I'd carry on when I went to games with friends. Often, after the first opponent hit, I'd throw the card down in front of me with the carcass of a stadium meal on a tray to soak in mustard, and never be seen again. Games when I'd go and not keep score, I felt like I was cheating history. What if that was the game?

Tags: Majors, Toby Hyde
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It was not supposed to be like this for Omar Quintanilla. Instead, his story is a wonderful reminder again, of the difficulty of prospect watching and projecting. He's a Met now as the team's fourth choice at shortstop.

Quintanilla, now 30, is a gifted defensive shortstop, who has never hit enough to hold down an everyday job in the big leagues. What's he doing on the Mets now? The team thinks he's a better defensive shortstop than Jordanny Valdespin, who they do not trust to play short everyday. Ruben Tejada hit in an extended spring training game over the weekend, but did not play the field, and seems like he is still a week away or so. Justin Turner is out for at least two weeks. Ronny Cedeno's calf kept him out of Monday's game. So without Quintanilla, David Wright ends up playing short, as he did on Monday.

Quintanilla's strength - he can really pick it. His weakness - hitting MLB pitching. In 582 PA in the big leagues, Quintanilla has hit just .213/.268/.284. He's a lefthanded hitter with a significant platoon split. In his big league time, he hit .230/.286/.314 against righties in 476 PA and .137/.188/.147 in 106 PA vs. lefties. While hitting a healthy .282/.345/.494 in 48 games this year for the AAA Buffalo Bisons, Quintanilla has beat up on righties (.317/.393/.592 - 135 PA) while floundering against lefties (.167/.167/.167 - 37 PA). Yeah, that's right, he has not drawn a walk, nor picked up an extra-base hit against a left-handed pitcher in AAA in 2012. Take those small sample size numbers lightly. Quintanilla actually hit lefties better than righties in AAA in 2010 and 2011.

Tags: Analysis, Majors, Toby Hyde
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The Mets bullpen has been bad. Frank Francisco's ninth inning problems cost the Mets two game in Miami on Friday and Sunday. Whether or not he loses his closer job, he's not going anywhere. The Mets signed him to a 2-year/$12 million contract this off-season. In fact, the problem in the bullpen runs deeper than Francisco.

The ProblemThrough 106 IP, the Mets are 14th in the 16-team NL East in bullpen ERA. That might overstate by a touch how poorly they have pitched: their FIP is 11th, and their xFIP 13th. The team's strikeout rate (K/9 8.07) is a middling 9th, while the team's walk-rate is 10th lowest. As a group, Mets' ?relievers are fly-ball pitchers; they have the fourth-lowest GB% 42.5% in the NL.

 

Tags: Analysis, Majors, Toby Hyde
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In the first inning or so of Thursday's Mets-Marlins game, after another moment of messy Marlins defense, I quipped on twitter: "Maybe the #Marlins are not very good at defense." The statement was truer than I realized.

The statement drew some responses, including from NL East Chatter who asked "when have the Marlins been good defensively?"

The answer is roughly once a decade. So far in 2012, the Marlins are 14 runs below average in defensive runs saved, the third-worst mark in the Majors. That's a small sample size and all, so lets move back further. (I like DRS for team-based evaluations, but that's just a personal choice.) The truth is, the Marlins have compiled a mind-boggling decade of defensive ineptitude.

Tags: Analysis, Majors, Toby Hyde
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Damn it, internet, I spent an hour this morning answering a mailbag question about when Lutz will be called up, and then minutes after I press "Publish," the Mets placed Jason Bay on the DL and called up Lutz.

Some of this will be excerpts from that post, some will be new-ish.

Lutz OffenseHe's a high strikeout, high walk, high-power, guy off to a great start in AAA this year (.333/.419/.556) supported by an unsustainably high .439 BABIP. All the same, in his 303 career AB in AAA, he's hit .304/.387/.521 with an 11% walk rate, 27% strikeout rate, extra-base hits in 10% of his plate appearances, and a .393 BABIP.

Tags: Analysis, Majors, Transactions, Zach Lutz, Toby Hyde
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As of this writing, David Wright's broken pinkie is still swollen, and it appears "likely" that he will head to the disabled list. While he is on the disabled list, the current plan is to move Daniel Murphy from second to third base and play Justin Turner and Ronny Cedeno at third, and call up a utility infielder, probably Josh Satin to man the bench. This is a mistake. If indeed, the Mets do plan to put Wright on the disabled list Saturday, they should call up Zach Lutz. Lutz is younger than Satin (by a year and a half) and a more powerful hitter.

Lutz been injured regularly, but when he's played, he's hit. Thus far in Buffalo in 2012, he's on an eight-game hitting streak as part of a .323/.382/.581 start in nine games. He's no Adrian Beltre at third, but he's played at the hot corner his whole professional life.

I touched on this possibility issue earlier this week and concluded that Lutz was a better option to man third than Josh Satin or Vinny Rottino. At the time, I was operating under the premise that if the Mets were going to DL Wright, they would not want to move Murphy off of second, consistent with Terry Collins' early spring proclamations that Murphy was his second baseman and the team was not interested in moving him for a temporary absence. Two weeks on the DL counts as temporary. If that was the plan in March, it should the be plan on April 14. A week of baseball is fun to watch, but analytically, nearly useless.

Tags: Analysis, Majors, Zach Lutz, Toby Hyde
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David Wright has a "small fracture in the middle joint of his right pinky." It sounds neither serious nor fun. Wright is heading to see a hand specialist today, Wednesday, and Terry Collins seems to hope that he will be back by Friday.

And if that doesn't happen? The people want to know about contingencies.

Kevin writes:

Tags: Analysis, Joshua Satin, Majors, Zach Lutz, Toby Hyde
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I described Kirk Nieuwenhuis on last week's podcast as a deadly low-ball hitter. This is a swing from his MLB debut on Saturday on his second hit - a clean line drive single into right field. The pitch is in Nieuwenhuis' happy spot: down in the zone.

Pretty.

Tags: Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Majors, Toby Hyde
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Matt den Dekker has officially been invited back to big league camp. This is interesting in the sense that as a guy who was not on the Mets' 40-man roster, he could have been borrowed from minor league camp anytime the Mets wanted to grab him as depth for the big league game. The Mets' moment of center-field panic/chaos seems to have passed with both Andres Torres and Scott Hairston improving, and making noises about being ready for Opening Day.

Mike Baxter's in centerfield Friday against the Braves, and Jordany Valdespin will see some time after looking awkward on a fly-ball Thursday. Den Dekker remains a very long shot to make the Mets' Opening Day roster.

Which brings us to a question on Twitter.

Tags: Analysis, Majors, Matt den Dekker, Toby Hyde
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I left out an important caveat from yesterday's post about non-Torres, non-Hairston and non-Nieuwenhuis options in centerfield: it's very possible that one, or even all three of those guys, will be ready to go on Opening Day. Thus the argument about whether the Mets should roll with Mike Baxter or Jordany Valdespin could well be a lot of wasted breath. All the same, it's nice to be prepared to panic, you know?
Tags: Majors, Toby Hyde

If you were in a cave all weekend, emerged, and decided that this blog would be the first Mets thing you read 1. Thank you and 2. you should know that David Wright was in New York City for an "ultra-sound guided" cortisone shot for his injured rib cage muscle, while Tim Byrdak had surgery on a torn meniscus.

Wright's injury matters much more to the 2012 Mets and the franchise's future. The reason is simple: he has been much better than Byrdak, will continue to be much more valuable than Byrdak, and the replacement options are far worse.

On last week's Mostly Mets Podcast (on itunes here), I expressed concern over Wright's pulled muscle keeping him out of games. It's now one week later, and thus one week closer to Opening Day, and he is neither throwing nor swinging a bat. The Mets are still 24 days from Opening Day against the Braves. There's no guarantee at this point that Wright is actually going to miss regular season games, but it is guaranteed that coming off the worst season of his professional career, he will have missed a significant piece of March, and have, at best, an abbreviated spring training. As of Monday, March 12, Terry Collins claims to be "not concerned" about Wright, who will play 2012 as a 29-year old, being ready for Opening Day. However, at this point, it's just one more piece of the data indicating his decline.

Tags: Analysis, Majors, Standard, Toby Hyde
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I watched about the first half of Thursday's game on my iphone on a bus heading from Winston-Salem until I lost 3G service/fell asleep. Technology is amazing.

1. After Lucas May doubled home a few runs, I joked on Twitter that he had locked up the backup catcher position on the Mets. It was a joke, but there's more than a kernel of truth in it. Josh Thole played 114 games last year, so the Mets have to be planning for catchers other than Thole to play a minimum of 40 games. There seems to be a consensus that the #2 job is Mike Nickeas' to lose (see here). I think that's not right. He's supposed to be a good defender, but even over 40-50 games, can the Mets afford his bat? In his first 69 AB in the big leagues, he's hit .190/.246/.264. That's an OPS+ of 43.

If you'd like a more robust sample, and so would I, Nickeas has hit .211/.275/.296 in 412 plate appearances over four seasons in triple-A between 2008 and 2011 as a 25-28 year old.

Tags: Analysis, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Majors, Toby Hyde
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Gary Carter passed away from cancer Wednesday.

You're going to read a lot of words about him in the next few days, but I have little to add here. I am sad for his family, his Mets family and his baseball family, including all of his fans.

I confess that I was too young to appreciate Carter in his time. ?He left the Mets when I was seven years old. I saw him play live only a handful of times. Todd Hundley was my guy growing up. Instead, Carter was almost a fictional character to me. He starred in the '1986 Mets championship video my friends and I wore out. Older brothers and sisters and parents of my friends loved him.

Tags: Majors, Toby Hyde
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Of course the Mets offered Mike Pelfrey, Manny Acosta, Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez arbitration. ?Not so, Mike Baxter and Ronny Paulino. ?The decision to go with Mike Nickeas looks like it'll save $1 million dollars.

You can talk about clubhouse issues. ?That's stuff that's unmeasurable.

We can measure a performance gap between the players. ?It's worth a million dollars.

Tags: Majors, Toby Hyde
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Given all of the available information available on December 5, 2011, the Mets were right to stay firm on their offer to Jose Reyes, even if it meant losing him to the Miami Marlins. ?The Marlins gave??Reyes a very reasonable contract, and it might prove to be a bargain if he can stay healthy. ?And yes, of course that's a big if.

However, the fact that a contract was reasonable for the Marlins does not make it right for the Mets. ?

Oh, sure, you can argue that the Mets should have traded Reyes during the season. Or worry about who to blame.

Tags: Analysis, Majors, Toby Hyde
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With the news that Jose Reyes will leave the Mets to sign a six year, $106 million contract with the Marlins comes the concurrent news that the Mets will receive two draft picks back in exchange for losing their star shortstop. ?The bad news? ?The Mets will receive a pick in the supplemental round between the first and second round, somewhere between 31 and 46, and, for now, the Marlins' third-round pick. ?If the Marlins sign Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, or C.J. Wilson, the Mets would receive a fourth-round pick instead of the third-round selection.

Why the Marlins' third round pick? ?The Marlins, who finished at 72-90, own the #9 pick in the upcoming draft, so their first round pick was protected. ?After the first round, teams who lose a free agent to the Marlins are compensated in order based on the Elias rankings of the free agents. ?So, because Heath Bell was the 6th rated type A, and Jose Reyes the 16th, the Padres come first. ?Under the old rules, San Diego would have received the Marlins' second round pick, while the Mets made due with the Fish's third rounder. ?However, Bell was one of six players designated as a modified Type A, for this winter, where the signing team would not lose a pick. ?Instead, the team being compensated will receive an additional pick, equivalent to the one they would have received. ?Thus, the Padres will receive the 9th pick in the second round, pick 9A, pushing the Marlins down to the 10th pick, or pick 9B. ?For now, the Mets, even though the Marlins retain their second round pick, the Mets will receive the pick they were supposed to receive under the old system - the Marlins third rounder.

If the Marlins sign another free agent more highly ranked than Reyes, Albert Pujols for Prince Fielder for example, the Mets will end up with the 9th pick in the fourth round.

Tags: Analysis, Majors, Toby Hyde
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Where does Jose Reyes' brand new, 6-year, $106 million contract with the Miami Marlins rank all-time?

Thanks to the invaluable Cot's Contracts, the Reyes-Miami pact is the :

  1. 26th richest all-time by total value
  2. 32nd highest average annual value of all-time
  3. the 2nd highest average annual value by a shortstop*
 

Tags: Analysis, Business of Baseball, Majors, Toby Hyde
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Friday, the Mets added seven prospects to the 40-man roster. ?All seven players were eligible to have been selected in this December's Rule 5 Draft.

LHP Robert CarsonWhy Added: Plus velocity 93-95 mph from the left side

MLB Debut: mid-late 2012 is a real possibility

Tags: Analysis, Majors, Toby Hyde
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Ken Rosenthal says the Miami Marlins offered Jose Reyes $90 million over six years, or $15 million annually. ?That's reasonable. ?It's also not going to be enough.

Remember oh, last week, when supposedly the Marlins strategy was to offer Reyes (and Albert Pujols and Mark Buehrle) short contracts with high average annual values? ?Does it strike anyone else as fishy here that now the Fish are reported to be offering a long(ish) contract with a low, by Reyes standards, average annual value?

So relax.

Tags: Majors, Toby Hyde

I want to defend the Mets a little bit from the developing "they should have traded Jose Reyes" theme.

First, I think that the money spent on Reyes, and I've said this before on the Mostly Mets Podcast, and I think written it in this space, will be the best free agent money of this winter. ?He'll be 28 on Opening Day 2012, plays a premium position and you'll be paying for the late years of his prime and early decline phase. ?He's averaged 129 games the last two years. ?Sure, 155 would be better, but 129 games of Reyes is better than all but a handful of shortstops in the game.

Second, the Mets knew in June and July that if they traded Reyes, he wasn't coming back. ?Thus, if they were evaluating the '11-12 free agent market, and decided that Reyes was the top target to help get them to the playoffs, not so much in 2012, but 2013 and 2014, then eliminating him as an option over the summer makes no sense.

Tags: Analysis, Majors, Toby Hyde
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The 2011 Savannah Sand Gnats were one strike away from the South Atlantic League title in the penultimate game of the Championship Series. The 2011 Texas Rangers twice were one strike away from a World Series title. Both teams saw their opponent tie the game in the 9th. And then lost in 11 innings. And that's about where the similarities end. The SAL Championship Series is not the World Series. (That sentence might be the most obvious thing I've ever written.)

Point is: crazy stuff happens in baseball at every level. Mets fans, who had just finished celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Bill Buckner game, know this. Last night just happened to be on the short list of craziest.

Tags: Majors, Toby Hyde

In case you missed it Tuesday, the Red Sox John Lackey will have Tommy John surgery and miss all of 2012 new Red Sox GM Ben Cherington reported.

The Globe reports that Lackey had "elbow soreness during the season." No joke. ?Maybe the 6.41 ERA was a dead giveaway. ?Or the -1.2 brWAR. ?Or the career-high 3.2 BB/9.

Lest you forget, there were some New York media members who thought the Mets needed Lackey via the one and only Ted Berg?of Tedquarters.net:

Tags: Majors, Omar Minaya, Toby Hyde
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