MetsBlog Executive Editor

Matthew Cerrone

Matthew Cerrone started MetsBlog.com as a project in college, generated 300,000,000 page views and 30,000 posts in 10 years, partnered with SportsNet New York and turned his hobby into a career. In 2011, SNY hired Matt to be Executive Editor and Director of Digital Content for their network of team sites, video content and podcasts.

Jun 10, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Jun 10, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

In April, new Mets manager Mickey Callaway was adored and viewed as terrific. In June, during which the Mets were 5-21 and killed their season, he was labeled a fool. Not surprisingly, with his team 31-27 in the second half, including 12-7 during September, he's back to being revered.

The above is the life of a baseball manager, especially in New York.

I tend to judge managers based on wins and losses. To nitpick specific moves in the moment is a dangerous game because -- despite having access to tendency and predictive stats -- we can never know how the human element and luck factored in to the manager's choice in the moment...

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September 11, 2011; John Franco and Mike Piazza during pregame at Citi Field. Credit: Wong-US PRESSWIRE
September 11, 2011; John Franco and Mike Piazza during pregame at Citi Field. Credit: Wong-US PRESSWIRE

17 years ago today, Mike Piazza hit a go-ahead, two run home run in the eighth inning off of Steve Karsay of the Braves to propel the Mets to a 3-2 victory in the first professional sporting event in New York after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

"Anyone who saw it will be happy, anyone who didn't see it will be told about it," Piazza's manager, Bobby Valentine, told reporters from his office after the game...

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September 11, 2011; John Franco and Mike Piazza during pregame at Citi Field. Credit: Wong-US PRESSWIRE
September 11, 2011; John Franco and Mike Piazza during pregame at Citi Field. Credit: Wong-US PRESSWIRE

17 years ago today, Mike Piazza hit a go-ahead, two run home run in the eighth inning off of Steve Karsay of the Braves to propel the Mets to a 3-2 victory in the first professional sporting event in New York after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

"Anyone who saw it will be happy, anyone who didn't see it will be told about it," Piazza's manager, Bobby Valentine, told reporters from his office after the game...

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Phillies C Wilson Ramos will be a free agent after this season and I want him to be on the Mets in 2019, when he'll still be just 31 years old.

The Mets are set up to again have a dominant starting rotation next year, with or without Jason Vargas. My hunch is no one from the current group will be traded, which means Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and the matured and impressive Zack Wheeler will need a veteran catcher capable of taking charge, instilling confidence and providing stability for them behind the plate.

Travis d'Arnaud is not likely to be back until the middle of next season after having Tommy John surgery this past summer. But, let's be honest, even if d'Arnaud is healthy, there is absolutely no guarantee he'll be able to elevate his game to a level that is needed to help the team contend for a playoff spot. I realize there is no guarantee that anyone will remain healthy and productive, but d'Arnaud's track record indicates he's even less of a guarantee than most. My guess is he gets non-tendered anyway, but that's just a hunch...

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Mets outfielder Michael Conforto is showing signs that he has picked up where he left off before dislocating his shoulder during the second half of last season.

He's been especially on fire since September 4, hitting .345 with five doubles, six HR and 20 RBI during 12 games and 55 at bats.

"This is the Michael Conforto that everybody wants to see," manager Mickey Callaway said after Monday night's game, during which Conforto had a career-high six RBI...

Tags: Michael Conforto, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets RHP Zack Wheeler has been one of the league's best pitchers since the All-Star Game, during which the Mets are 30-25.

In his 10 starts since the break, Wheeler has eight wins and the second-best ERA in baseball (1.32). He also has the league's best WHIP (0.81) and he's tied for fourth overall with a 2.5 fWAR since mid-July.

The last Mets pitcher to have nine or more wins after the All-Star break was Steve Trachsel in 2001. During Wheeler's past 12 starts, the Mets are 10-2...

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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St. Lucie, 2017: David Wright jokes around with teammates during batting practice before a Spring Training workout. Credit: Matthew Cerrone, SNY
St. Lucie, 2017: David Wright jokes around with teammates during batting practice before a Spring Training workout. Credit: Matthew Cerrone, SNY

It took me three versions to publish this post because I just can't find the right words to describe how I feel about David Wright's retirement. In the moments after his press conference Thursday, charged by SNY with writing an "emotional reaction," I just shook my head, teary eyed, staring blank at the screen.

We all knew today was inevitable, having watched him struggle and miss the last two seasons with a major spinal condition. However, through it all, as long as he was still on the roster, working in St. Lucie, there existed a small, though unrealistic, hope that he might one day return. 

It turns out that's exactly what it will be, just one day.

Tags: David Wright, Matthew Cerrone
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St. Lucie, 2017: David Wright jokes around with teammates during batting practice before a Spring Training workout. Credit: Matthew Cerrone, SNY
St. Lucie, 2017: David Wright jokes around with teammates during batting practice before a Spring Training workout. Credit: Matthew Cerrone, SNY

The year I debuted MetsBlog.com was also David Wright's first year with the Mets. Earlier today, Wright announced that this will be his final season. Interestingly, I have a feeling this could be my last year writing MetsBlog.

As a result, I won't deny it, I cried when he started crying during his press conference today.

When I see Wright's No. 5, or see a highlight of him hitting, I'm not going to think of him as a player. He's been more than that the past 15 years, not just to me, but to his team, hundreds of teammates and thousands upon thousands of fans. He was an outstanding player, but he was a face for the franchise, he was a diplomat between fan and owner, he was charitable, he was a firewall between the media and his teammates. And, most importantly, he's been a friend and source of support to countless people in St. Lucie, Shea Stadium and Citi Field, 

Tags: David Wright, Matthew Cerrone
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September 11, 2011; John Franco and Mike Piazza during pregame at Citi Field. Credit: Wong-US PRESSWIRE
September 11, 2011; John Franco and Mike Piazza during pregame at Citi Field. Credit: Wong-US PRESSWIRE

The Mets were in their hotel rooms in Pittsburgh getting ready to face the Pirates when they began getting calls and seeing the news of the gruesome terrorist attack in lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001.

"I was told about the first plane during a phone call, so I hadn't turned on the TV yet to see what was happening," John Franco told me during an interview in 2013. "I called my wife, Rose, and watched the news with her, she was home, and I was speechless, we just couldn't believe what we were seeing."

Franco, who grew up in New York and is the son of NYC sanitation worker, said he was friends with firefighters and people who worked and died in the buildings that day. 

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Mets 1B Dominic Smith is finally seeing results at the plate after making a concerted effort to be more aggressive early in the count.

"Dom is putting good swings on the ball," Mets manager Mickey Callaway acknowledged this past weekend. "He's confident. He's going up there and he's attacking the ball. The last time he was here, he looked a little passive and not quite sure (of himself). Right now, he's taking the barrel to the ball and he's having good results."

Since returning to the Mets after a brief demotion to Triple-A, Smith has three hits, two for extra bases, in 10 plate appearances, during which he has struck out twice and walked once.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Matthew Cerrone
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The Mets have said 1B prospect Peter Alonso was not promoted this September because they wanted to see if Jay Bruce could be an option at first base next season.

The team also didn't want to promote Alonso so they could delay beginning his service time clock until next season. That said, it does make sense to see Bruce play as much first base as possible to best gauge how he can be used going forward...

"I think we need to make some sort of determination going into the offseason whether it is feasible bringing him back as a first baseman next year," Mets manager Mickey Callaway admitted last month. "I definitely think that is a possibility. I think that is one of the things we need to find out this last part of the season."

Unfortunately for Callaway, Bruce continues to look mostly adequate and - at times - below average when faced with rare situations in the field.

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets prospects Peter Alonso and Andres Gimenez will be among the top minor leaguers participating in the team's newly-created development program starting this weekend at Citi Field.

The program, which is similar to ones run by other organizations, is designed to get the organization's elite young players feedback from big-league coaches, while also getting them also comfortable with living in and traveling around New York City.

"It's to get them assimilated, see what it's like to be in New York, the media, what a day looks like at the major-league level, interacting with the major-league staff, hands-on work with the major-league staff," JP Ricciardi explained, according to Newsday. "When you come to the big leagues, these are the things we expect you to be able to do."

In addition to Alonso and Gimenez, the program will include pitchers Justin Dunn, David Peterson and Anthony Kay, 1 7-year-old SS Ronny Mauricio, and this year's top draft pick, Jarred Kelenic.

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New York Mets' Daniel Murphy celebrates after hitting a two-run home run during the eighth inning of Game 4 of the National League baseball championship series against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)  (David J. Phillip/AP)
New York Mets' Daniel Murphy celebrates after hitting a two-run home run during the eighth inning of Game 4 of the National League baseball championship series against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (David J. Phillip/AP)

Second baseman Daniel Murphy has tormented the Mets since leaving them to sign a three-year, $37.5 million contract with the Nationals after the 2015 season. 

Murphy will again be a free agent this winter at a time when the Mets are expected -- yet again -- to be in search of everyday second baseman. The Mets would be smart to consider bringing Murphy back 1) to fill multiple spots on their roster, but also 2) to get him out of the opposing batter's box.

The Nationals traded Murphy last month to the Cubs, with whom he had just two hits in nine plate appearances against the Mets last week at Wrigley Field. However, prior to his recent two-game set against the Mets, he had been hitting .392 with 25 extra base hits and 43 RBI during just 44 games played against them for the Nationals.

Tags: Daniel Murphy, Matthew Cerrone
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Sep 1, 2018; San Francisco, CA, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) hits a RBI fly ball during the eleventh inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports (Neville E. Guard)
Sep 1, 2018; San Francisco, CA, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) hits a RBI fly ball during the eleventh inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports (Neville E. Guard)

Though most Mets fans and media will argue that Todd Frazier is having a disappointing season, Mets manager Mickey Callaway is happy with what he's seen from the veteran third baseman.

"He's exactly what we thought we were going to get," Callaway said of Frazier. "He's going to go out and play great defense, have some pop in his bat, drive in some runs and be a clubhouse leader."

Frazier, 32, inked a two-year deal with the Mets this past winter that will pay him $9 million next season, after which he will be a free agent. 

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New York Mets pitcher Tim Peterson walks off the mound after giving up a two-run home run as Toronto Blue Jays' Lourdes Gurriel Jr. rounds the bases. (AP)
New York Mets pitcher Tim Peterson walks off the mound after giving up a two-run home run as Toronto Blue Jays' Lourdes Gurriel Jr. rounds the bases. (AP)

MLB teams are able to promote any player on their 40-man roster after September 1.

In addition to Dominic Smith, the Mets this past weekend added pitchers Eric Hanhold, Tim Peterson and Drew Gagnon and infielder Jack Reinheimer to their active roster.

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The Mets and their Triple-A affiliate played their final game at Cashman Field in Las Vegas on Monday in front of 5,353 local fans.

New York moved their Triple-A affiliate from Buffalo to Las Vegas six years ago, making the team's top minor-league team roughly 2,500 miles from Citi Field.

Starting next season, the Mets will leave Vegas for Syracuse where the Triple-A team will be renamed the Syracuse Mets.

In 2015, two years after the Mets made it their home, Cashman Field was ranked the worst ballpark in the Pacific Coast League by the staff at Baseball America.

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My worry for former Mets 1B prospect Dominic Smith is that, at still just 23 years old, he may have missed his moment to become an impactful, everyday player for the Mets. 

It happens to players all of the time... just ask Fernando Martinez and countless other former top prospects before him. Each player got a chance to show their skills at the big-league level, but - because of injury, a suddenly crowded field or just bad luck - they missed their brief moment to shine, got pushed aside or passed over and could never push their way back in to the spotlight...

"Whenever you're trying to introduce a minor league player to the majors, it's not always a straight line," Mets co-GM John Ricco told reporters earlier this week. "You have to grab your opportunities when you get them."

In less than one year, Smith has gone from being considered the organization's second-best prospect behind Amed Rosario to being a young man out of favor and without a position.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Matthew Cerrone
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In addition to making a name for himself with his, Mets 1B prospect Peter Alonso has used his voice to also stand out this season...

During an article he wrote early May for the Sporting News, he compared his climb through the farm system to that of a gladiator fighting his way through battle...

"Believe it or not, baseball players and ancient Roman gladiators aren't so different," he explained. "Bats are our swords used to go on offense. Gloves are our shields, used for defense. ... We perform in stadiums with spectators staring down on us."

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The Mets considered trading Zack Wheeler prior to this year's July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, as SNY's Andy Martino reported. In the end, the Mets did not make a move, leaving fans to wonder what's next for Wheeler, who is enjoying a long-awaited breakout season.

In his most recent start, Wheeler tossed seven shutout innings against the Nationals, lowering his season ERA to 3.46. As a result, he has the fifth-best ERA (1.09) among National League starting pitchers during August and has not lost a game since June 22.

"I think it's just him getting more and more comfortable with the pitcher he is," according to Mets manager Mickey Callaway, who said when on the mound Wheeler inspires his teammates in the same way as Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard.

In October, the Mets will likely hire a new General Manager, who will be in a similar situation with Wheeler that the current group was in during July...

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Zack Wheeler has been pitching like an ace since June, while Noah Syndergaard's last six starts have arguably been the worst of his career as he works through an up-and-down season that has been marred by some health issues. 

With Wheeler finally putting it all together and Syndergaard struggling, should the Mets be more excited about the future potential of Wheeler? SNY.tv's Matthew Cerrone and Danny Abriano discuss...

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano, Matthew Cerrone
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Despite being just 19 years old, Mets SS prospect Andres Gimenez says because of Juan Soto (19), Ronald Acuna Jr. (20) and Ozzie Albies (21), he knows it's possible to reach the Mets as a teenager.

"Those players motivate me," Gimenez recently told the New York Post. "I would like to be one of them in the big leagues. But I don't have control of that. ... Just got to keep practicing hard."

According to a small survey of MLB insiders, Gimenez's stock has risen most among players in the team's farm system. Since being promoted to Double-A Binghamton, where he's the youngest player in the league, Gimenez is batting .298/.356/.388 with nine doubles, one triple, and 10 steals in 32 games, though his strikeout-to-walk ratio has been a bit of concern among management...

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In the weeks after the July 31 trade deadline, Jim Bowden of The Athletic polled those around MLB to grade the farm systems of all 30 teams, reaching the conclusion that the Mets' system was 26th. But that doesn't jive with the general consensus about their system. Bowden's sources agree with top prospect lists that SS Andres Gimenez, RHP Justin Dunn and 1B Peter Alonso are worthy of being the organization's top talent, adding each has enough talent and maturity to reach the big leagues within the next year.

In addition to Gimenez, Dunn and Alonso, league executives told Bowden that youngsters Ronny Mauricio and Jarred Kelenic, as well as Franklyn Kilome (who was acquired in July for Asdrubal Cabrera) are expected to also quickly rise in value.

I respect Bowden's research, but I get a totally different impression about the team's farm system when talking to scouts and friends with rival team player development departments.

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For the first time this season, OF Jay Bruce and LHP Jason Vargas are seemingly both healthy and finally producing for the Mets.

Bruce returned from the disabled list and started in right field on Friday, after which he has three hits, including a double and a home run, in 11 plate appearances. Overall, he's hitting .215 and on pace to hit fewer than 10 home runs for the first time since during his 11-year career.

"It's something I am not proud of, but I can only move forward," Bruce admitted Friday. "I have little over a month this year and two more seasons to right the ship."

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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The Mets are above .500 since July 1 in large part because of their offense, but also because of the improved performances in their bullpen. Overall, the bullpen has 28 losses this season, which is tied for third- most in the majors. The bulk of those losses occurred during May and June when the Mets were 15-39. And the bullpen is responsible for much of that losing -- especially during a horrid stretch in late mid-to-late June.

However, in 71 innings during August, the team's relievers have a 2.66 ERA, which is the fourth-lowest mark in the majors. And during the last two series against the NL East-leading Phillies and Wild Card-contending Giants, the bullpen had a 1.66 ERA in 27 innings.

Tylor Bashlor, Jerry Blevins, Robert Gsellman, and Drew Smith deserve most of the credit for the group's recent turnaround, having joined Seth Lugo to form a solid nucleus. 

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Jay Bruce will have roughly 35 games between now and the end of this season to keep himself healthy and prove his value to the Mets and the rest of MLB.

When asked Friday if he could envision Bruce as the team's full-time first baseman in 2019, manager Mickey Callaway said "I definitely think that's a possibility."

Bruce entered this season having played at least 137 games each of the last eight seasons, the last half of which he hit at least 30 home runs each year.

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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The Nationals have essentially fallen apart since early August, during which they're 6-9 and have dipped to 7.5 games behind the Phillies for first place in the NL East. They've also been bouncing below and above .500, and are six games back with four teams between them and the Wild Card.

I'd gladly have the Mets switch places with Washington in the standings. However, in terms of the state of each franchise and how they're set up to compete in the NL East during the next few seasons, suddenly, I'd rather have the Mets.

In case you missed it, the Nationals have become quite a soap opera this season...

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Inspired by the data revolution and 2015's Collective Bargaining Agreement, the current trend in baseball is toward hitters with the best launch angles and exit-velocity-to-contact rates.

The thing is, while this approach to hitting plays well in most ballparks, it isn't very productive for the Mets in Citi Field, despite bringing in the outfield wall during the winter of 2014.

In fact, since making it easier to hit home runs in a league flush with home run hitters, the Mets have scored 22 fewer runs at home than they've scored on the road. In games without Yoenis Cespedes, who has driven in roughly 10 percent of the team's runs during that time, the numbers are much more lopsided...

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It's possible the next GM of the Mets will decide it's best to trade Jacob deGrom and/or Noah Syndergaard for inexpensive, young position players that can start Opening Day next season.

If this happens, though it will initially feel wrong, it should not be viewed as a rebuild because the new additions will be joining an established core of young position players. 

In Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo and Amed Rosario, the Mets have three foundational players around which two or three more hitters can create a productive and nimble lineup...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Matthew Cerrone
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New York Mets assistant general manager John Ricco looks on before facing the Colorado Rockies in the first inning of a baseball game in Denver on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)  (David Zalubowski/AP)
New York Mets assistant general manager John Ricco looks on before facing the Colorado Rockies in the first inning of a baseball game in Denver on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski/AP)

MLB teams have until August 31 to trade players through waivers in order for those players to be eliglble for postseason play with their new teams.

According to MLB insiders, only left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins and infielder/outfielder Jose Bautista are drawing interest on the Mets.

In July, prior to the non-waiver deadline, I heard only the Yankees were seriously interested in Blevins, who will be a free agent at the end of this season.

Tags: Jerry Blevins, Matthew Cerrone
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Matthew Cerrone (Twitter | Instagram | About Me): People focusing on Dominic Smith's blunder Monday night that cost the Mets a game are missing the larger issue, which is that he shouldn't be in left field.

I understand that he's a big-league player and it would be nice if he knew the basics of charging on a ball with the shortstop in position to make the play. But, he didn't. Now he knows. But, why is he being charged with learning this situation at all when he's a natural, tried-and-true infielder, who prior to this season had only ever played first base?

In case you missed it, Monday night's game was tied in the top of the 13th inning, with two outs and runners on first and third base. The Giants hit a soft pop up in front of Smith and behind shortstop Amed Rosario...

Tags: Dominic Smith, Matthew Cerrone
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Aug 4, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Aug 4, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The Mets lost, 2-1, to the Giants in extra innings at Citi Field last night. It was a long, painful game with understandable mistakes and a noteworthy performance on the mound...

Here are three talking points to chew on throughout the day...

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Matthew Cerrone (Twitter | Instagram | About Me)

It appears Amed Rosario is turning a corner in his development and becoming a shiny silver lining to what has otherwise been a lost season for the Mets.

Rosario had three hits and three RBI against the Phillies on Sunday and is now batting .398 during his last 10 games, while driving in 11 runs and belting two home runs. In addition, he's tied for second in the NL with eight stolen bases since the All-Star break and has been successful in 13 of his last 15 stolen base attempts.

Overall in August, he is hitting .292/.333/.431 with two homers, four doubles, and five stolen bases...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Jose Reyes, Matthew Cerrone
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Matthew Cerrone (Twitter | Instagram | About Me) Triple-A first baseman Peter Alonso is unlikely to be promoted to the Mets this season, according to multiple reports posted during the last few weeks.

"I doubt he will be up this year," MLB.com's Anthony DiComo tweeted Friday. "The Mets don't want to add him to the 40-man before they have to."

The only three reasons I can think of that might make sense for keeping Alonso down are...

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It was roughly one year ago that Michael Conforto's All-Star season with the Mets was interrupted after dislocating his shoulder on a swing at Citi Field.

Finally, after months of struggling to get going, it appears Conforto is back to being the intense, competitive, classic left-handed No. 3 hitter the Mets took pride in last summer.

Since his batting average dropped to a season low .216 on July 15, Conforto is batting .320 with a .400 BABIP, a .400 OBP, .570 slugging percentage, six HR, seven doubles and 17 RBI in 26 games, during which the Mets are 13-13...

Tags: Michael Conforto, Matthew Cerrone
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In late 2014, early 2015, Mets C Kevin Plawecki was widely considered the second-best catching prospect in baseball, according to more or less every every published top prospect list.

Three and a half years later, after years of being labeled only a backup catcher, he's starting to show that maybe, possibly, he can be counted on as every day catcher for the Mets.

Prior to his first call-up during the summer of 2015, Plawecki was often labeled by scouts as an "offensive catcher," mostly due to his average defensive skills, short, simple swing and impressive contact rate...

Tags: Kevin Plawecki, Matthew Cerrone
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This past weekend, David Wright played in a minor-league rehab game, marking his first game action in more than a year. Meanwhile, Jose Reyes has remained on the Mets, despite the fact that he's hitting .193/.266/.304 while playing subar defense.

There have been countless times this season when fans had questioned why Reyes was not being released. Similarly, multiple reports have been written indicating Reyes was nearing the end of his time playing for the Mets. However, that day has yet to arrive, leaving fans, radio hosts and columnists to speculate Reyes is being protected because of his spot in team history. 

After Wright successfully made it through five innings with St. Lucie on Sunday, it occurred to me that maybe Reyes is still around because there's a chance the former dynamic duo can suit up at the same for the Mets one last time this season...

Tags: David Wright, Jose Reyes, Matthew Cerrone
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Aug 8, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 8, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees reportedly tried multiple times in July to trade for Mets ace Jacob deGrom. He remained in Queens and, instead of pitching for the Yankees, he'll be pitching against them Monday night in the Bronx.

The Mets were off last Thursday. Instead of giving deGrom an extra day of rest, Mets manager Mickey Callaway adjusted his rotation and will throw him on normal rest.

"The one thing that helped was we got a little bit of a lead his last game, where we were able to get him out probably an inning earlier than we had been going," Callaway explained last week. "So, pitching on the fifth day this time seemed to make some sense."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matthew Cerrone
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Baseball America considers the Mets to have the 11th-worst farm system in baseball. However, that is eight spots better from where they ranked the Mets at the start of this season...

MLB.com recently added Andres Gimenez (59), 1B Peter Alonso (63), 3B Jarred Kelenic (67) and pitcher Justin Dunn (97) to their list of the top 100 prospects in baseball.

Mets prospects infielder Ronny Mauricio and pitchers David Peterson and Anthony Kay were all considered to be among the "best of the rest," according to Baseball America's report.

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Austin Jackson is on fire since being signed by the Mets in late July. In 11 games since joining the team, he has two home runs, eight RBI and is batting .414.

Jackson, 31, signed a two-year, $6 million deal this past winter with the Giants, with whom he hit just .242 with 8 extra-base hits in 59 games. In early July, the Giants traded him to the Rangers, who released Jackson the next week. The Mets then signed him for the pro-rated league minimum after it was announced that Yoenis Cespedes would miss the rest of the season due to double heel surgery. 

"Honestly, I didn't know what to expect coming over," he said after Wednesday's win. "It's one of those things where when your name is in the lineup you do your best to contribute to wins."

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Mets manager Mickey Callaway said earlier this week that he intends for Jason Vargas to be in the team's rotation next season, despite his poor results so far in 2018.

Vargas, who signed a two-year, $16 million deal this past winter, is 2-8 with a whopping 8.75 ERA and 1.83 WHIP, which is more than double his career average. He has yet to pitch beyond the fifth inning in any game this season.

Nevertheless, Callaway said he still views the left-handed Vargas as the ideal fifth starter next season behind Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler.

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May 11, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes (7) against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
May 11, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes (7) against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

Jose Reyes doesn't want to retire and he hopes to again play for the Mets next season, he told reporters Tuesday, according to the NY Post.

"I just want to enjoy each day and then we'll see what happens," Reyes said. "I'm just trying to enjoy my time here because you never know if it's going to be your last year or not. ... My body feels good. I feel healthy. We'll see if there's an opportunity."

In 183 sporadic plate appearances this season, he's batting .186 with 10 extra base hits, 10 RBI and five stolen bases in 81 games, while playing shortstop, third base, second base and, of course, one eventful inning on the mound.

He is batting .185 when starting the game, he's batting .186 when coming off the bench. He's batting .191 with the bases empty, he's batting .178 with men on base. When behind in the count, he's batting .066 in 61 plate appearances.

Tags: Jose Reyes, Matthew Cerrone
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Matt Harvey returns to Citi Field as a member of the Reds on Monday night.

SNY'tv's Danny Abriano and Matthew Cerrone discuss what his Mets legacy should be...

Tags: Matt Harvey, Danny Abriano, Matthew Cerrone
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New York Mets assistant general manager John Ricco looks on before facing the Colorado Rockies in the first inning of a baseball game in Denver on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)  (David Zalubowski/AP)
New York Mets assistant general manager John Ricco looks on before facing the Colorado Rockies in the first inning of a baseball game in Denver on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski/AP)

Matthew Cerrone (Twitter | Instagram | About Me)

It's the calm before the Mets storm. Enjoy it while it lasts. In a few weeks, the conversation around the Mets will quickly turn from hypothesizing about GM candidates to getting real news about where ownership intends to take their franchise and who is going to get them there...

As it stands, assistant John Ricco and advisors Omar Minaya and J.P. Ricciardi are essentially splitting the job after Sandy Alderson stepped down in June due to health issues...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets manager Mickey Callaway said earlier this week that Jay Bruce would get lots of time at first base when he soon returns from the DL.

What could Bruce at first base this season mean for Triple-A Las Vegas first baseman Peter Alonso? And what could it mean in 2019 and beyond? 

SNY.tv's Matthew Cerrone and Danny Abriano discuss...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Danny Abriano, Matthew Cerrone
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Matthew Cerrone (Twitter | Instagram | About Me) Before the trade deadline, the Mets listened to multiple offers from several teams eager to trade for Jacob deGrom, who is under team control through 2020.

And the moment teams were convinced deGrom was not being traded, they turned their attention to Rays RHP Chris Archer, who was widely viewed as the next best thing.

According to a source with one team that failed to get him, Archer is most valued for his strikeouts, durability and affordable long-term contract...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matthew Cerrone
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Jul 23, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts as he walks off the field after the top of the eighth inning against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jul 23, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts as he walks off the field after the top of the eighth inning against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Matthew Cerrone (Twitter | Instagram | About Me): As expected, the Mets did not trade Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard before the trade deadline, despite both pitchers being capable of bringing back a collection of top prospects.

The lack of action could mean the Mets did not see an offer worth accepting. Or, after doing their due diligence, they decided to keep their best two pitchers because they can have them through the 2020 season, sign them to long-term extensions, or look to trade them this winter with more teams involved in the bidding.

During the past few weeks, the Dodgers, Yankees, Padres, Phillies, and Braves were all reportedly looking for an elite starting pitcher under team control. More importantly, all five of the above teams had the necessary prospects required by the Mets. None of them landed a top pitcher, but the Pirates came out of nowhere to trade for No. 2 type starter Chris Archer with about 30 minutes to go before the deadline. 

Tags: Amed Rosario, Anthony Swarzak, Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Justus Sheffield, Michael Conforto, Miguel Andujar, Noah Syndergaard, Todd Frazier, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Apr 3, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view of fans outside Citi Field before a game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 3, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view of fans outside Citi Field before a game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Matthew Cerrone (Twitter | Instagram | About Me)

The non-waiver trade deadline is Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET. Teams can still trade players in August, but it must be done through waivers.

The Mets have already traded Jeurys Familia and Asdrubal Cabrera, both of whom are eligible to be free agents this winter. In return, they received three prospects (one third baseman, two relief pitchers) and additional international signing bonus money.

Jerry Blevins, Devin Mesoraco, and Jose Bautista are all candidates to be dealt before the deadline given that they too will soon be eligible for free agency. 

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Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Jeurys Familia throws a pitch in the eighth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. (Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports)
Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Jeurys Familia throws a pitch in the eighth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. (Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets will get a team's top 10 prospect if they deal Zack Wheeler. They'll get two guys from that team's Top 15-20 if they want multiple players. However, other than the trade for Wheeler, I expect the Mets will be hard pressed to make deals that will satisfy most fans.

As far as Jeurys Familia, who outranked Brad Hand on MLBTradeRumors.com's recent list of the Top 50 Trade Candidates, there were a few things that weren't working in the Mets' favor. 

Unfortunately for them, Familia is earning $8 million this season and will be a free agent after the season. On the other hand (pun intended), Hand is earning $3.5 million this season and isn't a free agent until 2021...

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Matthew Cerrone
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Jul 24, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pinch hitter Jeff McNeil (68) follows through on a single against the San Diego Padres during the ninth inning at Citi Field. The hit was his first major league hit. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jul 24, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pinch hitter Jeff McNeil (68) follows through on a single against the San Diego Padres during the ninth inning at Citi Field. The hit was his first major league hit. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Mets rookie infielder Jeff McNeil has reached base six times in the three games played since being promoted earlier this week. He has two hits, three walks, he's been hit by a pitch and scored one run.

"It felt amazing," McNeil said earlier this week after getting his first hit and RBI. "You always want to get the first hit out of the way. ... It was unbelievable, something I've always dreamed of."

McNeil, who considers himself as second baseman, has played multiple positions during the past year, including third base and left field.

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New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports)

The fact that J.A. Happ and Cole Hamels have been dealt in the last 24 hours is a direct indication that Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom are not being traded this season. If the Yankees or Cubs felt deGrom and Syndergaard could have been had, they'd still be working to get them. They obviously moved on to Happ and Hamels, respectively, because they are convinced Syndergaard and deGrom are not going anywhere.

Zack Wheeler is now among the league's remaining starting pitchers expected to soon be traded. And the way the Mets handle him will likely determine whether they are preparing for a full rebuild or will try again to win in 2019.

SNY's Andy Martino is reporting that Wheeler should return a team's top-10 prospect. I have been told a return could bring back one or two prospects among a team's top 15-20.

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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