Brodie Van Wagenen
Brodie Van Wagenen

The bad news is the Mets look like the same train wreck we witnessed during manager Mickey Callaway's first season in 2018. The good news is that, despite being 16-19, they're just 3.5 games back of the first-place Phillies, who are 19-15.

We also know from 2015 and 2016 that in, MLB success is often dictated not by how a team starts but by how they finish. In 2015 they began the year 13-3, dipped to 36-37 in late-June, but after several midseason additions and winning 62 percent of their final 60 games, they reached the playoffs and got to the World Series.

The same turnaround happened in 2016, but ended with a loss to the Giants in the Wild Card game. The point is that it's early, there are still 127 games to be played, all sorts of trades, injuries and luck will play out and, though it may seem hopeless, there are still plenty of chances for the Mets to turn things around and have a successful season.

It's not going to happen with hope and magic, though...

Like in 2015 and 2016, and unlike in 2017 and 2018, first-year GM Brodie Van Wagenen and his second-year manager, Callaway, will need to make significant changes to their thinking, execution and roster to reach their stated goal of getting to the postseason.

Here are three things they need to do to turn their ship around:

The coaching staff

The players believe in Van Wagenen and Callaway, at least based on conversations I had with guys during Spring Training, which was just six weeks ago. Callaway has also had just 35 games to see new hitting coach Chili Davis in action. He's also had just 35 games getting real advice from new bench coach Jim Riggleman, who everyone outside the organization assumes will be Callaway's replacement in the event he's fired.

More importantly, for as long as the game has existed, baseball teams find more success from a stable and predictable coaching staff than they do from any sort of midseason change. I realize there are exceptions to this rule, such as the 1999 Mets. However, baseball players are creatures of habit and despite what fans want to be believe -- statistically speaking -- managers have very little impact on wins and losses.



That said, there clearly needs to be a shift in how Van Wagenen, Callaway and their respective staffs are thinking and executing their strategy.

It's either that the research and information being provided by Van Wagenen and his staff is shoddy, the two staffs are not all on the same page or Callaway, pitching coach Dave Eiland, Riggleman and Davis are goofing up how to use and relay their decisions to their players.

I do not have the direct knowledge or education to make actionable suggestions on how this can be improved, mostly because we've been given just 35 games of data. However, it doesn't take an expert to see that everyone involved is making -- at best -- odd choices that are not going as expected. It's happening just as much with the roster as it is with the lineup and the handling of situations during the game.

I know from being a spectator that something has to be done. So, figure it out, guys, because you look like you're flipping coins out there and I know you are all way too smart for that.

Bring in outside help

Free-agent LHP Dallas Keuchel recently said he's anxious to sign a deal and pitch in 2019, but he has no intention of settling for the lowball offers in front of him. Keuchel's agent, Scott Boras, has advised him to take a deal and get on the field, the pitcher told Brown. However, he has told his agent that he does not want to compromise his principles and will instead continue looking for the best deal, even if it comes at the expense of remaining on the sidelines.

Free-agent closer Craig Kimbrel has not talked on record about his experience, but it's safe to assume -- since he's still available -- that he's operating under a similar set of goals.

While Kimbrel has reportedly lowered his asking price and remained in contact with the Mets and Brewers, he has yet to budge on wanting to be a team's closer. The Mets, who currently have Edwin Diaz pitching in the most prominent bullpen role, would presumably ask Kimbrel to accept whatever role he is given.



Meanwhile, the buzz among MLB insiders has long been that, if Keuchel and Kimbrel have not signed a deal before early May, they'll likely remain on the open market until after the MLB Draft in June, at which point their new team will not need to part with a compensatory draft pick.

In case you haven't noticed, it's currently early May and both men are still free agents.

The other thing to note is that, even if Keuchel and Kimbrel sign contracts today, they'll still need time to condition and prepare themselves to pitch in a big-league game. In other words, they'll want and likely be forced to -- at the very least -- run a quick version of Spring Training, meaning it'll be at least a few weeks before they're physically helping the team with whom they signed.

In terms of offense, once-power-hitting and still-clumsy-infielder Pedro Alvarez is the only impact hitter available on the market. The 32-year-old Alvarez, who is also represented by Boras, has not hit 20 home runs and played a full season since 2015.

The trade market reportedly only includes Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman, Rangers starter Mike Minor, and multiple, veteran relievers from the Giants, who are rumored to be debating whether to deal Madison Bumgarner. That said, it's very uncommon for quality talent to be dealt prior to mid-June.

In other words, though it's fun to dream, I don't expect the Mets to add meaningful help from outside the organization soon.

Do what you said you'd do

In spring training, Van Wagenen and Callaway did a lot of talking about always having the best 25 people on their active, big-league roster.

I understand current injuries to Jed Lowrie, Steven Matz, Jeurys Familia, and Jason Vargas have forced Van Wagenen and Callaway to use less-talented, stop-gap talent. However, current backup catcher Tomas Nido, outfielder Keon Broxton, and infielders Luis Guillorme and Adeiny Hechavarría have hit a combined .159 with two extra base hits.



Similarly, the bullpen has been sporadic and a seemingly random carousel of arms, but that is typically the case for most teams early in the season.

It's also worth noting Brandon Nimmo is in the midst of a terrible slump and is batting .151 since the middle of April. Similarly, though Amed Rosario is batting .276/.313/.409 with two home runs, he has a negative WAR because of his poor fielding and striking out in 25 percent of his at-bats.

Meanwhile, 1B-LF Dominic Smith, who had been hitting .333 for the Mets through last week, has been sent to Triple-A Syracuse. Also in Triple-A, veteran OF Rajai Davis has a .356 OBP and 11 stolen bases and former big leaguer Paul Sewald has not allowed a run in seven of his nine relief appearances.

At the same time, in the big leagues, J.D. Davis, who showed power to start the season and can play left field, third and first base, has just 18 at-batsin 10 games since Todd Frazier was activated from the IL on April 22. Frazier, who is playing regularly over Davis, is batting .159/.178/.295 with two home runs, while Davis sits on the bench most days. 

In other words, like they said they would do six weeks ago in Florida, Van Wagenen and Callaway might see more short-term success by using the best available and most productive talent on their 40-man roster, instead of turning to less-productive players because of buy contractual minutiae, experience, and large contracts.


Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. His new book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime. To check it out, click here!

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jason Vargas, Jeurys Familia, Luis Guillorme, Paul Sewald, Steven Matz, Todd Frazier, Matthew Cerrone
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Feb 24, 2020; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; New York Mets catcher Wilson Ramos (40) rounds third base after hitting a home run against the Washington Nationals in the second inning at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports  (Jim Rassol)
Feb 24, 2020; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; New York Mets catcher Wilson Ramos (40) rounds third base after hitting a home run against the Washington Nationals in the second inning at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)

"Wilson Ramos hit ball, ball go far" was the mantra for the Mets on Monday in their spring training win over the Nationals. 

Ramos smashed a pitch just foul during his first at-bat, and the ensuing pitch matched it, but this time stayed in play and flew over the left field fence. 

But his day wasn't done there. Ramos also hit himself a double, going 2-for-2 during his team's 2-1 victory. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Wilson Ramos
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Luis Rojas
Luis Rojas

Luis Rojas said he was happy with Monday's 2-1 win over the Nationals despite the fact that spring training isn't about results. 

"We know spring training is not about results, but it's good to see the guys shaking hands and all that," Rojas said after the game. "Looked like we were playing really good baseball, once again really good defense. ...Everybody moving around, everybody backing up in position, we turned a double play again, called a good game, pitched a good game. So we played really good baseball today."

Wilson Ramos got things started with a solo home run in the second inning to put the Mets up 1-0, and Rojas took notice, saying he likes what he's seeing from Ramos early.

Tags: Wilson Ramos
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The Mets took down their NL East-rival Nationals, 2-1, for their first spring training win on Monday.  >> Box Score

5 things to know from Monday's game...

1) Top pitching prospect David Peterson got the start for the Mets, and looked pretty good in his first spring outing. He let up just one single, but no runs. MLB.com's Anthony DiComo also pointed out that the radar gun had his fastball sitting around 93-94 mph, which is up from his previous seasons. That's a good sign for the lefty.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, David Peterson, Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Paul Sewald, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos, Scott Thompson
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Mets pitching prospect David Peterson took the mound Monday afternoon for a spring training matchup with the Nationals, and put together a solid performance.

On the mound for 2.0 innings, Peterson allowed just one hit and zero runs, while also striking out two batters before a call to the bullpen was made to end his day.

"It was good." Peterson said on his first outing of spring training. "I felt really good on the mound physically and mentally. I thought Buffalo and I were on the same page and it felt good to get out there and compete again."

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Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets prospect Andres Gimenez fields ground balls during a workout at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)
Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets prospect Andres Gimenez fields ground balls during a workout at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)

The following are insights, ideas and notes gathered from recent conversations with team sources, rival executives, reporters, front office assistants, and talent evaluators...


Based on conversations with team insiders, at this early point in the spring, it sounds to me like Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil will 100 percent be kicking off Luis Rojas' lineup in April.

After that, expect Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto and some flip-flopping between Wilson Ramos and Robinson Cano. Amed Rosario seems destine to hit eighth or maybe even ninth on certain occasions, while the J.D. Davis/Yoenis Cespedes situation will impact left field and the heart of the lineup in a way that can't be known yet.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez, Brandon Nimmo, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher David Peterson (77) waits to do defensive drills during a workout at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)
Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher David Peterson (77) waits to do defensive drills during a workout at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)

Minor League prospect David Peterson gets the start for the Mets down in Florida at 1:05 p.m. against the reigning World Seres champion Washington Nationals.

Mets notes

Jeff McNeil and Brandon Nimmo will bat first and second in for the Mets, while Pete Alonso bats third as a DH and former Yankee Eduardo Nunez is in the lineup hitting seventh.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso
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With MLB Spring Training well underway in Florida and Arizona, farm systems and their prospects are getting an extra look at this time of the year.

The Athletic's Keith Law put together his Top 100 prospects for 2020, and had four Mets on his list: 

17. SS Ronny Mauricio

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Mets Spring Training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie. Here's what happened Sunday, in case you missed it...


Yoenis Cespedes broke his media silence for the first time -- despite saying he would go all season without speaking -- and said he could be ready for opening day. >> Read More

Another Mets Prospect Deep Dive, this time on OF Jake Mangum, whose all-around game could see him rise through minors quickly >> Read More

Tags: JD Davis, Jeurys Familia, Steven Matz, Yoenis Cespedes
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Day 2 of live spring training action for the Mets ended in the form of Sunday's 3-3 tie with the Cardinals, but two performances highlighted New York's main takeaways from the draw against St. Louis.

Led by a performance on the mound and at the plate with an old and new player, sixth-year LHP Steven Matz and recently-acquired CF Jake Marisnick discussed their respective performances after they respectively flashed over the course of the afternoon at Clover Park in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Toeing the rubber for the first time since Sept. 28's 3-0 win over the Atlanta Braves to end his 2019 regular season, Matz got the start and was happy with how he performed overall.

Tags: Steven Matz
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J.D. Davis had a breakout 2019 season in his first year with the Mets, batting .307 with 22 home runs in 140 games. The Mets acquired him from the Houston Astros on Jan. 6, 2019 after he played just 66 games in two seasons with the team.

Davis spoke to SNY's Steve Gelbs on Sunday during the Mets' 3-3 tie with the St. Louis Cardinals about how he was a different person before coming to New York.

"Me, learning from how I was with the Astros, and my personality, I was kind of the quiet guy," Davis said. "I was a fly on the wall. I tried to blend in, not have any attention towards myself. Coming in here, I wasn't as happy as I was with the Astros. I wasn't really expressing myself. I remember just coming in and being free and loose, and just wanting to at least have a relationship with these guys. And these guys have the same kind of desire as well.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto
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Jeurys Familia put all his offseason work to the test on Sunday, when he made his spring training debut against the Cardinals in the Mets' 3-3 tie in Port St. Lucie. 

Familia got the first two hitters he faced out, and after allowing a single and a walk, he got out of his one inning on the mound without allowing a run. Overall, it was a solid start to his spring, especially with his splitter looking to have that sharp bite back. 

"I was excited to be out there," he said through team translator Alan Surriel after his performance. "It's been awhile since I've been on a mound actually pitching in real game action, to be able to go out there and to throw and to see the results of my hard work this offseason. It felt good."

Tags: Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Scott Thompson
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The Mets and Cardinals worked their way to a 3-3 draw after nine innings of baseball in Port St. Lucie on Sunday afternoon.  >> Box Score

5 things to know from Sunday's game...

1) Steven Matz made his spring debut, pitching in one inning that didn't start the way he wanted. Harrison Bader took a 1-0 fastball over the left field wall to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead. Matz discussed it after the game, saying he wanted to hit the glove side, but it stayed too much over the middle of the plate. Other than that, no damage came to the man battling to make the rotation in camp. 

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Steven Matz, Scott Thompson
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Steven Matz kicked off his 2020 campaign on Sunday, when he took the mound to start against the Cardinals in a spring training matchup in Port St. Lucie. And though it didn't go according to plan to begin, Matz came away happy with the results in the end. 

St. Louis' leadoff hitter Harrison Bader took Matz deep on the second pitch of the game, a middle-in fastball that he turned on to left field. But after that, he settled down and his stuff looked sharp as he finished his inning of work. 

"I'm actually really happy with it. I think my changeup was down, my curveballs were down, arm feels good," he said. "I think the one critique I have on myself is just glove-side fastball. That last out to [Matt] Wieters and the home run, I was trying to go inside to a righty. That's normally my bread and butter pitch. So that's the one thing, but other than that, I felt good with everything."

Tags: Steven Matz, Scott Thompson
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CF Jake Marisnick blasted his first home run in a Mets uniform in the second inning on Sunday afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Marisnick led off the inning, and took Adam Wainwright deep to left center to tie the game at one.

He hit 10 home runs over 120 games in 2019 as a member of the Houston Astros. The Mets acquired him on Dec. 5 in exchange for porspects Blake Taylor and Kenedy Corona.

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June 9, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; Mississippi St. center fielder Jake Mangum (15) hits a two-run double in the second inning at the NCAA Super Regional at Hawkins Field. Mandatory Credit: George Walker IV/The Tennessean via USA TODAY NETWORK (George Walker IV)
June 9, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; Mississippi St. center fielder Jake Mangum (15) hits a two-run double in the second inning at the NCAA Super Regional at Hawkins Field. Mandatory Credit: George Walker IV/The Tennessean via USA TODAY NETWORK (George Walker IV)

After drafting Brett Baty, Josh Wolf, and Matthew Allan with their first three picks, the Mets selected Jake Mangum with their fourth-round-pick in 2019, but he could be the first of the bunch to make it to the majors ...


The Skinny

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 179 lbs

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Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes said he wasn't going to speak to the media at all this season, but that didn't last very long as he sat in front of the mic on Sunday morning. 

Joined by team translator Alan Surriel, Cespedes got right to the point when asked if he will be ready for Opening Day. His answer?

"If I continue progressing the way that I am, yes," he said. 

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes, Scott Thompson
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Sep 23, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 23, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Steven Matz will make his spring training debut on Sunday when the Mets face the Cardinals at 1:10 p.m. at Clover Park in Port St. Lucie on SNY. 

Mets notes

Other than Matz, Jeurys Familia, Robert Gsellman, Brad Brach, Tyler Bashlor, and Franklyn Kilome are all scheduled to make an appearance on the mound. 

Tags: Franklyn Kilome, Jeurys Familia, Robert Gsellman, Steven Matz, Tyler Bashlor, Scott Thompson
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Rick Porcello (Jim Rassol)
Rick Porcello (Jim Rassol)

Mets Spring Training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie. Here's what happened Saturday, in case you missed it...


The latest mailbag from MetsBlog's Matt Cerrone answers questions on non-roster invitees, Luis Guillorme and more >> Read More

SNY MLB Insider Andy Martino goes in depth on what to look for this spring with Steven Matz and Michael Wacha >> Read More

The ribbon cutting ceremony at Clover Park, the Mets' new spring training home, happened on Saturday. Check it out >> Read More

Tags: Luis Guillorme, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz
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As the Mets kicked off their 2020 spring training slate with a split-squad game against the Miami Marlins in Port St. Lucie on Saturday, Luis Rojas saw the game through a new perspective.

For the first time, Rojas watched the game from the dugout as a major-league manager.

Rojas' Mets fell to the Marlins 5-3 on Saturday, but as is the case with all spring training efforts, the game was more about getting things right for Opening Day rather than immediate results.

Still, Rojas was pleased with what he saw in his first game as a manager.

Tags: Wilson Ramos
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The Mets fell to the Miami Marlins 5-3 in a split-squad outing in Port St. Lucie on Saturday, but the offense looked strong to get things started.

In the top of the first inning, Jeff McNeil slapped a single to left field to get things going, setting the table out of the leadoff spot. After loading the bases, Wilson Ramos drove in a pair with a wind-blown ground-rule double down the right-field line.

Check out the full highlights from Saturday's game with the Marlins...

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Wilson Ramos
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The Mets played two split-squad games on Saturday afternoon to kick off their spring training schedule. With one group staying in Port St. Lucie, the other group took the field in Jupiter, Fla. against the St. Louis Cardinals.

In that game, the Mets handed the ball to Marcus Stroman to get things started. 

In the first inning, Stroman gave up a one-out single to Matt Carpenter, but he followed that up by striking out both Paul Goldshmidt and Yadier Molina on sliders down in the zone.

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 (Jim Rassol)
(Jim Rassol)

The Mets' split squad in Port St. Lucie got this year's spring training schedule started with a 5-3 loss to the Miami Marlins. >> Box Score

5 things to know from Saturday's game...

1) Rick Porcello got the first spring training start for the Mets in Port St. Lucie. The right-hander pitched only the first inning, with some mixed results. Porcello allowed a single to Monte Harrison with one out, and after stealing second, Harrison came around to score on a Garrett Cooper single. He did strikeout Isan Diaz on three pitches in the inning as well.

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos
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Sep 12, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Sep 12, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Both teams struggled offensively as the Mets lost 2-0 on Saturday in a split-squad contest against the Cardinals. >> Box score

4 things to know from Saturday's game...

1) Marcus Stroman got the ball and pitched a solid first inning, allowing a hit but striking out both Paul Goldschmidt and Yadier Molina. But Tyler O'Neill led off the second with a home run to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. Stroman got Tommy Edman to ground out on a comebacker, but after a walk and a single, Stroman's day was done after 1 1/3 innings pitched.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, JD Davis, Rene Rivera
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Mar 28, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Seth Lugo (67) throws a pitch to the Washington Nationals during the seventh inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Mar 28, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Seth Lugo (67) throws a pitch to the Washington Nationals during the seventh inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

After suffering a small fracture to his pinky toe in his hotel room Monday nightSeth Lugo returned to the Clover Park mound on Saturday to throw a bullpen session, and said he's suffering minimal ill-effects from the minor injury.

"It felt pretty good," Lugo said. "Pitches were coming out real good. I felt a little soreness when I got done but that's to be expected. Hopefully tomorrow that's gone."

Lugo informed the Mets after arriving at the ballpark on Tuesday that he had hurt the toe while banging it on something in his hotel room, and an X-ray revealed the small fracture.

Tags: Seth Lugo
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Clover Park is the spring training home of the Mets, and the newly-renovated facility hosted its first game as the team welcomed in the Marlins on Saturday.

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon was on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, along with Port St. Lucie mayor Gregory Oravec.

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Sep 23, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 23, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

PORT ST. LUCIE -- The competition between Steven Matz and Michael Wacha for the final spot in the rotation represents one of the few unsettled questions in Mets camp. If all six starters remain healthy, and if Rick Porcello performs competently, either Matz or Wacha will have to move to the bullpen.

Despite their need to win a job, both pitchers are tasked with the typical spring training project of prioritizing process over results, especially in their early appearances. They won't be judged exclusively on performance, but on their adherence to personal goals set with new pitching coach Jeremy Hefner.

If you're watching closely enough, you can find clues to how each is progressing. Here's a guide for what to watch, based on a chat with both Matz and Wacha.
 

Tags: Steven Matz, Andy Martino
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In his latest Mets mailbag, Matthew Cerrone weighs in on non-roster invitees, Luis Guillorme and youngsters around the NL East.


The calendar has turned from Hot Stove to sunshine and palm trees.

Not surprisingly, so have questions being sent to me for my weekly mailbag post.

Here are answers to the most common questions to come in, all of which focus on the farm system, prospects and guys that can help the big-league team.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Matthew Cerrone
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 (Jim Rassol)
(Jim Rassol)

Marcus Stroman gets the start for the group of Mets traveling to Jupiter, Fla., Saturday at 1:05 p.m. for a split-squad matchup against the Cardinals. The other half of the team is hosting the Marlins in Port St. Lucie.  

Mets notes

Amed Rosario and Brandon Nimmo will bat first and second in for the Mets, while former Yankee Eduardo Nunez is in the lineup hitting fifth.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo
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Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher Rick Porcello (22) works on defensive drills during spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)
Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher Rick Porcello (22) works on defensive drills during spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)

Rick Porcello will make his first appearance in a Mets uniform as he gets the start on the mound in one of two split-squad games on Saturday. The other half of the team will face the Cardinals at 1:05 p.m.

Mets notes

Pete Alonso will hit second in Saturday's lineup against the Marlins, while newcomer Jake Marisnick will play center field and hit sixth. Tim Tebow will be available off the bench.

Tags: Pete Alonso
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Mets' Brandon Nimmo (Treated Image by SNY)
Mets' Brandon Nimmo (Treated Image by SNY)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

When the 2019 season began, it appeared pitchers had found an up-and-in hole in Brandon Nimmo's swing about the size of Wyoming, his native state, and they pounded away at it to the tune of 26 strikeouts in his first 61 plate appearances of the season.

At which point he crashed into the fence in Atlanta on April 14th, causing a neck injury that also messed with his swing and eventually forced him to the sidelines for four months. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, John Harper
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Luis Rojas spoke in Port St. Lucie Friday afternoon just a day before the Mets kick off their first game of spring training, and discussed the progress he's seen out of injured outfielder Yoenis Cespedes so far this offseason.

On what he saw from Cespedes this week and how long until he's ready

"Well I think it was a really big week for him. He's advancing, he's progressing, he's doing things everyday that just impress you. He's out there taking fly balls with the rest of the outfielders -- obviously limited in the movement laterally and covering ground -- but he's out there, he's moving, getting behind balls, making throws in. He threw a couple to home plate yesterday, he made a couple of throws after a cutoff in relays. Facing live pitching."

"He's basically going through the schedule at lets say 75 percent of it, 80 percent of it from what everyone else is doing. So that's big news for us and the timelines not...we don't know yet. He's got to go through this progression. And our performance staff is working close with him, and he's doing a good job responding to it."

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard
Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard

Most anybody and everybody who knows pitching, it seems, still believes Noah Syndergaard can be one of the best pitchers in baseball, based on his talent. But what does he need to do to make it happen after 2019, the worst season of his career? 

Opinions on that varied among the several people I spoke to about the Mets' righthander, most centering around pitch selection and/or mental approach, something Syndergaard copped to himself in Port St. Lucie last week, saying his struggles last season were at least partly a case of "paralysis by analysis; thinking too much." 

However, Bob Ojeda, the former Mets pitcher, who has also worked as a minor-league pitching coach and SNY analyst, delivered a harsher critique that was aimed at Syndergaard's Thor persona, if you will.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, John Harper
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May 2, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; General view of New York Mets helmet in the dugout before a game against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Brett Davis)
May 2, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; General view of New York Mets helmet in the dugout before a game against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

Josh Wolf is a projectable 6-foot-3, 170-pound power arm with more room to physically mature. Here's what to know about the Mets prospect...


The Skinny

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 170 lbs

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Mets Spring Training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie. Here's what happened Thursday, in case you missed it...


With Mets Spring Training kicking off, we're about to go from "best shape of his life" stories that often don't matter to game results that never matter >> Read more

Yoenis Cespedes and Jacob deGrom faced off against each other in live BP >> Read more

Tags: Jacob deGrom, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Yoenis Cespedes
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One of the most memorable moments for the Mets in 2019 came on August 9 against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field.

With the Mets in the midst of a 12-wins-in-13 games streak, Washington pushed out to a 6-3 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning. But the Mets refused to go down quietly against Nats closer Sean Doolittle, and after Todd Frazier tied the game on a three-run shot, it was Michael Conforto who later singled in Juan Lagares to give the Mets the win. 

The Mets then celebrated in style, as Pete Alonso led the charge to rip Conforto's jersey off in the middle of the field.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Steven Matz
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J.D. Davis had a breakout 2019 season in his first year with the Mets, batting .307 and hitting 22 home runs in 140 games.

He talked to SNY's Todd Zeile at spring training about his swing and how he prepares for games. Zeile noticed Davis' ability to hit the ball to right field and stay off breaking balls.

"I started really tuning into that right-center or at second base probably by college, it's just the way my swing worked," Davis said. "It helped me stay more on the fast ball and not really pull off on any offspeed."

Tags: JD Davis
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There's been plenty written and said about Pete Alonso's rookie season.

And rightfully so, as the Mets first baseman slugged an MLB rookie-record 53 home runs and drove in 120. 

But as Mets spring training gets underway in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Alonso is now looking ahead to the new season, and he's got some lofty goals for this 2020 group.

Tags: Pete Alonso
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On Thursday night, Mets' Jeff McNeil joined the Mets Hot Stove at Duffy's in Port St. Lucie.

McNeil reflected on his 2019 All-Star season, what caused his power surge in the second half of the season, and how he feels about being the everyday third baseman.

Tags: Jeff McNeil
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Jacob deGrom was on hand at Mets spring training on Thursday putting in some bullpen work before going out to face live hitters in his first live BP session. 

And among his opponents was Yoenis Cespedes

As Cespedes continues to work his way back, the matchup against deGrom wasn't the most fair, with the back-to-back Cy Young Award winner blowing some pitches by him.

Here's what else happened at camp down in Port St. Lucie...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Yoenis Cespedes
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With the Mets kicking off their spring training schedule on Saturday when they open Grapefruit League play with split squad games against the Marlins and Cardinals, we're about to go from "best shape of his life" stories that often don't matter to game results that never matter.

While it will be fun to see Pete Alonso taking his hacks against another team's pitcher and Jacob deGrom's glare 60 feet, six inches away, it's important to enjoy these games for what they are: fun distractions on the march to the first game that actually matters, when the Mets host the Nationals on Opening Day on March 26 at Citi Field.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Pete Alonso, Danny Abriano
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Yoenis Cespedes and Noah Syndergaard at Mets spring training
Yoenis Cespedes and Noah Syndergaard at Mets spring training

Mets spring training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie. Here's what happened Wednesday, in case you missed it...


Yoenis Cespedes tracked fly balls with the rest of the outfielders as he continued to progress toward a return >> Read more

Seth Lugo talked about his injured toe and updated his timeline >> Read more

J.D. Davis will take 50 percent of his spring training reps at third base, where he is most comfortable >> Read more

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, JD Davis, Seth Lugo, Yoenis Cespedes
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Mets manager Luis Rojas was not ready Jan. 25 to definitively say RHP Edwin Diaz would be the team's closer, but the fifth-year reliever is preparing for whatever comes his way in 2020.

Ahead of Year 2 in New York after what was a disappointing 2019 debut, going 2-7 with a 5.59 ERA and 99 strikeouts against 22 walks and four hit batsmen in 58.0 innings pitched over 66 appearances, he's prepared to bounce back.

"Once last season ended, that was last season," Diaz told SNY's Steve Gelbs through Mets communications assistant and Spanish language translator Alan Suriel in an interview Wednesday. "So what I did, I took the positives from that season, I brought that with me, left all the negative in the back and I just try to continue to stay positive and I put a lot of work in to have a good season this year."

Tags: Edwin Diaz
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After an unforgettable rookie year in 2019, Mets 1B Pete Alonso looks for more at the plate as he prepares for his second MLB season. With those aspirations in mind, Alonso approaches 2020 accordingly.

Down in Port St. Lucie, Fla. for Spring Training, Alonso provided SNY's Todd Zeile with an inside peek at that process. Alonso, who slashed .260/.358/.566 with an MLB rookie single-season record 53 home runs and 120 RBI, reported Saturday to Port St. Lucie and has hit the ground running.

During Wednesday's 1-on-1 segment with Zeile, an SNY analyst and former Met himself from 2000-01 and in '04, Alonso broke down how he carries his practice routine into game situations.

Tags: Pete Alonso
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Mets ace Jacob deGrom has reached the pinnacle of pitching, from an individual standpoint, two years in a row. 

But as he looks to potentially take home his third straight NL Cy Young Award, putting him in rarefied air, deGrom is also focused on team success, and he believes the 2020 Mets are as good as anyone in the NL East.

"I think we're right there at the top," deGrom said on Wednesday's Mets Hot Stove. "Great rotation, a lot of depth, really good position players. You look at it, our plan is to win the East and win the World Series, so everybody in there Is pulling in that direction, and you got a good group of guys doing that. I think we've got a good shot."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso
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Mets prospect Brett Baty
Mets prospect Brett Baty

Brett Baty was the Mets' first round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. And while he's years away from the majors, he has joined Francisco Alvarez, Ronny Mauricio, and Matthew Allan as one of four blue chip prospects the Mets currently have...


The Skinny

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 210 lbs

Tags: Ronny Mauricio
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Mets' Edwin Diaz, Pete Alonso and Yoenis Cespedes (Treated Image by SNY)
Mets' Edwin Diaz, Pete Alonso and Yoenis Cespedes (Treated Image by SNY)

MetsBlog's Matt Cerrone makes some over/under predictions for the upcoming Mets season...


86.5 - Total wins

Over.

The roster is strong on paper, which is seconded by fan polls, expert commentary and reflected in countless prediction systems. My view is the same.

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Yoenis Cespedes was part of a group of Mets outfielders (Brandon Nimmo, J.D. Davis, and Michael Conforto among them) tracking fly balls in the outfield on Wednesday as he continues his progression toward a return.

Cespedes participated in the Mets' first full squad workout earlier this week but broke off to do individual work with the performance staff when the rest of the outfielders split up into two groups. Wednesday was different.

It should be noted that the other outfielders in Cespedes' group on Wednesday seemed to be getting balls hit to them that were farther away/tougher to track than Cespedes' were, but there is plenty of time for that to ramp up.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, JD Davis, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes
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May 8, 2019; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) throws to first base on a ground out by San Diego Padres left fielder Hunter Renfroe (not pictured) during the fourth inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports (Orlando Ramirez)
May 8, 2019; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) throws to first base on a ground out by San Diego Padres left fielder Hunter Renfroe (not pictured) during the fourth inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports (Orlando Ramirez)

J.D. Davis' struggles at third base for the Mets in 2019 were so bad that he was basically rendered unplayable at the position.

He was worth -9 DRS at third base (per FanGraphs) in just 220 innings. And when you extrapolate that over a full season, it's easy to see why Davis was used mostly in left field, where he was below average but playable.

But Davis said on Dec. 4 when talking about where he would play in 2020 that he preferred third base to left field, explaining that he felt more natural there.

Tags: JD Davis, Danny Abriano
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Executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association Tony Clark was down in Port St. Lucie on Wednesday to talk with the Mets, but also took time to answer some questions about the Astros sign-stealing scandal. 

MLBPA released a statement following MLB commissioner Rob Manfred's comments saying the union had pushed back after the league wouldn't rule out disciplining players when trying to make progress within the investigation. Clark said that anything regarding the obstruction of the investigation "is completely untrue."

Clark continued to comment on the immunity situation, saying that disciplining players wasn't even in the initial conversations before the investigations began. 

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