In signing Curtis Granderson to a $60 million contract over the next four seasons, the Mets made a sizable bet on improving the team in the short term. The slightly front-loaded deal covers Granderson's age 33-36 seasons, the years where players of his ilk -- outfielders who strike out regularly, but rely on power for their offensive value -- decline dramatically.

In this post, Toby Hyde will dig into the type of player Granderson has been, and the one he'll likely be going forward. Finally, he will construct an estimate of Granderson's value to the Mets...

Granderson clearly fills a need for the Mets: a big league outfielder. In 2013, Mets outfielders produced 7 fWAR, 20th in baseball. The since-traded Marlon Byrd was responsible for half (3.5 fWAR) of that production. Before Granderson agreed to terms with the Mets, Eric Young Jr. and his career 77 wRC+ (where 100 is league average) was the placeholder in the corner not occupied by Chris Young.

In some ways, Granderson is a similar player to C. Young: they both hit home runs, strike out regularly and have played centerfield in the past. With Juan Lagares in center, Granderson and Young should complete a very fine defensive outfield.

The Mets farm system was not prepared to offer a starting everyday outfielder for Opening Day 2014. Cesar Puello, the best option in the top three levels of the farm system in 2013, finished his year hitting .326/.403/.547 with a career-high 16 home runs in 91 games in double-A, but missed the final month of the season because of a Biogeneis-related suspension. An aggressive hitter, some time in triple-A will serve him well to work on his strike zone discipline. Perhaps, after a few months in Las Vegas, he will be ready to help the Mets by the heat of summer. Promising 2011 first round pick Brandon Nimmo ended the 2013 season in a-ball with Savannah. He's at least two years away from the big leagues.

In short, the Mets needed another outfielder.

The left-handed hitting outfielder hit free agency after an impressive four-year run with the Yankees, when he hit a combined .245/.335/.495 with 115 home runs. His 41 home runs in 2011 were, at the time, a new career high, one he surpassed a year later when he hit 43 in 2012.

Granderson's 2013 was marred by injury when he was plunked by a pair of pitches. The first, in spring training, broke his foream.  After he returned to action in May, eight games later, a broken pinkie sent him back to the disabled list.

When he did play, Granderson hit .229/.317/.407 in 61 games. By wRC+, again where 100 is league average, he earned a 97, making him slightly below league average. By bWAR, Granderson was worth 1.1 wins, while in Fangraphs' accounting he was worth 1.4. Prorating his time out to say, 140 games, we can estimate his bWAR at 2.53 and his fWAR at 3.22. Fangraphs assigns a positive number to his defensive contribution because he was playing centerfield in a below average way, and right field in an above average way. Defensive numbers over partial seasons bounce around, so those estimates on his defense are rough. (Note: I use both fWAR and bWAR in this piece. There are various comparative searches that I find easier at one site or the other. For most purposes, now that there is a unified replacement-level baseline, they're similar enough.)

Power Spike

Why did Curtis Granderson have back-to-back 40-home run seasons in 2011 and 2012, his age 30 and 31 seasons? Simple. He had a HR/FB spike. He hit line drives, ground balls and fly balls at rates that looked like his final seasons in Detroit (2007-2009) and his first with the Yankees (2010). However, in all of those seasons, his home run to flyball ratio hung between 10.9% and 14.5%. In 2011 and 2012 it climbed to 20.5% and 24.2% respectively. By 2013, it was back down to 11.3%, in line with his career norms.

Walks and Strikeouts

Granderson is a high-walk, high-strikeout hitter. He fanned in 28.5% of his plate appearances in 2012 and 28.2% in 2013, while walking 11% in both.

Platoon Splits

Over the course of his eight-plus professional seasons, Granderson has run a major platoon split, hitting righties much better than lefties. He's hit .274/.357/.519 against righties with a 21.8% strikeout rate and a 11.1% walk rate. Meanwhile, against lefties, he has hit  just .226/.295/.409 with a 26.7% strikeout rate and a 7.8% walk rate.

In 2013, his worst season by OPS+ or wRC+ since 2006, Granderson actually hit lefties (.242/.356/.435 in 73 PA) better than righties (.224/.300/.395 in 172 PA). Largely, this was a result of unusually good results on balls in play. He had a .371 BABIP against lefties and a .279 BABIP against righties. His underlying rate stats were better against righties (25.6% k rate/9.9% walk rate) compared to lefties (34.2% K/14% walk).

Lefties have given Granderson fits, over the course of his career, but he has improved against southpaws from his younger days through his Yankee peak in 2012. For example, take a look at his on-base percentage against lefties, by year, moving forward from 2007 through 2012: .225,  .310, .245, .292, .347, .304.

Defense

Once a strong center fielder, Granderson will play a corner outfield spot for the Mets, likely deferring to Juan Lagares' prowess in center. UZR rated Granderson as a combined 27 runs above average in 2006 and 2007, but that was a long time ago. In his four years as a Yankee, he was a combined 14.2 runs below average. That's a slightly controversial rating, as the other advanced systems do not rate him as poorly. Baseball Info Solutions' Defensive Runs Saved, puts Granderson at seven runs below average for his Yankees' tenure. Total Zone measures -8 for the same four-year span.

There's a line of thinking that playing next to a very strong defender, as Granderson did when playing alongside Brett Gardner, will hurt his defensive ratings. If Granderson was playing next to say, Lucas Duda, he would have caught more balls, both within his zone, that is the area a center fielder is expected to cover, and outside of it. Both types of catches, in and outside his area, would have helped his zone numbers.

Lets assume moving forward that Granderson's defense on the corners will help his value a little - say five-ish runs a year.

Projection Moving ForwardAt this point, we should have a pretty good handle on what kind of player Granderson has been, but the question the Mets just spent $60 million to answer is what kind of player he will be in his next four years.

The Oliver projection system at Fangraphs sees Granderson as a 3.0 fWAR player in 2014, who experiences a slow, steady decline. Dan Szymborski's ZiPS system does not see as big a bounceback in 2014, and then a similar if slightly steeper decline. Analysis that rests on these two projection systems which have Granderson contributing something like eight or nine WAR over the life of the contract turn generally positive. This includes Eno Sarris' fine work here.

Many of the analyses of the contract assume a gentle aging curve for Granderson. However, most of his peers, once they started to go, went in a hurry.

I created my own specialized aging curve for Granderson. First, using Baseball Reference's play index to find players like Granderson, I selected outfielders who put up between 15 and 25 WAR in their age 28-32 seasons who struck out at least 596 times. These are good, solid, above-average everyday outfielders. The bWAR cap of 25 removes six players  - who are or approach Hall of Fame level  (Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Jim Thome, Reggie Jackson, Carlos Delgado and Bobby Abreu). The rest are comfortably Granderson's peers: he put up a 18.3 bWAR over his last five years. (Note: I would have preferred a rate-based search around strikeouts or production, but neither Baseball Reference nor Fangraphs offers that publicly. My original cutoff was 600 strikeouts. However, moving down four whiffs adds Jim Edmonds into the list and, much more on him later. Edmonds is a fairly good match for Granderson's peak by WAR value and strikeout rate.)

We're dealing with 19 players, found here.

I removed the following four players who moonlighted in the outfield, but were not primarily outfielders in any sense of the word: Dan Uggla, Mo Vaughn, Carlos Pena and Jorge Posada.

I removed the following guys whose careers ended before 1980, because hey, it was a different game 33 years ago and players follow different workout regimes now, and can be expected to age differently. Bye-bye: Willie Stargell, Bobby Bonds, Tony Perez.

Again, to make sure we're dealing with decent defensive outfielders, I mandated that all of the comps had played at least some center field. Goodbye, Frank Howard and Mikey Tettleton.

This left our final comparable list as: Alfonso Soriano, Dale Murphy, Gorman Thomas, Nick Swisher, Ray Lankford, Jayson Werth, Jeremy Burnitz, Mike Cameron and Jim Edmonds. Swisher, who is as old as Granderson, has not begun his age 33 season. His career offers no clue as to how Granderson will age in his 33+ years.

These are good offensive outfielders. Their combined age 28-32 seasons look like this.

[sny-table rowheader=true columnheader=true]

Player;HR;WAR;SO;G;PA;BA;OBP;SLG;K%;CF

Alfonso Soriano;172;16;639;704;3188;.280;.333;.529;.20;12 games

Dale Murphy;170;23.9;677;799;3459;.275;.368;.512;.20;Yes

Gorman Thomas;165;16.3;721;731;3080;.238;.331;.477;.23;Yes

Curtis Granderson;145;18.3;690;673;2858;.246;.333;.484;.24;Yes

Nick Swisher;127;15.3;669;743;3135;.263;.362;.470;.21;Yes

Ray Lankford;123;23.9;629;690;2856;.288;.382;.523;.22;Yes

Jayson Werth;115;17.1;655;693;2763;.270;.368;.478;.24;108 games

Jeromy Burnitz;163;15.7;664;759;3185;.259;.363;.511;.21;yes

Mike Cameron;110;17.6;696;671;2790;.251;.340;.460;.25;yes

Jim Edmonds;130;24.3;596;655;2719;.299;.396;.540;.22;yes

[/sny-table]

How did this group age from 33-36? Not well. The following chart shows each player's production by bWAR, in their age-33 season and beyond.

[sny-table rowheader=true columnheader=true]

Player;5 yr WAR avg 28-32;33;34;35;36;37+

Alfonso Soriano;3.2;-1.6;0.5;-0.2;2.0;2.4

Dale Murphy;4.78;1.6;0.9;0.8;-0.7;-0.9

Gorman Thomas;3.26;-0.8;1.7;-0.3;-0.5;

Curtis Granderson;3.66;;;;;

Jayson Werth;3.42;0.7;4.8;NA;NA;

Jeromy Burnitz;3.14;0.0;0.2;1.3;0.2;-0.6

Mike Cameron;3.52;4.3;3.2;3.1;3.0;-0.1

Jim Edmonds;4.86;6.0;7.1;4.4;1.3;2.2

Ray Lankford;4.78;0.9;1.1;-0.4;0;0.4

[/sny-table]

Graphically, their production looks like this: I normalized all of the players' age 28-32 peak to one. Each year thereafter the player's production by bWAR is illustrated as a single point as a fraction of their peak years.

After their age-32 seasons, only three players had a single season better than their average of their peak seasons of 28-32: Jayson Werth, Jim Edmonds and Mike Cameron. Edmonds was the only player to have as many as two seasons at age 33 and older that equalled his peak years.

What's remarkable to me is how essentially similar all of the aging patters are, outside of those three. Moving from age 28-32, every other player lost over half of his value. Expressed as percent of their age 28-32 value by age 33 this group was worth 40% of their peak, by age 34 - 65%, age 35 - 33% and age 36 - 20%.

Fangraphs author Eno Sarris suggested a slightly different list of comparable players who put up 10+ fWAR between age 30 and 32 and struck out at least 24% of the time. This list includes three outfielders, all of whom are in our original study: Ray Lankford, Jim Edmonds and Mike Cameron. Edmonds and Cameron are the two most successful agers in the group. Lankford's decline was steep from age 33 onward.

Now, we create specialized aging curves for Granderson using his comparable players. I simply took an average of each group's production (bWAR) relative to their peak for their age 33 through 36 season. Then, we apply this set of parameters to Granderson's starting level.

The following chart compares these aging curves with publicly available projections: ZiPS and Oliver.

[sny-table rowheader=true columnheader=true]

Granderson Projections;33;34;35;36;Total

Full Set;1.3;2.0;1.0;0.6;5.0

Sarris Comps;3.1;3.2;2.0;1.2;9.5

Oliver;3.0;2.6;2.1;1.5;9.2

ZiPS;2.4;2.2;2.0;1.3;7.9

[/sny-table]

Graphically, Granderson's projections for the next four years look like this.

What's remarkable here is not the difference between the systems, but the convergence. All four estimators suggest that if Granderson ages like his peers, he will be a 2.0 bWAR player and below for both of the final two years of his contract with the New York Mets. It's also notable that comparing Granderson to the broader range of outfield candidates my "Full Set" pushes his expected aging path down.

Is there a reason to think Granderson will age unusually well? This is your time commenters. Suggest it, and I will investigate it.

The Decline/The GrandyMan's Strikeout ProblemIn fact, there is reason to think Granderson will not age particularly well as is already showing signs of decline. Remember, his strikeout rates in his four years as a Yankee have been in order: 22, 24.5, 28.5, 28.2. There are three reasons Granderson struck out more in the last two years:

1. He swung at more pitches outside of the strike zone, he made contact with fewer pitches both

2. Outside the strike zone and 3. inside the strike zone.

If that 28% strikeout rate sounds high, you're right. Since 1980, there have only been 21 outfielder seasons in which a player qualified for a batting title with a strikeout rate as high as Granderson's 28.5% in 2012, (when he was healthy!). For these seasons, the average wRC+ was 110, while the mean fWAR for those seasons was 1.62 and the median was 1.5. There's certainly some selection bias here: this group of hitters averaged 27.5 homeruns per year. Put another way, teams do not tolerate that many strikeouts unless a batter is putting the ball over the wall regularly.

Because their high strikeout rates keep these players batting averages down, they must contribute offensive value through secondary skills. Among this high-strikeout group of 21 seasons, there are two above three fWAR: Adam Dunn's 2004 (4.9) and Drew Stubbs' 2010 (3.6). Dunn hit 46 homeruns with a 16% walk rate while Stubbs supplemented his offensive and defensive value by being worth 10 runs, or roughly one win, on the bases. Granderson has never had a 46 homer season, a walk rate above 12.3% or a season worth more than 6.3 runs on the bases since 2009.

Lets go back to those four seasons by our full outfield group age age 33+ that matched or exceeded their production from their peak years: Jayson Werth's 2013, Jim Edmonds' 2003 & 2004 and Mike Cameron's 2006. If those guys could do it, could Granderson?

All four had strikeout rates significantly below Granderson's in both 2012 and 2013.

Last year, Jayson Werth hit .318/.398/.532 in 129 games for the Nationals with 25 home runs. The 25 homers seems like a reasonable enough estimate for Granderson's production if he can stay healthy in 2014. Werth walked in 11.3% of his plate appearances, a rate nearly identical to Granderson's recent seasons. However, Werth struck out in only 19% of his plate appearances. That's over 9% less than Granderson's recent seasons. Granderson has one full big league season with a strikeout rate at 19% or lower -- 2008 -- when he hit .280/.365/.494 with 22 home runs for Detroit.

Jim Edmonds was great in 2003 and 2004. In '03, he hit .275/.385/.617 with 39 homers, a 14.5% walk rate and a 23.9% strikeout rate and was worth nearly a full win on defense. In '04, he poked .301/.418/.643 (!) with 42 homers, a 16.5% walk rate and a 24.5% strikeout rate. Those strikeout and walk rate numbers are just not close to Granderson's 2012 and 2013.

Mike Cameron's story is the same in 2006, when he hit .268/.355/.482 with 22 homers, an 11% walk rate and a 22.4% strikeout rate for the Padres.

Note that all of these seasons came with strikerate rates well below Granderson's 2012 but similar to his 2010-2011 period. Can he return to that form?

Conclusion

Even with a strikeout rate in the upper 20s, if Granderson can stay healthy, bop 20+ home runs in the next two years and play average- to plus-defense on the corner -- all extremely reasonable expectations -- he will be roughly a 2-to-2.5 win player, and help the Mets in the next two years. If Granderson can cut his strikeout rate back to 22-24%, his batting average and on-base percentage will rise, and he could be a 3+ win player.

However, my expectation, is that by the third year of this contract, Granderson will be a sub-two-win player - a below average regular. The concern here is not strictly a dollar/win calculation. It's simply the likelihood that Granderson just should not be starting everyday for a winning team.

Perhaps, Granderson, who has long struggled with lefties, will become the long half of platoon for the Mets with a right-handed hitter. The Mets actually have a pair of right-handed hitting outfielders in the upper minors, Puello and Cory Vaughn, who have hit lefties hard in their minor league tenure. Both Puello and Vaughn would start at the Major League minimum.

Granderson's contract potentially says something important about future Mets' payrolls. The Mets now have $36 and $35 million committed to David Wright and Granderson combined in 2016 and 2017. This is inconsistent with running a payroll below $100 million, as the Mets have done the last two seasons. They will need 23 other active players on the roster. Some of them, ideally, will be good. Some very good. Some of them will be expensive or at least, not earning the Major League minimum. In order for the Granderson contract to not hamstring the Mets' roster construction past even 2014, the team's payroll will have to rise comfortably above $100 million again so the team can continue to address other areas of weakness. This signing suggests, or even demands, that once again, the Mets will be willing to spend at a level well above their recent seasons. 

In some ways this is an odd deal for the Mets. It makes the team better in 2014 by putting a league average player, who can provide insurance for centerfield, out in a corner. It could make them better in 2015. It is extremely unlikely to add a league average player to a corner in 2016 and 2017.  There is downside risk all over.

The Mets identified a need in the outfield. They spent to fix it. However, the patch they chose looks like a short-term repair, and one that is already showing signs of ripping.

Tags: avsny, matthewcerrone, MetsBlog, tobyhyde, Toby Hyde

May 25, 2018; Milwaukee, WI, USA; New York Mets pitcher AJ Ramos (44) reacts after walking Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw (not pictured) with the bases loaded to force in thw winning run in the tenth inning at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports (Benny Sieu)
May 25, 2018; Milwaukee, WI, USA; New York Mets pitcher AJ Ramos (44) reacts after walking Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw (not pictured) with the bases loaded to force in thw winning run in the tenth inning at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports (Benny Sieu)

AJ Ramos' struggles continued in his latest outing, and once again, it cost the Mets the game. 

In the Mets' recent series against the Reds earlier this month, it was Adam Duvall who launched a walkoff homer off Ramos. But, this time, the Brewers didn't even need to swing the bat to walk off the game. Ramos issued back-to-back walks to bring in the winning run in a tough 4-3 loss. 

Though none of the runs were Ramos' particularily, his issues on the bump have become alarming. And he knows it...

Tags: AJ Ramos, Jerry Blevins, Scott Thompson
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Brewers edge Mets 00:01:07
Check out all the highlights from the New York Mets' close loss to the Milwuakee Brewers at Miller Park on Friday night.

Check out all the highlights from the New York Mets' close loss to the Milwuakee Brewers at Miller Park on Friday night.

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Cadillac Post Game Extra 00:02:00
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling discuss the struggles of A.J. Ramos in the Mets' extra-inning loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.

Though they forced extra innings, the Mets' bullpen broke down in the bottom of the 10th with AJ Ramos issuing back-to-back walks to send home the winning run for the Brewers in a tough 4-3 loss.

Things you should know about tonight's game...

1) The bottom of the 10th fell apart for the Mets. After a single from Eric Sogard in the ninth, Robert Gsellman got Lorenzo Cain to fly out to center field. But Mickey Callaway brought in Jerry Blevins to close the door on the inning with a lefty-lefty matchup against Christian Yelich. Yelich won the battle with a single to right, which brought in Ramos. He could not find the strike zone, and would deliver two straight walks to bring in the winning run.

 

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May 25, 2018; Milwaukee, WI, USA; New York Mets center fielder Jose Bautista (11) drives in a run with a base hit in the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports (Benny Sieu)
May 25, 2018; Milwaukee, WI, USA; New York Mets center fielder Jose Bautista (11) drives in a run with a base hit in the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports (Benny Sieu)

The Brewers were looking to close the door in the top of the ninth, but the Mets weren't having it. It was Jose Bautista who came through with his first clutch moment as a Met -- a two-out RBI single to drive in Michael Conforto and tie the game at three apiece.

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE VIDEO AND MORE

Tags: Amed Rosario
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 (Benny Sieu)
(Benny Sieu)

Mets starter Noah Syndergaard had just 78 pitches thrown through six innings in his outing against the Brewers Friday night. But manager Mickey Callaway thought it the right move to end his night before the seventh. 

Syndergaard began his start with a 1-2-3 first inning, but Travis Shaw put Milwaukee on the board first with a solo homer to lead off the second. 

"Thor" saw more trouble in the third as Christian Yelich hit an RBI single to score Lorenzo Cain, and Shaw collected another RBI with a single to center to bring Yelich home. 

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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Apr 25, 2018; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Corey Oswalt (55) pitches during the fifth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Curry)
Apr 25, 2018; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Corey Oswalt (55) pitches during the fifth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Curry)

According to Triple-A Las Vegas manager Tony DeFrancesco, Mets RHP Corey Oswalt was placed on DL, per Las Vegas Review Journal's Betsy Helfand.

Oswalt has been dealing with lat tightness recently, and it appears to be too much to pitch through. The righty made one appearances for the Mets this season, tossing 4.2 innings where he allowed two earned runs on two hits while striking out four. 

With Las Vegas this season, Oswalt owns a 6.18 ERA over six starts. 

Tags: Corey Oswalt
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Gelbs chats with Conforto 00:03:59
On Mets Pre Game Live, Steve Gelbs catches up with Michael Conforto to discuss the tough road back from his shoulder injury this year.

The Mets (25-21) continue their four-game series against the Brewers (31-20) on Friday night at Miller Park in Milwaukee at 8:10 on SNY. 

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Danny Abriano
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 (Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay)
(Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay)

As the Mets get ready to face the Brewers tonight in Milwaukee, the Double-A Rumble Ponies are home in Binghamton getting ready for their matchup with the Bowie Baysox.

The story in Double-A this year has been first-base prospect Peter Alonso, who has been on a tear to start his 2018 campaign. He owns a .342/.469/.632 slash line while belting 12 homers and driving in 37 runs in 45 games this season. 

Check out Alonso taking some hacks in the batting cage prior to tonight's game...

Tags: Tim Tebow
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Ramirez a fit for the Mets? 00:02:06
The BNNY panel discusses the recent DFA of Hanley Ramirez and if the Mets should be interested in him or not in 2018.

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | Word this afternoon is that the Mets are unlikely to pursue Hanley Ramirez, once the Boston Red Sox release him. The Sox designated Ramirez for assignment earlier today, and are not expected to find a trade partner, meaning that Ramirez will be a free agent after seven days.

Why not the Mets, you ask?

Well, a few hours ago I was preparing to write a column arguing for this configuration: Yoenis Cespedes in left field, Michael Conforto in center, Jay Bruce and Brandon Nimmo in right, and Bruce and Ramirez platooning at first.

Tags: Wilmer Flores, Andy Martino
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard are givens. Steven Matz has a 3.80 ERA and 1.29 WHIP, and has allowed just six runs over his last four starts (21.0 innings).

Jason Vargas (one great start after three nightmare ones since joining the rotation) and Zack Wheeler (5.32 ERA, 1.50 WHIP) have been a different story. And the Mets need them to start providing consistency to the back end of the rotation.

On the latest Shea Anything podcast, Doug Williams and Andy Martino discuss below...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

Long considered a questionable pick at best, Brandon Nimmo, the very first draftee of the Sandy Alderson era, is in the midst of a legitimate breakout. He's getting on base more than Joey Votto and slugging higher than Bryce Harper. He has been the team's best position player despite spotty playing time, and leads the league in Smiles Above Replacement. Can he keep it going?

Nimmo's best tool is without question his eye at the plate. He makes selectivity an art form, and his 17.4 percent walk rate would rank sixth in baseball if he qualified. He swings at only 20 percent of the pitches he sees out of the zone, and rarely whiffs. These are skills he has consistently displayed not only since his 2016 debut, but throughout his professional career. They are real and they are sustainable.

One number that might or might not be so sustainable is his .393 batting average on balls in play -- a full 100 points above league average and a top 10 mark in baseball among players with at least 100 at bats. A BABIP this high is often seen as a sign of imminent regression to the mean, but there's good reason to think Nimmo's mean is significantly higher than average...

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Maggie Wiggin
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Science of Baseball: Manny Pina 00:00:33
Ron Darling discusses Manny Pina's style behind the plate in Science of Baseball presented by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

SNY's Ron Darling discusses Manny Pina's style behind the plate in Science of Baseball presented by Memorial Sloan Kettering.

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May 20, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pinch hitter Asdrubal Cabrera (13) reacts with shortstop Jose Reyes (7) after hitting the game winning two run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports  (Andy Marlin)
May 20, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pinch hitter Asdrubal Cabrera (13) reacts with shortstop Jose Reyes (7) after hitting the game winning two run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

On the latest episode of Shea Anything, Doug Williams and Andy Martino discuss the sad state of affairs surrounding Jose Reyes, the Jose Bautista signing, and the importance of getting quality starts from the likes of Zack Wheeler and Jason Vargas.

Plus, Doug and Andy want to hear from you! Go to SNY.tv/SheaAnything and upload a video or audio clip of your take on the Mets. Keep it to 30 seconds or less, make it good, and you may be on the show!

Click below to listen!

Tags: Jason Vargas, Jose Reyes, Zack Wheeler
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Apr 11, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki (26) celebrates with teammates after scoring a run against the Miami Marlins in the eighth inning during a MLB game at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Apr 11, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki (26) celebrates with teammates after scoring a run against the Miami Marlins in the eighth inning during a MLB game at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Kevin Plawecki started at catcher and went 1-for-3 while catching seven innings Thursday night during his second rehab game with Triple-A Las Vegas.

Plawecki hit a two-run homer Wednesday night as he began his rehab assignment. 

He has been out since April 11 due to a hairline fracture in his left hand. Grip strength in Plawecki's left hand doubled earlier this month, and he began a hitting progression shortly after.

Tags: Kevin Plawecki
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 (Kathy Willens/AP)
(Kathy Willens/AP)

Brandon Nimmo's .450 OBP would lead the National League, but he doesn't yet have enough at-bats to qualify. But with Nimmo becoming a staple at the top of the Mets' lineup, him not qualifying should change soon.

Nimmo's 4-for-4 night on Thursday against the Brewers lifted his batting average to .294. He has reached base in his last eight plate appearances, is slugging .541, has three HR and four triples, and has been cutting down his strikeouts -- with just two over his last four games. 

"That's my job, that's what I'm supposed to do," Nimmo said after Thursday night's game. "I'm just glad I've been able to create some traffic for (Asdrubal Cabrera) behind me. He's really been carrying this offense for a while now and to be able to give him some more opportunities than just one in the game is really beneficial for him and for our team."

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Danny Abriano
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Cadillac Post Game Extra 00:01:31
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling discuss Steven Matz's best performance of the season in the Mets' 5-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Brandon Nimmo collected the first four-hit game of his career and reached base five times while Steven Matz tossed six innings as the Mets blanked the Brewers, 5-0, on Thursday night at Miller Park.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about tonight's game...

1) After tallying four runs in three games against the Marlins, the Mets equaled that output in the fifth inning alone. Asdrubal Cabrera plated two with a double, Wilmer Flores had and Devin Mesoraco doubled, singled and drove in a run for New York, which had 13 hits, including five for extra bases. Amed Rosario had two singles and Nimmo doubled twice, tripled, singled and walked while scoring two runs.

 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Steven Matz
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GEICO SportsNite: Mets roll 00:04:44
The BNNY crew discusses Brandon Nimmo's hot streak and Steven Matz's outstanding start in the Mets' win over the Brewers on Thursday.

It was Steven Matz' 50th career start on Thursday night in Milwaukee, and it was certainly one to remember. 

The lefty came into the game looking to reverse his previous outing of four earned runs over four innings against the Diamondbacks. He had a good start to his outing, finishing the bottom of the first in four batters. 

The second and third innings saw some trouble, though. In the second, Matz had runners on first and second with two outs, and managed to come away with a big strikeout to strand the runners. 

Tags: Steven Matz
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New York Mets thrid baseman Todd Frazier (21) congratulates New York Mets left Fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52). Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
New York Mets thrid baseman Todd Frazier (21) congratulates New York Mets left Fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52). Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Yoenis Cespedes (hip) and Todd Frazier (hamstring) are both eligible to return from their respective 10-day DL stints, and made a bit more progress prior to Thursday's game against the Brewers in Milwaukee.

Frazier, who took batting practice Monday for the first time since his injury and was hitting outside again on Wednesday, was running on the field on Thursday -- which manager Mickey Callaway said would be the final step before beginning a rehab assignment.

Cespedes, who will also likely need a rehab assignment before returning, took batting practice on the field Thursday for the frst time since being placed on the DL...

Tags: Todd Frazier, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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May 8, 2018; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New York Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (13) against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
May 8, 2018; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New York Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (13) against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

The Mets (24-21) open a four-game series against the Brewers (31-19) on Thursday night at Miller Park in Milwaukee at 8:10 on SNY. 

Tags: Steven Matz, Danny Abriano
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New York Mets' Michael Conforto (30) runs the bases after hitting a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Mets' Michael Conforto (30) runs the bases after hitting a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

MLB commiossioner Rob Manfred will be taking five immediate actions after a study revealed that the baseballs have gotten more aerodynamic during the current home run surge.

There were an all-time high 6,105 home runs hit during the 2017 season, up from 5,610 in 2016 and 4,909 in 2015. 

The study, which was conducted by a committee of scientists on the increases of the home run rate since 2015, was assembled by Manfred in August of 2017 and included chairman Alan Nathan, the Professor of Physics Emeritus at the University of Illinois, and nine other experts...

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May 23, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) reacts after allowing two runs to the Miami Marlins during the ninth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 23, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) reacts after allowing two runs to the Miami Marlins during the ninth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Jeurys Familia entered the ninth inning Wednesday night with 1-0 lead. However, four hits and one intentional walk later put Mets behind and on their way to a 2-1 loss to the Marlins.

"Everything went good in the bullpen," Familia said after the game. "It's just one of those days." 

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Michael Conforto, Matthew Cerrone
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Cadillac Post Game Extra: 5/23 00:02:03
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling discuss Jeurys Familia's blown save and the Mets wasting another great performance by Jacob deGrom.

Jeurys Familia could not protect a 1-0 lead in the ninth as the Mets dropped their second straight to the Marlins, 2-1, on Wednesday night at Citi Field.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about tonight's game...

1) Familia (2-2) allowed four hits and two runs in the ninth inning to blow his fourth save in 17 opportunities. JT Realmuto tied the game with a single, but Michael Conforto temporarily kept it that way by throwing out Derek Dietrich at the plate for the second out. Following an intentional walk to Justin BourStarlin Castro singled to bring in Realmuto with the tie-breaking run.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia
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May 23, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 23, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Mets RHP Jacob deGrom had yet another brilliant performance in his start against the Marlins on Wednesday night. 

Just days after tossing a 13-strikeout game against the Diamondbacks, deGrom cruised through the Marlins lineup. It wasn't the start deGrom wanted when he plunked Derek Dietrich to lead off the game. But he would get three straight outs to complete the first. 

The second innings saw more of the same, with a walk to Miguel Rojas being the only baserunner. The Marlins finally struck for their first hit in the fourth when Justin Bour placed a bunt into the hole left by third base on a shift...

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Apr 27, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)
Apr 27, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)

Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland said before the season that he wanted his guys to pitch inside more, and Jacob deGrom is one pitcher who has taken pitching inside to a whole new level.

From 2017 to 2018, deGrom's fastball usage against left-handed batters has changed dramatically, as the graphic below shows:

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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May 18, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto (30) hits an rbi single during the first inning of the game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
May 18, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto (30) hits an rbi single during the first inning of the game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

The Mets (24-20) wrap up their three-game series against the Marlins (18-30) on Wednesday night at Citi Field at 7:10. 

Mets notes...

The Mets are 5-2 on their current homestand, which concludes tonight. ... The Mets are 4-1 against the Marlins this season, posting a 2.20 ERA in 45.0 innings against them. ... Mets pitching has struck out nine or more batters in seven straight games -- tied for the longest streak in franchise history. ... The Mets have 14 come-from-behind wins this season -- the third most in the majors. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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Michael Conforto celebrates with Wilmer Flores and Brandon Nimmo after the Mets beat the D-backs in walk-off fashion at Citi Field on Saturday. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
Michael Conforto celebrates with Wilmer Flores and Brandon Nimmo after the Mets beat the D-backs in walk-off fashion at Citi Field on Saturday. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets may have young pitching to gamble on, but it's become painfully obvious that they're significantly lacking in young hitters. What's worse, the young hitters they do have in Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, and Amed Rosario are not yet consistently living up to their potential.

As a result, and because the team is without Yoenis Cespedes, Todd Frazier, and Juan Lagares -- the Mets signed free-agent OF-3B Jose Bautista on Tuesday.

To the tune of no more than $545,000, the Mets can simply release Bautista if he is unproductive. Thankfully, they pay the same price if he exceeds expectations and discovers the Fountain of Youth. Therefore, the decision to sign Bautista, start him in left field and have him bat fifth was a no brainer given their available internal options....

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SNY's Steve Gelbs and David Lennon of Newsday were live from the Citi Pavilion today providing the latest updates on the Mets and answering questions from fans.

Click below to watch.

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LM: Should the Mets DFA Reyes? 00:05:17
Marc Malusis and Jon Hein discuss the Mets' slumping offense and whether veteran infielder Jose Reyes is in serious danger of being DFA'd.

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | Word this afternoon is that Jose Reyes' roster spot remains safe, at least over the next several days. The Mets do not plan to cut him as a reaction to last night's two error performance.

That equation could change before long, though -- especially when Todd Frazier returns from the disabled list. At that point, the team could buy time on a Reyes decision by optioning Luis Guillorme or a reliever. Or they could decide that Reyes' long Mets career is over.

Reading between the lines, if Reyes doesn't show value soon, the end could be drawing near. It just won't come today.

Tags: Jose Reyes, Andy Martino
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Piazza breaks his bat at the plate at Shea Stadium in 1999. Credit: RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports
Piazza breaks his bat at the plate at Shea Stadium in 1999. Credit: RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

During a lunch break when working customer service at Home Depot on May 22, 1998, I answered a persistent phone call from my mother.

"Did you hear," she started, sounding overly excited. "The Mets traded for that pizza guy!"

I laughed, because I knew exactly who she was referring to…

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New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler winds up. (AP)
New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler winds up. (AP)

Tuesday was an important night for Zack Wheeler, who I hope understands how and why he was so effective after a difficult first inning. Instead of just pounding the bottom of the strike zone, Wheeler was wild, but effective.

It all changed for Wheeler in the second inning, down three runs with two outs and runners on second and third base. If Marlins 1B Justin Bour gets the fifth hit of the inning, the game is blown wide open, Wheeler is demoralized and out of the game sooner than later, the Mets easily lose and the bullpen gets taxed again.

However, after a quick mound visit from Tomas Nido and Dave Eiland, and with a 2-2 count, Wheeler set up Bour with an unhittable 97-mph fastball inside. Then, with what was his most important pitch of the night, Wheeler dropped a perfectly-placed 91-mph splitter down and inside for a swing-and-miss strikeout to end the inning.

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Gameday: Keith's scorecard 00:03:09
In the latest installment of Gameday, Keith Hernandez discusses how he prepares his scorecard for each night's game.

May 22, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 22, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Mets RHP Zack Wheeler allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings against the Marlins on Tuesday night, and was done in by an inexcusable error by Jose Reyes in the second inning. 

With runners on first and second and one out in the second, pitcher Caleb Smith bunted toward Reyes at third base while attempting to move the runners over. Reyes fielded the ball and would have had the runner out by 20 feet at second base, but didn't throw there. Instead, he hesitated before throwing wild to first base -- allowing Smith to reach.

After Wheeler got Martin Prado to pop out for the second out of the inning, J.T. Realmuto's two-run single made it 3-0, Marlins, with both runs unearned due to Reyes' gaffe...

Tags: Jose Reyes, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Porsche, Coca-Cola®, and the Mets have teamed up to provide fans the opportunity to win an experience to catch the Mets take on the Braves in Atlanta.

Enter for the chance for you and a guest to win this once in a lifetime trip, including the following:

  • Roundtrip airfare for two
  • Hotel accommodations for two for one night
  • Two tickets to the Mets vs. Braves game on Tuesday, June 12th
  • Access to pre-game batting practice on the field at SunTrust park
  • Gift card for the food and beverage at the game
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Bautista's first Mets hit 00:00:56
Jose Bautista doubles down the left field line in his first at-bat as a member of the New York Mets on Tuesday night.

The newest member of the Mets arrived just in time for Tuesday night's game against the Marlins and made an immediate impact.

Jose Bautista, recently released by the Braves, doubled in his first at-bat and scored the Mets' only run of the night. He batted fifth and started in left field.

Bautista flew from Tampa to New York in the afternoon to join the Mets, who were searching for a right-handed hitter to add depth in their depleted outfield.

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Cadillac Post Game Extra 00:02:23
Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez discuss the impact of veteran Jose Bautista after the Mets' 5-1 loss to the Marlins on Tuesday.

Caleb Smith allowed one run over 6 2/3 innings to help the Marlins end the Mets' winning streak at four games with a 5-1 win on Tuesday night at Citi Field.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about tonight's game...

1) Zack Wheeler overcame a shaky second inning to turn in a solid start for New York, scattering seven hits and allowing three runs -- one earned -- on 106 pitches in six innings. He retired 13-of-his-last-15 batters and matched his season high with nine strikeouts while issuing no walks for the first time in eight starts.

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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May 4, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves third baseman Jose Bautista (23) hits a double against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)
May 4, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves third baseman Jose Bautista (23) hits a double against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Jose Bautista signing is not a big enough deal to get worked up about, but that's the best thing I can think to say about it.

Okay, that's not totally fair. The move makes logical sense, in that Bautista is a righthanded hitter, and the Mets need outfielders.

The only problem is that, in the eyes of multiple talent evaluators, Bautista does not seem to have much left. He was 5 for 35 in a brief stint with Atlanta this year, and posted a .674 OPS in 157 games in 2017. There is little indication that, at 37, he can still be productive.

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May 18, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves third baseman Jose Bautista (23) warms up during batting practice before their game against the Miami Marlins at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Getz)
May 18, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves third baseman Jose Bautista (23) warms up during batting practice before their game against the Miami Marlins at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Getz)

Moments after the Mets signed Jose Bautista on Tuesday, general manager Sandy Alderson touted the veteran outfielder's ability to hit left-handed pitchers.

"We had been looking at the possibility of a right-handed bat in the outfield that could spell our other outfielders and give us some offensive potential against a left-handed pitcher," Alderson said. "Given the way that we expect he will be used initially, that fit pretty well with what we need."

Bautista has three hits -- including two home runs -- in 16 at-bats against left-handed pitching this season. In his career, Bautista has hit .257 with 82 home runs and 203 RBI against left-handers.

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BNNY: Bautista joins the Mets 00:06:25
The BNNY panel discusses Jose Bautista signing with the Mets, and whether he is a good fit for the team this season.

The Mets have agreed to a one-year major league deal with INF/OF Jose Bautista, who was released by the Atlanta Braves this past weekend, the Mets announced Tuesday. Bautista will be available for Tuesday night's game, with Phillip Evans optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room on the roster.  

SNY's Andy Martino had reported a deal was close. 

Bautista, who was just 5-for-35 (.143) with two home runs after joining Atlanta's big-league roster on May 5, had agreed to a minor league deal in April.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jay Bruce, Jose Reyes, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Wilmer Flores, Yoenis Cespedes
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New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario is congratulated by left fielder Brandon Nimmo after hitting a solo home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario is congratulated by left fielder Brandon Nimmo after hitting a solo home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets (24-19) continue their three-game series against the Marlins (17-30) on Tuesday night at Citi Field at 7:10. 

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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May 18, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto (30) hits an rbi single during the first inning of the game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
May 18, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto (30) hits an rbi single during the first inning of the game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterWhen the Mets opened their series in Philadelphia on May 11, Ron Darling and Gary Cohen spoke on SNY about how if Michael Conforto is hot, the Mets will be hot. In case you don't remember, this was the game where the Mets were losing to the Phillies, 1-0, going into the ninth. Conforto hit a bomb that just missed and landed foul. He then compensated for this by hitting a two-run home run, putting the Mets in front. He sparked a rally, with Devin Mesoraco knocking it out of the park right after him for his first homer after becoming a Met. The Mets, who were reeling at the time, desperately needed that come-from-behind win.

And Conforto needed that big hit, too, as he had hit a slump towards the end of April and beginning of May, to the point where he was kept out of the lineup twice in order to have mental health days off. That is not the Conforto any of us know, or ever want to see. Shortly before the Phillies series -- upon returning from being benched for two days, Conforto led off a Monday game against the Reds, going 2-for-5 with a solo home run, helping his team finally win a game. Not a bad way to break a slump, right?

Since then, Conforto has continued to heat up. Over his last 10 games, Conforto is hitting .333/.366/.590 with 13 hits -- including three home runs -- and seven RBI. To put things into perspective, from April 13 - May 6, Conforto was just 8-for-58, hitting .138. He's improved in a drastic, much-needed way.

Tags: Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Michelle Ioannou
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Mike Piazza (AP)
Mike Piazza (AP)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | 20 years ago today, the Mets made one of the biggest moves in franchise history, acquiring Mike Piazza from the Marlins for Preston Wilson, Ed Yarnall, and Geoff Goetz.

I was a 14-year-old listening to Mike and the Mad Dog on WFAN when I heard the news, and ran back and forth in my house in excitement. It was the biggest moment I had experienced up to that point as a Mets fan, and I -- along with thousands of others -- rushed out to Shea Stadium the next day to see Piazza make his Mets debut against the Brewers. 

Piazza -- a 29-year-old superstar in his prime -- instantly turned the Mets from a nice little team into a legitimate contender. And for the first time since Darryl Strawberry departed following the 1990 season, the Mets had a hitter whose every at-bat was a must-see event. Piazza shined in his Mets debut, but his first huge Mets moment arguably came at the Astrodome on Sept. 16, when his laser of a three-run homer off Billy Wagner in the top of the ninth inning erased a 2-0 deficit. Watch his debut and the huge homer in Houston below...

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Sep 26, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki (26) rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 26, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki (26) rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Mets C Kevin Plawecki will join Triple-A Las Vegas Tuesday and begin a rehab assignment on Wednesday. Plawecki has been out since April 11 due to a hairline fracture in his left hand.

Grip strength in Plawecki's left hand doubled earlier this month, and he began a hitting progression shortly after.

Without Plawecki and Travis d'Arnaud (who is out for the season due to Tommy John surgery), the Mets have been using a combination of Devin Mesoraco and Tomas Nido behind the plate recently. ..

Tags: Kevin Plawecki
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May 15, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Devin Mesoraco (29) celebrates with teammates after scoring against the Toronto Blue Jays on a single by shortstop Amed Rosario (not pictured) during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 15, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Devin Mesoraco (29) celebrates with teammates after scoring against the Toronto Blue Jays on a single by shortstop Amed Rosario (not pictured) during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Devin Mesoraco (elbow) is not in the Mets' lineup against the Marlins on Tuesday night, but is available off the bench.

X-rays on Mets Mesoraco's left elbow came back negative Monday night after he suffered a contusion on a backswing in the Mets' 2-0 win Marlins.

Mesoraco suffered the injury midway through the game, but stayed in. He said after the game that he felt no pain and that he would be fine.

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New York Mets pitcher Anthony Swarzak throws during the third inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)  (Jeff Roberson/AP)
New York Mets pitcher Anthony Swarzak throws during the third inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (Jeff Roberson/AP)

Mets RH reliever Anthony Swarzak (left oblique strain) threw a bullpen session on Tuesday in Port St. Lucie as he continues to work his way back.

The earliest he can return is May 31. 

"He's progressing nicely," manager Mickey Callaway said last week. "We're hoping to get him in games and get him going so he can get back here and help us."

Tags: Anthony Swarzak
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May 2, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Robert Gsellman (65) reacts after allowing four runs during the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 2, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Robert Gsellman (65) reacts after allowing four runs during the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Robert Gsellman has been one of the Mets' most valuable weapons in the bullpen this season, and manager Mickey Callaway believes a lot of that has to do with Gsellman's attitude and desire to learn.

"When I told him and we relayed the message to him that he was gonna be going to the pen, he embraced it from day one," Callaway told SNY's Steve Gelbs prior to Monday night's win over the Marlins at Citi Field. "And you have to do that to have success. And I think that's why he's having success." 

The 24-year-old Gsellman -- like Seth Lugo -- is adjusting to his full-time bullpen role on the fly. And while he is excelling -- with a 2.76 ERA and 1.19 WHIP to go along with 28 strikeouts in 29.1 innings (21 appearances), Gsellman is still learning...

Tags: Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Danny Abriano
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GEICO SportsNite: Andy Martino 00:01:53
Andy Martino joins GEICO SportsNite to discuss Jason Vargas' start and what to expect from him and the rest of the Mets moving forward.

Mets LHP Jason Vargas struck out seven batters in five scoreless innings to earn his first victory of the year in Monday's 2-0 win over the Miami Marlins at Citi Field.

Vargas (1-3) lowered his season ERA by nearly four runs. He entered the game 0-3 with a 13.86 ERA and a 2.68 WHIP, having allowed 19 runs, 26 hits and seven walks in 12 1/3 innings. He hadn't pitched since May 8, the Mets skipping his last turn in the rotation.

But Monday, he threw five complete innings for the first time this year, lowering his ERA down to 9.87.

"The biggest difference wasn't giving up multiple runs each inning," Vargas said, "just making quality pitches and getting some swings and misses ... It was a good night, definitely had a good rhythm going, had good control with the hitters."

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New York Mets catcher Devin Mesoraco runs towards home plate after hitting a home run during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets catcher Devin Mesoraco runs towards home plate after hitting a home run during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports)

X-rays on Mets catcher Devin Mesoraco's left elbow came back negative after he suffered a contusion on a backswing in Monday's 2-0 win over the Miami Marlins.

Mesoraco suffered the injury midway through the game on a backswing, however he stayed in the game. He said he felt no pain.

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