Kevin asks:

I saw that Havens rode the pine well this past weekend (sarcasm intended). Where is the organizations stance with him?

Since his rough first 30 days after injury return, he seems to hae performed o.k., but he still is in AA and turns 26 this fall.

Is there any value in promoting him to AAA and call him up when rosters expand under a "sink or swim" mentality to see what they have moving forward?

Havens has not played since last Thursday while dealing with a stiff back.

I can't speak for the "organization," with respect to Havens. I can speak for myself. The former first-round pick is hitting .234/.366/.374 overall with 13 doubles, nine homers, 56 walks and 97 strikeouts in 84 games in AA as a 25 year-old. Sure, the walks are nice, but the 28% strikeout rate for a player who is old for AAA is a monster-sized red flag. On its face, that just does not deserve a big league look. Lets look deeper.

Kevin is right however, that Havens has been better in the last two and a half months. In his first 27 games in April and May he hit a punchless .153/.318/.235. Since June 1, in his last 57 games, he's hit a much more productive .269/.388/.433. His extra-base hit rate is up, but even in his "good" period, he's fanned at a 28% rate and run a .368 batting average on balls in play. That won't work in the big leagues.

As far as "sink or swim" for Havens now, I just do not see a point. Sure, he's on the 40-man roster already, so they would not need to make a roster move to add him. The team will not learn that much more about him in four weeks of big league games and there is no point in taking away playing time from Daniel Murphy to play a guy two years younger, who might never be as good as Murphy.

Believe it or not, Murphys has actually been an above average offensive performer at second base. His .296/.339/.419 line with 33 doubles is good enough for a 108 wRC+, good enough for eighth among all MLB second basemen. wRC+ adjusts for ballpark and 100 is league average. Sure, there are holes in Murphy's game. He  gives away some of that value defensively, he doesn't walk much (6.1% of the time) and he does not hit  the ball over the wall (four HR in 2012). On the other hand, he makes lots of good contact as his 12% strikeout proves.

You could argue that this is the peak of the 27-year old Murphy's value. That could well be true, but Havens is not a better player now, and the odds are not particularly strong that he'll ever be a better big leaguer hitter and overall second baseman than Murphy.

The 2012 Mets have had many problems, and the front office will have to work very hard to avoid a very similar set of  issues on the 2013 Mets. Second base is not particularly high on the list. Murphy is no star, but he's a capable enough Major League player. Transferring a September's worth of playing time from Murphy to Havens does neither player nor the Mets any short-term or long-term gain.

Tags: Mailbag, Reese Havens, Toby Hyde

Cleveland Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway (Kevin Sousa)
Cleveland Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway (Kevin Sousa)

The Mets will introduce 42-year-old Mickey Callaway as the 21st manager in team history during a press conference at Citi Field on Monday at 4 p.m.

Callaway beat out Kevin Long, Joe McEwing, and Manny Acta for the job.

Here are our thoughts on Callaway, who will inherit a team that expects to rebound from an extremely disappointing 2017 season and contend in 2018...

Tags: 2017 Mets Manager Search
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Rightfully so, Sandy Alderson and the Mets are receiving a lot of praise -- from reporters, talking heads and fans -- for reportedly hiring Mickey Callaway to be the team's next manager. 

To get my take on Callaway, which is similarly positive to what most everyone else is saying, check out my reaction during last night's news post on MetsBlog by clicking here!

To read opinions and analysis of Callaway, check out Joel Sherman's article for the NY Post, Roger Cormier's post for Good Fundies, and David Lennon's report for Newsday

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BNNY: Mets hire Mickey Callaway 00:04:00
Tonight on Baseball Night in New York, MLB Insider Anthony McCarron shares his thoughts on the addition of Mickey Callaway to the Mets.

Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway reportedly accepted an offer to become the Mets' next manager, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.

Callaway, who has been with Cleveland since 2013, will sign a three-year deal once it's finalized, according to FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman.

Callaway helped develop star pitchers Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar in his tenure with the Indians and would inherit a Mets pitching staff that includes Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGromSteven Matz and Matt Harvey.

Tags: 2017 Mets Manager Search
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In this week's Meet the MetsCast, MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone, comedian Steve Hofstetter, and SiriusXM's Rob Brender break down Sandy Alderson's search for a new manager, after which they discuss raiding the Marlins and joy and pain of rooting for Justin Turner...

To listen to the show, click play below or use this link to download...

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Oct 21, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees players look on from the dugout in the ninth inning during game seven of the 2017 ALCS. (Thomas Shea)
Oct 21, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees players look on from the dugout in the ninth inning during game seven of the 2017 ALCS. (Thomas Shea)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterA little over a week ago, Mets fans basked in the glory of the Nationals losing, or as many put it, still never having won a playoff series. Now Mets fans get to bask in another sort of glory -- the Yankees losing to the Astros and not making it to another World Series.

Thank goodness, right? I know I couldn't take seeing one more tweet from Yankees fans about how they were the underdogs or how they've suffered for eight years. I've pretty much suffered my entire life by being a Mets fan, but I'm so sorry you guys have gone through this eight year "rough patch."

Naturally, Mets fans rejoiced as the Astros won Saturday night, and #MetsTwitter did not fail. As you can imagine, there were a lot of "thumbs up" tweets -- a not-so-subtle reaction to the Yankees losing, in response to their "thumbs down" rallying cry that held strong throughout the playoffs. Besides thumbs up tweets, here's what you may have missed -- just a glimpse at some of the tweets from Mets fans last night...

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Apr. 2, 2008; Red Sox shortstop Alex Cora at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland. Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
Apr. 2, 2008; Red Sox shortstop Alex Cora at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland. Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

The Red Sox will name Astros bench coach Alex Cora as their team's new manager once Houston's season is over, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, citing sources.

The Mets interviewed Cora earlier this week.

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The Sandy Bunch: Mickey Callaway 00:00:37
SNY.tv takes a look at Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway as a candidate to be the next Mets manager.

This post was originally publised October 9, 2017...

For a team whose pitching staff collapsed as epically as the Mets' did in 2017, it makes sense to consider bringing in a manager with pitching expertise. And after helping the Indians put together one of the best group of arms in baseball, that's one metric Mickey Callaway might very well lead the league in.

Since taking on the role of pitching coach in Cleveland in 2013, the pitching staff there made a complete 180. After posting a major league worst ERA in 2012, the Indians have led the American League in ERA every year since then and have put up MLB-best numbers in strikeouts and wins above replacement.

Under Callaway's tutelage, they have developed stars in Danny Salazar, Carlos Carrasco, and Corey Kluber, who may be looking at his second Cy Young Award this year. In many ways, the Indians have reached the heights of pitching that the Mets were expected to, and Callaway receives a lot of the credit. It's also noteworthy that, despite throwing hard, they have generally stayed healthy...

Tags: 2017 Mets Manager Search, Maggie Wiggin
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Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy (20) hits a triple in the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports)
Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy (20) hits a triple in the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports)

Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy had microfracture surgery on his right knee Friday, the team announced.

The Nationals did not provide a timeline for his injury but said Murphy will begin to rehab immediately following the completion of the successful surgery. In the team release, the Nationals said the surgery was to repair articular cartilage in the second baseman's knee.

Tags: Washington Nationals
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The Sandy Bunch: Kevin Long 00:00:36
SNY.tv takes a look at Mets hitting coach Kevin Long as a candidate to be the next Mets manager.

Mets hitting coach Kevin Long and Mariners third base coach Manny Acta are the current frontrunners to be manage of the Mets, according to a report Friday afternoon by the NY Post's Joel Sherman.

If this is accurate, I hope Long gets the job. 

According to Sherman, the Mets hope to make a final decision before the start of the World Series, which begins Tuesday, Oct. 24.

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Aug 7, 2016; Detroit: Mets manager Terry Collins (10) takes the ball to relieve relief pitcher Jerry Blevins (39) in the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 7, 2016; Detroit: Mets manager Terry Collins (10) takes the ball to relieve relief pitcher Jerry Blevins (39) in the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets will pick up LH reliever Jerry Blevins' $7 million option for the 2018 season, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

"I would love to come back to New York," Blevins recently told MMO's Matthew Brownstein. "I feel like we have a lot to prove and I think we'll play that underdog role a lot better than we do playing the favorites. Everybody kind of needs a chip on their shoulder. ... I hope to be a part of it."

Blevins, 34, had a 2.94 ERA (3.12 FIP) and 1.36 WHIP with 69 strikeouts in 49.0 innings (75 games) this past season.

He has a 2.72 ERA (3.01 FIP) and 1.22 WHIP with 125 strikeouts in 96.0 innings (155 games) for the Mets from 2015-2017.

Tags: Addison Reed, Jerry Blevins
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Dusty Baker is out as manager of the Nationals, the team announced on Friday.

"The contracts for the Major League coaching staff have also expired," the team said in a statement. "The Nationals' search for a new manager will begin immediately, and we will work with that person to build his coaching staff."

Baker, 68, served as manager from 2016 to 2017, with the Nationals being eliminated in the NLDS both seasons.

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Oct 14, 2008; Cora (left), Dustin Pedroia (center) and Kevin Youkilis (20) during the seventh inning of game four of the ALCS at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-US PRESSWIRE
Oct 14, 2008; Cora (left), Dustin Pedroia (center) and Kevin Youkilis (20) during the seventh inning of game four of the ALCS at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-US PRESSWIRE

In addition to the Mets, the Red Sox are also actively searching for a new manager and may only be considering three candidates.

According to local and national reports, Astros bench coach Alex Cora is considered the frontrunner.

The Sox reportedly interviewed Cora and former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus this past weekend in New York. They interviewed D-backs bench coach and former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire earlier today, according to the Boston Herald.

Before making a final decision, Boston is expected to conduct a second round of interviews, NBCSports.com's Evan Drellich tweeted earlier this week.

Tags: 2017 Mets Manager Search
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Mets GM Sandy Alderson and his former manager with the Oakland A's, Tony La Russa. Credit: USA Today Images
Mets GM Sandy Alderson and his former manager with the Oakland A's, Tony La Russa. Credit: USA Today Images

Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa announced Wednesday that he is stepping down from his front office position with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

He is already receiving calls from interested organizations that would like to work with him, La Russa told reporters at a press conference in Arizona.

"The Diamondbacks are in great hands." However, he added, "It's time to move on."

Sandy Alderson hired La Russa to manage the A's in 1983. Alderson, as the team's GM, was also responsible for firing La Russa roughly a decade later. The duo won nearly 800 games, three pennants, and one World Championship together in Oakland. So, when hearing about La Russa leaving Arizona, and knowing the Mets are in a bit of a leadership transition, my first thought was wondering if these two have interest in reconnecting...

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Oct 9, 2017; Frazier during game four of the 2017 ALDS at Yankee Stadium. Credit: Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 9, 2017; Frazier during game four of the 2017 ALDS at Yankee Stadium. Credit: Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

In an article for the NY Post, Joel Sherman argues that Sandy Alderson should aim to sign 3B Todd Frazier, who is set to become a free agent at the end of this season.

In 66 regular season games after being acquired by the Yankees this season, Frazier hit just .222, but had a .365 OBP with 11 HR and 32 RBI. He had 16 home runs with the White Sox before the trade, prior to which he hit just .207. Frazier hit .235/.316/.294 in the Yankees' five-game ALDS victory over the Indians, but is hitting .333/.385/.667 so far in the ALCS against the Astros.

According to his former manager with the Reds, Bryan Price, Frazier's value to a team has as much to do with what he brings off field as it does with what he can do between the lines.

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Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura looks on before the game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. (Jeffrey Becker/USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura looks on before the game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. (Jeffrey Becker/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets have removed former White Sox manager Robin Ventura from consideration for their managerial opening after he revealed he is not interested in managing, according to the NY Post.

"I'm not pursuing any of the openings," Ventura told the Post by text message.

Tags: 2017 Mets Manager Search
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New York Mets third baseman Robin Ventura (RVR Photos)
New York Mets third baseman Robin Ventura (RVR Photos)

Robin Ventura's hit his walkoff "Grand Slam Single" against the Braves in Game 5 of the NLCS at Shea Stadium on today's date in 1999.

His teammates mobbed Ventura at second base, resulting in the home run counting as a single and the Mets winning, 4-3 to force the series back to Atlanta for Game 6.

Click below for the video

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Marlins OF Giancarlo Stanton, owner Derek Jeter and 2B Dee Gordon. Credit: USA Today Sports
Marlins OF Giancarlo Stanton, owner Derek Jeter and 2B Dee Gordon. Credit: USA Today Sports

Marlins owners Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman will try this winter to cut the team's payroll by as much as $65 million, a source recently told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.

Jeter, Sherman, and their ownership group recently agreed to pay $1.2 billion to buy the Marlins, who are expected to lose roughly $50 million in revenue next year, Spencer reports.

"They told us that they're prepared to dump," a rival executive recently told B/R's Scott Miller. "They're working on it and talking to clubs."

The Brewers ended 2017 with the lowest payroll at roughly $85 million, according to Spotrac.

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July 21, 2017: Michael Conforto hits at Citi Field. Credit: Penner - USA Today Sports
July 21, 2017: Michael Conforto hits at Citi Field. Credit: Penner - USA Today Sports

Michael Conforto is doing well and experiencing no set backs during his recovery from shoulder surgery, agent Scott Boras said Monday, according to the NY Post's Kevin Kernan.

In late September, Conforto told reporters that he expects to return to baseball activities next March, at which point the surgically repaired posterior capsule in his right shoulder will be fully healed.

"It's not a set deadline," he added. "When I see the doctor again in a couple of weeks, we'll see where I'm at, see where my range of motion is, see where the strength is and kind of go from there."

Tags: Michael Conforto
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Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus looks on during the ninth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. (Jeffrey Becker/USA TODAY Sports)
Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus looks on during the ninth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. (Jeffrey Becker/USA TODAY Sports)

Former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus declined to interview for the Mets' managerial job, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

In their search to find a new manager, the Mets talked at least once with Ausmus, Heyman reported last week.

Ausmus interviewed for the Red Sox' managerial opening on Monday, reports Chad Jennings of the Boston Herald. The Phillies are also reportedly interested in Ausmus.

Tags: 2017 Mets Manager Search
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Mar 6, 2017; Guillorme (77) fields a double during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium (Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)
Mar 6, 2017; Guillorme (77) fields a double during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium (Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)

Mets infield prospect Luis Guillorme was drafted by the Mets in 2013, prior to which he was already considered an outstanding fielder.

This year during the Arizona Fall League, which started last week, Guillorme hopes to put the spotlight on his hitting, he recently told Baseball American's Josh Norris.

"The main thing is being consistent with my swing," he told Norris. "I'm trying to drive the ball... be a little quieter with my body and my hands and making sure the hands come through before the body does. That's the main thing I've been working on since the season ended."

In two games during the AFL, Guillorme has four hits during eight at bats. He has struck out once.

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New York Mets former pitcher Tom Seaver poses for a photo as he works in the fields of his vineyard in Calistoga. (Kelley L Cox)
New York Mets former pitcher Tom Seaver poses for a photo as he works in the fields of his vineyard in Calistoga. (Kelley L Cox)

Legendary Mets pitcher and Hall of Famer Tom Seaver's home and vineyards are fine after being threatened by the California wildfires.

Seaver was forced to flee his home in Calistoga, California last Wednesday due to the wildfires.

"We literally ran like hell," Seaver told the NY Daily News on Monday.

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Oct 15, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner (Robert Hanashiro)
Oct 15, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner (Robert Hanashiro)

Justin Turner hit a game-winning, three-run homer against the Cubs in the ninth inning of Game 2 of the NLCS on Sunday night in Los Angeles as the Dodgers moved within two wins of their first World Series appearance since 1988.

Turner's home run was the first walkoff hit by a Dodger in the postseason since Kirk Gibson's walkoff homer against Dennis Eckersley and the A's in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.

Matthew Cerrone (Twitter | Instagram | About Me)Sandy Alderson's biggest mistakes since taking over as GM continue to be watching Daniel Murphy sign with the Nationals and non-tendering Turner...

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The Amazin' Life: Next Year 00:03:07
On the season finale of The Amazin' Life, presented by Coca-Cola, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling pitch "Keith and Ron" ideas for 2018!

For more of The Amazin' Life presented by Coca-Cola, CLICK HERE.

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Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterSaying that Mets fans were happy to see the Nationals lose is an understatement. The thought alone of both the Yankees and Nats going on to the LCS drove Mets fans to the brink of despair, and the relief that this didn't become a reality is a common feeling amongst Mets fans.

Naturally, Mets fans didn't fail when providing their reactions to the Nationals losing. It was a beautiful thing to be in the midst of on Twitter right after Bryce Harper struck out for the final out of Game 5, or in my case, a beautiful thing to wake up to, as I'm currently writing this while out of the country.

Click below for a glimpse at some of the gems...

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Feb., 2017: David Wright and Jose Reyes taking infield at Tradition Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Feb., 2017: David Wright and Jose Reyes taking infield at Tradition Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

Mets 3B David Wright recently underwent a laminotomy procedure in Los Angeles to help reduce pain in his lower back, the team announced in early October.

The minimally invasive procedure, which is designed to relieve pressure on a compressed nerve, should greatly reduce his pain and improve his chances of getting back on field, Dr. Andrew Hecht recently told Abbey Mastracco of NJ.com.

According to Hecht, an orthopedic surgeon and chief of spine surgery for the Mount Sinai Health System, what Wright had done is a straightforward procedure and has a high success rate.

"We see this quite a bit in athletes and many of them have no symptoms at all, but occasionally you see someone symptomatic, like David Wright," Dr. Hecht explained to Mastracco. "Sometimes, despite all of the best efforts of the greatest doctors, somebody doesn't get better with conservative treatment," and surgery is needed.

Tags: David Wright
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Top catching prospect Tomas Nido, infield prospect Luis Guillorme, and knuckleballer Mickey Jannis are among the Mets players participating in the Arizona Fall League.

The full list of Mets players participating -- all with the Scottsdale Scorpions -- can be viewed here.

The 23-year-old Nido, who made his Mets debut this season, has gone 2-for-7 with a homer in two AFL games.

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Oct 6, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway (13) visits the mound against the New York Yankees during the first inning in game two of the 2017 ALDS at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports (Ken Blaze)
Oct 6, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway (13) visits the mound against the New York Yankees during the first inning in game two of the 2017 ALDS at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports (Ken Blaze)

The Mets are showing interest in Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway as a candidate for their managerial opening, sources told Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Callaway is also receiving interest from the Phillies, who he will interview with for their managerial opening, according to Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com.

The 42-year-old Callaway became the Indians' pitching coach in 2013 in what was his first major league coaching job. Before moving into that role, he was the team's minor league coordinator.

 

Tags: 2017 Mets Manager Search
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