In Part I of this breakdown of Mets pitching depth, we found that at the upper levels of the minors, and for the duration of the 2014 season, it's Noah Syndergaard, and not much else. Again, with Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom already getting a taste of the big leagues, and Syndergaard on the way if his elbow holds up, this is neither cause for concern nor a surprise. The best and most advanced of this group of pitchers can reasonably be expected to reach the big leagues in 2015 with the rest trickling in in the subsequent years.


Advanced Single-AAt this level, we're now talking about guys who can help the Mets not in 2014, but in years down the road, possibly as early as late 2015 for the arms in advanced-A already and 2016 for those in Savannah if they move quickly.

LHP Steven MatzFollowing 6 2/3 shutout innings on Sunday, Matz now has a 1.73 ERA to go along with a 23.9 percent strikeout rate and an 8.5 percent walk rate in advanced Single-A. He's fourth in the Florida State League in ERA, and eighth in strikeout rate. He has not allowed more than two earned runs in any start and after a weird hiccup in late April/early May, when he walked four batters in consecutive starts, he's been lights out and has not walked more than two in any of his last four starts. In those four starts, he's fanned 21 and walked six in 23 2/3 innings while allowing six runs, three earned (1.14 ERA).

Matz has a plus fastball, and the potential for an above-average changeup and an average curveball. He's pretty clearly the Mets' best pitching prospect in A-ball at the moment and given that he turned 23 last Thursday, should earn a promotion to Double-A Binghamton this summer (likely after the first half ends, and he gets to enjoy the FSL All-Star Game on June 14). With a good second half in Binghamton in 2014, he could start 2015 in Triple-A, and make himself an option later in the 2015 season.

RHP Gabriel YnoaThe top-line numbers for Ynoa: 3.88 ERA, 15.9 strikeout percentage and a 5.3 walk percentage in a league where the average ERA is 3.44, with an 18.2 percent strikeout rate and a 8.1 percent walk rate doesn't look like much. However, Ynoa, who turned 21 the day after Memorial Day, has been much, much better over the last few weeks.

IPERAAVGOBPSLGKBBTBFK%BB%
1st 6 Starts30.676.16.331.375.538171114511.77.6
Last 4 Starts251.08.250.265.29222210022.02.0
That's just ridiculous. Ynoa has an average-ish fastball (92-94), a slider and a changeup and he can throw all three for strikes out of a nice, easy delivery. He has a pretty advanced feel for pitching and demonstrated an impressive feel for setting up hitters and locating his stuff in the zone. He's a fly-ball pitcher, when guys just make weak contact against him and when he's on, he does not walk anyone. Given his age, the Mets can afford to let him take his time, but if his next six starts are anything like his last four, my preseason No. 13 prospect should head to north to Double-A this summer as well.

RHP Michael Fulmer A little bit like Ynoa, the top line numbers don't look great, but they appear to camouflage some nice progress. Fulmer is trying to bounce back from a lost 2013 and he's run a 4.70 ERA with 38 K against 14 BB in 46 innings.

In April, he ran an 8.00 ERA while the FSL hit .361/.384/.482 against him in 18 innings. In May, that was down to a 2.57 ERA and a .245/.336/.355 opponents' batting line in 28 innings. Overall, the good news is that he's cut his walk rate from 12.3 percent last year to 6.6 percent this year. The bad news is that in return he's giving up more hits, and more homeruns as the FSL has hit .295/.355/.409 against him this year. He still throws in the low to mid-90s, and get to 95 mph late in his starts. He's a big young guy, who looks like he should have a durable frame, who turned 21 in March. If everything comes together for Fulmer, who has been working on adding a two-seamer to get more ground balls and his changeup, there's still a rotation piece in here. A reliever pumping 95 is a nice downside option too.

Fulmer, my preseason No. 14 prospect, feels like he's on a slower course than Matz or Ynoa. If he figures it out in the second half, he might earn a shot at Binghamton, or the Mets could leave him in St. Lucie to lead a potential FSL playoff chase. Even so, if he starts in Double-A in 2015, he's more of a big league consideration in 2016.

RHP Domingo TapiaThe 22-year-old might have the best fastball in the system this side of Syndergaard, at 96-98 mph with sink and run when it's right. He struggled mightily to throw strikes last year (14 percent walk rate) and has been a little better this year (11.6 percent). Still, it's come with a surprising cost: he's stopped missing bats completely, as he's struck out just 10.5 percent of opponents this year. When he gets rolling, it feels like he's unstoppable, generating grounder after grounder (he has a 12 and two 14 groundball out performances in his last six starts). However, some nights he never finds that rhythm. The story this week was that his good start was helped by his slider. He's been working on the pitch for years (like at least four).

While the Mets can keep Tapia as a starter to facilitate his development, the bet here is that eventually he finds a home in a bullpen and could be helping the big league team by 2016.

RHP Matt KochKoch, the Mets third-round pick in 2012, throws lots and lots of fastballs. Last year, he rode them to a 19.4 percent strikeout rate and a 1.1 percent walk rate (!!!) in Savannah. This year, in the FSL, without another pitch to keep batters honest, he's down to a 11.1 percent strikeout rate and a 4.2 percent walk rate and a 2.70 ERA. He's coming back from a scary injury at the end of last year when he took a line drive off his head, and has recovered nicely. Maybe there's a hard-throwing reliever in here, but it's tough to project an MLB starter in here with a strikeout rate around 10 percent and no average secondary pitch.

Luis CessaThe 22-year-old Cessa has struck out 10 percent of opposing batters through his first eight starts in the FSL on his way to a 3.98 ERA. There's some feel here, but after a nice 2013 in the comfy confines of Historic Grayson Stadium, my preseason No. 24 prospect, looks more like an organizational soldier than a big league starter through the first third of the 2014 season.


Single-A

This year's Savannah Sand Gnats rotation does not have the big fastballs of Fulmer or Tapia, or the potential of Matz or Ynoa, but there are a few potential big league caliber arms lurking a few years away in this rotation.

RHP Miller DiazDiaz is 2 2/3 innings shy of qualifying for the SAL league leaders. If the 22-year had those two innings, he and his 1.93 ERA would be ninth in the league.

Since allowing three runs in four inning in his first start of the year, he's given up just 10 runs, six earned, in his last 38 innings -- a 1.42 ERA. Overall, he's struck out 29.9 percent of opposing htitters and walked 10.2 percent. Including his four hit-by-pitches takes his "free bases" rate of walks+HBP to a heavy 12.4 percent. He's really almost done with the SAL. He works off a fastball that's mostly 92-94, and will touch 95 to go along with a slider and changeup. However, he loses velocity over the course of his outings.

He's listed at a sturdy 6'1", 210, and appears to be in better shape than last year when he was in Brooklyn. Scouts who have seen him recently do not see either the command or changeup to stick as a starter in the big leagues, but there might well be a big league middle reliever in here in a role where he can really cut loose on the velocity in short outings.

RHP Robert GsellmanGsellman, my preseason No. 25 prospect, rolled through April, but had to sit for three weeks at the beginning of May with a hamstring injury.

He has not looked quite as sharp since his return, but he's sitting on a 2.27 ERA with a 19.9 percent strikeout rate and a 5.4 percent walk rate. He won't turn 21 until July and has made nice progress in the last year. Over the weekend, he spotted his fastball well down to both sides of the plate to batters of both hands. His second pitch is a nice changeup that he throws with good armspeed. However, his curveball, which looked better earlier in the year, remains very much a work in progress. he had real trouble throwing it for a strike in this last start. He needed to slow the pitch down into the low-mid 70s, and soften its break to keep it in the strikezone. He sits around 91-94 with his fastball. With a big body at 6'4", 200lbs, Gsellman has a build that looks like it should hold up to a full year in a rotation.

It's a very small leap of imagination - like a better curveball - to see him slotting into the back of a big league rotation, otherwise he's a bullpen candidate.

RHP Kevin McGowanAfter his first three starts this year, the 22-year-old McGowan had a 5.27 ERA and a 11/6 K/BB ratio in 13 2/3 innings. Since then he's allowed almost nothing. In his five starts since April 29, he's given up one run (it was unearned) on 17 hits in 32 1/3 innings. The SAL has hit .152/.228/.161, against him in that time with a 19.5 percent strikeout rate and a 8.9 percent walk rate. At 6'6", McGowan throws his fastball 91-94 to go along with his slider and changeup. Some nights in the SAL, he barely needs his secondary offerings. His strikeout and walk rates are ordinary, but there's a potential big league arm in McGowan's big body. He could be a back of the rotation type or middle reliever if he makes it, although he'll need plenty of work on his secondary stuff. McGowan looks like a potentially nice find out of D-II Franklin Pierce College, in the 13th round last year.

RHP John Michael GantGant, who grew up in Savannah, but moved to Florida before high school, has the enviable task of pitching at home. The 21-year-old has done well, working to a 2.67 ERA with a 20.9 percent strikeout rate and 8.9 percent walk rate. That strikeout rate is down from his 27.6 percent rate in the New York-Penn League last year. Gant is 6'3" and lean with a loose, easy delivery. He has good feel with his changeup and can throw his curveball for strikes.

The problem in projecting a big league role for him comes back to his fastball which is still 88-91. It just might be too soft to hold a big league role. Jeff Paternostro at Amazin' Avenue has a little more, and the same basic conclusion.

RHP Chris FlexenI've been relatively high on the 19-year-old for a while, but he's been a mess in the first half of the year for Savannah: 6.37 ERA, 41 IP, 50 H, 25 BB, 23 K, 5 HR. There's still a good arm in here, but his control has been consistently erratic as he's walked three batters or more in all but one of his eight starts. Forget about locating within the zone, it doesn't matter how hard a pitcher throws if he can't throw strikes (just ask Domingo Tapia). Forget MLB roles or timetables. Nothing matters until his command improves.


I excluded Rob Whalen here, who's been on the disabled list with a hand infection and limited to four starts for the Gnats.

Tags: Analysis, Toby Hyde

Collins, Harvey on series win 00:05:30
Mets manager Terry Collins and starting pitcher Matt Harvey comment on the Mets' 7-2 win in Pittsburgh on Sunday night.

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

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

1) Matt Harvey worked out of several jams by notably registering strikeouts, and he finished with his best start in over a month. The right-hander allowed one run -- a solo homer by Gregory Polanco -- and six hits plus two walks with four strikeouts in six innings. He also singled for his first hit of the season and scored.

2) Jay Bruce went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs, and made a nice catch to end a Pittsburgh threat in the sixth. Asdrubal Cabrera had a two-run double and a single before he was removed during a double-switch in the seventh. 

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matt Harvey
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New York Mets relief pitcher Seth Lugo delivers a pitch against the Washington Nationals during a spring training game at First Data Field. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets relief pitcher Seth Lugo delivers a pitch against the Washington Nationals during a spring training game at First Data Field. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)

Mets RHP Seth Lugo struck out seven batters in six innings with Double-A Binghamton on Sunday in his second rehab start from a partially torn UCL.

Lugo gave up three runs, eight hits and two walks, throwing 55 of 79 pitches for strikes in a game against Hartford. In his first rehab outing on May 18, Lugo threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings for High-A St. Lucie.

The 27-year-old pitcher has been looking to avoid Tommy John surgery by rehabbing an injury he sustained while pitching for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection in April and began his rehab in extended spring training.

In 17 appearances (eight starts) with the Mets last year, Lugo went 5-2 with a 2.67 ERA, striking out 45 batters in 64 innings.

Tags: Seth Lugo
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New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, May 17, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)  (Matt York/AP)
New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, May 17, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) (Matt York/AP)

The Mets (20-27) will try to take the rubber game of their three-game series against the Pirates (23-27) on Sunday at 8:08 p.m. at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The Mets lost to the Pirates in extra innings on Saturday night, 5-4.

Tags: Matt Harvey, Pittsburgh Pirates
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Aug 14, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Aug 14, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Steven Matz (flexor strain) pitched five perfect innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Las Vegas on Sunday.

Matz struck out eight batters and did not walk anyone. 

Matz's latest start comes after he allowed five runs on five hits in four innings for Single-A St. Lucie on Tuesday.

Matz, who turns 26 on Monday, went 1-1 with a 4.26 ERA in four outings during spring training. In 22 starts for the Mets last season, Matz went 9-8 with a 3.40 ERA. 

Tags: Steven Matz
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In this week's Meet the MetsCast, comedian Steve Hofstetter, SiriusXM's Rob Brender and I try our best to be upbeat and positive in our assessment of the Mets, while talking about...

  • The awesomeness of Michael Conforto...
  • How this season is feeling like every Batman movie...
  • Who goes to the bench when Yoenis Cespedes returns...
  • The impact of missing Seth Lugo...
  • The more surprising Rivera, T.J. or Rene...
  • Terry Collins and running a beleaguered bullpen...

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

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Mets legend and Hall of Famer Tom Seaver doesn't follow the team closely anymore, but was irritated when told of Noah Syndergaard's desire to throw harder.

When Bill Madden of the NY Daily News told Seaver that Syndergaard's lat injury might have been caused by working out too much in an effort to increase his velocity, Seaver rolled his eyes.

"What's with these guys and this obsession today with velocity?" he asked Madden. "How about just pitch! Learn how to pitch! Because eventually that velocity will be harder and harder to maintain on a consistent basis."

Seaver then noted that the most important pitch for a pitcher is "strike one."

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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May 27, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
May 27, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Zack Wheeler limited the Pirates to three runs on seven hits in six innings on Saturday night, but was unable to pitch the seventh due to a blister, according to Marc Carig of Newsday.

Wheeler (3.83 ERA) struck out five batters and walked two, throwing 94 pitches on the night. He was dealt a no-decision after the the Mets lost, 5-4, in extra innings.

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May 27, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) looks on from the dugout against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the fourth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
May 27, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) looks on from the dugout against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the fourth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

The Mets (20-27) will wrap up their series with the Pirates (23-27) at 8:08 p.m. on Sunday at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

Matt Harvey (3-3, 5.36 ERA) will face off against 23-year-old Tyler Glasnow (2-3, 6.69 ERA).

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Collins, Wheeler, Reed on loss 00:06:21
Mets manager Terry Collins, starting pitcher Zack Wheeler and closer Addison Reed react to the Mets' 5-4 loss to the Pirates on Saturday.

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

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

1) John Jaso tied the game in the bottom of the ninth and came through with the game-winning single in the 10th. Addison Reed blew his second save of the season and Josh Edgin couldn't get out of a bases-loaded jam that rookie Tyler Pill created in the 10th.

2) Zack Wheeler allowed three runs on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts in six innings. He was removed after developing a blister on his pitching hand.

Tags: Addison Reed, Zack Wheeler
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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes (hamstring) will be shut down until at least Tuesday after experiencing soreness in his right quad while running the bases during a rehab game with St. Lucie on Friday night, the team announced.

The Mets will keep Cespedes in St. Lucie until he is cleared to play again. He was not in the lineup for Single-A St. Lucie on Saturday after going 0-for-2 in his first rehab outing on Friday night.

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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Mets RHP Tyler Pill pitches during a spring training game in 2017 (Credit: USA Today Images)
Mets RHP Tyler Pill pitches during a spring training game in 2017 (Credit: USA Today Images)

Mets RHP Tyler Pill will start Tuesday at Citi Field against the Brewers barring a rainout over the next couple of days, according to Matt Ehalt of The Record.

The soon-to-be 27-year-old was called up on Friday as the Mets sent the struggling Rafael Montero down to Triple-A Las Vegas. 

Tags: Tyler Pill
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The Mets (20-26) will play game two of their three-game set against the Pirates (22-27) on Saturday evening (7:15 p.m. ET) at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The Mets won on Friday evening against Pittsburgh, as Jacob deGrom pitched 8.1 innings and Neil Walker drove in four.

The Mets are 4-6 in their last 10 games and they snapped their six-game losing streak on Friday night. ... They are tied for second in the majors with 132 runs scored this month. ... The Mets are 9-11 on the road so far this season.

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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 (Jason Getz)
(Jason Getz)

Memorial Day typically is the first valid measuring stick for the direction of an MLB team's season. And let's just say the Mets will not be receiving rave reviews come Monday.

Even with an 8-1 win on Friday in Pittsburgh behind a two-homer, four-RBI game from Neil Walker and Jacob deGrom becoming the first starting pitcher with the Mets to exceed seven innings this season, the team possesses an unsightly 20-26 record and has spotted the Nationals a 7½-game lead in the NL East.

If you want the glass-half-full prognosis, Yoenis Cespedes began a rehab assignment on Friday with Class A St. Lucie, going 0-for-2 with a walk and playing six innings in left field, and Steven Matz and Seth Lugo make what may be their final rehab starts on Sunday for Las Vegas and Binghamton, respectively. So impact reinforcements may be on the way.

Yet while the returns of Matz and Lugo should alleviate the need for more than one start from newly promoted Tyler Pill, and should even supply an extra arm to the bullpen, the fact remains that Noah Syndergaard and Jeurys Familia will be sidelined for months and Matt Harvey has yet to resolve his woes. So the reality is the Mets face a serious uphill battle to resurrect their season...

Tags: Addison Reed, Curtis Granderson, Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Matt Harvey, Neil Walker, Noah Syndergaard, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Yoenis Cespedes
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Jacob deGrom throws a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  (AP)
Jacob deGrom throws a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates. (AP)

Jacob deGrom guided the Mets to a 8-2 victory over the Pirates on Friday night, as he recorded 10 strikeouts and gave up just one run on six hits in 8.1 innings of work. 

DeGrom's outing marked the longest by a Mets pitcher so far this season.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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May 20, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports  (Brad Penner)
May 20, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Mets (20-26) will play game two of their three-game set against the Pirates (22-27) on Saturday evening (7:15 p.m. ET) at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. 

Zack Wheeler (3-2, 3.74 ERA) will take the mound for the Mets after giving up two runs on four hits (five walks/five strikeouts) in his last outing against the Angels on May 20. 

Gerrit Cole (2-5, 3.36 ERA) is looking to rebound from a disastrous outing versus the Braves, as he gave up five runs on 10 hits on May 22.

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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Cadillac Post Game Extra 00:03:13
Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez break down the Mets' 8-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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

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

1) Neil Walker homered twice and collected three hits and a season-high four RBIs to pace the Mets' 12-hit attack. Lucas Duda had two hits and drove in two runs for the second straight game. Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce drove in the other runs for New York.

2) Jacob deGrom became the first Mets hurler to pitch into the ninth inning since he tossed a complete game July 16 against the Phillies. DeGrom tossed a season-high 118 pitches over 8 1/3 innings, and allowed one run on five hits and a walk while striking out 10.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Neil Walker
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Terry Collins (10) in the dugout during game against the Padres at Citi Field. Credit Noah K. Murray-USA Today
Terry Collins (10) in the dugout during game against the Padres at Citi Field. Credit Noah K. Murray-USA Today

Terry Collins has the support of Fred Wilpon and the rest of the Mets ownership group and remains "entrenched" as the manager of the team, according to a report from Newsday

Collins' on-field decisions have frustrated some members of the team's front office, but with Wilpon's support, Collins is not on the hot seat at this point. 

The manager is in the final year of his contract.

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New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz throws ages the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz throws ages the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Steven Matz (flexor strain) and Seth Lugo (elbow) will continue their minor league rehab assignments on Sunday with AAA and AA respectively. 

Matz (flexor strain) pitched four innings and allowed five runs and five hits in a rehab start Tuesday night with Triple-A Las Vegas. It is possible he is activated from the disabled list early next week if all goes well over the weekend.

In High-A St. Lucie, Lugo (elbow) allowed seven runs (six earned) and seven hits in three innings during his second rehab start earlier this week.

Tags: Seth Lugo, Steven Matz
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The Mets (19-26) open a three-game series against the Pirates (22-26) on Friday night at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The Mets lost two of three games to the Padres earlier this week at Citi Field.

The Mets are 3-7 over their last 10 games. ... They are fifth in the majors with 124 runs scored in May. ... The Mets are second in the majors with 43 runs scored in the first inning this season. 

Who is starting tonight for the Mets? 

Right-hander Jacob deGrom, (3.56 ERA/3.23 FIP, 1.31 WHIP), who had his start on Thursday skipped due to the threat of inclement weather, will be on the hill on Friday.

deGrom tossed seven scoreless innings while allowing four hits, walking three, and striking out nine last Friday against the Angels.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Mets RHP Tyler Pill pitches during a spring training game in 2017 (Credit: USA Today Images)
Mets RHP Tyler Pill pitches during a spring training game in 2017 (Credit: USA Today Images)

The Mets have promoted RHP Tyler Pill to the big-league roster and sent RHP Rafael Montero back to Triple-A to Las Vegas, the team announced prior to Friday's game.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Pill, who wear No. 56 and be available for Friday's game, RHP Seth Lugo was moved to the 60-Day Disabled List.

Pill, who turns 27 on Monday, was 4-1 with a 1.60 ERA in nine combined starts between Triple-A and Double-A this season. He allowed 51 hits, issued 15 walks and struck out 26 batters.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Rafael Montero, Zack Wheeler
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Conforto's All-Star bid 00:04:24
Steve Gelbs and Anthony DiComo discuss Michael Conforto's success so far this year and why he should be a National League All-Star.

The last time a player was voted to start the All-Star Game despite not appearing on the ballot came in 1974, when Steve Garvey of the Dodgers won a write-in campaign and appeared for the National League at first base. In fact, only one other time in major league history did a write-in candidate win the balloting: outfielder Rico Carty of the Braves in 1970.

So the odds are stacked against Michael Conforto being voted to start for the National League in Miami on July 11, when the 88th All-Star Game comes to Marlins Park.

Tags: Michael Conforto
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Paul Sewald (51) pitches against the San Diego Padres during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Adam Hunger-USA Today
Paul Sewald (51) pitches against the San Diego Padres during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Adam Hunger-USA Today

Mets rookie RHP Paul Sewald continued his stellar pitching Thursday night, throwing three scoreless innings.

Sewald, who turns 27 today, entered in the top of the fourth inning after starting pitcher Rafael Montero was pulled from the game. Sewald allowed just one hit and one walk, while racking up four strikeouts in three innings. 

Tags: Addison Reed, Jeurys Familia, Josh Edgin, Seth Lugo
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Alderson on frustrating season 00:03:36
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson discusses how he is coping with the team's current struggles with health and consistency.

The way Terry Collins has been handling the bullpen is frustrating some people in the team's front office, sources recently told NY Post reporter Joel Sherman.

Sherman's colleague, Mike Puma, was told by team sources that Sandy Alderson has specifically been irked by...

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Matt Harvey, TJ Rivera
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Nelson Figueroa on Montero nod 00:01:05
SNY Mets analyst Nelson Figueroa discusses Terry Collins' decision to start Rafael Montero in place of Jacob deGrom on Thursday night.

After being notified three and a half hours before the game that he would be starting, Rafael Montero struggled mightily against the Padres, picking up his fourth loss of the season.

Montero threw 87 pitches in only three innings, allowing three runs and five hits.

The 26-year old walked three batters, all in the first inning, which helped lead to San Diego jumping out to an early 2-0 lead.

Tags: Rafael Montero
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Terry Collins (10) in the dugout during game against the Padres at Citi Field. Credit Noah K. Murray-USA Today
Terry Collins (10) in the dugout during game against the Padres at Citi Field. Credit Noah K. Murray-USA Today

The Mets were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position Thursday night and managed to score only three runs against the last-place Padres and Dinelson Lamet, who was making his big-league debut.

Lamet allowed just one run and three hits in five innings, while racking up eight strikeouts in his debut, including three against Michael Conforto.

"It's definitely frustrating," Conforto said after the game about the team's production.

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This season, thanks to Citi, each time the home run apple goes up at Citi Field, another step is taken in the fight against childhood hunger.

For each Mets home run at Citi Field this season, Citi has pledged to donate $2,000 to No Kid Hungry. Every dollar donated provides 10 healthy meals, meaning each Citi donation provides up to 20,000 meals to kids in need in NYC and throughout the U.S. Learn more at NoKidHungry.org/onedollar.

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Collins, Conforto on Mets' loss 00:05:11
Mets manager Terry Collins and outfielder Michael Conforto share their thoughts on the Mets' 4-3 loss to the Padres in the series finale.

The Mets (19-26) travel to Pittsburgh and begin a three-game series Friday night with the Pirates (22-26) at PNC Park at 7:10 p.m.

Jacob deGrom (3-1, 4.56) will be pitching with an extra day of rest after the Mets bumped his start a day to avoid a possible rain-shortened outing on Thursday. In his last start, he allowed no runs on four hits in seven innings against the Angels...

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Cadillac Post Game Extra: 5/25 00:03:43
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling break down the Mets' 4-3 loss to the Padres.

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

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

1) Rafael Montero labored his way through 87 pitches in three innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He walked four batters, including three in the first inning. Paul Sewald and Josh Edgin combined to pitch five scoreless innings in relief, but Addison Reed allowed the Padres to score an insurance run in the ninth inning.

2) Lucas Duda hit a solo home run in the second inning to put the Mets on the board, then drove in the team's second run with an RBI single in the eighth. Michael Conforto tied his career-high with four strikeouts, but came through on a base hit in the ninth inning to extend his hitting streak to ten games.

Tags: Rafael Montero
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The Mets (19-25) will finish their three-game series against the Padres (17-31) on Thursday night at Citi Field. The series is split as the Padres won last night, 6-5, thanks to a go-ahead homer in the eighth by Hunter Renfroe. 

Michael Conforto has reached base safely in eight of his 10 plate appearance this series which includes two home runs. This month, he leads the NL in slugging percentage (.750), extra-base hits (15), and is tied for most runs scored (24). 

Who is starting tonight for the Mets? 

Right-hander Rafael Montero, (8.10 ERA/5.38 FIP, 2.52 WHIP), who is filling in for Jacob deGrom. With the threat of inclement weather, the Mets pushed deGrom's start back to Friday.

Tags: Rafael Montero
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The Mets are pushing back Jacob deGrom's start to Friday due to anticipated inclement weather and will have Rafael Montero start on Thursday night against the Padres at Citi Field, manager Terry Collins said.

It has been raining in New York City for the majority of Thursday, and the forecast calls for rain on and off during the game, which is scheduled to start at 7:10 p.m.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Rafael Montero, Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler
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 (Wilfredo Lee/AP)
(Wilfredo Lee/AP)

 

The Mets activated SS Asdrubal Cabrera (thumb) from the 10-day DL prior to Thursday's game and optioned C Kevin Plawecki to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Cabrera went 2-for-5 in a rehab game Wednesday night for Double-A Binghamton.

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jose Reyes
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May 2, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) hits a home run against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Brett Davis)
May 2, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) hits a home run against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

Mets outfielder Jay Bruce is back in the lineup Thursday after missing Wednesday's game due to back tightness.

He left Tuesday night's game against the Padres after the bottom of the fifth due to the back issue.

"We have enough guys hurt right now, so being cautious I think is the right move," Bruce said about sitting out on Wednesday. "I fully expect to be back in there tomorrow." 

Bruce said Monday's off-day and "not doing too much" might have contributed to his back tightening up on him.

Tags: Jay Bruce
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SNY's Steve Gelbs and Anthony DiComo of MLB.com were live from Citi Field today providing the latest updates on the Mets and answering questions from fans.

Click below to watch.

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Sandy Alderson is surrounded by reporters during the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings (Credit: Manning-USA TODAY Sports)
Sandy Alderson is surrounded by reporters during the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings (Credit: Manning-USA TODAY Sports)

Based on what happened before Wednesday's game, it appears the team's management is not letting Terry Collins talk to reporters about the player injuries.

In response to the directive, a source the NY Post's Ken Davidoff that Collins was "downright irate."

Collins was more or less vague Wednesday when asked about Jay Bruce, who was out of the starting lineup due to a back issue that pulled him from a game the night before.

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Blevins on his bullpen role 00:04:03
Steve Gelbs sits down with Jerry Blevins to discuss his recent success despite his heavy workload.

The bullpen and the way Terry Collins is handling it is such a collective mess right now, it's actually difficult to write about in a coherent and constructive manner.

The whole situation is mind numbing.

Last night, Collins and his team held a 5-3 lead heading into the seventh inning, but the bullpen faltered late, blew the lead and the game and the Mets lost, 6-5, to the Padres.

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JR Sport Brief: Vote Conforto! 00:01:34
In the latest installment of JR Sport Brief on SNY.tv, JR champions the effort to vote Mets OF Michael Conforto into the All-Star Game

Michael Conforto went 2-for-3 with two walks, a run scored, and an RBI during Wednesday's loss against the Padres after hitting two home runs during Tuesday night's 9-3 win.

Conforto is now one home run shy of Freddie Freeman and Bryce Harper, who lead the National League with 14 home runs. He is also fourth in OPS...

Tags: Michael Conforto
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Collins, Gsellman on loss 00:04:22
Manager Terry Collins and pitcher Robert Gsellman reflect on the Mets' disappointing 6-5 loss.

Tonight at 7:10 pm, the Mets (19-25) and Padres (17-32) conclude a three-game series at Citi Field. 

Jacob deGrom (3-1, 3.56 ERA) will start for the Mets after throwing seven shutout innings against the Angels in his previous start.

For the Padres, Dinelson Lamet will make his big league debut. He was 3-2 with a 3.23 ERA in eight starts with San Diego's Triple-A affiliate in the Pacific Coast League.

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Cadillac Post Game Extra: 5/24 00:03:40
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling break down the Mets' 6-5 loss to the Padres.

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

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

1) The Mets blew a 5-1 lead to the lowest scoring team in the National League. Josh Smoker allowed a monstrous go-ahead home run to Hunter Renfroe leading off the eighth inning. It was the second straight game Smoker surrendered a home run to the first batter he faced.

2) New York led 5-3 with two outs and nobody on in the seventh, but Fernando Salas allowed a single and consecutive walks to load the bases. Neil Ramirez yielded a game-tying single to Wil Myers, who missed a grand slam by inches. 

Tags: Robert Gsellman, Wilmer Flores
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May 23, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) in the dugout during game against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
May 23, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) in the dugout during game against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Mets manager Terry Collins was vague Wednesday when asked about the timetables regarding injured players on the team. 

While Collins and the team had previously been open with discussing injuries, they have recently taken an approach where they do not give a timeline for a player's return. 

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The Mets (19-24) play Game 2 of a three-game series against the Padres (16-31) on Wednesday night at Citi Field. The Mets defeated the Padres last night, 9-3.

Michael Conforto became the first Mets player to record three RBI in the first inning last night after launching a leadoff homer and picking up a two-RBI single. He hit another solo shot in the fourth inning, finishing the day 3-for-4 with a career-high four RBI and two runs scored. 

He has five home runs and 10 RBI in his last eight games. 

Who is starting tonight for the Mets? 

Right-hander Robert Gsellman, (6.75 ERA/4.56 FIP, 1.73 WHIP), who is back in the rotation after being skipped last week. Gsellman was struggling as a starter, which prompted his move to the bullpen where he has made two appearances. He has thrown three total innings in two appearances allowing one earned run on two hits while striking out three and walking one. 

Tags: Robert Gsellman
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New York Mets starting pitcher Tommy Milone pitches during the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Citi Field. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Tommy Milone pitches during the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Citi Field. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports)

LHP Tommy Milone has a sprained left knee and has been placed on the 10-day disabled list, the team announced Wednesday.

LHP Josh Smoker will likely make his first Major League start in Milone's place on Saturday, although RHP Rafael Montero is also a possibility, reports Newsday's Marc Carig

Tags: Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, San Diego Padres, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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Apr 13, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) triples in three runs in the second inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Apr 13, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) triples in three runs in the second inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Travis d'Arnaud has been activated off the disabled list after pitcher Tommy Milone landed on the DL with a sprained left knee, the team announced Wednesday. 

D'Arnaud, who had been dealing with a bone bruise, went 0-for-4 and caught nine innings for Triple-A Las Vegas during his rehab assignment on Tuesday night.

Tags: Rene Rivera, Travis d'Arnaud
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In his fourth season in the upper levels of the Mets minor-league system, things are finally clicking for 26-year-old right-hander Tyler Pill.

Pill, a fourth-round pick in 2011 out of Cal State Fullerton, opened the season without allowing an earned run in his first 34 1/3 innings between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas.

After limiting New Orleans to one run in 6 1/3 innings on Sunday, Pill now boasts a Pacific Coast League-leading 1.96 ERA.

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Rosario gets ready for Mets 00:00:32
SNY checks in with New York Mets shortstop prospect Amed Rosario, as he gets ready for the big leagues at Triple-A in Las Vegas.

On a team filled with young talent, Mets SS prospect Amed Rosario stands out - not just for his incredible talent, but for the pure joy he has playing the game.

"If you didn't know anything about baseball and were watching this game, I'm pretty sure you would know who the best player on the field is," a veteran American League scout told me this past weekend as we watched Rosario play in a game for Triple-A Las Vegas.

"It's the kid at short," he added. "And, he just happens to be the youngest guy out there."

Rosario, 21, was recently ranked the fifth-best prospect in baseball by Baseball America, and the best prospect in baseball by ESPN.com's Keith Law.

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Jeep Pitchcast: Chacin struggles 00:00:24
Jeep Pitchcast examines Jhoulys Chacin's inability to execute his pitches against the Mets.

Jeep Pitchcast examines Jhoulys Chacin's inability to execute his pitches against the Mets. 

"In honor of Matthew Broderick, this was Jhouly's Chacin's day off today," SNY's Ron Darling said. "He got nickeled-and-dimed, he got hit out of the ballpark."

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Matt Harvey's mechanics 00:03:22
Nelson Figueroa and Gary Apple break down some of Matt Harvey's mechanical issues on the mound and discuss how they can be addressed.

Despite being staked early to a 7-0 lead, Matt Harvey (3-3) labored through 103 pitches and five innings Tuesday against the Padres, though he still managed to get his first win since April 11.

"Obviously, he wasn't real sharp tonight," Terry Collins said after the game. "He just didn't have his command. It wasn't very good. His velocity was down. ... He had to work hard to get through the fifth inning and he did that. There is a space for that in the process of getting better. There's nothing wrong with it, being able to go out there and battle your butt off and keep your team in the game."

It was Harvey's first time pitching in Citi Field since being suspended three games on May 6 for missing a Saturday afternoon game against the Giants. He was greeted with a mix of unenthusiastic cheers and jeers by the roughly 20,000 fans in attendance.

Tags: Matt Harvey, Matthew Cerrone
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This season, during every Mets home game on SNY, you can enter for a chance to win Mets tickets and be featured as the Mets Trivia Drive contestant live on SNY.

Just follow @SNYtv on Twitter and during the 5th inning look for the SNY 5th Inning Sweepstakes Presented by your Local Ford Dealers question.

Tweet your answer to @SNYtv using #SNYFord5thSweepstakes to be automatically entered to win.

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Collins, Conforto, Harvey on win 00:06:25
Terry Collins, Michael Conforto and Matt Harvey discuss the team's seven-run eruption in the first inning and Harvey's shaky outing.

The Mets (19-24) continue their series against the Padres (16-31) tonight at Citi Field.

Robert Gsellman (2-3, 7.12 ERA, 1.73 WHIP) will start for the Mets for the first time since allowing six runs in a start against the Brewers.

Jarred Cosart (0-1, 2.70 ERA, 1.50 WHIP) will make his fourth start and second for the Padres since returning from a month-long stint on the disabled list with a strained hamstring.

Tags: Matt Harvey, San Diego Padres, Steven Matz
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Cadillac Post Game Extra: 5/23 00:05:02
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling recap the Mets' 9-3 win over the Padres.

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

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

1) The Mets scored seven runs on eight hits in the first inning, bookended by Michael Conforto's leadoff homer and two-run single. Curtis Granderson and Wilmer Flores had a sacrifice fly and RBI single, respectively, and Lucas Duda hit a two-run double. Conforto went deep again in the fourth and Duda added an RBI single in the seventh.

2) Conforto notched his second multi-homer game of the season and drove in a career-high four runs. He and Duda both finished 3-for-4, while Flores and Neil Walker had two hits apiece.

Tags: Lucas Duda, Matt Harvey, Michael Conforto
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