Mets Hot Stove: Mets' rotation 00:05:07
The Mets Hot Stove panel discusses which veteran free agent starting pitcher is best suited to fill out the Mets' rotation.

The Mets are beginning to target second-tier, free agent starting pitchers, such as Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb, and Jason Vargas, SNY contributor and former GM Jim Duquette said Thursday on Mets Hot Stove.

"I'm told that they're starting to target an innings-eater, just because of the way the market has come back," Duquette said.

In early-September, Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters he will look to add a reliable, veteran, starting pitcher to his rotation for next season...

"I think if we were able to find a Bartolo Colon-type, who fits in the three-four spot and semi-guarantees 180-200 innings, that would probably be something that would stabilize our rotation," he explained. "So, yes, I think it's something we'll look at."

Alderson backed off these comments in December and January, downplaying his need to add to the rotation. Earlier this week during a public event at Citi Field, he inched back to his previous position, saying he was open to considering adding a starting pitcher or reliever. However, he made it sound like he would prefer to give a minor-league contract instead of a guaranteed deal. Duquette's information would suggest otherwise...



I hope Duquette's information is accurate, because I've been repeatedly advocating for Alderson to pass on acquiring an infielder and instead use his remaining $10-15 million to sign a stable, experienced, bonafide No. 3 starting pitcher. The fact is, injuries happen. And, while the Mets have taken action in management to help reduce the damage, injuries will always be unavoidable.

At the same time, despite the awesomeness of Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, no one knows what to expect this season from Matt Harvey, Steven MatzZack Wheeler, Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman. There is reason to believe all seven men will pitch to their potential, but it's also reasonable to think most of them will struggle and again force Alderson to spend six months scrambling to fill in his rotation.

Or, the Mets could simply sign Cobb or Lynn now and hit 2018 with three reliable arms in the rotation.

In deGrom, Syndergaard, and Cobb or Lynn, the Mets would increase their chance to win each night, as well as decrease their chance of spending the entire summer stressed out about the rotation.

According to reports and current predictions on MLB Trade Rumors, Cobb and Lynn are waiting for Yu Darvish to ink a deal before they choose a new team.

I've heard as many as six-to-eight teams could move to sign Cobb or Lynn, including the Twins, Brewers, Orioles and Rangers and other teams likely to lose out on Darvish and free-agent Jake Arietta.

In the end, though I'm sure the Alderson is expecting a discount due to the market crash, I still think demand will force Cobb and Lynn to get a multi-year deal and at least $14-15 million per season.



This is why I anticipate Alderson more seriously pursue Vargas, who at this point is likely to get a one- or two-year deal at around $10 million per season. 

I'd rather Cobb or Lynn. However, Vargas is a bulldog and is widely considered a 'winner.' He has worked the last three seasons in Kansas City with new Mets pitching Dave Eiland, who should have as good of a sense of anyone as to Jason's health and ability to make 30 starts. 

The goal isn't necessarily to acquire an ace. Technically, the Mets have two aces already. Instead, they need a trustworthy arm that can prop up the middle of the rotation and reduce the need to rely on Harvey, Matz and Wheeler. Cobb or Lynn would be best. But, if Eiland is confident in Vargas, I'm fine with Alderson acquiring him, especially if it allows money left over to be used for another reliever.


Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. He recently left his position as Executive Editor and Dir. of Digital Content for SNY.TV to help sports brands build their own digital content businesses...


May 24, 2018; Milwaukee, WI, USA; New York Mets left fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) is greeted by manager Mickey Callaway (36) after scoring a run in the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports (Benny Sieu)
May 24, 2018; Milwaukee, WI, USA; New York Mets left fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) is greeted by manager Mickey Callaway (36) after scoring a run in the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports (Benny Sieu)

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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May 11, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
May 11, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

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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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 with a two-run homer Wednesday night as he begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Las Vegas. 

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 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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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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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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Cadillac Post Game Extra: 5/21 00:01:42
Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez discuss the strong pitching of Jason Vargas and AJ Ramos in the Mets' 2-0 win over the Marlins.

Jason Vargas turned in his best outing of the season, tossing five two-hit innings as the Mets extended their winning streak to four games with a 2-0 win over the Marlins on Monday night at Citi Field.

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

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

1) Vargas (1-3) came into the game having allowed 34 baserunners in 12 1/3 innings over his first three starts. The 35-year-old retired the first nine batters and allowed two hits, walked one and struck out seven to lower his ERA from 13.86 to 9.87. He was pinch-hit for in the bottom of the fifth after tossing 86 pitches -- 51 for strikes.

 

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jason Vargas
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SNY's Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez call a Mets game from the outfield at Citi Field. (SNY)
SNY's Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez call a Mets game from the outfield at Citi Field. (SNY)

Tonight in Post Game Extra, Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling will be answering your questions about tonight's game against the Marlins.

While Gary, Keith, and Ron have a wealth of knowledge about lots of things and would love to answer every question under the sun if they could, please keep the questions specific to tonight's game. 

Leave your questions in the comments section below!

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