This is the final position look at the Mets system and likely the last substantive post before we get started on my annual Top 41 prospects in the system.

The sheer number of right-handed pitchers in a system means that ordering this group helps give structure to an overall system’s ranking. However, this year, for the Mets, this is much less true than in years past, at least at the top. I have only three right-handed pitchers in the team’s overall Top 10 and five in the Top 20. The right-handers flex their muscle in the back half of my Top 41, taking over 50% of the spots between 21 and 41 at last count.

The relative weakness of the right-handed pitchers in the organization is balanced by a strong big league rotation and upper level options (Hi, Thor). Likely lurking at triple-A to start 2015 will be Noah Syndergaard, who is an elite prospect and Rafael Montero, who could probably be a back-end starter now if the team needed big league innings.

The overarching theme: starters are much more valuable than relievers. The best relievers in the big leagues were minor league starters.

Here are the other positions: lefties, centerfielders, corner outfielders, catcherfirst basesecondshortstop and third base.


RHP

Potential Starters

  1. Noah Syndergaard
The consensus top Mets prospect, Despite middling surface-level numbers in Las Vegas, Syndergaard still has front of the rotation potential. MLB.com recently ranked him as the second-best right handed pitching prospect in the game trailing only the Nationals’ Lucas Giolito. Even if it doesn’t all come together for Thor, he should be a competent member of a rotation. If it all comes together, he could be an ace. There is a BIG gap between Syndergaard and anyone else on this list.

  1. Rafael Montero
It feels like Montero is getting forgotten this winter. Given a brief big league look in 2014, he pitched at a below replacement level in 44.1 innings. The twin culprits were walks and home runs: he allowed a walk rate of 11.9% and eight dingers.

In his minor league career, before 2014, he’d been something of a command specialist. However, his walk rate jumped in triple-A in 2014 to 10.1% from 6.9% in 2013, and then again in the big leagues.

He still has the attributes that helped him to the big leagues: an averagish fastball, a short slider, and a firm fly-ball inducing changeup. The problem for Montero is that while he could keep minor league hitters at bay pitching heavily off his fastball, big leaguers put the pitch over the all five times.

There’s no star-level potential here, but Montero could fit into the back-end of a rotation, Dillon Gee style if the Mets need innings. Frankly, the perfect role for Montero might be as a long-reliever/swingman type as it’s hard to see him regularly getting through a big league lineup three times with his current stuff and teams often prize a little more velocity out of their short relievers. MLB teams don’t really carry this guy anymore though.

  1. Marcos Molina
I had read multiple glowing reports about Molina before I saw him with my own eyes in Brooklyn on August 24. The look left me a little flat. He is a good athlete with a nice 6’3” lean frame, with an unusual delivery, but I was expecting more stuff. If I was grading purely on repertoire in the New York-Penn League, for a Mets comparison, I’d put him behind Jenrry Mejia v. 2008.

I saw a guy easily slinging the his fastball up to the plate at 91-93 mph and touching 94. He showed an amusing variety of offspeed pitches from a slider that was 81-85 and a mid-80s changeup that didn’t move much, considering its firmness and a slower curveball at 79. He was clearly trying to use all of his pitches, particularly the changeup. If he was interested only in getting hitters out, he would have thrown nothing but fastballs and sliders. At times his location on his fastball was unfair, low and away on the black, for example.

His delivery deserves note. He releases the ball out of a low arm slot. Guys can make this work in the big leagues, think of say, Tyson Ross. However, extreme platoon splits could be a problem for Molina as he moves up the ladder. He also does not appear to use his legs very much at all. In theory, this will put more stress on his shoulder.

Molina was absolutely dominant in the New York-Penn League and will pitch on a full-season staff in 2015. Barring a poor spring training, I would be very tempted to start him out in St. Lucie rather than Savannah, where he will cruise to excellent numbers.

  1. Gabriel Ynoa
I view Ynoa at this point as a little bit like Montero-lite. The difference is that Ynoa is a little taller at 6’2”, with a more classic pitcher’s body and easier delivery. Both guys relied on feel, fastball command and a changeup to sail through the low minors. I have been told that Ynoa’s slider has improved, but did not see it in person in 2014. At 21 years old in double-A in 2014, he was on the low end of the league’s age spectrum.

The major concern here statistically is that his strikeout rate cratered from 26% in the Florida State League to 17% in 66.1 innings in the Eastern League. The bet is that Ynoa will pitch in the big leagues, but he must continue to improve his breaking ball to profile as a viable big league starter.

  1. Robert Gsellman
A 13th round pick in 2011, Gsellman put up solid numbers in Savannah without the strikeouts one usually associates with predicting success in the big leagues. What’s to like here? He’s a big guy at 6’4”, and 200+ pounds who lives 91 mph with his fastball. He can reach back for more. He has nice feel on a changeup. His curveball will flash plus, while other nights not be a useful part of his arsenal.

A hamstring injury kept him out of action for almost a month between the middle of April and the middle of May in 2014. The Mets also shut him down for almost two weeks in August to manage his innings and keep him fresh for the playoffs. Before his shutdown, in his previous four starts from July 18 through August 9 he put together this line: 26.2 IP, 21 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 25 K with a 0.67 ERA, a 24% strikeout rate and a 4% walk rate.

He had similar results to Gant and Whalen in the Savannah rotation, but he moves in front of them based on potential and physique. He’s a good few inches taller than Whalen and built more powerfully than Gant. This helps him maintain ease in his motion and should give him better command. Also, the potential of his curve is tantalizing.

He might well be a back-end starter with a fastball a tick below average, and an average changeup and curve.


Likely Relievers with Set up Potential

  1. Cory Mazzoni
Nothing has changed since the end of August when I wrote about Mazzoni in the Arizona Fall League preview. However, the Mets decided not to send the injury prone right-hander to the desert to let him rest up and heal for the 2015 season.

Triple-A pitching coach Frank Viola told the Mostly Mets Podcast that he views Mazzoni’s future as most likely in the bullpen and we agree. He throws strikes with a fastball at 90-92, although he can reach back for more, with a splitter and a slider. He’s never made it through a season healthy as a starter.

  1. Michael Fulmer
The Mets’ supplemental first round pick in 2011, Fulmer has a plus fastball (93-95) and a slider that might get to plus as well. That, but a big frame is the good. The negative is that he’s never showed the command or the changeup to be a starter.

His 2013 was marred by a knee injury, and his first half of 2014 was not particularly impressive. However, he was better in the second half for St. Lucie (2.75 ERA, 24% K-rate, 7.5% walk rate) and earned a start at the end of the year in double-A.

Even if he starts 2015 in the double-A rotation, the bet here with this ranking is that his eventual home is in a big league bullpen where he can let it fly for a few batters a time in the seventh and eighth innings.

  1. Domingo Tapia
Repeating advanced A, Tapia ran a 56-51 K-BB ratio in 109 innings in 21 starts on his way to a 3.96 ERA. He’s just not a starter. However, at 96-98 with sink and run from a low arm slot and a diving changeup will play just fine out of any bullpen. It’s time to put him in the bullpen in 2015.

  1. Hansel Robles
After 17 undistinguished starts with a 4.97 ERA in double-A in 2014, the Mets slipped Robles off to the bullpen for Binghamton after his July 13th start. The results were a revelation. Out of the bullpen in shorter stretches, his velocity jumped, to the point where he was touching 96. Compare the numbers.

IPERAH/9BB%SO%
Starter90.674.869.59.120.7
Reliever201.805.08.629.6
And in the bullpen he shall stay. He should begin 2015 in the Las Vegas 51s pen for Wally and friends.


Back-end starters, maybe (Draft pedigree)

Things start to get really murky at his point in the rankings. With just a little squinting, it’s possible to see any of the next four guys in in the back of a big league rotation.

  1. Casey Meisner
Why ranked here: Meisner got better as 2014 went on for Brooklyn. Early in the year, he was 87-91, but later, reportedly he was 90-94. I’m disappointed I didn’t see him in person. There’s a chance that he will settle in with average velocity from a 6’7” frame and an average secondary offering in his curve.

His last five starts for the Cyclones: 30.2 IP, 28 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 32 K. That’s a 1.47 ERA, a 3% walk rate and 27% strikeout rate.

Why no higher: no full season experience or plus pitch

Why no lower: Draft position. Projectability.

The Mets’ third round pick in 2011 will get his first shot at a full-season league in 2015.

  1. John Michael Gant
Why ranked here: He was very effective in a-ball with a below average fastball, funk in his delivery and a relatively easy release. He complements his mostly high-80s heat with a changeup and curveball.

Why no higher: see fastball

Why no lower: has command and will work at double-A.

  1. Andrew Church
Why ranked here: The Mets saw something in their 2013 second round pick. I saw his Appalachian League debut and I saw a very generic guy without a big league pitch. His fastball was mostly 90-91 mph. He worked with a changeup at 81-83 and a slurve at 77 mph. He struggled to locate and had plenty of effort in his delivery.

At 6’2” and a little soft, I did not see much projection left in his body to add velocity.

Why no higher: I didn’t see the stuff to justify it.

Why no lower: Still a second round pick. Lets see if he’s better in full-season ball.

  1. Josh Prevost
Why ranked here: The height of Meisner (actually Prevost might be a little taller at 6’8”) but a few years older. Prevost was mostly 89-90 in his brief time out of the Brooklyn bullpen. He showed a slider, and a very seldom used changeup.

The Mets’ 5th round pick in 2014 out of Seton Hall earned 3rd team All-America honors from Baseball America.

Why no higher: stuff doesn’t warrant it

Why no lower: He should get a shot on the rotation in Savannah and then St. Lucie at which point his projection will be much clearer.


More Potential Relievers – Replacement level variety

Here we return to an important point: starters are much more valuable than relievers.

  1. Akeel Morris
Morris had a great 2014 with the Savannah Sand Gnats in relief, pitching to a 0.63 ERA with a 42% strikeout rate and a 10.4% walk rate. He’s a little dude at roughly 6’0” who puts a lot of effort into pumping 94 mph on his fastball. He can get up to 96. His second offering is a changeup that when it’s right, dives out of the zone. His over the top release left him struggling for a consistent breaking ball.

The Mets rewarded Morris with a spot on the team’s 40-man roster in November.

Why no higher: he’s an a-ball reliever. His breaking ball is rudimentary. He walked over 10% of opposing a-ball hitters. Most big league relievers continue to start through a-ball and at higher levels.

Why no lower: he does throw hard.

  1. Erik Goeddel
Why ranked here: hey, he pitched in the big leagues in 2014. He actually was a replacement level reliever. He also worked to a 5.37 ERA at triple-A Las Vegas with 64 strikeouts against 30 walks in 63.2 innings out of the bullpen. His fastball might be a tick or two above average at 94 mph, but it’s straight. His second weapon is a curveball. His hard change doesn’t create enough contrast.

Why no higher: Results

Why no lower: Hey, he’s offered the Mets a few big league innings. He’s there. He’s basically what Akeel Morris might be unless he continues to improve.

  1. Matt Bowman
Why ranked here: Bowman just had a really solid 2014 as a starter in both double-A and triple-A. By the standards of professional baseball, he’s a little guy at 6’0”, listed below 170 lbs but he generates some leverage and deception with a mini-Tim Lincecum delivery with a rock and lean. For all of that effort, he mostly sits 89-91 as a starter. He has a curve, slider and splitter that he uses as a changeup.

Why no higher: Below average fastball as a starter, and no plus secondary big league pitch

Why no lower: He got guys out in double-A and triple-A and I’m a sucker for smart pitchers (see Princeton Economics degree).

  1. Luis Mateo
Mateo missed much of 2014 while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. When he returned, he was rather unimpressive, throwing 89-90 in July. After the Mets moved him down to Brooklyn, he was essentially sent home early because he was not putting in the work. He had the stuff, pre-surgery, to work in a big league bullpen, but did not show it in 2014.

Why no higher: injury, reduced diminished repetoire post-rehab, makeup concerns

Why no lower: a memory of what he showed in 2012 and 2013


Who knows, TJ/2014 Draftee Edition

  1. Chris Flexen
Flexen was not effective for Savannah, and just when he seemed to be putting it together, he went under the knife for Tommy John surgery and to remove loose bodies in his elbow. On the plus side, he has a lean body and can get to 94 mph.

On the negative side: everything else.

  1. Gabriel Llanes
  2. Erik Manoah
The Mets’ 11th and 13th round picks in 2014, both signed for $300,000 and then reported to the GCL. Llanes is an inch taller and a little leaner, while Manoah’s results were a little better in 2014. They’re both in the 88-92 range with their fastballs and are interesting long-term bets for the teams. Long time readers know the success rates with these types of pitchers is not great.


Longshot Starters

  1. Robert Whalen
Whalen has earned plenty of ink this off-season for a strong 2014 with Savannah in which he worked to a 2.01 ERA in 62.2 innings while allowing just 44 hits. He generally worked off an 88-91 mph fastball and threw lots and lots of sliders. That’s a fine recipe in the SAL, but upper level hitters will not be fooled as regularly by his slider-heavy pattern. His changeup did not have great separation off his heat.

A hand infection kept him out of action for the better part of two months with the Gnats and limited to 10 starts total and 62.2 innings.

Plopped in the Arizona Fall League, he walked 10 and fanned 15 in 18.1 innings on his way to a 6.87 ERA against some of the minors’ best hitters.

He will head to St. Lucie rotation to begin the 2015 season.

  1. Corey Oswalt
Oswalt was 88-90 in Bklyn, with a slider 10 mph off that, giving it below average velocity and an flat changeup around 82 mph. He should be a fine a-ball starter.

  1. Luis Cessa
A converted infielder, Cessa worked to an ERA of 4.00 in the Florida State League in 20 starts. Armed with a low-90s fastball, Cessa’s strikeout rate plunged to 17.5% in the FSL in 2014. He just does not miss enough bats to go through upper level orders multiple times.


Fastball only Goofs

All of these guys throw hard – up to 94 or higher, in the cases of Bashlor and Buchmann. However none have the secondary stuff to be starters. I would bet on one or two of these guys becoming effective relievers at least at double-A.

  1. Matt Koch
  2. Kevin McGowan
  3. Miller Diaz
  4. Tyler Bashlor
  5. Connor Buchmann
Tags: Analysis, Toby Hyde

New York Mets relief pitcher Tyler Bashlor poses during photo day at First Data Field. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets relief pitcher Tyler Bashlor poses during photo day at First Data Field. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

After the Mets used seven relief pitchers in Sunday's 11-inning loss to the Dodgers, they will reportedly call up RHP Tyler Bashlor from Double-A Binghamton for Monday's game against the Pirates, according to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo.

Bashlor, 25, has a 2.63 ERA in 24 innings across 20 outings with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies this season. Since the Mets drafted him in the 11th round in 2013, he has a 3.29 lifetime ERA in 117 career minor-league games and last pitched on Friday.

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New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway looks on prior to the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. (Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway looks on prior to the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. (Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)

Mets manager Mickey Callaway expressed his frustration with his team not being able to put together a complete game on the diamond after Sunday's 8-7 extra-inning loss to the Dodgers at Citi Field.

"We just can't sync up exactly what we're trying to do every day," Callaway said. "If we swing the bats, we give up seven homers. If we pitch and swing the bats good, our defense isn't quite there. It's kind of been the whole season, we're not syncing up all the components that we need to sync up to win some ballgames."

The Mets, who have lost six in a row and 18 of their last 22 games, have their third separate losing streak of at least six games this season, and their second since they lost eight in a row from May 31 to June 9.

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New York Mets relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the ninth inning at Chase Field. (Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the ninth inning at Chase Field. (Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)

Mets RHP Anthony Swarzak allowed two home runs and six of the nine batters he faced to reach base in Sunday's 8-7 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field.

Swarzak allowed three runs and six hits in 1 1/3 innings, entering a 4-4 game and leaving with the Mets down 7-4. 

On a day in which the Mets allowed seven home runs, a record for one team in one game at Citi Field, Swarzak gave up two: a tiebreaking solo homer to Joc Pederson in the seventh inning and a solo home run to Cody Bellinger in the eighth inning that gave the Dodgers a three-run lead.

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Dodgers homer past Mets 00:01:30
The Dodgers hit seven home runs on Sunday, and outlasted the Mets, 8-7, in 11 innings to sweep the weekend series at Citi Field.

Justin Turner hit one of seven Dodger home runs as the Mets lost, 8-7, in 11 innings. Asdrubal Cabrera and Kevin Plawecki each went deep.

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Gary and Ron on Mets' struggles 00:02:17
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling describe how the Mets scored but still found a way to lose, and why struggles are spreading throughout the team.

Chris Flexen surrendered a solo homer to Justin Turner in the top of the 11th inning and the Dodgers completed a three-game sweep to hand the Mets their sixth straight loss, 8-7, on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field.

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

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

1) Flexen (0-1) retired the first two batters in the 11th before surrendering Turner's go-ahead blast. The Dodgers slugged a Citi Field-record seven solo homers in the game, including two each from Kike Hernandez and Clay BellingerMax Muncy and Joc Pederson also went deep for Los Angeles, which has homered at least five times in a game at Citi Field for three consecutive seasons. The seven homers allowed by the Mets tied a club record.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jerry Blevins
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Plawecki's three-run home run 00:00:15
Kevin Plawecki clobbers a three-run home run to deep center field in the eighth inning to tie the game at seven.

Mets C Kevin Plawecki crushes a game-tying three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth off Dodgers RHP Erik Goeddel.

Tags: Kevin Plawecki
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 (Anthony Gruppuso)
(Anthony Gruppuso)

Mets OF Brandon Nimmo left Sunday's game against the Dodgers in the sixth inning after being hit in the pinky by a pitch in the fifth inning.

X-rays came back negative, but manager Mickey Callaway said Nimmo will undergo an MRI on Monday.

"As of right now, I'm hopeful that I won't have to take any, if at all, time off," Nimmo told reporters after Sunday's 8-7 loss.

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Cabrera's two-run jack 00:00:11
Asdrubal Cabrera clobbers a two-run home run to deep left field in the bottom of the fifth inning to give the Mets a 4-3 lead.

Mets 2B Asdrubal Cabrera give the Mets the 4-3 lead with a two-run home run to left field in the fifth inning. 

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Jun 24, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jerry Blevins (39) pitches during the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Anthony Gruppuso)
Jun 24, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jerry Blevins (39) pitches during the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

With Mets LHP Jason Vargas scratched and headed to the DL, Mickey Callaway decided to hand Jerry Blevins his first start in 533 MLB appearances. He and RHP Tim Peterson were able to give the Mets four innings. 

As has been the case for Blevins most of this season, it did not go great...

Tags: Jerry Blevins
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Flores' RBI double 00:00:18
Wilmer Flores drives in the tying run with an RBI double to deep center field in the third inning.

Mets 1B Wilmer Flores drove in Brandon Nimmo with a double to center field in the third inning.

Tags: Wilmer Flores
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Peter Alonso (74) Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)
Peter Alonso (74) Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)

Mets No. 2 prospect Peter Alonso had himself a day for triple-A Las Vegas, hitting three home runs driving in seven runs in the 51s 14-11 win over the Reno Aces. 

Between double-A and triple-A this season, Alonso is hitting .316/.439/.587 with 18 home runs and 63 RBI. 

"I've never had a three-home run game in my life so this is really cool," Alonso said, via Review-Journal...

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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)

The Mets (31-43) look to avoid a sweep to the visiting Dodgers (40-35) on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field at 1:10 p.m.

Mets Notes...

The Mets have lost 11 of their last 12 home games and are 13-22 at home this year. ... The Mets are 6-21 in their last 27 games. ... The Mets have scored four or fewer runs in 14 consecutive home games dating to May 20. ... The Mets have lost 10 straight games to the Dodgers dating to May 28, 2016. 

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Jun 19, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (40) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)
Jun 19, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (40) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)

Mets LHP Jason Vargas is headed to the disabled list after injuring his calf during conditioning earlier this week, manager Mickey Callaway said after Saturday's game.

Vargas was slated to start the series finale against the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon.

The Mets will promote RHP Chris Flexen from Triple-A Las Vegas to take Vargas' place but there is not yet any indication he will start on Sunday, reports Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.

Tags: Jason Vargas
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Mets discuss 8-3 loss to Dodgers 00:02:02
Mets manager Mickey Callaway and players discuss their 8-3 loss to the Dodgers as they squander another quality start by ace Jacob deGrom.

The Mets failed to take advantage of opportunities on offense and Robert Gsellman allowed five runs in relief in an 8-3 loss to the Dodgers on Saturday night at Citi Field.

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

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

1) Jacob deGrom turned in a quality start, but allowed three runs for the first time since April 16. He allowed a first-inning home run to Max Muncy and then gave up a two-run double to Chris Taylor in the fourth. He struck out six batters while throwing 112 pitches in six innings of work.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Jun 23, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jun 23, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Mets starter Jacob deGrom allowed three runs on five hits in six innings against the Dodgers on Saturday night at Citi Field.

DeGrom failed to complete seven innings for the first tme since May 13 and his three earned runs were the most he allowed in a start since April 16.

He allowed his first run in the first inning when Max Muncy homered to right field, giving the Dodgers an early 1-0 advantage.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Jun 23, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; A general view of the field prior to the game between the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jun 23, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; A general view of the field prior to the game between the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The Mets have signed three more draft picks, all pitchers, the team announced on Saturday.

Fourth-round pick RHP Adam Hill, fifth-round pick RHP Ryley Gilliam, and 14th-round pick LHP Andrew Mitchell were signed.

The team has now signed 14 of their top 17 picks in the draft. There are still 17 players left to sign.

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New York Mets relief pitcher Hansel Robles walks off the mound after giving up a bases-loaded walk to Colorado Rockies' Nolan Arenado. (David Zalubowski/AP)
New York Mets relief pitcher Hansel Robles walks off the mound after giving up a bases-loaded walk to Colorado Rockies' Nolan Arenado. (David Zalubowski/AP)

The Angels claimed RHP Hansel Robles on Saturday, just one day after he was designated for assignment by the Mets.

Robles was optioned by the Angels to Triple-A Salt Lake.

In his final appearance with the Mets, Robles allowed two runs on three hits in 1 2/3 innings in the Mets' 10-8 loss to the Rockies on June 19.

"We've seen him pitch well. We've seen him pitch less-well," Mets GM Sandy Alderson said about Robles.

Tags: Hansel Robles
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Apr 4, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) looks on against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Apr 4, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) looks on against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The Mets (31-42) look to bounce back from Friday night's loss to the visiting Dodgers (39-35) on Saturday night at Citi Field at 7:15 p.m.

Mets Notes...

The Mets have lost 11 of their last 12 home games and are 13-22 at home this year. ... The Mets are 6-21 in their last 27 games. ... The Mets have scored four or fewer runs in 14 consecutive home games dating to May 20. ... The Mets have lost 10 straight games to the Dodgers dating to May 28, 2016. 

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Chatting with Jacob deGrom 00:06:14
Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling talk to Jacob deGrom about his pitching process, and the team's struggles this season.

Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling talk to Jacob deGrom about his pitching process, and the Mets' struggles this season.

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Jun 18, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) reacts after his inside the park home run in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)
Jun 18, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) reacts after his inside the park home run in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)

In this week's State of the Mets for June 22, 2018, Matthew Cerrone talks about what to do at the trade deadline, Mickey Callaway's June and the awesomeness of deGrom and Nimmo.

Listen below.

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Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A general view of a New York Mets hat and glove on the grass during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A general view of a New York Mets hat and glove on the grass during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

First of many? 

Mets first-round pick Jerred Kelenic had a successful day at the plate in his first taste of professional baseball, going 3-4 with a triple, RBI and two runs for the Gulf Coast Mets. 

The 18-year-old Kelenic, who attended Waukesha West High School in Waukesha, Wisconsin, is a left-handed hitter and thrower. Kelenic was ranked as the sixth-best Draft prospect by ESPN's Keith Law, eighth-best by Fangraphs, 10th-best by MLB.com, and 12th-best by Baseball America.

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The Amazin' Life: Freaky Friday! 00:02:36
On the season premiere of The Amazin' Life, presented by Coca-Cola, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling literally switch bodies before a game!

On the season premiere of The Amazin' Life, presented by Coca-Cola, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling literally switch bodies before a game!

Click below to watch...

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Jose Bautista (11) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jose Bautista (11) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Jose Bautista's calling card in the past has been his powerful bat. And though he has had a decent start to his Mets campaign thus far, he hadn't hit a home run entering tonight's game against the Dodgers. 

Well, that changed in the bottom of the sixth as he launched a two-run shot to left-center field to put the Mets' on the board. 

Now that he got the first one out of the way, Bautista is hoping he sees more balls fly over the fence soon. 

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Mets fall to Dodgers, 5-2 00:01:15
Zack Wheeler and the Mets offense came up short again, dropping the opening game of their homestand to the Dodgers, 5-2.

Cody Bellinger's grand slam off Zack Wheeler proved decisive as the Mets lost to the Dodgers, 5-2. Jose Bautista hit his first home run as a Met.

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Gary, Keith and Ron on urgency 00:01:36
Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling say that the Mets need to change things between now and the All-Star break to save the season.

Zack Wheeler made just one mistake, but it cost him as the Mets couldn't rebuttle Cody Bellinger's grand slam in the sixth in a 5-2 loss to the Dodgers on Friday night. 

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

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

 

Tags: Michael Conforto, Zack Wheeler
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Zack Wheeler (45) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Zack Wheeler (45) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Mets RHP Zack Wheeler was cruising during his start on Friday night against the Dodgers. That is until the sixth inning came, and one pitch ruined everything. 

Wheeler began his night setting down six straight Dodgers, which included striking out the side in the second. In the top of the third, Michael Conforto helped out Wheeler by making a terrific diving grab in center field on a liner off the bat of Joc Pederson

After putting runners on the first and second to lead off the fourth, Wheeler worked out of another jam. But that wasn't the case when the sixth rolled around. 

Tags: Michael Conforto, Zack Wheeler, Scott Thompson
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Michael Conforto (30) Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Michael Conforto (30) Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

With the game still scoreless, the Dodgers had a runner on second with two outs when Joc Pederson squared up a pitch from Zack Wheeler

The ball was drilled to center and looked to be destined for an extra-base hit. However, centerfielder Michael Conforto tracked it down, and laid out to save the run. 

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE VIDEO

Tags: Michael Conforto
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Jun 18, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) reacts after his inside the park home run in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)
Jun 18, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) reacts after his inside the park home run in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)

The Mets (31-41) kick off a six-game homestand with a three-game series against the visiting Dodgers (38-35) on Friday night at Citi Field at 7:10 p.m. on SNY.

The Mets have scored eight or more runs in three straight games for the first time since May 3-6, 2017. ... They have lost back-to-back games while scoring eight or more runs for the second time in team history (only other time was April 7-8, 2004 at Atlanta. ... The Mets have hit 15 home runs over their last 12 games and 29 in their last 25 games. 

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Sandy on state of the Mets 00:01:39
Mets GM Sandy Alderson gives an honest assessment of the team's record, and the chances they trade Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard.

The Mets are 31-41, having gone 6-20 in their last 26 games, and 14-32 since May 1. They are 11.5 games out of first place in the NL East, and 8.5 games behind the Nationals for the second Wild Card in the NL.

But Mets GM Sandy Alderson isn't ready to say whether the team will be buyers or sellers in advance of the trade deadline. 

"I would put us in the middle," Alderson said on Friday, while realistic about what needs to happen to avoid the team being sellers.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Danny Abriano
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Jun 4, 2017; Wright (5) watches from the dugout at Citi Field. Credit: Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 4, 2017; Wright (5) watches from the dugout at Citi Field. Credit: Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Mets third baseman David Wright has taken the next step in his potentially longshot goal to return, hitting Friday in the batting cage while doing other baseball activity on the field. 

Wright had ramped up his level of baseball activity on June 10.

Wright, who missed the 2017 season and has been limited to 75 games since 2015 due to various back, neck and shoulder injuries, had been swinging off a tee, playing catch, and fielding grounders. 

Tags: David Wright, Danny Abriano
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Jun 17, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) reacts after striking out against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)
Jun 17, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) reacts after striking out against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)

Jay Bruce, who was placed on the 10-day DL earlier this week while dealing with a butt/back issue and plantar fasciitis in his left foot, said Friday that he has also been dealing with a hip issue since March -- and that it has probably negatively affected his play.

Bruce said there is no timetable for his return. 

"The injury has not been apparent for that long," Mets GM Sandy Alderson said. "It really hasn't been about playing him through injury."

Tags: Jay Bruce, Danny Abriano
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May 20, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
May 20, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard (strained right index finger) will continue to play catch Friday before hopefully advancing to the next step in his return, manager Mickey Callaway said.

The next step for Syndergaard would likely be a bullpen session, followed by a rehab start. 

Syndergaard resumed his throwing program on Monday and increased his throwing distance on Tuesday...

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Danny Abriano
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May 4, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
May 4, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes (quad), who was expected to potentially ramp up his activity earlier this week, may do so this coming Monday or Tuesday, GM Sandy Alderson said on Friday.

But the Mets said there would be no running or baseball activities for Cespedes until he's symptom-free.

"I'm hopeful that it's gonna be relatively soon," Alderson said. "Once you recognize that there's a lingering issue -- possibly chronic -- you have to deal with it."

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Hansel Robles DFA'd by Mets 00:01:03
The Mets announced on Friday that they have DFA'd struggling reliever Hansel Robles, potentially ending a tumultuous career with the team.

The Mets have designated reliever Hansel Robles for assignment, potentially marking an end to his rocky Mets career.

Needing to clear 40-man roster spots for Drew Smith and Kevin Kaczmarski, who arrived from Triple-A Las Vegas, the Mets chose to transfer AJ Ramos to the 60-day DL and DFA Robles. The choice to DFA Robles was interesting, since the Mets could've simply transferred Jamie Callahan to the 60-day DL instead.

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterA good, surprising move by the Mets. Hansel Robles wasn't contributing and he was doing more harm than good. The Mets just couldn't dealing with that. And the fans couldn't keep watching it...

Tags: Hansel Robles, Danny Abriano
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Turner says Mets kicked him out 00:01:22
Sal Licata and Jon Hein discuss the claim made by Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner that he was "kicked out" by the Mets back in 2013.

Justin Turner, in town with the Dodgers to play the Mets, used the words "kicked out" to describe the end of his Mets career, and said he was left with a chip on his shoulder.

Turner, who landed with the Dodgers after the 2013 season and immediately became one of the best players in baseball, said during an appearance on WFAN with Carlin, Maggie, and Bart on Friday that "it's hard to say" whether he would have blossomed in the same way if he stayed with the Mets, adding later that he "would like to think so."

"I know what I did in 2013, start talking to Marlon Byrd about the different hitting philosophy," Turner said. "We were hitting four to five days a week for the entire offseason. ... I was looking forward to coming back and bringing my new swing into spring training. Unfortunately, I never got that opportunity. I was left looking for a job."

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 (Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
(Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

Drew Smith looked terrific early in spring training right through his 21 appearances with Triple-A Las Vegas. Now, he will be promoted and join the Mets before Friday's game.

Smith, who was acquired last summer from the Rays for Lucas Duda, is known for throwing a quick and slippery fastball. At first glance, I was concerned with how far down he dips his throwing shoulder, seemingly scraping the ball against his calf muscle, but it works for him and appears to be all part of his ability to look like he's throwing a lot harder than he is.

In 30 innings this season, Smith, 24, has a 3.00 ERA and 1.20 WHIP with 28 strikeouts pitching in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. He had a 1.80 ERA and 0.87 WHIP last season in Double-A.

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The Mets will be pitched by teams looking to acquire Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. However, despite all the buzz, I expect both pitchers will continue being Mets at least through the next two seasons.

Frankly, the only way I see either of these two pitchers being traded is if a new GM and front office takes the wheel. Otherwise, it's ride or die with deGrom and Syndergaard for Sandy Alderson. 

Similarly, while there will be interest in (and it's worth listening to offers for) Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman, my hunch is Alderson would prefer to keep them as well -- especially given the delicate state of his rotation.

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Todd Frazier, Matthew Cerrone
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New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. (Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. (Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports)

On the latest episode of Shea Anything, Doug Williams and Andy Martino chat about the discussion around trading Jacob deGrom, whether or not Yoenis Cespedes can still be an impact player, and what the future holds for Sandy Alderson. They also talk music!

Don't forget -- 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: Jacob deGrom
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New York Mets' Brandon Nimmo (9) follows through on a home run during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs Thursday, May 31, 2018, in New York. The Cubs won 5-1. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Mets' Brandon Nimmo (9) follows through on a home run during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs Thursday, May 31, 2018, in New York. The Cubs won 5-1. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Despite not being on the All-Star ballot, Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo said he would be open to the idea of competing in the Home Run Derby.

"I'm intrigued by it for sure," Nimmo said, according to Newsday's Tim Healey. "It would be a really cool experience. There will be other factors, how I'm feeling at that point. So much can happen in a month. I think it's going to go more into how I'm feeling, but heck, it's an honor to even be asked that question."

A year ago, Nimmo hit just five home runs in 69 games; he has more than doubled that in six fewer games in 2018.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, David Wright, Yoenis Cespedes
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Jun 3, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Paul Sewald (51) delivers a pitch during the ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Anthony Gruppuso)
Jun 3, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Paul Sewald (51) delivers a pitch during the ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

The Mets will call up Triple-A Las Vegas RH reliever Drew Smith and OF Kevin Kaczmarski prior to Friday's game, reports Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.

They optioned RHP Chris Flexen and RHP Paul Sewald to Triple-A Las Vegas after Thursday's game. 

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | I noted earlier that the Mets could go one of two ways here. They could call up two relievers or call up one reliever and one position player, which would restore the five-man bench. The latter is the route that made sense, and the way they went. I wrote on Wednesday about how it's time to give the 24-year-old Smith a chance. He isn't on the 40-man roster, but the Mets can clear a spot by shifting either AJ Ramos or Jamie Callahan to the 60-day DL. Smith has pitched incredibly well and has lots of upside. It's time to see what he can do.  

Tags: Paul Sewald
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New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)

Asked after the Mets' third straight loss on Thursday if he was worried about the team's 31-41 record, Mets manager Mickey Callaway said he wasn't.

"You don't worry about the record," Callaway said. "You just worry about how you do your thing every day and how you are playing the game and we'll start syncing everything up."

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | I understand what Callaway was trying to say -- that if the Mets keep following their process, things will fall in to place and the record will take care of itself. But when you're asked point blank if you're worried about the record of your team that's in a free-fall, it makes sense to say 'yes.'

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Frazier doesn't want a re-build 00:01:06
After another tough loss, Todd Frazier makes the case for the Mets to stay together and not trade away starting pitchers for prospects.

Veteran 3B Todd Frazier joined the Mets with the vision of winning. He wasn't looking for a rebuild. 

It was reported by SNY's Andy Martino that the Mets are having "internal discussions" about whether they want to hear offers on their stud flamethrowers in Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard.  

If one or both of these arms end up moving by the trade deadline, Frazier wouldn't be happy.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Todd Frazier, Zack Wheeler
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Mets lose series to Rockies 00:01:06
Steven Matz struggled early and the Mets' offense couldn't do enough in their third straight loss to the Colorado Rockies.

Steven Matz struggled early, and the Mets offense couldn't do enough in their third straight loss to the Colorado Rockies.

 

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Gary and Keith on bullpen blues 00:02:01
Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez look for positives in the Mets' starting rotation but find major problems in the bullpen.

Steven Matz allowed five runs in the first two innings and the Mets dropped their third straight game, 6-4, to the Rockies on Thursday afternoon at Coors Field.

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

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

 

Tags: Steven Matz
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Steven Matz (32) Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Steven Matz (32) Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

Mets LHP Steven Matz had a rough start in Colorado on Thursday afternoon, but he settled in before his day ended. 

Four straight Rockies reached base to lead off the bottom of the first, with Nolan Arenado sending one over the fence for a three-run homer. After Trevor Story's double, a mound visit was used to calm Matz down. It worked as a double play following a strikeout got him out of the inning. 

The second inning wasn't any better for Matz, though, as the Rockies' struck for two more runs. It was Arenado picking up his fourth and fifth RBI on the day as he smacked a double to right to make it 5-1. 

Tags: Steven Matz
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 (Dale Zanine)
(Dale Zanine)

The Mets (31-40) wrap up their four-game series against the Rockies (36-38) on Thursday afternoon in Colorado at 3:10 on SNY.

Mets Notes...

The Mets have scored eight or more runs in three straight games for the first time since May 3-6, 2017. ... They have lost back-to-back games while scoring eight or more runs for the second time in team history (only other time was April 7-8, 2004 at Atlanta. ... The Mets have hit 15 home runs over their last 12 games and 29 in their last 25 games. 

Tags: Seth Lugo, Danny Abriano
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May 4, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
May 4, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes (hip, quad) hopes to resume running soon as he works his way back from the DL, manager Mickey Callaway said Thursday.

The Mets are in dire need of Cespedes, with Jay Bruce recently landing on the DL due to multiple injuries, and Juan Lagares out for the season. 

Brandon Nimmo has been incredible and Michael Conforto is heating up, but the other outfield position is being held together by a combination of Jose Bautista and Dominic Smith -- with Wilmer Flores and Jose Reyes the only other outfield options.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Jay Bruce, Jose Reyes, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Wilmer Flores, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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What will Mets do with deGrom? 00:01:56
On the Shea Anything podcast, Doug Williams and Andy Martino reveal what the Mets are thinking regarding their future with Jacob deGrom.

The Mets are currently engaged in internal discussions about whether to take offers for Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, according to SNY's Andy Martino. 

And if they were to part with deGrom and send him to the crosstown Yankees, the Mets would insist on otherworldly second baseman Gleyber Torres, a Mets source told FanRag's Jon Heyman. Of course, Torres and some of the Yankees' other top chips are reportedly off-limits. 

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | My reporting leads me to be very confident that the Mets will not be trading deGrom or Syndergaard to the Yankees. The relationship between the two clubs is frosty at best, and the Yanks wouldn't trade Torres anyway...

Tags: Gleyber Torres, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Danny Abriano
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Jun 3, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) pitches during the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Anthony Gruppuso)
Jun 3, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) pitches during the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

Steven Matz, on the hill Thursday afternoon against the Rockies, entered the 2018 season coming off an injury-shortened 2017 campaign in which he put up a brutal 6.08 ERA. Amid doubts of his ability to pitch in a major league rotation as well as health scares, he has surprised with a 3.31 ERA in his 13 starts -- the same number he made before being shut down last season.

But questions remain about his peripherals as well as his durability as the Mets consider what their pitching staff will look like in the second half and beyond.

The results for Matz could not be more different than they were last year. He has allowed just 24 earned runs over 65.1 innings, after allowing 45 over the same timeframe in 2017. Batters have hit just .221 against him, and his 52.5 percent ground ball rate is the best of his career...

Tags: Steven Matz, Maggie Wiggin
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