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

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | TwitterHere's a piece of unsolicited advice for whoever ends up running baseball operations for the Mets: As your first move, make David Wright a significant voice in the front office. He's a bright baseball mind, beloved by the fans, and willing to serve.

On Tuesday evening, I asked Wright if he would like to be a part of the front office next year as a special assistant or advisor to a GM or president of baseball operations. He nodded.

"I'd love to stay involved," Wright said. "I love being around the game. I obviously love the organization. So I think I could provide value."

Tags: David Wright, Andy Martino
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The Amazin' Life: Branch Out! 00:02:36
On the latest The Amazin' Life presented by Coca-Cola, Keith and Ron branch out, and take on the rest of the entertainment establishment!

On the latest The Amazin' Life presented by Coca-Cola, Keith and Ron branch out, and take on the rest of the entertainment establishment!

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New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Citi Field. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Citi Field. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)

Mets manager Mickey Callaway sent starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard home after he threw six scoreless innings on just 89 pitches in Tuesday's 7-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves because Syndergaard was feeling "sick all day."

Syndergaard, who retired eight of the final nine batters he faced, left with the Mets up 3-0, however New York's bullpen allowed four runs in the seventh inning and three in the eighth.

Syndergaard struck out five batters and allowed just three hits and two walks, lowering his ERA to 3.22. 

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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Mets lose to Braves, 7-3 00:01:26
Noah Syndergaard delivered a solid start, but the bullpen failed to hold the lead as the Mets lost to the Braves, 7-3 on Tuesday.

Robert Gsellman and Jerry Blevins combined to allow seven runs and four hits as the Mets' bullpen spoiled Noah Syndergaard's quality start of six scoreless innings in Tuesday's 7-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field.

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Gary, Keith and Ron on bullpen 00:01:47
Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling talk about what the Mets need to do to improve the bullpen heading into next season.

The Mets' bullpen allowed seven runs over the final three innings during a 7-3 loss to the Braves 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) Robert Gsellman (6-2) retired one batter and was charged with four runs -- three earned -- on two hits and a walk. An error by center-fielder Austin Jackson helped the Braves load the bases with one out. Drew Smith uncorked a run-scoring wild pitch and surrendered a go-ahead two-run single to Ronald Acuña Jr. to put Atlanta ahead, 4-3. Jerry Blevins allowed three runs -- two earned -- in the eighth, including a two-run shot by Ozzie Albies.

 

Tags: Atlanta Braves, Noah Syndergaard
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New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) looks to the plate during the third inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Wednesday, May 17, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)  (Matt York/AP)
New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) looks to the plate during the third inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Wednesday, May 17, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) (Matt York/AP)

Former Mets and current Reds RHP Matt Harvey is set to become a free agent at the end of the season. And after what was scheduled to be his penultimate start of the season, he gave a glimpse of what team he could play for in 2019.

"There's only one team out there I would not sign with," Harvey said, according to The Athletic's C. Trent Rosecrans. "That's about it."

Harvey, whom the Mets traded to Cincinnati in May, did not specifically say which team he was alluding to. 

Tags: Cincinnati Reds, Matt Harvey
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New York Mets center fielder Austin Jackson singles against the Atlanta Braves during the eighth inning at Citi Field. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets center fielder Austin Jackson singles against the Atlanta Braves during the eighth inning at Citi Field. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets begin their final homestand of the season when they face the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. at Citi Field.

Mets notes

The Mets will finish this season with a better record on the road (40-41) than at home (33-42). ... New York's minus-28 run differential is the fifth-worst in the National League. ... The Mets have a 3.61 ERA in September, which is fifth among all NL teams in that span.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway watches from the dugout during the seventh inning against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway watches from the dugout during the seventh inning against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Mets assistant GM John Ricco said Tuesday that he would "fully anticipate" manager Mickey Callaway returning in 2019.

Ricco added that he's been impressed with how hard the Mets have played for Callaway during the second half with the team out of the playoff race.

SNY's Andy Martino reported on July 15 that Callaway was "almost certain" to return, according to major league sources.

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Anthony has been a Mets fan living on the West Coast since he was a kid. He'd never been to a game in New York, until Delta brought him to see the team play at home for the first time ever.

Comment if you're a faraway Mets fan too.

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New York Mets' David Wright hits a two-run home run during the first inning of Game 3 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Kansas City Royals Friday, Oct. 30, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (David J. Phillip/AP)
New York Mets' David Wright hits a two-run home run during the first inning of Game 3 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Kansas City Royals Friday, Oct. 30, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (David J. Phillip/AP)

David Wright, who hasn't played in the majors since May 27, 2016, was activated from the 60-day DL on Tuesday and will start at third base on Saturday, Sept. 29 at Citi Field.

Here's a look at the 10 most memorable moments of Wright's Mets career...

No. 10) Major League debut, July 21, 2004

Tags: David Wright, Matthew Cerrone
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David Wright Returns 00:03:32
Mets captain David Wright was officially activated on Tuesday, and he talked about his emotional return and playing again on Saturday.

David Wright hopes to pinch hit once or twice before starting for the Mets at third base on Saturday at Citi Field, and said being able to put the uniform on again after his long comeback process "means the world" to him.

"To say it's a good feeling is an understatement," Wright said Tuesday at Citi Field. "It's been a long time coming."

Wright joked that "probably contact is more of a goal right now as opposed to performance," but said numerous times that he wants to simply have fun and soak it all in. 

Tags: David Wright
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New York Mets' David Wright waves to the crowd after Game 4 of the National League baseball championship series against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in Chicago. The Mets won 8-3 to advance to the World Series. (AP Photo/David Goldman)  (David Goldman/AP)
New York Mets' David Wright waves to the crowd after Game 4 of the National League baseball championship series against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in Chicago. The Mets won 8-3 to advance to the World Series. (AP Photo/David Goldman) (David Goldman/AP)

David Wright will play his first game with the Mets in over two years this Saturday at Citi Field.

Wright is a Mets legend, as I explained here in a post last week.However, to most Mets fans, David is more than a bunch of stats. He was our rock. In good times he made us smile and feel a sense of pride only experienced from a great, passionate, homegrown player. And in bad times, he always stood out front, answering difficult questions, and convincing us to stay loyal.

In an unreleased interview from January of 2016, Wright talks about his call-up, first at-bat, loyalty of Mets fans, and much more...

Tags: David Wright, Matthew Cerrone
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SNY's Steve Gelbs and Anthony Dicomo of MLB.com were live and answered questions about the Mets presented by Citi.

Click below to watch.

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Jun 2, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets player David Wright in dugout during game against Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 2, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets player David Wright in dugout during game against Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Mets have activated David Wright from the 60-day disabled list.

Wright, who will start at third base on Saturday, Sept. 29 at Citi Field in what will be his first major league action in over two years, could appear in games before then.  

Mets manager Mickey Callaway said last Friday that he could look to give Wright pinch-hitting appearances at Citi Field between Sept. 25 and Sept. 28.

Tags: David Wright, Danny Abriano
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Andy Martino, SNY.tv | TwitterIt is still too early to know who the next GM of the Mets will be, but the team is deep enough in its search process to have a sharper idea of who it won't be, and to put outside-the-box candidates in play.

The oft-repeated idea that the Mets are thinking of this search in the binary terms of analytics vs. old school is a bit oversimplified. Several names discussed internally - most notably the agents Casey Close and Brodie Van Wagenen - do not fall in either category. The New York Post's Joel Sherman first suggested that Van Wagenen might be a fit, and we can report the Mets have in fact discussed both him and Close.

The two are respected agents, well-spoken with the media and deeply connected in the game. Close was Derek Jeter's longtime agent, among many other clients, and CAA's Van Wagenen reps Jacob deGrom, Yoenis Cespedes and Tim Tebow...

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Syndergaard Overlay 00:00:32
Ron takes a look at Noah Syndergaard as part of Science of Baseball presented by Memorial Sloan Kettering.

Join the Mets and Memorial Sloan Kettering as we team up to Strike Out Cancer. Visit http://giving.mskcc.org/mets to learn more about the K's for Cancer program and your chance to donate.

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Scouting Reports 00:01:01
Get to know Kieran, Jeremy and Kevin, the prospects that Catherine will choose from.

Catherine and her team of scouts and managers pick out a few different prospects for her to go on a date with at Citi Field.

Catch Prospects Tonight on SNY at 6:30PM.

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Mets win marathon game 00:01:16
Jeff McNeil had four hits and Michael Conforto had a three-run triple, as the Mets outlasted the Nats in a 4 hour-plus marathon on Sunday.

Jeff McNeil went 4-for-5 and Michael Conforto drove in three runs as the Mets beat the Washington Nationals 8-6 on Sunday at Nationals Park in their final road game of the season.

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The guys talk Jeff McNeil 00:01:39
Gary and Keith discuss the tremendous success Jeff McNeil has had since his recall and whether he will be the starting 2nd baseman in 2019

Michael Conforto drove in three runs and Jeff McNeil finished with four hits as the Mets defeated the Nationals, 8-6, in their final road game of the season on Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park.

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

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

1) Conforto's bases-loaded triple capped a four-run fourth that put the Mets ahead one inning after they failed to score despite having the bags juiced and nobody out. Jay Bruce's sacrifice fly -- his fifth RBI in three games -- put New York on top on the first. Washington rallied for three runs in the third to take a 3-1 lead off an ineffective Steven Matz. McNeil's RBI single cut the lead to 3-2 and Conforto followed with his first triple of the season to give New York a 5-3 edge.

 

Tags: Michael Conforto, Steven Matz, Washington Nationals
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Sep 17, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) hits an RBI double during the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Sep 17, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) hits an RBI double during the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

The Mets (72-83) will wrap up their 2018 road slate in the final game of a four-game series against the Nationals (78-77) in Washington D.C. on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. on WPIX.

Mets notes

The Mets are 6-4 in their last 10 games. They improved to 8-9 in extra-inning games last night as well. ...The Mets are 12-7 in September, the eighth-best win percentage in the league. ...The Mets are ranked fourth in the MLB with a .330 road on-base percentage. ...Nine wins have came against the Nats already this season compared to six all of last season. 

Tags: Steven Matz
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Sep 22, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Corey Oswalt (55) throws to the Washington Nationals during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Sep 22, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Corey Oswalt (55) throws to the Washington Nationals during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Mets RHP Corey Oswalt allowed two runs in five innings against the Nationals on Saturday in what was his longest outing since Aug. 16.

The only runs allowed came in the bottom of he third when he allowed a two-run homer to Trea Turner. Oswalt has pitched well since allowing five runs on four hits without recording an out against the Dodgers on Sept. 4.

"[Oswalt] has got enough weapons to go out there and compete and he's been doing that for us quite a bit," manager Mickey Callaway said after Saturday's game.

Tags: Corey Oswalt
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Nationals one-hit Mets 00:00:44
The Mets managed just one hit, an infield single by Michael Conforto in losing to the Nationals, 6-0 on Saturday

The Mets showed no life on offense and the Nationals went deep twice in a 6-0 shutout on Saturday at Natonals Park.

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The guys talk rotation depth 00:01:18
Gary and Keith discuss the depth of the Mets starting rotation and whether Corey Oswalt could be part of that mix in 2019

The Mets mustered just one hit and the Nationals hit two home runs en route to a 6-0 shutout on Saturday at Nationals Park.

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

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

1) The Mets drew a pair of walks in the first inning to put a runner in scoring position, but struggled from that forward. Michael Conforto's fourth inning infield single marked the Mets' first and only hit of the game. Conforto was on base three times, as he drew two walks to go along with the team's lone hit. Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, and Todd Frazier each went 0-for-4.

Tags: Corey Oswalt
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Jeff McNeil (68) Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jeff McNeil (68) Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The Mets (72-82) continue their series against the Nationals (77-77) in Washington D.C. on Saturday at 4:05 p.m.

Mets notes

The Mets are 6-4 in their last 10 games... The Mets are 28-19 in their last 47 games and 40-34 since July 1. ... Mets starting pitchers are 8-3 with a 2.86 ERA (38 earned runs/119.2 innings), the second-lowest ERA in the majors this month. ... Jacob DeGrom has a 1.77 ERA and 259 strikeouts and 46 walks this season. Since 1908, only two pitchers have had an ERA of less than 2.00, at least 250 strikeouts and 50 or fewer walks (Christy Mathewson 1908, Pedro Martinez 2000).

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What's better than the home team winning? One lucky fan winning big! At every home game this season, if a Mets player hits a home run off the New York Lottery sign over the bullpen, you could win! If it's not hit, don't worry, because if you're the fan of the night you'll still get a $100 gift card. Just click below and hope they knock it out of the park.

 
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New York Mets assistant general manager John Ricco looks on before facing the Colorado Rockies in the first inning of a baseball game in Denver on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)  (David Zalubowski/AP)
New York Mets assistant general manager John Ricco looks on before facing the Colorado Rockies in the first inning of a baseball game in Denver on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski/AP)

There was a lot of noise at the trade deadline about whether or not the Mets should trade Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. Of course, if those names were on the table, that went for Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz and just about everyone else on the roster would be available, too.

July 31 came and went, and all four starting pitchers are still with the team. The Mets have improved form over the second half of the season and deGrom is a favorite to win the NL Cy Young.

With 20/20 hindsight, Mets assistant GM John Ricco stands behind the team's decision to keep the team's best players.

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Mets ace Jacob deGrom managed to make his ERA even lower, while tossing his MLB-record 28th-straight start allowing three runs or fewer on Friday night against the Nationals in Washington D.C.

Meanwhile, Max Scherzer and Aaron Nola saw solid outings in their most recent starts. 

Here's where things stand with deGrom, Scherzer, and Nola in the race for the NL Cy Young award...

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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The guys talk deGrom 00:01:43
Gary, Ron and Keith discuss Jacob deGrom's remarkable season as he set a new Major League record with his 23rd straight quality start

Jacob deGrom added another stellar start to his Cy Young resume, as he kept the Nats at bay in a 4-2 win down in Washington D.C. on Friday night.

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

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

 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Washington Nationals
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deGrom brilliance continues 00:01:03
Jacob deGrom set a new Major League record with his 23rd consecutive quality start, as the Mets downed the Nationals, 4-2

Jacob deGrom shut the Nats' bats down, while the offense gave him the cushion he needed to work with in the 4-2 win down in D.C.

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Sep 11, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch during the first inning of the game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Sep 11, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch during the first inning of the game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

The Mets (71-82) continue their series against the Nationals (77-76) in Washington D.C. on Friday at 7:05 p.m. on SNY.

Mets notes

The Mets are 6-4 in their last 10 games. They improved to 8-9 in extra-inning games last night as well. ...The Mets are 12-7 in September, the eighth-best win percentage in the league. ...The Mets are ranked fourth in the MLB with a .330 road on-base percentage. ...Nine wins have came against the Nats already this season compared to six all of last season. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Jun 10, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Jun 10, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

In April, new Mets manager Mickey Callaway was adored and viewed as terrific. In June, during which the Mets were 5-21 and killed their season, he was labeled a fool. Not surprisingly, with his team 31-27 in the second half, including 12-7 during September, he's back to being revered.

The above is the life of a baseball manager, especially in New York.

I tend to judge managers based on wins and losses. To nitpick specific moves in the moment is a dangerous game because -- despite having access to tendency and predictive stats -- we can never know how the human element and luck factored in to the manager's choice in the moment...

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Sep 16, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers against the Boston Red Sox during the third inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)
Sep 16, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers against the Boston Red Sox during the third inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)

Mets ace Jacob deGrom faces the Nationals on Friday in Washington, D.C. at 7:05 p.m. on SNY as he looks to bolster his Cy Young case.

In advance of his start, here are 10 incredible deGrom stats...

  • Leads the majors with a 1.78 ERA and .540 opponent OPS, while his 0.45 HR/9 rate is second in the majors and leads the NL.
Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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September 11, 2011; John Franco and Mike Piazza during pregame at Citi Field. Credit: Wong-US PRESSWIRE
September 11, 2011; John Franco and Mike Piazza during pregame at Citi Field. Credit: Wong-US PRESSWIRE

17 years ago today, Mike Piazza hit a go-ahead, two run home run in the eighth inning off of Steve Karsay of the Braves to propel the Mets to a 3-2 victory in the first professional sporting event in New York after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

"Anyone who saw it will be happy, anyone who didn't see it will be told about it," Piazza's manager, Bobby Valentine, told reporters from his office after the game...

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On the latest episode of Shea Anything, Doug Williams and Andy Martino go all in on the past and future of David Wright, and also play a round of "Agree or Disagree" with some offseason moves that might be coming up quick for the Mets as 2018 winds down.

Don't forget - we want 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 TO THE PODCAST

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Mets outlast Nationals 00:01:19
After blowing an early lead, Jose Lobaton's sac fly in the 12th inning enabled the Mets to edge the Nationals, 5-4 on Thursday night

The Mets beat the Nationals 5-4 in extra innings.

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The guys talk Mets bullpen 00:01:24
Gary, Ron, and Keith discuss the up and coming prospects in the Mets bullpen who are getting their opportunities as the season winds down.

Jose Lobaton's sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the 12th inning lifted the Mets past the Nationals, 5-4, on Thursday night at Nationals Park.

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

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

1) New York loaded the bases on a single and two walks in front of Lobaton, who collected his first RBI since April 27 during his first big league plate appearance in more than three months. The Mets led 3-0 in the sixth and 4-2 in the eighth, but Anthony Swarzak allowed a single and a walk to begin the frame. Daniel Zamora battled Bryce Harper for nine pitches before getting him to fly out to the right-field fence, but Robert Gsellman surrendered an RBI groundout to Rendon and game-tying double to Juan Soto. Both runs were charged to Swarzak.

 

Tags: Jason Vargas, Michael Conforto, Washington Nationals
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Jun 26, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) looks on during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Jun 26, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) looks on during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Jacob deGrom's Cy Young competition faced the Mets on Thursday and deGrom didn't get much run support again.

The Mets' ace was watching from the dugout, but, a big performance from the bats could have ended Max Scherzer's Cy Young campaign. But the Nats' ace gave up three runs over seven innings with 13 stirkeouts.

Scherzer was done in by the longball, giving up back-to-back home runs in the third inning. A two-run shot to Michael Conforto then a solo blast by Jay Bruce.

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Sep 17, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) leads the high five line after a victory against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Sep 17, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) leads the high five line after a victory against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

The Mets (70-82) kick off a four-game series against the Nationals (77-75) in Washington D.C. on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. on SNY.

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New York Mets' Wilmer Flores (4) connects for a base hit to drive in the winning run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the tenth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 26, 2018, in New York. The Mets won 4-3. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)  (Julie Jacobson/AP)
New York Mets' Wilmer Flores (4) connects for a base hit to drive in the winning run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the tenth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 26, 2018, in New York. The Mets won 4-3. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) (Julie Jacobson/AP)

Mets infielder Wilmer Flores has been shut down for the season due to early onset arthritis in both knees, manager Mickey Callaway said Wednesday. 

Flores had been sent back to New York on Wednesday to have pain in his knees examined, with Callaway calling the pain "bilateral" and noting that Flores has been dealing with the issue for a while.

The 27-year-old Flores hit .267/.319/.417 with 11 homers in 126 games this season while getting time at first base, second base, third base, and designated hitter. Flores had been serving mainly as a pinch-hitter since Sept. 8, with just one hit in his last 10 at-bats. 

Tags: Wilmer Flores, Danny Abriano
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Jun 26, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) looks on during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Jun 26, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) looks on during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

With his league-leading 1.78 ERA and in the midst of an otherworldly season, Mets ace Jacob deGrom is the favorite to win the Cy Young award.

But Nationals ace Max Scherzer is still visible in deGrom's rearview mirror, and the Mets can likely put an end to any chance Scherzer has by hitting him hard on Thursday night in Washington, D.C. While that might be easier said than done, Scherzer's recent struggles have been glaring.

Scherzer has allowed 17 runs (all earned) over his last 32 innings spanning five starts as his ERA has risen from 2.11 to 2.53.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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On Episode 9 of Rain Delay Theater: The Podcast, Steve Gelbs and Wayne Randazzo are joined by Mets pitcher Seth Lugo. The guys hear about Lugo's unconventional path to the major leagues, his unique approach to hitters, and how he's battled through challenging injuries to find success in New York.

Click below to listen...

Tags: Seth Lugo
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Apr 9, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland (left) talks with Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (right) on the pitchers mound in the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins during a MLB baseball game at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Apr 9, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland (left) talks with Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (right) on the pitchers mound in the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins during a MLB baseball game at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Near the trade deadline, rumors of the Mets dealing away some of their top-tier starters were swirling around Flushing. And rightfully so considering the Mets weren't ticketed for the postseason. 

Initially, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard were of high interest, but the Mets eventually walked that back. They didn't, however, take Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz off the table. At the end of the day, no trade was ever struck and the rotation stayed how it was. 

Pitching coach Dave Eiland was a happy camper. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Scott Thompson
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The guys talk Syndergaard 00:01:44
Gary & Ron discuss Noah Syndergaard's inconsistency of late and what adjustments he needs to make to become a complete pitcher

Noah Syndergaard allowed two homers over four innings and the Mets offense mustered six hits in a 4-0 loss to the Phillies on Wednesday night at Citzens Bank Park.

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

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

1) Syndergaard (12-4) was charged with three runs on four hits and three walks while striking out six in four innings.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Philadelphia Phillies
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Phillies blank Mets 00:00:43
Noah Syndergaard allowed a pair of home runs while the Mets offense managed just 6 hits themselves in a 4-0 loss to the Phillies

The Phillies silenced the Mets' bats on Wednesday night, as they took the rubber game 4-0 over New York at Citizens Bank Park.

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Noah Syndergaard (34) Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Noah Syndergaard (34) Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard was brilliant in his last outing against the Red Sox, but he couldn't seem to channel that Wednesday night in Philadelphia. 

Syndergaard saw an early exit after allowing three runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out six over four innings of work. 

It was the long ball that did Thor in. In the bottom of the first, Rhys Hoskins mashed a solo homer to right center field. Then, after working out of trouble in the third, Odubel Herrera crushed a two-run homer to right to give the Phillies a 3-0 lead. 

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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 (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)
(Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)

In a dreadful season marked by still more crippling injuries and some awful baseball, the Mets couldn't have imagined finding a winning lottery ticket in the middle of a sidewalk, as if it had somehow fallen right out of the sky.

Yet Jeff McNeil might just be that rare stroke of good luck this franchise desperately needs these days, if he proves to have staying power as a hit-machine second baseman - an unexpected gift from the baseball gods. 

"If anybody says they saw this coming," Mets assistant GM J.P. Ricciardi was saying over the phone, "they're lying. He's been a total surprise."

Actually, McNeil himself begs to differ.

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Sep 8, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) hits an RBI single against the Philadelphia Phillies during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Sep 8, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) hits an RBI single against the Philadelphia Phillies during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The Mets wrap up their three-game series against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday at 6:05 p.m. on SNY.

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Jul 29, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Jul 29, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Due to his workload this season, the Mets are shutting Zack Wheeler down for the year, with Corey Oswalt taking his spot in the rotation.

"We're gonna shut down Zack for the year, given the fact that he's 101 innings over what he pitched last year," Mickey Callaway said Wednesday. "The way he pitched, pitching deep in to games, we're really excited about the year he had. And we feel like we'd probably be taking the best care of him we can if we shut him down at this point."

Callaway had hinted on Monday before Wheeler's start the the team was considering ending his season after that start.

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Phillies C Wilson Ramos will be a free agent after this season and I want him to be on the Mets in 2019, when he'll still be just 31 years old.

The Mets are set up to again have a dominant starting rotation next year, with or without Jason Vargas. My hunch is no one from the current group will be traded, which means Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and the matured and impressive Zack Wheeler will need a veteran catcher capable of taking charge, instilling confidence and providing stability for them behind the plate.

Travis d'Arnaud is not likely to be back until the middle of next season after having Tommy John surgery this past summer. But, let's be honest, even if d'Arnaud is healthy, there is absolutely no guarantee he'll be able to elevate his game to a level that is needed to help the team contend for a playoff spot. I realize there is no guarantee that anyone will remain healthy and productive, but d'Arnaud's track record indicates he's even less of a guarantee than most. My guess is he gets non-tendered anyway, but that's just a hunch...

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