Tuesday, ESPN's Outside the Lines reignited the Biogenesis story.

Thanks to the cooperation of disgraced not-doctor Tony Bosch, "Major League Baseball will seek to suspend about 20 players connected to the Miami-area clinic at the heart of an ongoing performance-enhancing drug scandal, including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, possibly within the next few weeks, "Outside the Lines" has learned."

The Mets' Cesar Puello, who is currently in AA, and hitting well, is the only player who MLB hopes to discipline, who is not on a Major League roster. However, Puello is on the Mets' 40-man roster, which means he is covered under the Joint Drug Agreement, a protection not afforded non-40-man minor leaguers.

First and foremost the information about potential suspensions coming out this way strikes me as a cry for attention. No suspensions have been announced. No player has failed a drug test, nor does MLB have the full weight of evidence it would need to suspend a player without a positive test. If MLB had the evidence it needed for a suspension, it would have announced suspensions. If they felt that they would have had enough evidence to maintain suspensions in front of an arbitrator with Bosch's evidence, they would have tried to keep his turn private. Instead, this feels like the first salvo in a very public, and surely very ugly, public negotiation.

Second, despite a cry in some internet circles last night, Major League Baseball is not changing the rules of the game. The sport's Joint Drug Agreement (full text) is very clear, a player need not test positive to be subject to discipline. The relevant text from section 7, paragraph A:

A Player who tests positive for a Performance Enhancing Substance, or otherwise violates the Program through the use or possession of a Performance Enhancing Substance, will be subject to the discipline set forth below.
Emphasis added. In order to suspend anyone, MLB will have to establish use or possession. Proving possession is a high burden. MLB has to have a clean custody chain all the way to the player.

In this context, Bosch meeting with a player is not enough. Payments in a ledger book is not enough. Nor is handing illicit drugs to a player's niece, friend, agent etc. There has to be drugs in a defendant's hand, right?

Or as labor lawyer Eugene Freedman put it:

Third, relying on Bosch too heavily is problematic. Bosch's word is especially weak because MLB is offering significant financial incentive to cooperate. As enumerated in the original ESPN story: "Major League Baseball will drop the lawsuit it filed against Bosch in March; indemnify him for any liability arising from his cooperation; provide personal security for him and even put in a good word with any law enforcement agency that may bring charges against him." Of course, he also denied he had anything to do with PEDs on ESPN's own airwaves.

Craig Calceterra at Hardball Talk does an outstanding job laying out why a case that relies on Bosch's testimony is "is equivalent to erecting a building on a rotten foundation." He then proceeds to take baseball to task for flailing for big name scores rather than asking the right questions about PED use.

 

Other ProblemsConfidentially, Or Only When It's Convenient?Finally, Major League Baseball has clearly violated the confidentiality portion of the Joint Drug Agreement. After all, Tuesday's leaks did not come from the players' side.

Section 5 begins:

The confidentiality of Player information is essential to the Program's success.
Section 6.A.2

  Any and all information relating to a Player's involvement in the Program, including, but not limited to, the fact of the results of any Prohibited Substance testing to which the Player may be subject, and any discipline imposed upon the Player by the Commissioner's Office shall remain strictly confidential.
Section H:

It is clear that confidentially has not been maintained here. I did not see a remedy for MLBPA in the event that MLB violates any of the JDA's confidentiality clauses. I wonder if the players can or would sue MLB for wrongful damages.

 

ConsistencyIf an umpire has a big strike zone, that's ok, as long as he calls it the same way for both sides. In this case, baseball has 1,200 sides, the number of players on 40-man rosters. Baseball has pursued Biogenesis and its baseball playing clients long after law enforcement gave up - no charges were ever filed against anyone associated with Biogenesis. Thus, in the name of fairness, the commissioner's office should be prepared to follow any other new PED leads with any other players with the same zeal. Otherwise, this becomes a case of picking on a select group of players and this selective administration of punishment should be extremely concerning. The other tack is that baseball will be forced to be constantly aggressively investigating its own players (at least when following up media reports) if it is to operate with any degree of fairness moving forward. Neither the commissioner's office nor the Players' Association wants a climate of constant investigation (I don't think).

Assume for a second that some, but not all of the players whose names have been publicly linked to Biogenesis bought and used performance enhancing drugs, as defined by the JDA. (There's scant evidence that HGH makes for better baseball players, but that's a separate issue.) So, some of these players, including say, Gio Gonzalez, who MLB has more or less already absolved, will have their reputations tarnished without cause. Others will be punished for use. The issue is that other players, who did not go to Biogenesis also used, but managed to elude baseball's drug tests. They will skate.

What is the point of a drug testing program if baseball feels the need to investigate outside allegations so carefully? Where's the gain in acting as though the drug testing regime (which I think has been fairly effective at cutting down, but not eliminating certain categories of PED use) just does not work?

 

 

MarketingAs a followup to the consistency argument, then, baseball will constantly be investigating its own stars. It is the players who make the sport great, the players whose jerseys fans buy, and the players who compel fans to watch games and buy tickets. Baseball will in effect be telling their customers that their product - the players - is untrustworthy. That sure seems like bad business from this end.

 

It did not have to be this way. However, MLB, by choosing this process and this massive breach of confidentiality, for the investigation of Biogenesis and the associated players, has elected to spend much of the 2013 season talking about banned substances instead of the product on the field.

To what end? Justice? Eradicating PEDs? Please. Ending PED use is absolutely impossible. The incentives of multi-million dollar pay days is much too strong. Most players will not use, but some will. Making a big show of embarrassing players is no way to sell the game administer justice or even deter PED use.

Punishing the users is fair. Punishing the users twice for the same infraction is not. Most importantly, MLB must follow its own confidentiality rules and procedures rather than rushing to the penalty stage or using ESPN to create a public association of guilt.

 

Update: Freedman, whose tweet I cited above, and whose timeline last night, helped clarify my thinking on the issue now has an article up at the Hardball Times making the case that baseball is overreaching in the direct prose of a lawyer who practices this kind of thing everyday.

Tags: Analysis, Toby Hyde

Cadillac Post Game Extra: 4/22 00:02:55
Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez break down the Mets' 3-1 loss to the Washington Nationals on Saturday evening.

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

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

1) The Mets did not collect a hit until Juan Lagares singled in the sixth inning. Asdrubal Cabrera's RBI single two batters later was their last hit of the game.

2) Jacob deGrom had the strikeout pitch working, fanning 10 in 5 2/3 innings, but he also walked a career-high six and allowed three runs on eight hits.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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The Mets (8-9) play the middle game of a three-game series against the Nationals (11-5) at Citi Field on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. Jeurys Familia walked in the winning run in the 11th Friday as the Nationals beat the Mets, 4-3


The Mets have lost six of seven games and are 4-6 at home this season. ...  In seven of New York's last eight games, the winning run has scored in either their last at-bat or their opponents' last at-bat, including a six-game stretch from April 13-19, that was the longest such streak in the majors since Oakland had a six-game streak from May 28-June 3, 2004. The Mets are 2-5 in those games.

Who is starting today for the Mets

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Apr 5, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Citi Field. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Apr 5, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Citi Field. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Jacob deGrom, who missed his scheduled start against Washington Friday with a stiff neck, will start Saturday at against the Nationals and Gio Gonzalez at Citi Field. First pitch is 4:05 p.m.

DeGrom has a 1.89 ERA and 0.84 WHIP with four walks and 22 strikeouts in 19.0 innings (three starts) this season.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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In this week's Meet the MetsCast, comedian Steve Hofstetter, MLB Network Radio's Rob Brender and I discuss the week's best off-beat moments and topics about the Mets, including...

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Cadillac Post Game Extra 00:03:39
Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez break down the Mets' 4-3 loss to the Nationals.

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

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

1) Jeurys Familia tossed a wild pitch and walked consecutive batters in the 11th, the latter forcing in the eventual game-winning run. Bryce Harper, who opened the scoring with a two-run homer in the first, doubled off Josh Smoker with one out and scored on Familia's walk.

2) Matt Harvey gutted his way through a season-high seven innings and surrendered three runs, all coming on a pair of homers. He allowed four hits and two walks while striking out a pair in his 108-pitch outing.

3) Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson both went deep and finished 2-for-4. Granderson tied the game twice, with a two-out RBI single in the fourth and with his first roundtripper in the sixth. 

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Matt Harvey
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In this Friday's feedback edition of the MetsBlog Q&ACast, Gotham Baseball's Mark Healey joins Matthew Cerrone to answer voicemails, Tweets and comments from Mets fans about...

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The Mets (8-8) open a three-game series against the Nationals (10-5) at Citi Field on Friday at 7:10 p.m. With the team making three errors, the Mets lost to the Phillies, 6-4, on Thursday night.

To follow the game live online, click here to access SNY Gameday

The Mets have lost five of six games and are 4-5 at home this season. ... They are in the midst of 32 consecutive games against N.L. East opponents to start the season. ... The Mets went 2-4 in series against the Nationals last season, going 7-12 overall.

Who is starting tonight for the Mets? 

Matt Harvey, who allowed one run on seven hits while walking two and striking out five in six innings this past Sunday against the Marlins.

Tags: Matt Harvey
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August, 2016: Terry Collins looks on from the dugout (Credit: USA Today Sports images)
August, 2016: Terry Collins looks on from the dugout (Credit: USA Today Sports images)

Yes, the Mets are getting hammered with injury and illness. Frankly, so much has happened in the last 48 hours, I've literally lost track.

In case you're in the same boat, here's where things stand...

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Collins on Cespedes' injury 00:01:03
Mets manager Terry Collins gives an update on Yoenis Cespedes' injured hamstring prior to his team's game against the Washington Nationals.

Yoenis Cespedes had his hamstring examined by doctors on Friday and will likely miss at least a few games, Mets manager Terry Collins said Friday.

Cespedes exited Thursday night's game at the end of the fifth inning with what the Mets initially called a cramp.

He later said he felt a "shock" rather than a hamstring cramp, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.

Cespedes appeared to injure himself when he was on the bases, and limped off the field. 

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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Aug 26, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman Wilmer Flores (4) watches a ball he hit go into the stand for a grand slam in the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 26, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman Wilmer Flores (4) watches a ball he hit go into the stand for a grand slam in the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Mets have placed Wilmer Flores (knee infection) and Lucas Duda (hyperextended elbow) to the 10-day disabled list, the team announced Friday.

Flores, who spent Wednesday night in the hospital, will remain in the hospital throughout the weekend to receive IV fluids.

T.J. Rivera, who is in Friday night's lineup at third base, and Sean Gilmartin have been called up from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Tags: Lucas Duda, Sean Gilmartin, TJ Rivera, Wilmer Flores
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Travis d'Arnaud catches at Chase Field (Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Travis d'Arnaud catches at Chase Field (Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud, who left Wednesday's game against the Phillies due to a right wrist contusion, was scratched from Friday night's lineup after having trouble throwing before the game, manager Terry Collins said.

Rene Rivera is starting in d'Arnaud's place on Friday night.

D'Arnaud hit his throwing hand on Aaron Altherr's bat when trying to throw out Cesar Hernandez at second base on a steal attempt. He remained in the game until the sixth but was replaced by Rene Rivera in the seventh. 

Tags: Travis d'Arnaud
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David Wright sits in the dugout while filming a segment for SNY in St. Lucie (Photo Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
David Wright sits in the dugout while filming a segment for SNY in St. Lucie (Photo Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

Mets 3B David Wright fielded grounders and tossed lightly overhand on Friday as he continues to rehab his right shoulder impingement, reports Dave Lennon of Newsday.

Wright played catch and took batting practice on Wednesday as he returned to his rehab program.

"If David Wright could throw the ball across the infield, he could play today," Collins said. "Except, we've got to get him some at-bats, which he hasn't had, but he's taking batting practice today. His hands are still very, very good -- I mean, this guy doesn't miss anything. It's about getting that arm back and how long that's going to take no one knows."

Tags: David Wright
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Jacob deGrom, who is dealing with a stiff neck, will have his start pushed to Saturday, with Matt Harvey starting in deGrom's place on Friday, reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Harvey will be pitching on regular rest since the Mets were off on Monday.

DeGrom has a 1.89 ERA and 0.84 WHIP with four walks and 22 strikeouts in 19.0 innings (three starts) this season.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey
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The injuries suddenly are mounting. And the Mets have dipped to .500 with five losses in their last six games. So perhaps it's not an ideal time to be facing the division-leading Nationals, who are off to a 10-5 start.

Yet a day after Yoenis Cespedes departed the series finale against the Phillies with a cranky hamstring that will prompt an MRI, as and Lucas Duda (hyperextended elbow), Travis d'Arnaud (bruised wrist) and Wilmer Flores (infection) all sat out, the Mets now get their first measuring stick against Daniel Murphy and the first-place Nationals on Friday at Citi Field.

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Jeep Pitchcast: Syndergaard's Ks 00:00:16
Jeep Pitchcast examines Noah Syndergaard's strikeouts in the first inning against the Phillies.

During Thursday's broadcast on SNY, Ron Darling broke down the segment saying "3 different pitches: Fastball up and out of the strike zone, changeup where the bottom fell out and a perfectly placed curveball on the outside corner."

Syndergaard had 10 strikeouts against the Phillies and ranks 3rd in the NL in strikeouts. He has 30 strikeouts this season and has seven with his fastball, 11 with his change up and 2 with his curve.

Syndergaard throws his fastball 50 % of the time, change up 19.5 % and curve 10.8 % of the time.

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Jay Bruce (19) hits an RBI single at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Jay Bruce (19) hits an RBI single at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Mets outfielder Jay Bruce started at first base Thursday for the first time since 2014, when he played just three games filling in for Joey Votto and the Reds.

In the wake of Lucas Duda needing to have an MRI on his hyperextended elbow, and with Wilmer Flores unavailable with an infection in his knee, Bruce handled first base, where he started one game and practiced during spring training.

Tags: Jay Bruce
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April is National Donate Life Month and today, April 21, is Blue & Green Day to help raise awareness.

Nearly 10,000 New Yorkers, including former Met Ed Kranepool, are among the 118,000 people nationwide who are currently awaiting organ transplants.

One organ donor can save 8 people and impact up to 50 lives.

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Collins, Syndergaard on loss 00:06:20
Terry Collins talks about Jay Bruce playing first base and Jeurys Familia's rust on the mound while Noah Syndergaard reflects on his outing

Noah Syndergaard labored through seven innings Thursday against the Phillies, though he struck out 10 batters for the first time this season and threw a season-high 114 pitches.

Syndergaard gave three earned runs as the Mets struggled defensively and committed three errors.

"For the most part, I thought I threw pretty good. Except for that second inning [when] things got a little fluky," Syndergaard later said. "You just have to have a short-term memory and forget about it and get back on the mound. ... I felt great. I thought tonight was the best my mechanics have been in a long time."

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Josh Edgin, Noah Syndergaard
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This season, thanks to Citi, each time the home run apple goes up at Citi Field, another step is taken in the fight against childhood hunger.

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

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Conforto's warning-track catch 00:00:38
Michael Conforto tracks down a deep fly ball and collides with the wall as he secures the catch to prevent an extra base hit

Michael Conforto again made the most of his opportunity to play, picking up two more hits and making key defensive plays in left and center field Thursday during the team's loss to the Phillies.

Conforto started in center field and made a diving catch in the second inning to rob a base hit.

Tags: Michael Conforto
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Should the Mets trade Bruce? 00:02:55
Dan Graca and Jon Hein debate whether Jay Bruce's scalding hot start will last, and if the Mets should trade him to address other needs.

The Mets open a three game series with the Nationals tonight at Citi Field at 7:10 p.m on PIX11.

Jacob deGrom (0-0, 1.89 ERA) will pitch for the Mets. DeGrom tied his career-high with 13 strikeouts in his last start, which ended in a no-decision.

Tanner Roark (0-2, 3.50 ERA) will make his third start of the season for the Nationals. Roark is 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA in eight games against the Mets in his career

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Mark Healey will be joining me today for my new MetsBlog Mailbag podcast, during which we'll answer questions about the Mets and anything else you want to ask...

If you want to send me a question on Twitter, use #MetsBlogMailbag. Or, to leave a recorded message, call 1-831-SNY-METS or use the following widget on your computer or Speakpipe app..

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

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

 

Tags: Matt Harvey
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The Mets (8-7) wrap up their three-game series against the Phillies (5-9) at Citi Field on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. On the strength of two Jay Bruce home runs, the Mets beat the Phillies, 5-4, on Wednesday night.



Jeurys Familia, who spent the first 15 games on the suspension list due to the alleged domestic violence incident he was involved in during the offseason, was activated before the game.

Who is starting tonight for the Mets? 

Noah Syndergaard, who allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits while walking none and striking out four in 6.0 innings this past Friday against the Marlins. 

He has a 0.95 ERA and 0.84 WHIP and has walked none while striking out 20 in 19.0 innings (three starts) this season, while having yet to allow a home run...

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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Sep 7, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) and catcher Rene Rivera (44) congratulate each other after the Mets defeated the Cincinnati Reds 6-3 at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)
Sep 7, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) and catcher Rene Rivera (44) congratulate each other after the Mets defeated the Cincinnati Reds 6-3 at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)

Mets closer Jeurys Familia, who completed his 15-game suspension for the domestic violence incident he was involved in during the offseason, was activated from the restricted list prior to Thursday night's game against the Phillies.

In addition, C Kevin Plawecki was activated from Triple-A Las Vegas, with RHP Rafael Montero and LHP Sean Gilmartin optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room on the roster for Familia and Plawecki.

The Mets also transferred 3B David Wright to the 60-day DL.

The team's starting pitchers have made it into the seventh inning only four times in 15 games, resulting in their bullpen having faced 254 batters, which is third most in the National League...

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Kevin Plawecki, Rafael Montero, Sean Gilmartin
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Apr 3, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Lucas Duda (21) follows through on a three run double against the Atlanta Braves during the the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 3, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Lucas Duda (21) follows through on a three run double against the Atlanta Braves during the the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Mets first baseman Lucas Duda, who hyperextended his left elbow during Wednesday night's game has been sent for tests and is unavailable for Thursday night's game, manager Terry Collins said.

Duda exited Wednesday's game after a first base collision with Cesar Hernandez in the fifth inning. 

Hernandez ran into Duda's arm as the first baseman reached for an errant throw by Robert Gsellman after he fielded a slow ground ball off the mound. 

Tags: Lucas Duda, Wilmer Flores
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Apr 6, 2017; Josh Donaldson (20) hits at Tropicana Field. Credit: Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 6, 2017; Josh Donaldson (20) hits at Tropicana Field. Credit: Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In a post to MetsBlog yesterday, Matthew Cerrone detailed five ways for the Mets to handle their Jose Reyes situation, which included exploring trading for a third baseman later this summer.

"The two guys that makes the most sense are White Sox 3B Todd Frazier and Royals 3B Mike Moustakas, both of whom have strong track records and are set to be free agents at the end of this season," Cerrone explained.

However, according to Toronto Star reporter Richard Griffin, if the Blue Jays don't can't improve on their disappointing 3-11 start to the season, they may soon consider dealing All Star 3B Josh Donaldson.

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Time to move on from Reyes? 00:07:24
The Loud Mouths debate whether it's time to panic about all of Jose Reyes' early mistakes and call up Amed Rosario to replace him.

Jose Reyes is a mess right now. You know it. I know it. He knows it. And, more importantly, the front office knows it, which is why they're already building contingency plans at third base, despite it being just 15 games in to the season...

According to people close to the team, the Mets are not married to playing Reyes at third base, though you wouldn't know it from listening to Terry Collins talk to reporters after the game.

The plan before the season was to have Reyes fill in at third base until David Wright returned from the disabled list. Then, once Wright was back, Reyes would shift to being a super utility guy playing most days (either at third, shortstop or second base) while continuing to bat leadoff.

However, it's not an ideal world and he's struggling in his current role...

Tags: Jose Reyes, Matthew Cerrone
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 (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
(Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard is a freak of nature whose blazing fastball has been chewing up hitters since his Major League debut in 2015.

What makes Syndergaard so special is that he's a starting pitcher who regular hits triple digits with his heater. All of the other pitchers who regularly hit triple digits (such as Aroldis Chapman of the Yankees, Tommy Kahnle of the White Sox, and Joe Kelly of the Red Sox) do so in relief.

Here are Syndergaard's five fastest pitches this season, courtesy of Statcast:

  1. 100.9 MPH sinker to J.T. Realmuto of the Marlins on April 9, resulting in a ball.
  2. 100.4 MPH sinker to Christian Yelich of the Marlins on April 9, resulting in a ball...
Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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Bruce's first homer 00:00:56
Jay Bruce gives the Mets a 3-2 lead over the Phillies with his three-run homer in the sixth inning.

Mets outfielder Jay Bruce hit two home runs, including the game-winner, and drove in five runs with three hits out of the cleanup spot during Wednesday's 5-4 win over the Phillies.

With the score tied in the eighth inning, Bruce homered on the second pitch from Edubray Ramos, sending the ball just over the right-field wall to give the Mets the lead.

"It's great," Bruce said after the game about his experience so far this season. "Like I said, individually, I don't really take too much time to think about what I'm doing or my success or anything during the season, but it was good to be a huge part of that tonight and get a win for us coming off a tough four-game skid."

In the sixth-inning, he crushed a three-run home run off starter Vince Velasquez, prior to which he also doubled in the first inning that led to Yoenis Cespedes being thrown out at home plate.

Tags: Jay Bruce
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Apr 19, 2017; Robert Gsellman (65) delivers a pitch at Citi Field. Credit: Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 19, 2017; Robert Gsellman (65) delivers a pitch at Citi Field. Credit: Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Mets RHP Robert Gsellman threw seven innings Wednesday against the Phillies, during which he allowed three runs and seven hits while striking out seven batters.

Gsellman, who still qualifies as a rookie, later told reporters that he spent time this past week working with pitching coach Dan Warthen to gain better command of his slider.

"I've been working on it consistently and today was the best it has been," he added.

Tags: Robert Gsellman
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Mets First Pitch: Conforto 00:04:35
Steve Gelbs talks to Michael Conforto about how the outfielder uses batting practice to stay focused on days when he's out of the lineup.

The Mets will close out their series with the Phillies tonight at Citi Field at 7:10 p.m on SNY. 

Noah Syndergaard (1-0, 0.95 ERA) will pitch for the Mets and make his fourth start of the year. He allowed two runs -- one earned -- on six hits in his last start against the Marlins. 

Aaron Nola (1-0, 3.27 ERA) will make his third start of the season for the Phillies. In his one career start against the Mets, the right-hander allowed six runs in four innings. 

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Cadillac Post Game Extra: 4/19 00:04:08
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling and break down the Mets' 5-3 win over the Phillies, in which Jay Bruce hit two home runs.

For a full boxscore of the game, click here.

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

1) With the scored tied in the eighth inning, Jay Bruce belted a two-run home run -- his second of the game -- to put the Mets up 5-3. With the Mets trailing in the sixth, Bruce crushed his first of the day, a three-run home run with two outs in the frame.

2) Robert Gsellman improved over his first two starts and pitched seven strong innings, allowing three runs while striking out seven. He pitched into the eighth but was removed after a leadoff double from Aaron Altherr. However, Altherr would come around to score with two outs when Jerry Blevins gave up a bloop single to Michael Saunders. 

3) Addison Reed pitched for the second straight day and earned the save, although he did allow one run on a Daniel Nava sacrifice fly. 

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The Mets (7-7) will look to snap a four-game losing streak in the second of three against the Phillies (5-8) at Citi Field on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. Zack Wheeler allowed one run in five innings, but Jose Reyes' error with two outs in the eighth helped Philadelphia tie the game. They went on to score four runs in the 10th to win, 6-2.

 

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

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

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

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Mar 12, 2017; Wuilmer Becerra watches BP at Joker Marchant Stadium. Credit: Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 12, 2017; Wuilmer Becerra watches BP at Joker Marchant Stadium. Credit: Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Mets farmhand Wuilmer Becerra last played in the outfield on May 31, 2016. He expects to return there within a month.

Becerra, the third prospect acquired from the Blue Jays in the December 2012 trade for R.A. Dickey, underwent surgery last summer to repair a torn capsule in his right, throwing shoulder.

A natural right fielder, the 22-year-old Venezuelan exclusively has served as a designated hitter this season with Class A St. Lucie. However, as his rehabilitation program revs up, he is now throwing baseballs at 120 feet. Becerra soon will clear another hurdle by throwing to bases.

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Apr 5, 2017; Citi Field during the second inning in April. Mandatory Credit: Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 5, 2017; Citi Field during the second inning in April. Mandatory Credit: Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In this week's MetsBlog Q&ACast, host Matthew Cerrone talks with Rich Coutinho about the state of the Mets, as well as his new book, Press Box Revolution, after which Brian Erni joins the discussion to look at the upcoming series against the Phillies and Nationals...

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We Ask Mets Fans... Best Hair 00:01:42
In the latest edition of We Ask Mets Fans presented by StubHub, Mets fans decide which player has the best hair on the team.

Moments from Tuesday's 6-2 loss to the Phillies (Credit: USA Today Sports Images)
Moments from Tuesday's 6-2 loss to the Phillies (Credit: USA Today Sports Images)

It's been a rough four days for the Mets, during which they've lost four times, all of which ended in the opponent's final at bat. As a result, the Mets look listless and sloppy and now are in jeopardy of falling below .500...

"We'll dig out of it, we'll get through it," manager Terry Collins told reporters, reassuring himself after the game. "You've got to go out there, you still have to get outs and you've got to make pitches and that's not what we're doing."

In addition to their bats becoming chaotic, their fielding and base running has also been messy.

In last night's game, the light again shined on Jose Reyes, who hit seventh in the order, had just one hit, struck out and left three men on base. Reyes also dropped a pop up hit above the third base line with two outs and a man on first base in the eighth inning. They mistake allowed the Phillies to have runners on the corners instead of ending the inning and the Mets still up one run.

Tags: Jose Reyes, Matthew Cerrone
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Collins on Marlins, Wheeler 00:03:17
Terry Collins discusses what he thinks went wrong against the Marlins and how he thinks Zack Wheeler has been doing so far this year.

Zack Wheeler gave up just one run and four hits in five innings Tuesday against the Phillies.

Wheeler (1-1, 5.52 ERA) threw 99 pitches and struck out seven batters in his third start of the season, which ended in a no-decision after the game went into extra innings.

"He is a guy that throws a lot of pitches," Mets manager Terry Collins said after the game. "We certainly hope that as we get into the warmer months and warmer days (that) he goes deeper into games because you can't keep using your bullpen."

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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Irrational Tweet Theater 00:03:31
Gary Apple responds to Mets fans' most irrational tweets about the weekend series against the Miami Marlins.

The Mets will play the second game of a three-game series with the Phillies tonight at Citi Field at 7:10 p.m. ET on SNY.

Robert Gsellman (0-1. 9.28 ERA) will pitch for the Mets and make his third start of the season. Gsellman gave up eight runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings against the Marlins last Thursday.

Vince Velasquez (0-2, 9.00 ERA) will start for the Phillies. The Mets scored five runs with five hits in five innings against him last week in Philadelphia.

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Cadillac Post Game Extra: 4/18 00:03:52
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling break down the Mets' 6-2 loss to the Phillies.

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

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

1) With the Mets leading by a run and a man on first and two outs in the eighth, Jose Reyes dropped an easy pop-up that would have resulted in the third out of the inning. Instead, Jerry Blevins surrendered a game-tying double to Andres Blanco

2) The Phillies scored four times off Rafael Montero and Sean Gilmartin in the 10th.

Tags: Jose Reyes, Rafael Montero, Zack Wheeler
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The Mets (7-6) open a three-game series against the Phillies (4-8) at Citi Field on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. The Mets, who were off on Monday, lost the last three games of their recently-completed series against the Marlins in Miami.



The Mets have won 15 of their last 17 series against the Phillies and have gone 17-6 against them at Citi Field since July 30, 2014. ... The Mets have out-homered the Phillies, 79-34, since the start of the 2015 season. ... The Mets have hit 18 home runs over their last eight games and are second in the majors with 22 home runs overall this season.

Who is starting tonight for the Mets? 

Zack Wheeler, who allowed three runs on four hits while walking one and striking out four in 5 2/3 innings against the Phillies in Philadelphia on April 12. All three runs scored after Wheeler exited, coming home on a grand slam surrendered by Hansel Robles.

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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Apr 7, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) reacts during game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 7, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) reacts during game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

In his first season back from 2015's Tommy John surgery, Zack Wheeler is 1-1 with a 7.45 ERA (3.21 FIP), while striking out eight batters and walking two in 9.2 innings.

Wheeler is scheduled to start tonight against the Phillies, against whom he is 3-1 with a 3.25 ERA in six career starts.

In the NY Post, reporter Mike Puma explains that, while Wheeler's elbow may be sound, his body has not completely returned to pitching shape...

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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Mets LHP Steven Matz, who has been out since the end of Spring Training due to a left arm injury, will begin a throwing program on Wednesday, reports Marc Carig of Newsday.

He could theoretically return around the end of May, though an exact timetable has not been set, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said on Tuesday.

Matz had told Carig earlier this month that his injury is "like a flexor strain, I strained my flexor. That's kind of what the feeling is, that the flexor tendon is kind of flaring up."

Tags: Steven Matz
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Fans celebrate a victory after a game at Citizens Bank Park. Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Fans celebrate a victory after a game at Citizens Bank Park. Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets start a three-game series against the Phillies tonight at 7:10 pm ET on SNY. Zack Wheeler (1-1, 7.45 ERA) will pitch for the Mets, while Zach Eflin (0-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his season debut for the Phillies.

Here are five facts to make you sound smart entering tonight's game...

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 (Laurence Kesterson/AP)
(Laurence Kesterson/AP)

Mets OF Jay Bruce, who was acquired in a trade with the Reds last summer, is getting comfortable in New York, Jerry Crasnick explains in a profile for ESPN.com.

"I understand how people come up with their thoughts,'' Bruce told Crasnick, when asked about the idea that he couldn't handle New York. "It's like the fun, cool thing to say that New York is too big for people. I think it's a pride thing with people from New York, and I get it."

"It's an amazing city," he added. "It's chewed a lot of people up and spit them out. That doesn't even exist to me, though. This is the team I'm playing baseball for, with an incredible opportunity. I was just bad at baseball for a month.''

Mets manager Terry Collins said coming to New York is an adjustment for everyone, not just Bruce...

Tags: Jay Bruce
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Mar 29, 2017; Terry Collins watches from the bench at Champion Stadium. Credit: Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 29, 2017; Terry Collins watches from the bench at Champion Stadium. Credit: Matay-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time since before taking the field Opening Day, Terry Collins addressed his team after losing Sunday for the third-straight time.

"I just told the guys, 'We came on this road [trip] .500, we're going home above .500,'" Collins told reporters, when asked what he told his team. "We've got to take that as a positive, not a negative. Should we have won more? Maybe. But we didn't. We can't worry about that, we've got to get ready for the upcoming games."

I still believe this is a very talented team that will win enough games to get to their third-straight postseason. That said, these two concerns will have to be addressed in some way, shape or form if the Mets want to return to winning and sustain success over the course of a full season...

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This season, Verizon customers can enter to win unique baseball experiences to every Tuesday Night Baseball home game... all you need is a current Verizon Wireless or Verizon Fios account!

It's better baseball from the Better Network.

To enter, go to SNY.TV/VERIZON or click here for more information...

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